5 Home Buying Myths

Home buyers get a lot of advice from friends and family – some good, some bad. A lot of myths can pop up and negatively guide their home purchasing experience. Make sure you don’t fall for one of these common buying falsehoods.

1. The only upfront cost is the down payment.

Buyers need to be prepared for several expenses – everything from fees, taxes, costs for inspections, credit reports, insurance, and others. Closing costs can be anywhere from 3 percent to 6 percent of the purchase price. Those costs can fluctuate greatly depending on the state you live in too.

2. Just looking for a house casually is not a big deal.

Some people may want to just start looking at homes to get a feel for the area, before they even sit down with a REALTOR®. But they could be setting themselves up for major heartbreak. “A buyer might be viewing homes that are in a higher or lower price range than what they are qualified for,” Connie Antoniou, a broker associate in Barrington, Ill., told realtor.com®. Home shoppers – even at the earliest stages – should get pre-approved for a mortgage so they know their budget from the get-go and don’t waste time looking at homes that are out of their price range.

3. You must have a 20 percent down payment.

A 20 percent down payment will help a buyer avoid paying private mortgage insurance. But 20 percent down isn’t required. Many lenders will still qualify a buyer for home loans with 10 percent or 5 percent down. Some buyers can even qualify for only 3.5 percent down with a Federal Housing Administration loan. There are many options for down payment assistance that lenders can explore with a buyer who has a limited amount to put down.

4. Schools shouldn’t matter if you don’t have kids.

“The neighborhood you choose matters – both now and later when you might consider selling,” notes the realtor.com® article. “Even if you don’t have children, good schools are a sign of a good neighborhood.” Buyers should explore all factors with their REALTOR® on items that could influence their homes appreciation and desirability so they don’t run into trouble later on one day when they try to sell.

5. You don’t need a home inspection.

When the housing market is extremely competitive, some home shoppers may be willing to waive the home inspection in order to get the home they want. “But beware: sellers are banking on your skipping this crucial step,” the realtor.com® article notes. “It means you’ll get the home as is, including any and all problems that come with it. And sometimes those problems aren’t exactly visible.”


Kathryn Gorham / Green Key Realty / Emerald Isle, North Carolina / www.HomesEmeraldIsle.com

2010 President Women’s Council of REALTORS® Crystal Coast Chapter
pld28594@hotmail.com cell · 252.354.2958 office
Southern Outer Banks NC | Crystal Coast NC | Coastal Carolina
 

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Copyright © 2017 by Kathryn Gorham, All Rights Reserved. Permission granted to re-blog or re-print with the stipulations that you do not alter the original content and that you provide a link back to this article in the re-blog or re-print. First printed at http://homesemeraldisle.com/blog/ this article…Supper club of Emerald Isle NC is hosting a Toys for tots & story time

Spring Cleaning Guide

 

Make spring cleaning less of a chore by following these smarter–and mostly greener–tips for this annual rite of homeownership.

Spring cleaning is a time-honored tradition. After a long winter, you throw open the windows, let in fresh air, and scrub down the house. But modern spring cleaning presents challenges your grandmother never imagined. Today’s homes are bigger, and the choice of cleaning supplies seemingly endless.

While you’ll need to devote a day or two to this annual maintenance project, make it less of a chore by picking the right tools and methods. And by taking an environmentally friendly approach, you can also protect the well being of your family. Give this space-by-space cleaning guide a whirl this spring—or during any season, for that matter, when grime and clutter become unbearable.

Bathrooms

When it’s time to get down and dirty, many people start with the bathroom. Allen Rathey, founder of The Housekeeping Channel, says removing mineral deposits, rust, and such from toilets doesn’t have to mean chemical warfare. Don rubber gloves and use a pumice stone to erase stubborn stains. If you want more scouring power, Rathey recommends mixing baking soda with acidic vinegar. The concoction is just as effective as conventional cleaners, and there are no toxic fumes to inhale. This approach works equally well on tub and shower stains.

Buy your supplies in bulk to save. A 64-ounce bottle of vinegar costs about $4; a 12-pound bag of baking soda, about $7. Both items can be used throughout the house. For just $1 you can mix equal parts vinegar and water in a 32-ounce spray bottle to make a terrific all-purpose surface cleaner. That’s about $4 cheaper than buying a spray cleaner at the store.

