Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tax Credit News

Did you know:

The First-Time Homeowner Tax credit can be used for a down payment on a new home -- but there are some stipulations.

Homeowners may apply a federal tax credit of up to $8,000 toward the purchase of a home with an FHA-backed mortgage, however, the tax credit can't be used to meet the FHA's 3.5 percent minimum down-payment requirement.

The tax credit can be used as an additional down payment and for other closing costs, which can help borrowers obtain a lower interest rate.

In the Charlotte area, the FHA limit is currently $303,750 for qualification for the credit. Great news, for home buyers here in Mint Hill looking to buy that first home.

Would you, or someone you know like more information on taking advantage of this limited-time tax credit, please contact me at

Want more information about the Mint Hill, Matthews and Charlotte area real estate market?
Check out

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Why Use a Realtor?

The other day, I drove past two houses on the same street in Mint Hill that had “For Sale by Owner” signs out front.

I bet those signs will be there a very long time, especially in this market.

People who attempt to sell their own homes are usually doing so to save a Realtor’s fee. In a seller’s market, you may be successful in attempting to sell your own home. In a buyer’s market, it’s usually a recipe for failure--in in the high-demand area of Mint Hill. Without a Real Estate Agent, you won't have the ability to list your house in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), meaning you don’t have a broad reach and therefore have a much smaller pool of potential buyers to balance out the many homes on the market. Additionally, a Real Estate Agent does a lot that helps to sell a house, as quickly as possible, and at the best price.

Before you put that “For Sale by Owner” sign in your yard, consider whether you’re up to these tasks:

· Doing the research to make sure your home is priced properly
· Write, schedule and run ads in local papers and real estate publications
· Produce attractive handouts for potential buyers
· Pre-screen callers to see if they’re qualified buyers
· Run open houses
· Be available days, evenings and weekends to show your house
· Listen to critical comments about your home without being offended
· Negotiate offers and counter offers
· Know when to lower the price
· Qualify buyers
· Prepare proper disclosure paperwork
· Stay on top of the buyer’s mortgage application and approval
· Be available to coordinate inspections and appraisals
· Gather all necessary buyer’s and the seller’s legal documents

There is an art and science to selling real estate, especially during an economic downturn Shouldn't you put your home in the hands of an experienced and licensed Realtor?

Rich Ferretti
Jamison Realty
Mint Hill and Matthews

Want more information about the Mint Hill, Matthews and Charlotte area real estate market?
Check out

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Mortgage Application Process

The mortgage loan application process is one of the biggest financial decisions you'll make in your life. Like any momentous decision, you need to do some prep work before you apply for a mortgage. Once you have done the background, you will find the whole mortgage process is a lot less stressful and mysterious.

Before applying for a loan, you should check the current interest rates, (at an all-time low at the posting of this entry!) review your credit report for accuracy, and begin shopping for a lender. When comparing mortgage lenders, consider such factors as lock-in policies, fees and loan options.

Interest Rates
In a turbulent economy, Interest rates are constantly in flux. It is even possible that the interest rates will change between the time you start your mortgage application and the time you are approved. Even with a changing economic landscape, a smart shopper will compare the rates offered by different lenders before they apply for a mortgage. Find the lowest, and get locked in…

Mortgage Application
After you've chosen a lender or broker, you'll fill out the mortgage application. It might seem that this is a never-ending mountain of paperwork to read, sign and turn in. But, all the information is necessary and you should be diligent in filling out every form. I also caution you to complete the application honestly and completely. If you inadvertently (or intentionally) put false information on your mortgage application, it could seriously hurt your chances of getting approved. Be honest with your broker and lender, and there will probably be very few problems they cannot help you surpass. (FYI : If you are denied a mortgage due to a falsified application, you might lose your down payment. So take your time when filling out the paperwork, and be sure to get all your questions answered by the mortgage lender.)

Providing Documents
During the mortgage loan application process, you will be asked to provide a variety of documents to the mortgage lender. Always ask the lender whether or not they need the original document or a duplicate. If they need the original, be sure to copy each document for your own records when you apply for a mortgage. You might be asked to turn over canceled checks, copies of leases, bank statements, and such. Make sure you note what you have turned over in your records, and again – KEEP COPIES OF EVERYTHING!

