Monroe Real Estate News

Freedom does have the word Free in it, but we all know that Freedom is not Free.  There are so many who have made sacrifices so that we can have those Freedoms we hold dear.  Some have made the ultimate sacrifice, leaving behind loved ones.  Our Veterans range in age from the very old to the very young.  I am looking back on some of the pictures of servicemen on Facebook and I see photos from different wars and different conflicts.  We hold each one close to our hearts and owe them so much.

Our military service members have a great loan option in the  VA loan.  According to Chris Wolfe, with Integrity Mortgage, this  option is reserved only for our eligible military service members.  The down payment is as little as 0% down and Mortgage Insurance is not required, making this a cheaper alternative than other lower down payment mortgage products.  A Certificate of Eligibility from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will determine if the service member is eligible for this loan product.  In most cases, one VA loan can be obtained at a time though rarely there are certain situations where a service member may have enough entitlement remaining to purchase another primary residence while still keeping their current VA Loan, however, in most cases only one VA loan can be active at a time.


Chris further mentioned that certain manufactured homes can be purchases with a VA loan and debt to income requires can be less restrictive than other loan programs in general.  Did you know that VA loans do not allow co-signers or co-borrowers unless they are your spouse?  This means that a domestic partner can’t apply with a service member to obtain a VA loan if needed to qualify, but spouses of Veterans are allows to apply.

"It’s a great option for military service members looking to buy a home," said Wolfe, "and we thank you for your service and sacrifice to protect our freedoms!"

It is helpful anytime you are searching for assistance from the VA to have your DD-214 recorded with the Register of Deeds office in the county where you live.  Should you misplace your original, a certified copy can be obtained from the Register of Deeds.

Someone observed recently that Veterans were honored on Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, but the rest of the year, they were set back on the shelf.  If you have a family member, friend, or client who served our country, next time you see them be sure to thank them for their service.  Don't just wait for Veterans Day to roll around one time a year.  Let them know how much you appreciate the sacrifices they made on our behalf.  Thank You To All Veterans from Integrity Mortgage and from Appleseed Realty !!!

PS  There are certain nuances when working with a VA Loan.  Be sure to seek out that Lender and Realtor who has experience in working with VA loans for a smoother, easier close.  You know where to find them!!


Posted by Judy Chapman on November 11th, 2022 2:09 PM

Yes, we all remember the time when there were many people flipping homes.  When the number of foreclosures and short sales were going off the charts, the market was ripe for this type of activity!  The buyers might have to compete with other buyers, but at that time, there was No such thing as going over List Price to get a property.  It was however, a real guessing game, when you went into a multiple buyer situation.  Cash helped to move buyers to the top of the stack of offers.  Lenders are not too keen on financing a property in distressed condition.  Some buyers might be able to help the lender see the improvements they would make to the property in order to get the loan to go thru.  In which case the appraiser would probably look at current value and perceived value with improvements.  The goal of any "flipper" is to get the contract and the property, close and be able to rehab the property as quick as possible.  Built in costs for the time the flipper holds the property are interest charges on the loan and insurance cost for a vacant property.  Those premiums can be high.  Plus the insurance company knows there will be workers on the property who might be careless.  Who knows what kind of risk they are taking.  The "flipper" who is able to complete a lot of the work himself/herself will realize the most profits.  Even getting a child or grandchild in to help clean and spruce up the landscape can save quite a bit.  As a Realtor, I encourage you to apply and get all required permits from the county before you complete the work.  That is likely the first question a new buyer is going to ask?  Was the work permitted as required?? 

