September 28, 2011

Things to Remember when Buying a House

According to a recent article on suite 101’s website, Buying a house will probably be the most expensive purchase in most people’s lives. Here are some tips to help make sure everyone gets the best deal.

Mortgage Hints

Always get pre-approved for a mortgage. Most banks will do this for free, and with no obligation. Make sure to get good estimates of property taxes and insurance so this can be factored into the pre-approval decision. Some towns have much higher taxes than others.

Make sure to first check all local banks for their rates. Some offer better rates for current customers. It can also be convenient to be able to stop by in person for any questions that pop up, and have local numbers to call. Local banks and credit unions will accept same-day loan payments in case you are running late.

Don’t take out the full amount of money that you are pre-approved for. The monthly mortgage payment should be based on one’s budget, not on how much the bank thinks they should spend. Remember, they want to lend as much money as possible so that they can collect as much interest as possible. Whatever you budget that you can afford, try to reduce that amount even further. Remember, the income you make now could change with lay-offs, injuries, pregnancies, etc. It’s always better to be able to save some money every month for emergencies.

Try to put down as much of a downpayment as possible. Many banks require that home buyers take out Private Mortgage Insurance, or PMI, if their downpayment is less than 20%. This is an additional cost that can be avoided by saving up for at least a 20% downpayment before thinking about purchasing a home.

Finding the House

Do as much research before meeting with a real estate agent. It pays to narrow down your options to a few locations. Then you can get to know the areas well and research home prices. This can allow you to make sure you are getting the most house for your money.

Most people should avoid purchasing a fixer-upper, or a house that needs a lot of work. Unless the buyer is extremely handy around the house and has a lot of free time, things often don’t end up getting done. Also, if you buy a house that needs some work, make sure the important things (kitchen appliances, electrical system, plumbing) all work. Then, if for some reason the economy tanks, other smaller renovating projects can be put off for later.

Visit Suite101 for more tips.

September 26, 2011

Beginning Your Search for the Perfect Home

Before you get too attached to a certain property, make sure that you have thought through the issues that are most important to you and what you want out of this new home. Consider using the Key Features Wanted in New Home worksheet provided here by (homebuying) as a guideline and think through the issues that are most important when comparing properties.


Distance to employment __________________________________
Proximity to family __________________________________ 

Proximity to child care __________________________________

School district __________________________________

Access to public transportation __________________________________

Proximity to airport, train station, and so on __________________________________

Desired amenities nearby (parks, walking or bike trails, and so on) __________________________________

How does this property compare to others in the neighborhood? __________________________________

Are home values in the neighborhood stable? __________________________________

Is the neighborhood undergoing revitalization? __________________________________

Are there any special assessments or taxes for this neighborhood? __________________________________

What other issues involving location are important to you? __________________________________

Features of property:

Number of bedrooms __________________________________

Number of bathrooms __________________________________

Garage capacity __________________________________

Style of home __________________________________

Master bedroom on first floor __________________________________

Master bathroom __________________________________

Laundry facilities on first floor __________________________________

Handicap accessible __________________________________

Washer and dryer __________________________________

Formal dining room __________________________________

Dine-in kitchen __________________________________

Built-in dishwasher __________________________________

Formal livng room __________________________________

Seperate space for home office ________________________________

Basement ____________________________________

Ample stoarage space ____________________________________

Fireplace __________________________________________

Deck or patio ___________________________________________

Fenced in yard ___________________________________________

Shade trees ___________________________________________

Level driveway _________________________________________

Ample space for gardening or outdoor activities ________________________________________

Home association dues __________________________________

Amount of initial repairs or remodeling required _________________________________________

Other critical features you’d like in your new home ____________________________________________

September 20, 2011

4 Strategies to Customize and Personalize Your New Home

One of the true joys of homeownership is your ability to truly make your home yours – customizing and personalizing it to suit your tastes, your family, and your lifestyle to a t. According to a recent article from, Here are four smart strategies for customizing your new home.

