Real Estate, According to Ashley

If you have ever wondered what a Realtor thinks then this is the blog for you.  Ashley provides frank real estate information, advice and tips.  She is a true expert whose passion for the field shines brightly.

Aug. 24, 2017

Two New Videos About NACA

Hello Friends! 

I am currently working with a few buyers who are using the NACA program and figured I would share a few tips and tricks to make the process easier.

3 Tips to BEAT NACA  

One Simple Step to Make NACA Easier

Don't forget to subscribe to my channel!!

If you, or someone you know, is thinking of buying or selling their Charlotte area home please think of me!

 

Aug. 2, 2017

#RealtorLife - 3 Closings, a Bad Appraisal, & Squeaky Floors

Not everyday is an easy-breezy day in real estate. A lot happens behind the scenes when a home is under contract and the negotiations do not end once the offer is ratified and becomes a contract. Issues can arise after the appraisal and the inspection which means that Buyer and the Seller have to again negotiate and find a win-win that they are comfortable with. 

3 Closings, a Bad Appraisal, and Squeaky Floors

Aug. 2, 2017

Hurdles When Buying and Selling A Home

It is very important that you understand the North Carolina Offer to Purchase and Contract when buying and selling a home.  One thing I have learned after being in the business for almost 12 years is that "things are great, until they aren't".  You have to understand the ins and outs, the ups and downs of the contract so you are not thrown off when things do not happen as planned.  

Understanding the NC Contract and the Hurdles of Buying and Selling

Dec. 9, 2016

Do's and Do Not's During the Loan Process

Do's and Do Not's During the Loan Process:

Do's:

  • continue making your current mortgage or rent payments
  • stay current on all existing credit card accounts
  • keep working with your current employer 
  • keep your current insurance company
  • call me with any questions

 

Do Not's:

  • don't make any major purchases (i.e. cars, boats, appliances, furniture, etc...)
  • don't apply for any new credit cards or open new accounts
  • don't transfer any balances from one account to another account
  • don't change banks
  • don't make any large cash deposits into your bank account
  • don't consolidate your debt into 1 or 2 credit cards
  • don'r max out current credit card accounts

As always, I am always a phone call, text, or email away if you have any comments, questions, or concerns about the home buying process.

Ashley Jamerson, Realtor/Owner of Jamerson Realty an Ashley Lambert Realty Company
Call/Text: (980) 319-3664     Email: Hello@myagentashley.com
Dec. 9, 2016

The FAQs on Preapproval and Prequalification

The FAQs on Preapproval and Prequalification

What is preapproval?

This is when a home seeker applies for a mortgage before finding the home.  The loan agent gathers the necessary documents, including the loan application, credit report, income assessment, and submits them to the underwriter.  They then issue credit approval or denial.

What is prequalification?

Unlike preapproval, prequalification is not a loan commitment it is simply an opinion that a home seeker should be able to get a mortgage.

What are the advantages of preapproval?

  • Home shoppers who make an offer on a home and then apply for a loan lose precious time in the bargaining process.
  • Preapproved home buyers know exactly how much home they can afford.
  • When in competition with other buyers for a particular home, the prepared buyer is in a much stronger position since the seller knows there will be no difficulties with financing.
  • Preapproved buyers usually close escrow more quickly.

Remember, while an important tool for the home buyer, pre approval and pre qualification are not absolute - lenders still ned to perform other assessments and verifications before finalizing the loan.

As you can see, preapproval is a smart idea.  So contact me today so we can refer you to a lender who can get you preapproved for your dream home.

Ashley Jamerson, Realtor/Owner of Jamerson Realty an Ashley Lambert Realty Company
Call/Text: (980) 319-3664     Email: Hello@myagentashley.com
Dec. 8, 2016

First Step to Purchasing a Home: Pre-Qualification

Documents Needed When Applying for a Mortgage

If you have spoken with me or watched one of my YouTube videos you know that in order to view homes you must be pre-qualifed, preferably pre-approved.  Pre-qualification is a must to not only know how much home you can afford but also discovering if you are comfortable paying that amount.  For example, you may approve for a $400,000 home but you feel comfortable with a mortgage of a $315,000 home. It's also great to have that lender relationship started so you can get all of your loan/mortgage questions answered.  

