Home Mortgage Checklist

Home mortgage loans

Recommended Home Mortgage Lender Checklist Columbus GA. I am a licensed Realtor and military relocation specialist in Georgia and Alabama currently living in Columbus, GA and I can help you design, build, buy or sell new custom built homes in Phenix City, AL, Ft. Mitchell, AL, Harris County, AL and Columbus, GA

The topic of this blog is concerning items needed for your mortgage local application. When lenders get all this data at beginning of this process, they can expeditiously process you loan application.

Please read carefully to fully understand. Effective immediately the days of filling out the HUD-1 settlement form and getting a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) from the lender are winding down.

On August 1, those two forms will be gone forever. Additionally, “The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosure form is going away, as well. Instead are two new forms: they are called, “Closing Disclosure and the Loan Estimate”. As a means of consumer awareness / education, you can familiarize yourself with these new forms on the website of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This new entity has taken over administration of the Columbus GA Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) from HUD. I recommend that you visit this website and type in the name of the forms in the search box to review and fully understand the new impact of new procedures.

These documents are generally required by most mortgage lenders in Columbus GA, Phenix City Al and Fort Mitchell AL:

  • W-2 an/or several pay periods / pay stubs for each individual making loan application
  • All credit card information balances and credit limits. Please note most mortgage lenders see a “red-flag” if you are over 1/3 of your allowable credit limit.
  • You will need 2-4 months of (banking-checking, savings and credit union accounts).
  • Supporting documents for any student loans or other installment loans, (i.e. cars, furniture, boats, and motorcycles).
  • Past address for last 5-7 years
  • Copies of other assets,(brokerage accounts-stocks,401K,Roth-IRA,other home real estate property.
  • Copies of any other additional income, (child support, alimony, rental property, trust, or pension).
  • Last 2 most recent years of income tax returns

In closing, purchasing your home in Harris County GA, Phenix City AL or in Columbus GA metro area will be a great deal less stressful by being prepared from the beginning of this process. Call Paul Tommey to help you buy, sell, design/build, or hire me to be your property manager for a single property or your entire portfolio. Or contact me @ 762-822-6411-cell or our RE/MAX-Executive Group office @ 706-507-1899 Or stop by our new office in North Columbus @ 3725 Weems Road, Columbus, GA.31909.

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Real Estate Property Manager Selection

Property Manager Selection

Property manager Columbus GA

I am a licensed Realtor living in Georgia, working and serving the Columbus, GA, Ft Benning, Phenix City AL, Harris County GA and Ft. Mitchell AL areas. I’m also a certified military relocation specialist and can help military personnel being relocated to Fort Benning, Georgia real estate with trying to find housing.

The topic of this blog is concerning selecting a property management company:

If you have multiple properties, or live out of town from one of your properties, you may want to hire a property manager.

The following are the highlights of what a professional property management company should be able to provide.

  • Experience counts, chose a property manager with experience managing a large portfolio with references.
  • Determine if you the property owner in Columbus GA greater area or the property manager will make final approval of a potential tenant. My experience is that owners and tenants should not have interaction, as that is why they hired you in the first place.
  • Online application capabilities. This is important for screening applicants and checking references. This also, is important that applications are time stamped, if multiple applications are made on the same property.
  • Educated yourself in this business by visiting our real estate tutorial page.
  • Online payment capabilities, to expedite funds from tenants to rental company operating account. This enables a quicker payment to property owners, who oftentimes may have a mortgage.
  • Online mass distribution for best marketing to all search engines.
  • Chose a property manager in Ft. Mitchell AL or Columbus GA who has good data base of all needed repair contractor trades.
  • Typical management fees are 10%, but often have additional potential fees. Read your property management agreement carefully.

Call Paul Tommey to help you buy, sell, design build homes in Phenix City AL, or Columbus GA . You can hire me to be your property manager for a single property or your entire portfolio.

Or contact me @ 762-822-6411-cell or our RE/MAX-Executive Group office @ 706-507-1899 Or stop by our new office in North Columbus @ 3725 Weems Road, Columbus, GA.31909 Paul Tommey-RE/MAX-EXECUTIVE GROUP


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home buyer remorse

Having sold many properties in Columbus GA, Phenix City AL and Harris County GA for the last several years, a lot of people ask me how to prevent home buyer’s remorse which I will go into detail below.

