Category Archives: The Move

Whether Buying or Selling, this is where you can get information that will help ease the transition and take the mystery out of the real estate process.

Get Pre-Approved

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Once you have decided to buy a home, you will want to know how much of a home you can afford. Once you know that, well, you can truly begin looking in earnest. All the search engines out there on the internet allow you enter a minimum and maximum price range, filtering out the homes you cannot afford and focusing on those you can. I recommend you download my mobile application to use as one of your search engines. It draws its information directly from the GA Multiple Listing Service (GAMLS), which has the most up-to-date information. But what is better than that, it has a scan feature you can use from your smartphone. As you are driving around looking at neighborhoods or see a particular house you are interested in, you can point your phone at it, hit scan, and it will pull up that home and any others within a 1 mile radius. Cool, huh? To get my mobile application, simply text “scarroll” to 678-400-6100 and follow the directions.

Let’s step back a moment. If you are just curious what’s out there, look at everything. Dare to dream.

But if you are seriously searching, don’t be one of the many buyers who starts looking for a new home without taking the time to find out how much they can afford.  That’s like going to the grocery store without your wallet! How do you figure out how much home you can afford? Well you can use what is called an Affordability Calculator.

Now call me and while you are getting pre-approved, we will start looking for the right home for you.

But I digress. The purpose of this blog is to tell you how to get pre-approved. A pre-approval is generally a written statement from a lender stating the lender’s preliminary determination that a borrower would qualify for a particular loan amount under that lender’s guidelines. The determination and loan amount are based on income and credit information. Most pre-approval letters are good for 60 to 90 days.

Don’t confuse a pre-approval with a pre-qualification. With a pre-qualification, the lender relies on information provided by the buyer to estimate how much the borrower could qualify for. With a pre-approval, the lender verifies the borrower’s information and documentation to determine exactly how much it would be willing to lend to that borrower.

There are many reasons why you should get pre-approved. The most important reason is that you will get an accurate idea of how much home you can afford. This can help to target your home search and ensure you only look at houses that are truly in your price range. A pre-approval letter also helps you prove to real estate agents and sellers that you’re a credible buyer and able to act fast when you find the home you want to buy. Some sellers might even require buyers to submit a pre-approval letter with their offers, though having a pre-approval letter does not guarantee that your offer will be accepted by a seller. A pre-approval letter can make you stand out in a competitive real estate market. If you make an offer on a house without a pre-approval, your offer may not be taken as seriously as an offer from another person with a pre-approval.

So how do you get Pre-Approved?

Gather Essential Information (gather supporting financial documents – don’t guess)

Financial: Income, asset and expense information
If buying: Estimated purchase price and down payment amount
If refinancing: Estimated property value and loan amount

Select a Loan Company. Feel free to email me if you are stumped. I can send you some contacts who I feel comfortable working with and help you identify one matching your particular situation. My email is susan.carroll@bhhsgeorgia.com.

Begin the Pre-Approval Process

Contact a local mortgage consultant by phone or email.
Complete their online application form.
Your mortgage consultant will ask for the financial and property information you’ve gathered. To complete your request, you’ll need to submit your supporting documents before they issue the Pre-Approval letter.

Complete the Loan Application Process

Once you have found the home of your dreams, you will need to complete your application. If they have not already done so, your home mortgage consultant will probably ask you for Pay stubs, your last two years’ W-2s, last two federal returns, two months’ worth of bank statements of all types of accounts, and permission to pull your credit report.

Based on this information, they will provide a Loan Estimate shortly after receipt of your application. The Loan Estimate provides an estimate of the costs of obtaining your loan and the anticipated cash needed to close. After you review the Loan Estimate, you must indicate in writing your intent to proceed with the transaction. Avoid delays by submitting all pages of legible documents as soon as possible, along with any required fees.

There are more steps in the real estate process which must be followed until you actually close on your new home and walk out with the keys. But they are the topic of other blogs.

Here are some of the sources I used to draft this blog in case you want to read more……

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/mortgages/do-you-need-mortgage-preapproval.aspx

https://www.credit.com/loans/mortgage-questions/how-to-get-pre-approved-for-mortgage-home-loan/

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Help from Homes For Heroes

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As you are probably aware, I come from a Military background. I was born an Army Brat (who came up with that anyway?) and when I graduated from college, I entered active duty as a Military Police Officer; a 2nd Lieutenant. I served on active duty for 14 years and then, because of several medical problems brought on, according to my doctor, from “being all you can be,” I decided to take an early out and entered the reserves instead. My knees still ache from all the years of running…..

