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Friday, May 27, 2016

The Importance of Getting a Home Loan Pre-Approval from a Lender

Why do top real estate agents ask for a home loan pre-approval letter before showing houses to prospective buyers? There are several reasons why. First, buyers who have secured pre-approval for home loan have distinct advantage over those who don’t have one. Securing this precious document strengthens their negotiation ability since buyers with mortgage pre-approval have already proven their ability to obtain financing.

In addition, a mortgage pre-approval provides a specific purchase price buyers qualify for. This prevents prospective home buyers from wasting their time and experiencing disappointments as a result of not being able to afford the house they want.

Why Should You Get a Home Pre-Approval Letter Before House Hunting?

A pre-approval letter assures the seller that you are a serious buyer. Unlike being pre-qualified which merely means that you have been initially screened by a lender, securing a home loan pre-approval letter provides a guarantee that after processing and verifying your current credit history, income, assets and liabilities, the lender has found no issues and will be funding your loan in the next 60 days.

The same document also inspires your real estate agent to work harder to help you in your house hunting efforts since he or she knows that you will be buying a house once you find what you’re looking for.

Obtaining a pre-approval for a home loan also helps speed up the closing process. Pre-approved buyers close quicker than pre-qualified buyers since most of the background checking has been completed even before an accepted offer on the property has been obtained.

However, please understand that the issuance of a home loan pre-approval letter is not a guarantee that the funds will be released. There are certain conditions that must be met before the process can be completed. Specifically, you need to:
  • Find a property and have a satisfactory appraisal done. The property must be worth what the buyer and seller agreed to and that there are no bank-required repairs.  
  • Exhibit continued creditworthiness.
  • Provide proof of an acceptable home inspection.

For more valuable tips on selling or buying a home, please visit my site at You can also contact me at 678-656-6627 if you have any questions about local market conditions, financing or anything that can help you with in your search for real estate. Remember, no one sells a home like a Mom! 
Photo courtesy of phasinphoto at

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First-Time Home Buyers Don’t Let Student Loan Debt Stop You

First Time Buyers and House Loans
Image courtesy of Stuart

Student Loan Debt

Being a First Time Home Buyer can be an exciting adventure. The feeling of freedom and accomplishment that goes with it can be exhilarating to say the least. However, for most people buying a home is just a distant dream especially if they are burdened with huge STUDENT LOAN DEBT.

Let’s face it. Most people who have amassed thousands of dollars in student loan debt do not make enough to qualify for homeownership. Does this mean that they have to give up on their dreams of buying a home or wait until they have paid off all their loans? Certainly not. Here are some home buying tips that can improve the chances of being qualified for a home loan.

Wait for the Right Time

Most Federal Student Loans have a 6-month “grace period” in which new graduates have time to find a job before beginning loan re-payment and incurring interest. Do not apply for a home loan until the 6-month grace period has passed. Doing so within this period will only ruin your chances of qualifying for a home loan.

Consolidate your Student Loans

Pay off your credit card and other loans during the 6-month grace period to improve your monthly DEBT-TO-INCOME Ratio. Find out if you qualify for any STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS. Hopefully, this move will improve your credit score and increase your chances of securing a home loan.

Save Up for the Down Payment
Student Debt to Income Balance
Image courtesy of Sira

While most lenders require buyers to put 20% of the purchase price up front, some are willing to work with less.

Find a Co-Borrower

Do you have a significant other or family member who could sign a co-mortgage? Having a co-borrower with GOOD CREDIT SCORE can help you qualify for a joint mortgage and take you a step closer to your dream.

Apply for an FHA Loan

FHA Loans are ideal for people with higher debt-to-income ratio. However, they only work if you are paying a reasonable amount on your student loans. 

Buying a home for the first time is very much possible even if have tons of student loan debts under your name. You just need to know how to do it.

Let Me Help You Find That First-Time Dream Home

If you are still not sure whether it is the perfect time to buy or sell your home, please feel free to contact me at 678-656-6627, and I will do my best to help you do what you have set to accomplish. You can also visit my site at  for more tips on selling or buying a home.  Remember, no one sells a home like a Mom!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

June 14th Aging Parent Workshop at AAA Auto Care Car Plus

You are all cordially invited to the Aging Parents Workshop on Tuesday, June 14th, 2016.

Refreshments are from 6:00PM to 6:30PM

Workshop starts at 6:30PM to 8:00PM.

Please join us at  AAA Auto Care Plus, 1035 Mansell Road Suite 100, Roswell GA 30076.

To register:

This event is hosted by the following:

Pam Santoro, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services of Georgia
Lisa McGrath, Island Financial LLC
Erica Ramsey, AAA, The Auto Club Group
Mary Becker, Best Deal Movers
MaryJo Bowser, Griswold Home Care

We are encountering more people coordinating the next steps for their parents and 
in-laws.  We'll discuss the documents needed for inevitable financial and health decisions, housing choices available, health and caring services available in the home, and insurance needs and savings.  