Approval with Conditions
In most cases, mortgage approval comes with certain conditions. These conditions may include a satisfactory appraisal, home inspection, etc. Ask your lender what conditions and requirements you need to meet, and be aggressive about completing them on time. The quicker you provide your lender with paperwork, the quicker they can turn your mortgage around…

Making Changes to Your Application
If anything significant changes during your mortgage application process (changing jobs, marital status, etc.), tell your lender as soon as possible. On closing day, you will be certifying that no significant changes have occurred, so it's important to address changes as they arise.
Now keep in mind that everyone wants you to be approved for the mortgage loan as much as you do. Nobody is working against you in this process, everyone is working for you. It's in every one's interest to see the process through to successful completion. Be honest and helpful, and things will work out in the end.

Rich Ferretti
Jamison Realty
Mint Hill and Matthews

Want more information about the Mint Hill, Matthews and Charlotte area real estate market?
Check out

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Matthews and Mint Hill

Looking for a home that combines the idyllic existence of a small town with modern conveniences? Maybe you want to be close to the city, but still have crickets chirping in your backyard? Maybe you should consider the beautiful towns of Matthews or Mint Hill, North Carolina. These two picture-perfect enclaves are a short commute outside of Charlotte, and are consistently popular communities. Matthews and Mint Hill are located on the south eastern outskirts of Charlotte, so you can live the small town lifestyle while enjoying the benefits of a large metropolitan area.

Unlike some modern small towns that feel fabricated or like a movie studio back lot, streets in Matthews exude a small town charm. Located in Mecklenburg County (about 10 miles southeast of bustling downtown Charlotte), beautiful Matthews covers over 17 square miles of choice North Carolina real estate. Matthews is comprised of mainly single family housing on large lots, making it very appealing to young families, retirees and singles. Matthews features a quaint downtown, plenty of quiet and attractive neighborhoods, a variety of churches, synagogues and worship centers, quality schools and daycare and an outstanding hospital and medical facilities. Add in a few great restaurants, some incredible shopping, and you have a complete and comely community. People from all walks of life find that Matthews is the type of town for them. Matthews has about 25,000 citizens, with a spectacular mix of unique characters. Families feel secure in Matthews, with the town having an extremely low crime rate and a highly-effective police presence. Naturalists and outdoorsman will love Matthews, since small parks and nature preserves are plentiful. Civic leaders in Matthews strive to maintain a healthy balance of quality and compatible development, whether it is residential or commercial, making Matthews a thriving community.

Mint Hill, Matthews’ sister town, was incorporated March, 1971 with a population of 2,284. In the last three decades, the town has enjoyed a steady growth to its current population of approximately 18,000. Mint Hill might be slightly smaller then Matthews, but this older town has special qualities that make it beloved by its citizens. The town has a longstanding legacy of community and civic pride, dating as far back to the Mint Hill community’s founding in 1750. People who live in Mint Hill work hard to maintain good connections with their town leaders and neighbors, and civic pride is incredibly high. The devotion of the town to their history and future is evident, as nowhere else in NC will you find such beautifully manicured lawns, pristine homes, and well-maintained streets. Within the historic town are many fine churches, excellent schools, and enriching social organizations. Mint Hill also has some of the state's most marvelous recreational facilities, including private and public golf courses and country clubs. First and foremost a residential community, the business district has shown intensified development in recent years with approximately 285 businesses and professional services available. This delightful town is someplace anyone would find relaxation and respite.

Want more information about the Mint Hill, Matthews and Charlotte area real estate market?
Check out

Your Real Estate Today

Sometimes, prospective home buyers have serious home buying or selling questions that they wish they could take to a real estate agent, but don’t. Perhaps they are shy, or worried they will be strong-armed into buying something they don't really want, or committing before they are ready. Whatever the case may be, at Jamison Realty like to be available to help anyone interested in learning more about real estate. To help with that, we’ve teamed with the radio professionals at WBT Talk Radio (1110am) every Saturday afternoon from 2pm to 3pm. It’s an hour or real estate answers, questions and hopefully – some good advice.