Homebuyers typically have one hurdle that that they hate to cross: THE PAPERWORK needed to apply for a loan.  Trust me, I hated it too.  But its a necessary evil and the more organized you are the smoother your home purchase will go.  

Here are two list to help you get started.

Mortgage Pre-Qualification Checklist:

  • Your name (and any others buyers' name)
  • Current address
  • Estimated annual household income
  • Estimated monthly household debt expenses

That's it! Super short list, which is why getting pre-qualified is super fast and easy.

Once you get pre-qualified you must then submit the documents below to support the information that you provided to the lender for Pre-Approval.

Mortgage Pre-Approval Checklist:

  • Copy of your Drivers License
  • Social Security Card
  • Your residential address for the past two years
  • Paycheck stubs for the last 30 days that show your year-to-date earnings.
  • W-2 forms from the previous 2 years, if you collect a paycheck.
  • Profit and loss statements or 1099 forms, if you own a business.
  • Most recent federal tax return, and possibly the last two tax returns.
  • A complete list of your debts, such as credit cards, student loans, car loans, and child support payments, along with minimum monthly payments and balances.
  • Canceled checks for your rent or mortgage payments.
  • Your original bank statements (all pages) from the two most recent months of checking and savings accounts
  • Statements from the past two months for IRAs, stocks, bonds and any other securities if you intend to use any of these assets for your down payment.
  • Information on any real estate that you already own - property address, current market value, mortgage lender's name and address, loan account number, balance, and monthly payment
  • Divorce decree or seperation documents (if applicable)

*Additional documents may be required by your lender.

The list can be daunting to tackle but luckily technology of online banking can make this easy.

My biggest piece of advice is to NOT WAIT until you HAVE to move but speak with a mortgage professional as far in advance as possible to make sure there are no surprises, you don't feel rushed, you can get all of your questions answered, and you have time to compare mortgage programs and types to get the best fit for you and your family.

As always, I am a phone call, text, or email away if you, or someone you know, has a real estate question.

Ashley Jamerson, Realtor/Owner of Jamerson Realty an Ashley Lambert Realty Company
Call/Text: (980) 319-3664     Email: Hello@myagentashley.com
Feb. 4, 2014

10 Tips for Buying the Perfect Home

Buying a home can be a stressful and time consuming process.  With that pre-approval letter in hand many buyers go cross-eyed trying to narrow down their search from the long list of results. 

1. Figure out what your ‘perfect home’ looks like. Write down on a piece of paper all of the things you must have in your new home, things that would be nice to have and things that don’t really matter.  Keep this list with you when we go out and view homes to keep your search on task.

2. Purchase a home that stays in budget. Make sure to get pre-approved for a loan before going out to look at houses. It will make the buying process much easier and you will know which houses to look at.  Falling in love with a home you cannot afford is heartbreaking and makes your home search more stressful as you look for the non-existent purple giraffe.

3. Bigger isn’t always better. While we all dream of having a huge mansion, it’s good to think about what will be best for your family. Figure out how many rooms you need to fit your family comfortably and look in that range. If you are closed minded to a certain square footage you could miss out on a well laid out home that feels larger.

10 Tips for Buying the Perfect Home4. Think about remodeling. Many homes you will look at may not be in the best condition, but think about the potential of the house. Would painting and new wood floors turn it into your dream house? How about a kitchen or bathroom remodel? There are many easy fix-ups such as adding new light fixtures and painting that can turn your house into the perfect home. Never be afraid of a little sweat equity to make a house a home.

5. Location is important. Check the surrounding area of the home. Drive around the 2 mile radius to see what is around your home. Make sure it is in an area you feel comfortable with. Find out what school district you’ll be in. Even if you don’t have kids, you may want to think about the school district you live in for resale. You may also want to take the commute to your work and see how long it will take you. I like to scope out the local grocery stores, nail salons, dry cleaners, gyms, and other “life necessities” near the home because there is nothing like having these places a short drive or bike ride away.

