Sun Jul 30 18:42:00 UTC 2017

Crucial facts about FHA loans

Posted by: Royan Johnson

What is an FHA loan?

National Home Search

An FHA loan is a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Borrowers with FHA loans must pay for mortgage insurance, which protects the lender from a loss should the borrower defaults on the loan. Because of the mortgage insurance, lenders can offer FHA loans at attractive (lower) interest rates with less stringent and more flexible qualification requirements to borrowers.

Here are some facts about FHA loans.

Credit does not have to be perfect!
 The minimum credit scores for FHA loans depend on the type of loan a borrower needs.  A credit score of 580 or higher can get a borrower a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent.  With credit scores of 500-579, you will need down payments of at least 10 percent. Those with credit scores under 500 generally are not eligible for FHA loans. However, FHA will make allowances under certain circumstances for applicants who have what it calls "nontraditional credit history or insufficient credit" if they meet requirements.  Check with your FHA lender or an FHA loan specialist to see if you are qualified with a score under 500.

Down payment of 3.5 percent
For most borrowers, FHA requires a down payment of 3.5 % of the home purchase price. That's a huge attraction, especially for first time home buyers. In late 2014, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reduced minimum down payments to 3 percent from 10 percent, but such loans have limited availability.

FHA borrowers can use their own savings, a gift from a family member, or a grant from a state or local government down-payment assistance program to make their down payment.

Closing costs may be covered
The FHA allows home sellers, builders, and lenders to pay some of the borrower's closing costs, such as an appraisal, credit report or title expenses. For example, a builder might offer to pay closing costs as an incentive for the borrower to buy a new home. Resellers do the same as well to attract buyers to the sale of their home. (Ask your realtor to negotiate some or all of the closing costs in your purchase and sales agreement).

Lenders typically charge a higher interest rate on the loan if they agree to pay closing costs. Borrowers can compare loan estimates from competing lenders to figure out which option makes the most sense.

Lender must be FHA-approved
Because FHA is not a lender, but rather an insurer, borrowers need to get their loan through an FHA-approved lender (as opposed to directly from the FHA). Not all FHA-approved lenders offer the same interest rate and costs savings on the same FHA loan.

Costs, services, and underwriting standards will vary among lenders or mortgage brokers, so it's important for borrowers to shop around.

Two-part mortgage insurance
There are two mortgage insurance premiums that are required on all FHA loans: The upfront premium is 1.75 percent of the loan amount ($1,750 for a $100,000 loan). This upfront premium is paid when the borrower gets the loan. The upfront premium can be financed as part of the loan amount.

The second is called the annual premium and is paid monthly. It varies based on the length of the loan, the loan amount, and the initial loan-to-value ratio, or LTV. The following premiums are for loans of $625,500 or less.

Annual premiums for FHA loans
30-year loan, down payment of less than 5 percent: 0.85 percent
30-year loan, down payment of 5 percent or more: 0.80 percent
15-year loan, down payment of less than 10 percent: 0.70 percent
15-year loan, down payment of 10 percent or more: 0.45 percent

Cash can be borrowed for needed repairs.
FHA has a special loan product for borrowers. Borrowers who need extra cash can finance up to $35,000 for nonstructural repairs for items such as cabinets, fixtures, and painting. This loan is called a 203(k) loan and is not based on the current appraised value of the home. It is based on the repair cost to the home.  

Financial hardship relief allowed
FHA insurance isn't supposed to be an easy out for borrowers who are unhappy about their mortgage payments. It is a loan service that offers some relief to borrowers who have an FHA-insured loan, who have suffered a serious financial hardship or are struggling to make their mortgage payments. Such relief might be in the form of a temporary period of forbearance, a loan modification that lower the borrower’s interest rate, extend the payback period, or a deferral of part of the loan balance at no interest.


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Mon Jul 10 20:44:00 UTC 2017


Posted by: Royan Johnson

National Home Search

If you are in the market to buy a home, the process can seem overwhelming. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your home search.

Contact a local real estate agent
The first step is to find a local real estate agent who is familiar with the market which you are interested in. This alone can be a process, so make sure you are well informed. Do your research and ask questions until you find someone who is experienced and one you can trust.

Know what you are looking for
Remember it is hard to get everything you want when buying a home. So, think about what most important to you. It’s good to jot down the requirements of what most important to you. What are your must-haves and what you willing to compromise on? Communicate those needs to your real estate agent.

Consider the Cost of Homeownership
Owning a home costs more than just the mortgage payment so, budget accordingly. In addition to your monthly payments, consider property taxes, utility bills, homeowner’s insurance, and Home Owner’s Association (HOA) dues, (if there are any). You also want to think about transportation and cost of living in your new neighborhood. You may also plan on some upgrades and repairs if you are purchasing reseal home. Remember larger the home is the greater the utility and maintenance expenses.

Location Is Important
A home is only worth as much as it’s neighborhood. So, be sure that you purchase a home in a neighborhood you like to live in. Again, make a list. What kind of neighborhood would you like? If you have school age kids, the school district might be very important to you. How far are you willing to commute to and from work? And what is the overall feel of your ideal community? If you have never visited the area that you would like to live in do so (more than once if possible). Make sure this is where you can imagine yourself living.

Know Your Loans-Financing Options
Every home loan advertisement looks great on paper but what’s in is the fine print? Make sure you know your interest rates, down payment requirements, and penalties. Make sure your loan officer go over these with you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if something is not clear. Also, don’t be afraid to shop around and turn down loan offers that seem troubling or confusing.

Obtain Full Property Disclosure and Home Inspection
By law, the home seller is obligated to disclose any problems with the home or condo that you are buying. However, there may be additional costly repairs such as foundation problems that the current owner is not aware of. So, hire a professional home inspector to inspect the home. Your real estate agent should be able to recommend a quality home inspector. Get a professional home inspection regardless of whether or not purchasing a new or reseal home. You don’t want to buy a home that may potentially cost you thousands of dollars in additional repairs.

Get Everything in Writing.
Real estate jargon can be confusing. Get it all in writing and if you don’t understand something, make sure to ask your real estate agent. To buy a home, it is imperative that you collect each piece of information and the overall transaction in writing so, that you are covered in case something goes wrong.

