Thinking About Selling Your Home Without A Real Estate Agent? Don’t – Here’s Why

Thinking About Selling Your Home Without A Real Estate Agent Dont Here is WhyIf you’re considering selling your home in the near future, you may be tempted to simply cut out the middleman and opt for an FSBO sale. However, selling a home is a major undertaking, and most “For Sale By Owner” home sales run into obstacles. Continue reading

Advertisements

When Should You Shred Your Financial Documents?

When Should You Shred Your Financial Documents?How do you know what happens to your documents when you put a piece of paper in the trash? It can be difficult to know who is seeing it and what they are doing with it. It isn’t very common to burn trash anymore; therefore you can be sure that your paper garbage or recycling is likely to pass through several hands on its way to a landfill or recycling center.

StepByStep, Your Documents Can Get Pilfered

Every step that occurs once the trash leaves your control has risk that someone will find personal information they can use to cause you harm. One way to safeguard personal information is to shred it before it goes into the trash. Continue reading

3 Common Myths About Real Estate Short Sales

3 Common Short Sale MythsThere is a lot of misleading and incorrect information about Metro Atlanta real estate short sales.

Many people don’t have a clear understanding of the purpose of short sales or how they actually work.

Essentially, a short sale is when one sells their home for less than the balance remaining on the mortgage attached to the property.

The proceeds from the sale are used to repay a pre-negotiated portion of the balance to settle the debt.

A short sale can be a solution for homeowners who really need to sell their home but owe more on the mortgage than the home is worth.

Understanding the short sale process can help make the most out of a real estate sale.

Here are some common myths and why they are false:

A short sale damages one’s credit record as much as foreclosure

In many cases a short sale is less damaging to your credit record than a foreclosure. Some lenders may think that the short seller acted in a more responsible manner than simply walking away from the property.

Although the amount paid may have been less than the mortgage balance outstanding, the loan was settled with the lender. Opting for foreclosure is often seen as a lack of responsibility.

To qualify for a short sale one must be behind on payments

This might have been true in the past, but it’s not anymore.

You just need to be able to prove that you are in financial hardship, which could be due to death in the family, divorce, job loss, mortgage rate hike or even loss of property value.

After a short sale you can’t buy again for five to seven years

This may be true in some cases, but not all. In certain situations the waiting period can be reduced as low as two or three years before you are allowed to purchase another home.

It would be wise to speak with licensed real estate professional or home financing specialist to get the most current options in the marketplace.

Pass it on

These are just a few examples of commonly believed short sale myths. A clear understanding of the short sale and the benefits it  can provide is important for financially strapped homeowners.

Feel free to pass this important information on to someone that you feel would benefit from it.

For more information about the Atlanta area real estate market, please email me at ed@edshort.com or call me at 404.918.2500.

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®

photo2

Why Buying Real Estate Can Be A Smart Financial Move

Owning Real Estate Can Be A Smart Financial MoveBuying Metro Atlanta real estate doesn’t just give you a place to live; it can also be a very smart financial move.

This is because owning a home can be like having a forced savings account, which you are committed to for the long term.

Consistent Saving On Autopilot

Sometimes saving money on our own each month is difficult. It takes a lot of discipline to maintain a consistent savings plan.

However, paying your mortgage every month means that you are paying down the principal and working toward eventually owning the property outright.

In the early years of the mortgage, the payments will go primarily to the interest on the loan.

But over time, the portion of your payment dedicated to principle increases, which accelerates paying off the entire mortgage.

Make Yourself Wealthy Instead Of Your Landlord

In the long term, owning your own home may be a much better financial arrangement than renting a home. No matter how long you pay monthly rent, you will never own the real estate that you are living in.

When you are renting your home, it may also be possible for your landlord to increase your rent every year.

On the other hand, paying a mortgage on your real estate means that every month you get closer to owning the home.

In fact, most home mortgage lenders offer a fixed interest rate mortgage. This gives you a sense of control over how much you are paying every month, year to year.

In a fixed rate mortgage, every mortgage payment pays down a portion of the principle on your mortgage loan.  In many cases this builds equity in your property and increases your net worth.

It’s a good idea to check with a professional mortgage lender to get an idea of the most up-to-date programs available.

Real Estate May Increase In Value Over Time

Over the years, your home might appreciate in value. Many experts say that the average home value increase each year over longer stretches of time, although this will vary according to the area you live in, the current economy and other factors.

Your home’s value may very well fluctuate throughout the years, but history has shown that over the long term, buying a home can be a very beneficial financial decision.

Understanding the benefits of home ownership, including the potential financial upside of purchasing your own home, can be an excellent way to further your overall personal financial plan.

For more information about the Atlanta area real estate market, please email me at ed@edshort.com or call me at 404.918.2500.

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®

photo2

Clever Tips for Paying Off Your Home Mortgage Faster

Pay Off Mortgage Faster

Paying off the mortgage on your Metro Atlanta home faster not only means that you’ll be able to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with completely owning your property earlier, but you may also save thousands of dollars in interest payments.

Below are seven clever tips to help you get your mortgage payments on the fast track.

