Monday, 25 November 2013
What You Can Expect With Closing Fees
If you’re headed to a home closing in the near future, you’ll be pleased to know that thanks to The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), you’re less likely to be blindsided by your total closing costs and fees. According to The US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Web page, “RESPA requires that consumers receive disclosures at various times in the transaction and outlaws kickbacks that increase the cost of settlement services. RESPA is a HUD consumer protection statute designed to help homebuyers be better shoppers in the home buying process, and is enforced by HUD.”
RESPA also mandates that once you turn in an application for a loan, the mortgage lender is required to provide within three days a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) to the potential buyer. This standardized form is an itemized list of estimated fees and costs of the loan, and it allows you to shop around and compare costs with different lenders.
This estimate will include items such as: government fees and taxes, title and title insurance charges, inspection fees, lender’s fees, mortgage insurance, HOA transfer fees if applicable by neighborhood, and an escrow account for property taxes and homeowner’s insurance, if applicable by state or lender.
Attorney Wayne Crim of Larry R. Williams Law Firm in Nashville, Tenn., says that it’s important to remember that the GFE is just that—an estimate—and certain items can go up to 10% over what the lender suggested. This is mainly because the bank has no control over daily interest charges, homeowners insurance, and the cost of certain inspections such as for termites.
The final document used for a closing that includes all of the actual costs is referred to as the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. This standardized form must be issued to the borrower one day before closing. The borrower has every right to compare their Good Faith Estimate with this final form so that any questions about changes can be asked of the lender before closing.
Don’t ever be afraid to ask your lender questions before you sign any legal paperword. And don't forget that your Realtor and closing attorney (or agent) is there to answer questions and represent you at the closing.
Attorney Wayne Crim
Posted on 11/25/2013 11:08 PM by Jarod
Friday, 15 November 2013
What to Consider in a Seller's Market
Sales reports are in for October 2013, and according to the Williamson County Association of Realtors, compared to October 2012, days on the market are down, and closings are up 11.6%. Residential sales are the best they have been since before the market started to crumble in 2006, and according to the National Association of Realtors, national median home prices have shown the biggest gains in 8 years.
The rise in home prices is a little bit due to confidence overall in the market, but it’s also because we’re in a seller’s market in the Brentwood, Tenn., area. There are currently more buyers than sellers, which led to a shortage of inventory. This shortage has forced many families to find short-term living arrangements in apartments and with family members as they look for the best place to live.
The important thing is not to be discouraged if this is where you have currently found yourself. And you shouldn’t give up your dream of selling and buying right now if you’re ready to make that move. You just need to assess your current situation and discuss your specific options with an experienced Realtor.
If you’ve got the itch to move now, consider these things:
• Do you love your current neighborhood, school zone, location to favorite retailers and restaurants, or are you willing to try a new area to get the specific type of home you want? If there is no inventory in the price range you need in the area you want to buy, you might need to wait, or you might need to change your criteria.
• Don’t be afraid of bidding wars. Stick with your budget, discuss strategies with your Realtor, and don’t be discouraged if you lose a few along the way. You’ll eventually get there!
If you’re in a short-term living situation, consider these things:
• If you’re renting or considering renting if there is a gap between selling and buying, make sure you are clear about your lease. Can you get out of the lease easily if you find the perfect home before the term is up? Are you able to add short increments of time to the lease if your wait time is longer than you expected?
• If you’re living with family or friends, are the terms clear? Are both sides willing to discuss how things are going and to re-evaluate if the stay is longer than expected?
If time has proven anything, the market will always be changing. Decide what is best for your family and get ready to jump in when the time is right for you.
Posted on 11/15/2013 11:24 PM by Jarod
Thursday, 7 November 2013
Find Your Roots in One of America's Favorite Towns
Come see for yourself what others are saying about Franklin, Tenn.
The reaction is usually the same for newcomers to the area. I take them out for a drive to see what Williamson County has to offer, and when I hit downtown Franklin, they can’t seem to take it all in with one loop, so I drive them through the streets again. Some comment that it looks like a movie set where Truman Show type people are walking around making the scene a happy place. But it’s real life and that’s why so many want to settle in Williamson County.
And locals are not the only ones taking notice. The Tennessean reports that Travel + Leisure Magazine has just named Franklin as one of “America’s Favorite Towns” thanks to a recent online readers’ poll. Franklin also captured the Number 7 spot for “Friendliest Town in America,” and the Number 18 spot for “America’s Best Towns for Halloween.”
This is definitely not Franklin’s first time to win awards. The Tennessean compiled a short list of past recognitions including “Great American Main Streets,” “Best Small Town in Tennessee,” “America’s Most Romantic Main Street,” “One of America’s Greatest Antique Destinations,” and “Best Places to Visit for Historic Preservation.”
I’d love to help you find the perfect place to live in the Williamson County area, so give me a call. Then you can join the happy people walking the Franklin streets and taking in the sights all over this great county.
If you’d like to read the full article from The Tennessean, follow this link:
Posted on 11/07/2013 11:10 PM by Jarod
Sunday, 3 November 2013
Warranty Protection for the Buyer and Seller
No one is able to predict the demise of their major appliances, and most people are unprepared when they do go on the fritz. Home appliance and system repairs are about as inconvenient as they are expensive. That’s why I always recommend that my clients be protected by a home warranty. Home warranties protect the seller and the buyer in the home-selling process, and they cover the systems and appliances that homeowner’s insurance does not cover.
For sellers, a home warranty is a great marketing tool to make a home stand out more. A Gallup Poll reports that 8 out of 10 buyers prefer a home with a warranty, because no one wants to walk into a new home with unexpected, costly repairs that you as the seller might not even know about. Bill Smith of HMS warranty company says, “A home warranty not only reduces the seller’s liability if something should break, it also reduces the amount of money a seller has to spend when they are trying to sell their home.”
For buyers, a warranty is peace of mind that repairs will be taken care of without a huge out-of-pocket payment. If someone has just bought a home, he or she shouldn’t have to empty out what’s left of their emergency fund to take care of a broken appliance. If the warranty is already in place from the seller, it easily transfers to the buyer at closing. If the seller does not offer a warranty up front, I always recommend that my buyers ask for one in their offer.
If you are the one making the warranty purchase, be aware that all warranties have terms and conditions that you need to be aware of. Bill Smith says, “Of course there are limitations with any warranty, so be sure to read the entire policy, and be sure to choose a company that is reputable and already established in your area.”
Be aware that even with new construction homes, it is recommended to have a warranty, because the first year of a new-construction manufacturer’s warranty does not include labor. If you buy a warranty specifically for new construction, it is significantly less expensive, as it covers the first four years of your home for almost the same price as a typical one-year warranty costs on an existing home.
Be prepared and get the protection and peace of mind you need for your home’s inevitable repairs.
If you need a quote in the Brentwood, Tenn. area, contact Bill Smith at HMS:
Posted on 11/03/2013 5:01 PM by Jarod