Once you have completed the work, you will want to seek out the services of a qualified Realtor to walk you through the sales process.  He/she will market the property for you and help quickly find you a qualified buyer.  If your potential buyer is using an FHA loan, there are things you want to take into consideration.  Why would your potential buyer want an FHA loan?  Smaller down payment.  An FHA loan might be the difference in the buyer being able to get the loan and affording the house, or not.  IF you as a seller do not offer the FHA loan as a option for your purchaser, you are blocking out a good segment of the buyers you want to attract.  According to Chris Wolfe, Integrity Mortgage Group, speaking on FHA Property Flipping, the property that is being resold 90 days or fewer following the seller's date of acquisition is not eligible for an FHA Insured Mortgage.   What does this mean?  The "flipper" needs to wait at least 90 days before the property is resold or find a buyer who is not using FHA.  Even if the property is marketed prior to the 90 day period, an appraisal should not be performed prior to the 90 day period.  If it is, another appraisal will be required, and the cost of that second appraisal cannot be borne by the buyer.  Either the seller, list agent, buyers agent, or some other party will need to be able to cover that cost.  

Will we see "flipper" opportunities again?  The opportunities in the current market are few.  Even the distressed properties are selling at such a high price, building materials cost has increased, making it hard to realize the kind of profits you need in order to take the risks.  However, our market is like a living, breathing thing.  It is constantly evolving.  There is a chance we will see the time, once again, when "flippers" can make a nice profit at this activity.  Be Ready!!  Contact Chris Wolfe at Integrity to get all the important details on FHA Loan Restrictions on Resale for Property Flipping.  Contact me, Judy Chapman or Angie Eubanks at Appleseed Realty for "Flipping" and All Your Real Estate Needs.

Posted by Judy Chapman on November 5th, 2022 9:45 AM

I recently had a call from a very good friend who was asking about how they could reinvest the funds they had made from selling some land.  I asked if they had already closed on the land and she said yes.  At that point in time, it is too late to use the 1031 tax exchange to delay any capital gains taxes you would make from the sell of the property.  There are specific rules for 1031 Tax Exchange.  The process has to be well planned prior to the sell of your property.  It takes an attorney who knows how to handle the process.  That attorney will advise you on how to proceed.  It is almost better to have the property identified that you intend to purchase and maybe have it under contract, because you have only a very short window in which to use the funds before you have to release them for normal treatment.  You will eventually have to pay the taxes, but you are simply "kicking the can down the road."  The funds from the sell our your property are held in escrow by the attorney's office until you close on your next property.  The property you purchase has to be "Like" what you sold.  So if you sold a house, buy a house; if you sold land, buy land; if you sold an investment property, buy an investment property.  I told my friend I would do a blog on this.  Hopefully it will help someone else who is earlier in the process than they were.  If you need more information, do the same thing she did, call me.  If I have the answer, I will gladly share it.  If I don't we will get the info from an attorney.

Posted by Judy Chapman on October 19th, 2022 1:58 PM

This is such helpful information from my friends Chris Wolfe and Barb Pilarczyk over at Integrity Mortgage Group (IMG).  They are, of course, in the lending business.  Their article starts out by telling how "gut wrenching" things can happen during the homebuying process when your buyer clients are not even aware that things could "change" their credit status.  Here is their list.

Don't Make Major Purchases (My Note:  Your buyers are going to be excited about their new home.  Don't let them go out and buy new appliances and a household full of furniture on credit.  Tell them to pick it all out and have the store put it on hold.)

Make unsourceable cash deposits (hard to trace, hard to explain) to your bank account.  Selling personal property may require a paper trail like a bill of sale and deposit sourcing.  (My Note:  If a family member is going to help you out with down payment or closing costs, speak with your lender about it before hand.  That has to be made known and approved by the lender in most cases.)

Don't co-sign anything for anyone.  (My Note:  This is not only a good rule of thumb for when you are getting ready to purchase a home.  This is an anytime good rule of thumb.  That sits on your credit just like it was yours and if the other party defaults, that also sits on your credit just like it was yours.)

Don't spend money that you've saved for your down payment. (My Note:  Do you have money saved for a home purchase and/or emergencies?  You need to have.  Make a practice of "paying yourself first."  An easy way to do this is to have the bank draft from your paycheck into a savings account.  Make it a habit and you will get to where you don't miss it. )

Change jobs without talking to your loan officer or consultant first.  Also, make sure your hours are not reduced potentially effecting your qualifying income.  (My Note:  If you do, it will at least be a delay because most lenders will want to see a few pay stubs from your new job before they move forward.  This could cause you to lose a rate lock or worse.)