Spring cleaning is the perfect time to extract dirt from porous grouted surfaces. For tile floors use your usual cleaner, but don’t mop. Instead, run a wet/dry vac, which will suck contaminants out of the grout. Mopping drives the grime into the grout rather than removing it. According to Rathey, grout can harbor stinky bacteria that leave a bad odor in the bathroom. This technique is more time-consuming than mopping, but it’s worthwhile to do at least once a year.

Kitchens

The kitchen can be a tough room to clean because there’s usually so much stuff in it, says Justin Klosky, founder and creative director of The OCD Experience, an organizational service. Before you break out the broom, go through your cabinets and drawers, and put together a box of items to donate and a box of items to store somewhere besides the kitchen. Clear your countertops of everything except items you use nearly every day.

After you’ve de-cluttered, you can get to work cleaning. Cloud Conrad, vice president of marketing for cleaning company Maid Brigade, says one tool you shouldn’t overlook is an all-purpose microfiber cloth (about $5). These aren’t run-of-the-mill dusting rags. Microfiber is a densely woven synthetic fabric that picks up dirt and greasy deposits without chemicals thanks to its unique composition. You should be able to clean surfaces like countertops, sinks, and stoves with warm water, a microfiber cloth, and a bit of elbow grease, Conrad says.

Since you prepare your food in the kitchen, consider using green commercial products for surfaces, or make your own vinegar/water spray. Conventional cleaners may remove dirt, but they can also harbor some nasty substances you don’t want in your PB&J. Microfiber, vinegar, and baking soda will clean and disinfect almost every kitchen surface at a fraction of the price. Don’t neglect once-a-year chores like vacuuming refrigerator coils (unplug your fridge first), and tossing out expired food from the back of the pantry.

Bedrooms

Since bedrooms are such individual spaces, there’s a lot of diversity in what needs to happen. Most homeowners should at least rotate and flip innerspring mattresses, and store out-of-season sheets and clothing. Also go through your closet, and donate or Freecycleitems you haven’t worn in the last 12 months. For carpets and mattresses, consider using a professional cleaning service. Figure a typical mattress will cost about $70-$90 to clean, a bargain considering how much time you spend in bed.

Even if you’re getting your carpet professionally cleaned, you still need to break out the vacuum, says Leslie Reichert, owner of The Cleaning Coach. Use the hose attachment to get to the hidden particles along baseboards, under your bed, and in your curtains, favorite environments of dust mites. If you have a large-capacity dryer, throw curtains in on high heat for good measure to kill the little pests.

Living area

Another surface you should consider getting professionally cleaned is living room upholstery. It can be tricky to know exactly how to deep-clean different types of fabrics, says Rathey, especially if there are stains you can’t quite identify. Costs vary widely depending on the size of the furniture piece and the quality and state of its covering, but a typical sofa might run $70 to $90.

Microfiber cloths are great to use in the living area as well. Make sure you have cloths for each area of the house, though, so you’re not cross-contaminating bathroom, kitchen, and living areas. Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down windows, wood, mirrors, the tops of bookshelves, ceiling fan blades, and even the plastic housing of electronics for a quick, chemical-free clean.


Kathryn Gorham / Green Key Realty / Emerald Isle, North Carolina / www.HomesEmeraldIsle.com

2010 President Women’s Council of REALTORS® Crystal Coast Chapter
pld28594@hotmail.com cell · 252.354.2958 office
Southern Outer Banks NC | Crystal Coast NC | Coastal Carolina
 

FREE alerts of HOT properties in Emerald Isle NC HOT properties Emerald Isle NC, Kathryn Gorham

Copyright © 2017 by Kathryn Gorham, All Rights Reserved. Permission granted to re-blog or re-print with the stipulations that you do not alter the original content and that you provide a link back to this article in the re-blog or re-print. First printed at http://homesemeraldisle.com/blog/ this article…Supper club of Emerald Isle NC is hosting a Toys for tots & story time

PRICE ADJUSTMENT! 1609 Ivory Gull Drive – Morehead City

PRICE ADJUSTMENT!!!
Now offered at $394,000
1609 Ivory Gull Drive – Emerald Isle NC 28594