Before Closing
Before your purchase is final, make sure to purchase home insurance and title insurance. In addition, consider purchasing a home warranty, if it’s not included in the transaction. On the day of closing do a final walkthrough with your real estate agent to make sure the home is in the same condition as it was when you initially agreed to purchase.

Tax deductions
Owning a home will also qualify you for certain tax deductions. It is important that you take advantage of them each year. Your tax preparer will help you get these deductions.

Get Excited
Most importantly, get excited. You will now be a proud homeowner and this is a big accomplishment. A place to call your own!The first step to buying your home is to find a local real estate agent in your area to help you. CENTURY 21 REALTY only works with the best real estate agents in each city. Let CENTURY 21 REALTY help you find your real estate agent today.

To find your dream home in Atlanta/Metro Atlanta click here National Home Search click here

Sun Feb 19 21:09:00 UTC 2017

Security Tips to Keep Your Home Safe and Your Family Protected!

Posted by: Royan Johnson

National Home Search
When you sleep to sleep at night, can you rest easy knowing that your family is protected? There may be some neighborhoods that are considered than others to live in. However, it is always a good idea to do what you can to help protect your home to avoid unwanted entry. Here are a few things that you can do to protect the safety of your family:

Assess the Lighting In and around Your Home

Proper lighting is essential to deter intruders.  Good lighting makes it harder for anyone to sneak in undetected. If possible put some lights on automatic to come on in the evening until early morning. Lights on evening make it appear as though someone is home even if no one is. In some areas on the outside, you should consider installing motion detector lights. If someone approaches your home and the lights come on it increases the likelihood that they will turn around and leave.  It’s also a good idea to leave a bedroom light on a radio or TV on when you are away on vacation or away overnight.   

Security Systems

There are some great security systems that can be used to improve the safety of your home. Some of these systems can be managed from your smartphone and internet giving you updates and notifications every time a door or window opens. Other features include motion sensors that can be tripped to notify monitoring services if someone enters your home when they (alarms) are on.  

Change the Locks

When you purchase your home, the first thing to do is change the locks or replace the key(s) on all entrance doors. You never know who still has a copy of the keys! The previous owner could have provided keys to friends or family, giving people access to your home if the locks are left in place.

If you decide to only change the keys can take the door handles and deadbolts to a local hardware store, and they will switch out the locks for a reasonable price.  There are also locks reinforcements that can be installed on the doors, such as a door brace that can only be locked and unlocked from the inside of you home.

Keep all entrance doors lock, even when you are at home. It takes no time for someone to enter your home if your back is turned. So, maintain a good habit of always locking the doors. The vast majority of the time intruders come in through the front or back door so; you can reduce the likelihood of intrusion by keeping those doors locked and install proper lightings.

At Century 21 Realty, our goal is to fulfill your real estate needs in all neighborhoods. If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, then we invite you to contact your experienced realtor to learn more: (770) 262-7533 or  or visit my website:

Mon Jan 02 21:19:00 UTC 2017

Tips That Will Help Speed Up Your Home Sale

Posted by: Royan Johnson

By Royan Johnson @ CENTURY 21 | January 2, 2017

Every seller wants a faster home sale. Make a good impression on buyers to increase your chances of a speedy sale. Not sure how to do that? Here are some tips for every step of the home sale process.
Optimize Your Listing: A picture tells a thousand words. Make sure or your agent takes professional quality pictures of your home. You want to stand out among the abundance of online listings (for all the right reasons). Work with your CENTURY 21 listing agent to write your listing and seller’s marketing plan. 

Upgrade Your Curb Appeal: The outside of your home is the first area a potential buyer will see. Spruce up your yard and exterior (mow the lawn remove debris). If necessary add a fresh coat of paint, a new mailbox, new landscaping, and more. 

Clear Clutter: Getting rid of clutter makes your home appear larger and more appealing to buyers. Put away or donate usable items, and get rid of items that are unusable. Once you’ve paired down, get organized so everything looks neat and tidy. 

Make Your Home Feel Larger: Use light paint colors, incorporating mirrors, adding extra lighting, and sticking to a monochromatic color scheme may make your room appear larger. Home decor and home improvement changes should be made before your open house. 

Accomplish Home Improvement Projects: Pick up a hammer and nails, and complete some home upgrades. However, don’t improve things too much.  

Avoid Common Seller Slip-Ups:  Overpricing: Attract few buyers, Poor Condition: Create low buyer’s excitement produce lower offers if any, Weak Motivation: you the seller not responding to offers on a timely basis, Limiting Access: very few viewers and not Understanding Marketing: Similar to overpricing. Believing that your house is worth more than it actually is.   

Open Houses: An open house is a key component of the home sale process. You want your open houses to run as smoothly as possible. Make it your agent’s job to handle the open house process. Don’t hang around the open house. Also pets out of the homes as well.

Set the Price: Setting a price can be tricky. You don’t want to price too high or too low. Your agent should do their research by completing a full CMA of prices of similar houses in the immediate neighborhood that was sold in the last 6 months. (Before listing with an agent asks for a CMA. A CMA will help you understand why the agent came up whit the recommended list price that they do.  

Make Century 21 Atlanta GA  your go to for all your real estate needs in Greater Atlanta. 

Wed Nov 30 22:15:00 UTC 2016

Keeping your home functioning safely and efficiently in the winter

Posted by: Royan Johnson

The winter is upon us again. Here are a few tips to keep your home functioning safely and efficiently:
Installing a programmable thermostat will help regulate your usage. Set the thermostat at 68 degrees or below to save energy and money.  In the daytime keep window curtains and blinds open to let in sunlight. Sunlight helps to keep a warmer temperature in your home.  Now is also the perfect time to complete a household check to prepare for colder weather.

Have a professional check furnace to ensure the pilot light and burners are working properly. The filter should be changed regularly.
Be sure to check carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Make sure they are working properly with adequate battery life.
Space heaters should be away from anything flammable and be off when no one is at home. Make sure space heater is approved for indoors use, to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Properly inspected the fireplace before starting a traditional fire or igniting gas logs. It is also wise to have you chimney check and clean by a professional.
Remember to removing excess buildup from both of these appliances on a regular basis.

Keep warm air in and cold air out. Pay close attention to openings around windows and doors.  Seal air leaks with weather stripping and caulking.  Also, check attic to make sure it is properly insulated.

Make  Century 21 Atlanta GA  your go to for all your real estate needs in Greater Atlanta. 