1. Save for a large down payment

Pay as large a down payment as you can reasonably afford. The more you can put down, then the less you’ll have to borrow from the bank.

2. Read the fine print

When you are choosing a mortgage, look at the fine print to find out if any restrictions apply to paying early. Some lenders will charge you for making extra or early payments.

3. Prepay early in the life of the mortgage

This is when the loan is the most interest-heavy. In the first five to seven years you are likely paying mostly interest. Request an amortization schedule of your mortgage to get a clear picture of how this works.

4. Be smart with unforeseen fortune

If you get an unexpected chunk of cash, such as a gift, prize, work bonus, inheritance, tax refund or other windfall, consider applying it straight to paying down the principal on your mortgage.

5. Double-check your records

When you make extra payments, ensure that they are processed correctly. Sometimes when the lender receives a payment that is outside of the monthly cycle, they may not know what to do with it. Make a special note and keep track of the payments yourself, so you can make sure they’ve been applied to your principal.

6. Increase your payment

Even increasing your payment by a small amount every month may take years off the length of your mortgage. Consider how much you can afford to pay every month rather than just the minimum payment amount.

7. Think about a bi-weekly payment

You might want to switch to an accelerated bi-weekly mortgage payment rather than a monthly payment. This typically applies an extra payment each year.

These are just a few techniques you can use to pay off your mortgage faster.

Remember, the quicker you pay off your mortgage, the less interest you will be paying.

For more information about the Atlanta area real estate market, please email me at ed@edshort.com or call me at 404.918.2500.

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®

photo2

When Can You Buy Real Estate After Foreclosure?

Waiting Periods After ForeclosureIf you lost your Metro Atlanta home due to foreclosure, you probably haven’t given up on the dream of owning a new home. The good news is that a number of guidelines have changed which may allow  you an opportunity to buy that new home sooner than you think.

There are a few guidelines that lenders follow to determine when you’ll qualify for financing after foreclosure. Arming yourself with this information may help you qualify again for a mortgage.

Foreclosure With Extenuating Circumstances

Generally, lenders will take into consideration any extenuating circumstances surrounding the foreclosure on your Georgia real estate.

Was there a death or illness that prevented you from earning money to pay your mortgage? Did you have a job transfer that came with a steep pay cut? Were you severely injured and temporarily disabled as a result?

You can add a memo that explains any lapses in credit worthiness to potential lenders. This report can be as long or as short as needed.

Many lenders will shorten the waiting period for documented extenuating circumstances. Traditionally the waiting period after a foreclosure is seven years. However, these waiting period guidelines may change and you would be best served by getting up to date information from a qualified mortgage professional.

Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure and Short Sale

You may be wondering what the waiting period for financing is if you have exercised a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure or successfully negotiated a short sale. Fortunately many lenders offer options if you were able to avoid an actual foreclosure.

Traditionally the waiting period for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure can be four to seven years. If there were special circumstances surrounding the deal, you might be able to qualify in as little as two years. The lender may have certain down payment or credit score requirements as a condition of approval.

Getting financing after a short sale generally has the shortest waiting time before qualifying for a new home loan. Generally the lender will only require a two-year waiting period before they’ll approve financing. Once again, a call to a licensed mortgage professional will give you the most up-to-date information.

The good news about financing after foreclosure is that it is possible. Your dreams of owning a home can be fulfilled even if you have experienced a foreclosure in your past.

For more information about the Atlanta area real estate market, please email me at ed@edshort.com or call me at 404.918.2500.

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®

photo2

6 Tips For Buying An Older Home

Buying older homesOlder Metro Atlanta homes sometimes offer more charm and character than the newer houses of today. They boast gabled roofs, crown moldings, hardwood floors and antique fixtures.

Buying an old house is like buying a piece of local history. Its beautiful period features can give it a timeless beauty and grace that is hard to resist.

However, buying a house from another era can be an endeavor fraught with potential problems. Older houses are not necessarily built to the same electrical or plumbing standards of today. Plus, if they have not been maintained correctly through the years, they can turn into a serious money pit or a potential hazard.

Here are six tips to keep in mind if you are considering buying an older home:

  1. Always hire a professional real estate inspector to take a close look at the property. A professional inspector is trained to spot structural damage or issues that might seem minor, but may cause major problems in the future.
  2. Look for signs of moisture damage. Many old houses have problems with moisture because over the years they have settled.
  3. If the old house you are considering has vintage wiring, such as the knob-and-tube technology that was popular around the 1920s and 1930s, plan to completely update the wiring for your safety.
  4. You might need to add insulation. Many older homes don’t have insulation in the walls or attic, which can increase the size of your energy bill.
  5. Be on the look out for iron pipes, which were popular up until 1940. They can become clogged with rust and may need to be replaced.
  6. Have the house tested for asbestos, if it was built before the 1960s.

These are just a few things to which to pay attention out when buying an older home.

Take time to inspect the property thoroughly. With proper attention, you can mix today’s modern technology with your home’s period features to create a combination of charm and safety.

For more information about the Atlanta area real estate market, please email me at ed@edshort.com or call me at 404.918.2500.

~ Ed Short, Atlanta REALTOR®

photo2