Feb. 1, 2018

Tips On Buying Properties In 55+ Communities

There are a few special aspects to buying properties in 55+ communities. 55+ communities can offer unique features, amenities, and regulations. This article covers tips on buying properties in 55+ communities in Nashville.

55+ Communities and What They Are

55+ communities are age-restricted. The precise criteria depend on the individual community. Some require just one occupant be a minimum of 55 years old while others are stricter and mandate that every resident be at least 62 years of age, making it a 62+ complex. Some allow minors while others restrict them. It is important to become familiar with these and other restrictions before moving forward with a purchase.

Common Conveniences Of 55+ Communities

55+ communities are planned to provide maintenance-free living for its residents. Most include certain conveniences. Golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, gyms, and recreational facilities are very popular. An association is generally given responsibility for everyday maintenance of land, exterior, and shared amenities. Many will also provide recreational programs for its residents. Be sure to inquire about any dues for these.

Homes within 55+ communities ordinarily include particular features. Examples are a master bedroom on the first level, smaller yards, and energy efficient appliances. If buying new construction properties, certain features may be optional. Model homes are generally upgraded to highlight add-on amenities. It is therefore wise to get details on what is included.

Buying Properties In 55+ Communities In Nashville

Every community has something unique to offer. This is influenced by age restrictions, rules, services, property styles, location, and population. It is important to understand and weigh all of this information. Working with a real estate broker who specializes in this kind of property may make a big difference in the process. Your real estate broker can help you evaluate community paperwork, advise you on questions to ask, and help you develop an educated decision about buying properties in 55+ communities in Nashville.

Angela Neely 615-678-9450

Julie Gurel 615-915-8389

Office 615-991-4949

TheNashvilleDuo@gmail.com

Jan. 15, 2018

Choosing Between Custom And Production Builders

There are so many home building companies available, it may be confusing figuring out what types of projects they specialize in. From plot plans to finishes and materials, each builder may handle things a little bit differently. There are a number of things to keep in mind regarding choosing between custom and production builders in Nashville.

What Are Custom Builders

While many custom builders will build on lots that they own, most require that clients own their own land. This allows you the ability to use your own design. However, owning your own land means you are responsible for the risks and costs of the land. So make sure to do your due diligence before purchasing land, as you don't want to be suprised later that you are unable to build a home on it, or the home you desire. Custom builders often design one-of-a-kind homes that are lot adapted and built exclusively for one client from a unique blueprint. Some custom builders even provide specialized design services. Additionally, they construct high-end, residential properties, and take on a small volume of homes each year. For individuals are able to afford it, hiring a custom builder will offer the greatest amount of control and flexibility.

What Are Production Builders

Production builders ordinarily use the same practices and allow less flexibility than custom builders. They normally work on plots of land that they purchased and only allow clients to choose from a set of stock plans. However, they will provide a number of options such as your choice of flooring, counter tops, kitchen cabinets and trim. Production builders handle all types of buildings, from single-family residences to town houses and commercial properties. They also cover different price ranges from entry level to move-up. Lastly, they generally construct 25 or more properties per year. If you are a budget limited consumer, production builders may be a better alternative.

Choosing Between Custom And Production Builders In Nashville

Please note that the information above on choosing between custom and production builders are only generalizations. Some builders do not neatly fit into either category. Although cost is a major difference between obtaining some of what you want and getting exactly what you want, you also need to think about exactly how involved you wish to be. Availability of land for sale can also be a determining factor. Regardless of which path you choose, many builders will offer a certain level of customization. You ultimately will want a property that best fits both your wishes and your finances.

Angela Neely 615-678-9450

Julie Gurel 615-915-8389

Office 615-991-4949

TheNashvilleDuo@gmail.com

Posted in Home Buyer Tips
Jan. 1, 2018

Recommendations To Prevent Home Pipes From Freezing In Cold Weather

Frigid conditions bring certain potential problems for homeowners. One major problem is bursting pipes. The following are a few recommendations to prevent home pipes from freezing in cold weather.

Why Pipes Burst

Inside pipes, freezing will form a blockage. As water freezes, it expands. You might have seen this with things that you put in the freezer. The blockage may cause increased pressure along the pipe while it freezes further. The pipe may not necessarily erupt at the freezing point. It can occur further down the line, normally near your faucets. The burst could happen inside walls or even within your rooms.

Recommendations To Prevent Home Pipes From Freezing In Cold Weather

Pipes are installed in varying areas of your residence. There are separate preventative measures based on the location of the pipes..