Thu Nov 03 21:10:00 UTC 2016

Avoid These Common First-Time Home Buyer Mistakes

Posted by: Royan Johnson

Buying a home for the first time can be cumbersome. You’ve never done it before, so it’s normal to feel a bit overwhelmed. Luckily, we’ve pulled together some of the common mistakes first-time home buyers make. Learn from them, and you may have a smoother home buying process.
·         Forgetting About Costs:
Your mortgage will probably not be the only cost when it comes to buying a home. Smaller costs like property insurance, taxes, electric and water bills, and other fees may start to pile up. Before buying a house, you may need to look further into your savings to figure out if you can pay for all of these additional charges.

·         Looking for a Home Before the Loan:
Once you find a house and decide to buy it, you don’t want to spend time wondering if you can afford it. Knowing your budget, and that you are a qualified buyer before you begin your search may make the process easier and more efficient. Once you decide that it’s time to buy a home, get pre-approved for a loan. Contact your Century 21 real estate agent to talk about getting pre-approved for a loan that suits you.

·         Not Hiring Professionals:
Moving isn’t as simple as packing up your stuff and renting a van. It takes a village to move into a new neighborhood. Your team can only be as good as your weakest link, so you may want to ensure that you have only the best players. Get your home buying team in place before starting the search.  A Century 21 real estate agent can help you put the right team together.

·         Being Too Picky:
There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you want when it comes to buying a home. But if your “must-have” list gets too long and too specific, you may end up looking for your perfect house for a very long time. Also, remember that you can make changes once you move in. It may be wise to take the time to figure out what you really need versus what you want. If you are unsure where to start, our checklist may help!

·         Lacking Vision:
Some of the open houses you attend may not look move-in ready. But plenty of homes have hidden potential. When you look for a home, try to look past the 70’s shag rugs and lava lamps. Imagine what the home will look like after you’ve moved in with all of your own belongings, or try to envision the structure of the home without the stuff inside it. This will be an important skill, especially if you’re looking to buy a fixer-upper as your first home.

·         Ignoring the Future: 
If you plan on living in this house for a long time, you may want to think ahead. You may decide to have kids in a few years, and then you’ll have to worry about another set of questions. Will there be enough bedrooms? Is the house located in a good school district? These may be things to think about when buying your home.
So whether you’re just starting to think about buying your first home, or you’ve already spent some time looking, there may be a lot to learn from this list of mistakes.
Source: century21 real estate blog.

 For all your real estate needs in Greater Atlanta, GA visit: Century 21 real estate agent's website.

Fri Oct 07 19:27:00 UTC 2016


Posted by: Royan Johnson

 Buying a home is a significant and exciting decision. This section provides professional real estate advice and helpful home buying tips.

First Steps
The Internet and real estate professionals are the top two resources most buyers turn to when searching for a home. When it’s not convenient for you to speak directly with a real estate professional, can help improve your overall home buying experience and provide the guidance to reduce stress, save time, and make you a savvy, successful consumer.

A CENTURY 21® Agent is ready to make a full-time commitment to help you capitalize on current market opportunities and assist you in making an informed decision.

To ensure you make the right choice for the long term, a CENTURY 21 Agent offers extensive knowledge in:
  •          Neighborhoods, schools and market conditions
  •          Mortgage specialists who can assist you with your financing
  •          Technology that gives them an edge, along with multiple resources available just for you on /

 Would you like to receive more information on the home buying process? Contact a CENTURY 21 Atlanta GA Agent (My CENTURY21).

1 2010 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Finding the right real estate agent can make you a savvy consumer and improve your overall experience.

The single biggest reason most people buy a home is the simple desire to own a home of their own.1 At the same time, homeowners accumulate wealth for the future while enjoying the benefits of a residence that they can use, improve and enjoy. What’s different is each individual’s wish-list of essentials; from public transportation to the number of bedrooms, we can help you create a comprehensive list and go from there.

1 2010 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
Looking for a house to buy? This section will help you create a prioritized list of features to narrow your search.
What's the Right Home For You?
Before deciding which house to buy, consider your lifestyle, current and anticipated housing needs and budget. It’s a good idea to create a prioritized list of features you want in your new home; you'll quickly discover finding the right house involves striking a balance between your "must-haves" and your "nice-to-haves."

If you love to cook, you'll appreciate a well-equipped kitchen. If you're into gardening, you'll want a yard. If a home office is a must, you’ll need a room that will provide you adequate work space. If you have several cars, you may require a larger garage. Use this list as your search guide.

Next, think about what you might need in the future, and how long you are likely to live in this particular home. If you're newly married, you might not be concerned with a school district right now, but you could be in a few years. If you have aging parents, you may want to look at homes that offer living arrangements that could accommodate them as well.

It’s important to think about your new home’s location just as carefully as its features. In addition to considering the distance to work, evaluate what matters to you in terms of services, convenience and accessibility, such as shopping, police and fire protection, medical facilities, school and daycare, traffic and parking, trash and garbage collection, even recreational facilities.

Be sure to talk to your real estate professional about where you want to live and what’s most important to you. While buyers frequently use the Internet to gain access to listings or available properties for sale, an agent brings value to the entire home buying process. He or she is available to analyze data, answer questions, share their professional expertise, and handle all the paperwork and legwork that is involved in any real estate transaction. CENTURY 21® professionals can help their clients narrow their choices by sharing market trends and local information.

TIP:  It’s also important to consider the type of home that suits you best. Is it a condominium or a co-op? A townhouse or a detached single-family home? Do you want brick, stone, stucco, wood, vinyl siding, or something else? Do you prefer a new home or an older one?

How much home can you afford? Review your income, savings, and debt to figure out how much home you can afford.
How Much Can You Afford?
Now that you know what you're looking for, the next step is figuring out what type of home you can afford. A review of your income, savings, monthly expenses and debt will be necessary.

Early in the process, you'll want to get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan. It enables you to move swiftly when you find the right home, especially when there are other interested buyers. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious and can afford to buy the property. A pre-approval is a simple calculation done by a mortgage lender that tells you the amount you'll be able to finance through a loan and what your monthly payment will be.

