September 2010

30 Sep 2010

Tips To Make Moving A Breeze

Moving can be very chaotic.  Between making sure that you have everything packed, making sure everything gets moved to your new home, and getting everything unpacked it can be a very nerve-wracking experience.  Whether this is old hat for you or your first real move, there are some things to remember:

If you are hiring a mover:

  • Take the time to research the different movers.  This is the time to look at their reputation and find out what their policies are.
  • Talk with friends and family about their experiences.
  • Get multiple quotes.  Especially if this is a big move, this is not the time to just go with the first quote you get.  These should also be in-house quotes because it gives you a chance to meet the mover and get a feel for them.
29 Sep 2010

Relocation During the Recession

Would you like to know why The Carolinas are a great place to live?

For starters we have beautiful beaches, gorgeous mountains, weather that can’t be beat and an area rich in history and tradition. Newcomers are always impressed with the quality of life, the cost of living, and the opportunities that are available here.  Not convinced? Well then, let’s look at some of the stats:

Money Magazineranked two of North Carolina’s cities, Cary and Chapel Hill in its Top 50 “Best Places to Live in 2010”:

“In the heart of North Carolina’s Research Triangle, Cary N.C. boasts one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, AAA bond ratings from Moody’s, and an unemployment rate below the country’s average.

28 Sep 2010

What is a 4506 Tax Form?

Most every borrower will now be required to complete and sign the Tax Transcript form(4506) when they apply for a mortgage loan.  While this requirement is not a new one, borrowers should be made aware that this form will now be sent to the IRS during your application process.

The Tax Transcript form, which checks the past two years of federal tax returns, verifies to the lender that the income given to them is accurate. The IRS then confirms the information or alerts the lender to a discrepancy.  In the case of a discrepancy, the lender is given copies of the Taxes on file with the IRS.

For the borrower who is honest and submits accurate tax returns to the lender, this process should not be an issue or cause for concern.  It does have implications however, for those who submit false tax returns.

27 Sep 2010

Lessons from My First Home

They say hindsight is 20/20 – I couldn’t agree more when reflecting on my first home purchase and sale. Luckily, I had a good Realtor to watch out for me…because I certainly learned a few lessons.

First: An investor was selling the house as a flip, and, though the renovations were well-done, the layout wasn’t perfect for us. I told our Realtor “I would like the house, if only the house had x, y and z.” Our Realtor went back to the Sellers and they agreed to make ALL of the changes. Had she not encouraged me to ask for what I wanted, I probably would have passed on this fantastic home.

Lesson: It doesn’t hurt to ask for the things that you want.

Second: On moving-in day, we looked around the kitchen for a place to put our silverware, only to realize that we only had one drawer in the kitchen. ONE. As we looked for a place to plug in the bedroom phone, we realized that the home only had one phone jack. ONE! My sectional couch was so large for our new small house, that we couldn’t even get it in the den. How could I have missed these important facts? Though we made it work, I know now to look beyond the surface and look at the details that really matter – storage, furniture fit, cable/tv/phone wiring, overhead lighting, etc.

24 Sep 2010

The Fun Behind The FUNDay for Public Education

On September 27, Tate Realtors® and Leaders will be traveling from different locations across North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina to converge at The Point for the 13th Annual Allen Tate FUNDay.

What is FUNDay you may ask? Well, let’s start with the goal which is to play together all the while raising money to help ensure that students enrolled in public schools across the Carolinas receive the best education possible.  As I said in an earlier blog post, the perception of the education in the neighborhood school determines appreciation of the homes surrounding those schools.

23 Sep 2010

Be A Successful Homeowner

Back in January I joined a committee focused on promoting successful homeownership within our community, in simple terms we are a group of Realtors® passionately focused on preventing foreclosures.

In the first meeting, I was immediately struck with how little I know about resources available for homeowners in need! Take for example, United Way 2-1-1. Ever heard of it?  We all know you dial 9-1-1 is for emergencies and 4-1-1 is for directory assistance.

So what, then, is 2-1-1?

22 Sep 2010

Your New Home- Are You Protected?

The process of buying a new home is an exciting and daunting one. It can be easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of it all, especially when purchasing your new insurance coverage.  You may want to stop and think about a few things before diving in.

Your furniture, while in transit to your new home, will NOT be covered by your new home coverage.   Be sure to discuss this with your current agent.  Your moving company may provide some coverage but it will not be as broad as what can be provided under your homeowners insurance.    Can you imagine if something happens to your mother’s china and you had no coverage for breakage?   What if your antique desk was destroyed?

21 Sep 2010

My First Home: I’d Do It Again

Today is the greatest opportunity to purchase a house.  Really.

I remember when I purchased my first home in 1992.

We were just coming out of the ‘91 Gulf War recession and interest rates were floating around 9%.  Housing sales were starting to heat back up and prices were gaining.  I had a friend who was getting married and they each owned a home – their goal was to sell both houses and build their first home as a married couple.  I immediately expressed interest in one of the homes and remember the price was $90,000.  That seemed so out of reach to me, but after meeting with a mortgage lender, it appeared my monthly mortgage payment would only be approximately $300 more per month than my current lease agreement – suddenly it seemed like it was in our reach.  The real kicker was my CPA’s advice – you need that mortgage interest deduction!  After we purchased the house, I determined that my tax burden decreased 25% – yes, my annual taxes had an immediate improvement due to the mortgage interest deductions, which the joy of home ownership provided!

20 Sep 2010

Building A Custom Home Part 5: Construction

This is the last segment of our “building a custom home” series. A lot of the anxiety that occurs during the homebuilding process can be eliminated by asking lots of question of your builder and doing some research before you ever start the process. That said, we will cover some of the areas to be vigilant about and some of the realities to be prepared for to help you better manage this process.

Since all custom home projects begin with financing, make sure that you have a thorough understanding on how your construction loan is structured. Keep in mind that this loan is needed to have the home built and will later be converted to a mortgage. In this day and age, you will have much more control over how the money is doled out to your builder. In the “good old days”, when a builder made a request, you could direct the bank to pay the draws to the builder. Now there are many more impediments before a draw is paid to your builder and you will be part of that process. So be sure to sit with your banker and have them explain all of the steps and make sure that their guidelines coincide with contract between you and your builder.

17 Sep 2010

The New Twitter

Jack Dorsey, one of Twitter’s co-founders, sent the first “tweet” on March 21, 2006, but Twitter itself was only launched publicly in July 2006. Like the tortoise, Twitter was slow to pick up speed and it wasn’t until the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive conference in 2007 where Twitter won the Web award that it started to move more like the hare.

Today, Twitter is ranked as one of the 15 most visited websites worldwide therefore it came as no surprise when they announced a complete redesign of their website this week.  Many believe that Twitter’s reasoning behind this redesign is to better control the user experience when visiting the Twitter website itself.

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