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.

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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.

Closing Day Surprises

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For many buyers, closing day can’t come fast enough. Once the offer is made and accepted, the time between can seem like eternity. For many, closing day goes smoothly. For others, there may be some unexpected surprises that pop up. While closing day problems are not usually anticipated by a buyer, they are not unheard of, and depending on what kind come up, some can be minor while others can impact the entire deal. Here are some of the most common closing day surprises.

unnamed 1 300x224 - Closing Day SurprisesWalk-Through Surprises

For many buyers, a final walk-through is a must before closing as it allows the buyer to ensure the property’s condition hasn’t changed since the last visit and that any agreed-upon repairs have been done per the contract. If moving furniture created a new hole in the wall, agreed-upon fixtures have been removed, or the property is in total disarray, the issues need to be addressed immediately. The buyer’s agent should work with the seller’s agent to resolve any surprises that have come up. Walk-through issues are generally not deal breakers, but they can be a thorn in a buyer’s side.

Document Surprises

A common surprise at closing is an error in the documents. Errors can include misspelled names, incorrect addresses, and even incorrect loan amounts or missing pages. Some issues can cause an hour or two delay, while others can result in a much longer delay. To avoid any document surprises, a buyer can request to see every document ahead of closing. Loan documents should be scrutinized prior to closing; by law, a buyer should receive a Loan Estimate form and Closing Disclosure form three days before closing. Once these forms are received, it’s up to the buyer to double-check the loan amount, down payment amount, interest rate, and all personal information, including spellings. If questions arise, the sooner they’re answered the better.

Title Surprises
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deed

When buying a home, a title company will make sure the title to a property is legitimate by doing a title search, which is essentially a thorough examination of property records to make sure the title is clear of any liens or claims on the property. Title surprises can include: IRS tax liens, unpaid property taxes, judgments, contractor or mechanics liens, identity affidavit, and encroachments. Some of these surprises can be resolved on closing day; others may take a significant amount of time to resolve and will undoubtedly delay closing. Once escrow opens, the title company completes a preliminary title report and sends it to the lender and agents involved — a buyer can get a copy from his/her lender or from the title company and check if there are any preliminary issues. Many purchase agreements include a specific time period for the buyer to bring up any concerns regarding the title, so if there are issues w ith the title, get the ball rolling on resolutions as soon as possible.

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.

unnamed 3 300x199 - Closing Day SurprisesMortgage Surprises

Credit surprises can impact a mortgage loan, but there are other mortgage surprises that can come up on closing day. In a hot real estate market, lenders can be incredibly busy and inundated with loan applications. Sometimes, a buyer’s loan file can find itself on the bottom of the pile, meaning there may be important items omitted, documents missing, or extra information needed to complete the file on time. For a buyer applying for a mortgage loan, asking the lender what documents will be required ahead of time can save time and prevent headaches on closing day. Buyers can also call or email the lender to make sure they have all the important documents, items, etc. to complete the loan file on time. Before closing, a closing agent will be assigned to the transaction (the closing agent coordinates the final steps of the transaction to make sure all documents and funds are in order and handled correctly) — the bu yer can contact the closing agent to make sure the lender has all the needed documents, and if there is still any doubt, copies of all the documents and anything else that may seem important or pertinent to the transaction can be brought to closing.

Remember, your real estate agent is working on your behalf. Keep your agent informed — your agent wants to help you as much as possible, and he or she can be a great resource when you have questions.

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Local RE/MAX Agents Named Among “America’s Best”

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Home of America’s Best. For the third straight year, RE/MAX has qualified more agents than any other brand in the REAL Trends “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” rankings.

 

Team George Weeks Earned Ranking for 2016 Home Sales

Murfreesboro, TN, 07/14/17 – Team George Weeks with RE/MAX Elite is among the 2,506 RE/MAX agents and teams featured in the 2017 REAL Trends “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” survey. The agents included in the survey represent less than one percent of all real estate professionals in the United States.

 “Our number one priority is to help our clients have the best possible experience when selling or buying a home,” said team leader George Weeks. “Being recognized alongside so many hard working and dedicated real estate professionals is an accomplishment, and we’re honored to be named among ‘America’s Best’.”

The REAL Trends “America’s Best Real Estate Agents” survey ranks participating agents in the United States based on residential transaction sides and sales volume of the previous year. To qualify, an individual must have closed 50 transaction sides or $20 million in closed sales volume and a team must have closed 75 transaction sides or $30 million in closed sales volume last year.

Team George Weeks has more than 800 sold transactions with a combined 20 years of experience in the middle Tennessee  marketplace. This is the third year Team George Weeks has been recognized among “America’s Best.”

Roughly 20% of all individual agents and team leaders featured in this year’s edition of the annual survey were members of the RE/MAX network. For the third straight year, RE/MAX qualified more agents than any other brand.

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How to Sell Your Home Fast and at Desired Price in Murfreesboro

So you want to sell your home fast and for top dollar?

So you want to sell your home quickly and for top dollar?No matter what the reason behind selling your home in Murfreesboro, it is a fact that buying or selling real estate can be a tricky financial transaction. You are selling your beloved home so you want best price for it. You also want to sell it fast to relocate to another home in another destination. Here are some ways to sell your property fast and at the price you have set for it.

Set the price right

There are many homes for sale in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and yours is not the only one available for buying for the buyers. You are emotionally attached to your home as you have so many memories associated with it. It is natural for you to think it is the best property available in the market. But your love should not dictate your decision when setting its asking price.By setting a price higher than the average price of similar properties sold and bought in your area recently, you only deter serious buyers. It is prudent to set the asking price in consultation with your realtor to attract high number of interested buyers.

Make it presentable for the buyers

Again, there are many homes for sale in Murfreesboro, TN, and you have to make efforts to attract buyers to your property. The best way to do this is to take a look at your house from the eyes of a prospective buyer first. This will tell you want to do to make it look attractive to someone who comes on a showing to find a dream home for his family. You will identify many shortcomings that need minor repairs. You must be ready to spend money on these repairs and renovations to make sure that your home sells quickly.

You need to give exposure to your property so that more and more buyers are able to see it.

You need to indulge in aggressive marketing

It is not enough to set the price right and clean the house and expect that buyers would come on their own to make offers. You need to give exposure to your property so that more and more buyers are able to see it. Your realtor will get the house listed MLS listings and include photos and videos to make buyers interested in your property. You also need to let this information pass on to all your neighbours and also put up a sign in your backyard  so that your house sells quickly.

For more information on selling your house and our Free Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Home or contact Team George Weeks directly at (615) 948-4098.

Help for Homeowners

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Tennessee Housing Agency Development Agency offers payment assistance in 55 targeted zip codes located in 30 Tennessee counties in for qualifying applicants through he HHF (Hardest Hit Fund) Down Payment Assistance Program.

For more information on this and any other mortgage questions contact Belinda Arender – IBERIABANK Mortgage.

My Real Estate Story – Shannon Orrand

Shannon explains her journey to becoming a top realtor in Murfreesboro, TN. We learn about her past experiences and the changes in her life as well as the people who helped her start her new career. Shannon also tells us how she discovered not only a new job but a new passion in her life that she truly enjoys.

Team George Weeks is proud to call Shannon a member of our team and a good friend as well. Give her a call if you have any real estate needs or questions. She’ll be happy to help!

Direct (615) 753-3251
Office (629) 202-7333
Shannon Orrand is a real estate agent with Team George Weeks at RE/MAX Elite in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Each office is independently own and operated.

2016 RE/MAX Tennessee Awards

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RE/MAX Regional of Tennessee hosted it’s annual awards show Feb 15, 2017 at the Sheraton Hotel in beautiful downtown Nashville, TN.  All of the area brokerages were in attendance to help honor those who exemplify what it means to be a RE/MAX agent, team and brokerage.

Team George Weeks stands with this group of exceptional agents yet again.

2016 RE/MAX Tennessee Regional Team in Closed Transactions #3

2016 RE/MAX’s Tennessee Regional Team Overall in Tennessee #5

Individual Agent Awards

George Weeks – 2016 RE/MAX Tennessee Regional Titan’s Club Award for Sales

Erin Kosko – 2016 RE/MAX Tennessee Regional 100% Club Award for Sales

Eddie Mann – 2016 RE/MAX Tennessee Regional Executive Club Award for Sales

Mike Patterson –  2016 RE/MAX Tennessee Regional Executive Club Award for Sales

Chris Smith –  2016 RE/MAX Tennessee Regional Executive Club Award for Sales

We are also very thrilled to announce that our brokerage RE/MAX Elite & owner Carrier Zeier earned the 2016 RE/MAX Tennessee Regional Highest Net Gain Award.

Team George Weeks would like to thank all of our clients, both current and past, for allowing us to serve their real estate needs and helping us to achieve these honors. We look forward to even more success in the future!

Preparing to Sell

Preparing to Sell 300x200 - Preparing to SellSelling your home doesn′t just mean hiring a realtor to stick a sign out front. There are a lot of preparations you should make to ensure you get the best offer possible in the shortest time.

Repair. Just because you’ve gotten used to the cracks in the walls and the rattles in the radiators doesn’t mean a buyer will too. If you have hardwood floors that need refinishing, be sure to get it done—hardwood is a huge selling point. Buyers like to snoop around, so be sure to fix any sticky doors or drawers as well. Finally, don’t forget to address any issues with the exterior—fences, shingles, sidewalks, etc. After all, without curb appeal, some buyers may never get to see the inside.

Neutralize. You want buyers to see themselves in your home. If your living room has lime green shag, wood-paneled walls, and all your collectibles and personal photographs, this will be much harder for them to do. Try replacing any bold color choices in your floors and walls with something more neutral—beiges, tans, and whites. Repainting and reflooring will make everything look fresh and new, and help prospective buyers imagine all the possibilities.

Stage. Once your house is clean and updated, it’s time to play dress up. Home stagers can add small details and décor touches that will bring out the possibilities in the various spaces in your home: lamps, mirrors, throw rugs and pillows, flowers, decorative soaps and towels, patio furniture. Home staging can be particularly useful if your home is especially old or if the exterior looks dated. Think of it as a little mascara and rouge—if it’s done right, you notice the beauty, not the makeup.

5 Tips for Buying a Home

 

Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.5 Tips for Buying a Home 1 300x200 - 5 Tips for Buying a Home

Get your finances in order.

Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.

Find a house you can afford.

As with engagement rings, there’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to buying a home: two-and-a-half times your annual salary. There are also a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Don’t forget, too, that there are lots of considerations beyond the sticker price, including property taxes, energy costs, etc.

Hire a professional.

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.

Do your homework.

Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Look at prices for the last few months. Come up with an asking price that’s competitive, but also realistic. Otherwise, you may end up ticking off your seller.

Think long term.

Obviously, you shouldn’t buy unless you’re sure you’ll be staying put for at least a few years. Beyond that, you should buy in a neighborhood with good schools. Whether you have children or not, this will have an impact on your new home’s resale value down the line. When it comes to the house itself, you should hire your own home inspector, who can point out potential problems that could require costly repairs in the future.

From Empty Nest to Full House… Multigenerational Families Are Back!

From Empty Nest to Full House… Multigenerational Families Are Back! | Simplifying The Market

Multigenerational homes are coming back in a big way! In the 1950s, about 21%, or 32.2 million Americans shared a roof with their grown children or parents. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, the number of multigenerational homes dropped to as low as 12% in 1980 but has shot back up to 19%, roughly 60.6 million people, as recently as 2014.

Multigenerational households typically occur when adult children (over the age of 25) either choose to, or need to, remain living in their parent’s home, and then have children of their own. These households also occur when grandparents join their adult children and grandchildren in their home.

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 11% of home buyers purchased multigenerational homes last year. The top 3 reasons for purchasing this type of home were:

  • To take care of aging parents (19%)
  • Cost savings (18%, up from 15% last year)
  • Children over the age of 18 moving back home (14%, up from 11% last year)

Donna Butts, Executive Director of Generations United, points out that,

“As the face of America is changing, so are family structures. It shouldn’t be a taboo or looked down upon if grown children are living with their families or older adults are living with their grown children.”

For a long time, nuclear families (a couple and their dependent children) became the accepted norm, but John Graham, co-author of “Together Again: A Creative Guide to Successful Multigenerational Living,” says, “We’re getting back to the way human beings have always lived in – extended families.”

This shift can be attributed to several social changes over the decades. Growing racial and ethnic diversity in the U.S. population helps explain some of the rise in multigenerational living. The Asian and Hispanic populations are more likely to live in multigenerational family households and these two groups are growing rapidly.

Additionally, women are a bit more likely to live in multigenerational conditions than are their male counterparts (20% vs. 18%, respectively). Last but not least, basic economics.

Carmen Multhauf, co-author of the book “Generational Housing: Myth or Mastery for Real Estate,” brings to light the fact that rents and home prices have been skyrocketing in recent years. She says that, “The younger generations have not been able to save,” and often struggle to get good-paying jobs.

Bottom Line

Multigenerational households are making a comeback. While it is a shift from the more common nuclear home, these households might be the answer that many families are looking for as home prices continue to rise in response to a lack of housing inventory.