This blog will focus on a bullet list of do’s & don’ts so that you won’t wake up in your new home with buyer’s remorse. First and foremost, you will need to find a local full time realtor that knows the market niche that you want. That’s why you should contact the “Full Service Realtor”.

What you must do:

  • Do-get pre-approved with a local home mortgage lender in Columbus GA. My favorite local lender is Beau Parker-Primary Residential Mortgage. Then you can shop with confidence and buy within a pre-approved target price.
  • Visit our new real estate blog for more information.
  • Do-select an experienced full time realtor. For example, new construction is an area that 80% of the realtors have little to no knowledge. There are many potential pitfalls that an experienced realtor can prevent.
  • Do alleviate home buying stress.
  • Do-have a detailed specifications exhibit to the “New Home Construction-Purchase & Sale Agreement”. On custom design/build projects, a detailed exhibit must be attached to clarify all expected features in your project, i.e.,(hardwood-type, tile, carpet, special electrical, plumbing, tank-less water heaters, air conditioning upgrades, spray-foam,30 year shingles,
  • Do-select/interview a local builder. Your realtor knows the best reputable new home builders in Columbus GA, Phenix City AL, Harris County and Ft Mitchell areas.
  • Do-always get a used home/property inspected by a 3rd party inspector like-L& L Home Inspections, my go-to local inspector.
  • Do-visit the property or neighborhood at different times of day or week to learn about neighbors or traffic, noise, etc
  • Do visit our questions about home buying page on our website.
  • Do-select a building lot for your new home. Insure that the soil will pass a “perk test” if it is going to be a septic system. These systems typically for an average sized home should be 7-10K.However,I heard of a buyers who purchased a beautiful wooded lt of several acres and it had “bad dirt”. The final cost of their septic tank was 3X over a conventional system. They had to install an engineered system,
  • Do-select a floor plan. For example does any family member have back, leg issues or is aging, then you probably want a single story property.
  • Do visit our home buyer’s warranty protection page on our website.
  • Do-consider any upgrades and most importantly the cost impact to your mortgage or out of pocket costs
  • Do-sign a “New Home Purchase & Sale Agreement”
  • Do-establish a close/move-in date, generally, 4-8 months after the initial signed agreement
  • Do-select a 3rd party home inspection
  • Do-allow for closing delays due to weather, loan processing or construction delays.

What you should not do or don’ts:

  • Do not-purchase homes sight unseen. I recently had a military family moving back to U.S. from Germany to the Columbus GA near Ft. Benning, GA. These folks did find me on Paul Tommey YouTube on one of my many videos. They had me make an offer on a property and they had a local military friend vet out property for his approval. We asked for an extended “due-diligence” period (21 days), so that buyers could get back to U.S. to see and verify property met their needs.
  • Do not put a swimming pool in your mortgage loan.
  • Do not-buy or build a home that stretches your budget too far. Live within your means,
  • Do not-plan that, as a couple, your joint income will always be where it is today.
  • Do not-add too many buyer upgrades during construction, as the house may not appraise. The bank will only loan up to the appraised value. If there is short-fall on appraisal then someone….probably YOU, will normally have to pay the difference,

My commitment to my clients is to check the construction site generally 1-2 times per week to insure that all expected specifications are included in the “New Construction Purchase and Sale Agreement”. This simple but critical methodology pays dividends by insuring errors do not occur, or if they do, correct them before it’s too late. That’s why you too, should choose “The Full Service Realtor”!  If you want to learn more about the real estate business visit our website.

I can take you to see dozens of new homes that are completed design/build projects with several area local builders in Ft. Mitchell AL, Columbus GA, Harris County GA and Phenix City AL areas. Call Paul Tommey to help you buy, sell, design/build, or hire me to be your property manager for a single property or your entire portfolio.

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Home Warranty Protection

Home Warranty Protection

home warranty

I am a full serviced licensed Realtor with a large selection of homes for sale in Phenix City AL, Columbus GA, Harris County GA and Ft. Mitchell AL areas.