Outdoor Faucets

For pipes that run outdoors, such as ones for your hose connections, it is best to shut down the water at its source and flush the lines. Since you do not need to use hoses during winter months, there is no need to retain water in that line of pipe. However, if you can not shut off the outdoor hose connections, a second option is to purchase foam insulators to place over the hose connection for the winter.

Interior Pipes

For other areas of your property, there are several things you can do. First, look into insulating the pipes with a special foam material available at the local hardware retailer. This is particularly helpful for pipes in cold basements or crawlspaces. Pipes in the living area can also burst. Be sure to keep your heat set to a minimal temperature even when you are away. A burst pipe will cause more repair costs than the cost of the electricity or fuel used to heat the home.

Additional Tips for Temperatures Below Zero

Below zero temperatures require some special precautions. The first is to maintain the same temperature at all times in the home. Secondly, leave the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors open to enable warmth to reach pipes. Lastly, you can turn your faucet on slightly so that they drip. This allows some pressure to release from the pipes. Allow a slow drip at one faucet per each level of your home.  The more, the better.

Simple Solutions for Preventing Frozen Pipes Go a Long Way

Frozen pipes can create a costly of damage, especially when it is undetected for an extended number of hours. It is well worthwhile to actively address the situation by considering these recommendations to prevent home pipes from freezing in cold weather. Also, take the time to ask your property insurance company to establish that you are covered for problems such as bursting pipes. If you live in a condo, check with the association to see if their insurance covers burst pipes.

Angela Neely 615-678-9450

Julie Gurel 615-915-8389

Office 615-991-4949

TheNashvilleDuo@gmail.com

Posted in Home Owner Tips
Dec. 15, 2017

Title Searches For Property Purchases

A title represents ownership of real estate. When property is sold, the title is conveyed from one person to the other. It is thus a critical component of a property sale or purchase. This article offers information on title searches for Nashville property purchases, what it is, and its importance.

Title Explanation

Title is documentation declaring the ownership and use rights of real estate. It is not a specific piece of paper but a series of paperwork including deeds, court records, property indexes, and loans. These are cataloged at the local Registry of Deeds and are accessible to the public.

Title Searches For Nashville Property Purchases

A title search is a thorough examination of available records on a particular real estate. The search starts with the present owners and goes back to previous owners. The object of the title search is to identify any problems or unsettled claims on a property. The ultimate goal is to confirm that a seller has the right to grant ownership to a buyer.

Examples of Title Matters

A title search might uncover defects such as a liens on a home not being cleared, overdue taxes, and judgments against title holder. Many of these may be quickly fixed before the anticipated closing while others might take significant time and money to mend. Furthermore, some issues can be concealed and not actually identified even with a comprehensive title search. Some examples are forgeries, misrepresented information, defective deeds, and clerical mistakes. These can remain concealed for many years and may threaten the rights of the current owner when eventually exposed. Title insurance is available to address this risk but may not apply to every scenario.

What You Should Know About Titles

Title searches are a crucial part of the property buying process and are usually performed by a closing attorney or closing agent. Even if they are thorough, it is worthwhile for home buyers to think about selecting title insurance to cover difficult to find issues. Speak to your attorney for further advice on title searches for Nashville property purchases and to make an educated decision on insurance.

Angela Neely 615-678-9450

Julie Gurel 615-915-8389

Office 615-991-4949

TheNashvilleDuo@gmail.com

Dec. 1, 2017

Performing Energy Audits For Nashville Homes

An energy audit can easily determine changes that better the cost effectiveness of your home. If your residence was built before 2006, you should evaluate an energy audit. Below is basic information on performing energy audits for Nashville homes.

Energy Audit Guidance

An Energy Audit analyzes varying aspects of your home. The cost of a professional audit can range based on the measurements of your home and the scope of the audit. They normally cost several hundred dollars, however rebates are typically offered by energy companies or local communities. Professional auditors use different techniques to measure energy use. Equipment such as infrared detectors can reveal hard to identify areas of air escape and deficient insulation.

Performing Energy Audits For Nashville Homes

Energy audits pinpoint reasons for heat loss such as gaps in face plates. It can also include an evaluation of appliances, the wattage of light bulbs that you use, the quality of your heating system, the type of thermostat that regulates the heating system, insulation in exterior spaces, and water usage practices. Although some upgrades can be expensive, they often result in similar savings within a few years. The improvements can also elevate the value of your home and make it more comfortable. Information on selecting an auditor can be found at the US Department of Energy website.