The price you can afford to pay for a home will depend on several factors, such as:

  •          Gross income
  •          The funds you have available for the down payment, closing costs and cash reserves required by the lender
  •          Your debt
  •          Your credit history
  •          The type of mortgage you select
  •          Current interest rates

Another figure that lenders use to evaluate how much you can afford is the housing expense-to-income ratio. It is determined by calculating your projected monthly housing expense, which consists of the principal and interest payment, property tax payments and insurance premiums on your new home loan (also known as PITI).

Each buyer is unique, and a mortgage professional can help you find out just what you can afford. Your income and debts will typically play the biggest roles in determining your price range. It's simple to make an estimate – just run the numbers for yourself using our Affordability Calculator.

Evaluating a neighborhood and surrounding areas thoroughly is essential.
When you buy a home, you're investing in a community. You'll spend a significant amount of time and money supporting the schools, community organizations and commercial centers in the area. Before you make the final decision, take a good look at the location and make sure it fits your lifestyle. For example:
·          Evaluate the property’s proximity to other important locations in your life. How long will your commute time be? Is there a hospital or doctor's office nearby? What about schools, childcare, shopping, family and friends?
·          Consider all of your transportation options. A new home could lend itself to public transportation options or carpooling. Depending on the type of community, you may be able to find alternative methods of transportation. Take the time to drive from the new home to your commuting destinations, to get a sense of what your daily life will be like.
·          Make sure you feel comfortable in the area. Drive around the neighborhood at different times of the day and night on multiple days of the week to observe activity and noise levels. An educated buyer is a happy one!

CENTURY 21® real estate professionals are a tremendous resource. Ask your agent for a list of schools, shopping centers, parks or other amenities that are important to you. Buying a new home is about more than the structure and property. It's about your new lifestyle as well.
TIP: Visit and understand the school district. Even if you don't have children in the school system now, you may some day. The district reputation could positively or negatively impact the selling price of your future home as well.

Buying a home while selling an existing home has its own set of considerations; this section provides expert buying advice and can help you navigate these challenges successfully.
What If You Already Have a Home?
Buying a new home and selling an existing home at the same time has its own set of challenges. With knowledgeable planning, you can ensure everything goes smoothly.
Before putting your house on the market or committing to buying a new one, take a look at the prices of houses in the areas where you'll be selling and buying. You'll need a realistic idea of sales prices for similar houses, so you can assess both your buying and selling position.  
What if you're unable to time the sale of one house with the purchase of another? You may own no houses for a time, in which case you'll need money in the bank and a temporary place to live. Or, you may own two houses at once. That's why it's important to have a backup plan. Here are some options to consider:
·         Research short-term rental and storage options (family, friends, storage facilities, containers).
·         Bridge financing (a short-term loan) for the down payment on a new home backed by the equity in your old house.

Buying a Second Home
Buying a second home isn't all that different from buying a first home. Affording it usually depends on your ability to qualify for a mortgage on the second home. Benefits include a getaway for the family on vacations or holidays, a future retirement home, or renters making your mortgage payments for you.
Keep in mind that if you declare it as a rental, your mortgage might be slightly higher and your down payment requirements higher than a standard mortgage. Work with your lender to create a customized loan program with the best combination of rate, points, and closing costs to meet your needs.
TIP: A second home can be a good investment. To make the most of the opportunity, be sure you factor in sources for your down payment and monthly expenses (including the costs of maintaining the property).

The content for this blog is form .The owner of this blog page is a license Century 21 real estate agent.

Fri Oct 07 00:30:00 UTC 2016

Home Improvement Tips

Posted by: Royan Johnson

Making home improvements not only creates beautiful upgrades to your home but can also increase its overall value. Using a Home Equity Line of Credit can be the smartest way to manage the expense associated with making home improvements. The following tips from industry experts offer some of the most cost-effective and valuable enhancements you can make to your home.
Tip #1
Updated homes frequently sell faster. The renovation of dark or dated kitchens is one of the most profitable home improvements you can make.
Tip #2
Time to refinance your mortgage? If interest rates are lower now than when you closed on your current mortgage, you may be able to save money by refinancing.
 Tip #3
Updating an old bathroom is one of the most profitable home improvements you can make.
 Tip #4
Adding casual living areas like a den or family room is a smart home improvement.
 Tip #5
Thinking of updating your home with one of these home improvements and wondering how long they generally last?
  •           New chimney: 100 years or more
  •           Asphalt shingles: 15 to 30 years
  •           A wooden deck: 15 years
  •           Ceramic tile or terrazzo: 100 years or more
  •           Vinyl flooring: 20 to 30 years
  •           Oak or pine floors: 100 years

Tip #6
Planning to buy new appliances? Here's how long they generally last.
  •           Refrigerators: up to 20 years
  •           Microwave: 10 years or more
  •           Stove: 15 years or more
  •           Washer and dryer: about 13 years

Tip #7
Adding a second bath to a house can be a significantly profitable home improvement.
Tip #8
it’s true: sometimes you have to spend money to save money. Buying a new refrigerator can save you money on electricity. Insulating an attic can save on heating and air-conditioning bills. The improvements you make not only save you money now but may also increase the value of your home.

Tue Dec 30 02:20:00 UTC 2008


Posted by: Royan Johnson

A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical checkup. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector may recommend further evaluation.

WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE?The standard home inspector's report will review the condition of the home's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors; the foundation, basement, and visible structure.

The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterward. Of course, a home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase. If you are already a homeowner, a home inspection may be used to identify problems in the making and to learn preventive measures which might avoid costly future repairs. If you are planning to sell your home, you may wish to have an inspection prior to placing your home on the market. This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer's inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.

WHAT WILL IT COST?The inspection fee for a typical one-family house varies geographically, as does the cost of housing. Similarly, within a given area, the inspection fee may vary depending upon the size of the house, particular features of the house, its age, and possible additional services, such as septic, well, or radon testing. It is a good idea to check local prices on your own. However, do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection, or in the selection of your home inspector. The knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspector is not necessarily a bargain. The inspector's qualifications, including his experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important consideration

CAN'T I DO IT MYSELF?Even the most experienced homeowner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector who has inspected hundreds, perhaps thousands, of homes in his or her career. An inspector is familiar with the many elements of home construction, their proper installation, and maintenance. He or she understands how the home's systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail.
Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate information, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.

CAN A HOUSE FAIL INSPECTION?No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.

A home inspector is typically contacted right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed, and is often available within a few days. However, before you sign, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.

