DREAM A LITTLE DREAM FOR…THEM

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Every night we recharge our batteries for several hours.  No distractions, usually pretty quite and mostly dark.  While this time is important for our minds it is equally important for our bodies.  Comfortable pajamas, soft sheets, maybe a fan overhead on low all help in taking us to dream land.  Do we dream of our wants and desires or run from our insecurities and fears?  I hope we are all shooting for the happy dream and leave our worries on the night stand.

So I am writing in February and I hope that you are dreaming of how to make this Valentines day a special one for your loved one, children or grand children.  No, I’m not going to spin this as a Real Estate Commercial so get that our of your mind now.    I’m looking to help you make your reality better than your dreams.  Take the time now to plan for the future (Valentines day).  A thoughtful gift or gesture cannot be acquired on a whim.  thinking deeply about the one you love and their needs and desires take time.  You could take it a step further like I have…..

In my phone I have a tab in my notes dedicated to gifts.  Nothing fancy, it’s not a special app, I just have a section for Wife, Child 1, Child 2….they each have their own special place.  Throughout the year I take notes on their wants and desires.  It might be laughing about a T.V. commercial, a reaction to a new desert or comment I heard about something they would like to do better.  I compile these notes and use them for birthdays, Christmas and yes Valentines day.  Don’t get me wrong I will always buy chocolate but adding a picture frame with a photo from the trip to the zoo or smore flavored jelly, well those can be the gifts that are remembered for a life time.  After all who wouldn’t enjoy smore flavored jelly?

Happy Valentines day!

You CAN Live Life to the Fullest,

and I can help,

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S.C.

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2017–The Year of the BROKER (aka The Year to START Living LIFE to the Fullest)

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Is to too late to say Happyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy New Year?  I hope you have hit the ground running and are doing everything necessary to LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST!!!

I would like to share with you a major accomplishment in my career as a REALTOR.  On December 20th, I completed the final step to become a Real Estate BROKER.  I took the additional classes, cataloged the past five years of real estate transactions for the Texas Real Estate Commission and have passed both the National and Texas Broker tests.  I have elevated my license to the highest level and with that comes additional knowledge and experience for each of my clients.

That’s all for now.   Your referral is the greatest compliment and will always be followed with a BIG THANK YOU and a gift.

No pressure, no worries, just results that help you to rest assured that you will have the most trouble free and pleasant experience whenever it is time for your next real estate transaction.  I pledge to continue to deliver the highest levels of service to you, and to any of your friends or colleagues that you refer to me for assistance.  Thank you again for your trust and support over the years and here’s to a continued working relationship in the future.

Call (281-467-4691) or email (Scott@ScottCulberson.com) and let’s get started on YOUR Real Estate dreams, because…..

You CAN Live Life to the Fullest

and I can help,

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S.C.

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Is it time for a PERSONAL REVOLUTION? INTRODUCTION

1_CaronRoad_L Happy New Year!!!!!  Let me be the first to tell you this year…….

YOU CAN LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST!

 

“There is no reverse in life, only a Future in which you can steer it.”—Eric Kizer

With the New Year comes new opportunities.  My daughter asked me on New Years Eve if I was going to make any REVOLUTIONS.  Having just seen the Hunger Games Catching Fire the day before I thought she really meant that her dad was going to join the Revolution.  “No”, I told her, “I think you mean Resolution”.  “Yea”, I guess was her reply, “but what does Resolution mean anyway.”  I went on to explain the idea that with every year millions of people resolve to make themselves better by starting a new with a goal to achieve.  Now having explained it to an eleven year old, I got to thinking……………………..

Do you, do I, do we each of us need a Resolution or a PERSONAL REVOLUTION.   Do we need to Revolt against the established bad habits, negative behaviors, time to get off the hamster wheel  that we repeat day after day, month after month, year after year.   Is a Resolution enough.  NOPE, it’s not enough.  Maybe it’s time to get down to it and overthrow the old regime and start making your dreams come true from the inside out.