When I learned about the Homes For Heroes program and what I could do as a real estate affiliate to help others who have dedicated their time and their lives to helping others, I knew I had to be a part of it. So if you work or worked in any of the following; military, police, fire, medical field or as a teacher; and you are selling or buying a home; let me know. My way of paying forward is to contribute part of my real estate commission to my clients’ closing costs. Yep. You heard it. I will help you pay your closing costs. I can also put you in contact with lenders and closing attorney’s who will provide a discount of their fees as their way of thanking you for your service.

If you have a moment, take a look at this short film. And remember when you decided to register, let them know that I am your Realtor of choice. Or type in http://www.homesforheroes.com/affiliate/susan-carroll to register.

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The Bidding War

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Just in case purchasing a house was not enough anxiety for you, let us create a little bit more, by adding another person wanting to buy the house. So now we have entered into a bid war. One dollar more or less, one change suggestion more or less, and the house is not yours. No stress though, this is not the only house for you no matter how much you love it.

Helpful tips:

Do your homework and research. Make sure this house is definitely the one you want. Look at the community, schools, grocery stores, salons, activities, etc. that you know you use now and make sure the area around the home fits your lifestyle.

Make sure your finances are in order. If they are not and the other bidder has their finances ready to go, pre-approval with money to put down they are more likely to win the bid.

Create an escalation clause. This puts a limit on how much yo are willing to pay on the house and protect you from the sellers expecting you to pay exceedingly higher than the other bidders.

Show the sellers your appreciation. Write a letter, send a picture with your family all excited in front of the home, or video your kids walking through it for the first time dreaming about their bedrooms. This will help the sellers know you will take responsibility for the home, care for it, and take care of it, they will see you in the home and be more likely to pick your bid.

No matter if you win or lose the bid, there is a reason. I hope these small tips help out and help you win your Bidding War and be able to move into your new home!

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To be, or not to be… a Landlord. That is the question.

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In the first series of our blog we asked many questions for you to think about and consider. One of them was do you want to sell your home or lease it? This blog we will ponder further to help you make the decision.

First question to ask yourself. How do you feel about this house? Does it have sentimental value to it, where you do not want others living in it? Has it frustrated you so much you only have stress and animosity towards it? Or do you simply think it is a good home and think others will enjoy it as much as you have?

Your emotions toward this home will speak a lot about the time and effort you are going to be putting into it for someone else if you decide to lease it. The house will still be your child, that you have to take care of, feed, and nurture; the only difference is that you are not living with it day to day. You will have to deal with all of the problems, but you also receive that wonderful monthly check. Do you have the time to put into the house to make sure it is kept up, to make the renters want to pay the monthly bill and to allow them to enjoy the house?

Sometimes being a landowner can be more of a pain than it is worth. You never know who will end up renting and how the house will be taken care of, but it is all part of the gamble. When deciding to lease your home, think about the time, work, money, and value you are putting into the home as well as receiving from it.

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The Moving Company

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Many thoughts come in when selecting movers and thinking about who will be handling all your belongings. The first decision is “is it worth hiring a mover over asking friends and family to help?” Followed by, “Will my belonging be safe from damage or theft?”

That is entirely up to you, but most of the time it is worthwhile to have fewer hands in your home during the process. And there is something to be said for hiring a professional in the strategy they have set in place and all of the protection they establish for you and your personal items.

If you are selecting a professional mover, Promover, is a great place to start in checking out all the professionals and knowing who is trustworthy in the moving business.

You can also receive free moving quotes on moving.com. This can get your price estimate to know if you can afford professionals along with purchasing a new home or selling your old home. All the fees of these transactions add up so be wise with your money!

Do your research into each company and the company you select. Make sure you know about the insurance or coverage they will place on your belongings. What fees will be added if they have to carry belongings up stairs or far distances or if you have over-sized or heavy items. Ask if your belongings will have to be transferred along the trip as well. Also think about if you are going to want to tip your movers and have change ready to give each individual mover their piece of your gratefulness.

The bottom line with moving is that you are ready and prepared in knowing your belongings for the movers, for knowing who are handling your personal belongings, and what the costs are of protecting everything you own. Research and know the ins and outs in order to be protected during your Move.