It is not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is recommended. You will be able to observe the inspector and ask questions directly, as you learn about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you've seen the property first-hand through the inspector's eyes.

No house is perfect. If the inspector identifies problems, it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If your budget is tight, or if you don't wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.

IF THE HOUSE PROVES TO BE IN GOOD CONDITION, DID I REALLY NEED AN INSPECTION?Definitely। Now you can complete your home purchase with your eyes open as to the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned many things about your new home from the inspector's written report and will want to keep that information for future reference.

Fri Sep 19 19:11:00 UTC 2008

10 Questions You Should Ask Your Lender.

Posted by: Royan Johnson

1.What Types Of Mortgages Does Your Lender Offer?
Most mortgage companies offer a wide array of loan options to fit various situations. Tow most common loan types are fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs).

A fixed-rate mortgages interest rate and principal payment remain constant for the life of the loan. Since the interest never changes during the life of the loan, the borrower can always budget for the mortgage payment. (Keep in mind that Insurance and Taxes are adjustable annually if the borrower is escrow they may see slight adjustment in their mortgage payments due to these annual adjustments). A fixed- rate mortgage is the best option especially if the borrower is planning to stay in the home for a while (5 years or more).

With the ARMs, the interest rate and your payments are adjusted upon down periodically as the market index changes. The rate usually is adjusted between three months and five years. ARMs are usually protected by caps that limit how much the interest rate adjusted up the first time, and each successive time or overall. This option is good in you are getting a mortgage at a time when the rate is high or if you are planning to sell before the first adjustment period.

2.What Is the Interest and Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?The interest rate used to calculate your total cost over the life of the loan and the amount of your monthly payment. (The higher your interest rate the more your monthly payment will be). The APR is derived by calculation that includes the interest rate and all the other related lender fees divided by the loan term.

3. What Are the Discount Points and Origination fees?Each point equals 1% of the loan amount. Therefore 1 point on a $200,000 loan cost $ 2,000. Points are a way to buy down the interest rate. The more points you pay the lower your interest rate. Landers may have some restrictions on points buy down. Points are tax deductible, no matter who pays for them. The longer you plan to stay in the home the more it worth it to pay for discount points.

4. What Are The Closing Costs?
Closing costs are fees included in your loan, usually, include charges for credit reports deed search and more. Your lender is required by law to provide a good faith estimate of your loan’s closing costs within three days of receiving your application. Your mortgage consultant should explain the purpose of all the fees Your Real Estate Professional should try to have the seller pay some of these closing costs on your behalf.

5. What Are Rate Locks and When Can You Take Advantage Of Them?Interest rates fluctuate daily. Think about locking in the interest rate if interest rates are rising. Licking in interest rate is usually good for 30 to 45 days while you search for the right home. Lock in the interest rate on the application, not an approval. So if the rate goes up between the time you applied and the time you are approved you will not have to pay the higher rate.

6. What Is The Minimum Required Down Payment?The down payment determines the loan’s rate and term. The minimum down payment is the lowest amount of money you can put down on your home; this is expressed as a percentage of the property’s value. Required down payment usually range from 3%-20%. A 3% down payment requires 97% financing, with a 5% down payment 95% will be financed. The larger the down the lower the principal and monthly payments. Larger down payment usually enables you to obtain a lower interest rate. Down payment less that 20% requires you to have mortgage insurance (PMI).

7. Is There A Prepayment Penalty?Sometimes if you pay off your mortgage early you could be charged a prepayment penalty. The penalties usually are as much as 3% of the loan balance or the equivalent of six month’s interest. Often, prepayment penalties decline or disappear over time. Sometimes you may be able to secure a better interest rate if you agree to a prepayment loan. You may want to think twice before you agree to a loan with a prepayment penalty. Most borrowers do not stay in the home for the life of the loan. They usually refinance or sell the home.

8. How Long Will It Take To Close My Loan?Closing time may vary from about 2-6 weeks, depending on how long it takes to assess your documentation and check your credit. Try to submit your application far enough in advance to ensure funding for your loan. Talk to your real estate agent about allow the maximum time (6 weeks) for closing when you find the home you want to purchase. This will give your loan processor more time to work on your loan. If the loan processor is done before the maximum time, ask your agent to request a change of closing date so you can close earlier.

9. What Might Delay My Loan Application?Avoid potential delays by making sure your application is complete, correct and legible. Provide all the supporting documentation needed so; your loan processor will have all the necessary information to proceed with the processing of your loan.

10. What Are The Documentations Do I Need?Some of the documentation that you need are name and contact information of your current employer, proof of income, social security number, bank statements, and any assets you have. You loan officer should provide you with a checklist of all the documentation you will need for the loan to be processed.

Finance Tools!

Sat Aug 02 00:41:00 UTC 2008

How Does Short Sales Work

Posted by: Royan Johnson

The short sale is simple in theory. You owe more than the home is worth or you can no longer pay the mortgage payments so in order to sell without bringing money to the table yourself you must convince the bank that you have a financial hardship and cannot make the payments. The bank may then agree to take a lower payoff than the total loan amount. Example: if you owe $350,000 but can only sell for $300,000 then the bank will be "forgiving" $50,000 in debt. But, at least you've sold the home and avoided foreclosure. In practice, the short sale usually isn't that simple. There is a lot of work that needs to be done. A short sale package must be put together to show bank hardship, inability to pay, the homes value, repairs, net to the bank after sale etc. It will be the bank's decision whether or not to accept or reject an offer. The bank will have the final say over any offer you accept because the offer will be less than your loan payoff. Banks can take their time with a decision but I think that many banks will be speeding up the process as time goes on and they get their loss mitigation departments up to speed. If you are able to make your mortgage payments you probably should. However, the bank will usually not consider a short sale as an option until you've already missed a couple payments. But, those missed payments will show up as late payments on your credit report so, the fewer there are the better. Before putting your house on the market have your agent check what other properties are SELLING for in your area (In other words make sure your agent do a Market analysis for your area). Not what they are "on the market" for but selling for. Start there and lower your price quickly until you get an offer. Remember you are under a time constraint if you want to avoid foreclosure. The key thing is to get an offer. Once you have one you'll at least have something to work with even if it is low. Keep in mind that a short sale will have less of a negative impact than a foreclosure will on your credit. The consensus is that a short sale will cost you around 100 points on your credit score while a foreclosure will cost you 200-280 points and stay on your credit report much longer. So, pursue the short sale aggressively to avoid a foreclosure. Another thing you should be aware of are the tax consequences. You may end up owing taxes on the amount of debt that is forgiven. There are ways you may be able to avoid the tax. If you can show you were insolvent at the time of the sale then the IRS may exclude the debt forgiveness from taxation. Take a look at section 108 of the IRS Code and form 982. You might want to consult with an attorney or accountant that is familiar with the process because it could end up saving you on your taxes.

