Olympic Training and Dog Playing

When searching for apartments, I looked for something that had a pool and allowed me to keep pets. I have two dogs that I got from a friend, and didn’t want to leave them at my parents home. I swim professionally and need to train for the upcoming Olympic Games in Brazil. Being able to get in as much swimming as possible to improve my time is important to me. The Emory Point Apartments in Atlanta provided me with a place for my dogs and a place to swim, while having a luxury style that is appealing to the eye.

Each morning I have a healthy breakfast and then make my way to the pool. (more…)

Tips for Selling Your Home During the Fall Market

The real estate market is typically most active at the early stages of spring. However, just because its fall doesn’t mean your home won’t sell. Millennials, empty nesters, relocations and other home buyers aren’t particular about when they move, so you have a good chance of selling your home come fall. To make your home more appealing, you’ll want to take the following tips into consideration.

Before you begin to show your home, have your real estate agent walk through your dwelling first. As a professional, they’ll be able to determine if you need to get rid of any clutter or make repairs. Additional small home improvements like painting the walls a neutral color and cleaning carpets can go a long way.

Tune-Ups and Inspections

As the weather turns colder, you’ll need to ditch your air-condition for heat. Before you set your thermostat to something cozy, you’ll want to have your furnace inspected by a professional. They can help change your filters and determine if your furnace is in need of any additional parts. Homes with older equipment should also be fixed or replaced. Professional companies such as RitzPlumbing.com can replace or service your old water heaters, sump pumps and pipes. If your home has a fireplace, it should also be inspected. A serviceman can check for any blockages such as a squirrel or birds nest. Save the receipts and have handy, so the buyers can see how well-tended your home is.

Clean the Exterior

Your home’s exterior can set the mood for your dwelling. Whether the prospective buyers see the photos of your home on the Internet or by driving around your neighborhood, you want to have the exterior in prime condition.  Cleaning can’t always take away all the damage and you will need to get your exterior replaced by Style by Carden Exteriors Inc.Leaves, branches and other debris can litter your yard as the summer season comes to a close. Try to rake or mow your lawn weekly, so it looks tidy and neat. You’ll also want to clean your gutters to remove leaves and other debris that may be littering it. During rainstorms, this can allow your gutters to overflow and run down onto the sides of your home. Decks, walkways and garages should also be cleaned and treated. Remove your annual flowers in favor of colorful mums. This can brighten up your exterior and give your home added character. If you notice any paint chipping off your home’s trim, shutters or doors, a touch up can make the exterior look brand new. If you live in a warmer climate, you’ll want to leave the patio furniture out and make sure it’s clean for buyers to sit outdoors and take in your view.


The fall season is a time for colorful foliage and decorations. While you don’t want to go over-the-top in sprucing up your home for fall, simple adornments can give your outside some charm. Seasonal fall welcome mats are ideal, especially if you have buyers walking through your home. Place pumpkins on your porch or along your walkway and display a festive fall wreath on your front door.


As the hours of daylight begin to grow shorter, you’re home’s exterior will need additional lighting. If you have porch lights, this is a great time to change the bulbs. You should also have your garage, walkways and address numbers lit properly. Before a home showing at night, illuminate the home by turning on the lights in every room.

Get Serious About the Price

If you really need to sell your home, the fall market could be slower than the spring. That’s why it’s important to price your dwelling accordingly. Your Realtor will be able to provide the latest comps. This gives you an idea of what the other homes in your neighborhood are currently selling for, the number of days they have been on the market, and the features. A market analysis will also show you what the homes have sold at. While you may think that your home is far superior from the other listings, it pays to listen to the advice from the experts.


How To Buy A House

he steps to purchasing your first home are not as difficult as one might imagine. The nightmare or dream starts from the moment you purchase a home. Make sure you have a home inspection that checks the foundation of the house because without a good foundation the cracks and creeks are going to become a nightmare. The nightmare on Elm Street can become the dream of Broadway. Knowing what you are getting into is where many home owners falter.

Time and time again home buyers think their house is a condo. A condo requires no maintenance but a house is a lot of work. You must make sure the yard is a size that you can handle.

Working with a realtor saves you a lot of problems. The contracts and list of paperwork that a realtor knows how to do is foreign to many new home owners.