Your Real Estate Today” Is a weekly show hosted by Paul Jamison of Jamison Realty. Our country is overflowing with negative news, so we’ve decided to do something different. “Your Real Estate Today” is positive and enriching information concerning the real estate market in our area. Yours truly, Rich Ferretti, along with Paul Jamison and other members of the Jamison Reality team, take to the airwaves every Saturday to discuss important and salient topics. We want you to learn and understand the different opportunities in real estate, whether you are a buyer, seller, investor or business owner. Or maybe you just love real estate, and crave more information. Just recently we discussed the amazing--but soon to be gone $8000 tax credit. Future episodes will touch on all the real estate topics you are curious about, but didn’t have an outlet to receive good, quality information.
Listen this Saturday: Your Real Estate Today!

Want more information about the Mint Hill, Matthews and Charlotte area real estate market?
Check out

Mint Hill homes and clients

Fixing our Industry
After a great Rain blog about agents and due diligence yesterday, I thought I would ask for more input.
Clients and Customers not leads, they're people and they want and expect the best service, just like we do. How many of us walk in or call a service provider and ask to be treated badly?
Recently, I had the pleasure to work with a senior couple moving from Hendersonville North Carolina to Charlotte to be closer to their children and patiently waiting for the arrival of their 1st grandchild, what an exciting time! Anyway they were so skeptical of real estate agents; it made me wonder what had happened to them in the past. After meeting for coffee and discussing their options they opened up and explained they were so misrepresented on their last transaction, (Dual Agency) that they did not want to deal with another real estate agent. They had even started looking just for FSBOs so they didn't have to deal with an agent. They thought it best to purchase a FSBO and deal with an attorney.
A few weeks later this couple purchased a beautiful home from me and even sent me a wonderful "Thank You" card that I cherish and use in my testimonials now. You gotta believe.
How can we fix our industry?
Your thoughts?
Rich Ferretti, Realtor/Broker Charlotte, North Carolina and the surrounding area. For more information, contact or
Want more information about the Charlotte area real estate market? Check out

Mint Hill Housing Crisis


In today's Wall Street Journal, Cyril Moulle-Berteaux writes that he believes that we may be coming out of the housing crisis soon. Heend out of the housing crisis. He makes case that the argument that prices may well have fallen enough and new home inventories are starting to fall indicating that the worst is over.
It is encouraging to see conservative business media like the Wall Street Journal start to provide analysis that is somewhat positive.
I would hasten to add that the op-ed piece is a) opinion (albeit opinion from a respected financial guru) and b) all real estate is local and Mr. Mouille-Berteaux's analysis has a National bias. Still, if this is a sign of things to come, I'm encouraged.

Want more information about the Charlotte area real estate market? Check out

Tax Credit for First Time Home Buyers

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a.k.a. the Stimulus Bill or ARRA, first time home owners are now eligible for a tax credit of $8,000. This credit, alongside some fabulous opportunities in the market, makes it an incredibly keen time to buy. Homes in Mint Hill and Matthews are still showing excellent resale value, so buying now when the market is accommodating is a key. The staff of Jamison Realty has spent time looking over the ARRA, and has all the answers for the consumer.

The following list summarizes the eligibility requirements of this credit:

When – Home owners who purchase their house between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009 are eligible for the credit.

Who – The law states that the credit is available to first time home buyers. However, the law is a bit more flexible and allows anyone who has not owned a home for three years to qualify. For example, if you sold your home on May 24, 2006, you will have to close on your new home subsequent to May 24, 2009 to qualify. The closing date in this situation would make a significant difference on your wallet. It certainly makes purchasing a home in beautiful Mint Hill, NC a stunning investment!

