Archive for the 'Home Buyer Tips' Category


Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

There are many advantages to purchasing a home, especially in light of the historic low rates that have become available.

Regardless of the fact that these rates dropped considerably as a result of the recent housing and financial crash, more and more people are driven to the path of home ownership versus renting.

There are a number of pros and cons associated with the recent industry crash. Scores of Americans are finally able to purchase a part of the American dream, as desired by so many. And the best part of all? Your money isn’t going straight into the can! This is just one of several benefits of purchasing a home instead of renting.

When you are considering your next move, it would be wise to consider your options carefully. One thing you should consider is the length of time you plan to live in your new home. If you are relocating for a few years for a job it would be wise to consider both purchasing a home as well as other options such as renting.

A number of studies indicate benefits of home ownership for not only the owners, but also for their family, neighbors, and community at large. Below is a brief list of other benefits to owning a home.

  1. Locked In Cost – When you are dealing with a lease, you often have to worry about future rate changes. However when you buy a home with a fixed rate mortgage, your payments will not change, at least for the duration of your loan period. There is a chance you can see your taxes go up, but many homeowners don’t fret about their tax dollars going toward education or other core government tax-based essentials.
  2. Tax Benefits – Another benefit homeowners have over renters is the ability to cash in on savings on their taxes. Homeowners are usually eligible for a significant tax reduction because they can deduct their mortgage payments and any paid property tax when they file their yearly income taxes. Though some may think they may not see a good return on their taxes from their mortgage, you’d be surprised by the savings that can be accrued just by interest rates and property taxes alone.
  3. Debt Consolidation – If necessary, you have the ability to refinance your home’s mortgage in order to merge, or consolidate, other outstanding debt. This is also something you can deduct from you taxes and an opportunity that simply doesn’t exist for renters.
  4. Build Equity – When you are paying rent every month, you are simply handing your money over for the roof over your head, and nothing else in return. However, when you are paying for a mortgage, your payments are going toward your principal [and any added interest]. Every year that you pay toward your home, you are paying toward the principal and are eligible to get the money back when you put your house on the market, later on. It’s basically a long term investment in the form of real property.
  5. Peace of Mind – When you purchase a home, you can make your own decisions on everything from window trim and bathroom paint, to future plans for renovating that upstairs attic. You will be able to call all the shots without being worried that your land lord will be upset. You will have peace of mind knowing that you don’t have to depend on somebody else.

Buying a home is one of the most important decisions someone will make in their life. However, it is important to understand that owning a home comes with added responsibilities. For example, if you are used to renting a home, you probably never think about the landscaping work. You may not realize that your rental fees are helping pay a contractor to mow your lawn.

It is important that you evaluate all the facets of real estate before jumping in head first and buying property. Buying a home is a life-long decision. If you think you are prepared to buy a home or are simply sick of throwing away your hard earned money on rent, contact a real estate professional to help answer any questions you may have and to get you on the right track of home ownership.

Real Estate Buyer Affordibility Increased

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Every month Keller Williams Realty comes out with a new video on the state of Real Estate.  Sign up for my email notification to keep informed on the market.


Neighborhood Covenants, Protective or Restrictive?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Taberna HOA Covenants 

When buying a home, one of the most important items on your check list should be covenants. There is a disagreement as to what to call these pages of paperwork. I myself would like to view them as being Protective, where as others see them as impinging on their personal rights as a home owner. These documents are put into place from the conception of the neighborhood. They are to make sure that property values are not harmed by what one indiviual may or may not do with their property.

Before I show some one a neighborhood, I try to ask them a few questions that I know would help them with their decision to buy or not in that area. Here are a few examples of what one might see in a set of covenants.

1. Type of dog: Some communities are restricting the type of dog that can be brought into the community. I know of at least 4 areas between New Bern and Havelock that have this rule. Brices Crossing, Lynwood Heights, Tucker Creek, just to name a few.

2. Fences: There are many areas that do not allow fences to be built. Those that do allow fences have regulations on the material and height of the fence. Most allow vinyl or wood fences of no more than 4 feet in height. There are only a few areas that will allow a chain link fence. If you choose a home on a golf course lot, forget about a fence, most neighborhoods do not allow them to be built.          

3. Campers/Boats: A lot of communities do not allow campers and/or boats to be kept in the driveway.

Here is an example of a Protective covenants: here is a link to Taberna’s Covenants


6 Reasons Why I Would Buy A Home In This Market!

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

6 Reasons Why I say, I would buy a home in New Bern NC.

  1. In all of the years I have sold real estate, the prices have never been so good.
  2. Interest rates are a lot lower now than when I bought my first home 7.875.
  3. Many different types of loans will be available to people with good credit. ( A reward for paying their bills)
  4. A tax credit of $8,000 will be given to 1st time home buyers.
  5. There is a great selection of homes with little to no problems or issues.
  6. You don’t have to settle for something you “sort of like”, get what you have always wanted!

If you like this article, check these others out:

Secrets of Home Buying...

Best Buy List in New Bern

Who Pays The Real Estate Commission in North Carolina?

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

 A big part of what I do involves education since it is important to me that my clients know exactly how things work. Part of this education process is to explain how Real Estate agents get paid.

Real Estate Commission

When it comes to Real Estate Commissions, each state has it’s own policies on how an agent is to be payed.

