Author: Ashley Bryant

13 Dec 2018

How much house can I afford?

how-much-house-can-I-afford
Shopping for homes before realistically evaluating your monthly capacity to service a mortgage is like falling in love with a golden retriever puppy before you’ve read the rental property contract clause about pet ownership. And that’s no fun, my friends. “Many times we see buyers falling head-over-heels in love with a home only to realize it’s way over their budget," says Vice President of Loan Origination for Allen Tate Mortgage, Lisa Green. So for all of us who’ve been told not once, but maybe more than a few times that we have champagne dreams on a beer budget, this process is for you. Don’t hit the panic button just yet— here’s how to make sure your new home doesn’t break the...
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22 Oct 2018

Kitchen cleaning hacks

As a self-proclaimed neat freak, I can appreciate a good cleaning tip or two. And with Thanksgiving exactly one month away, I’m kicking up my cleaning game. Looking for ways to deep clean your kitchen before you invite the masses over to feast on turkey and sweet potato pie? You can be sure to impress even your most OCD family member with these tips. Vent hood Go ahead find the vent hood in your kitchen. Chances are you’ve never even seen this thing, let alone attempted to clean it. This one’s easy: Just grab some borax and treat the vent hood to a nice relaxing soak in hot water. It’ll be as good as clean in an hour or so. Oven Nobody...
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16 Aug 2018

How to get pre-approved for a mortgage

If you’re seriously considering purchasing a home, one of your first steps is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. The process is relatively painless and when you’re finished you can shop for homes with confidence. Don’t know the first thing about getting pre-approved and what’s needed to move forward with the process? Here’s everything you wanted to know about getting pre-approved. How does a pre-approval differ from a pre-qualification? I’m so glad you asked! It’s important to first understand the difference between the two terms, as they’re actually very different and you’ll want to make sure you understand what you’re getting into. A pre-qualification is an approximation based on info you verify as to how much you’re able to borrow from the bank. Approximation is...
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13 Jul 2018

4 ways to be a competitive buyer in a sellers’ market

Feel like looking for a home these days is akin to gearing up for battle? You’ll need thick skin and a game plan to conquer today’s real estate market. Quell the competition and declare victory over your next offer submission when you arm yourself with these four tips.   1. Get pre-approved Getting pre-approved is quite possibly the most important step you can take in the beginning of the home buying process. You should do this before you ever step foot in a Realtor’s office and before you even browse for properties online. Unlike a pre-qualification, which is traditionally an automated review of your credit report, credit score and stated application information, a pre-approval scrutinizes every aspect of your creditworthiness. A pre-approval determines exactly how much...
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3 Jul 2018

10 things you must do after closing

From decluttering to packing to labeling and organizing your belongings, there’s a lot that goes into packing up one home and moving to another. But what about all the items that need to be accomplished after you sign your name on the dotted line? Overwhelmed with odds and ends? Use our complete guide to make sure no task is left undone. 1. Turn on the lights Don’t get caught in the dark. Make sure to transfer power, water and gas (if applicable) to your new address. It’s a good idea to go ahead and get on the schedule for cable and internet service, too. 2. Plan for moving day If you have small children or pets, you’ll need to do some planning ahead of time...
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5 Jun 2018

Benefits of shopping local when it comes to a mortgage lender

In today’s fast-paced, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it real estate market, buyers need all the help they can get. Many prospective buyers exasperated from losing bidding war after bidding war are looking for something—anything—that will help their bid stand out. So if you’re about to pick up a pen to compose a heart-wrenching letter to the seller of your dream home, read this first. Would it surprise you to find out that shopping locally for a mortgage is actually one of the best things you can do when it comes to having your bid accepted? “A lot of people think that the highest bid is the one the seller automatically chooses— and ultimately there’s a lot more to it than that,” says Allen Tate Mortgage’s...
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3 May 2018

5 mistakes sellers make

If you thought the 2017 housing market was hot, get ready for a scorcher in 2018. And while this year’s market will continue to be a warm day at the beach for sellers, there’s still mistakes to be made. Receive top dollar for your home when you avoid these five most common (and costly) missteps. Not working with a Realtor Often times a seller’s market fools people into thinking they can make even more money by selling their home without the help of an expert. “Not so fast,” says Allen Tate Realtors President, Phyllis Brookshire. “Don’t underestimate the value of letting a professional sell your home. Realtors know the housing market and understand how to correctly price your home; in fact, the...
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12 Apr 2018

Learn how to buy a home with gift funds

Remember when you were little and Grandma or Grandpa asked you what you wanted for your birthday? You likely handed them a JCPenney or Sears catalog with one or two (or 10, if you’re being honest) dog-eared pages of toys you’d like to add to your growing collection. These days the answer to that same question is probably a little easier: You’d like cold, hard cash. Why? Because being an adult is expensive, Grandma. And because you’ve been dying to give your roommate a 60 day notice and get your own place. Using gift funds to purchase your first home? Then you need our guide. Who can you receive a gift from? If you’re going the Fannie, Freddie, or VA Mortgage (conventional loans) route,...
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13 Mar 2018

6 ways to save for a down payment

Chances are you’ve heard a rumor that buying is actually cheaper than renting, so I’m here to set the record straight: In the long run, buying actually saves you a whole lot of cash. Of course, if you’re a newbie to the career world and just starting to learn what it’s like to not pay overdraft fees, (thanks, college) buying a home is likely easier said than done. So how do you go about saving for a home? Keep reading; you may discover it’s easier than you think. Learn about your options, first First things first, it’s a good idea to meet with a mortgage consultant to figure out what loan options are available to you. As a first-time homebuyer, you likely...
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8 Mar 2018

6 most common mistakes homeowners make when hiring a General Contractor

Whether you’re getting ready to tackle your outdated kitchen or fixing up your home to sell, you’ll likely need to lean on the expertise of a general contractor to get the job done. Here are the six most typical mistakes homeowners make when it comes to working with a GC and how you can avoid them. Not getting referrals Don’t go with the first contractor you google, but rather ask around for a better experience. Ideally, your efforts will hopefully provide you with a list of three to four candidates. If you’re unable to get referrals through trusted sources, use sites like Angie’s List, Houzz or NextDoor to help you find the right person. Just be sure to evaluate these recommendations carefully...
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