#EducateYourself with this Step-By-Step Toolkit for the Mortgage Process!

I can't say that I was super pumped to go to our continuing ed class on Monday, but alas, no choice. One of the things that we did through the class, was working through this handy-dandy Step by Step Toolkit for buyers about what to expect and how to figure the math around the mortgage process. It explains it in a way that is understandable, in a world and process that can often feel very confusing and out of your comfort zone, if you are a non-math person like I am!

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It has really awesome Steps with calculators and breakdowns that make my Type A, detail-oriented heart soo very happy!

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So much good stuff. Apparently lenders are supposed to give this out and go through it, but something tells me they don't always? I am happy and excited to possess this resource, and would love to send you a downloaded link to work through. Shoot me a message on my Contact Me page on my website by clicking here, and I'll shoot you one!

Awards Ceremony

I am so thrilled to announce that I won the #2 agent for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices C. Dan Joyner, REALTORS for 2017. I was absolutely blown away! I am so thankful to love what I do and get to work with such incredible people. 

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I am also so lucky to love the incredible, professional people that work at C. Dan Joyner, REALTORS.

My awesome brother came as my date. We had the best time!

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And my incredible assistant, Andrea was also there to celebrate! (Ignore the strobe lights that totally washed us out!)

Greenville, SC - Why You Should Consider Visiting/Living There

I came across this article on Greenville and thought the author, Clay Pitsenbarger, had a great "take" on this city that I love to call home!

Greenville, SC - Why You Should Consider Visiting & Living There

If you're running out of things to do in Charlotte, then why not consider checking out Greenville, SC, which is only a 2 hour drive away?

If you're living in the Carolinas or nearby Atlanta, then you've probably heard about the fast growing city of Greenville, SC. It's the largest and fastest growing city in the Upstate SC region, which is the fastest growing region in SC.

Depending on the sources you follow, you may've heard about Greenville's buyer-friendly housing market, renowned museums, bike paths and tours, Sterling School (one of the top rated elementary/middle schools in the nation), family friendly living, and mild weather during the spring, fall and winter months.

If all of that sounds great to you, then you may have found your new home. Read on to get a breakdown of all the important parts of visiting and living in Greenville, SC.

The Housing Market

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Greenville falls below the national and state unemployment average of 3.9%.

A city with lower unemployment is a city with more demand for real estate. More demand results in more robust real estate prices.

The real estate data reflects this. Since 2013, the average sales price of homes in Greenville has steadily increased every year. This is in conjunction with the increasing population size. So, now is the time to buy.

Another source confirms this with some raw data. For example, the average home price of $201,051 for houses sold in 2016 rose to $218,257 in 2017.

However, you should still find an agent with experience buying homes in your desired neighborhood and within your budget.

Great Schools In Greenville, SC                                                                                                         There are 62 primary and secondary schools in Greenville.

Sterling is one of Greenville's schools for highly gifted students. It runs two programs, one for elementary and the other a center for the gifted students. There are 746 students there.

The public schools in Greenville are part of the Greenville County School District. The higher scoring Anderson 01 School District is also nearby.  Scoring is based on a comparison of the test results throughout the state.

There are many top rated schools located in Greenville's suburbs of Simpsonville and Mauldin.

Top Elementary Schools

·         Sterling in Greenville

·         Monarch elementary in Simpsonville

·         Oakview in Simpsonville

·         Rudolph Gordon in Simpsonville

Top Middle Schools

·         Mauldin Middle School in Simpsonville

·         Riverside Middle School near Greer

Top High Schools

·         Mauldin High in Mauldin

As for which particular school, I would suggest that you research the other schools as well. You should also talk to the principal when you get the chance so you would get a feel of the school personally.

Greenville, SC Main Attractions

The first place you should visit in Greenville, SC coming from Atlanta or Charlotte is the Falls Park on the Reedy. Just like the name implies, you can find beautiful falls there, surrounded by trails with tour guides and beautiful gardens.

The falls are a great place to start your journey in Greenville, SC. It leads right into Main Street where you can find all kinds of international restaurants. It's also close to the Greenville zoo.

