Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Real Estate Terms You Should Know

Some people like to use big words to impress or intimidate people in the business world, but as a Realtor, I feel it's my job to help educate and familiarize you with terms often used in real estate so that you feel confident as you walk through the process of buying and/or selling your home. The following list is by no means exhaustive, but it will get you started. 

Amortization schedule

A timetable for payment of a mortgage loan. An amortization schedule shows the amount of each payment applied to interest and principal and shows the remaining balance after each payment is made.


A written analysis of the estimated value of a property prepared by a qualified appraiser. Typically this is done once an offer has been written and accepted by the seller. Most are arranged through the bank where the financing is obtained.


The process of placing a value on property for the strict purpose of taxation. May also refer to a levy against property for a special purpose, such as a sewer assessment.


A person who, for a commission or a fee, brings parties together and assists in negotiating contracts between them.


A condition that must be met before a contract is legally binding. For example, home purchasers often include a contingency that specifies that the contract is not binding until the purchaser obtains a satisfactory home inspection report from a qualified home inspector.

Earnest money deposit

A deposit made by the potential home buyer to show that he or she is serious about buying the house.


A homeowner's financial interest in a property. Equity is the difference between the fair market value of the property and the amount still owed on its mortgage.


An item of value, money, or documents deposited with a third party to be delivered upon the fulfillment of a condition. For example, the deposit by a borrower with the lender of funds to pay taxes and insurance premiums when they become due, or the deposit of funds or documents with an attorney or escrow agent to be disbursed upon the closing of a sale of real estate.


The legal process by which a borrower in default under a mortgage is deprived of his or her interest in the mortgaged property. This usually involves a forced sale of the property at public auction with the proceeds of the sale being applied to the mortgage debt.

HUD-1 statement

A document that provides an itemized listing of the funds that are payable at closing. Items that appear on the statement include real estate commissions, loan fees, points, and initial escrow amounts. Each item on the statement is represented by a separate number within a standardized numbering system. The totals at the bottom of the HUD-1 statement define the seller's net proceeds and the buyer's net payment at closing. The blank form for the statement is published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The HUD-1 statement is also known as the "closing statement" or "settlement sheet."

Mortgage insurance

A contract that insures the lender against loss caused by a mortgagor's default on a government mortgage or conventional mortgage. Mortgage insurance can be issued by a private company or by a government agency such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Depending on the type of mortgage insurance, the insurance may cover a percentage of or virtually all of the mortgage loan. See private mortgage insurance (MI) .

Mortgage insurance premium (MIP)

The amount paid by a mortgagor for mortgage insurance, either to a government agency such as the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or to a private mortgage insurance (MI) company.


A one-time charge by the lender for originating a loan. A point is 1 percent of the amount of the mortgage.

Title insurance

Insurance that protects the lender (lender's policy) or the buyer (owner's policy) against loss arising from disputes over ownership of a property.

Title search

A check of the title records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and that there are no liens or other claims outstanding.


SOURCE: http://www.realestateabc.com

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Posted on 09/30/2014 11:11 PM by Jarod
Monday, 22 September 2014
Fall Real Estate in Middle Tennessee

As autumn settles into Tennessee, the landscape begins to change into a beautiful backdrop for showcasing your home and property. Many people mistakenly believe that spring and summer are the only times to buy and sell homes, but fall is still an active season in the real estate world. Here are some things to consider this time of year.

- People who are looking for a new home this time of year are more motivated to find and purchase a home quickly before the holidays and colder weather hits.

- There are less people out looking at homes just for the sake of looking at them, which means that your home showings are more likely to be from serious buyers.

- Because there are less listings on the market, your home will be in higher demand for those who need to move.

- The natural surroundings of leaves changing should inspire you to stage your home with the look and feel of fall with mums, pumpkins, scented candles, and a popping fire in the fireplace. The cozy atmosphere will help potential buyers see how settled they could feel in your home.

And if you're looking to buy this time of year, contact an agent who will help you find those hidden treasures out there. Some people pull their homes off the market after summer if they have not sold, so a Realtor can find those expired listings and contact the homeowners to see if they might still be interested in selling. Also, you might find that banks are more interested in fighting for your business this time of year with lower rates since they have less home lending business, so shop around and get a competitive rate.

I'd be happy to help you buy or sell any time of the year, so give me a call when you're ready!  