The old regime, of course, is you.  You, are your best friend and your worst enemy.  You may find that you don’t need a rebuild, just to redirect your energy so that you can reach your goals.  We’ll be working on specific parts of your life.  Even if you think you have a certain section figured out and buttoned up, go through the exercises you may find a chink in the armor you didn’t know was there.

Who am I….I am a Texas REALTOR, husband, father, Eagle Scout, Sam Houston State University Graduate, Theta Chi Fraternity member for life.  Now I would love to help you with your real estate needs, because I know……that if you make your real estate dreams a reality it would help you on your way to Living Life to the Fullest.  You may not need my help in that way…..today…..that’s ok keep me in mind, my real estate network is Global and yes I can help you in the most remote part of the world.  No pressure, no worries, just RESULTS.  So please continue to read my blog for more on how to navigate your PERSONAL REVOLUTION….

YOU CAN LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST

and I can help,

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S.C.

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Jack and Jill Ask More Questions & Follow Up…The Home Buyer Checklist You’ve Been Looking for (15 of 15)

QUESTIONS“Jill I feel like the little home in the picture.  Except I feel more like Humpty Dumpty right after he fell.  I feel confused and disoriented.”  Jack said as he placed his left hand with a pointing finger to his puzzled mouth.  Just like the picture.  “Silly Jack, Humpty wasn’t confused he knew someone would come to help him and if he had some helpon the front side he probably wouldn’t have fallen off the wall in the first place.”  Jill scolded.  They laughed and began to read…… 

#14 Ask Questions and Understand the Answers

This checkpoint is more about follow up and understanding the information you receive than it is about a special laundry list of questions.  Some answers are easy, who owns the home now?  How old is the home?  How many bedrooms?  But what about the vacant land behind the home?  What about the creek around the corner?  What about the schools?  How long will my commute be?  What about that drain in the front of the home?  What about that green box in the back yard?  Can we build a pool?  Can we raise a pig?  Ok so there are a couple of questions for you to chew on.  Your REALTOR can help you find the answers to almost any question that you can come up with on a piece of real estate.  Make it a point to address your concerns before you put an offer on a home.

When your looking for your answers don’t leave it up to neighborhood gossip.  Your future neighbors may feel threatened by you so they might not give you the real scoop.  Everything on the internet is not true; so any answers you find, you’ll want to discuss with your REALTOR.  Your REALTOR may have already heard the rumors in the subdivision and know where to get the REAL answers.

If you have a question about your future home…..ask it early and get an answer.  This will be YOUR HOME so take the time for due diligence.  It is your job to ask the questions and your job to understand what those answers mean………………

DON’T WAIT TIL THE LAST MINUTE TO ASK A QUESITON.  Again ask your question(s) early and understand the answers before you move on to the next item on your list.

Well you already know how the story ends.  They followed the checklist and found their happily ever after.  Jack will no longer tumble down the hill.  He and Jill are Kind and Queens of the Hill.  That’s the end so here’s:  

THE HOME BUYER CHECKLIST YOU’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR

1)  Get Prequalified

2)  Choose a REALTOR

3)  Learn What Costs Are Involved

4)  Search and Search Some More

5)  Keeping an Open Mind

6)   A Home That Suits Your Needs?

7)  Where Do You Want to Live?

8)  Negotiate to Buy a Home

9)  Consider a Home Protection Plan

10) Have a Home Inspection

11) Insurance For Home

12) The Appraisal

13) HUD, Funding, & Cookies OH MY!

14) Ask More Questions & Follow Up

Be on the look out for more adventures of Jack and Jill as they take on their new role as home owners.  If you would like Jack and Jill to share a specific adventure I would love to hear from you.  (email me at Scott@Scott Culberson.com)  I hope that you enjoyed our series.  Please share it with your family and friend or two and maybe YOU can help them too……

Live Life to the Fullest,

S. C.

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Jack and Jill…CD, Funding & Cookies OH MY! The Home Buyer Checklist You’ve Been Looking for (14 of 15)

Chocolate Chip CookiesJack slammed the door when he came home and their wedding picture hit the floor.  Their was a smash of glass.  They had replaced the door glass with plastic after the first time Jack slammed the door.  “Woa MR, you march right back outside and try that entrance again.”  Jill said crossly.  Jack and Jill had decided, when they were dating, that they would never bring home the frustration they had gained at work or where ever.  Sure they would talk about it, but no taking it out on the door or each other.  “Sorry dear,” Jack replied, “my day well…its’ better now that I have come in for the second time.”  And that’s one of the small things they did together that they both truly loved and respected.  So Jack closed the door gently, picked up the next checkpoint from the kitchen table and read…….

