CLEAR THE SHELTERS 2018

Team George Weeks with RE/MAX Elite is proud to announce that we will be sponsoring all of the pet adoption fees at Rutherford County PAWS in Murfreesboro, TN during the National Clear the Shelters Aug 17th – 19th with the big day being Aug 18th. Come on down to PAWS and take home your new best friend! There will be plenty of other sponsors, gifts, and special guests and be sure to stop by the Team George Week’s tent to say hello and get your first photo with your new friend.

Incredibles 2 – Team George Weeks Customer Appreciation Free Movie

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Team George Weeks and Belinda Arender Iberia Bank and Mortgage Customer Appreciation Day free movie showing of Incredibles 2 was a big hit. We had 3 theaters reserved at Premiere 6 Theater for our friends and family to enjoy this new summer hit along with snacks, drinks, and gift bags. We truly appreciate not only the business but all the new (& old)  friendships we make along the way. IMG 3541 1 300x291 - Incredibles 2 - Team George Weeks Customer Appreciation Free Movie

"It was fantastic to see so many of our friends and past clients come out for what is the hottest movie this summer!!  I had the privilege of talking with one Dad who was telling me that this was his daughter's first time to go to a movie theater to watch a movie.  What a thrill to share in people's lives and be able to give back to our community!!  We are looking forward to doing it again this Christmas season, so please stay tuned for details!!" George Weeks, Team George Weeks, RE/MAX Elite

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"What a great event!  It was awesome to see so many of our Team George Weeks clients and their children at the theater to enjoy The Incredibles 2!  That's why we do what we do.....to improve the lives of families in our community.  Anytime we can give back, just a little, and show our appreciation for the trust and confidence our clients have placed in us, it warms my heart.  I'm so thankful to be a part of such a giving organization." Eddie Mann, Realtor - Team George Weeks, RE/MAX Elite

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"This was an INCREDIBLE event, and after waiting almost 14 years to see part 2, it was great!! My son (Trey) loved it so much, he is already making plans to go see it again!" Bobby  Simon (Client)IMG 3546 300x225 - Incredibles 2 - Team George Weeks Customer Appreciation Free Movie

 

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TIPS FOR TENNESSEE FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS

Buying a home for the first time can be exhilarating and exhausting. The real estate process is a complex one and, at times, filled with obstacles along the way. This article aims to simplify the process by offering tips for buying your first home.

Hire a Reputable Buyer’s Agent

Some first-time home buyers think that they can conduct their own home search and simply call the listing agent when they find a home they like. The listing agent will be glad to help but remember the listing agent is working in the seller’s best interest.

 

It’s wise to hire a buyer’s agent to assist you in the home buying process. The buyer’s agent will be able to explain legal requirements and advise you every step of the way. Most importantly, the buyer’s agent will negotiate the purchase of your home with your best interest in mind. They want you to get the house at the lowest price possible and receive the most for your money. A buyer’s agent comes in handy when obstacles occur in closing such as repair contingencies and title discrepancies to name a few. Also, the buyer’s agent is a trained negotiator working on your behalf. You do not pay the buyer’s agent a cent. The seller pays for the buyer agent’s commission at closing.

 

Team George Weeks of RE/MAX Elite in Murfreesboro, TN has an experienced team of buyer agents ready to help you start the home buying process. Learn about what a buyer’s agent can do for you by calling us today at (615) 948-4098.

Get pre-approved

Preapproval

Before searching for a home and after consulting a buyer’s agent, take the first official step in the home buying process—pre-approval. A real estate agent will want you to get pre-approved before searching because it shows sellers that you are a serious buyer. A pre-approval letter shows that you’re not just window shopping for homes or acting out your own HGTV show fantasy. A pre-approval letter informs you about how much house you can afford. We all want to know what homes are within our price range before touring homes. So, the preapproval letter is helpful for both buyer and seller.

 

A pre-qualification letter is not the same as a pre-approval letter. You’ll want the pre-approval letter because it shows that the lender has checked your credit and verified that your loan can be approved for a specific amount of money. So, with a pre-approval letter, the seller knows that it is highly likely the house will close without problems on your end.

Tennessee First-time Home Buyers Programs

THDA GREAT CHOICE HOME LOAN PROGRAM

First-time buyers who are worried they won’t have enough savings for a down payment or worried that they won’t qualify for a home loan should check out the Tennessee Housing Development Agency’s Great Choice Home Loan program. The loans are government-backed by the FHA or USDA-RD. It allows you to borrow up to 96.5% of the total price of the home you would like to buy. So that means you’ll only need a minimum of 3.5% for a down payment, and the THDA even offers financial aid for that and other loan-related expenses including closing costs.

