Monthly Archives: January 2008

Running out of room?

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“Helping every good egg find their way home” has been my marketing slogan.  You own a home that you love. . .but does your home give you all the love you need back?  Garage stacked to the ceiling?  Closet doors stuffed to within an inch of their lives?  Might be time to think about taking advantage of the great market here in Onslow County and moving UP to a home with a little more space!  Think about it!  Oh, and to better view any of my photo postings, roll your mouse over it or simply click on the photo.

It’s PCS season!

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It’s about that time of year!  Next month the next big wave of PCS orders will be issued for Spring and Summer 2008 military movers.  If you or someone you know is up for orders, start to prepare now.  If you plan to move to the Jacksonville area this year, ge ton touch with me so I can begin to email you homes to browse through that match your “wish list” as well as budget. . .if you’re leaving the area, let’s get together to discover what needs to be done now to get your home ready for the market and get it listed!  If you KNOW of someone, or work in a complementary market or industry, I LOVE referrals.  Please pass my name along to someone I could help, I love meeting new people an dof course, having more work to do! 

910Homes.net

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Gradually becoming an 800 lb gorilla on the internet!  I hope you like the latest tweaks, trying to gain as much exposure as possible for both my listings as well as my firm’s.  Browse through, see what is going on with the market, what some of the fabulous options are and cell me to schedule a personal tour of any of these homes.

You really like Me me me. . .

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Judging by the number of hits on my bl;og today, and WHICH articles, it seems you really liked “me me me”. . .as silly an article as it was.  So, I thought I might further induldge you. 

This is a photo of my brother, Matthias, and I on one of SEVERAL cross country moves.  Taken en route to Hawaii while visiting relatives in the Chicago area. . .it’s a candid moment inbetween photo sessions for a new family portrait with all the extended relatives.  Most of our family moves reminded me of a National Lampoons movie complete with visits to the Mitchell Corn Palace, Wal Mart when it was just Wal Drug on the highway, and most of the state rest stops along the way.  Essentially, a “vacation” was a fancy word for “moving-cross-country” in my childhood.  So, I really DO have a great appreciation for looking for a home you love but hopefully finding it before the novelty of living in a hotel has run out. . .

 More fun details about me:

I am often seen with a purse large enough for its own zip code.

Yorkshire pudding makes me happy.

Cadburry eggs should be sold year round.

I am the worst at remembering birthdays.

I don’t have cable and I love it.

How to buy a house?

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So, you want to know how to buy a house?  Pretty simple here in Eastern NC.  A VERY abbreviated set of steps, of course, every person’s situation will vary slightly-or greatly, no two real estate transactions are exactly the same, sort of like a snowflake.

1. Find a great real estate agent, present company included!  🙂  When buying a home, in MOST cases someone working in the capacity of a “Buyer’s Agent” is actually free to the buyers, the seller paying a listing fee for their home which, again, in most cases, is the commission for both agents. 

2. Determine if buying a home is really the right move for you.  Generally you see a nice return in an average market in about 2 years, so, will you be in the area for the next two years or more?  Most PCS orders are for longer, the USMC in particular being fond of “homesteading” and allowing military families to be stationed at a base for three years or much longer, saving the cost of relocation.

3.  First prequalify then preapprove for a loan.  This is a very important step because it lets you know if you can actually get a mortgage for a home, if your credit score is strong enough and what interest rate you would qualify for. . . AND how much will your piece of the American Dream cost you each month.  What is your buying power, exactly?  Well, only one way to find out, apply for a mortgage.  Do a little shopping once you get a quote, I’m not talking 30 places, but certainly a total of two or three. . .compare apples to apples. . .what are the various fees?  Closing costs?  If you don’t qualify, find out WHY. . .sometimes small credit issues can be cleared up in a matter of weeks or months and it is worth pursuing your dream of home-ownership. . .and repairing your credit is imperative no matter what type of loan you want. . .home, car, or credit cards.

4.  Go hunting.  Looking for the house is my favorite part.  You should have a “wish list”. . .within your price range, what are you most wanting in a home?  Is school district very important to you and your family?  Does a walk-in closet make your heart skip a beat?  Is a laundry room in the garage instead of on the second floor a deal breaker for you?  Make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your appetite.  Do some research, make sure what you really want is reasonable within your budget, otherwise your hunt will only frustrate you.

5. Make an offer.  Here in the Jacksonville area, it is pretty well known that you can probably BUY a place for less than you can RENT it!  GENERALLY speaking, under the 200,000 price range, a $500 EMD check (earnest money deposit), is all you need to get rolling on a home!  The check is submitted with your offer to purchase (contract), I prefer to include a pre-approval letter from your lender also.  If your offer is accepted by the seller or builder, the check is deposited and held in escrow (an interest bearing account, usually by the listing firm) until the deal closes at which point the money is credited back to you –usually as a credit towards your closing costs. . .which MAY be covered in their majority by the seller or the builder. . .which often happens here, the market supports seller concessions.  So, there you have it, rather than first month’s rent, security deposit, pet deposit, pet rent, etc. . .you could own a home and enjoy the tax benefits of having a nest egg as well as earning equity as the value of your home gradually increases.

6. Close the deal.  In our area, generally a month long process.  New Construction Homes seem to average about 120 days to complete (weather and permits permitting).    Closing takes place in a local attorney’s office, there are lots in the area that handle real estate law.  Sometimes the sellers attend, but not always, sometimes their agent will attend for them if they are already en route to their new home.  The attorney ensures all proper loan, deed, title paperwork is completed and signed, records the deed at the courthouse . . .you may or may not owe closing costs. . .depending on the house, your mortgage and what was negotiated. . .and finally, you own a home!

Sure, this is a VERY simplistic version of events.  But, as a general overview, not as scary as it sounds. . . and compared to what you may be reading online or hearing on the news, this market is VERY stable. . .we didn’t experience the exciting and record breaking house prices other areas did, but we aren’t seeing the lows either.  This is a military community with military paychecks. . .if you have been on the fence about home-ownership, this is a great community to get your toes in the water! 

If you have more questions or want to find out what you need to do to start looking for a home, contact me.  I would love the opportunity to earn your business. 

http://www.910Homes.net

http://www.McKenzieSellsHomes.com