Tuesday, November 14, 2017


Property Site: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/VWXKD7/3800-N-SADDLEBROOK-PL-906-COLUMBIA-MO-374177
Upgraded, upper-level condo in Spencer's Crest. Granite counter-tops in the kitchen with additional cabinetry, laminate wood floors in the kitchen and living room, and fresh paint throughout. Don't forget the amenities at Spencer's Crest including playground, covered picnic area, and swimming pool!
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Square feet: 1,135
Price: $850

For more information about this property, please contact Susan Horak at 573-876-2849 or susan@susanhorak.com. You can also text 4714539 to 67299.

See more listings at: http://www.susanhorak.com

MLS ID: 374177

https://www.facebook.com/TheSusanHorakGroup/ http://@SusanHorak https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSusanHorakGroup/featured

Friday, November 10, 2017


Property Site: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/P7RE8J/3800-SADDLEBROOK-PL-104-COLUMBIA-MO-374153
Come fall in love with this well maintained lower level condo in the Spencer's Crest subdivision. You will enjoy a private garage right outside the unit, community pool, playground area and easy access to I-70 and US Hwy 63. Laminate wood flooring in living room and all bedrooms. Tile floor in kitchen. Find extra shelving in laundry for storage. Unit backs up to tree line.
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Square feet: 1,212
Price: $103,000

For more information about this property, please contact Susan Horak at 573-876-2849 or susan@susanhorak.com. You can also text 4708698 to 67299.

See more listings at: http://www.susanhorak.com

MLS ID: 374153

https://www.facebook.com/TheSusanHorakGroup/ http://@SusanHorak https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSusanHorakGroup/featured

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Property Site: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/AXPYGA/6307-BRIDLE-BEND-COLUMBIA-MO-373957
Big open split bedroom floor plan, 4 beds and 2 full baths. Beautiful kitchen, granite counter tops with large island and walk-in pantry. Great space out back with 27 x 12 covered patio. Gas fireplace in living room, jetted tub and separate shower. In ground sprinkler & security system. Community pool & clubhouse. Social Membership included.
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2
Square feet: 2,050
Price: $329,900

For more information about this property, please contact Susan Horak at 573-876-2849 or susan@susanhorak.com. You can also text 4689124 to 67299.

See more listings at: http://www.susanhorak.com

MLS ID: 373957

https://www.facebook.com/TheSusanHorakGroup/ http://@SusanHorak https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSusanHorakGroup/featured

Monday, October 30, 2017

Are they going to PAY ME for that? Understanding Proration

Some expenses paid at closing must be prorated or divided proportionately between the buyer and the seller. The most common items that fall into this category include: 
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Mortgage interest
  • Utilities 
Any item that is prorated is shown on the settlement statement as a debit to one party and a credit to the other party for the same amount. 
Some items are those that were paid for in advance, so the buyer will owe the seller part of the payment. 
For example, let's say the seller paid insurance for the entire year in advance and the transaction will close on September 18. The buyer will owe the seller the portion of the insurance payment that applies from September 19 to December 31. 
Or if the seller paid for the rental of a propane tank for the calendar year, the buyer will owe the seller the prepaid rent on the tank from September 19 to December 31. 
For items paid in advance, the buyer will receive a debit, and the seller will receive a credit.  
Other items are those expenses that the seller incurred but have not yet been billed for at the time of closing. These items are paid in arrears. 
For example, the buyer will receive the sewer bill for September.  The charges from September 1-18 belong to the seller, but the buyer will be paying the bill. On the settlement statement, the buyer will get a credit, and the seller will get a debit.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

