Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What Questions Should I Ask When Looking At Homes?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/8gc6afww7s?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 As you’ll see in this video, many of your questions should focus on potential problems and maintenance issues. Does anything need to be replaced? What things...

What Do I Need to Bring to Closing?

Friends, family, lenders, Realtors® and others will give you answers to this question, and many times these answers will be conflicting. How can you be sure you have all that you need? When in doubt, bring it! Here are a few items you should always bring…from a...

What is Homestead Exemption?

The homestead exemption allows you to exclude a portion of your home’s value from the tax assessment and thus provides a reduction in your property tax bill. Generally, a homeowner is eligible for a homestead exemption on their home and land provided The home was...

How Should We Hold Title?

Tenants in Common VS Joint Tenants In Georgia, owners of real property are called tenants. When there are multiple owners, they are called co-tenants.When multiple owners are involved in a property, it is important to understand the two most common types of tenancies...

What Is Equity?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/n69oa7zwj8?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Equity is the value YOU own in property such as a house. It’s the difference between what’s OWED and what the property is WORTH in the current...

What Are Real Estate Commissions?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/s78dofpmmv?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Like the video says - real estate agents aren’t paid by the hour!They’re paid a percentage of the purchase price in a successful real estate...

What Is “Prime”?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/krfv08naox?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 The Prime Lending Rate - sometimes just called “Prime”  - is the interest rate that banks charge each other for overnight loans. Some consumer...

What Steps Need To Be Taken To Secure A Loan?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/lvpyv6ztm1?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 You’ll see some pictures in this video to help you remember later, but the first step in securing a loan is to complete a loan application. To do so, you'll need...

What Is An Escrow Account? Do I Need One?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/odrprvjchq?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 As we show you in this video, an escrow account is an account, established by your lender, to set aside a portion of your monthly mortgage payment to cover annual...

What Are Discount Points?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/l35axb1s46?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Discount points allow you to lower your interest rate. While this video simplifies things to help you remember, “points” are essentially prepaid interest...

What Is A Mortgage?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/bvfpkmrhbq?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 The original phrase “mort gage” translates as “death pledge”! But as this video explains, a mortgage is a loan obtained to purchase real estate....

What Types Of Mortgage Loans Are Available?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/mawdppve4x?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 This video tells you about the most common types: Fixed Rate, ARM, Balloon and 2-Step. First, Fixed Rate Mortgages: Payments remain the same for the life of the loan...

Can I Pay Off My Loan Ahead Of Schedule?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/sl6ffs5b3c?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Usually, Yes. Like the guy in the video says, by sending in extra money each month or making an extra payment at the end of the year you can accelerate the process of...

What Is Included In A Monthly Mortgage Payment?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/04znecl0he?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 The monthly mortgage payment mainly pays off principal and interest. But most lenders also include local real estate taxes homeowner's insurance, and mortgage insurance,...

How Does The Interest Rate Factor In Securing A Mortgage Loan?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/a3j5mz6708?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 As you’ll see in the video, a lower interest rate allows you to borrow more money than a high rate with the some monthly payment. Interest rates can fluctuate as...

How Large A Down Payment Do I Need?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/lbco37uzag?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 There are mortgage options now available that only require a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price. You’ll see some pictures in this video to help you...

What Factors Affect Mortgage Payments?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/39ew5owlxs?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Well, as this story shows, the amount of the down payment the size of the mortgage loan, the interest rate the length of the repayment term and payment schedule will all...

What Is Earnest Money, And How Much Should I Set Aside?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/knn6wkiyou?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Like the video shows, “earnest money” is money you put down to demonstrate your seriousness about buying a home. It must be substantial enough to demonstrate...

Are There Special Mortgages For First-Time Homebuyers?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/ogoeofikfx?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Yes. Like the video shows, lenders now offer several affordable mortgage options which can help first-time homebuyers overcome obstacles that made purchasing a home...

What Are “Home Warranties”, And Should I Consider Them?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/r4shd6lzs9?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 You’ll see some pictures in this video to help you remember later, but essentially, home warranties offer you protection for a specific period of time, such as one...

What About A Home Located In A Flood Plain?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/0k59mo8j25?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 A flood plain is an area of land adjacent to a stream or river that experiences flooding during periods of high discharge. Watch this video and it’ll make sense....

Is An Older Home A Better Value Than A New One?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/6eflyvqa9k?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Well, as this story shows, there isn't a definitive answer to this question. You should look at each home for its individual characteristics. Generally, older homes may...

How Can I Keep Track Of All The Homes I See?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/pyaf4rrr37?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 There are some great tips in this video, like: if possible, take photographs of each house: the outside, the major rooms, the yard and extra features that you like or...