Lovely family home w/lots of space PLUS extended outdoor living on deck, & spacious fenced yard. Private, peaceful & open views grace the back of the home. Watch the heron, owls & deer. Enjoy the safety of sidewalks for visiting the community pool, club house, & tennis in this enchanting neighborhood. Great family living w/open spaces filled w/sunlight from the wall of windows. Large kitchen with island & adjoining butler’s pantry. Living room is cozy w/fireplace & built-in shelves. Master suite boasts his & hers closets, jet tub, walk-in-shower, water closet & double vanity. 2 more spacious bedrooms plus FROG round out the top floor. Completing this floor plan a formal living room, formal dining room AND a mud room 1st floor. Large lot .5 acres. Side open garage private when open.
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2010 President Women’s Council of REALTORS® Crystal Coast Chapter
pld28594@hotmail.com cell · 252.354.2958 office
Southern Outer Banks NC | Crystal Coast NC | Coastal Carolina
 

FREE alerts of HOT properties in Emerald Isle NC HOT properties Emerald Isle NC, Kathryn Gorham

Copyright © 2019 by Kathryn Gorham, All Rights Reserved. Permission granted to re-blog or re-print with the stipulations that you do not alter the original content and that you provide a link back to this article in the re-blog or re-print. First printed at http://homesemeraldisle.com/blog/ this article…New Listing Alert! 1609 Ivory Gull Drive – Morehead CIty

Getting Pre-Approved Should Always Be Your First Step

 

In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes outnumbers the number of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search. Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, understanding your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach. One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.” Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted. Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so.

 


Kathryn Gorham / Green Key Realty / Emerald Isle, North Carolina / www.HomesEmeraldIsle.com

2010 President Women’s Council of REALTORS® Crystal Coast Chapter
pld28594@hotmail.com cell · 252.354.2958 office
Southern Outer Banks NC | Crystal Coast NC | Coastal Carolina
 

FREE alerts of HOT properties in Emerald Isle NC HOT properties Emerald Isle NC, Kathryn Gorham

Copyright © 2017 by Kathryn Gorham, All Rights Reserved. Permission granted to re-blog or re-print with the stipulations that you do not alter the original content and that you provide a link back to this article in the re-blog or re-print. First printed at http://homesemeraldisle.com/blog/ this article…Supper club of Emerald Isle NC is hosting a Toys for tots & story time

What Every Seller Needs To Know About Closing

 

Closing time. The end of the road. If you’re here, then you’ve found a buyer, negotiated home repairs, and are ready to move out. But before you can make this sale official, you still have a few items to cross off your list.

 

Closing Is the Final Step

Closing, or “settlement,” is when both parties sign the final ownership and insurance paperwork, and the buyer becomes the legal owner of the home. Typically, closing day takes place about four to six weeks after you signed a purchase and sale agreement. During this window, the buyer’s purchasing funds are held in escrow until all contingencies, like the home inspection contingency and appraisal contingency, are met.

Your agent will be able to answer questions and offer support through closing. Here’s what to expect from the process, start to finish.

 

Before You Close, You’ll Have a Final Walk-Through

Most sales contracts give the buyer one last chance to do a walk-through of the home within 24 hours of settlement. This is their chance to check that the property is in good condition, and to make sure the agreed-upon repairs were completed.

In most cases, no problems arise at this stage of the transaction. The final walk-through mostly gives buyers peace of mind knowing that you, the seller, have adhered to the conditions of the sales contract and home inspection-related repairs.

Follow These Steps to Prepare for the Final Walk-Through

To help ensure that the walk-through goes smoothly, take these six steps ahead of time to prepare:

Step #1: Clean house. Your home should be spotless for the final walk-through. Assuming the buyer is taking ownership on closing day, you should be fully moved out at this point. But moving can be messy. After purging, packing, and moving, you may want to do one more deep cleaning.

Step #2: Leave owner’s manuals and warranties. Make the buyer’s life easier by providing all manuals and warranties you have for home appliances. Print physical copies and put these documents in one place for the new owner. If you have receipts from contractors for repairs, leave them with the manuals.

Step #3: Provide a vendor list. Give the buyer contact information for home contractors or maintenance companies that you’ve used in the past. These vendors are familiar with your home, and the new owner will appreciate having a list of servicers they can trust will take good care of their new home.

Step #4: Check for forgotten items. Do one more check throughout the home to make sure you’re not leaving anything behind. One exception: You may want to leave unused or leftover paint cans in the colors currently in use within the home — but confirm with the buyer first.

