Front Porch Realty chatted with local veteran lender Alex Macklin about finding the right mortgage for your needs. Alex has been a community leader in Fuquay-Varina and Holly Springs for over 20 years and is wonderful at explaining the mortgage process to our clients.
Finding the right mortgage financing program for your new home or construction/permanent project can be complex. Allow me to navigate the complex mortgage products for you and tailor the best financing option for your needs.
With over 20 years of experience in the mortgage business, I can help connect you with the right resources to ensure a positive experience.
From the first-time buyer to the seasoned buyer and even the person who wants to build a new home, I can help prepare you so that you enter into the home buying/building process with confidence.
I encourage clients to take advantage of my free loan pre-qualification service and to make this your first step in the home buying process. The Real Estate market is blazing hot right now and there are multiple offers coming in for most homes on the market. It is important to have your ducks in a row when you are ready to make an offer so that you can increase your odds of having the winning bid. Most purchase offers must be accompanied by a loan pre-qualification letter to ensure that you are a serious and qualified buyer. Don’t lose your opportunity to buy the home of your dreams by skipping this important first step.
Since 1950, United Community Bank, “The Bank That Service Built” has provided our clients with the service level of a community bank but with the resources of a larger bank. UCB offers all of the standard Conventional, FHA, USDA and VA loan programs but we also offer niche portfolio products that help us offer financing to a broader client base.
One example is a cost savings single-close construction to permanent program for clients who wish to build and finance a new home. By closing the construction and permanent loan at one single attorney closing, there are no additional fees at the end of the process. The program also allows for a one time float down option on the interest rate when the home is complete so you can capture the best rate the market has to offer while at the same time receiving rate protection during the construction period.
Other unique product offerings include:
• Conforming and Jumbo Portfolio loans
• Special 100% financing programs with no Mortgage Insurance for Medical Doctors and Dentists
• PATH affordable housing program for the purchase of an owner occupied primary residence with 100% financing, fixed interest rate and no mortgage insurance for certain census tracks within United Community Bank’s footprint
Join me and the team at Front Porch Realty to make homeownership a reality!
Vice-President/Sr. Mortgage Loan Originator
United Community Bank Mortgage Services
325 N. Judd Parkway, Suite 200
Fuquay-Varina, NC 27526
Website: United Community Bank
Real Estate brokers have sometimes been accused of “shortening our words” or using terms that we think everyone already knows! So, here’s a little helpful guide, if you have trouble navigating real estate terminology!
What it says versus What it means
conveys with sale … it will STAY with the home
EIK … eat in kitchen
SS … stainless steel
HDW, HWF, Hdwd ….. hardwood floors
FDR ….. formal dining room
MLS...multiple listing system
FSBO ….. for sale by owner
Pre-approval … based on information you are able to provide to the lender. This will look much better than a pre-qualification to the seller.
Pre-qualified …. based on a 5 minute phone call to the lender and only on what you tell the lender. This is needed in order to even make an offer on a home.
due diligence funds …the funds the buyer gives the seller at time of contract to “buy time” off the market while they do their due diligence
due diligence or DD…all of the inspections and loan process, etc a buyer can exercise on a prospective home during their due diligence time period
Due diligence money- is non-refundable The good news is the money is typically credited towards the purchase of the home at closing.
Earnest money is “good faith” money. The buyer is showing the seller they are serious about buying the home.
contingency … a contract on a home that is dependent on you selling your existing home
3 BR/2BA 3 bedrooms and 2 baths
I’m sure we’ve missed a few, feel free to leave comments with any you might still be wondering about and we’ll do our best to define them.
We are here to help you navigate your real estate needs and ALL the terms that come along with that!
Front Porch Realty recently sat down and spoke with Corey Mullen, at Clay Hamilton’s State Farm Insurance in Fuquay Varina, about the importance of having homeowners insurance and how it works.
