March 5, 2018

Financial Benefits of Home Ownership

 

50 years ago, homeownership was one of the primary goals of every adult. Our parents and grandparents worked most of their lives to pay off that 30 year mortgage. Times have changed. Families rarely stay in one place for 30 years any longer. Studies have shown that most people move every 7 years. So if you are unlikely to stay in a home for the duration of a 30 year loan, are there still financial reasons to buy a home in Charlotte rather than rent?

The fact is there are many financial benefits to owning a home. Understanding how a home purchase fits into your financial plans and goals is important.

·        Building Equity and Wealth
Buying a home is a great way to build wealth. Paying a mortgage each month is really paying yourself, whereas paying rent is paying someone else’s mortgage for them, and in our area, it’s more expensive.

In the greater Charlotte, NC area, property values rose 13% in 2017. With an average cost of $200,000, the mortgage payment would be approximately $1225/month (assuming 10% down). By contrast, a monthly rental payment for a similar home averages $1400. Not only is the monthly cost more expensive, but as rents continue to rise (averaging 3%/year), the gap will continue to grow. Additionally, that rental expense does not build wealth as the $200,000 appreciates each year.

·        Tax Benefits *

The tax savings benefits of home ownership has been, in some cases,  diminished by the new 2018 tax law, particularly for higher priced and mortgaged homes. The total property & state income tax deduction has been capped at $10,000 for those filing jointly.  The mortgage interest deduction for married filing jointly has been capped at $750,000.

The IRS tax code allows homeowners to a mortgage deduction from their gross taxes. In addition to this, you can also deduct real estate property taxes and some of the closing costs when you buy the home.

*This article is informational only and is not intended to be used as tax advice. Please consult with your tax professional.

·        Income Producer
A property is an asset which can produce its own income stream. Renting part of the home can allow you to reduce the out of pocket cost of the mortgage. Even if you do decide to move, you might consider using the property as a full-time rental if you choose to buy another home or move to a new city.  A property is an asset which gives you financial flexibility.

·        A Hedge Against Inflation
Most mortgages written today are fixed rate loans. This means that for the duration of the loan, the payment will stay the same. The rental market always keeps pace with inflation and demand. When prices go up, so does the rental rates.

·        Asset Diversification
Real estate is often a steadier investment than the stock market. Demand for housing typically remains solid even during difficult economic times. Adding real estate, as a primary residence or investment property is a great way to diversify your financial portfolio and ensure steady growth regardless of the economic conditions.

Buying a home is often an emotional decision. It’s an opportunity to put down roots and create a home environment for you and your family. As you plan to make this purchase, it’s important to understand how this property can fit into your larger financial plan. Adding to the excitement of the chef’s kitchen and spa-like master suite is the realization that you are building wealth and opportunity which will benefit your financial health.

At Loretta Realty Group, we will work with you and our lenders to help you move from a rental to your own home.  Let’s get started. Register on our website www.lorettarealty.com or call us now at 704.907.7613.

 

 

Jan. 10, 2018

Mint Hill Veterans Park

MINT HILL VETERANS MEMORIAL PARK

We wanted to highlight one of our favorite recreation spots in Mecklenburg County – Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park.  It’s located at 8850 Fairview Road in Mint Hill and has something for almost anyone who wants to enjoy the great outdoors.

The Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park has been in existence since 1997 and houses something rather unusual – The Korean War Memorial.  We believe it is the only one of its kind in NC.  It was built to memorialize 788 North Carolinians who were killed or missing in action during this war.  It also pays tribute to all others who served in the defense of South Koreans freedom. 

What does the Mill Hill Veterans Memorial Park have to offer?  Natural shaded wooded trails for one.  There are wide trails which allow runners, joggers, and bicyclists to simultaneously enjoy the trails.  And it is very common to see your four-legged visitors from Mint Hill and surrounding areas enjoying the trails as well.  With over 50 acres you can find six tennis courts, volleyball courts, two soccer fields and one softball field.  Also, bring your horseshoes with pits near the children’s playground complete with swings and slides.  If you are looking for disc golf, they have you covered.  They have a nine-hole disc golf course that is sure to provide you some challenges. Restroom facilities, water fountains and three picnic shelters sure come in handy if you plan to spend the day.

The Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park is open at 7 am and closes no earlier than 10 pm any time of year.  It is also home to the Mint Hill Madness Festival which this year is May 25-27. Mark your Calendar for the Mint Hill Madness Festival now you sure won’t want to miss it.