Step #5: Turn off water shut-off valves. The last thing you want before closing is a flood. With the buyer’s permission, turn off your house’s main shutoff valve 24 hours before closing.

Step #6: Lock up. Until settlement is complete, you’re legally responsible for the home — meaning you’d be liable if there’s a break-in before closing. So, the day before settlement make sure to close window coverings and lock the entry doors. If a house looks un-lived in, it’s a welcome sign to burglars. It’s a good idea to leave a porch light on, or to set an interior light to turn on and off with a timer.

If the final walk-through reveals an issue with the house, don’t panic. The standard protocol is for the buyer’s agent to immediately alert the listing agent that there’s a problem. Then, both parties work together to solve it. Typically, either the closing gets delayed or there’s additional negotiation, such as monetary deduction of the sales price. In other words: There are options, and your agent can help you through this.

Up Next: The “Closing Disclosure”

Let’s assume the final walk-through is smooth sailing. What happens next?

You’ll get info about your closing costs from the title company.

Meanwhile, the buyer’s mortgage lender must provide the buyer with a Closing Disclosure, or CD, three business days before settlement. This is a formal statement of the buyer’s final loan terms and closing costs. As the loan borrower, the buyer is entitled to a three-day review period to see if there are any significant discrepancies between their CD and Loan Estimate a document buyers receive when they apply for a loan. The LE outlines the approximate fees the buyer would need to pay.

In most cases, there are no major differences between the CD and LE. However, if certain closing costs differ by 10% or more between the estimate and the disclosure, the buyer’s loan has to go back to the mortgage lender so that cost differences can be reviewed. If that happens, closing is usually delayed until the issue is resolved.

Expect to See These People at the Closing

The closing typically takes place at the title company, attorney’s office, or the buyer’s or seller’s agent’s real estate office. (Unless you live in a state that allows for electronic closings — eClosings — with remote notaries. In that case, the involved parties can opt to sign documents digitally.)

The list of legally mandated attendees will depend on your state, but usually you’ll be joined by:

  • Your agent
  • The buyer
  • The buyer’s agent
  • A title company representative
  • The loan officer
  • Any real estate attorneys involved with the transaction

Remember to Budget for Closing Costs

Closing costs can vary widely by location, but you’ll generally pay closing costs of 5% to 10% of the home’s sales price. So, on a $300,000 home, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 in closing costs. In most cases, these costs are deducted from your proceeds at closing.

Closing costs for sellers typically include:

The commission for the listing agent and buyer’s agent
Transfer taxes or recording fees
Loan payoff costs
Unpaid homeowner association dues
Homeowner association dues included up to the settlement date
Prorated property taxes
Escrow, title, or attorney fees

Be Sure to Bring These Things to Closing

At the closing you should have:

A government-issued photo ID
A copy of the ratified sales contract
House keys, garage remotes, mailbox keys, gate keys, and any pool keys
A cashier’s check, or proof of wire transfer, if your closing costs are not being deducted from the sales price

Don’t Forget to Dot These I’s and Cross These T’s

Before you rush off to pick out paint samples for your new place, remember to do these two steps that are often overlooked by sellers:

Transfer utilities. Don’t want to pay for the new owner’s utility bills? Coordinate with the buyer so that utilities — including not only gas and electric but also water and cable — are transferred to the buyer on closing day

Change your address. You obviously want your mail to be sent to your new home. Setting up a forwarding address will also ensure that you can be reached if there are any post-closing matters. You can file a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service here.

Finally: Celebrate!

At last, your home is officially sold. Congratulations! Give yourself a pat on the back — and then start settling into your new phase of life.


Kathryn Gorham / Green Key Realty / Emerald Isle, North Carolina / www.HomesEmeraldIsle.com

2010 President Women’s Council of REALTORS® Crystal Coast Chapter
pld28594@hotmail.com cell · 252.354.2958 office
Southern Outer Banks NC | Crystal Coast NC | Coastal Carolina
 

FREE alerts of HOT properties in Emerald Isle NC HOT properties Emerald Isle NC, Kathryn Gorham

Copyright © 2017 by Kathryn Gorham, All Rights Reserved. Permission granted to re-blog or re-print with the stipulations that you do not alter the original content and that you provide a link back to this article in the re-blog or re-print. First printed at http://homesemeraldisle.com/blog/ this article…Supper club of Emerald Isle NC is hosting a Toys for tots & story time