How to Write a Short Sale Hardship Letter
The Hardship Letter is part of the short sale package and is written by the seller or their representative. It is used to explain to the lender the reasons for the borrower's need for a short sale. Reasons such as divorce, job loss, medical issues, etc. can and should be included. Usually just a one page letter with the pertinent information will suffice.

A simple letter in the following form should suffice:

DateLender NameAddressLoan NumberDear Sir/Mama,{In this section explain your hardship and why you must utilize a short sale - some example hardship reasons are listed below}

  • Unemployment
  • Reduced Income
  • Divorce
  • Medical Bills
  • Too Much Debt
  • Death of my Spouse
  • Death of a family member
  • Payment Increase
  • Business Failure
  • Job Relocation
  • Illness
  • Damage to Property
  • Military Service
  • Other (Please Specify)
Borrower’s SignatureDateCo-Borrower’s SignatureDate

Please contact CENTURY 21 ATLANTA GA Real Estate agent for more details. 

Mon Nov 05 16:16:00 UTC 2007

More than Money: Considerations for Rent vs Buy

Posted by: Royan Johnson

While being a homeowner is the quintessential American dream, finding the right time to buy can be a challenge. Owning a home is likely the largest investment a person makes in their lifetime. Performing a "Rent vs Buy" analysis looks at not only the financial factors involved but the overall value of home ownership versus renting.

With so many factors going into a home purchase: finances, lifestyle, employment and personal goals, it's critical to run the necessary due diligence. Every potential homeowner should run a buying versus renting analysis to determine if the time to buy is now, or if renting is a more prudent decision. Here are the factors to consider when running a buy versus rent analysis:

Can You Afford It? A Cost Comparison

This question is a bit more complex that it might seem. Often, potential buyers stack the mortgage payment alongside the monthly rent and consider the comparison complete. But buyer beware: there are many overlooked costs associated with home ownership. Financing, homeowner fees, property taxes, repairs, and maintenance can add up quickly. On the other hand, mortgage interest on both first and second homes are tax-deductible which make homeownership one of the best ways to trim your tax bill.

In today's market, shopping around for a competitive interest rate is necessary for solid financing that works with your budget. What you can afford will be greatly impacted by how much money you can borrow, and at what rate you are borrowing. One thing to keep in mind is that like most markets, the mortgage market is very dynamic.

Good credit and a low debt to income ratio will help to secure a lower rate and make the cost of borrowing less in the long run. A good mortgage broker or loan officer can be a great help to a prospective borrower. If a borrower is financially savvy, they could also shop around for the best rates themselves. Anyone with a less than stellar FICO score (680-700 and above is generally considered excellent) could be lumped into what is known as the subprime mortgage category. If they cannot provide full documentation of their income and/or assets, and have less than stellar credit, then they will almost certainly be categorized as subprime. First time home buyers sometimes fall in because they haven't established credit. People with existing mortgages who have had late mortgage payments in the past or a bankruptcy might also be subprime. The easiest way for someone to find out where they stand, in regards to credit, is to run a credit report. There are many different services on the web where this can be done for free, or consult a mortgage broker who can run a credit report and advise accordingly.

Not all types of property are created equal. Condominiums, townhomes, and other complex-style dwellings often carry homeowner dues that range anywhere from under $100.00 to several hundred dollars a month. These fees are imposed by the homeowner's association for upkeep of common grounds, gym, pool and laundry facilities and other community maintenance. Knowing these fees and what they include is essential to the final assessment of your monthly payment.

Property taxes too are a factor in determining what your monthly payment as a homeowner will be. Often, loans will have an automatic impound account embedded within the loan which will raise the monthly mortgage, but make this bi-yearly bill automatically accounted for. Taxes are determined by the type of property, property value and location.

One of the least considered factors in homeownership is both financial and emotional: the cost of repairs and maintenance. Bad wiring, plumbing, termites, shifted foundation: these are all the bane of a new homeowner's existence. Having a reputable housing inspector go over a prospective property can assist in determining the quality of the structure and help assess the need for repairs. Other overlooked costs include closing costs, which are usually about 1% of the total property value. On a $400,000 loan, these are numbers that cannot be ignored in the final analysis.

In spite of these costs, it may be advantageous to buy versus to rent, depending on the rate of increase on your rent annually. If rent increases at 5% per year the inflation might overrun a mortgage and its associated costs.


For many, buying a place to call your own is the ultimate financial goal. The nonfinancial value and personal sense of community a homeowner wins is a certain type of satisfaction. There too, are tangible freedoms such as the ability to change the decor or the structure of your home without a landlord's prior approval.

The actual value of non-financial factors will vary greatly. Lifestyle and personal preference will weight heavy in deciding not only when the right time to buy is, but also what type of property. If you are a young, unmarried executive who travels 50% of the time, owning an apartment in Manhattan might be better than a ranch in Montana. Family size, occupation, need for security: these are all tangible factors that weigh into the final decision of buying versus renting.

There are still, other considerations. As a homeowner, you are your own landlord. Repairs, maintenance,

and community issues are all the responsibility of the homeowner. If you are someone who prefers less responsibility and greater ease to move, buying investment property rather than a home to live in might be a better choice.

Regardless of the final decision, it is important to carefully examine your options when looking at buying or renting a home. Consulting a reputable mortgage broker in your area is the first step.


Tue Sep 25 01:09:00 UTC 2007

What Do We Do Now?

Posted by: Royan Johnson

Last month’s article wasn’t meant to frighten anyone. It was simply my way of letting you know what the heck is going on in the mortgage industry and what got the market in the situation we’re in these days.

Let me set the tone for this article by mentioning a few things from last month’s: “The market is correcting itself.” “It’s just in a slump.” “Guidelines are changing.” “The industry will always find ways to make home buying affordable.”

