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No BUNNY knows Georgia’s Blue Ridge like Nathan Fitts & Team…

No BUNNY knows Georgia’s Blue Ridge like Nathan Fitts & Team. Nathan Fitts & Team will help you find an EGG-cellent deal in your dream mountain home, as well as activities for your Easter weekend! For all of your real estate needs, give us a call (877)BUY-MTNS.

EASTER EGG-SPRESS TRAIN RIDES

BLUE RIDGE SCENIC RAILWAY, BLUE RIDGE, GA

Join our friends at Blue Ridge Scenic Railway for an Easter Egg Hunt and a visit with the Easter Bunny for one of the two Easter Egg-spress train rides this Saturday, April 15, at 11:00AM & 2:00PM. Visit www.brscenic.com or call (877)413-8724 for tickets and additional information.

 

EASTER EGG HUNT 

JOHN C. CAMPBELL FOLD SCHOOL, BRASSTOWN, NC

The John C. Campbell annual Easter Egg Hunt is this Saturday, April 15, at 1:00pm. There will be three age divisions: 1-4, 5-8, and 9 & older. Please arrive early – the hunt begins promptly at 1:00 pm and doesn’t last very long! There will be live music during the event.

 

CHILDREN’S EASTER THEMED BAKING CLASS & TRACTOR SHOW

MERCIER ORCHARDS, BLUE RIDGE, GA

Mercier Apple Orchards will be hosting a Children’s Easter themed baking class this Saturday, April 15. There will be 2 classes. The children will be making a bunny cake and decorating candy apples! Classes will be held from 9AM-10:30AM and 11:30AM-1:00PM. To reserve your child a spot, contact Merciers at (800)361-7731. There will also be a tractor show from 9AM-3PM with live entertainment and some of the coolest tractors around. Free tractor rides this weekend!

 

ST. LUKE’S EASTER EGG HUNT

ST. LUKE’S CHURCH, BLUE RIDGE, GA

The 22nd annual Blue Ridge Community Easter Egg Hunt will be held Saturday, April 15 at St. Luke’s Church at 7 Ewing Street in Blue Ridge. This free hunt begins at 1:00PM; refreshments will be served, and prizes will be awarded to children finding prize eggs.

 

MCCAYSVILLE EASTER EGG HUNT

WEST TENNESSEE AVENUE BALL FIELD, MCCAYSVILLE, GA

Sponsored by the Tri-Cities Business Association, The annual “Easter Egg Scramble” will be hosted April 15th from 11AM-12:30PM. There will be over 1,000 stuffed eggs for children under 12 with prize eggs and a grand prize egg for each age group! There will also be photos with the Easter Bunny!

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We’re Not In Kansas Anymore…

When thinking of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia, one may visualize sitting by the stacked stone fireplace enjoying the warmth of the mountain top lodge, or one may think of coming back to the waterfront log cabin after a day of enjoying the mountain trails or a day on the water. No matter the activities that one pictures, the thought usually leads back to an all wood retreat. While these homes still comprise most of the real estate market in North Georgia, we are seeing exciting new changes to mountain life dwellings. The delightful mountain environment we’ve all grown to love has not changed, but you may still be left with the feeling that you’re “not in Kansas anymore” when you take a look at these stunning getaways.

This chic two bedroom two bath state-of-the-art new construction is one of the incredible designs by Dencity, one of Atlanta’s top modern architecture firms. Bringing mountain style to a whole new level, this ultra-trendy mountaintop masterpiece overlooks stunning year-round layered panoramic mountain views, which are showcased by the walls of glass that also bring in extensive natural light. This home boasts clean and crisp living space with full custom tile bathroom floors and showers; modern cabinetry and fixtures; hardwoods throughout the kitchen, living room, and bedrooms; and it offers all main floor living and extreme privacy. With a private detached master suite and bath, you can enjoy time with your guests soaring above the mountains of North Georgia. Savor the mountain lifestyle in style.

Enjoy the best of both worlds. With a rustic exterior & privacy galore, you will delight in the mountain life and breathtaking panoramic views of the rushing Fightingtown Creek from the moment you arrive. Complete with three levels of living and decks spanning the entire backside, this home is built to last, constructed of steel beams & concrete with wood finishes, and the exterior steps even lead right into the water! Now let’s step inside to the city. Completely remodeled, this industrial chic four bedroom three and a half bath loft-style home wit exposed duct work and a blend of textures offers an open floor plan with flexibility for a full-time family’s changing needs, weekend retreat, or rental investment. The industrial materials are complemented with chic finishes and an abundance of natural light that make for a warm inviting space that connects you with the outdoors.