Cash is king. The economic geo-political framework recognizes that the house will sell according to a specific price. The price the house sells for is known as the market.

How to beat the market.

Foreclosures are bank owned properties so the economic framework around one of those properties generally revolves around a fair market value. Stick to buying foreclosures and you won’t get ripped off by a greedy home owner. Foreclosures are great investments that are usually in need of minor rehabbing.

Save enough money so you can make your nightmare into a dream home. Personalize the house so you have a space that feels like yours.

Buying a home is a process that takes money and time.

3 Questions That You Must Ask While Hiring A Real Estate Agent

Are you looking to invest in real estate. However, you need a knowledgeable real estate agent with considerable amount of experience in guiding investors make the right decision in investing in real estate. This article will share with you three questions that every investor has to ask while trying to find a good real estate agent.

However, it should be noted that marketing to find motivated sellers is still a great practice, and investors often deal directly with sellers who do not list their properties in the listing services. While every real estate investor won’t need a real estate agent, it will be a huge benefit if you have a skilled agent of broker in your team. Investors are in the habit of getting one property and selling it the moment they feel that they are getting enough profit out of it. Sometimes it may demand a huge investment or a small one depending on the spending limit and the habit of the investor. In order to ensure that every investment brings in the desired results, the investor should seek the help of a real estate agent in Woodbridge, VA who has plenty of experience in this sector.

So, let’s not delay any more and here are 3 questions that you must ask the potential real estate agents or brokers:

  • Are you investing in real estate for yourself: This question may sound simple, however preferring to go with the real estate agent who has considered investing in real estate themselves serves as an example for their credibility and this is how most of the people search for their real estate agent.  Once you consider this as a pre-requisite, you will be able to filter out several real estate agents who may show you houses that are good to live it, however they could never be considered as an investment option.
  • Will you be analyzing which deal is good and bad or just send me the list of properties: There are thousands of real estate agents in the US and most of the agents only arrange that their clients could receive all the new properties that are within a particular price range, in a certain town, or as an automated e-mail blast. This is kind of a very lazy approach towards your clients and may result into the loss of clients as they might not get exactly what they want. Those who are keen to invest, will want more that just a list of new houses. Busy investors will want an agent who will not increase the work for them and keep the task of analyzing and evaluating the property for themselves. They should know the needs of the investor and what’s hot in the market to ensure that they pre-select those properties that have high chances of qualifying as deals.
  • Will you be comfortable to make several offers: In order to make the opposite parties accept your offer and make a sensible investment, you will need to make many offers. In most of the real estate markets, in order to make an investment deal work for you, you will often need to offer less than what the appraisal says about the price of the house. You will need a real estate agent or a broker who is willing to make lots of offers and should be thick skinned about the reactions when them make offers that are below the asking price.

These three questions will help you in getting I touch with a skilled real estate agent who could help you in making the best offer and get a profitable property.


Documenting Your Assets – Verifying Your Down Payment

Personal property includes automobiles, vehicles, boats, furniture, collections, heirlooms, antiques, art, clothing, and practically everything you own except for real estate. The mortgage application asks you to estimate the value for these items.

The larger the loan amount, the more important it is for you to provide details on your personal property. This is because larger loans usually indicate larger incomes, and lenders check to see if your personal property matches your income. If it does not, this sends a “red flag” to the underwriter and they take a closer look at your application.

You are not required to document the value of personal property unless you intend to sell them to come up with your down payment.

Selling Personal Property

For those homebuyers who do sell personal property in order to come up with their down payment, the verification process can be arduous. Lenders are much stricter about documenting this method of coming up with your source of funds.

Selling a car is perhaps the easiest to document. First, you need to photocopy the registration that shows you actually own the vehicle. You will have to provide a copy of the page in the “Blue Book” that shows your model and its value. Then you need to photocopy the bill of sale showing the transfer to another individual and a copy of the check used to purchase the vehicle. Do not get paid in cash because that makes it impossible to show you actually received the funds. Make a copy of the receipt when you deposit the funds into the bank.

Other types of personal property are more difficult because you have to show that you actually own the property and that it actually has the value that you sold it for. This is a little harder to do for most assets than it is for automobiles.