Many of you probably ask how can there be options. I personally think things will get back to normal sooner than most think because my idea of normal goes back much farther than anyone who has been in the housing market within the past 5 years as a homeowner, realtor, investor or mortgage loan officer. When I got into this business in 1982, 30 year fixed rate mortgage interest rates were commonly in the double digits (something we won’t see). You had to put 10–20 percent down, and pulling equity out of your home was taboo

what we see today is a result of the industry being too creative and too greedy. In order for things to get back to some sense of normalcy, the industry will return to a conservative and responsible position. Since last month’s article, we’ve seen several more mortgage companies go out of business, many of which you don’t read or hear about because their roles in the business were to pass loans through the system directly to the bigger companies. These companies had very little history in the industry; therefore they won’t be missed because they only made it easier for the bigger banks and lenders to put closed loans on the books a lot faster. I think banks and lenders will go back to doing more business with companies like 1st Commitment Mortgage Services because we keep a pulse on what’s going on  in our communities.


more broker business from fewer brokers
Basically, this means mortgage brokers will be relied on to originate more business for realtors, lenders, and banks because the experienced mortgage broker knows its markets. We are an extension of lenders’ sales staff and our overhead is much less than those Pass-Through-Lenders.

More basic loan programs (i.e. fixed rate)
The subprime business first hit the market in the mid-1990’s and it was downhill ever since
We will fix this problem by going back to the basicsfixed rate programs because they are the safest program. Interest Only, Option ARM loans and other Exotic loan programs were never meant for first-time homebuyers and many homeowners with these programs are wishing they had a standard fixed rate loan.

Improved credit and credit score requirement
Credit will become the most important factor in extending credit like it used to be People will have to show their creditworthiness by having a history of good credit. An option to improve one’s credit will be the use of credit score improvement programs such as the “Rapid Rescore.” This system will improve scores immediately after satisfying derogatory credit. There’s normally a cost of a couple hundred dollars for this service.

FHA and VA will recapture more of the market share
FHA and VA will definitely re-capture most of its market share during these times because they have withstood almost every storm. FHA released an initiative last week that will refinance subprime ARM mortgages. The homeowner’s mortgage history must show on time mortgages payments before their mortgage rates went up.  Contact your Century 21 Atlanta, GA to speak to an FHA certified loan officer.

More down payment required on Conventional Loans
I remember when everyone had to put money down when buying their home This requirement will return because history shows that homes purchased with down payment have a lower default and foreclosure rate The belief is when an investment is made by the homeowner they tend to respect their investment.

More documentation
The No Doc, Stated Income, Stated Asset and Bank Statement type loans are gone or severely modified many of these programs created a wave of misuse and abuse in the mortgage industry because people found ways of pushing the envelope. These programs were created for self-employed persons who made the income but wrote a lot off of their taxes. Therefore, we will go back to having almost everyone document their income and assets when buying or refinancing their home.

More use of Automated Underwriting Systems for approval
Automation to the rescue. Many of my clients have been rewarded with the use of our automated underwriting system that will basically look at their complete profile and determine their creditworthiness.

Percy Blackshear, III President 1st Commitment Mortgage Services, Inc.
1st Commitment Mortgage Services, Inc. is a Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License Number 19155.

To find your dream home in Atlanta visit Century 21 Atlanta,GA 

Sat Sep 15 00:50:00 UTC 2007

How to Buy HUD Homes

Posted by: Royan Johnson

HUD sells properties at reduced prices that you might want to buy!

What is a "HUD Home"?
When someone with a HUD insured mortgage can't meet the payments, the lender forecloses on the home; HUD pays the lender what is owed; and HUD takes ownership of the home। Then sell it at market value as quickly as possible

Frequently Asked Questions About HUD Homes

Who can buy a HUD home?
Answer: Anyone! If you have the cash or can qualify for a mortgage, you can purchase a HUD home.

Are HUD Homes meant for people with low incomes?

Answer: HUD homes range in price, but most are affordable for low-and moderate-income Americans.

Is it true I can get a HUD Home for a dollar?Answer: No. HUD sells homes at market value - that means that the price is set based on the price of similar homes sold in the area.

If the HUD Home needs repairs, will HUD make them?
Answer: HUD Homes are sold "as-is," without warranty. That means that HUD will not pay to correct any problems. But even if a HUD Home needs fixing up - and not all of them do - it can be a real bargain! For example, HUD's asking price on the home will reflect the fact that the buyer will have to invest money to make improvements. HUD might offer special incentives such as an allowance to upgrade the property, a moving expense allowance, or a bonus for closing the sale early. And keep in mind that on most sales, the buyer can request HUD to pay all or a portion of the financing and closing costs. Your real estate agent will have details. HUD encourage you to get the home professionally inspected before you make an offer so you will know what repairs you may have to make BEFORE you submit your bid.

How do I buy a HUD home?
Answer: Start by finding a participating real estate agent. Your real estate agent must submit your bid for you. Normally, HUD Homes are sold in an "Offer Period." At the end of the Offer Period, all offers are opened and, basically, the highest bid is accepted. If the home isn't sold in the initial Offer Period, you can submit a bid any business day. If your bid is acceptable to HUD, your real estate agent will be notified, usually within 48 hours.

If my bid is accepted, then what happens?

Answer: Your real estate agent will help you through the paperwork process. You'll be given a settlement date, normally within 30-60 days, where the transaction will occur. HUD has an excellent booklet to help you understand the settlement process: "Buying Your Home - Settlement Costs and Helpful Information." Or contact to have a copy e-mailed to you.
When you buy a HUD Home, the selling agent's commissions are usually paid by HUD. HUD will pay a total sales commission of up to 6%.

How can I find out what HUD Homes are for sale?

Answer: Visit HUD Homes for sale or email every day। If you see one that interests you, contact one of the real estate agents in your area who show HUD homes. They can help you from there.

How can I get a loan to buy a HUD Home?
Answer: HUD doesn't make loans directly. HUD have a number of mortgage insurance programs that could help you buy a home. You can read about those programs here. Then contact a HUD approved lender, who will take you through the steps and actually make the loan.

Can I buy a HUD Home as an investment?
Answer: Most HUD Homes are initially offered on a priority basis to owner occupant purchasers (people who are buying the home as their primary residence). Following the priority period, unsold properties are then available to all buyers, including investors.

Is there anything else I should know about HUD Homes?