In North Carolina each agency can choose to set a policy as to what percentage they will accept.

Agents get payed at the closing of a home or property from the seller through the MLS system . This amount is predetermined at the time a listing is taken by the listing agent and their client.

Now, if an agent is a Buyer’s Agent they have a clause in the buyer agency agreement that can allow them to be paid more than the listing agent is offering. For example, if a commission that is listed on the multiple listing sheet states that the co-broke will be paid 2.5% but the Buyer’s Agreement states that the Buyer’s Agent is to be paid 3% of the sales price then the Buyer’s Agent can collect the difference from his or her client.

Here is the official definition of a buyer’s agent as stated by the NC Real Estate Commission:

“When buying real estate, you may have several choices as to how you want a real estate firm and its agents to work with you. For example, you may want them to represent only you (as a buyer’s agent)….for the complete definition click here.

In the Event a buyer’s agent has a client that would like to purchase a home that is a for sale by owner, then the agent can negotiate with the seller to pay their commission. If the seller does not, then the agent may be able to collect their commission from the buyer based on the buyer agency agreement.

I have worked out many for sale by owner offers without any issues over how I would be paid, it just takes proper negotiations.

3 Things Renters Should Know About Rental Properties But Were Afraid to Ask

Monday, October 27th, 2008

 Whether it is renting in New Bern, at the Beaches or in the Mountains, people are looking for rental homes all over the United States.

1.  Interview multiple Agencies: Not every rental agency carries every rental. Go to at least 3 different ones. Read the agreements from cover to cover to make sure you understand what you are liable for.

2. Got Bad Credit: If you have bad credit you may not be able to rent. All responsible rental agencies check your credit. For example, if your home goes into foreclosure, this process surly will ruin you credit. Not only will you be removed from your home, you will not be able to rent.

3. Great interest rates: With the lowest interest rates in history being experienced, you may be able to buy a home for what you can rent one for. Call your local mortgage company to see what you can qualify for.

3 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your New Bern Real Estate Agent!

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Real Estate Agents

1. Know what you want before you get in the car: Make a list of what you need to have in a home to be happy and what might be nice to have in a home.

2. Pre-Approval: Start with your bank and have them go through the pre-approval process with you. This is important not only for your bargaining power but it also shows how serious a buyer you are.

3. Do some Research: Go on the Internet and talk to people that live in the areas that you are interested in living. Find out what school systems serve that area, community amenities, Owners Association fees, Insurance costs, Flood zones, Hazards etc.

3 Reasons Why You Should Live in Indian Woods(New Bern NC )

Monday, May 19th, 2008

Homes Priced Under $200,000 Between New Bern and Havelock NC

1. There are not many new homes priced under $200,000 left in New Bern or Havelock NC anymore.

2. This area is convenient to both New Bern and Havelock, just 10 min to the MCAS at Cherry Point or 10 min into Downtown New Bern.

3. Over the years this area, we call it Area 4 or 11(depending on which side of the Hwy you are located) has appreciated in value like no other area.

For more information on Indian Woods visit

What Do You Know About VA Loans?

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Did you know that your VA entitlement could be used more than once if your home was sold and the purchaser obtained a new loan?  Also, a bonus entitlement may assist you in purchasing another home with your VA entitlement depending on the loan amount and your remaining entitlement. 

Did you know that a VA loan might be assumable subject to certain restrictions? 

Did you know that some veterans are “Exempt” from the VA funding fee or you may receive a reduced VA funding fee with as little as a 5% down payment even on subsequent use. 

Did you know you that you may be able to refinance your VA loan to a lower interest rate without cash out of pocket? 

Did you know that a seller could pay your closing costs on a VA loan up to a certain amount? 

Did you know that VA does not set the interest rates?  Therefore, it is a very competitive market and you may want to compare interest rates.  However, when comparing interest rates compare discount points and loan origination fees, if any.



Why Dealing with A “New Bern” Local Lender Can Save Your Life

Tuesday, April 29th, 2008

Money Does not grow on Tree’s, It does cost to get a loanAfter reading an article today from the


“We first warned

 you about Lending 

Tree a year ago”,   

 I am even more concerned when a client wants to use an Internet Lender! 

Apparently, some of Lending Tree’s former employees were allowing other lenders to steel protected private passwords of Lending Tree’s customers. They gave personal information to these outside predators such as social security number, income and employee data.   

 By the practices above, It only reconfirms the advise that I have been giving to my clients over the years I have been a Real Estate agent.  I have always recommended that my clients use lenders that they personally know or that are recommended to them from reliable sources. The safe thing about using a local lender is that they keep your information with in their organization, write their loans in house and are excessible to you face to face. Talking to someone face to face sure gives you a lot more information about who you are dealing with then a computer screen does. 

If there is an issue, a local mortgage company can provide you with answers in person that day, not have to wait for someone to pick up their emails. These local business men and women care about their reputation in the towns where they live and are less likely to do something wrong because of that reason. Real Estate agents like to work with these local individuals because of the services they do provide. They call back our clients in a timely manner, explain the loan process thoroughly and communicate with all of the other local experts involved in the transaction.

For these reasons and more I would always recommend a bank or mortgage company that I can reach out and touch, literally!        

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