Perfect Home Story for a Veteran!

Real Estate

My client & his wife have been together for 21 years, they are in their 50s. He has a Military back ground, served with the 101st Air Borne Division did tours in Korea, Germany, Panama, and several post State side. He attended Pace University in NY and worked for The City of NY. His wife works at the Hospital for the past 29 years. I love my Vet buyers!!

My buyer asked me to put in an offer house unseen (and this house had multiple offers). As a realtor I advocate for my clients to the full extent to get them the house they want. I wrote an introduction letter on behalf of my client and the sellers knew it was a perfect home match. Today my buyer and his family got the house and they are under contract set to close in less than 30 days! I am so happy for this deserving family!

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Tips for Buying a House 

Real Estate

 Choosing a Realtor®

Of all the decisions you’ll face when buying a home, there’s none more important than the person you choose to represent you.

The job of your Sales Associate is to support you in finding the right home with the best possible terms and to aid you through the entire process. Your Sales Associate will explain the process of buying a home, and familiarize you with the various activities, documents and procedures that you will experience throughout the transaction.

Tips For Selecting A Realtor®

Your Real Estate Professional should be:

  • Knowledgeable about the communities of interest to you.
  • Aware of the complicated local and state requirements affecting your transaction.
  • Effective in multi-party, face-to-face negotiations.
  • Highly-trained, with access to programs for continued learning and additional certifications.
  • Technology-focused.
  • Supported by professional legal counsel.

Financing

Most real estate professionals and mortgage lenders recommend pre-qualifying for a loan before selecting a home to purchase. This process will help you:

  • Determine the price range you can afford.
  • Understand the types of loans you qualify for.
  • Determine what your monthly payment will be.
  • Estimate the down payment and closing costs.

The Loan Process

Your Sales Associate will help you to select a mortgage lender. Once you have made your decision, these are the steps of the process:

Application – All pertinent documentation is obtained. Fees and down payments are discussed, and the borrower will receive a Loan Estimate, itemizing the rates and associated costs for the loan.

You will be asked to provide certain documents to your lender in order that your loan can be processed in a timely manner.

Loan Submission – Once all the necessary documentation is in, your completed file is submitted to a lender for approval.

Loan Approval (Underwriting) – Loan approval, or underwriting, generally takes 24 to 72 hours. All parties are notified of the approval and any loan conditions that must be received before the loan can close.

Closing – Once all parties have signed the loan documents, they are returned to the lender. If all the forms have been properly executed, the lender sends the loan funds by wire transfer. At this point, the borrower finishes the loan process and actually buys the house.

Finding and Choosing the Right Home

Based on criteria that you and your Sales Associate establish together, your Associate will help you find the perfect home. There are many factors to consider in selecting a property, including location, bedroom and bath count, schools and amenities.

Your Sales Associate will apply their extensive community knowledge and professional resources to research available properties and show you the homes that best meet your needs. If you find a property that interests you through the Internet or your own research, let your Sales Associate know so that a showing can be arranged.

As you view different properties, your criteria may change. Open and direct communication with your Sales Associate is a key element of a successful property search.

Making an Offer

Once you have found the home that you wish to purchase, your Sales Associate will apply their professional training and do all the necessary research to help you structure an effective offer.

This is where your Sales Associate’s negotiation skills come into play. When an offer is made, the seller will have the option of accepting, rejecting or counter-offering. Your Sales Associate will negotiate the best possible terms for you.

Your Sales Associate will draft the purchase agreement, advising you of protective contingencies, customary practices, and local regulations. Home warranty, title, and escrow arrangements will be detailed in the offer. Although your Sales Associate will give you advice and information, it is your decision as to the exact price and terms that you wish to offer.

Managing the Escrow

When the purchase agreement is accepted and signed by all parties, your Sales Associate will open escrow for you and your earnest money will be deposited. The escrow is a neutral third party that will receive, hold, and distribute all funds associated with your transaction.

Removing Contingencies

Prior to closing escrow, all of the contingencies of the Purchase Agreement must be met. Your Sales Associate will coordinate this process. Typical contingencies include:

  • Approval of the preliminary title report.
  • Loan approval, including an appraisal of the property.
  • Physical inspections of the property.
  • Pest inspection and certification.
  • Acquisition of homeowner’s insurance.
  • Approval of the Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement.

Closing Escrow and Moving In!

When all of the conditions of the purchase agreement have been met, you will sign your loan documents and closing papers. You will deposit the balance of your down payment and closing costs to escrow, and your lender will deposit the balance of the purchase price. The deed will then be recorded at the County Recorder’s office and you will take ownership of your home.