Make major credit changes.  Don't let that 20% off be the reason the loan is denied! (My Note:  Don't even CLOSE a credit card without checking first with your lender.  This can also change your credit score, and if you are just at a level of acceptance, that could cause you to no longer qualify.)

Chris Wolfe contact info:  910-690-3764 or and Barb Pilarczyk can be reached at 704-989-8175 or  This is some sound advice from a reliable lender.  Read it and remember it.  If you know someone who is getting ready to purchase a home or land, share it with them and also, while you are at it, share my contact information.  I would love to help them.  I Love Referrals!!!  Judy Chapman, Appleseed Realty LLC at 704-219-3160 or

Posted by Judy Chapman on September 28th, 2022 8:29 AM

I know your first question!!  Who is RON?  A better question is "What" is RON.  RON is one of the newest acronyms you will hear being tossed around concerning notarization.  Yes, I know this is a blog post for Real Estate!!  But for the Realtors in the room, and for Lenders and Attorneys, you all know that within the closing and within the loan preparation process, there are many instances where a notary is involved.  So the business of Realtors and the business of Notaries have become more tightly intertwined.  With the passage of Remote Online Notarization or RON, the signature of signers can be notarized electronically without the notary being in the same room as the signers.  What does this mean?  Also the signers do not have to be sitting in front of the attorney or paralegal.  But don't jump the gun.  You cannot do this today in NC.  The law to provide for RON was passed, but the effective date is July 2023, about 9 months away.  This will give time for the Office of Secretary of State to establish all the rules and regulations to be followed and to identify acceptable platforms with which the RONs will be able to work.  This will also allow us time to get ready for RON and to educate everyone on it.  As President of North Carolina Notary Association, Wednesday I was privileged to appear before the Union County Realtors Association to introduce the concept of RON to our Realtor members.  It is an exciting time!!  I encourage you to contact me if you would like for me to present also to your Realtor Association, Bar Association meeting, Paralegal Association meeting or other professional group within the State of North Carolina.  There are so many factors to explore concerning RON and its implementation.  If you are a Notary and want to learn more, please feel free to contact me.  Judy Chapman, Broker/Owner Appleseed Realty LLC; Owner of A Notary Store + More LLC; President North Carolina Notary Association; National Notary of the Year 2019; National Notary Ambassador  704-219-3160 or

Posted by Judy Chapman on September 23rd, 2022 9:10 AM

When you are preparing to purchase a new property, the very first thing you need to do is to get pre qualified.  Why??  It is simple.  1) You want to know what your credit score is--Why??  Because your credit score can determine if you will be able to get a loan or not, and also how much interest you will have to pay on the loan.  If your credit is poor, you are more of a risk and the lender might give you an even higher interest rate.  So credit score is important.  I know....Your first question.....What does my credit score need to be.  I will defer to your lender on that question.  They can give you that information and there are many different programs for many different credit scores.  2) Getting pre-qualified lets you know "How Much" home you can buy, or how much you can spend.  If I am helping you find homes in the $500K range and you only qualify for $300K loan with no money in the bank, I am sabotaging you and me!!  I am basically setting you up to fail, because you won't be able to find the house you want with the funds you have available to you.  Make sense??  3)  You need to know if you can "afford" to spend the amount you are pre-qualified for.  If you have $1000 a month bill at the nursery, and $1000 spent at the grocery store each month, and $500 car insurance payment (because of those speeding tickets), you might not be able to afford the payment your lender gives you for your loan.  They look at credit card bills, loans, etc.  You will know what you can and cannot do.  Oh!  Also make sure the lender tells you "PITI" for your payment.  That means Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance.  If they only give you "P/I" the escrow (T/I) could add another $200 to your monthly payment.  So, back to your original question, How Do I Know Which Lender To Use?  Start with the bank you work with now.  If you have checking/savings there, you have already established a relationship with them.  See what they have to offer.  Shop around, but start with them first.  (Also make them tell you APR on your loan.  Use that to compare to other lenders.)  Hope this helps!!  Hope you will subscribe to the blogs!!