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Fruit Pizza: A fresh and delightful treat

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This past weekend I was able to try this delicious treat. It is sweet but leaves your stomach feeling refreshed and not weighted down by sugar. It can be taken to any Christmas party this season to add a fruity taste as something different than the average pecan pie, fruit cake, or peppermint flavored treats.

Ingredients:

Sugar cookies (1 Roll)

1 Package (8oz) cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Fruit of choice

Directions:

Bake sugar cookies and let them cool.

Beat Cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in mixer until fluffy.

Spread over cooled cookies and add fruit.

Refrigerate until chilled, at least one hour before serving.

Go to our Pinterest Board, Holiday Recipes, and look at more goodies you can try and cook up!

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Henry County, a County of Growth.

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Henry County has grown and developed so much in the past 5- 10 years. It is a beautiful county with lots of diversity of people, interests, shops, restaurants, stores, activities, etc. Having been in Henry County my entire life, it has been very different to research it like I have never been here. But I have found so many great tools online and in person because of it! For instance, Henry County has a tourist website, including any information you might need consisting of weddings, small town shops, large retail stores, exciting and unique attractions or options for life events.  At the Henry County Tourist Website, you can find anything you want to and it makes you feel so at home with all of the details at your fingertips.

One of the things you are wanting to focus on this month is shopping. I briefly listed some of the local shopping areas in Shop until you Drop in Henry County. But I did not go through the shops like the Tourist website does along with the South Point shopping center off of Highway 20.

South Point retail also gives us a yearly growth slideshow to exhibit how much Henry County is grown! It is incredible! And all of this has been created and sustained by our loyal Henry County Family supporting the stores and our economy. Please do the same! Test out all of our shops this Christmas and holiday season to support your future home and Move to Henry County, Ga.

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Moving for the Holidays (Part 2)

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No fear! Mommy’s here!

Just kidding. Although Kevin’s family did come home… twice… to save him and calm his fears and shenanigans.

The Mom we are referring to is Realtor.com! We at the Move look up to the Realtor in the experience and wisdom they share. They published an article, 10 Reasons You Can Sell Your Home During the Holidays Without Hassle, which gives great holiday moving knowledge and encouragement! It tells us the positive side of listing your home during the holiday season and how that can work out in your favor as a seller. We love their realism and input into how it can help you sell your home as well as it encourages you to still enjoy your holiday season. Enjoy the article! We sure did!

 

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Happy Thanksgiving from The Move!

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The season is finally here!

The season of Thankfulness and Cheer!

Family and Friends together always, sharing love for all of our days.

The Move wishes you a very Happy Thanksgiving as we enter this beautiful time of the year and are so thankful for all of our readers. We know this season is full of joy but it can also have us reminisce on the pain of loved ones unable to be home and spend it with us. We are so thankful for not just our own family and friends, but our loved ones unable to be with us due to their service to our country, and you and your loved one’s service as well. No duty, no time in the military goes unappreciated here. We know the commitment and sacrifices made to make this nation great.

We are so grateful for such a beautiful country that provides such beautiful places to live and thrive. We are thankful to be in an industry that helps people receive homes to build up in love with family and friends, that the economy is affordable, and loans are obtainable to create houses into long lasting homes.

We from the Move with Susan Carroll wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

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A Different Type of Thanksgiving

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Think outside the Box. 

Each year, my family does the same thing as most families do; meet at a certain family member’s house, eat, and celebrate one another’s company. I am very blessed that most of my immediate family lives a mere 20 minutes away so it is very convenient holiday season.

For a lot of people this is not the case. A lot of people travel or have some other type of tradition. Unfortunately though, traditions change over the years, whether all of the grand-kids get older and move further away, family members pass away and change the location or travel plans, an emergency occurs and family cannot come in from out of town, or simply no one chooses to travel so far this year. Whatever the case, there is nothing wrong with change and there are many fun alternatives to Thanksgiving or Christmas rather everyone spending it around a dinner table.

For us in Henry County for instance, we have Atlanta less than 40 miles north on I-75, a mere 30 minutes away with so many holiday activities for us to join in! Starting today, November 24, begins all the holiday and seasonal activities which would be perfect to join in for Thanksgiving if you and your family are having to switch up plans and want to do something different and fun!

There are Theatres, concerts, Christmas Lights, ice skating, parades, the aquarium, etc. You just have to search for what your family would enjoy!

An Atlanta Thanksgiving

Atlanta Holiday Events

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