Your Sales Associate is a valuable source of helpful tips for planning and coordinating your move. Contact me today:

Article Source: :http://www.wilkinsonera.com/pages/55585/real-estate-tips-for-buying.aspx

Charlotte ranks one of the best cities to own Investment property or buy a home

Real Estate

According to Business Insider, Charlotte ranks among the best place to buy an investment property or own a home. Check out how Charlotte measures up in the article linked below:

https://www.gobankingrates.com/investing/best-worst-cities-own-investment-property/23/

Buyers:  3 Easy Steps on How to Get Your Offer Accepted (Even in a Seller’s Market)

Real Estate

To all the buyers out there that have ever experienced the heartbreak of losing a home they loved to another offer, here are 3 top tips to never experience the loss of your dream home again.

1. Work with a Realtor Who Knows What Works

Of course, if you’re in Charlotte, NC the only step you need to get your offer accepted is to work with me, an expert Charlotte Realtor. I know how to get offers accepted. But if you’re not so lucky😀 you want to work with a Realtor that knows how to put your offer in the front of the sellers over any other offer on the table. There are several ways to do that it takes a Realtor that knows the market. It also takes a sixth sense in which a Realtor just knows what has to be done to win over your offer over the other offers the seller is considering. This careful footing requires a mix of experience and intuition.

2. Put Some Skin in the Game

If you are a buyer and you’re really set on a home, to the extent that you have already pictured your children growing up in the home, prom pictures and backyard weddings than in order to have a strong chance of getting your offer accepted over others it’s best to put some skin in the game. What do I mean by skin in the game? Offer Due Diligence and Earnest Money along with your offer. The due diligence fee is the amount paid by the buyer directly to the seller, which the seller keeps no matter what. If the deal closes, the buyer will have that amount credited back at closing. But either way, that amount up front is the seller’s to keep. earnest money is a deposit made to a seller showing the buyer’s  earnestness or good faith in a transaction. I typically see earnest money deposits ranging from 1%-3% of the purchase price. For example, On a $300,000 transaction, a buyer in the Charlotte market would typically make an earnest money deposit of $3,000-$9,000. The earnest money deposit is not set and is to be negotiated between the buyer and seller. If you want to catch the attention of the seller then it is suggested to offer both Due Diligence and earnest money.

3. Have Everything Ready to Go

Having a strong offer and having your offer ready to present to the sellers will put your offer to the front of the pile in a multiple offer situation. Having everything ready includes having your pre-qualified/ proof of funds letter from a qualified lender, a fully completed offer from your realtor, and copies of your due diligence and earnest money check. If the situation calls for a personal touch it would not hurt to tell the sellers in a letter why you love the house and send it in the offer packet.

There are some tricks I simply cannot post that get my offers accepted happily every time but for the typical buyer, you can’t go wrong if you follow the 3 tips above on how to get your offer accepted, even in a seller’s market. I wish you all to have the house of your dreams!

Top 5 Tips on How Not to Annoy a Real Estate Agent (but no agent will tell you)

Real Estate

Okay, we Realtors understand how not to annoy our clients. We know what makes clients happy. Y’all love Realtors to respond promptly to you, be on time, don’t be a pushy salesman, know the market well and be the first to get you the new hottest listings and sell your house swiftly at or over market value . We know! But these tips are for Y’all this time. Here are tips for buyers on how not to annoy your Realtor!!

1. Free Home Sightseeing Field Trips

If you know you’re not in the market to buy a house do not ask a real estate agent to show you houses. Any experienced and successful agent will qualify a buyer appropriately. A Pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender is the best resources we have to ensure customers are a ready and able buyer. If you know you don’t want to buy now start by visiting open houses in your area to get an idea of what’s available on the market. Asking a Realtor to show you houses if you have no intention of buying a house is like nails to a chalkboard to a real estate agent’s ears. To be clear it’s like your boss coming to your desk and saying we don’t want to pay you right now but we want you to keep working and if we decide to pay you we will let you know when the time is right. I can imagine the look on anyone’s face if their boss actually said that out loud.

Let’s say you are on the fence about homeownership but you still want to look at some houses. Let’s say you fall in love with a house a Realtor showed and you ask your Realtor to put in an offer for you. A strong offer includes proof of funds I.E. a Pre-approval letter. Even if you are confident you can afford the house your offer most likely will be turned down over another offer that already includes proof of funds. Perhaps you really fall in love with a house and you don’t know if you can afford it but you’ve seen the house and you have to have it now. By the time you are able to get pre-approved in this market the house will most likely already be under contract with another buyer who was more prepared. Let’s say you love a house that’s out of your budget in a neighborhood you can’t afford, then any house after that won’t be good enough and you’ll be clinically depressed.