And speaking of food, Greenville SC is an emerging food hub in the south. Main Street has more than 110 restaurants (mostly local owned) in a one and a half mile stretch.

Greenville, SC has entertainment venues for everyone to enjoy. If you enjoy music, you can go to a concert at the Peace Center. If you're a sports fan, you can watch sporting events at the Flour Field at the West End.

In summary, Greenville, SC is one of the best economically growing Southern cities in the US for food lovers, families, and nature lovers who are looking for good home buying opportunities.

For more things to do in Greenville, you should check this comprehensive list of 101 things to do in Greenville, SC.

Equifax Security Breach - Were you one of the 143 MILLION Americans affected? I was!

I heard about the Equifax Security Breach this morning and immediately logged in to see if I was affected....and unfortunately I am one of the 143 Americans affected by this breach. Equifax is a credit recording company that pulls credit scores, etc. and is used in the mortgage and home buyer process - the odds are high that some of your personal information may have been stolen through the breach including possibly your address, Social Security number, driver’s license and credit card numbers. Check out the below for facts about the Equifax Security Breach and how to check to see if you are safe or if you need to take proactive measures to securing your information! Thank you to Amanda McCall & Beth Davis with Prime Lending (2 of my favorite lenders for providing this awesome set of info on what to do once you know your information was stolen!)

Facts about the Equifax Security Breach

Equifax Inc. recently announced a cybersecurity incident potentially affecting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers. Criminals exploited a website application vulnerability to gain access to files containing private information about consumers. Based on the Equifax’s investigation, the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July 2017.

To check if your information was compromised: Equifax has established this website, where you can check whether your information was compromised. If Equifax indicates that your information was affected, here are some tips for responding:

Credit Cards

  • Contact all of your credit card companies and request new cards. While it may be difficult to update all of your automatic payment information for billing accounts linked to your current cards, getting new cards will help reduce the chance for fraud on your accounts.
  • Be vigilant in reviewing your credit card bills and immediately report any unauthorized charges to your card issuer.

Credit Bureaus

  • Contact all credit bureaus to place an extended fraud alert or a credit freeze your credit file.
    • A freeze stops all access to your credit report which in turn makes it difficult for thieves to open up new credit in your name; but it may also prevent you from getting new loans that you have applied for, so use this tool with care.
    • A fraud alert permits creditors to get your report as long as they take steps to verify your identity.
    • The credit bureau may charge a fee for these services - See this Federal Trade Commission website for more information: 

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0279-extended-fraud-alerts-and-credit-freezes

  • Pay attention to how long the freeze or fraud alert will apply. In this case, you may have to renew the fraud alert on a scheduled basis. The above website says it will stay in effect for seven years for an extended alert whereas initial alerts are only effective for 90 days. 

·         Equifax

o   800-525-6285

www.alerts.equifax.com

o   Click at the top of the for the Extended fraud alert.

o   Print the form and fax or mail as per the form.

o   You can also request an initial 90 day Fraud Alert. 

·         TransUnion

o   800-680-7289

https://www.transunion.com/fraud-victim-resource/place-fraud-alert

o   Click Place Extended Fraud Alerts

o   Print Form and mail.

o   You can also request an initial 90 day Fraud Alert. 

·         Experian

o   888-397-3742

https://www.experian.com/fraud/center.html

o   Click Add a Fraud Alert

o   Click 7 Years

o   Print form and upload to Experian.com/upload or mail.

o   It states to mail with payment, if applicable but does not state the amount required.

o   You can also request an initial 90 day Fraud Alert.

Some sites are very busy right now and you may have to try later. 

IRS Fraud Alert

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/taxpayer-guide-to-identity-theft

·         Data breach victims should submit a Form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit, only if your Social Security number has been compromised and either your e-File return was rejected as a duplicate or IRS has informed you that you may be a victim of tax-related identity theft.

·         Be alert for scam phone calls from thieves posing as the IRS; you can find information about IRS collection calls here:

Scam Phone Calls Continue; IRS Identifies Five Easy Ways to Spot Suspicious Calls | Internal Revenue Service