What Should I Look For When Walking Through A Home?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/cz4zvj4oh8?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 As we show you in this video, in addition to comparing the home to your minimum requirement and wish lists use the HUD Home Scorecard and consider the following: Is...

How Are Pre-Qualifying And Pre-Approval Different?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/mv8zbm2b0l?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Watch this video and it’ll make sense. Pre-qualification is an informal way to see how much you maybe able to borrow. You can be 'pre-qualified' over the phone...

What Is A Credit Bureau Score And How Do Lenders Use Them?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/ds6xscpohy?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 As we show you in this video, a credit bureau score, or “credit score” is a number based upon your credit history that represents the possibility that you...

How Can I Find Out Information About My Credit History?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/296vm10x1n?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Watch this video and take a few notes! There are three major credit reporting companies: Equifax - www.equifax.com 1-800-685-1111 Experian - www.experian.com...

How Does Purchasing A Home Compare With Renting?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/rebbqkwf9l?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Like the guy in the video says, the two don't really compare at all. The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities. But by...

How Do I Begin The Process Of Buying A Home?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/bfr6yd8ddb?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Remember these pointers from the video: start by thinking about your situation. Are you ready to buy a home? How much can you afford in a monthly mortgage payment? How...

How Do I Set The Price On My House?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/m5uytg6b83?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 While this video simplifies things to help you remember: your aim is to get the best price AND terms in your market during the period you’re selling. Market...

What Are 203(B) And 203(K) Loans?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/ivsjpuyvvc?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 The video puts this in more visual terms, but 203(b) is the most commonly used FHA program. It offers a low down payment, flexible qualifying guidelines limited lender's...

How Do I Make A Home Ready To Sell?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/8ldwesvwov?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 As we show you in this video, start several months before the property is made available. Look through the eyes of a buyer What needs to be cleaned? Repainted? Repaired?...

How Is A Home Marketed?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/sg5q87rjfl?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 As you’ll see in the video, every home and market is a unique situation. Good marketing plans are specific to both. But every plan will include: Preparation...

What Is The Best Way To Compare Loan Terms Between Lenders?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/1w0d2rf9ie?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Watch this video and take a few notes! First, devise a checklist for the information from each lending institution. You should include: the company's name and basic...

What Do I Get At Closing?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/brp68dfd2m?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 For most real estate loans, you will receive a Closing Disclosure 3 business days before loan consummation – which frequently happens at the closing meeting. At...

What Is PMI?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/0nkxje6bf3?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 This video tells you about it all. PMI stands for Private Mortgage Insurance or Insurer. These are privately-owned companies that provide mortgage insurance. They offer...

What Is A Loan Estimate And How Does It Help Me?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/jjdhjh5h7g?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 A loan estimate lists your loan terms projected payments, costs at closing measures for comparison, including Annual Percentage Rate and Total Interest Percentage and...

How Can I Improve My Home’s Value?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/eeb3615eku?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Buyers generally seek the least expensive home in the best neighborhood they can handle. Like the guy in the video says, you want to present a home that fits in the...

What Is A Counter-Offer?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/t53cybbmbs?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 The video puts this in more visual terms, but basically, a seller can respond to a buyer’s offer with changes - a “counter” - that improves the terms....

How Do I Evaluate An Offer?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/voe055xgi3?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Well, as this story shows, there’s more to an offer than the price tag. Factors you should consider: Is this offer at, near or above my asking price? Are there...

What Details Can I Ask Brokers In Advance?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/c1qo0wkx44?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 This video tells you what any real estate professional would tell you. Ask them: How long do homes in my neighborhood currently stay on the market? How would you price...

Why Use A REALTOR®

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/i7zp3vamge?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 A state license is required to sell real estate. But roughly half of those licensed take the additional step of becoming a REALTOR®. As we show you in this video,...

What Is Mortgage Insurance?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/jbqsckp733?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 Like the video shows, mortgage insurance is a policy that protects lenders against some or most of the losses that result from defaults on home mortgages. Like home or...

What Are The Steps Involved In The FHA Loan Process?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/2zq4cqr9el?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 The video puts this in more visual terms, but with the exception of a few additional forms the FHA loan application process is similar to that of a conventional loan....

What Is RESPA?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/5qwunhxm6o?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 RESPA stands for the Federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. This video tells you about it all. RESPA requires lenders to disclose information to potential...

What Makes Up Closing Costs?

http://videotap.wistia.com/medias/yglejbaipn?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640 What you’ll see in this video is, there may be closing costs customary or unique to a certain locality but closing costs are usually made up of the following:...