On the other hand, If you want to buy a house but you don’t know if you are financially able to buy, or you are not sure how much you can afford a Realtor can help you with a solution(in advance). A Realtor can connect you with a mortgage broker if you don’t already have one. A good mortgage broker will be able to tell you if you can afford a home, which type of loan is best for you, how much house you can afford and what your potential monthly payment might be, based on the current interest rate. Ask the mortgage broker how much you can qualify for and get a pre-approval letter. If you are pre-approved then you’re ready to start looking at houses with a Real Estate Agent!

2. A Realtor’s Work is Never Done?

False! Guess what, we got lives. It doesn’t mean we won’t do our best to get ahead of any issues and answer you promptly but let’s put this in perspective, no one will crash and burn if agents answer their emails only during business hours.  I know you buyers and sellers don’t want to hear this but some of us agents have families, other clients, friends, and travel plans. It is buyers and sellers etiquette to ask what hours your real estate agent typically works and stick to that, as any professional with good boundaries do not work 24 hours.

3. Be Loyal 

Before I was a Realtor I had no idea it was wrong to work with two agents. Now it seems so clear but I just assumed whoever found the house or was able to sell the house I wanted would be my agent. Wrong.  Realtors put a lot of work upfront to find the perfect house or sell your house for you and if one weekend you decide to work with another agent because your Realtor was in a meeting it shows no consideration or loyalty. We don’t like those types of customers. The best thing to do is sign a buyer’s agency with your agent as this protects you in the long run. This agreement is simply an agreement that says your Realtor represents you and has your best interest at hand otherwise the agent represents the other side by law and has to disclose anything you tell them to the other side. Protect yourself and sign or else don’t say anything about finances or share personal information.

4.You Get What You Pay For!

Do not ask for a discount unless you want discounted services. What you may not know is agents do a lot to ensure your home closes smoothly (on the buying or selling side). Keep in mind Realtors don’t have a salary or get paid until the end of the transaction(Unless of course they charge a retainer fee which is done in some states) However, our job is not done at the closing table good agents follow up and keep in touch to make sure clients are enjoying their new home. Agents put time effort, heart, and resources in every transaction in advance. In addition, we split our commission with our agency and the other side as well. The final number we receive is not what it appears to be in the closing disclosure. If we are selling your home, for example, we are doing the job of many people including but not limited to an in-house therapist, planner, marketing and selling VP and we act as a Bill Clinton top-level negotiator, researcher, driver, measurements specalist, and caretaker just to name a few of our responsibilities.

For those of you who still don’t see whats wrong with asking your agent for a discount Here’s another quick example to put this in perspective of why it is improper to ask your Realtor for a discount, if your boss came to your desk (again) and said I need you to work on this special project but we don’t want to pay you a full salary because we can’t afford to, it would take too much out of our bottom line. However, we want you to work the same amount of time and effort for less money and we want you to find someone to buy our product while you work on a discounted salary. Would that be okay with you? No! and you will lose respect if you abide. According to the national association of Realtors, Ninety percent of sellers listed their homes on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is the number one source for sellers to list their home. In Charlotte, it was 94 percent.  The best way to sell your home is to list your home on The MLS that only Realtors have access to. working with a Realtor is the best way to have a smooth closing and receive the best value for your home.

5.Put Some Respect On It

Don’t mistake your Google search for my Real Estate license! Just-said-it!  Put some respect on it!! Be informed but don’t be a know it all. Remember Realtors are on your side we want you to have the home of your dreams and help you to make the most profit on your home that the market will allow. We work hard for you. Again please respect us, be kind thoughtful, have a great attitude and ask questions if you don’t understand.

Lastly, don’t forget us! The way Realtors make a living is mostly through referrals so if you did have a good experience with your Realtor tell everyone you know about your positive experience. Tell your friends family, neighbors, Facebook friends, co-workers, and church members, for God’s sake. Don’t forget to write a 5-star review for your agent on any online platform you use including  Google, Yelp, Zillow etc.

If you stick to these tips most likely you won’t annoy your Realtor! No promises.

Get To Know Charlotte’s Expert Realtor: Tina Whittaker

Real Estate

​I’m originally from Bloomfield Hills, MI.  My family and I moved to Paris, France while I was in high school where I graduated from The American School Of Paris.  This experience inspired me to study International Business Marketing and French at Eastern Michigan University. After college, I moved to Miami, Florida to escape from the harsh Michigan winters.  This is where I learned true grit and resourcefulness, such as how to parallel park in the tightest of spaces, negotiate rent prices, find the best Cuban coffee, and survive hurricane season.  In 2007, I decided to move to Charlotte, one of the top thriving cities for young adults.