Homeowners can perform a minimal do-it-yourself home energy audit by identifying air gaps in easy to find areas such as windows and doors. Outlets and pipes are other typical sources of air leaks. Caulking leaks can be low cost but lead to significant savings. General best practices include considering EnergyStar rated appliances and high efficiency heating and cooling units. For additional do-it-yourself tasks, visit www.energysavers.gov. This information on performing energy audits for Nashville homes was provided by The Nashville Duo of Benchmark Realty.

Angela Neely 615-678-9450

Julie Gurel 615-915-8389

Office 615-991-4949

TheNashvilleDuo@gmail.com

Posted in Home Owner Tips
Nov. 15, 2017

Sumner County October 2017 Stats

Posted in Market Insight
Nov. 3, 2017

The Difference Between Interest Rate And APR For Nashville Mortgages

When evaluating loans, you typically see information on interest rate and APR. These are often misinterpreted as being the same, but they are actually calculated differently. It is essential for borrowers to analyze both. The following is information on the difference between interest rate and APR for Nashville mortgages.

Defining Interest Rate and APR

Interest rates apply to monthly mortgage payments for the duration of a loan. This is almost always the rate given by companies. It does not reflect the initial cost of a loan. Fees will vary between programs and lenders. For example, there may be pre-paid interest for one mortgage but not another. Other charges that may be included are loan origination and services charges. The APR takes into account the interest rate and particular fees, so it is a better indication of overall cost.

How APR Can Be Used

When weighing various financing options from one or more lenders, the APR is a figure that can be used. You can be offered one loan with high fees and another with low fees and a different interest rate corresponding to each. The real expense includes both what you pay up-front plus what you pay in interest over the term of the mortgage. The APR may therefore help you better evaluate options.

Loan Amount Term Interest Rate Up-front Cost APR
100,000 30 years 5 percent 1,000 5.09 percent
100,000 30 years 4.5 percent 4,000 4.85 percent

How APR Figures Are Compiled

There are a few facts that home buyers must know about APR figures. APR is formulated over the length of a loan. If you pay off your loan in a fewer number of years, the actual APR may be much different. Furthermore, one mortgage that appears to offer a better APR than another could end up being higher after applying the shorter time period. The lowest APR is not necessarily the best option. Since most home owners do not keep their loan for its entire term, this is an important fact to note.

Loan Amount Term Interest Rate Up-front Cost APR
100,000 5 years 5 percent 1,000 5.41 percent
100,000 5 years 4.5 percent 4,000 6.12 percent

Additionally, certain APR estimates are not definite. For example, the interest on a variable rate loan is likely to fluctuate but that change cannot be predicted. The APR on these mortgages are based on the starting rate.

More About The Difference Between Interest Rate And APR For Nashville Mortgages

To complete an accurate comparison of loan APRs, it is important to ask for quotes close together in time (on same day if possible) as interest rates fluctuate daily. Also remember that rates are subject to change unless you lock in. Always review the interest rate and APR jointly to better understand the program and related costs. A knowledgeable mortgage professional can furnish further guidance on the difference between interest rate and APR for Nashville mortgages. Let us know if you need recommendations for excellent local lenders we know by emailing us at TheNashvilleDuo@gmail.com

Angela Neely 615-678-9450

Julie Gurel 615-915-8389

Office 615-991-4949

Posted in Home Buyer Tips
Oct. 27, 2017

Disputed Credit Accounts And The Impact On Mortgages

Everyone has the ability to correct incorrect items on their credit report. However, home buyers must be aware of the impact that it can have on obtaining home financing. This blog includes important details on disputed credit accounts and the impact on Nashville mortgages.

Before Starting Your Home Search

If you are thinking of buying real estate in the future, be proactive about reviewing your credit report several months in advance. This allows you the time to identify and address errors long before you apply for a mortgage. Ideally, you would want the disputes cleared before beginning the home buying process. If you do have any pending items, notify your loan officer as soon as possible. Do not assume that it was noticed on your report during the pre-approval process.

What Are Disputed Credit Accounts

If you uncover a mistake on your credit report, you have the ability to dispute it by sending a request to the three credit bureaus. A notation is added to your credit report and the accounts are considered disputed credit accounts. Credit bureaus may choose to disregard the specific items when compiling your credit score, so they might not impact your score while in process. Ordinarily, the notation is removed when the mistake is resolved and, if applicable, the needed corrections are completed. This process can take a few months. Even though you may not notice a reduction of your score, the details of the dispute can cause other issues.