You will feel as though you are escaping to your own private island when you arrive to your exclusive seven bedroom five bathroom home with stunning panoramic waterfront views on the rushing Fightingtown Creek. With special elements that are sure to impress everyone, this home boasts a dramatic front entrance featuring a colorful tile waterfall & stairs that lead invitingly upstairs to the bedrooms with private balconies overlooking the water off each room. The second floor also hosts a regal master suite, complete with *Hollywood* vanity mirrors and other features that delight the eye. The design of this estate offers amazing entertaining potential and majestic outdoor living with swimming pool, decks that span the entire backside of the home, and charming sitting spots on the creek. This creek-front charmer also generates annual rental income. With the luxuries this once-in-a-lifetime estate has to offer, this is truly a spectacular experience in living.

Regardless of what you desire in a home, Nathan Fitts & Team is here to help, bringing you the latest and greatest that North Georgia has to offer! (706)632-3000

 

 

 

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HOMEBUYING 101

Thinking of purchasing a home but not really sure how the process works? Nathan Fitts & Team is here to help!

 

Buying a home will likely be the largest purchase of your life, so it can be a little daunting, but, with the right support team, your journey to home ownership will be smooth and very rewarding!

So your first question may be “why should I buy a home?” There are countless advantages of buying a home. A home’s value tends to increase, you are working to secure your family’s financial future, you are building equity, and you are free to customize and increase the value of your home. Other advantages include improving your credit worthiness, tax benefits, and, most importantly, you will eventually be free of payments!

 

Now that you’re thinking a little more seriously about purchasing a home, you may be wondering how involved this process may be. The first step is to obtain mortgage approval. Following approval, you will begin your home search. Once you find the perfect home, you will make an offer. After the negotiation and acceptance of your offer, you will go through an inspection and appraisal, and then you sail on to closing and voila there are the keys to your home! Yes, it’s really that simple. Nathan Fitts & Team welcome the opportunity to be your guide throughout the home buying process. Working with countless area vendors, Nathan Fitts & Team will help you select a support team that is perfect for your situation.

 

Unless you are paying cash for your home, the first vendor is your lender, and the first step with them is qualifying for a mortgage. To get preapproval, your lender will have to verify your income and assets, as well as your debt-to-income ratio. It is a good idea to start gathering last 2 years of tax returns, last 2 years of W-2, recent pay stubs, documents to show other sources of income, complete list of creditors with balances and minimum monthly payments, and recent statements of all bank accounts and other savings accounts prior to meeting with your lender.

 

There are a variety of mortgage options. Examples of these include conventional, FHA, and VA mortgages. Conventional mortgages follow guidelines set by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, two government-sponsored enterprises that invest in loans to allow lenders to lend more. FHA Mortgages are mortgages that are insured by the Federal Housing Association. This type requires lower down payment than other programs, an excellent option for first-time home buyers. VA mortgages are insured by the Department of Veterans Affairs. This type of loan is available to veterans, National Guard members, active-duty personnel, and eligible surviving spouses.

 

When you obtain a mortgage, you will pay a monthly rate. You cannot choose your rate; however, you can choose what type of rate. Rate types include fixed and adjustable rates. A fixed rate means that the rate will not change over time. The only time this rate can change is if you refinance your loan. With a fixed rate, there are no surprises – your monthly principal and interest will always be the same. An adjustable rate, on the other hand, includes a fixed interest rate that lasts five, seven or ten years. After the fixed period, your rate will change each year based on market conditions. An adjustable mortgage can be a great option if you plan on moving or refinancing within a few years.

 

Once you qualify for your loan, the next step is to find a realtor, but you have already completed this task! Nathan Fitts & Team will work alongside you to help define your search criteria and begin previewing homes that may be of interest to you. Things to think about in regards to defining your home search are the neighborhood you are looking in, school district, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, acreage, style home, the age of the property, etc.

 

After previewing homes that meet the items on your wish list, and you have found “the one,” it is time to make an offer! Your offer will include information such as the address of the property, names of buyers, the price you are offering, any conditions that must be met before the home can close (contingencies), items that are included in the sale, your earnest money deposit, potential closing date, and a deadline for the sellers to respond to your offer. After your agent presents your offer to the listing realtor, the negotiation process begins and continues until acceptance. Be prepared to compromise when it comes to this step, but, remember, it is worth it! Once your offer has been accepted, it’s time to sign the paperwork with your agent.

