Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Personal Finance Review

Reveiw checklist.pngYou’ll need to earn $2.00 for every $1.00 you want to spend assuming you pay 50% of your earnings on income tax, social security and Medicare.  On the other hand, you get to keep 100% of every dollar you save on your personal expenses because the taxes have already been paid.

Periodically, review your expenditures with the diligence of an exuberant IRS agent on commission.  It’s an exercise that most people don’t feel they have time to do but the rewards make it entirely worthwhile.

  • Get comparative quotes on insurance – car, home, other 
  • Review and compare utility providers 
  • Review plans on cell phones 
  • Review plans on cable TV, satellite for unused channels and packages or receivers 
  • Review available discounts on property taxes 
  • Consider refinancing home – lower rate, shorter term or cash out to payoff higher rate loans 
  • Consider refinancing cars 
  • Call credit card companies to ask for a lower rate 
  • Review all of the automatic charges on your credit cards – consider no-fee cards 
  • Search for late fees that are regularly being paid and eliminate them. 
  • Review all bank charges for accounts and debit cards; determine if they can be reduced or eliminated.

If you don’t want to review your credit card accounts, consider reporting the cards stolen so that new numbers will be issued.  You can notify the companies that need your number.  Companies who might have your number won’t be able to automatically renew services that you may no longer be using.  You can be assured that they’ll contact you when the old number doesn’t go through and you can re-evaluate the decision at that time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Interviewing a Mover

Mover 250.jpg“I’d wish I’d know that before I made a decision.”  If you’ve ever regrettably said this to yourself, having a checklist might have prevented the issue in the first place.  This list of questions can provide you with things to discuss when interviewing a moving company.


  • What is the charge for packing?
  • Does it include boxes? If not, what do they cost and will you deliver them?
  • Is there an additional charge to deliver some items to a storage unit?


  • How is a damage claim handled? 
  • What insurance do you provide and is there a cost? 
  • Does the insurance cover items packed by the owner? 
  • Can additional insurance be purchased? 
  • If items are covered by my Homeowner’s insurance, whose insurance pays first?

Unusual Items 

  • Can you ship my car(s)? Will they be in the moving van or towed? 
  • What are the charges for shipping cars, lawn tractors, etc? 
  • What items cannot be shipped? 
  • If a shuttle truck is needed because of the location of my house or size of the drive way, is there an additional charge? 
  • If packing and loading are on different days, can you leave the beds and other basics out for us to use?


  • What dates are available for our move?
  • What date will you pack and how long will this take? 
  • What date will you load the van? 
  • What date will the van arrive at my new location? 
  • If my new home is not ready for delivery, how many days can it be delayed before there is a charge? 
  • What is the charge for additional days or weeks?


  • Are there any additional fees that I’m responsible for that have not been discussed? 
  • What are the terms of payment? 
  • Is a down payment required? 
  • When will the balance be due and who is authorized to accept it?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Avoid a Bumpy Ride to the Closing Table!

Meet my happy clients, Kyle & Brittany. They were extremely happy after closing on the purchase of their home in Auburn, GA, and rightfully so.

Their ride to the closing table was very bumpy! It was stress-filled to say the least. Unfortunately, they had a few mishaps with their lender that complicated the process.

Keep in mind that once an offer is accepted, the clock starts ticking. There are contingencies in place and deadlines have to be met. It is imperative that the buyer's loan officer, buyers, and the buyer's real estate agent work together to get to the closing table. It isn't uncommon for issues to arise, but this was a bit excessive.

Some things we encountered were:
  • 1st loan officer not trained.
  • Reassigned to 2nd loan officer after several days.
  • Communication with 2nd loan officer was sketchy to non-existent. 
  • The 2nd loan officer would say one thing and then Underwriting would came back asking for something new.
  • Earnest money, loan approval, and closing were in jeopardy several times.

And this was just the icing on the cake... There were other issues and variables, but you get the picture. Thankfully, I can report that in the end, the lender got it together. Kyle & Brittany were patient and persistent, and they are now loving their new home. It was all worth it!