THDA HOMEOWNERSHIP FOR THE BRAVE LOAN PROGRAM

Active Military & FamilyThe THDA also offers a Great Choice loan specifically for active-duty service members including National Guard, reservists, and veterans. You must have at least 180 days of active duty to qualify. The loan offers reduced interest rates and down payment requirements as low as 0% for some applicants.

National First-Time Buyer Programs

If you don’t qualify for the THDA loans, there are many national home loan and mortgage-assistance programs available to first-time home buyers such as:

 

FHA Loans

The Federal Housing Administration offers government-backed loans to first-time home buyers with down payments as low as 3.5%. They are not as strict about credit scores and income requirements.

 

VA Loans

Military vets and active-duty service members can qualify for VA home loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs which require no down payment.

USDA Loans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers home loans with no down payment to first-time home buyers living in rural areas.

 

Some conventional loans by government-sponsored entities such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer low down payments as low as 3%.

New Home

 

Team George Weeks with RE/MAX Elite in Murfreesboro, TN can help streamline the home buying process for you. With over 30 years of local real estate experience on your side, you are sure to find the best Murfreesboro homes for sale in Rutherford County, TN.

 

Please give us a call today at (615) 948-4098 to learn more about the first steps of buying your first home.

All Aboard! The Polar Express & Team George Weeks Client Appreciation Day!

Team George Weeks Customer Appreciation Free Movie Day Flyer

Client Appreciation Free Movie Day
Team George Weeks and IberiaBank would like to thank everyone who came out and took part in our recent Client Appreciation Free Movie Day that was held Saturday, December 2, 2017. Nothing means more to Team George Weeks than family and we are pleased that we could share this time with our clients and their families.
The turnout
This year was a great success with many of our past and present clients attending with their families. Everyone enjoyed a free screening of a holiday favorite, The Polar Express, along with complimentary donuts, coffee, fresh buttered popcorn, candy and soft drinks at Premiere 6 movie theatre in Murfreesboro, TN.
The movie
The young and the young-at-heart alike were transported along on the magical journey of self-discovery with Hero Boy, voiced by Tom Hanks and his fellow travelers on board the Polar Express. Along their way to the North Pole, the children learned about friendship, courage, kindness, leadership and the Christmas spirit. It was a visually captivating story that enthralled even the smallest of our attendees and our biggest ones too.
Surprise guest
Santa himself came out to say hello, hear some whispered Christmas wish lists and take photos.
Stay tuned
If you missed this Client Appreciation Free Movie Day don't worry,  Team George Weeks is already looking forward to another movie screening event to be scheduled soon so stay tuned for more details!

Photographs courtesy of Erin Kosko Photography.

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5 NEGOTIATING TACTICS THAT KILL SALES

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
  4. Nitpicking after inspection: Obviously if inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.

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RECONSIDER THESE CHOICES WHEN YOU’RE DESIGNING YOUR KITCHEN

The kitchen is one area of the home that sees the most wear and tear. All the water, heat, and food spills add up quickly so it’s important to focus on quality and lasting appeal when you’re choosing materials for a kitchen remodel. Here are a few things you should avoid:

Cheap Laminate Countertops: The bottom rung of laminate is extremely susceptible to wear and tear. It can melt if you forget to place a hot pad under a pan that’s fresh out of the oven and the edges can chip off from repeated exposure to moisture and heat.

Flat Paint: A flat or matte finish is great in rooms with lower traffic, but it’s a bad idea in the kitchen where the walls are regularly exposed to splatters and spills. You need paint that can withstand an occasional heavy scrubbing, so opt for gloss or semi-gloss finishes.

Trendy Backsplash: If you watch any home remodeling show, you’ll certainly see kitchens with expensive, elaborate backsplash designs and materials. Those trends can be pricey to pursue and can look dated in a hurry. Subway tile is a cheaper, classic option that you’ll never regret, plus you’ll have more room in your budget to purchase quality materials to be used elsewhere.

Cheap Flooring: Just like the countertops, your kitchen floor needs to be strong enough to take some abuse. Cheap flooring easily scuffs and peels (especially from moisture). Quality flooring is worth the investment.