Your home is your refuge after a long day of work. It’s the hub of everything that really matters, where you can relax with your family. So you shouldn’t trust just any company to protect it. You should go with an insurer with the financial strength to cover a wide variety of losses, trusted by more homeowners than any other insurer. That’s State Farm®. When the unexpected hits home, a good neighbor can help.
Think of homeowners insurance as financial protection for what the future might bring. For example, if your home were damaged by a fire, or burglars broke in and stole your belongings, your policy could help pay to rebuild your home or replace your possessions.
Without a policy, you’d have to cover those expenses out of your own pocket. So if you’re a homeowner, homeowners insurance is an absolute necessity.
Your policy could help pay for a variety of property and liability claims:
• Your house: This includes your home and other structures on your property, such as a detached garage or a shed.
• Your possessions: This includes personal belongings inside your home, such as your clothing, furniture, and electronics—and with limitations—certain valuables. It could even cover belongings you take with you while away from home.
• Financial protection against lawsuits: In certain situations, your State Farm Homeowners Policy could help protect your finances by paying for damages which you’re legally responsible for, and even your legal defense. For example, the policy could help cover legal defense costs if a visitor accidentally got hurt at your place and took you to court.
Other costs covered by the policy
Your policy may also help pay for:
• Removal of your damaged property after a fire, or other loss covered by the policy.
• Temporary repairs necessary to protect covered property from more damage.
• Extra expenses for your household to live elsewhere, if your home is uninhabitable because of damage covered by the policy.
• Water damage caused by flood.
• Liability for business-related activities
• Liability for intentional injury or property damage
• Damage caused by earthquake or mudslide
You may want to talk to your agent about a separate earthquake policy.
With coverage directly through the federal government. There is generally a 30-day waiting period for the policy to go into effect
A “deductible” is the amount that you are responsible for when you file a claim. Your deductible can be a fixed amount, such as $1,000 or $2,000, or a percentage of the coverage amount, such as one or two percent. So if your home is covered for $200,000 and you have a one percent deductible, your deductible is $2,000.
Here’s how a deductible works: say you file a claim for $10,000 after a burglary, and you had chosen a fixed amount deductible of $1,000. So the policy covers you for $9,000 and you are only responsible for $1,000.
Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. But with a higher deductible, your financial responsibility would be higher if you file a claim. Your agent can help you determine the deductible that’s right for you.
Your State Farm Homeowners Policy has coverage limits on certain types of property, such as computers, collectibles, jewelry, and other valuables.
Here’s an example: Suppose your home had been broken into and your computer and printer were stolen. If the policy limit for home computers and equipment was $5,000, the policy would reimburse you up to that limit after your deductible has been met.
The choice is yours, but State Farm recommends you choose a coverage limit at least equal to your home’s estimated replacement cost: the amount necessary to rebuild your entire home. (The replacement cost isn’t the same as the market value, which is the price you can expect your home to yield on the market.)
If you choose a coverage amount less than the estimated replacement cost, you may not be eligible for certain coverages. Since no one can say what the exact cost will be to replace your home in the future, you’ll need enough coverage to account for unforeseen circumstances.
For a replacement cost estimate, you can ask a contractor, hire a professional replacement cost appraisal service, or ask your State Farm agent to help you develop an estimate. Make sure to point out any architectural details or unique building materials that affect your estimate.
As your life changes, your home may change along with it. We recommend you review your homeowners’ coverage if:
• You move, improve your existing home, or build a new home.
• You add a fire and/or burglar alarm system.
• You purchase items—such as home computers, jewelry, and furs—that might exceed your basic coverage.
To help make sure your coverage is up to date, it’s a good idea to review your policy with your agent every year.