#13 What Happens Right Before You Get the Keys

Every contract has a closing date on it.  Most contracts say something like “On or before this date.”  This date is the date you have been waiting for.  It’s time for CD, Funding and Cookies…..OH MY!  WHAT? CD, Funding and Cookies, OH MY!  WHAT?   CD, Funding and Cookies…OH YES!  About a week before the special day(this timeline can vary) your title company will receive the closing instructions from your lender.  The title company takes those instructions and prepares the initial CLOSING DISCLOSURE(aka closing statement).  The CD as it’s commonly called contains all of the charges for the buyer and the seller and it’s format is uniform.  Your lender and your REALTOR will be familiar with the format and how to explain the various charges.  The preliminary CD goes to your lender and the seller.  They are both checking to make sure that all the numbers are correct.  Your lender gave the instructions to the letter.  Once the two parties agree the FINAL CD is generated.  This does not mean that the CD is perfect…you should always review your final CD; you may find that the changes you thought were being made have been missed.  Compare your CD to the Good Faith Estimate that your lender provided.  Differences can be reviewed on page number three, I believe.  The final CD tells you the amount you need to bring to the closing.  That will be in a cashiers check(certified funds) and in most cases it is payable to the title company since they distribute all the funds.  NOTE…ASK WHO TO MAKE YOUR CHECK OUT TO and get the spelling right.  If the cashiers check is wrong in name or dollar amount you will not be able to get your keys.  Some title company’s will allow you to have your closing check wired to their account instead of having bringing a cashiers check.  Wiring funds is tricky, make sure you get written instructions from the title company at least five days prior so you can execute those directions correctly.

To get your keys from here there are six final steps:

1)      Verify that you walked through the home prior to closing and that it is as you expected it to be.

2)      Receive any receipts from agreed upon repairs

3)      You present your portion of the money in the form of a cashiers check(certified funds)

4)      Your lender has wired their money to the title company and the title company has confirmed receipt (aka the file has funded)

5)      The seller signs their portion of the closing documents and presents a photo id

6)      You, the buyer(s), sign your portion of the closing documents and present your photo id(s)

It is important to note that not all closings will fund the same day, which means that you may not be able to walk away with the keys that day.  You will still own the real estate, but think about it; the Title Company has to get the money from your bank, payoff the sellers mortgage and pay the REALTORS and themselves.  Nothing is truly final until everyone gets paid.

Your closing will probably start on time, and it will take some time to get through the paperwork.  Your closer will present you the papers to sign, one by one and can explain what you are signing and answer your questions.  It’s your closing so take the time to read what you sign, don’t feel rushed.  Your closing could take a couple of hours so it’s better to take the rest of the day off from work.  Title Company’s handle the six steps above in different order and some title company’s have fresh cookies and some have gourmet coffee.  But your not buying cookies, your buying real estate.  Once all the steps have been completed—- it’s time to call all your friends and tell them what time to meet you at your old place so they can start moving boxes.

“I love me some fresh cookies,” Jack said. “Cookies or no cookies it sounds like we might need to practice signing our names so we don’t get a cramp,” Jill said with a smile.  “Jill, do you realize that this is the second to the last checkpoint,” Jack asked?  “I guess class is almost over.  We are fixing to graduate from home buyer learner to home buyer,” Jill said with a grin.  And that night they made their own fresh cookies, peanut butter, chocolate chip and a chocolate peanut butter that didn’t turn out so well. They were finding that the checkpoints were helping them to become less fearful of the home buying process.  They knew they needed help, lender, home inspector, and definitely their own REALTOR.  They were truly ready for the final check point entitled:

“Jack and Jill Ask More Questions & Follow UP…The Home Buyers Checklist You’ve Been Looking for (15 of 15)”

We hope you’re enjoying our series and that it helps you on your way to……….