 

Loretta Realty located in the Mint Hill Area, if you want to learn more click “More About Mint Hill” http://www.lorettarealty.com/mint-hill/ and we would provide you more information about the Mint Hill Area.  

Posted in Area Atractions
Dec. 28, 2017

VA Loan Qualification

VA Loan – Who’s and Why’s – Do you Qualify?

VA Loans have been around for about 73 years and came to fruition as part of the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act commonly known as the GI Bill of Rights.  The VA loan originally was established to assist War World II Veterans in lieu of cash bonuses as they transitioned back into civilian life.

A VA loan is a mortgage guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.  The loan may be issued by qualified lenders.  The mortgage is a guaranty by Uncle Sam to provide protection for a portion of the loan should the borrower default. 

Most members of the military, veterans, reservists, and National Guard members are eligible to apply for a VA loan.  Spouses of military members who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability may also apply.  Active duty members generally qualify for a VA loan after only 6-months of service

Over the years the rules surrounding the VA loan continue to change, but the reasons for those who qualify to select a VA loan remain pretty clear:   

1)    Usually -0- % down payment- Keeps cash in your Pocket

2)    Generally lower interest rates – Saves you money every Month

3)    No Mortgage Insurance Premiums to Pay – Known as PMI – Keeps Cash in Your Pocket

4)    Flexible Payment Options – 10, 15, 20 and 30-year terms are usually available

5)    There are limits to the homes purchase price but most areas will support up to a $400K purchase price and in some areas even higher

 6)    Also, it may interest you to know that there are times when unmarried surviving spouses or spouses of service persons may also qualify for a VA loan.

 

For more information call 704.907.7613 or email us: LorettaRealty@gmail.com

 

Posted in Financing
May 24, 2016

First Time Home Buyer

 

How to make the dream of buying a home not turn into a nightmare.  

You already know that buying a home is a process with many twists and turns.  While you can gather much information via the internet about a home, it takes the experience of a Realtor® to help you achieve your dream home.  Remember, the seller pays the commission, so why not be represented?

First, a few basics: You need to be employed or have a steady source of income, you must secure a lender, and you must be able to handle the responsibilities of home ownership. If you’re ready and considering looking for your very first home, you’re in luck! The market has many options at different price points.  The monthly payments may be quite a bit lower than rentals for comparable properties.  Mortgage Rates are still low making this a perfect time for first time buyers to jump in and find their dream home! 

Now for the current news:  The market for buyers in the greater Charlotte area today is getting very competitive. In a competitive market like this one, multiple bids on one home are fairly common.  We see this every day and we will work to guide you through the process to make your offer to purchase the one the seller accepts.  

Understanding the Home Buying Process

Buying a home can be a stressful process, but it doesn't have to be! This is what we do for a living at the Loretta Realty Group! Before you get a Realtor® and begin the process, here are a few things to ask yourself.

We have broken it down into 5 SIMPLE steps to consider! 

1. Is it the right time for you to buy a home?

We can’t state how important it is to figure out if you’re completely ready to own a home. If you’re not sure, take the necessary time to clean up your finances, and to learn as much as you can about the home buying and home owning processes. Give us a call to help determine if the best time for you to buy a home is now.

2. How much house do you need and how much can you afford?

One of the first steps of the home buying process usually involves securing financing. Working with a lender to get a pre-approval letter gives you an amount to work with, so that you can find a home in your budget that ultimately suits the needs of your family. As your Realtor® we work with a lender to help alert you to the best deals for first-time home buyers. For example, the lender our team works closely with has a variety of special programs for first-time home buyers that provide additional down payment assistance to those who might need it. Contact us for more information at 704.900.8743!

In a competitive market, having your pre-approval letter, and a firm grasp of what you can afford, can make all the difference in the buying process. Often, the buyer that is the most organized and ready to deal is the one that gets the home!

3. How high is your debt-to-income ratio?  

Do not buy more than you can comfortably afford even if the lender approves you for more than you budgeted. 

We will help you understand the debt-to-income ratio. This is what you owe in comparison to what you make. Naturally, lenders are going to look at this very closely, and they would prefer to see you with a debt ratio that is lower than 40% of your income. Your housing debts should account for less than 32% of your income. As any good lender or Realtor® will tell you, home ownership should not be a financial burden. If you want a home, our team will do their best to get you one, but everyone should be sure that it’s a home that you’ll be able to afford long into the future.  Our lending partners will help you compute your ratios and make suggestions that will help your score.