Extra coverage you just might need. Depending on your situation, you may need separate, broader coverage for additional financial protection.
|Have concerns about your personal liability?||A Personal Liability Umbrella Policy (PLUP) for extra liability coverage in increments of $1 million, in case you’re sued for damages that exceed your State Farm Homeowners or Auto Policy liability limits.|
|Own jewelry, fine arts or other valuables?||Other policy options or a Personal Articles Policy (PAP), which can give you higher coverage limits or broader protection.|
|Work out of your home?||Other policy options for home business coverage, which may cover your business-related property and liability. You may also want to consider a separate, more comprehensive business policy for your home-based business.|
|Want to protect yourself against identity fraud?||Adding the Identity Restoration Coverage Endorsement to your State Farm Homeowners Policy. It offers coverage for specific expenses caused by identity fraud and case management services to help counteract the effects of identity fraud.|
Clay Hamilton and Corey Mullen are available to answer all of your insurance questions.
STATE FARM® INSURANCE AGENT, FUQUAY VARINA, NC
1000 N Main Street Suite 101
Fuquay Varina, NC 27526
Cory Mullen, Insurance and Financial Sales Advisor
1000 N Main Street Suite 101
Fuquay-Varina, N.C 27526
Cell at 919-356-3607
When a market is hot, finding and buying a home can feel like an uphill battle. In a seller’s market, homes go quickly. They can be on the market one day and gone the next. And on top of the challenge of finding a home, most homes (especially the desirable ones) have multiple offers, making it harder to get into the home of your dreams.
But buying a home in a hot market isn’t impossible! You just have to approach it strategically and stack the deck in your favor to find – and successfully buy – the right home for you and your family.
Here are four tips for buying a home in a hot market that will put you a step ahead of the home-buying competition:
When faced with multiple offers, sellers are going to go with the offer that’s the most attractive, both in offer amount and the actual terms of the offer. So if you want to stand out from other potential homebuyers and make an impact on the sellers, you need to make your offer as attractive as possible.
The first thing you can do to make your offer attractive is to put more money down towards the house. Cash offers are always the most attractive, but that’s unrealistic for most people. So if you can offer a larger down payment than the standard 20%, that will immediately make your offer stand out.
If you don’t have extra cash, there are other ways to make your offer more attractive to sellers. You can offer a short inspection period and agree to take the property as is, which will sweeten the deal for sellers (just make sure you know what you’re getting into; obviously, any large repairs discovered during inspection can add a significant cost to owning the property). Or, if the owners want to stay in the house longer (for example, to finish out the school year), you can offer to rent the home back to them after purchase and delay your move in.
Anything you can do to make your offer more attractive to sellers will up your chances of landing a home in a hot market.
In a hot market, the sellers are the ones holding the cards. And if you want to find a home, you need to be willing to be flexible.
Chances are, when you find a property, there are going to be things about it that don’t fit your image of your “perfect” home. But if you wait too long on a property or ask for too much from the sellers in terms of repairs or changes, you risk losing out to other people who are ready to make a move.
Don’t budge on your non-negotiables; you want to be happy with your home purchase and not feel like you moved too quickly out of fear you wouldn’t find another property in such a competitive market. But don’t let a great home slip through your fingers because you aren’t willing to be flexible in your wants and needs in a home. Because in a hot market if you’re not willing to be flexible, someone else will be.
While you always want to get the best deal possible on your home purchase, a hot market isn’t the time to go in with an ultra conservative offer. In sellers markets, houses routinely go for well above asking price. And while you don’t necessarily have to make an offer that’s above asking price, if you want to land a home in a hot market, you need to be aggressive.
If you find a property you love, talk to your real estate agent to come up with a strategy to make your offer aggressive and competitive. Look at the recent sales in the neighborhood to get an idea of what homes are selling for and make sure your offer is in line with the recent comps. Make your offer competitive, but don’t commit to more than you can comfortably pay.
It seems like a minor detail, but when you’re looking to buy in a hot market, is a good idea to write a personal note to the sellers.
When faced with similar offers, many sellers end up following their emotions and going with the potential buyer they most want to sell to. And by writing a personal, sincere letter that introduces yourself and your family and lets the sellers know why you want to purchase their home, you can differentiate yourself from other potential buyers, appeal to their emotional side, and land the home.
