Morristown, TN Real Estate News

By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Land Contract An alternative to a non-conforming loan is the use of a land contract, which is allowed in some states. A land contract is an agreement between a buyer and a seller, where the buyer agrees to make periodic payments to the seller. The title to the property only transfers to the land contract buyer on fulfillment of the land contract obligations. A land contract can be helpful for those who need time to establish or improve their credit rating. There are only small closing costs, and payment can help establish a good mortgage payment record. This can help establish an overall good credit rating, and it is possible for the buyer to later refinance the land contract with a conforming loan. On the other hand, there are risks associated with land contracts. Land contract purchas...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Items You Need When Applying For a Loan Have These Items Ready When You Apply For a Loan It used to be that lenders mailed out verifications to employers, banks, mortgage companies, and so on, in order to verify the data supplied by borrowers. Nowadays, the interest is often in speed and getting answers quickly so alternate documentation has become more widely used. Alternate documentation means that underwriting answers can be obtained with information supplied directly from the borrower instead of waiting around for verifications to come back in the mail. The following is required for most standardized loans as part of alternate documentation processing. Items may differ according to whether your loan is a conforming (Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac), non-conforming (jumbo) loan, government...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Title Insurance Requirements for Insuring Trusts In today’s world of busy probate courts and exorbitant death taxes, the living trust has become a common manner of holding title to real property. The following may help you understand a few of the requirements of the title insurance industry if title to property is conveyed to the trustee of a living trust. What is a trust? An agreement between a trustor and trustee for the trustee to hold title to and administer designated assets of the trustor for the use and benefit of one or more beneficiaries. Can a trust itself acquire and convey interests in real property? No. The trust is an arrangement between a trustee and the trustor. Only the trustee, on behalf of the trust, may own and convey any interest in real property. The trustee may on...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Mello-Roos In purchasing your new home, your future monthly payments will be made up of principal, interest, real property taxes, and insurance. But what is the tax for the Community Facilities District, otherwise known as a Mello-Roos District? The Land Title Association (LTA) has answered some of the most commonly asked questions about the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act. What is a Mello-Roos District? A Mello-Roos District is an area where a special tax is imposed on those real property owners within a Community Facilities District. This district has chosen to seek public financing through the sale of bonds for the purpose of financing certain public improvements and services. These services may include streets, water, sewage and drainage, electricity, infrastructure, schools, pa...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Making a Good First Impression If you want buyers to be interested in your home, you need to show it in its best light. A good first impression can influence a buyer both emotionally and visually, thus prompting them to make an offer. In addition, what the buyer first sees is what they think of when they consider the asking price. A bad first impression can dissuade a potential buyer. Don’t show your property until it’s all fixed up. You do not want to give buyers the chance to use the negative first impression they have as means of negotiation. Ask around for the opinions others have of your home. Real estate agents who see houses everyday can give solid advice on what needs to be done. Consider what architects or landscape designers have to say. What you need are objective opinions, a...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Is Buying a Home Still a Smart Plan? With the burst of the housing bubble, credit crisis, and millions of foreclosures across the country, you may wonder if buying a home is such a good idea after all. However, it’s important to consider all of the facts. The important message to take away from these events is not that buying a home is a bad idea, but that you must be smart about buying your home. The housing market, like every type of market, unavoidably has its ups and downs. That doesn’t mean buying a home is a bad investment. As a long-term investment, homeownership is still one of the best investments for individual households. Historically, real estate has consistently increased in value, despite shorter periods of depreciation due to local markets and/or national economic conditi...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