6. Do your research. Research property values in the area. Stalk your neighborhood and find out what it’s like at all times of the day. Is it a family friendly neighborhood? You could even knock on the neighbors doors before buying. I have done that.

7. Do a home inspection. The home inspector will look at everything in a home and give you a non-bias opinion. They will also tell you the true value of the home you are looking at. It’s better to spend a couple hundred dollars doing a home inspection then finding out the house had several problems.  As a buyers agent I often attend the home inspection to get a better understanding of the inspection results.

8. Picture your family living in the house. When you walk into the home, can you picture your family living there? Does it have a good feeling? Picture your family living in each room and see you how feel.

9. Leave room to grow. Make sure your ‘perfect home’ has extra storage and gives you room to grow.  Thinking of getting married, having a baby, or starting an at-home business in the next few years? Don’t outgrow your home prematurely.

10. Don’t put your expectations to high. Realize that most houses aren’t perfect to begin with. Even if you are building your dream home, there are always things that could have been different. Be flexible. Once you move in and add your own style it will soon become your dream home.

Remember, take your time.  You are buying a home not a pair of shoes.

Posted in First Time Buyer
Dec. 22, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Bank Owned Property

Pros and Cons of Banked Owned Properties

Dec. 4, 2013

Secret Buyer Agency Fees

"When buying or selling real estate, you may find it helpful to have a real estate agent assist you" is how the standard Working With Real Estate Agents  disclosure begins, but what if that agent really isn't thinking of you and hiring that agent costs you MORE money!?  

I have been a licensed NC real estate agent and Realtor since 2005 and can say that I have seen A LOT in this industry.  I have met the over ambitious Realtor, the "old school" Realtor, the "new school" Realtor, the lazy Realtor, the crooked Realtor, the confused Realtor... and those are just a few.  But lately I have run into some very VERY crooked activities.  One of those activities is sneaking excessive fees onto the Exclusive Buyers Agency Agreement which makes their way into the HUD Closing Documents.  YES, it is happening and unfortunately instead of telling the truth these crooked agents are loaded with nicely worded "scripts" to mislead their Buyers and Sellers.

I recently found myself in a working relationship with a company that charged a "transaction fee" of $250 and a "processing fee" of $50!  Their goal was to get the client to pay these fees, $300, at closing!  A little background story here: I had an Investor purchase a house.  The listing agreement for that house split the total commission between the Selling Agent and the Buying Agent, this is totally normal.  The Buyers Agency "fee" was covered by the Seller and paid for at closing so my services for bringing a ready, willing, and able Buyer were free to my client, nothing strange there. When it came time to pick up my commission check from "Company S" there were these mysterious transaction and processing fees deducted from the total, along with some other deductions.   When asked what these fees consisted of there was no clear answer that lead anywhere other than "another way for the company to get more revenue".  Then they stated that I should have charged my Buyer client this $300 in the Exclusive Agency agreement.  Again, there was no clear answer to these charges and of course I did not charge my Buyer fees that I didn't even understand.  I had to permanently part ways.

My advice to Buyers out there is to be careful and mindful of what you sign and ask plenty of questions! If your agent can not explain to you all of the fees associated with the purchase of a home DO NOT WORK WITH THAT AGENT!  When you sign an Exclusive Agency Agreement the agent that you are working with is promising to "promote your best interests, to be loyal to you, provide you with all material facts that could influence your decision,  and account for all monies they handle for you" - and that is the short list.  Anything less is unethical!

Nov. 17, 2013

10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership

10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership

1. Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.

2. Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list.

3. Select where you want to live. Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.

4. Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment?  Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees — average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price.

5. Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.


6. Determine your mortgage qualifications. How large of mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore different loan options — such as 30-year or 15-year fixed mortgages or ARMs — and decide what’s best for you.

7. Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.

8. Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs? Check with your state and local government on down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.

9. Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable.

10. Contact a Ashley Lambert, an experienced REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process.