Buying in a hot market isn’t easy, but it’s possible. And with these tips, you’ll put yourself a step ahead of the competition and get yourself a few steps closer to buying your home.
To view homes that we currently have listed or that are currently on the market please visit our website.
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This week we have a “Guest Post” written by one of our Mortgage Professionals, Jennifer Miller with Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company.
To Buy or Not to Buy?
You’ve heard the news reports on the housing market in our lately – low inventory, good prices, quick sales – and maybe you’re wondering where you fit into this latest market swing.
We should probably start with the news reports. Yes, it’s true that in some price ranges, namely homes priced under $300,000 there is low inventory. The same cannot be said for higher priced homes, especially those priced above $500,000; there are still plenty of homes available at that price point. And yes, the appraisals are coming back at reasonable levels; meaning that in many cases the appraised value and the sales price are matching up; although that’s not always the case. As far as quick sales, well that depends on how you define “quick”. Most people are closing in the normal 30 to 45 day range.
When you’ve got a home to sell…
So, should you pursue your dream home, or the home that’s closer to work so that you can eliminate that 45 minute commute you face twice daily? Putting your house on the market requires effort, commitment and sometimes, money.
The effort and money come in once you’ve had a Realtor to your home for a preliminary meeting. The first order of business is deciding whether you feel comfortable listing your home at a price comparable to what other homes in your area are selling for. If the answer is yes, then it’s likely that your Realtor will want you to change or improve your home in a few areas. You may need to “de-clutter” and pack away your belongings that you’re not using every day to make the home appear larger. You may be asked to paint, install new carpet or work on the landscaping to improve the homes’ curb appeal. Depending on how handy you are; you may be able to do some, or all of those things yourself; without having to pay a professional. Certainly, that is the least expensive way to go. If you can’t do these things on your own or if you’re too busy to attempt them you may find yourself shelling out up to $2,500.00 to cover these costs.
This is where the commitment component kicks in: if you’re not really committed to selling your home, chances are that you’re not going to be very motivated to get all this work done. Realtors are fairly savvy these days when it comes to assessing their clients’ needs and wants. If you want a nicer home but you don’t really need one your Realtor may decide that you’re not the right client for them.
What if you’re not currently a home owner?
Maybe you’re a young professional who’s never owned a home before, or maybe you owned a home previously in another state or at a different time in your life. If you’re wondering whether a good time to buy is now, the short answer is yes!
As I said at the beginning there is some low inventory with homes priced under $300,000.00; however, if you don’t look for a home then you surely won’t fine one, and there are homes to be found even in that price range. So what else do you need to consider in a home purchase? First, do you have enough money to buy a home?
The Price Tag…..
There are several loan programs available that will get you into a home for zero or a very low down payment with reasonable interest rates. But you will need to have some cash to cover expenses like the appraisal ($450) which is paid upfront and out-of-pocket in the home buying process. You will also need money for closing costs, which come due on the day you sign the promissory note at closing.
If you don’t have enough cash to cover the closing costs, talk to your realtor about negotiating these into the sales contract. There is an easy way to handle this scenario. Let’s say that you want to purchase a home that’s listed at $187,500.00. You would like to pay $185,000 for the house and you know that you need $5,000 to help cover closing costs. Simply ask your Realtor to write the offer to purchase for $190,000 with the seller paying $5,000 in closing costs.
Show me the Money…
But how do you know how much closing costs are going to be? And, how do you know if you earn enough money to be able to qualify for a mortgage loan to begin with? Now we come to the crux of the matter. The best way to answer these questions is to call me and start the application process. With just a little information, I can quickly see if you can be prequalified for a mortgage loan. I can also make sure that you’re taking advantage of the best loan programs available.
Home-ownership is part of the American dream; and with interest rates still at historically low levels now is a great time to explore your options. Call me today and let’s get started on getting you into the home of your dreams!
Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company
6736 Falls of Neuse Road Suite 120
Raleigh, NC 27615
Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. NMLS # 1788. Licensed in North Carolina L-127865. Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. is not affiliated with the Real Estate Agent and/or Brokerage identified in this advertisement, you are not required to use Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. to obtain mortgage financing. This advertisement is provided for informational purpose only. www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org. Not all borrowers will qualify. This is not a commitment to lend. [Insert and program and/or additional disclaimers]. Equal Housing Lender.
Who needs a Buyers Agent Anyway? I just want someone to show me a house! Do I really need an agent “on my side”?
The answer is ABSOLUTELY!!!
Thankfully, for the homeowners and perspective homeowners of NC, the NC Real Estate Commission has given us AGENCY. This means when a consumer wants to buy and/or sell real property in our state, they can be represented in various ways by a real estate broker.
Did you know that having a buyer’s agent represent you is 100% FREE. Meaning for anyone entering into a Buyer’s Agency Agreement with a Front Porch Realty Broker, we don’t charge a single fee!
That’s right, you can have a professional agent working for ONLY YOU when you purchase a home for absolutely no cost. And we highly recommend hiring one, here’s why:
Not only is your Buyer’s Agent going to assist you in finding the perfect home for you, they are also going to help you make an informed offer and strategically negotiate that offer because we know what it takes in our current competitive seller’s market of today to get YOUR offer accepted. Once you are under contract for your new home, we are seasoned in getting you through the entire due diligence process and on to closing.
A recent Front Porch Realty Buyer client, Molly explains “…when buying a home, it is very important to have an agent on your side because they are able to guide you and inform you of all of the possible situations that are important to investigate about a possible property. If we didn’t have a Buyer’s Agent with our last home we wouldn’t have ever taken the extra steps in researching the property… because we just didn’t know what we didn’t know!”
Interested in buying a home? Contact FRONT PORCH REALTY today and let us work for YOU!
AGENT of the MONTH SPOTLIGHT
Congratulations to Lisa Notini, Front Porch Realty’s Agent of the Month – March 2017
Lisa ALWAYS gives 110% to all of her buyer and seller clients. She goes above and beyond to listen attentively and if she doesn’t know an answer to any question her client might ask her, she will find someone who does! Lisa works diligently to find her buyer’s that perfect home, and has even matched up sellers and buyers lately when they didn’t even know they needed to be “matched”.
Thank you LISA NOTINI for all of your dedication as a FRONT PORCH REALTY real estate professional!
Lisa is a Boston native who relocated with her family six years ago to Fuquay-Varina. She thought she would stay here for a few years until she decided where she would settle but Lisa loved our town so much that she decided to call Fuquay-Varina home. She is now selling homes to others who love the Triangle area as much as she does. Lisa and her husband, Doug are at the tail end of raising 13 – yes, thirteen – children!
“Believe me, if I can manage and negotiate raising such a large family, then I can be a strong and great advocate for you during one of your most important purchases or sales of your life, your home.”
– Lisa Notini
Real Estate professionals and lenders have been getting ready for the new government lending guidelines for awhile now. Historically, when a consumer purchased their home with a mortgage they were bombarded by paperwork requirements and disclosures throughout the entire home buying process. While absolutely necessary, this process can also crush the “fun” of buying their dream home!
Typically, when “closing day” finally arrives, the buyer’s are relieved as they have taken off work, already have their things packed on a moving truck, have slept on a mattress on the floor the last 2 nights, and have already transfered utilities. The buyers are ready to sign on the dotted line and get their keys! Meanwhile, their HUD-1 closing statement (the document that tells them where all their money is going) may have been changed a half dozen times or so in the last 24 hours alone.
As of tomorrow, not anymore! If a loan application is made by the consumer after October 3, 2015, the “closing statement” a borrower will sign at the closing table will now be ready for review 3 BUSINESS DAYS prior to closing so that any questions can be answered and the buyer has a better understanding of the exact terms of their loan. If any changes need to made, the 3 business day wait will begin again. So what does this mean exactly for the buyer, seller, the real estate professionals, lenders, and closing attorneys involved in the real estate transaction? Currently, we write contracts to “close” on a home after 30-45 days but we are being warned by lenders to go ahead and add an extra 7-14 days to the approval process. Essentially, we all need to work towards 2 closing dates; the “closing” of the paperwork being approved by all and then at least 3 business days later the “at the table closing” paperwork, where all documents are signed, the transfer of the deed is recorded, and a seller gets their proceeds and the buyer gets their keys!