How – You will receive the tax credit when you file your individual tax return. As part of this filing, you will need to complete Form 5405 which determines the amount of credit you will receive. The credit can be claimed on either your 2008 or 2009 tax return. If you already filed your 2008 tax return, you can amend the return to obtain the credit. And…you can buy up to the end of 2008 and still ask for the amendment. For example, say after months of looking you and your realtor finally find a home in Matthews, NC. By the time you have gone to closing with your new piece of Matthews' real estate, it is nearly Christmas. That is no problem, the ARRA bill provides for that and you can amend your 2009 return and receive the cash back. Or, you simply file it on 2009!

What – Everyone should understand that this is a credit to the tax payer, not a deduction. A tax credit is a dollar for dollar benefit to the tax payer. So a first time home buyer should be $8,000 wealthier as a result of this credit. A deduction merely decreases your taxable income. Furthermore, this tax credit does not have to be repaid to the government like the “credit” available to first time home buyers in 2008. If you have questions, the staff at Jamison Realty can provide the answers.

And - The credit shall be equal to 10% of the purchase price of the home, not to exceed $8,000. Since the median home and condominium price in Charlotte, North Carolina is significantly more than $80,000, most will receive the full $8,000 credit.

Also - Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and couples with income of up to $150,000 qualify for the full credit.

It's a great time to buy!
Rich Ferretti

Want more information about the Charlotte area real estate market? Check out www.minthillrealty,com

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Existing Home Sales Rebounding!

In April, sales of existing homes in the US grew 2.9 percent in April, recovering from a decline in March. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported that the sales were due in large part to the low prices on new builds.

NAR said sales of homes increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.68 million units in April from a downwardly revised pace of 4.55 million units in March. They had initially estimated the March rate at 4.57 million units. The April sales exceeded the forecast of 4.65 million units.

This is good news, depite the fact that sales this April were 3.5 percent below the 4.85 million-unit level in April 2008.

Buyers all over the country are being spurred on by lower prices. "We have definitely seen an uptick in both interest and home sales here in Mint Hill" said Rich Ferretti of Jamison Realty, "it is a great time to buy, especially for first-time homebuyers."

First-time homebuyers, buyers who have not owned a home in three years, are eligible for a temporary federal housing tax credit of up to 8,000 dollars for principal homes bought this year through November 30.

Home mortgage interest rates are hovering at historic lows, causing the buying surge. Freddie Mac reports that mortgage rates fell in April to a low last seen in 1971, at 4.81 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, compared with 5.92 percent a year ago.

The housing market is certainly showing new life, and yet there remains a great opportunity for buyers to get a phenomenal deal.

Rich Ferretti
Jamison Realty

Want more information about the Mint Hill area real estate market?
Check out

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

5 Reasons to Buy A New Home This Year

Homeownership is probably the most intrinsic part of the American Dream. Owning a piece of land, however small or modest, is an ironclad investment, a lifetime legacy, and a boost to the ego unmatched by many modern fads. I’ve compiled 5 unbelievably solid reasons to dive into the pool, and buy a home.

1. FHA limits for the Charlotte area have been raised to $303,750, and with FHA loans, you only need 3.5% down and a minimum credit score of 620. (Conventional loans are still more restrictive, typically 5% down on conforming loans and a credit score of 700 or above.)

2. You have a large inventory to choose from. Real estate in Matthews and Mint Hill, always exceptionally popular locations for the discriminating buyer, are at an incredibly affordable rate and there is a plethora of welcoming properties. The team at Jamison Reality has "helped people home" in both lovely towns, and they can take work with you to make sure your selection appeals to tastes and pocketbook.

3. Nationally, the housing market, while still down sharply from its peak, has shown signs of stabilizing, a step toward recovery. When the housing market moves back up, your home will increase in value with no real effort on your part. As the economy continues to thrive, the discounts, incentives, credits and rebates will end. If you buy now, you will get in on the ground floor or a bargain that could eventually lead to an investment windfall for you.

4. Mortgage rates are historically low. Long-term mortgage rates this week reached the lowest level since at least 1970, falling for the third consecutive week. Freddie Mac’s weekly rate report says the average 30-year; fixed-rate mortgage fell to 4.78 percent, matching a low set April 7. It is the lowest rate on such mortgages since Freddie Mac started keeping track in 1970.

