The financial side of home buying can sometimes feel like a nightmare in which you’re stuck in a calculus final that never ends—and you’ve forgotten the meaning of everything.

PITI (or principal, interest, taxes, insurance)? Prepayment penalties? Contingencies? “Confusing” is an understatement. We’re the first to admit that looking for a house is lots of fun—but paying for one? Not so much.

But if you have a solid mortgage broker to help tutor you through the process, you’re guaranteed to bring your A-game to the home-buying table. In addition to helping you find the best deal, a mortgage broker is also an invaluable resource for newbie buyers trying to understand how this complex, and often tortuous, undertaking works.

Here’s what your mortgage broker wishes you knew from the start:

Moving is such sweet sorrow. There’s the joy and anticipation of settling into your new space and the pain of leaving the old one behind.

Over on Houzz, they’ve come up with some easy steps to make letting go a little less hard. Take lots of photos, of course—but you already knew that. How about taking a bunch of shots when the place is a total mess? They’ll likely help you recall the true everyday vibe of the home you’re leaving behind way better than those pristine listing photos do. Such untidy, antistaging pictures will “provide a more meaningful record of your house and how you used it,” they write.

Another idea: Fete the home in style with a farewell party, no matter the number of boxes strewed about. “String up some lights, play some music and enjoy the house with the family and friends you’ve shared it with over the years.” And don’t forget to raise a glass to your soon-to-be former abode. They also suggest leaving a little something behind, perhaps a little talisman of sorts, even if it’s hidden in the attic. OK, that’s beginning to sound a bit weird…

As for your new home, if Fido and Tiger are coming along, ease them into the new place, too—don’t underestimate their feelings. “Cats should be kept inside the house for a week or so,” they write, “to prevent them from trying to return to your old home.”

Hendersonville, NC (July 29, 2015) – Hendersonville Board of Realtors presented Henderson County Habitat for Humanity a check for $3,000 on July 29 at their general membership meeting. The money was raised through their annual charity golf tournament held on May 11 at Kenmure Country Club.
About Henderson County Habitat for Humanity
Henderson County Habitat for Humanity, a Christian organization, builds quality affordable homes, creates strong communities, and changes lives by partnering with committed volunteers, professional staff, and eligible families living in inadequate housing. For more information about Henderson County Habitat for Humanity, please visit, find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @habitatie.
About Hendersonville Board of Realtors
The Hendersonville Board of REALTORS® is a nonprofit membership organization for Realtor members, serving Henderson, Polk and surrounding counties. For more information, please visit our website or find us on Facebook for the most accurate information regarding buying and selling your home.

With soaring rent rates and a ridiculously low occupancy rate—4.1%, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc.—apartment hunting isn’t much fun lately. And the late-summer timing might be making things even harder.

From the sweltering heat that’s keeping many tenants in their great apartments you could be renting if they’d just move already, to the college kids coming back and scooping up available rentals in droves, inventory in the dog days of summer is slim pickings.

That’s the bad news. The good news: You might be able to boost your luck with help from pro. Realtors® work in rentals, too, and they may be the key to your next pad.

They’ll get you VIP access

You might have that whole Craigslist apartment-hunting thing down, but Realtors still have you beat when it comes to finding new inventory. They have access to properties you wouldn’t normally see on your typical apartment-hunting website, and they often hear about new rentals as soon as they become available, before the ad goes up online.

Many Realtors can also easily set up an email notification system for you based on your preferences and price range that gives you VIP status over other apartment hunters.

“It is immediate access. The second a property comes on the market, you’ll be notified via email,” says Chandler Crouch, broker at Chandler Crouch Realtors, landlord and rental market survivor. “There’s nothing quite like that.”

They’ll reduce your stress level

Apartment hunting is stressful.

Scams abound on many of the popular rental websites. It isn’t always easy to tell if the landlord is legit, if the property is really available for rent, or if you’re about to get taken for a ride. When you work with a Realtor, “you can feel confident you’re dealing with a legit lead,” Crouch says.

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You’ll also have an advocate, someone on your side who is willing to work out the tougher life questions with you that a landlord normally wouldn’t handle.

Say, for example, you’re apartment hunting with a roommate. “If you have a situation you want to talk about privately, like splitting the bills or finding a rental that matches two wish lists, your Realtor can help you with that,” Crouch says.

You’ll still have to do some legwork

Depending on whom you work with, you may end up doing some of the legwork yourself.

To make sure you don’t miss out on properties, you’ll likely end up doing at least some searching yourself. The reason is simple: Realtors don’t make a lot of money representing tenants.

“What most people don’t know, at least in my market area, the commissions the landlord or listing agent offers a tenant’s agent are supersmall,” says Crouch. “The maximum the listing agent or landlord might give is 60% to as low as 20% of one month’s rent. There really isn’t a lot of incentive, and the Realtor would be smart not to spend a lot of time on it.”

How to work well with a Realtor

Realtors have the best inventory and the fastest access to new leads, but you may end up feeling frustrated if you work with them exclusively. So what’s the solution? It might be as simple as trying a different approach: Ask a Realtor for help, but do the actual hunting yourself.

“I recommend finding a Realtor and just making a deal with them,” Crouch says. “Ask them to set up the automatic email notifications for a small fee—say $50, for example—and then go look at the listings yourself.”

The win-win alternative

You could also rent from a Realtor directly. Many Realtors buy and rent out homes and small apartment buildings, and the quality may be higher than that of other available rentals in your area.

“Realtors are held to a higher standard,” says Crouch. For you that means full disclosure on a prospective rental, such as if there’s lead-based paint. It also means renting from someone who knows what his or her legal obligations are when it comes to upkeep and maintenance on the property.

Realtor-owned properties might be cheaper, too. According to Crouch, a Realtor has to offer a fair market rate, while a private landlord might spike prices when a neighborhood becomes trendy or competition gets fierce.

“What it boils down to is, I would trust a Realtor-owned property more than someone else, because they have a reputation to uphold and know more,” Crouch says.

To: State Presidents, Local Presidents, State & Local AEs, State & Local GADs

From: Chris Polychron, NAR President

RE: NAR Call for Action on Patent Reform Legislation

Date: 20 July 2015

On Monday, July 13th NAR launched a Call for Action to all REALTORS® asking them to contact their Members of Congress and urge support for H.R. 9 - The Innovation Act. Today, I am asking for your help to promote this Call for Action among your membership.

Why should you and REALTORS® care about Patent Reform? You may think a "Patent Troll" can’t disrupt your business but individual REALTORS®, Brokers and Multiple Listing Services have all been targeted with vague and deceptive letters alleging patent infringement to demand unjustified payments for using basic technology like dropdown menus, website search functions, and even office scanners.

Currently a loophole in our legal system allows "patent trolls" to disrupt businesses, big and small, local and national, by demanding fees for the use of common business technologies. The Innovation Act - H.R. 9 - would close these loopholes.

While the opposition to H.R. 9 has been very vocal and is trying to delay the vote, our efforts to encourage a vote have been noticed on Capitol Hill and the House Leadership has signaled that a vote could take place next week. Now is the time to get every REALTOR® to answer the Call for Action and help convince the House of Representatives to pass this legislation of vital importance to the real estate industry.

Please use every tool at your disposal to contact your members and ask them to take action. Congress listens when REALTORS® speak with a strong and unified voice.

Chris Polychron
2015 NAR President