Monday, April 23, 2018

The one experience that homeowners can agree upon after completing a remodeling project is that it costs more and takes longer than expected. It doesn't really matter that you researched, planned, and received multiple bids, it will, invariably, cost more and take longer than you originally anticipated.
Replacing floor covering or painting is a project that a homeowner can easily get bids and contract with the workmen directly. A new level of complexity occurs when the project involves more specialized contractors, like plumbers, electricians, carpenters, counters, and others.
Now, a homeowner is faced with dealing with one general contractor who will run roughshod over the sub-contractors or make the decision to do it themselves. Typically, you'll pay more for a general contractor, but the trade-off is that they have the contacts and experience to make things go smoothly.
Subs are notorious for wanting to finish their "part" of the project and move onto to the next job. Sometimes, they're not interested in the "big picture" enough to consider doing things in a way that are best for the overall outcome.
When you start tearing out some things, you find out that there may be unexpected expenses involved. Another common occurrence is that during the project, you get a new thought about changing something else "since it is already torn up anyway." This will add time and money to the job.
There can be the situation that the homeowner doesn't even know the right questions to ask or what to consider when trying to coordinate the different workers. The most detailed timetable can be thrown off track if one set of workers don't show up or finish on time. At best, it delays the project for a few days. At worst, it can delay it for a few weeks because the individual workers may have committed to other jobs that don't allow them to reschedule.
Once the work is done in a professional manner, you're probably going to live with it for years. If it is something you've wanted to do and it will allow you to enjoy your home more, it is worth doing. Just be patient and enter this adventure with the understanding that it will cost more and take longer than you expect.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A couple is planning to tour the United States in a travel trailer during their first few years of retirement. They are going to sell their current home now and purchase another home when they finish their travels.  
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An interesting exercise is to determine the optimum time of selling the home: now or when they're ready to buy their replacement home.
If they intend on traveling for more than three years, then, it may be a good decision to sell prior to the sojourn to avoid paying taxes on the gain in their home. IRS allows for a temporary rental of a principal residence while still keeping the $250,000/$500,000 capital gains exclusion intact. A homeowner must own and use a home for three out of the previous five years which means that it could be rented for up to three years, but it would need to be sold and closed before that three-year window expires.
If the travel will be less than three years, there is an option of selling now or later. Using the example below, the homeowner sold the home, paid their expenses and invested the proceeds in a three-year certificate of deposit until the replacement home was purchased.

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As an alternative, if the homeowner rented the home, not only would they have income, the home would continue to appreciate and the unpaid balance would go down resulting in larger net proceeds. Based on a 5% appreciation and continued amortization of the mortgage, the net proceeds could easily be $40,000 more.

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Obviously, there are a lot of considerations that affect the decision to sell now or later but in an appreciating real estate environment, being without a home for several years could affect the financial position of the owner in the replacement property. It is certainly reasonable to look at various alternatives before making a decision since each area is unique. 

Call Vikki Crossland and Brandi  Cook, The Aiken HOMES Team at Meybohm Real Estate at 803-645-8008 or 803-645-3325 to discuss your specific real estate goals and  always consult your tax professional.

Monday, April 9, 2018

"How long do we have to wait to qualify for another mortgage" is the question concerning people who've had a foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy. The loan types for the new loan will differ in amounts of time to heal credit scores based on the event.43296989-250.jpg
The following chart is meant to be a general guide for how long a person might have to wait. During this waiting period, it's important that the person be current on all payments and maintains a history of good credit.
A recommended lender can give you specific information regarding your individual situation and can make suggestions that will improve your ability to qualify for a mortgage. This process should be started before looking at homes because of the time constraints listed here can vary based on current requirements and possible extenuating circumstances of your case.
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We want to be your personal source of real estate information and we're committed to helping from purchase to sale and all the years in between. Call Vikki at (803) 645-8008 or Brandi at 803-645-3325 for lender recommendations.

Monday, April 2, 2018


An Aiken Tradition...

Hopelands Garden Concert Series-2018

Vikki and Brandi of the Aiken HOMES Team
of Meybohm Real Estate are the sponsors
for the opening night event on April 2nd.

Kenny George Band starting at 6:30 pm.



This is a "local’s" favorite event and weather is perfect!

The highly anticipated Hopelands Concert Series returns this April, May, and June. The first concert features The Kenny George Band, who will kick off Masters Week in Aiken with a performance in Hopelands Gardens on Monday, April 2nd at 6:30 pm. Guests are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and picnic dinner to enjoy the show. Admission is free. 

Event parking is located across the street from Hopelands Gardens at the Green Boundary Club, 780 Whiskey Road. Handicap parking is available at Rye Patch on Berrie Road and Hopelands Gardens on Dupree Place. 

For more information, please call 803-642-7631 or visitwww.cityofaikensc.gov or www.facebook.com/ExperienceAiken. Please call the rain-out hotline at 803-643-4661 for more information in the event of inclement weather.


Monday, March 26, 2018

The Federal Housing Authority, operating under HUD, offers affordable mortgages for tens of thousands of buyers who may not qualify for other types of programs. They are popular with both first-time and repeat buyers.
The 3.5% down payment is an attractive feature but there are other advantages:
  • More tolerant for credit challenges than conventional mortgages.
  • Lower down payments than most conventional loans.
  • Broader qualifying ratios - total house payment with MIP can be up to 31% of borrower's monthly gross income and total house payment with all recurring debt can be up to 43%. There is a stretch provision taking it to 33/45 for qualifying energy efficient homes.
  • Seller can contribute up to 6% of purchase price; this money must be specified in the contract and can be used to pay all or part of the buyer's closing costs, pre-paid items and/or buy down of the interest rate.
  • Self-employed may qualify with adequate documentation - two year's tax returns and a current profit and loss statement would be required in addition to the normal qualifying and underwriting requirements.
  • Liberal use of gift monies - borrowers can receive a gift from family members, buyer's employer, close friend, labor union or charity. A gift letter will be required specifying that the gift does not have to be repaid.
  • Special 203(k) program for buying a home that needs capital improvements - requires a firm contractor's bid attached to the contract calling for the work to be done. The home is appraised subject to the work being done. If approved, the home can close, the money for the improvements escrowed and paid when completed.
  • Loans are assumable at the existing interest rate with buyer qualification. Assumptions are easier than qualifying for a new mortgage and closing costs are lower.
  • An assumable mortgage with a lower than current rates for new mortgages could add value to the property.
Finding the best mortgage for an individual is not always an easy process. Buyers need good information from trusted professionals. Call (803) 645-8008 for a recommendation of a trusted lender who can help you.