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net


Posted on 09/22/2014 3:03 PM by Jarod
Saturday, 13 September 2014
Home Inspections Are a Must

I've said it before on here, and I'll say it again: I like HGTV as much as the next guy, but they've given some pretty bad advice on some of their shows when it comes to real-life home buying. For instance, I've heard the "experts" advise more than once that home buyers don't need to worry about a home inspection. I could not disagree more!

I know. I know. You've found the perfect home and NOTHING can make you change your mind. You've already measured for furniture and you don't foresee how anything could go wrong. Before you move forward, you have got to protect yourself. Buying a home is a big deal and a big investment, so please take my word for it when I say that investing in a  thorough home inspection is one of the most important parts of the home-buying process.

Jerry Black from Pillar to Post Home Inspectors services many homes in the Middle Tennessee real estate area. He explains that many times when a buyer walks in a house and they know they want it, they put up blinders. A home inspector will go through the house with unbiased eyes to make sure they find everything that needs to be discovered. The most common problems they find that the untrained eye misses are plumbing leaks and issues in the crawl space.

So, how does a home inspection protect you? It can be written in as a contingency on your purchasing offer. If the inspector finds major problems with the home you are trying to buy, you have the option of walking away from your offer without any penalties. It's best to ask for two weeks to get the inspection done when you make your offer.

You should expect a home inspection to last from two to three hours. It is beneficial for you to be there during this time so the inspector can explain things more clearly to you. According to investopedia.com, the inspector should note:

- whether each problem is a safety issue, major defect, or minor defect

- which items need replacement and which should be repaired or serviced

- items that are suitable for now but that should be monitored closely

A really great inspector will even tell you about routine maintenance that should be performed, which can be a big help if you're a first-time home buyer.

Be sure to find the company that offers the most services. There are three major home inspection agencies that monitor the guidelines, but those guidelines only require a minimum on some services. Hire the company that goes above and beyond. Pillar to Post, for instance, offers a 1,600 point inspection!

Even though there are quite a few expenses in the buying and selling process, a home inspection is one of the best investments for your purchase and your peace of mind.

For more information on Pillar to Post, click here.

Photo credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Posted on 09/13/2014 11:54 PM by Jarod
Thursday, 4 September 2014
Fall 2014 Activities Guide Brentwood, Tenn.

  Although some of you hate to see the warm (hot) days of summer start to fade this time of year, fall is a great time to be outdoors enjoying everything Tennessee has to offer. The leaves start to change, the air becomes crisp, and the pace in Brentwood, Tenn., starts to pick up as people take advantage of all the fabulous fall activities for young and old.



OCT. 17-19 and 23-26 from 5 9 p.m, $12 Members; $15 Non-members

This Halloween tradition at the Nashville Zoo includes twenty trick-or-treat stations, games, a hayride, a corn pit, light show, and other activities. Recommended for kids 12 and under. Click here for more details.

, Main Street, Franklin, Tenn.
OCT. 25, Open 10-6

One of Franklin's most popular events, this street festival takes over historic downtown Franklin with arts and crafts booths, games and inflatables, live music, delicious food, and a costume contest for kids and pets. Click here for more details.

40 Things to Do with Your Family

This mom blogger has compiled a pretty amazing list of 40 things to do with your family in this area. You should try all of them! 

And this extensive list includes fall festivals, art shows and many other happenings all over Middle Tennessee.



1974 New Highway 96, Franklin, Tenn.

A Franklin fall tradition, historic Gentry's Farm opens wide its gates every fall for fun and education. Come enjoy corn and hay mazes, hayrides, tire swings, playgrounds, and then pick your own pumpkin from the patch. There are also great fall displays for family pictures. The weekend season runs September 27- October 26th and the farm will be open Monday mornings from 9am-noon October 6th through the 27th.



4374 Rocky Glade Road, Eagleville, Tenn.

Located between Franklin and Murfreesboro, Lucky Ladd Farms is open weekends in September and almost every day in October so that you can experience their expansive list of activities. With mazes, playgrounds, pony rides, hayrides, a pumpkin patch, a tractor train, interactive educational field trips, flashlight corn maze adventures, and a family-friendly Pumpkin Holla' Lighted Trail that features hundreds of hand-carved glowing pumpkins, music, and more.



8653 Rocky Fork Road, Smyrna, Tenn.

This family farm is open free to the public every day but Wednesday from September 20-October 31, but you'll want to pull out your wallets for the yummy concessions, hay and corn mazes, hayride, pumpkin train, 40 ft. slide and more!



Posted on 09/04/2014 11:56 PM by Jarod