 

After acceptance, it is time for inspection. This is the time that you will learn everything that may need to be repaired on your home. Following your inspection, your lender will require an appraisal to make sure the property is worth what you are paying for it. Once these steps are completed, you have almost made it to the finish line; it is time to close your loan!

 

Your realtor and mortgage lender will help you select your closing attorney, if you do not already have one in mind. Title work will be completed, which includes checking for liens, confirming ownership, and then the closing statements will be prepared. On the day of closing you will need to have your funds wired to your closing attorney that will cover your down payment and closing costs. You will sign documents, and, last, but not least, you will obtain the keys to your new home!

 

After reading through the home buying process, you may still have questions, but don’t fret. Nathan Fitts & Team, along with First Community Mortgage Group and Kevin Panter Insurance, invite you to “HOMEBUYING 101,” a FREE home buying informational session, Thursday, April 13, at 6:00pm at 83 Blue Ridge Overlook, Suite 2. Please RSVP on Facebook Nathan Fitts & Team or call (706)632-3000.

 

Hurry! The joy of home ownership awaits.

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How to Shop for a Mortgage: A Bargain Hunter’s Guide to Home Loans

Ready to go shopping … for a mortgage? We know: It’s not exactly the kind of fun holiday shopping you had in mind. Still, your ability to sniff out a great mortgage is crucial to your financial well-being as a future homeowner, because the decision you make could stick with you for a very long time, maybe even 30 years. Gulp.

No pressure, right? All we’re trying to say is, it pays to learn how to best compare your options—which is where this latest installment in our Stress-Free Guide to Getting a Mortgage will come in handy. Like your most trusted shopping buddy, our guide will show you how to hone your bargain hunting skills and get the most for your money.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Step 1. Shop for a mortgage that fits your needs

Ideally, you should start shopping for a mortgage three to six months before you plan to buy a home. This lengthy lead time is important because you may have to invest time in boosting your credit score. You’ll need 760 or higher to qualify for the best interest rates, says Richard Redmond, mortgage broker at All California Mortgage in Larkspur and author of “Mortgages: The Insider’s Guide.” You’ll need a minimum credit score of around 660 to qualify for any mortgage at all.

If your score isn’t up to par, a mortgage lender can tell you what you need to do to improve it. This could involve getting an error removed from your credit report, which is a real possibility given that one in four Americans reported spotting errors on their reports in a 2013 Federal Trade Commission survey.

Step 2. Find low interest rates

As you probably know, one of your main goals while shopping around is to secure a low interest rate. Interest, after all, is basically a service fee charged by lenders. The lower your rate, the less money you’ll pay them back—and every quarter of a percent counts!

On a 30-year $200,000 loan with a 4% interest rate, for instance, you’ll end up paying back not only that $200,000, but an extra $143,739 in interest by the time those 30 years are up. That massive mountain of money will end up higher or lower depending on the interest rate you get.

You can compare interest rates at realtor.com/mortgage/rates, but keep in mind the rates listed there may not necessarily apply to you. What rates you qualify for depends on your credit score; better (meaning higher) credit scores merit better (meaning lower) interest rates.

But there are exceptions. Some first-time buyers may have access to lower interest rates through the Federal Housing Administration. Loans through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which are available to active or retired military personnel, enable borrowers to buy homes with lower interest rates than conventional loans as well.

Step 3. Analyze your closing costs

A low interest rate may win you bragging rights, but it’s hardly your only goal. That’s because mortgages come with sizable closing costs totaling an additional 2% to 7% of the sales price of your home. Some of these extra fees are non-negotiable, such as state transfer taxes, but some fees are negotiable, says Katie Miller, vice president of mortgage lending at Navy Federal Credit Union.

As such, aim to meet with three mortgage lenders—which could be banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, or any combination thereof—and get what’s called a good-faith estimate, which breaks down the mortgage’s terms, including the interest rate and fees.

Also find out from each loan officer what fees are government-regulated and what fees the lender prices—then haggle on the latter, says Sylvia Gutierrez, a loan officer in South Florida and author of “Mortgage Matters: Demystifying the Loan Approval Maze.”

A caveat: When a mortgage lender processes your loan application, it runs a “hard inquiry” on your credit score, which can dock your score by up to 5 points, says Beverly Harzog, a consumer credit expert and author of “The Debt Escape Plan.” Your score will recover over time, but it may take a few months. As a result, you should limit your loan shopping to three lenders.