While, in the beginning this might be a little scary for all those involved as we all anticipate delays in the closing process; I see, in the not so distant future, the initial kinks getting worked out and the closing process improving for all parties involved. No more of the last minute “morning of closing and we don’t even know if we are closing or not” scenarios that cause stress on every buyer and seller out there! Here is an article from Realtor.com with more information and of course you can call our office and speak to one of our experienced realtors to help answer any further questions.
It’s no surprise our Southwest Triangle Market is HOT this season and our quarterly numbers are certainly proving that. This quarter I have decided to show numbers of a more narrowed down section of our county by reporting only Fuquay Varina, Holly Springs, Apex and Cary. I have also included data comparing re-sale homes to new construction homes as our new starts have certainly heated up this year as well with new construction homes being a significant part of our real estate sales.
In summary, all markets are showing healthy new construction activity. Surprisingly, in most price-points re-sale homes are showing “price per square foot” as high as new construction and “days on market” just as low, if not lower, than new construction. Builders are staying very competitive. Holly Springs is the only market that is actually showing a measurable increase in number of units sold this 2nd quarter 2015 as compared to the same quarter last year with a 27% increase. The other towns show 1-6% increase of total units sold. It should also be noted that our table shows only active and closed sales; calculating months of inventory for this purpose we are considering “pending” sales as “active”.
FRONT PORCH REALTY has settled in to our new Main Street Fuquay office and are enjoying being part of the Link between our two downtowns. We have started a new seminar series on the 3rd Thursday of every month from 6-7 pm. This casual seminar is for potential clients that are just starting to think about a move. We offer a relaxed format with wine and cheese as well as visits from some of our trusted local professionals that also are involved in the selling or buying real estate transaction. Please send over anyone that you believe can benefit!
We love selling Fuquay and the surrounding area, we are helping buyers move across the country as well as those moving across town. With 19 years of experience selling our Triangle market, excellent communication skills and broker support team.
I came up with the idea of having a seminar because it seems like our sellers and buyers are learning about the buying and selling process online more and more these days. I, myself, admit to “googling” whenever I come across anything unfamiliar that I want to find more information about; I think something as life changing as “moving your family” deserves a little more personal attention. A good real estate professional wants to know your dreams, hopes and goals for your next home and wants to be able to guide you through this process. Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com just can’t do that! I thought maybe a low key, no obligation setting like a seminar was the way to help. We have so much to offer as professional and experienced real estate brokers. Yes, real estate has changed over the years, but we still hold a NC state license that is held to a very strict standard with the NC Real Estate Commission; legally and ethically. Our profession truly is more than sticking a sign in your yard and unlocking a door!
At our seminar I talk about what it really means to “have an agent” representing you in a real estate transaction, whether it be buying or selling or both. I talk about what we, as Front Porch Realty, look for while marketing a home for sale or helping you pick a home that best meets your needs and wants. I talk about all of the different legal and disclosure obligations of all parties to the transaction and property, and I talk about the importance of pricing as well as marketing your home. I also talk about the Offer to Purchase Contracts and all of their addenda. Contracts are much more than “lots of blanks to be filled in”. There are strategies and negotiation points on every page of the contracts and I believe that is where a lot of our skill and professionalism is proven.
We also invite some trusted contractors and inspectors that we have used over the years to come say a few words; as sellers and buyers the chance of needing a contractor is very likely as you prepare your home for the market and/or work on improvements for your new home.
Front Porch Realty Real Estate Seminar
*Every 3rd Thursday of the month
*Fuquay Varina office 604 N Main St., across form CVS
*Reserve your seat today or just come on by!