Moving to Charlotte was the best decision I’ve ever made!  I’m familiar with a variety of neighborhoods in Charlotte as a result of living in many areas, including South Charlotte, Plaza Midwood, University Huntersville, and Northlake. In 2012, I purchased a home in the new and hip Charlotte neighborhood, Windsor Park. I am happy to report I was able to sell that home for 75k more than I purchased it for just 5 years later.  My professional background includes entrepreneurship, executive level management experience, and working in marketing for two major companies headquartered in the Charlotte area.

I’m delighted to work as a Realtor licensed in North Carolina and South Carolina. I look forward to meeting new, amazing clients. I am passionate about helping others find a home that they cherish, securing the best deals for families, selling homes at the highest value and helping first time home buyers!

When I am not working in real estate, I enjoy eclectic hobbies including writing, studying French, entrepreneurship, water aerobics, international and domestic travel, and riding my bicycle with my rescue dog running alongside of me. I also enjoy yoga, playing basketball, live music, dining with friends, volunteering, going to the movies, current events and attending church.

Contact me today if you’re looking to buy or sell a home!

 Tina Whittaker

Wilkinson ERA Realty

Realtor® Broker NC/SC

Cell: 704-657-3381 Email:Tinaewhittaker@gmail.com

Uptown, beautiful condo for sale. Buyers contact me today! $634,900 3 bedrooms 3/1 baths

Real Estate

City View Terraces Phase 3 condo!

CVT 3 now features a rooftop HOT TUB! Phases 1 & 2 are sold out! In addition to the awesome upgrades included in phase 2 (rooftop kitchenette, pocket WINDOR 3-4′ glass panels that slide into the wall opening up the entire 12’X8′ doorway to balcony). Master BR features claw foot tub, large 5’X5′ walk-in shower, Juliet balcony & gas fire place! Our designer spends dozens of hours with buyers allowing them to customize their condo, picking out each light fixture, tile, paint, stain, etc. Call me today if interested in putting in an offer with me as your expert buyers agent call me :

Tina Whittaker

Cell: 704-657-3381 Realtor NC, SC Wilkinson ERA Real Estate

Email:Tinaewhittaker@gmail.com

Letting Go a Little Tiny Bit at a Time. 

Real Estate, Uncategorized

In the past, I held on to everything, old receipts (where the print had become virtually undetectable), obscure electronic plugins (that I have no idea what electronic item they actually attached to), old clothes, socks and earrings without a match. EVERYTHING! However, at the age of 36 years old I was seemingly ready for a new life. It seems so easy writing it now, I’m ready for a NEW LIFE, yeahhhhhhhh! READY 123. But it was probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life.

This life transition was a process that started before I even knew it began.   I think I started to become Slightly aware I just signed up for a life change when I was smacked dab in the middle of the transition. I had been working on a real estate project for Tiny houses in Charlotte. The Tiny house project inspired me to research this minimalist lifestyle. That’s when I found the movie Minimalism on Netflix. The movie was a game changer. I began to slowly get rid of small items in my environment and clear my space. Again I had no idea the journey I was embarking on at that point. I thought I was just doing some research!

After months of delays and project setbacks, the tiny house deal fell through. Okay more like I fell through the deal. A change of direction was abruptly implemented, the change was me. I didn’t like how I was treated and I didn’t like how I responded to the way I was treated and either did the builder and his Best buddy the loan officer. I cried in front of my boss. I felt unprotected.  More on that painful life lesson later! …Long story short the tiny house project never took off and my former real estate agency is no longer working on the tiny house project at all. In fact only 1 house out of the initially projected 80 to 60 homes have been built. Although I support the tiny house movement (in theory) leaving after it wasn’t working out was truly a blessing in disguise. I ended up selling a home to a young first time home buyer who initially was interested in purchasing a tiny house ( she attended my tiny house party event). Her beautiful full sized home I sold her was for the same price of a tiny home! But I digress…  That wasn’t the real journey.  I was still on the journey I was intended to be on,  the one I didn’t know …I was on.  I just didn’t know that the tiny house project was simply a catalyst for change that helped me focus on my true journey. Comprenez vous?  I had to separate from the project I was entangled in because I never would have let go if the choice was left up to me. I wish there was another way but I have trouble letting go….

Back on my journey, the one that I didn’t know I signed up for or couldn’t find the initial details to what I was to do exactly, that’s the one. I began to move on to what I felt in my heart. I followed my gut. My last words after my… let’s call it “a change in direction meeting” in a teary voice I simply said I want to travel and write. And that’s what I did. I started to see what else could be eliminated from my life.  I needed to eliminate everything that was holding me back from my future. I sold my very own home and everything in it.  It was a deal I never wanted to make. I would be fine just continuing on in my life as it was, but it wasn’t the life that was intended! So after being pushed to the corner just before the ledge, I jumped, I let go screaming & kicking all the way …UP

“The truth is unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

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