FICO® Scores and Your Mortgage Years ago, credit scoring had little to do with mortgage lending. When reviewing the credit worthiness of a borrower, an underwriter would make a subjective decision based on past payment history. Then things changed. Lenders studied the relationship between credit scores and mortgage delinquencies. There was a definite relationship. Almost half of those borrowers with FICO® scores below 550 became ninety days delinquent at least once during their mortgage. On the other hand, only two out of every 10,000 borrowers with FICO® scores above eight hundred became delinquent. So lenders began to take a closer look at FICO® scores and this is what they found out. The chart below shows the likelihood of a ninety day delinquency for specific FICO® scores. FICO® Sco...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Title Insurance - Where Does Your Dollar Go? Title Insurance: As a homebuyer, the term is probably familiar - but is it understood? What is your dollar actually paying for when you purchase a title policy? Title Insurers, unlike property or casualty insurance companies, operate under the theory of risk elimination. Title companies spend a high percentage of their operating income each year collecting, storing, maintaining and analyzing official records for information that affects title to real property. Their technical experts are trained to identify the rights others may have in your property, such as recorded liens, legal actions, disputed interests, rights of way or other encumbrances on your title. Before closing your transaction, the title company will proceed to clear those encum...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Mechanic’s Liens The Mechanics’ Lien law provides special protection to contractors, subcontractors, laborers and suppliers who furnish labor or materials to repair, remodel or build your home. If any of these people are not paid for the services or materials they have provided, your home may be subject to a mechanics’ lien and eventual sale in a legal proceeding to enforce the lien. This result can occur even when the homeowner has made full payment for the work of improvement. The mechanics’ lien is a right that a state gives to workers and suppliers to record a lien and ensure payment. This lien may be recorded where the property owner has paid the contractor in full and the contractor then fails to pay the subcontractors, suppliers, or laborers. Thus, in the worst case, a homeowner ...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Know Why You are Selling If you know exactly why you are selling then it is easier for you to follow the right plan of action for getting what you want. If you are a seller who needs to close a sale as quickly as possible, then you should know that getting the highest price possible is not one of your priorities. It does not mean that you won’t or cannot get the highest price, but it means that the price is not the deciding factor. A buyer who can give you a quick closing time will appeal much more to you than a buyer who can offer you more money but the negotiation and closing time drag on. It’s always good to know how low you will go, in terms of selling price. This will help to eliminate some of the offers that you find simply offensive or ridiculous. Even though you should consider ...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Importance of Inspection As a buyer, you are entitled to know exactly what you are getting. Don’t take anything for granted, not even what you see or what the seller or listing agent tell you. A professional home inspection is something you MUST do, whether you are buying an existing home or a new one. An inspection is an opportunity to have an expert look closely at the property you are considering purchasing and getting both an oral and written opinion as to its condition. Beforehand, make sure the report will be done by a professional organization, such as a local trade organization or a national trade organization such as ASHI (American Society of Home Inspection). Not only should you never skip an inspection, but also you should be present with the inspector during the inspection. ...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
FICO® Score - a Brief Explanation When you apply for a mortgage loan, you expect your lender to pull a credit report and look at whether you’ve made your payments on time. What you may not expect is that they seem to be more interested in your FICO® score. “What’s a FICO® score?” is a common reaction. Each time your credit report is pulled, it is run through a computer program with a built-in scorecard. Points are awarded or deducted based on certain items such as how long you have had credit cards, whether you make your payments on time, if your credit balances are near maximum, and assorted other variables. When the credit report prints in your lender’s office, the total score is displayed. Your score can be anywhere between the high 300’s and the low 850’s. Lenders wanted to determin...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
The Functions of an Escrow   Buying or selling a home (or other piece of real property) usually involves the transfer of large sums of money. It is imperative that the transfer of these funds and related documents from one party to another be handled in a neutral, secure and knowledgeable manner. For the protection of buyer, seller and lender, the escrow process was developed.   As a buyer or seller, you want to be certain all conditions of sale have been met before property and money change hands. The technical definition of an escrow is a transaction where one party engaged in the sale, transfer or lease of real or personal property with another person delivers a written instrument, money or other items of value to a neutral third person, called an escrow agent or escrow holder. This ...