Because He Lives...He has blessed me!

Because He Lives...He has blessed me!
My first Grand Blessings

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What About Appliances?


What Appliances to Leave  

Before listing your home for sale, one important decision needs to be made concerning what appliances will stay with the home.  It goes without saying that 'built in appliances' like dishwashers and trash compactors will remain with the home.
A little input on the subject of leaving appliances:
1. Do not leave 'old' appliances that have are near the end of their useful life.  They will just become a problem for the buyers.
2. Do not expect 'included appliances' to increase the value of your home.
3. Do not let a request for an appliance to be included become a 'deal killer'.  If the price offered is right, let go of the appliances a buyer requests to remain.
4. If you are including appliance, include the warranties if you have one.
5. Do organize and leave all 'owners manuals' for the buyers and if your have parts for any appliance, identify  them and leave them for the new owners.  They will not do you any good.  The buyers will appreciate your efforts!
6.  Last but not least.  Make sure the movers do not pack the attachments for the central vacume!

Never Assume Your Friends Understand

A couple of nights ago, I was out for dinner with my girlfriends, and though the evening felt like a group hug for my soul, I also learned some important lessons about my business.
One baby shouting in another baby's ear.1. "I was afraid to ask you to help me find a home because I know you're so busy and I didn't want to burden you."
What?!?  Oh for the love of Pete.  Have I really created the impression that I'm too busy to help out a friend who needs to find a new home?  Yikes, I guess I have.  First of all, I'm not too busy to help anyone.  Secondly, I'm NEVER too busy to help a friend.

Please friends understand I love you, and would NEVER want anyone else to help you find the most important investment you will ever make. I am NEVER too busy for you!!!!

I also want to say, I adore my friends, and what would I do without you? You know who you are....

Can you Buy a House After Having a Foreclosure on Your Property?

It's Been A Roller Coaster RideIf you are one of the millions of families that lost their home in the last couple of years to Foreclosure… you might think…
Been There – Done That
You might not want to own a home again!
But if you’re one of those folks who truly does want to purchase again, here’s some potentially good news.
USDA says that they will allow you to purchase a new home to owner occupy, after foreclosure if you’ve done the following things:
  • Wait 3 years from the date of the Foreclosure.
  • Re-establish Credit
  • Have Credit Scores that meet the guidelines (as of the date I am writing this, that means you need a 620 score.)
Here’s the other part… you need to DOCUMENT what happened, and why you ended up in a Foreclosure.
“FHA insured mortgages are generally not available to borrowers whose property was foreclosed on or given a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure within the previous three years. However, if the foreclosure of the borrower’s main residence was the result of extenuating circumstances, an exception may be granted if they have since established good credit…
This does not include the inability to sell a home when transferring from one area to another.”  So you MIGHT be able to buy after two years. 
My “real life” answer to this question is… in today’s credit environment, it’s going to be HARD to get a Bank to loan you money for a home if you had your home foreclosed upon less than 3 years ago.  I know what the guidelines say, but Bank’s do not have to follow guidelines set by FHA.
FHA does not say you have to have a 620 credit score, but there are VERY few lenders who will allow you to purchase a home without at least a 620 score!  There are some Banks that will not allow you to purchase with FHA if you have ANY lates on ANY accounts in the last 12 months!  That’s not an FHA guideline, that’s a BANK rule, so again – I’d say - you might still be forced to wait 3 years, and have all of your documentation in order!
These guidelines are different from the Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac Conventional Guidelines… And these foreclosure guidelines are changing OFTEN… so I would not rely soly on information you get from an online site. 
Call a loan officer.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Do Not Do These Things If You Are Thinking of Buying a House!!!

1.      Don't change your job before applying for a home loan.
Along with that, now is not the right time to become self-employed or quit your job. You want to show lenders stability, which means you'll be less likely to default on the loan.

2. Don't change banks.
Like your employment, you want your banking history to show stability.

3. Don't buy a car or truck or any other form of transportation that you have to finance.
Buying one increases your debt-to-income ratio and that's something loan officers don't want to see.

4. Don't buy furniture on credit before buying your house.
Like financing a car, charging big-ticket items increases your debt-to-income ratio and now is not the time.

5. Don't be late on your credit card payments or charge excessively.
You need a track record of responsibility and show that you can manage your money.