Posted by Judy Chapman on September 18th, 2022 4:53 PM

They say everything is like a pendulum.  It swings to the left as far as it can go and back to middle, then to the right as far as it can go and back to the middle.  Well the market had been on one of its outgoing swings, but might be coming back a little closer to the center.  Not all the way!!  Inventory was non-existent, prices were sky-rocketing, multiple offers, and low interest rates.  Definitely a sellers market.   But "things, they are a-changin'!"  Inventory is a little better, prices are moving down the scale to more of a reasonable range, and multiple offers are more rare than they were--probably because interest rates have gone up. 

If you are a seller, you might have to start doing some preparation for the sale of your home.  Before, you could sell it with some existing issues, depending on the buyer's lender.  Now, you've got to spruce it up a bit.  You might have to do the price reductions a little larger than you wanted and a little more often in order to attract the buyers you need. 

If you are a buyer, I know what you are thinking!!  Those Interest Rates!!  But what are you going to do?  Wait for them to come back down?  How will you know when they are going to come back down?  We would all need a crystal ball to gaze into....  Might as well go ahead and take the plunge.  IF and WHEN the interest rates drop, do a re-fi for the lower rate.  It's that simple.  Get your pre- qualification updated with your lender and let's go shopping.  Take a look at the listings I have to offer.  Includes one new construction, one large tract of land, one commercial and several single family home.  Buy Today!!

Posted by Judy Chapman on September 15th, 2022 9:57 AM
Let's pretend you are finally ready to purchase a home.  First time homebuyer?  Novice?  Even the experienced homebuyer might not have thought about this.

First step for you is to get a pre-qualification letter from your lender.  Any Realtor would like to see this and know you have it before you start looking for a home.  Now once you have been pre-qualified, we don't want to mess this up.  How can you mess up a pre-qualification?  Easy!!

This is not the best time to decide to change job!  Your lender will want to know that you are able to repay the loan they are getting ready to give you.  They want to know you are stable in your job.  Most lenders (check with yours) will want to see that you have been on the job for at least 2 years.  If you change jobs, completely different from what you have been doing (i.e. waiter at a restaurant to a truck driver), they are pretty much going to make you wait 2 years for job history.  If you are a waiter and you change restaurants, they will want several months copies of paystubs to review before you can move forward.

I know you are excited to be buying a new home, but don't go out and buy a whole house full of furniture for the new home and charge it.  That is going to play havoc with your debt/income ratio.  Oh, and don't buy that new truck to park in your new garage, unless you pay cash for it.  The lender will run your credit at the beginning and end of this process so you won't be able to hide it.

I Know!!  You never thought about this, right???  Your lender should tell you this, but they may take it for granted that you know.  Now, You Do!!  Happy House Hunting!!
Posted by Judy Chapman on August 3rd, 2018 9:37 AM
What value does a Realtor bring to the table?  We could say experience.  We could say contacts.  We could say knowledge.  Maybe roll all of these into a ball.  So if you are considering selling your home, don't you want someone to guide you through that process?  Sure you can go on YouTube and watch a video.  But the video does not have a knowledge of your area and your market.  A Realtor does.  The video may be only a snapshot in time.  You need a Realtor who knows what is currently going on in your market.  The Realtor can help establish the value of your home and a reasonable listing price.  The Realtor can list your property on MLS and have thousands of other Realtors have their thousands of buyer clients become aware of your listing.  A good Realtor will advertise broadly for you in different venues in addition to the MLS listing.  A good Realtor will have your listing be distributed to 70 different websites for marketing purposes.  I hope you will consider using a Good Realtor, Judy Chapman, Appleseed Realty LLC for your next home buying or selling experience.  You will have experience, contacts, and knowledge on your side.  Better than a video.....
Posted by Judy Chapman on July 25th, 2018 3:05 PM
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Posted by Judy Chapman on September 2nd, 2015 11:18 AM

Appleseed Realty

320 Wildwood Road
Monroe, NC 28110