I have to pay for WHAT? : Understanding your settlement charges PART TWO

Let's take a look at those items that the buyer usually pays:
  • Appraisal and credit report fees
    • When the lender does the appraisal on the property, the fee is charged to the buyer. An appraisal typically costs from $250 to $400. The credit investigation the lender does also is charged to the buyer and can cost from $10 to $35. 
  • Inspections
    • The buyer will pay for the structural inspection of the home. These inspections cost from $350 to $600. If the buyer had any other inspections done, such as pest or termite inspections, water quality or radon testing, the buyer would pay those additional costs at closing. 
  • Mortgage recording fees
    • Many states assess a mortgage recording tax for any mortgages recorded in their state. Typically, the tax is made up of several taxes added together and are based on the taxes that are in effect in the county or city where the property is located.
  • Title insurance
    • Typically the seller pays the VAST majority of the title fees (Title commitment and owner's policy costing $800-$1,000) in our market, but the buyer is responsible for around $100-$150 on their side of the title work.
  • Attorney fees
    • Not only do the buyers pay for their own attorney if they have one, but they also pay for the lender's attorney. Depending on how much work is involved, each of these attorneys could charge $650 or more. 
  • Lender fees
    • There could be several fees the lender will charge the buyer. Here are just some of them – not all of which will be charged by every lender on every mortgage. 
      • Application fee – What the lender charges to process the application.
      • Underwriting fee – What the underwriter charges for reviewing the loan application and approving the loan.
      • Loan processing fee – What the bank charges to process the loan.
      • Origination fee – What the lender charges for finding the loan - is equal to 1% of the loan amount.
      • Loan lock fees – What the lender charges to lock in a specific interest rate for a specific period of time.
      • Tax service fee – What the lender charges to monitor the escrowed payments of property taxes.
  • Recording
    • The fees associated with recording the deed. 
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), if applicable
    • Buyers can sometimes get loans with a lower down payment if they agree to pay private mortgage insurance. The lender purchases the insurance from a private mortgage insurance company and then passes the cost to the borrower by charging a fee at closing plus an additional monthly fee while the insurance is in force. 
      The lender will terminate the PMI payments once the loan has been repaid to a certain level.  Federal law requires that any loans originated after July of 1999 must have the PMI terminated after the borrower has accumulated 22% of equity in the property and is current with all loan payments.  
  • Special fees, such as coop or condo fees 
    • Condominiums have special assessments due to the homeowner's association for maintenance of common areas. The buyer may owe the seller for services that were prepaid by the seller but will be used by the buyer.

The lists below will give you an idea of the items that are typically debited or credited to the buyer. 
Buyer's Debits
  • Contract sales price
  • Credit report
  • Recording of deed and mortgage documents
  • Homeowner's insurance
  • Other expenses, such as loan origination fee, closing fee, recording fee, attorney fees 
Buyer's Credits
  • Earnest money or deposit
  • Loan amount 
Let's look at some of the buyer costs in more detail.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

I have to pay for WHAT? : Understanding your settlement charges

Let's look at those items that the seller usually pays:
  • Broker commission
    • The broker's commission could be a percentage of the selling price, a flat fee, or some other arrangement. In most cases, it is a percentage of the sale price. The commission is paid at the closing, usually by the seller. 
  • Attorney fees (Less common in Mid-MO)
    • The fee depends on how much work the attorney actually does. It is not common to use an attorney in addition to a realtor in our market but some sellers or buyers like to have an attorney look over the paperwork if they have questions about the contract. 
  • Recording documents to clear the title
    • Sometimes a seller may have to file a satisfaction of mortgage document or a document showing satisfaction of other judgments. If so, the seller's attorney will file the documents, which will be recorded in the county clerk's office. 
  • Satisfaction of existing liens
    • The title to a property cannot be transferred until any existing liens have been paid off. There is a fee associated with satisfying the liens which is calculated based on the amount of the lien. 
  • Special fees, such as coop or condo fees 
    • Some cooperatives have what is called a flip tax that is paid by the seller when the property transfers. Condominiums have special maintenance fees due to the homeowner's association. These fees are called assessments. If the seller owes of these fees, he or she will pay them at closing. If the seller has prepaid these fees, an adjustment will be made at closing.

These lists give you an idea of the items that are typically debited or credited to the seller. 
Seller's Debits
  • Broker's commission
  • Delinquent taxes
  • Document preparation fees
  • Loan balance
  • Pest inspection (typically only on VA loans)
  • Soil test (rare)
  • Survey (rare)
  • Termite treatment (typically only if agreed to on the inspection notice)
  • Unpaid utility bills 
Seller's Credits
  • Contract sales price
  • Items paid for in advance, such as insurance premiums 

Friday, October 27, 2017

What is (RESPA) and why should I care?

The Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) is of great benefit to consumers during the settlement process.  RESPA requires that the parties to certain transactions receive the correct figures pertaining to their closing costs. 
RESPA applies to purchases: 
  • Of residential property – that is, one-to-four family homes, cooperatives and condominiums.
  • Involving first or second mortgages.
  • Financed by a federally-related loan – that is, loans that are insured by a federal agency, those that are insured or guaranteed by VA or FHA, HUD-administered loans, or those that will be sold to Fannie MaeFreddie Mac or Ginnie Mae
RESPA does not apply to seller-financed loans. It also does not apply to a loan assumption, unless the lender has changed the terms of the assumed loan or charges more than $50 for the assumption.
Lenders have very specific requirements under RESPA. Within three days of receiving a loan application, a lender must give the applicant:
  • A copy of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau booklet called Your home loan toolkit.” This booklet describes how to shop for a mortgage, how to avoid pitfalls and handle problems, and gives the consumer information about the closing. It also discusses in detail the five pages of the Closing Disclosure, which we'll be talking about a little later in this unit.
  • An estimate of the closing costs that would be expected in the transaction.  This is provided on a Loan Estimate form.  The lender normally bases the estimate on similar transactions that have already completed.
  • Mortgage Servicing Disclosure Statement, which discloses to the borrower whether the lender intends to service the loan or transfer it to another lender. It also provides information about complaint resolution.  
Note: If the lender turns down the loan within three days, then RESPA does not require the lender to provide these documents.

RESPA requires lenders to use the Closing Disclosure form to detail the costs that the buyer and seller will pay at closing. In addition to the costs payable to the lender, the form also itemizes any costs due to other parties, such as city or county tax assessments, recording fees, and attorney's fees.
The Closing Disclosure must be delivered to the borrower at least three days before closing. The actual time frame is based on the method of delivery. The settlement agent must also provide the seller with the Closing Disclosure, which may be done at consummation. We’ll go over the Closing Disclosure form in detail in a few minutes.
RESPA specifically prohibits any payment or receiving of fees or kickbacks when a service has not been rendered.  For example, an insurance company cannot pay a kickback to a real estate agent or to a lender for referring a client to their agency. 
Referral fees are strictly forbidden for these services:
  • Title search
  • Title insurance
  • Inspection
  • Survey
  • Appraisal
  • Loan
  • Credit report
  • Attorney  
RESPA permits sharing commissions and the payment of referral fees among cooperating brokers or multiple-listing services.
Business relationships and affiliations among real estate firms, mortgage brokers, title insurance firms and other such companies that are involved in a transaction are permitted, provided the relationships are disclosed in writing to the consumer, the consumer is free to go elsewhere for the relevant service, and the companies do not exchange fees for referrals. 
Computerized  Loan Originations  
A real estate firm may offer a computerized loan origination system (CLO) that:
  • Provides a prospective borrower information about mortgage loan products
  • Prequalifies a borrower
  • Initiates a loan application process for a fee 
However, RESPA allows only the borrower to pay the fee for such a service. In addition, the broker must disclose the fact that there are competing mortgage products that are not part of the system. 
Disclosures After Settlement
Loan servicers must provide borrowers with an annual escrow statement which summarizes all inflows and outflows in the prior 12-month period. The statement must also disclose shortfalls or overages in the account, and how the discrepancies will be resolved.
Credit: Text From Real Estate Express

Thursday, October 26, 2017

What do Buyers and Sellers do at a closing?