6. Don't make large deposits into your bank accounts.
Lenders like the money that will be your down payment to be sitting in your account for at least two months - what they call "seasoning" - so that the funds don't just appear out of the ether.

7. Don't lie on your loan application.
Sounds simple, right? But don't leave out any debts or liabilities you have or fudge your income. It's fraud.

8. Don't co-sign a loan for anyone.
Even if you're not the one making the payments on that loan, it increases your debt-to-income ratio.

9. Don't have inquiries made into your credit.
Looking for new credit translates into higher risk for lenders. If your inquiries are related to your mortgage search, it usually doesn't affect your credit score because the assumption is you're rate shopping. But opening credit accounts within a short period of time represents some risk and your credit could take a hit. It's probably not a huge factor in your calculating your ability to repay a loan but why take a chance at this juncture?

10. Don't spend your money for closing costs.
Part of the price of financing a loan is the closing costs and you'll likely have some responsibility for paying them. Make sure you have enough for your share of the obligation.

Sales Tax on Real Estate

Many people have asked me about the 3.8% sales tax on the sale of real estate that sneaked into the Health Care Bill. The rumor is that starting in 2012, anyone that sales their home will be charged a 3.8% tax off the top of the sales price. I heard it as well. I went snoping to see if I could find out the truth. I found this. I hope you will read the whole thing, then you will understand the truth of the situation. It is not as bad as we thought, but I still disagree with it. My stand is that our homes are ours. We worked hard to buy them, pay for them, keep them, and then live on the money later if we need to. Social Security can not take us into our retirement and keep us there in a lifestyle that is far above poverty. The equity we have worked for is ours. We payed taxes on the money we earned, payed for our houses with after tax money. Now they want that too! I will not go there with this. I just wanted to share the information I did find out. I am assuming that this is true. I will pass it to you. If I find out anything else I will pass it as well. This is the link to get it. Good Reading....

Karen Jordan

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Requests for Referrals. Thanks, please read if you are my friend....

January 18, 2011

Dear Friend,

I hope your New Year has started well. I know that this coming year is going to be full of fun and happiness for us all. I know that you know the real estate business has been off, but I have decided to make this year different. I am going to start it off by asking for your help.

Real estate has always been a referral business. I am now, asking for your referrals of anyone you know that may be in the market to buy, sell, or rent a home, or commercial building. I have always relied on your referrals, but with the market being as it is, it is even more important to remind my friends that I am need of you sending me business. I ask you to think of me when you hear someone talking real estate. Give me a call or give them one of my cards and ask them to call me.

I have been in this industry for 28 years. I am a professional. I make it my business to be informed of the market and your interests. So you can assure I will take care of your referrals as if they are you.

Thanks so much for your help. The greatest compliment I can receive is your trust with your family and friends.


Karen McAlister Jordan
Hardy Realty

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I have just been shocked by someone I love. They are about to handle something very tough. Why them, Lord? They are so in love with God. Why them? He is the one I look to, and now him. Why him?

I really believe that God is working in the world to wake us up!!!!! We just move in and out of days and nothing matters. Wake us up Lord. But why him?

Be with him O God. I believe that You are who You say You are. And I believe that You can do what You say You can do. So here we go!!!!

This is going to turn us upside down. Just use it Lord. Use it to show us Who You Are!!! I know that You can turn this town upside down. Now be with him, and keep him under the shadow of Your wings!!!! Give him the strength he needs to lead us in the days that he needs us to be there for him.

You know who I am talking about, God. Everyone else, just pray for someone I love very much. God will know who you are praying for. He is awesome like that.....

Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

I have been locked up in the house all day with 6 inches of snow outside. Hey! I live in Georgia. Where did all of this come from?First response is to freak out and be completely bored. But, after looking out and seeing how beautiful it is, I decided to accept the blessing God intended it to be. I have done my Bible Study program for Wednesday night. I enjoyed friends outside, and I enjoyed just being at home with Peter, which is rare. But then, I was hungry..... So I made some soup. It is very tasty. Just like Panera Bread's Chicken and Wild Rice soup. Try it, you will love it!!!

I thing tomorrow is going to be bad and icy, so now I will have something to warm up on the grill should our power go off. I don't know if I can stand too much more excitement!!!!