Step 4. Be mindful of interest rate fluctuations

Once you commit to a particular lender, it will process your loan application and you’ll receive a pre-approval letter, which is a commitment to lend you the money you need to buy a home. Although a pre-approval letter is typically good for 90 days, your interest rate isn’t guaranteed until you sign a purchase agreement with a seller, so you’ll want to keep an eye on changes in the market. However, you can opt to lock in your rate for a period of 30, 45, 60, or even 90 days, depending on your lender.

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Credit:  | Dec 13, 2016

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How a Home Appraisal Can Make or Break Your Mortgage

Buying a home often requires some serious haggling between buyer and seller to arrive at a price they’re both willing to accept. But even if you reach an agreement, the negotiations may not be over. If you’re a buyer who needs a mortgage, most lenders will require a home appraisal. So that means you’ll need to get one more opinion on how much the property is worth.

Lenders require a home appraisal before they’ll provide a loan for the simple reason that the home serves as collateral. If for some reason you end up unable to make your mortgage payments, the lender will have to foreclose upon your home, then sell the property to recoup its costs. So it makes sense that it would want to make sure the property is worth that large chunk of change it’s handing over!

If all goes well, the home’s appraised value will end up the same as what you’d agreed to pay. But it could also end up higher—or lower—and this has ramifications for the whole deal.

In this fifth installment of our Stress-Free Guide to Getting a Mortgage, we walk you through everything you need to know about this crucial step and how to handle whatever news comes your way.

What appraisers do

To assess a home’s value, an appraiser considers these main criteria: location, structural condition, additions or renovations, and recent sales of comparable homes, or comps. Comps play the most important role when determining value, says Rick Phillips, an appraiser and real estate agent in Vienna, VA.

“We’re looking for homes sold within the last six months that are equivalent in the numbers of rooms, square footage, upgrades, and location to the home that’s being purchased,” he explains.

If a comp isn’t an exact match—which is typically the case—an appraiser will make adjustments in order to fairly assess the value of the property you want to buy.

For example, if a recently sold home has four bedrooms and the home being purchased has only three bedrooms, the appraiser will make a market-determined deduction on your home’s price.

A typical property appraisal costs around $300 to $500 and is usually paid for by the buyer upfront. But although the appraiser is hired by the buyer, “the appraiser doesn’t represent the seller or the buyer,” says Joe Parsons, senior loan officer at PFS Funding in Dublin, CA. And although an appraiser works to protect a lender from entering a bad deal, he doesn’t work for the lender, either. He is merely there to give an unbiased opinion about the value of a home.

How appraisals affect the sale

If the home appraises for the agreed-upon purchase price, you’re one step closer to settlement. If the appraisal comes in higher than what you’re paying, that’s even better.

For example, if you’re paying $500,000 for a home and the appraiser says it’s worth $515,000, you’ve instantly gained $15,000 in equity. But if the appraisal comes in lower than you’d agreed to pay for the home, that could cause trouble.

Low appraisals tend to occur in hot housing markets, where buyers are often forced to pay above market value for a home. The only problem is a lender won’t loan more than a home’s appraised value, which could leave the buyer to cover the difference, says Chris Dossman, a real estate agent with Century 21 Scheetz in Indianapolis. But if a buyer isn’t willing or able to do that, there are options:

  1. Negotiate with the seller. If the home doesn’t appraise for the contract price, the seller may agree to lower the sales price so the deal can go through. Dossman says this is the most common outcome.
  2. Appeal the appraisal. Sometimes called a “rebuttal of value,” an appeal involves your loan officer and real estate agent working together to find better comparable market data to justify a higher valuation. “Appraisers aren’t perfect,” says Parsons. “They make mistakes.” If you file an appeal, the appraiser will review the information and then make a judgment call on whether or not to adjust the valuation.
  3. Order a second appraisal. “It doesn’t happen very often, but it does when a buyer just absolutely has to have the property” and they believe the first appraisal wasn’t accurate, says Dossman. The initial appraisal might be significantly off base if, say, the appraiser overlooked a good comp or wasn’t familiar with the local housing market. Granted, if the seller is equally committed to keeping the deal alive, you might be able to persuade her to cover the costs of the second appraisal.
  4. Walk away. “It’s a bummer, but it may not be worth overpaying for a home,” says Dossman.

 

This is why, as ominous as the appraisal process might seem, home buyers should see it as a safety measure that keeps them from entering a bad deal.

To find an appraiser, you can ask your real estate agent for recommendations or search by ZIP code at the Appraisal Institute.

Credit: Daniel Bortz | Dec 15,2016, realtor.com