  1. Paint to create that feel you want, inside and out. Studies show that color choices can have a massive impact on the mood and even the happiness of a home’s residents, so get to painting!
    Exterior: Consider your dream home, what color was it? Repainting your home can make a massive change to its look and curb appeal, and can turn a home you can afford into the home you’ve always dreamed of.
    Front door, shutters, and fences: If you bought a home that has a relatively fresh coat of paint job or an overall color you like, consider painting just the front doo to inject some color and your personal touch. Painting shutters, fences, and other exterior accents a contrasting color of your choice are additional quick and inexpensive – but powerful – tweeks that can also make your home look buttoned up and , well, yours.
    Interior: Aim to match colors to a room’s purpose, so that bedrooms have a sense of restful santuary, bathroom walls read “clean,” and common living areas are warm or energizing, as you wish!
  2. Inventory your space and your stuff before you unpack. Moving in presents an opportunity to truly customize your living spaces for the activites you want to do and things you want to “live” in them. Make a chart that divides all your home’s spaces – all of them, including any seemingly wasted spaces or nook-ey areas under the stairs or in the garage, before you move in.  Then decide what you want to do and what you want to store in each area. This approach empowers you to make sure every person, activity and thing in your home has the right amount and type of space.
  3. Build organization in. Built-ins make a world of difference. It’s relatively low-cost and low-effort to build in items like:
    a. clost organizers,
    b. window seats,
    c. desktops and bookshelves,
    d. pantry-optimizing shelves, spinners and drawers, and
    e. medicine and linen cabinets
  4. Match your furniture to your space, your activites and your stuff. Remember the space issues you couldn’t stand in your last place? Anticipate them, and as you plan to buy your furniture, look for things that offrer extra organizational or storage features.
    Also, if your space inventory (see #2 on the list) showed up lots of stuff with no place to go , make an effort to buy armoires, storage closets and sheds to give your home a polished look that reflects your organized and personal style.

Visit for more tips.


September 20, 2011

Agent of the Month: Tricia Gwyn

Tricia Gwyn
Tricia Gwyn
Silly Agents
Our Agents

Our Agents

“I really love the agents I work with! They are funny and exciting to be around. They make me feel like I can be myself and just be open about transactions, feelings, etc.. I think that’s why people love using them to assist in thier real estate transactions. My agents make people feel comfortable, and that is the most important thing to any relationship! I have given a few of them some nicknames, Like Cat ( Cathy Nichols) Val ( Valencia Stephens), BirdDog ( Randy Schultz), Nae ( Renee Goodman), & Cita ( Alicia Gibson)- Sky, Meghan, &Amy, need nicknames so help me name them! 🙂 We look forward to seeing you doing business with any of our agents, you will find they are all great!”


September 19, 2011

4 Need-to-Knows for Buying and Selling Homes at the Same Time

According to a recent article from, here are four need-to-knows for those who want to sell their current home and buy a new one, at the same time.

  1. Meet with a local agent who actively sells homes in your neighborhood, far in advance of listing or house hunting.  You need them to brief you on items like how long you should expect your home to take to sell on today’s market, what you can do to move it faster, as well as get their professional opinion as to what price you can expect to get for your home. This will impact whether or not you need to consider a short sale.  This is all information you will need to provide your mortgage pro with, so collect it as early as possible in the process. A year before you need to move is not too soon to have your first meeting with your agent.
  2. Meet with your mortage broker before you start looking for homes or put your own home on the market. It’s essential that you have them walk with you through both your sell and your plans to buy, before you do either. Why? A good local mortgage broker can work with you and your agent to help you do the math on what you’ll net from your home sale, help you know how much you (a) can qualify to buy, and (b) will need to come up with for your purchase, understand whether the sale will impact your credit at all and by how much, and help time your sale with your purchase.
  3. Know your options for staying in after closing – or moving in early.  Many homeowners try to buy and sell at precisely the simultaneous moment, with very little overlap, because they don’t want to throw money away on rentals. The reality of today’s market is that very, very few sales close precisely when they are expected to, mostly for reasons entirely out of the control of either party. In any event, if you are selling your home, before your purchase will be complete, know that it’s okay to ask for a “rent-back” where you can stay in the property for as long as a month or more after the sale closes by agreement with the buyer to pay them rent on the property in the amount of their mortgage payment, taxes and insurance for the time you remain in the home. On the other hand, if you are buying after your sale closes, some sellers will alow you to move in before closing on a similar arrangement. Before you start to freak out at the thought that your ‘buy’ won’t close when you need it to, know that this option might be available, and talk with your home’s seller to see if they’ll consider it.
  4. Plan for gaps – and for overlaps.  There is very little in this world we can be sure of, except the high probablility of your escrow closing date. Having a back up plan in place just in case you close one or both transactions off-schedule is essential to avoiding the surprise-induced panic attacks. So, if you want or need to buy before you sell, build a cash cushion that can cover double payments for a couple of months. If that’s not in the budget, or if you’d like to try out your new neighborhood or town before you buy, close your home’s sale, then plan on renting a place during your house hunt.
September 16, 2011

Agent of the Month: Tricia Gwyn

 Tricia Gwyn

Tricia Gwyn

Featured Property

130 Patton Rd 130 Patton Rd, Zebulon Ga 149,900

 This 3 bedroom, 2 bath home is located on 1 acre and feautures an in ground pool, out building, large living room, sunroom, and basement. If you are interested in learning more aout this property, please feel free to contact me for more information!