This article concerns the need for a “Home Warranty” when you buy a new or used home. This simple affordable policy, agrees to repair or replace selected repairs under normal conditions or use. You must read all the details of policy to understand all stated terms and conditions. These fine details will state “Limitations of Coverage”. All warranty companies in the greater Columbus GA require that you call in your claim to their toll free number. Additionally, many warranty companies require that you use their selected trade vendor. Other companies let you select a local company that you may know or trust.  Additionally, these policies still require that you pay an out of pocket “trade fee”, generally, $50-$100 deductibles. Some warranty companies have both, “buyer or seller” plans. Some have some policy upgrades as well. I generally recommend to all of my buyers and sellers to invest in such plans. Many seller’s, offer these plans as a buyer incentive. Special system options are available for pools, HVAC systems septic tanks, and water softener systems. Plans can generally be renewed year to year. These are great gifts for first time home buyers, families on a fixed income or house warming gifts.

These policies provide property owner’s that may own property out of state, peace of mind. This will minimize the risk of an unexpected high dollar expense. When you are ready to buy your next home in Columbus GA Ft Benning or Phenix City AL area, please contact “The Full Service Realtor”.

There are currently, 658 local Realtors in the Columbus-MLS. Like most any sales professional, 80% of all sales are performed by 20% of the sellers. I work “full time” not part time like so many of the Realtors. Only by being “fulltime” can one stay current to market trends, available inventory, building codes/trends. I have over 37 years sales experience in providing customer service to my customers and clients. My goal is to “exceed your expectations”, by “promising less and delivering more”.

Call Paul Tommey today at 762 822-6411 and see our large selection of new homes in Columbus GA, Phenix City AL, Ft. Mitchell AL and Harris County GA.

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House Flipping Tips & Techniques

House Flipping Tips & Techniques

house flipping tips

Having been in the real estate business for quite a while selling existing and new homes in Columbus GA, Phenix City AL, Harris County GA, Ft. Mitchell AL, I have experience in house flipping.

With the advent of all the TV shows concerning real estate, folks are especially interested in “Filliping Properties”. They make it look “too easy”. Here are my personal tips before you take the plunge.

Bullet points for your consideration:

  • Find a property in a good part of town. Ask yourself, would you live there?
  • Know the neighborhood comps (recent sale prices during the last 12 months). Unless you are a real estate agent you may not readily be able to gather this data. Some realtors special in investment properties and can be on the lookout for your “fixer-upper”. They can help you not pay too much.
  • I was on the “selling side” last week for a real estate sale from a long term friend. The house was in an older part of Columbus GA with 2400-2600- sq ft homes. They had several investors wanting to steal the property for $75,000-$80,000 range. Listed for $140,000, lowered price to $135,000 after 30 days. Finally got an offer of $105,000 which I countered a couple of times and closed it last Thursday @ $112,500. So my seller got $32,500 over the best investor offer before they hired me.
  • From the buyer side, the investor in Columbus GA got a reasonable deal. He had a good idea of expected costs as he brought in his regular contractors for each trade, (roof, plumbing, air conditioner, floor covering, electrical, etc.).He paid cash by the way, so he had no interest charges during the restoration phase. I figure he would need to invest $50,000 and now have $162,500 in the property. I think he could then immediately resale for $200,000, making a handsome profit of $38,500 within 60-90 days.
  • Bottom line is you need to make your money “up-front”; if you pay too much in the beginning, be prepared to rent the property or live in it yourself!

Check out my other real estate articles on my website. If you, your friends or family ever need help in the Columbus GA or Phenix City AL area, please pass along my contact information or call Paul Tommey at 762 822-6411.

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Questions To Consider When Buying A Home

Questions To Consider When Buying A Home

home buying questions

These are questions you should consider when searching for real estate in Columbus GA. First get a large piece of paper & make 3 columns. Title the columns needs, wants & wishes. I did this for young couple, first time home buyers, and they quickly determined what they really could afford. This couple, both recent graduates from pharmacy school, and both had large student debt. They did build/purchase a 2 story home with a full finished basement. The exercise in seeing what they really needed and could afford was enlightening.