Disputed Credit Accounts And The Impact On Nashville Mortgages

Many lenders utilize electronic underwriting systems. Your credit score and other aspects of your credit report are evaluated by this system. Disputed credit accounts may cause a mortgage loan to be denied or diverted to manual underwriting. Gather all paperwork and information related to the disputed credit accounts. If it was an item that you settled but was not properly reflected in the credit reports, have statements showing the amount owed and verification of amounts paid. Also write a letter detailing the situation. All of this can improve the likelihood of having the mortgage approved. Keep in mind that some mortgage companies may not approve an application if there is a dispute on file, regardless of the specific reasons. This is in place in an attempt to detect fraud but, unfortunately, will sometimes hurt buyers with reasonable claims. To be safe, it is best to clear credit disputes before applying for a mortgage. It is important to speak with a financial consultant for personalized guidance on your mortgage needs. To be referred to a local professional, email us at TheNashvilleDuo@gmail.com

 

Angela Neely 615-678-9450

Julie Gurel 615-915-8389

Office 615-991-4949

Oct. 20, 2017

Advice On Requesting Your Free Credit Reports Every 12 Months

The Fair Credit Reporting Law gives you the opportunity to request a credit report from each of the 3 credit bureaus annually at no cost. The FTC started this rule to empower consumers. The advice on requesting your free credit reports every 12 months below will help you take advantage of your rights.

What Is Included in Credit Reports

Each credit report includes personal information on you and your credit related activity. This includes past addresses, credit cards and mortgages, and financial judgments such as a law suit or bankruptcy. These facts are checked by lenders, employers, insurance companies, and others to evaluate your credit worthiness. It is thus very important to ensure that the information is up to date.

Obtaining Report Copies

There are 3 separate credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. Each may have somewhat varying sets of data on you. They also measure scores using separate methods. There is a centralized website at annualcreditreport.com where you can receive your credit reports. You can also contact them at 1-877-322-8228 or print and mail the request form found on the website. You will be required to provide your name, date of birth, social security number, and one or more addresses to verify your identity.

Alternate Website Options

Many other websites use data from certain credit agencies and monitor changes. They apprise you of certain changes to your credit file (such as the credit score being requested or new debts being issued). This will allow you to monitor your score during the year and making you aware of any acts of fraud.

CreditKarma.com is one website that offers free service and will not actually ask you for a credit card. Many alternate sites are broadcast as free but eventually start charging after an initial trial period, so find out about the terms before signing up. Also be careful of fraudulent sites that reside at common mis-typing of web addresses. These sites are established to grab your private information.

Summary of Advice On Requesting Your Free Credit Reports Every 12 Months

The above advice on requesting your free credit reports every 12 months will hopefully get you started. Request a copy of your report and look through it closely. Contact the credit bureaus to fix mistakes. For more complex issues, consider calling a credit consultant for further guidance. This blog is published strictly as an introduction and should not be taken as financial advice.

Angela Neely 615-678-9450

Julie Gurel 615-915-8389

Office 615-991-4949

Oct. 13, 2017

Ways To Increase Credit Scores Before Purchasing A Home

There are many ways to prepare for the home loan process. A particularly crucial one is to understand your credit reports ahead of time as those scores impacts your loan options and rate. The following are ways to increase credit scores before purchasing a home in Nashville.

Locating Mistakes

Your credit rating determines if you qualify for certain financing programs, so view your credit rating ahead of time. There are three different credit agencies (Equifax, Experian, and Transunion). Your figure may vary with each one. If there are any flaws, it is vital to initiate the steps of having them corrected right away as this may take several months to resolve.

Elevating Scores

If your credit score is low, work on elevating it. There are several ways that you may try. If you do not often utilize credit cards, then they are not providing anything to the credit agencies and are therefore not helping the score. Make regular charges on each card and pay the bills in full. This will help elevate your credit profile. If your balance carried each month are high relative to the allowable limits, start decreasing the balance on each one. Note that it is more beneficial to have small balances across several cards compared to having one approaching its limit.

New and Old Accounts

Avoid applying for new debt or eliminating credit cards. Do not make large purchases on your cards. These all will decrease your credit score. When banks see that you are applying for new credit, they may conclude that you are experiencing financial instability. This is also applicable when you are relying on your credit cards and carry high balances.

Other Ways To Increase Credit Scores Before Purchasing A Home In Nashville

By assessing your credit report, you may have the an opportunity to identify discrepancies. Apply the minimal practices detailed in the above Ways To Increase Credit Scores Before Purchasing A Home In Nashville. Keep in mind that the above are strictly basic suggestions. For targeted credit assistance, hire a credit professional or speak with your lender for guidance.

Angela Neely 615-678-9450

Julie Gurel 615-915-8389

Office 615-991-4949

Posted in Home Buyer Tips