Live Life to the Fullest,

S.C.

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Jack and Jill The Appraisal: The Home Buyer Checklist You’ve Been Looking for (13 of 15)

home on a stack of cashMorning, noon and night Jack and Jill were reading their checklist points and gathering the information they needed to be informed home buyers.  “Jill”, Jack said pausing then continuing, “I think it’s a good thing we are reading these checkpoints because I have no clue what this one is all about.”  And with out allowing Jill to respoind Jack began to read………

#12 The Appraisal

The appraisal is the value that the lending bank has applied to the real estate that is being purchased.  An appraisal will be ordered by the lending bank on the real estate that you have an executed contract on.  The lender typically orders the appraisal AFTER you have done all your tire kicking(inspections, and repair negotiations).  Here’s the bottom line on an appraisal…the subject real estate HAS to appraise for equal to or higher than the contract sales price.  If it does not you are back to the drawing board with the seller.  This is on of the reasons you discuss the competitive market analysis at length with your REALTOR.  The competitive market analysis DOES NOT take the place of an appraisal, but if can give you some insight on what the appraiser might come up with.  Your REALTOR and the appraiser in all likelihood will be using the same comparables and both should have a similar approach on what to do with those comparables.  The appraisal from YOUR bank rules the day, even if the seller had an independent appraisal done on their home.  Should the home not appraise the seller or buyer could dispute the results.  In today’s market most appraisals stand because of all the checking and double check they, the appraisers, do now.

“Jack, I don’t think I would have known that’s what this checkpoint was about.”  said Jill  “Good information and it makes since.  The bank wouldn’t want to lend money on real estate that doesn’t at least equal the amount they are lending.”  Jack said as he shook his head.  “Kinda makes your head hurt doesn’t it, Jack?  It’s pretty deep stuff.” Jill responded.  And so our two heroes were getting closer to the last check point so their anticipation was growing, they couldn’t wait to read the next check point entitled:

“Jack and Jill: HUD, Funding, Cookies Oh My!  The Home Buyers Checklist You’ve Been Waiting for (14 of 15)”

We hope you’re enjoying our series and that it helps you on your way to……………..

Live Life to the Fullest,

S.C.

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Jack and Jill Need Insurance for Their Home: The Home Buyer Checklist You’ve Been Looking for (12 of 15)

Document of Homeowners Insurance Policy for backgroundJack jumped out of bed that Saturday to find Jill standing by the window of their tiny condominium, coffee in one hand the next checkpoint in the other.  “Oh, Jack, I know that all the check points are important, but this one really hits home.”  snickered Jill.  Jack laughed at her pun as she started to read..

#11 Research Your Home Insurance Options 

You have to have insurance for your home especially if you are purchasing it with a loan.  Your lender wants their investment to be protected and lets be honest, so do you.  You are looking for a homeowners policy and if you do not pick one your lender will and it will be much more expensive than any policy you would find on your own.  Do not wait until the Title Company asks for your insurance company, start shopping now.  Lots of insurance company’s will bundle car, life and home and give you a discount.  If you have never thought about changing your car insurance, now is the time to check out what is out there.  You’ll see lots of television ads and billboards, what do you really want from your insurance company?  Do you want twnty-four hour claim service, the ability to pay on line, the discount rate mentioned above.  Meet with your insurance agent and talk with them about this new step in your life, you may find that you don’t have as much coverage as you thought on your car or on yourself.  Yes, yes, yes, more homework and if you take the time now, if something bad happens in the future, you’ll be covered.

“WOW, that does hit home,” Jack said and they laughed at the pun again.  “If we didn’t have insurance for all those times you got hurt coming down that hill, I don’t know where we would be.”  Jill replied.  “I guess it’s time to review ALL of our insurance since we are on the home buying trail.”  Jack said.  And as they pulled their insurance files they were eager to read the next check point entitled:

“Jack and Jill: The Appraisal…The Home Buyers Checklist You’ve Been Looking for (13 of 15)”

We hope that you’re enjoying our series and that it helps you on your way to………………..

Live Life to the Fullest,

S.C.

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