September 15, 2011

40th Anniversary Celebration


40th Anniversary Celebration

It’s time to CELEBRATE!

It’s McLeRoy Inc.’s 40th anniversary and we’re celebrating! Our celebration events will run September 15th – 30th. Drop by our office any weekday between 9am – 5pm for a chance to win prizes. Saturday, September 17th, we will be hosting a free event at our office with fun for everyone from 12 – 2pm. We will have a bounce castle for kids of young ages. We will also have a potato bar set up for everyone to make their own potato with all the toppings. Please come by and share some of your favorite memories of the past 40 years with the McLeRoy’s.

September 14, 2011

Agent of the Month: Tricia Gwyn

Tricia Gwyn

About Me…

I am Tricia Gwyn and I have been in  the Real Estate Business for  11 years, and have brokered companies during this time for 8 years. I love the agents I work with and I am very proud of them and the compliments of their professionalism I hear from outside agents. I still represent buyers and sellers in their real estate transactions and I love helping people find a good deal.

I also attend church at Mountain View Baptist Church in Thomaston, GA. I am married to Rusty Gwyn from Zebulon, GA. And we have two of the greatest girls ever born! Their ages are 6 and 9 months and they are both full of personality! We strive with our life serving Christ and we do all of our work in order to glorify him.

So if you are looking for a great Real Estate company to assist you, then McLeRoy Realty has a full list of over qualified agents or if you are looking for a great church Mountain View’s doors are wide open! Just call me for more details, free property evaluation, or home buying assistance.

September 14, 2011

Starting a Business: The Five C’s of Credit

A loan officer’s primary concern when considering granting a loan is whether or not the loan will be repaid.  Bank lenders consider five aspects of an application when deciding whether to grant a business loan. They are:

The Five C’s of Credit:

Character:  the potential borrower’s references and repayment histoy help bank officials determine whether he/she has good character and can be trusted to repay the loan.

Capacity: the borrower’s ability to run the business effectively, and have sufficient “cash flow” and “profit” to make regular payments are of primary concern to the lender. Prepare a resume and financial projection.

Capital: the amount of money (equity) the borrower has personally invested in the project is important. Banks will not provide 100% of the backing in a business venture. Be willing to put your money where your mouth is.

Collateral: borrowers must be willing to put up a sufficient amount of collateral to secure a loan.  Collateral may be a home, real estate, car or other personal belongings. Make a list.

Condition: the conditions surrounding the business venture is important. Is it in a field that is in great demand and in an area where that need is not being met? Or is it a business in an industry that is saturated with other firms and has high failure rate? Do your homework on this.


September 13, 2011

Selling Your Home? 6 Worth-the-Price Fix-Ups

Simple and affordable do-it-yourself projects can greatly increase a home’s resale valule, according to HomeGain’s annual home improvement and staging survey.  The marketing company surveyed nearly 600 real estate professionals to discover which DIY home improvement projects give sellers the biggest return for their buck. Here are six projects under $1,000 (amounts are estimated) that made the list.

  • Cleaning and decluttering. Remove any personal items, unclutter countertops, organize closests and shelves, and make the home sparkling clean.  $290 COST   $1,990 RETURN
  • Brightening. Clean all windows inside and out, replace old curtains, update lighting fixtures, and remove anything that blocks light from the windows.  $375 COST   $1,550 RETURN
  • Smart staging. Rearrange furniture, bring in new accessories and furnishings to enhance rooms, incorporate artwork, and play soft music in the background.  $550 COST   $2,194 RETURN
  • Landscaping enhancements. Punch up the home’s curb appeal in the front and back yards by adding bark mulch, bushes, and flowers and ensuring current plants and grass are well-cared for and manicured.  $540 COST    $1,932 RETURN
  • Repairing electircal or plumbing. Fix leaks under the sinks, remove any mildew stains, and ensure all plumbing is in good working condition. Update the home’s electrical with new wiring for modern appliances, fix any lights or outlets that don’t work, and replace old plug points with new safety fixtures.   $535 COST   $1,505 RETURN
  • Replacing or shampooing dirty carpets. Steam-clean carpets, replace any worn carpets, and repair any floor creaks.   $647 COST   $1,739 RETURN

Excerpted from Realtor magazine (April/May 2011)