4. Where do you want to live?

Do you want a single family home or a condo? What about a large tract of land that allows you to have room for your horses? Is there a specific community, such as a lake or golf course, you’d like to call home? Understanding the community where you’d like to live will help you to narrow down what types of homes you’re looking for, and the best place to find them.  What schools are nearby? How about shopping and the commute time to work?

5. Should I buy new construction or an existing house?

Remember this, the SELLER PAYS THE COMMISSION, so you will want representation by one of our agents. The sales model agent works exclusively for the builder, NOT for you.  Whether it is negotiating with a builder or with an existing home seller, we have the experience needed to save you money in the transaction.

 

No matter what type of home you’re looking for, we can help with your dream of owning your first home!

One of the biggest battles, when it comes to buying your first home, is going to be enlisting the best realtor to help you with your needs. In the current competitive market, you need a real estate agent with a great team that uses all of the technological advances available to them to ensure that you end up in the home of your dreams! Loretta Realty Group will utilize every tool on and off the Internet and we will continue to fight on your behalf until you get the home you’ve always wanted!

 

Home buying can be a complicated process, and it can also be an emotional one. We’re here to take the frustration out of the process for you. We will do our best to help prepare you for any issues that might come up in the home buying process. We will help find the right first home for your budget, and for the comfort level of your family.

During the offer-making phase, we will go over your best chance to get the home you want, and though it can be an emotional process, it will be one that we will make as easy for you, as possible. If the home has multiple offers, we suggest a strategic plan that gives you a leg-up with the seller, so that you can get the home you want. 

There are a number of important and successful strategies that can be used when making your offer, and we will let you in on these things to give you a fighting chance to get the home you want. It doesn’t matter whether you’re paying cash or just have a pre-approval letter in hand. We are here to help you, no matter your situation.

As the buying process proceeds, and your offer has been accepted, it will be time to get a home inspection done. This is for your protection and I cannot state how absolutely important it is to do so. A home inspection will give you great insight to any problems in the home, which will allow you to either renegotiate your price or to ensure that the seller fixes any issues with the home before you take possession. Understanding your home inspection gives you a better chance to understand your future home, and to protect it. If there is something seriously wrong, you can negotiate, so that it will be fixed. If nothing is wrong with the home, you can proceed through the home buying process with the security of knowing that it will be a good investment for years to come. We have some great inspectors that we work with that will help you with your inspection, and help you understand the outcome of the results. 

Right before you take possession of the home, you’ll get a chance to go through the final walk through. This gives you one last chance to go through the home before the deal is done and the home is yours. While this is optional, it’s something we highly recommend to all of the people we serve. Once you’ve made sure the home is in order, and everything looks as it should, it’s time to sign the papers, and the home is yours!

The home buying process doesn’t have to be a difficult one. We are here for you to make it easier. Our team will work day and night to save you time and money. We won’t rest until you are in the home of your dreams! Contact us if you have any questions!  Call 704.900.8743.

 

 

April 22, 2016

New Construction Representation

Do I Need An Agent If I am Buying a New Construction Home?

 

Buyers today do have a great tool and it’s called the Internet.  Many buyers convince themselves that with the help of the internet and some good negotiating skills that they really don’t need an agent to represent them when building a home.   The biggest misconception by most buyers it that they will save money $$ by not using a licensed agent.

The friendly salesperson at the model represents the Builder’s interests exclusively. Many home builders agents in the greater Charlotte market are also licensed real estate agents.  If a builder advertises their home through the local real estate reciprocity system then the stated sales commission is built into the advertised sales price of their homes.  This means even if you choose not to use a real estate agent, you have thereby forfeited fees that would have been paid for your representation to the agent’s firm representing the builder.

 

You are about to embark on one of the great investments of your lifetime. An investment that could potentially take you 30 years to pay off.  A buyer’s agent is free for the buyer in our area.  Your agent’s job is to provide loyalty, obedience, diligence and care to all aspects of your transaction.  From initial discussion, contract negotiations, mortgage decisions, design center choices, throughout the construction process, home inspections and yes the closing, let a licensed real estate agent guide you through the steps and give you sound advice learned from experience. An agent can potentially represent repeat business for the builder and their new home community.  We can leverage our past transactions and potential future transactions to negotiate a great deal for you and make you aware of potential pit falls and advantages offered by this builder.  It’s usually not what you know but what you don’t know to even ask that gives you remorse. We all do jobs each day we were trained for.  Real Estate Agents are knowledgeable and licensed in their area of expertise and must complete hours of continuing education each year so that we can be kept abreast of changes to real estate law.  Don’t be foolish.  Save the bragging rights when you tell your friends and family about your decision to use your great real estate agent and the thousands of dollars you saved!