Answer: Every homebuyer and homeowner is encouraged to be a wise consumer, so be sure to read Consumer Information. Houses built before 1977 may have lead based paint, which can cause harm to your family; so be sure to read about this hazard and about what you would need to do to correct it.

Attention: Nonprofits and Government Agencies! HUD has a special sales program under which approved nonprofit organizations and government agencies may purchase properties at discounted prices for use in local housing or homeless programs। Contact the local HUD office Or for details.


Sat Sep 08 17:36:00 UTC 2007


Posted by: Royan Johnson

In an instance where the real estate transaction is a cash deal (cash closing)। The transaction can be consummated by executing a handful of documents such as a Settlement Statement, Seller’s and Purchaser’s Affidavits, and Transfer Tax Form। However: a transaction which the buyer takes out a mortgage can require execution of many more documents. These documents will be prepared by the closing attorney’s office and Lender. The documents furnished by the Lender will include Federal, State, and a host of others ranging forms including various affidavits to taxes. The following is a list of typical documents found in a loan package at the closing. Keep in mind that that this list is not conclusive. Each loan is unique. So, documents may vary somewhat according to the type of loan a buyer is getting.
Pertain to buyer(s)
HUD-1 Settlement Statement:Developed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, this document itemizes the services provided, fees, and charges associated with closing the loan. A buyer should request a copy the HUD-1 Settlement statement at least 24 hours prior to closing. The copy of the HUD1 a buyer received prior to closing is will call a good faith estimate and may be chanced slightly at closing

GRMA Disclosure
Required by the State of Georgia as a disclosure to the Borrower(s) that failure to comply with terms and conditions of the loan could result in foreclosure against the subject property

Representation Disclosure
Informs the Borrower(s) that the Closing Attorney’s Office represents the Lender/Investor and not the Purchaser(s) or Seller(s)

Corrections/Errors and Omissions/Compliance Agreement
Agreement by Borrower to cooperate with Lender and Settlement Agent in correcting typographical or clerical errors in any mortgage documents.

Truth-In-Lending Disclosure
Discloses the “annual percentage rate” (APR) reflecting the cost of the mortgage loan as a yearly rate. This rate will probably be higher than the rate stated on the Note because the APR includes, in addition to interest, loan discount points, fees, and other credit costs. Additional information is also provided, such as finance charges, schedule of payments, late payment penalties, and whether or not there is any penalty for early payoff of the loan.

Escrow Account Statement
Federal law required disclosure on every residential mortgage loan with escrow accounts for payment of future taxes and insurance reflects anticipated receipt and disbursement of escrow funds over the next (12) twelve months from the loan origination date.

Borrower’s Certification and Authorization
Borrower’s certification that all information he/she provided to the Lender in association with the mortgage loan was true and correct and authorizing Lender to re-verify credit information.

Promissory Note
An instrument the Borrower(s) sign which contains an unconditional promise to pay, on demand or at a fixed or determined future time, a particular sum of money to the Lender, a specified person, or the bearer of the Promissory Note. This document will outline the basic terms of the loan including names of Borrower and Lender, Interest Rate, Loan Amount, and period of repayment.
First Payment/Coupon LetterLenders must provide a temporary coupon for the Borrower(s) to make their initial mortgage payment in case the coupon payment booklet is not received in time for such payment.

Waiver of Borrower’s Right
Acknowledges the Borrower’s signed with the understanding that failure to meet the terms and conditions of the mortgage loan could result in foreclosure upon the collateral property and that this procedure is non-judicial in Georgia. (Check to see if your state is non-judicial or not.)
Security DeedUsually signed the same time the Promissory Note is created. The Security Deed gives the Lender a "security interest" in property or real estate, providing the Lender the opportunity to seize the property in the event of default by the Borrower.RidersAttached to the Security Deed and in certain circumstances: For example, A Planned Unit Development Rider where the subject property is located in an area with covenants providing for mandatory assessments (e.g. Homeowner Association fees) or an Adjustable Rate Rider for Adjustable Rate mortgage loans.Survey/Termite Waivers or Hold Harmless FormsThese are included based on the requirements of the given transaction. In some instances, mostly Refinances and Second Mortgages, Surveys and Termite Inspections are not required and thereby “waived.” In cases where Surveys and Termite Inspections are required, the closing package will include a “hold harmless” agreement which serves as notice to the Borrower(s) that such services were provided by an independent contractor.IRS Form W-9Used by the Lenders as verification of Borrower’s Social Security Number and for reporting interest deduction by the Lender to the IRS.

IRS Forms 4506/8821
Forms Authorizes the Lender to request a copy of Borrower(s) income tax return directly from the IRS.

Occupancy/Employment Affidavits
Certify that the Borrower(s) intend to occupy the subject property as a principal residence and that his/her employment status has not changed since loan application.
Flood InsuranceThe Flood Protection Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-234) requires the purchase of flood insurance in certain flood-prone areas as designated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Therefore, Borrower(s) must purchase such insurance if the property is located in an area where flood insurance is required.

Notice of Right of RescissionIs used in case of Refinance and Second Mortgages, but not when the property is subject to a sale. The notice of Right of Rescission gives the Borrower(s) the right under Federal Law to cancel the transaction, without cost, within three business days.

Pertain to Seller
Seller’s Affidavit of Seller’s Affidavit of Residence
Verifies the Seller(s) is not subject to State of Georgia Capital Gains Tax withholding requirements.

Seller’s Certificate of Exemption
Used in conjunction with the affidavit if Seller is not a resident of the State of Georgia, Verifies Seller’s exemption from State of Georgia Capital Gains Tax withholding.
Owner’s AffidavitAffidavit of Seller(s) certifying that the property is conveyed “free and clear” of any liens, claims or judgments.

Warranty Deed
The Instrument that conveying title to real property from Seller(s) to Purchaser(s)


Find my ideal home! 

Sun Aug 05 01:08:00 UTC 2007

The Path to Homeownership

Posted by: Royan Johnson

When asked what their top ten greatest achievements are, many people say owning their own home is number one. Homeownership represents the American dream to many. It signifies a leave of success, a level of financial security, and independence.

For those starting out, however, the path to homeownership can seem like a long journey. The Sale price of their desired home combined with interest rates, taxes, and homeowner’s insurance can make it seem like a dream that may never be achieved. The key to making home ownership a reality is to deal with the numbers at hand.