As the primary parties, the buyer and seller have critical roles at the closing. They must verify that each of them has fulfilled the contract terms as stated. 
Once this is verified, the mortgage loan is closed, and then each party pays all the appropriate fees associated with his or her side of the transaction. The buyer pays the purchase price for the property and the seller delivers the title.
Then the parties sign the myriad of documents required to finalize the transaction. Finally, the closing agent will do whatever the local laws require to arrange for the recording of the transaction.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Role of the Lender in a Real Estate Transaction

Lender's Role 
Some buyers can purchase in cash, but for most buyers, a Lender is needed to be the source of funds for the transaction. Near the beginning of your home shopping process, it is important to establish a relationship with a lender. It is important to search for a lender who is willing to act as a financial counselor. He/she should be able and willing to analyze your financial situation and offer you a mortgage tailored to your particular needs, keeping in mind interest rates, cash requirements and monthly payments.
 Some of the key factors in choosing your lender are:

  • Interest Rates
  • Points
  • Types of Mortgages (length of terms, fixed rates, etc.)

As with a broker, much of what the lender does relating to the closing happens long before the closing date comes. 

The lender is primarily interested in protecting its interest in the property. In order to do that, lenders typically require at the very least a title insurance policy and a homeowner's insurance policy. Depending on the individual circumstances, a lender might also ask for a survey and inspections. 
Lenders can also require the borrower to maintain an escrow account for property taxes and insurance so that the lender is sure money will be available for the payments. These are referred to as reserves. Depending on the type of loan being issued, the lender may also require private mortgage insurance.  

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


So, you are under contract. Great! You may be wondering what your agent is doing for you now. If you're a buyer, they are not driving around showing you houses anymore.  The contract is written. Is their job done? FAR from it! 
Much of what the agent does to facilitate a closing happens during the period between the signing of the agreement of sale and the actual closing date. 
Many times the agent is involved in ordering inspections, surveys or appraisals. The agent can also help the buyer find a mortgage lender or help schedule needed repairs to the property.  
Brokers and real estate agents have many contacts in the world of lenders, property inspectors, surveys, insurance agents and the like. Often these people offer fees to the brokers and agents to get their referrals. 
Whether providing a lot of assistance or a little, the licensee's role is to check on the progress of activities along the way so that the actual closing will go as smoothly as possible. This includes the following:
  • Communicate with the client. Make sure the client knows what is happening every step of the way.
  • Communicate with the other party's agent. The licensee needs to promote his or her client's interests, but everyone wants the sale to close. So it's important to work with the other agent to see that the transaction closes successfully.

In addition, the licensee should handle the following activities:
  • Make sure that the escrow instructions prepared by the escrow agent accurately reflect all of the terms of the purchase and sale agreement.
  • If the licensee has the responsibility to order inspections, he or she should do so in a timely manner. If the responsibility belongs to someone else, the licensee should check on the completion and the delivery of the reports to the proper parties. The licensee needs to help the client through the process of preparing the inspection notice, asking for repairs and seeing that those repairs are completed and re-inspected.
  • Check with the lender to see how loan approval is coming along.
  • Check the appraisal results and help the client decide how to proceed if it comes in low.
  • Keep track of any special provisions included in the sale, such as items of personal property.
  • When the title report comes in, find out if there are any problems that need to be addressed.
  • Make sure the buyers have obtained homeowner's insurance and see to it that a copy has been delivered to the escrow agent or lender.
  • Check to be sure the sellers have everything in order for moving out, such as arrangements for trash hauling or scheduling of a cleaning crew to come in and clean before the buyers move in.
  • If buyers are moving in before closing, make sure the rental agreement is ready and signed.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


Property Site: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/MYP2RN/3304-WESTCREEK-CIR-COLUMBIA-MO-373797
Breathtaking views of your own backyard! This stately home offers 2 fireplaces, a newly remodeled kitchen including a wonderful gas stove the chef of the house will be sure to love! Easy access to the MKT Trail for bike rides, walks or runs. A bonus non-conforming bedroom on the lower level.
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 4
Square feet: 3,668
Price: $389,900

For more information about this property, please contact Susan Horak at 573-876-2849 or susan@susanhorak.com. You can also text 4670470 to 67299.

See more listings at: http://www.susanhorak.com

MLS ID: 373797

https://www.facebook.com/TheSusanHorakGroup/ http://@SusanHorak https://www.youtube.com/user/TheSusanHorakGroup/featured


Property Site: http://tour.circlepix.com/home/VWXKD7/3800-N-SADDLEBROOK-PL-906-COLUMBIA-MO-374177 Upgraded, upper-level c...