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Living Trusts Estate planners often recommend Living Trusts as a viable option when contemplating the manner in which to hold title to real property. When a property is held in a Living Trust, title companies have particular requirements to facilitate the transaction. While not comprehensive, answers to many commonly asked questions are below. If you have questions that are not answered below, your title company representative may be able to assist you, however, one may wish to seek legal counsel. Who are the parties to a Trust? A Family Trust is a typical trust in which the Husband and Wife are the Trustees and their children are the Beneficiaries. Those who establish the trust and transfer their property into it are known as Trustors or Settlors. The settlors usually appoint themselve...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Insist on a Home Inspection A professional home inspection protects both you and the buyer. It allows both you and the buyer the opportunity to learn about the property’s defects. A home inspection usually covers the following: Plumbing conditions - if there is leakage or clogging Roofing conditions - the extent of deterioration, if there is leakage Electrical conditions - if there are inadequate circuits or potential fire hazards Structural problems - if there are problems with the underlying foundation of your home As a seller, the home inspection reports protect you because it establishes the actual condition of the property at the time of sale.   The Elkins Home Selling Team with Elite Realty Group provides services with Morristown TN Real Estate For Saleand Morristown TN Homes For ...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Hot, Normal, and Cold Markets Hot Market This is an extremely competitive market and is advantageous to the seller. Sometimes, homes will sell as soon as they are listed or even before homes are listed. Typically, during a hot market, multiple offers will be made on each home and more often than not, homes will sell for more than the asking price. It is even more crucial to be prepared and to be ready as a buyer when the market is hot. It can be easy to get caught up in the bid for a home, but if you are prepared (pre-approved, solid in price range, realistic about your needs), it is easier to remain focused on your housing needs and price range. Normal Market In a normal market, there is a fairly large number of homes available and an average number of buyers. This market does not nece...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Documenting Your Assets - Verifying Your Down Payment When buying a home, it is not enough to just come up with the money. With the exception of no asset verification loans, lenders want to verify where the money for your new home will be coming from. If you can document that the funds are coming from your personal savings, the lender is more confident of your strength as a borrower. In addition, if you can verify that you have additional assets that are not needed for the down payment, it is important to document those, too. Additional assets are reserves you can draw upon during times of trouble, such as unemployment, medical emergencies, and similar occurrences. Additional assets can also help to document that you have a history of saving money, which makes you a more dependable borr...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Statements of Information What’s in a name? When a title company seeks to uncover matters affecting title to real property, the answer is, “Quite a bit.” Statements of Information provide title companies with the information they need to distinguish the buyers and sellers of real property from others with similar names. After identifying the true buyers and sellers, title companies may disregard the judgments, liens or other matters on the public records under similar names. To help you better understand this sensitive subject, the Land Title Association has answered some of the questions most commonly asked about Statements of Information. What is a Statement of Information? A Statement of Information is a form routinely requested from the buyer, seller and borrower in a transaction wh...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Lead Poisoning Lead poisoning is a serious problem that can lead to adverse health problems. In children, high levels of lead can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, behavioral and learning problems, slow growth, and hearing problems. In adults, lead poisoning can cause reproductive problems, high blood pressure, digestive problems, nerve disorder, memory and concentration problems, and muscle and joint pain. Lead poisoning is especially a problem in cities with older buildings. Typically, lead is present in the paint from older buildings, in the water supply, and in the environment from cars and buses. Preventing lead poisoning in large cities, where there is such widespread possibility for exposure is both difficult and expensive. Federal programs have attempted to address t...
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By Norma J. Elkins, Realtor - Elkins Home Selling Team
( Elite Realty Group)
Getting the Highest Price in the Shortest Time In order to get the highest price in the shortest time, you need to know how to market your home. The better you market your home, the more offers you will get. And the more offers you get, the more choices you have to get the price and terms you want. The most important factor of marketing your home is pricing it right. Your price should be adjusted to reflect the market and your property’s worth. The key is to get as many people as possible checking out your fairly priced property. If your property is not priced fairly, there will be no buyers because your price is set too high. Another important factor is the condition of your home. Make sure that your home looks ready to be sold. Fix any defects (peeling or faded paint, cracks, stains, ...
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Morristown, TN Real Estate Professionals