This makes me thankful to be a Southern girl. I want my Southern daughter to bring my southern grandchildren back down here where it is supposed to be warm. After all, this is an exception!!!

LORD, please give us some sunshine. I guess He is trying to get rid of some fleas and ticks outside. lol


1 1/3 cups wild rice
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
7 cups water
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
3/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
3/4 cup white wine

Cook the wild rice according to package directions, but remove from heat about 15 minutes before it's done. Drain the excess liquid, and set aside.
In a stock pot over high heat, combine the chicken and the water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and tender. Remove chicken from the pot, and allow it to cool. Strain the broth from the pot, and reserve for later. When chicken is cool, remove the meat from the bones, cut into bite size pieces, and reserve. Discard the fat and the bones.
In the same stock pot over medium heat, saute the celery and onion in the oil for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cover. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until everything is tender. Return the broth to the stock pot, and add the partially cooked wild rice. Stir in the bouillon, white pepper and salt; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the milk, and continue cooking until mixture is bubbly and thick. Add some of the broth mixture to the milk mixture, continuing to stir, then stir all of the milk mixture into the broth mixture.
Mix in the reserved chicken meat and the white wine. Allow this to heat through for about 15 minutes.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Play Smart, and You will WIN!

Interest Rates as of 1/5/11 are 4.75 for 30 years

If you were buying a $150,000 Home with a FHA loan this is what you would need!

  1. ME!
  2. Down Payment of 3.5%, which would be $5250, and can be a gift from someone.
  3. You can ask the seller to pay the closing costs which would be about $5000.00, that way you don’t have to come up with them.
  4. You need decent credit with a score of about 600.
  5. You need a job, or proof of income to be able to make payments.
  6. You should get a pre-qualification from a lender, to know what amount the lender would loan you based on your income and debt ratio.
  7. Your payments of principle and interest would be $782.48.
  8. You would have to add on around $150-$200 for taxes and insurance.

Interest Rates are on the way up! They higher they get, the higher the payments will Go! Prices for houses have never been so low, well not in a very long time.

A house that was valued at $200,000 5 years ago is now in the $150,000 range. Some of them, not all. Why would you wait? If you can get a great home, in a neighborhood that you love, don’t wait! Either it will be sold to someone with better insight, or it the interest rates will go up and not only will your payments be more, but you will pay thousands more over the life of the loan. Be smart! Play with the pros. Do not listen to the pessimistic people that drag everything down with them. In 5 years, you will be the one smiling….


2011, My Year To Be A Winner!!! Again!

It is a New Year, time for new attitudes and goals. I have to admit I had become a little pessimistic over the last year. The economy is down, people are out of work, and foreclosures have made prices fall like those black birds out of the sky! The media has had a hayday with all the negative talk they put out for people that don't know any better believe! Who wouldn't be pessimistic or down listening to all they have to say.

In spite of all the negative emotions and conditions going on in the world right now, I have decided to make 2011 the best year of my life! I am going to make my life better. You ask, "And, just how do you think you will do that?" Well, I will just share my thoughts with you. First of all, this past year has left me lots of time to myself. I have used that time to study God's Word, and become MUCH closer to Him and my relationship with the Creator of the Universe is now in order. (do you think He may have used this down time for me to see Who really has control over my life and circumstances?). That is the biggest blessing I have every received. So business down equals priorities in order. With that as a fact, now I can get to business with a new manager. God.

My time off has also shown me that I can do without so many material "things" that I thought I had to have to make me happy. But you know what? I do not need $100 jeans, or $1000 pocketbooks. Why did I ever think those could make me proud of who I am? In fact, I should be ashamed that I would consider those, when my friend from Indonesia's family eats a bowl of rice 3 times a day and feels satisfied? I can truthfully say, I am happy that the tough,( which are really full, compared to others in the world), have happened. I praise God for using this time to show me what and WHO is important in this world. I like Paul, have learned that I can be content with much or little. Things do not make my life.

Now don't get me wrong, I am an aggressive lady. I like to win. I like to be great at what I do, not just ordinary. So I will take all I have learned in the last year and put it to use. I will work harder this year to be successful, and to help my clients. I will set goals and work to achieve them. I will study successful people and use their secrets. I will devote my time designated for work to work smarter. I will win the game this year! So together with lesson learned from 2010, I WILL have a great 2011! Hope you do too.