Questions To Ask About Home Buying In Columbus GA & Phenix City AL

  • First and foremost is the big question: What is your budget?
  • What payments can you handle with current income
  • o What else do I need to plan/budget for? Payment, interest, (taxes & insurance are usually included/escrowed into monthly payment).
  • oDo you know what PMI is? Mortgage insurance to protect the bank! If you can generally pay 20% or more as a down payment, you can avoid paying this charge. Your taxes and insurance can be paid as they come due without escrow account as well.
  • Do you have any cash for a down payment?
  • What type of loan are your seeking, VA, FHA, Conventional, other?
  • Do you want to be within the city limits of Columbus Georgia area or in the country with some acreage and privacy?
  • Do you still have kids at home to be concerned about schools and travel times?
  • What means of transportation to school, work or local area amenities, (bus, car, train, bike, walk)?
  • Do you want to live in a neighborhood in Phenix City AL? If so is there an HOA & how much per month or per year? If there is an HOA is it mandatory or voluntary? Mandatory is best in my opinion, therefore all residents pay to keep up the common areas, entrance, pool, lake, clubhouse, golf course, tennis courts. If a resident does not pay the HOA generally will send a notice before they file for a property lien. Once the lien is filed the homeowner in arrears on HOA fees CAN N OT sell their house until the lien is paid.
  • Ask yourself and make a list of needs, wants and wishes for your home. They will all come with a price.
  • Do you want a new or existing home in Columbus GA?
  • Are you able to do any renovation yourself? The TV shows make it look easy…there are lots of pitfalls and unexpected expenses.
  • How much yard do you want to maintain?
  • Is this your forever/retirement home?
  • Is this a future rental property?
  • Think about the property in these terms: Can you purchase and be in the midpoint or less of the neighborhood comparisons? If not you may have problems with resale down the road. Is the property unusual or unique? If so, there may be a limited number of buyers to buy it in 5, 10, 15 years down the road.
  • If building a home in Phenix City AL or Columbus GA, have you thought about energy efficiency ideas: extra insulation or spray foam, higher SEER HVAC units, tank less water heaters, NEST thermostats, double pane low-E gas filled windows.
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Do You Want a Swimming Pool in Your Home Mortgage?

Swimming Pool in Your Home Mortgage?

swimming pool

The topic of this blog is to discuss “Why you don’t want to put a swimming pool in your home mortgage” if you are building a new home in Columbus Georgia area.

I am a licensed Realtor working for RE/MAX Executive Group selling homes in Columbus GA, Phenix City and Harris County GA. I’m also a military relocation specialist helping our soldiers move withing a close proximity of the Fort Benning GA area.

I retired from a great career in the water treatment chemical industry after 33 years. After I retired, not only did I get bored, our son was accepted into law school. So I took the plunge into real estate and I offered to support him @ $0.50 on the dollar.

In other words he got a student loan for ½ of his law school expenses and I was able to pay “cash” for the other have by selling lots of homes in the Columbus GA area during the last 4 years.

And now back to the pool topic. I personally took care of our neighborhood HOA pool for 17 years. It was chlorine based treatment. It now has been converted to a “salt-water” pool.

Example of putting a pool in your home mortgage.

  • Say you want a medium sized pool 32’ x 16’. In our area this size pool generally costs $25,000-$35,000.
  • Using a $250,000 priced new home, with a 100%-VA mortgage loan
  • Using a 30 year loan @ 4.0% loan the principle & interest would be $1,194/month with $ 179,674 interest paid over the life of the loan
  • If you added the $30,000 pool into the loan the base payment would go up $143/month up to $1337, with the interest going up to $201,235 for the life of the loan.
  • The bottom line is that initial extra $30,000 pool on your mortgage would add extra interest of $51,480.This would equal to $81,480 for you pool. Therefore, you really paid 2.7 X that initial investment.

The moral to the story is the following: Either save your money and pay cash, or move to a neighborhood in Columbus GA with a HOA that often times have a pool, tennis courts or lake.

Visit our real estate blog for a lot of articles on all kinds of information about the real estate business if you’re considering a career in this type of field.

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