5. You can get a federal tax credit: The Fed's have revised the Tax Credit from last year to a much better program. Effective for purchases on or after January 1, 2009 and before December 1, 2009, Purchaser will receive up to $8,000 tax credit. This program is available to anyone who has not purchased in the last three years. If the home is sold within three years, the full amount will be recaptured on sale of the home. Otherwise, this is a great program and should help spur more sales during the months ahead.

Rich Ferretti
Mint Hill & Matthews, NC

Want more information about the Mint Hill, Matthews and Charlotte area real estate market?
Check out

Monday, May 25, 2009

Refinance with the Home Affordable Refinance Program

President Obama's Housing and Economic Recovery Act (HERA) has allowed Wells Fargo to be able to offer the HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program). This program allows borrowers whose loans meet the following criteria to refinance thier loans regardless of their current credit score and value of their homes (to a maximum loan value of 105% of their home value).

The impact is huge as homeowners in Mint Hill and around the country who have seen the values of their homes fall, along with their credit scores, are still able to benefit from the historically low interest rates we are experiencing.

The criteria are as follows :

--> Conforming loan amount where the first mortgage was originated without private mortgage insurance

--> Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac was is the investor (i.e. not FHA or VA loans)

--> No late mortgage payments in the last 12 months

For more information, contact Rich Ferretti

Would you like more information about the Charlotte area, or Mint Hill real estate market? Check out

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Is Home Ownership For You?

Are you considering taking advantage of this buyer's market by becoming a homeowner in Mint Hill or Matthews?

Buying a home is the largest purchase most people will ever make. Home ownership has great benefits, and it also comes with certain responsibilities. Are you ready for home ownership?
Look at your current situation and determine if:

-->You have a steady, reliable source of income and a steady employment history for at least two years. Freelancers, consultants and other self-employed people should talk to a mortgage broker to work out the details.

-->You have a credit history--and a decent credit score. Banks need to know that you have a proven track record of borrowing money and paying it back.

-->Your total debt is manageable and you can afford to take on the costs associated with home ownership. Nobody wants to see a potential buyer default. It is great to shoot for the moon, but plan your purchase according to your wallet.

-->You have money saved for a down payment and closing costs or you have access to other sources of funds, such as an employment bonus, tax refund, or a gift from a relative.

And remember, the mortgage is not the only expense you need to consider. Your new home comes with other potential budget items such as repairs, maintenance, taxes, landscaping, etc.

Home ownership is an investment in the future, and I don't think there is any better investment right now than a house in Mint Hill or Matthews. Mint Hill and Matthews are popular, affluent towns near Charlotte, NC. Currently selling at amazing prices, a home in Mint Hill or Matthews will likely have a good resale value in the future. With a selection new and existing homes, these areas are perfect for retirees, young people, or a family, and the quick drive to Charlotte makes it perfect for a commute.

If you would like to consider home ownership in Mint Hill or Matthews, please give me a call at 704-846-3663. There are currently incentives for first-time homeowners and record low interest rates to take advantage of, so call today!

Want more information about the Mint Hill, Matthews and Charlotte area real estate market?
Check out

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mint Hill Homes

Mint Hill continues to grow. The new Mint Hill High School is the talk of the town. Learn more at

People ask me all the time, "why do you love Mint Hill" I feel right at home here. It's where Mayberry meets the 21st century.

When was the last time you went to the movies on the lawn of town hall or stopped by and had some home made ice cream? How about breakfast at Penny's or dinner at Jimmies???

This is home town living.

I'd love to share my passion with you about Mint Hill,, call or email me today.

Rich Ferretti
Mint Hill Homes

Visit Rich Ferretti on Active Rain

You can find great local Mint Hill, North Carolina real estate information on Rich Ferretti is a proud member of the ActiveRain Real Estate Network, a free online community to help real estate professionals grow their business.

Blog Listing - The internets fastest growing blog directory

About Me

My photo
Charlotte North Carolina Real Estate Professional. Visit our site