Avoid this situation!

FYI- Their lender was a major bank. While not one of my preferred lenders, I have worked with this lender before and had no issues. I believe the issue came down to the loan officer. 

I believe a lot of this was unfortunate circumstance (the 2nd loan officer ended up going out on bereavement which may explain why she wasn't focused), I would definitely recommend that if things start off sketchy, RUN! The quicker you can get another lender working on your file the better chance you have of keeping the deal on track.

If you need to find a good mortgage lender / loan office, contact me at (404) 857-2508.

What my clients had to say about my services...

Natasha is amazing! We really could not have asked for a better Realtor. She was always available to talk and answer any questions we had. She was also always willing to provide insight into the home buying process. This was our first house, and she really made everything make sense. When the bank was unwilling to provide answers, she was right there with me calling them, and making sure that they were doing what they were supposed to in order to get us into our house. So thank you so much Natasha for being the agent of our dreams :) We look forward to working with you in the future, and you definitely have our 5 star rating and referral. Thank you so much!! -Kyle & Brittany

Reading this so warmed my heart! Wanting to do a good job for my clients is one thing, but getting confirmation that I did is so rewarding. It lets me know my work has purpose! #blessed :-)

If I can help you BUY a home, SELL a home, or INVEST in real estate, don't hesitate to contact me!

Natasha Liburd Bazile is a Realtor with Keller Williams Atlanta Partners and the Lead Home Stager with Heart of Decor in Georgia (virtual services available). She prides herself in being a guide to her clients and finds fulfillment in helping them achieve their goals.

Direct Phone: (404) 857-2508 
www.SoldbyNat.com Email - Facebook - Twitter - YouTube

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What Can You Expect?

crystal ball 2.pngThe two most frequently quoted constants in life are death and taxes.  Two more things would-be homeowners can expect in the near future are increases in mortgage rates and housing prices.

Interest rates have been kept artificially low for several years by the Federal Reserve in an effort to strengthen the economy. Policy is shifting to allow them to seek their own natural level and that will surely result in higher mortgage rates.  Rates on 30 year fixed mortgages are up over 1% from January, 2013.

Foreclosure activity is down, new home starts are up and prices have been increasing in most markets for two years.  Most experts agree that the cost of housing is going up.

If the price were to go up by 2% and the mortgage rate by 1% while a buyer is “sitting on the fence” making a decision, the payment would go up by almost $175.00 each and every month for the term of the mortgage.  Even if a person can afford to make the higher payments, what could they have done with that extra $175.00 a month?  Buy furniture?  Car payment?  Principal reduction?  Retirement contribution?  Save for a rainy day?

Click here to determine what the cost of waiting to buy will be using your price home.

cost of waiting to buy.png 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What Kind of Showing Was It?

Types of Showings.pngOne of the most frequent calls from homeowners to their agents is about the listing’s inactivity due to the lack of showings.  The homeowner commonly believes that the home is shown only when a buyer walks through the house with an agent.

Today’s buyers are more sophisticated than in the past due to the abundance of information available to the public on the Internet.  There are seemingly inexhaustible sites with homes for sale, valuation estimates and virtual tours.  There are extensive mapping sites with satellite images, traffic conditions, entertainment, shopping and other points of interest.

There are actually three legitimate types of property showings.  A knowledgeable buyer can view a home for sale online and make a reasonable determination of whether the home will fit their needs.  Occasionally, buyers will drive by a home to get a feel for the home and also the neighborhood which might cause them to eliminate any further examination or consideration.

The third type, the physical showing, certainly gives the buyer the opportunity for the closest scrutiny but is generally reserved for properties that have passed the inspections of at least one other type of showing.

Sellers should be aware of the different types of showings and that a sales agent’s job is to help the buyer find the right home.  The listing agent’s job is to market the home so that the right buyer finds it either through their own efforts or that of the buyer’s agent.