Please feel  join us at this free event.  

Learn how to "Empower Yourself and Your Aging Parents".

Friday, May 6, 2016

Helping You and Your Aging Parents To Feel Empowered

Caring for aging parents can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task. The territory is unfamiliar at best.
Here are some basic tips that can help you when entering into the journey of becoming a parent to your parents.

Do Not Wait to Do Your Research

Illness and other debilitating issues can come up quickly with senior adults. Begin doing your research when your parents are within 2-3 years of retirement or earlier if they are facing health issues.
Questions to ask are:
  • Can my parents continue to live in their home?
  • What options do we have for caring for them in their home?
  • If they need to be in an assisted living home, what kind of care will they need?
  • What type of insurance do they have?
  • Will Medicare cover all their expenses?
  • Do they have any supplemental insurance (Medicare Plan B) or funds to help with their care?
  • Which family members will be helping in what ways with their care?
  • Do they have a Living Will?
  • What are their requests in the event of a catastrophic health crisis?

Know Their Health Situation

The unknown health issues of your parents can catch you off guard. Make a list of the health issues they are facing, the doctors (and contact numbers) they see and most importantly...ALL medications they are taking. In the event of an emergency room visit this is vital information to know.

What Is Their Financial Standing

Parents may feel a bit invaded when you begin to ask questions about their finances, but it is important to know where things stand in the event that senior adults can no longer care for themselves. Make sure that a trusted family member is listed on any bank accounts in the event of an emergency. Encourage them to have a will in place to assure that their wishes are followed. You will also need to be informed as to where all legal documents are. kept. If finances are an issue make a plan to sit down and discuss alternatives for staying in the home.
Are you financially secure to "help" supplement their income? Are you willing to allow them to live with you? Are they open to living with a family member? All these questions should be addressed.
In the end while caring for your parents can be a daunting thought, with careful planning and open discussion this can be a time of joy and new commitment for both of you.

To learn more about how you can become more confident in your role as the child of an aging parent, please join us for an informative and important workshop on May 10.

You too can Empower Yourself and Your Parents.

Empower Yourself and Your Parents - Aging Parent Workshop

May 10th

at the

AAA Auto Club in Roswell, Georgia

6pm Refreshments

6:30pm Workshop

Selling or buying a home can be an intimidating task, please feel free to contact me at 678-656-6627 and I will help you meet your goal. You can also visit my site at for more tips on selling or buying a home. Remember, no one sells a home like a Mom!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Empower Yourself and Your Parents - Aging Parent Workshop - May 10

Caring for aging parents can sometimes feel like an overwhelming task. The territory is unfamiliar at best.
Join us for an informative workshop to learn how both you and your parents can become empowered.

Empower Yourself and Your Parents - Aging Parent Workshop

May 10th

at the

AAA Auto Club in Roswell, Georgia

6pm Refreshments

6:30pm Workshop

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Selling Your Home? Some Expenses to Expect Before the Sale

Image courtesy of

While selling a house is a productive and exhilarating experience for some home sellers, others are disappointed with the results – especially if they do not make as much money as they hoped they would. Some sellers cannot help but feel upset as they see their profits dwindling after paying one expense after another.

There are a lot of costs associated with selling a home both before the sale and at closing. Some of the expenses incurred before the sale are necessary to ensure your house sells fast for the highest amount possible and may include the following:

Repair and improvements

Your house needs to look loved and well cared for to attract possible home buyers so determine which improvements need to be done. Keep in mind that most buyers prefer to buy a house that does not require any more work when they move in. As an added bonus, taking care of the repairs and improvements reduces the number of items the home inspector can comment on.


Nothing beats a fresh coat of paint in freshening up the interior and exterior of your house. However, refrain from using bold colors. Stick to neutral hues if you want to please potential buyers. Painting the interior of a house may cost anywhere from $1.50 to $2.00 per square foot while painting the exterior can run anywhere from $3.00 or more per square foot.


Having a wonderful garden can be a great asset to any property so hire someone to landscape it if you have not already. You may also want to put in some new sod and add some greenery or flowering plants to make the curb appeal more inviting.

Pre-Inspection Reports

While you are under no obligation to get your house inspected, you may want to consider hiring a professional to check for any issues that may affect the condition and the price of your property. A house inspection typically costs $200 or more.

      If you’re still not sure whether it is the perfect time to buy or sell your home, please feel free to contact me at 678-656-6627 and I will help you meet your goal. You can also visit my site at for more tips on selling or buying a home. Remember, no one sells a home like a Mom!