Monday, July 30, 2012

Personalizing Siri

Siri is the voice-recognizing personal assistant who comes equipped with the iPhone 4S. It listens and speaks like a normal human being, and like any relationship, the better you get to know each other, the more rewarding the connection will be. Today, we’ll teach Siri a little bit more about yourself.

To begin, open the Contacts app.

We are going to create a contact for yourself that Siri can use. If you already have one, then you’ll simply need to edit your existing contact. If not, select the button in the upper right-hand corner.

Begin by filling in your most basic information such as your name and telephone number. Next, I’d like to direct your attention to a few fields and how Siri can creatively utilize their information:
  • Home and Work Address – Siri has a “geo-fencing technology”, so with the help of location services it can provide you with features based on your location. For example, “When I leave work, remind me to get milk.” To enable this option, select add a new address.
  • Phonetic First and Last Name – Siri can call you by name if you’d like, but here you can sound it out for perfect pronunciation. Select add field, followed by Phonetic First or Last Name.
  • Related People – This is probably my favorite Siri personalization trick. If you let Siri know who your parents, siblings, children, and spouse are you can reference them as such, i.e. “Text my mom that I’m running late.” To add a relationship, select add field, Related People, and the relationship. Now, press the blue arrow and select the corresponding contact from your list.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Century 21 agents excited about being 'blue'

Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors Greensboro agents 
Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors is pleased to announce that Century 21 Elliott Properties and Century 21 First Choice have become a part of the Coldwell Banker Triad family. They are joining agents at our Greensboro office located at 1505 Westover Terrace and the Coldwell Banker Triad real estate café style office located at 422 Huffman Mill Road, Burlington, respectively.

“Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors is excited that Century 21 Elliott Properties and First Choice Realty agents, owners, and staff have joined our company. It was a natural fit for our offices to come together as sister Realogy brands. Our tools, education, innovative marketing, and commitment to excellence are parallel. This partnership will open doors for more opportunities for our agents and their clients. The cultures are similar, and the agents have already bonded together to form a strong team in the Burlington/Alamance/Greensboro markets," said Jodi Tate, CB Triad Chief Operating Officer.

Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors Burlington agents
“After 26 years of being a part of Century 21 as an agent and an owner, I felt that we could increase our presence in the market by joining with Coldwell Banker Triad,” said Barb Kelly, who will continue to sell real estate as well as grow her real estate school, Elliott Real Estate Academy. “We are excited to be at CB Triad and feel the synergy that is a part of the CB Triad culture. We have been welcomed warmly, and the transition is going very smoothly.”

Charlie Elliott has a very successful appraisal business that he will focus his attention on full time. Clyde Corbitt, owner of the Century 21 First Choice franchise, has retired from management but maintains an active role in the business with CB Triad.

“I have been aware for several years that a mid-size company struggles in this economy and is better off joining with a company that is like-minded. It is in the best interest of our clients and agents to team up with Coldwell Banker Triad, Realtors. We feel this merger offers better exposure for our clients and better training for our agents,” commented Dwight Epperson.

"The agents mentioned below have hit the ground running with our tools, support, and education and have become Coldwell Banker “blue” quickly! They fit into our team culture like a glove. The transition took place very smoothly, and all clients and customers are already seeing marketing and exposure benefits from this new affiliation," said Tate.

Agents joining CB Triad from Century 21 Elliott Properties are: Barbara Bass 543-7450, Nixxie Coleman 580-1434, Glenn Evans 707-8500, Jeff Everette 706-1484, Jane Hornsby 854-3070, Jina Jourdan 456-5755, Barb Kelly 339-2368, Karen Leath 558-8099, Art Reenstra 423-7635,
Teresa Rowe 908-7693, Eileen Shubert 215-4437, Sharon Taylor 497-8667, and Gloria Vaughn 908-3693.

Agents joining CB Triad from Century 21 First Choice are: Jamie Goodson 214-1046, John Clark 260-8945, Clyde Corbett 260-0003, Elmer Dalton 803-0636, Dwight Epperson 260-2189, Mike McMullen 509-6882, Paul Richmond 213-4577, and Lisa Shomaker 360-5601.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Do I need to sell?

Contact Melanie Troutman
Do I Need To Sell My Home Before I Can Qualify For A New Mortgage On Another Property?

Yes. No. Maybe. It depends.
Welcome to the wonderful world of mortgage lending. Only in this industry can one simple question elicit four answers…and all of them may be right.

If you are in a financial position where you qualify to afford both your current residence and the proposed payment on your new house, then the simple answer is No!

Qualifying based on your Debt-to-Income Ratio is one thing, but remember to budget for the additional expenses of maintaining multiple properties. Everything from mortgage payments, increased property taxes and hazard insurance to unexpected repairs should be factored into your final decision.

What If I Rent My Current Property?

This scenario presents the “maybe” and the “it depends” answers to the question. If you’re not quite qualified to carry both mortgages, you may have to rent the other property in order to offset the mortgage payment.

A huge hurdle is the equity ratio most lenders require. In most cases, if you are going to rent out your current home, you will need to have at least 25% equity in order to offset your payment with the proposed rent you will receive. An appraisal will be done to determine the value of your existing home.

If you do have 25% equity, the lender will require a rental contract and documentation for the rent deposit. Lenders will only count 75% of your rent as net rent to offset the mortgage payment on your existing home. Generally, lenders will require six months reserve on the old property, as well as six month reserves on the new property.

For example, if you have a $1500 payment on your old house and are buying a home with a $2000 monthly payment, you will need over $21,000 in the bank.

As you can tell, purchasing one home while living in another can be a very complicated transaction.  Please feel free to contact me anytime so we can review your specific situation and suggest the proper action plan.

info source: Mortgage 101