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Buying a Home with a Non-Spouse

Real Estate Advisor: September 2017
When multiple people participate in a home purchase, they may not be married. They might be in a legal domestic partnership, committed relationship, common law marriage, or even strictly business partners. When it comes to buying a home with someone you’re not married to, there are things to take into consideration before making the very big decision of buying the home. Also, it’s important to check state and local laws as some states and towns have laws that prohibit unmarried couples from buying property together.
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Share Financial Information

Sharing financial information is a big must when it comes to buying property with anyone (whether married or not). Financial information includes everything from income/salary, all debt (any current loans, student loan debt, car loans, etc.), credit scores, retirement accounts and any other income that might not be from a regular job. You have to be completely upfront about all finances, especially if you plan on applying for a mortgage loan. When applying for a mortgage loan, married couples have an advantage; they may be able to use the better credit history/credit score to apply for a loan; for couples that are not married, the mortgage lender will treat each person as an individual, meaning the lower of the two scores will take precedence when it comes to the terms of the loan.

Discuss and Plan Who Pays What

Buying a home is a big financial decision, and requires a sound understanding of who will be responsible for what. This includes paying any mortgage payments, household bills, property taxes, etc. If you’re purchasing a property with someone you’re not legally married to, it’s important to spell out and have a firm written ‘contract’ regarding who pays for what or how much. Before you buy, you need to agree on how much each person is going to contribute to the down payment, how much equity percentage each person will have in the property, and what each person will contribute to the mortgage, taxes, utilities, maintenance and anything else that may come up.

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Have a Joint Bank Account

While joining bank accounts with the person you buy a home with isn’t a necessity, it is a good idea to have a shared account in which each person deposits their share of the home costs. When it comes to paying a mortgage, there are easier ways to pay beyond writing a check. With the advent of online banking and automatic withdrawal, you can set up the mortgage payment to come out of a joint account on the same day each month, making the mortgage payment easy and stress-free. With a shared account, any money for household bills, property improvements, taxes and anything else that may be considered important can come out of the joint account.

Credit Surprises

For buyers applying for a mortgage loan, maintaining the same level of credit between being approved and the final closing is extremely important for a successful transaction. A person’s credit can be impacted by anything: changing jobs, getting a new credit card, closing a credit card, falling behind on payments, and even adding additional debt through large purchases. Surprises when it comes to a buyer’s credit can be a deal breaker for the lender; to prevent issues, a buyer can contact the lender ahead of closing to discuss any surprises that may have come up and come to a solution. The best way to prevent credit surprises: avoid making large financial decisions prior to closing.

Home buying 3 - Buying a Home with a Non-Spouse

Decide On the Type of Title

When buying a home with someone you’re not married to, there are three different ways to “take title:”

Sole Ownership – This is where only one person’s name is on the title/deed, which means that one person is the only legal owner. Sometimes this choice is a good idea if one partner has poor credit and doesn’t want to be part of the mortgage decision. Other times, the higher-income partner may want to be able to use the house-related tax deductions on his/her taxes. The good news is that if the other person wants to be added to the title later on, there is a process in which to do it.

Joint Tenants – This option is available for those owners that want to have equal shares of the property. Both a benefit and a risk of this type of title is that one partner cannot sell the house without the other partner’s permission. Should one of the partners die, the “right of survivorship” guarantees the other partner inherits the other half of the property. In most states Joint Tenants comes with the right of survivorship, while in others it will need to be specifically stated on the title.

Tenants in Common – This is an option that allows multiple owners of a home/property, and for the owners to possess unequal shares. With this type of title, it is possible for any one of the owners to sell his/her share of the property at any time. Should one party die, that party’s share is left to whomever the party wished – the share doesn’t automatically go to the other owner(s). If this title is chosen, it’s important to get the percentages in writing, as very often the law will assume an equal split of the property.

Whether in a committed relationship, business partners, or buying property with a sibling/friend, property ownership is definitely a possibility. If you have any questions, your agent is able to provide additional guidance on buying a home with a non-spouse.

Video Review for Team George Weeks

Team George Weeks has become one of middle Tennessee’s top real estate teams because we have always put the needs of our clients first. Starting with the agent, to marketing, to administration and to closing we strive to make sure every “T” is crossed and every “I” is dotted so the client can relax knowing their transaction is being handled professionally and smoothly. Our clients become our friends because we treat them like we treat our friends and our friends deserve the best. The resulting reviews and testimonials we consistently receive from our happy clients tell us that what we are doing works.

Thank you D’Lynn for becoming one of those friends. We look forward to serving your real estate needs again in the future!