Category: First-Time Homebuyer

3 Jun 2011

Outdoor Living Spaces for All Seasons

With the wonderful climates here in the Carolinas (minus the heat wave we’ve been subject to recently!), we get to spend a lot of time entertaining and enjoying our outdoor living spaces. That being said, there is no reason for your planters to sit bare during the fall and winter months. Many of us simply leave our planters bare because the thought of maintaining that “inviting” look at all times can be a little overwhelming. Believe me, I get it. But fear not! There are easy, low-maintenance steps you can take to keep your planters looking great all year-round.

17 May 2011

Make House Hunting Easier

While having access to so many online tools and resources can make the home-buying process less time consuming, it doesn’t necessarily make it any less overwhelming.

There are a few basic steps I recommend that can make the process a whole lot easier for you.

  • Get pre-qualified. When I say that you may be sitting there wondering, “What does that exactly mean?” Well, simply put it’s how much house you can afford to buy. There are lots of great online calculators that can give you an idea on payments, but be sure to talk to a lender before you start looking at homes. You want to make sure you can qualify for a loan and determine how much house you can afford. It is a waste of your time to look at houses that may be out of your price range.  The good news is that getting pre-qualified is a fairly simple process. Through Allen Tate Mortgage, for example, it can be done online!
5 Apr 2011

What Happens When A Tree Falls on Your Property?

Having been in the insurance industry for years, this question is probably one of the most popular inquiries we get!

Limited coverage (usually $1000) is provided on the homeowner’s policy to remove a tree that has damaged a covered property due to wind, hail, and the weight of ice, sleet, or snow. This coverage responds provided the tree 1) damages a covered structure or 2) does not damage a covered structure but a) blocks a drive way and prevents a vehicle from leaving or b) blocks a handicap ramp or fixture.

22 Mar 2011

Top 5 Things To Look For In A Realtor

I was 24 when I bought my first house. I stumbled upon my real estate agent when I called the number on a “For Sale” sign for a house that I thought was cute. I didn’t end up buying that house, but she became my agent almost out of default ….or more accurately put, her persistence.

I knew that I wanted to live in either one of two different areas, both located close to downtown Greenville. Her niche was an area 20 minutes away from there. The first Saturday we looked at properties, instead of showing me houses where I wanted to live, we looked at 5 homes in her niche, the place that she was most passionate for.

7 Mar 2011

The Difference Between Cost and Price

Are you waiting for home prices to fall before you act?

It makes sense to try to buy a home when you believe it has hit the rock bottom price. I totally get that. In some areas where there is additional depreciation to be played out, waiting can be the right move to make. But overall, I believe that waiting is not a good financial decision. As a buyer, unless you are paying cash, you need to be looking at Cost not Price.

What is the difference between cost and price? The cost of a home is made up of the interest rate that is paid as well as price.

The 4th quarter housing research report of last year stated that sales in America rose 15.4 percent over the 3rd quarter. With each passing day, the stability of housing prices is taking shape.  As soon as Realtors, appraisers, bankers, buyers and sellers all understand the new value system then normalcy can begin take hold.  Someone who delayed buying a house because of the price might find that prices have actually not decreased. They’ve simply re-adjusted to the new normal. But as Paul Harvey always said, “Now … the rest of the story.”

16 Feb 2011

What Did You Say? Now Is the Time to Buy?

What did you say? Now is the time to buy real estate?

It seems like everyone is talking about the fact that now is the time to buy real estate:

  • “With home sales starting to improve, and with prices now possibly forming a bottom, real estate could well be the asset class that represents… the best low-risk buying opportunity out there today.” – Wall Street Journal 1/26/2011
  • “Overall, there is good reason for most Americans to think now is a good time to buy a house. Interest rates remain near historic lows. Home prices are down sharply, providing many incredible buys.” – Gallup 1/17/2011
  • “I’m pretty sure this is a great time to go out and buy a house. And if you do, in 10 years you’re going to look back and say,”You know, I‘m glad I listened to Donald Trump.” – Donald Trump January 2011
  • “If you don’t own a home, buy one.  If you own one home, buy another one.  If you own two homes, buy a third.And, lend your relatives the money to buy a home.” -John Paulson November 2010
  • “For people with a realistic version of the American Dream, buying a house now can make a lot of sense.” – Karl Case of Case Shiller New York Times 9/1/2010
29 Dec 2010

Why Homeownership Really Matters To People

The real estate industry has been a big topic of the media in 2010.  FromTime Magazine’s September cover title “Rethinking Home Ownership” to the Wall Street Journal’s headliner “Top 10 Reasons To Own A Home”, there have been a lot of theories about the impact of homeownership in today’s economy.  This will be the first of a 3-part series on why we believe homeownership really matters today.

So why does homeownership matter so much to people?  Studies show that homeownership has a significant and very positive impact on net worth, educational achievement, civic participation, health and overall quality of life.  In fact, according to recent stats released by the National Association of Realtors, here are some reasons why homeownership matters to people: