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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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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Reasons Why Murfreesboro is a Great Place to Live

Map of Rutherford County, TN

If you’re drawn to middle Tennessee then one great option is Rutherford county. Growing at a frantic pace, Murfreesboro, Tennessee serves as the county seat of one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Considered the center of population for the state of Tennessee.

Low cost of living

Low cost of living piggy bank.

There are many reasons why you should choose Murfreesboro as your next home. For one, the cost of living here is low here in comparison to other cities of Tennessee. Median home prices here are $181000 while median household income is slightly more than $50000. As compared to the national average, the cost of living in Murfreesboro is 5.4% lower. Imagine the kind of savings that you can achieve when you buy a property and start living in this city. There is no dearth of modern amenities for you especially in the world of entertainment as there are many parks and recreational attractions in the city.

Quick and easy access to all major cities of Tennessee

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Murfreesboro lies pretty close to capital Nashville (35 miles), allowing residents quick and easy access to the capital in just a few minutes. In fact, more and more people desirous of living in Tennessee are giving up Nashville as an option and preferring Murfreesboro instead because of lower property prices and lower cost of living.

The motto of the city of Murfreesboro is ‘Creating a better quality of life’. With the rapid growth and development of amenities in the city, it is clear that the administration is leaving no stone unturned to make Murfreesboro one of the best places to live in the USA.

Excellent educational opportunities for kids

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If education of your kids is your prime concern, you can sit back and relax as Murfreesboro has a strong system of public and private schools to look after the educational requirements of children. The city is also home to Middle Tennessee State University with an enrollment of more than 25000 students. You sometimes get the feel of living in a college town when living in Murfreesboro.

There are many homes for sale in Murfreesboro Tennessee when you decide to make Murfreesboro your next home. However, it is prudent to consult a local experienced realtor to strike a good deal when buying a property.

4 Home Staging Tips to Help Sell Your Home….Fast!

Home Staging 101

By Macie Orrand

Home staging and getting ready for those showings can be an overwhelming feeling. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you think you are ready to put your home on the market!

Home Staging Tip for #1 – Declutter

When you begin to declutter the house it can become a bigger project than you had intended. Take it room by room. DO NOT start out in one room and then decide to stop to start on a different room that you think will take less time. Finish one room before moving on to the others. Trust me you will thank me later. Keep in mind not everything needs to be decluttered. Below are some main areas to check for clutter.

Linen closets/Bedroom closets. Actually any closet, in general, you should check!

Bathroom and kitchen counter tops

Entryways

The tops of the kitchen cabinets and refrigerator

Outdoor areas

Why are these areas so important to declutter you ask? Well, if the buyer sees that you are running out of space they will feel like they will too. Making these spaces look open and still usable is a desirable characteristic that buyers look for at showings! Which leads me to my next point!

A little decluttering goes a long way.

Home Staging Tip for #2 – Enlarge the Rooms

Try to make the rooms look larger. The bigger the room look, the more space the potential buyer sees! Here are some ways to do that!

Placement of furniture

Light, natural paint colors

Less wall décor

Open blinds and curtains to let natural light in

And of course….Decluttering 😉

Home Staging Tip for #3 – Clean & Repair

Clean up, especially stains.

Fix those small repairs.

Fix any cosmetic repairs and stains that will turn off buyers. If you dont want to see it, then chances are neither will someone looking at your home to buy.

Home Staging Tip for #

4.) Go ahead and box up a couple of items. Here is what to pack away and why!

Pack away the clutter.

Pack away any picture frames that are NOT attached to the wall. Having a lot of pictures on display may make it hard for the buyers to envision themselves there.

Pack away anything that is not being used! Out of sight out of mind is my motto!

Here is a tip for packing that I always tell my sellers, “If you can’t see this item in your new home…throw it out or sell it.” Do not pack something that you will not need or want to take with you to your new residence. It makes unpacking easier and faster!

Homes for sale in Murfreesboro are selling fast today but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to prepare your home. Making sure you have the perfect realtor/team to help you do that will ensure you will get the best price for your home!

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.

Relocating to the Big City

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Moving from a small town or suburb to a large city can be an intimidating proposition. Here are a few tips to help make your move as painless as possible.

Research before you move. It’s important to understand the culture you’re joining. Do research online and find out about school systems, neighborhoods, parking, weather, public transportation, and laws that are native to that area. If you can, visit a city before moving and connect with someone who’s lived there before.

Have a plan. There are a lot of steps to go through before you start packing the moving truck. Find housing before you leave, or at least know where you’ll stay while you look for a home. Never sign a lease on an apartment that you haven’t seen. If you can’t get there, find a friend or an employer to check for you. Have a job waiting for you, or if that’s not possible, know what you’ll do for money in the first few weeks of living there. Try to line up things like driver’s licenses, car insurance, renter’s insurance, and parking passes ahead of time as well.

Get involved. Meeting people in a big city can be daunting. Don’t expect the neighbors to knock your door down with a casserole when you arrive: city life is often too noisy and hectic. Take the initiative. If there are things you liked to do in your town, find ways to do those things in the city. Try new things. Volunteer. Big cities offer so many opportunities to engage other people, so find what you like.

Mind your wallet. City life is expensive. Everything costs more: food, insurance, clothes, rent. There are also a lot more ways to get ripped off, whether legally or criminally. Be careful how you spend, and know where your money is going.

Downsizing Your Home? Use These Tips to Plan Your Move

kitchen and dining roomMaybe the thought of moving to a smaller, low-maintenance home has only briefly crossed your mind, or maybe you’re seriously considering downsizing. But before you trade your too-large house in for, say, a cozy condo downtown, there are a few things to consider.

Downsizing requires quite a bit of planning: You may need to figure out what to keep and what to discard, choose between the love seat and the sofa for your new living room, and determine which furniture pieces can serve multiple functions.

Here are a few downsizing tips to help you prepare to sell your current home.

Start Reducing Your Possessions Now

The sooner you are able to get rid of furniture, household items, and knickknacks you no longer use or need, the better off you’ll be. When you do decide to sell your home, you will thank yourself for spending a few hours a week decluttering now rather than waiting to do everything all at once.

If You Can, Sell Instead of Discard

Many homeowners choose to downsize to spend less money on a mortgage and more money on fun experiences. If you are able to start decluttering weeks in advance, you will have the time to sell unwanted possessions and save the money for future vacations. Consider hosting a yard sale, posting items for sale online, or having high-end items appraised.

Have a Plan

notepad with wadded paperTo avoid getting overwhelmed by all the work involved in downsizing, form a plan to keep your stress at bay. Consider these planning tips:

  • Make a checklist of possessions you cannot live without in your new home.
  • Create a checklist of wants and needs for your new home.
  • Determine which items you can pack now and which items you need to keep handy.
  • Start packing your nonessential belongings.

Get Started by Working with a Real Estate Expert

One of the biggest mistakes home sellers make, whether or not they’re downsizing, is not hiring a real estate professional to make the most of their investment. An agent’s experience and knowledge will help you sell your home for the most money possible, allowing you to use the proceeds to purchase a smaller home.

Are you thinking about downsizing? Start the process by requesting a market analysis for your property. Contact us to learn more.

The Essentials for Entertaining Big in a Small Home

homeowner setting dining tableWith the holiday season approaching, many homeowners are starting to plan get-togethers with friends or family. While entertaining can be more of a challenge in a smaller home, it’s not impossible to host a memorable dinner party with your loved ones if you’re working with limited space.

Here are a few tips for throwing a large dinner party in a small area.

Before Guests Arrive, Clean and Clear Your Home

You don’t have to put as much effort into cleaning and decluttering as if you were selling a home; the basics will do.

Put away any unnecessary furniture, home décor, and kitchen appliances before the dinner party. Clean and dust the rooms that guests will visit: bathrooms, the kitchen, and the dining area. If you have pets, don’t forget to vacuum upholstery and stash toys or the litter box out of sight.

Get Creative with Guest Seating

You likely don’t keep a dozen matching chairs in storage just for dinner parties. Show off your creativity by relocating chairs, stools, benches, or ottomans currently in your home around the dinner table.

appetizers on raised food standsMaximize Your Table Space

Invest in a tiered platter for dinner parties. Raising the serving plates gives the appearance of more space on your counters and tables and keeps your serving stations from looking cramped.

To further free up space on your dining room table, keep the centerpiece decorations to a minimum. Instead, hang decorations from your walls or ceiling to maximize your space.

Trying to Make the Most of Your Space?

If you’re downsizing but still want to entertain friends and family in your new home, there are many ways to make the most of your space while still enjoying memorable occasions with your loved ones. As real estate experts, we can share downsizing tips and help you find a home that’s just the right size. Contact us to learn more.