If you have records to show you purchased the property, that would be helpful. You could also provide an old inventory that documents ownership. To determine value, you may have to contract with an independent appraiser or a specialist who has the knowledge for that particular type of property.

If you cannot document the item’s value, the lender will not view the sale as an acceptable source of funds. Just like selling a car, you have to prove you own the item, make a copy of the bill of sale, copy the check used to purchase the item, and make a copy of your receipt when you deposit the funds into your bank.

Your Down Payment Affects Everything

homeWhen preparing to buy a home, the first thing many homebuyers do is look at “homes for sale” ads in newspapers, magazines and listings on the internet. Some potential buyers read “how-to” articles like this one. The next thing you should do – before you call on an ad, before you talk to a Realtor, before you shop for interest rates – is look at your savings.


Because determining how much money you have available for down payment and closing costs affects almost every aspect of buying a home – including how you write your purchase offer, the loan programs you qualify for, and shopping for interest rates.

Mortgage Programs

If you only have enough available for a minimum down payment, your choices of loan program will be limited to only a few types of mortgages. If someone is giving you a gift for all or part of the down payment, your options are also limited. If you have enough for the down payment, but need the lender or seller to cover all or part of your closing costs, this further limits your options. If you borrow all or a portion of the down payment from your 401K or retirement plan, different loan programs have different rules on how you qualify.

Of course, if you have enough for a large down payment, then you have lots of choices.

Your loan choices include such varied programs as conventional fixed rate loans, adjustable rate mortgages, buydowns, VA, FHA, graduated payment mortgages and all the varieties of each.

Shopping Rates

A very important reason you need to have at least some idea of your down payment is for shopping interest rates. Some loan programs charge a slightly higher interest rate for minimal down payments. Plus, the interest rates for different loan programs are not the same. For example, conventional, VA, and FHA all offer fixed rate loans. However, the rates vary from one program to another.

If you shop lenders by phone, the loan officer will be able to tell which programs fit and quote you rates accordingly. However, if you are shopping on the internet, you have to have some idea of your loan program on your own.

Writing Your Offer

Another reason you need to have a clue about your down payment is because it affects how you write your offer to purchase a home. Not only are you required to put your down payment information in the offer, but different loan programs have different rules which also affect how you write your offer. This is especially important when dealing with FHA and VA loans.

If you are asking the seller to pay all or part of your closing costs, you have to be certain your loan program allows what you are asking. For smaller down payments, lenders allow the seller to pay less closing costs than for larger down payments. Some loan programs will allow a seller to pay certain types of costs, but not others.

Finally, your down payment also affects your ability to qualify for a loan. When you make a small down payment, lenders are fairly strict about having you conform to their underwriting guidelines. For larger down payments, they will tend to make allowances or exceptions to the rules.

How Much House Can You Afford?

mortgageTo determine your maximum mortgage amount, lenders use guidelines called debt-to-income ratios. This is simply the percentage of your monthly gross income (before taxes) that is used to pay your monthly debts. Because there are two calculations, there is a “front” ratio and a “back” ratio and they are generally written in the following format: 33/38.

The front ratio is the percentage of your monthly gross income (before taxes) that is used to pay your housing costs, including principal, interest, taxes, insurance, mortgage insurance (when applicable) and homeowners association fees (when applicable). The back ratio is the same thing, only it also includes your monthly consumer debt. Consumer debt can be car payments, credit card debt, installment loans, and similar related expenses. Auto or life insurance is not considered a debt.

A common guideline for debt-to-income ratios is 33/38. A borrower’s housing costs consume thirty-three percent of their monthly income. Add their monthly consumer debt to the housing costs, and it should take no more than thirty-eight percent of their monthly income to meet those obligations.

The guidelines are just guidelines and they are flexible. If you make a small down payment, the guidelines are more rigid. If you have marginal credit, the guidelines are more rigid. If you make a larger down payment or have sterling credit, the guidelines are less rigid. The guidelines also vary according to loan program. FHA guidelines state that a 29/41 qualifying ratio is acceptable. VA guidelines do not have a front ratio at all, but the guideline for the back ratio is 41.

Example: If you make $5000 a month, with 33/38 qualifying ratio guidelines, your maximum monthly housing cost should be around $1650. Including your consumer debt, your monthly housing and credit expenditures should be around $1900 as a maximum.