How Does The Government Shut Down Affect Your Real Estate Closings?

Many do not realize that this shutdown will actually affect even the real estate closings.  Here is a great resource showing how it will affect any upcoming closings courtesy of Ameris Bank.

Due to the government shutdown, effective 8/30 at midnight, the following summarizes the expected impact on government services.  Ameris Bank’s standard policies and procedures remain in effect, subject to change as more information becomes available.

IRS Form 4506T & Tax Transcripts

Although services for tax transcripts through IRS are expected to be impacted, Ameris Bank will continue to require signed IRS Form 4506‐T and tax transcripts, as applicable. We cannot close a loan if we do not have the transcripts returned.

Social Security Administration

Verification of Social Security Numbers through the SSA may not be available.

FEMA Flood Insurance

It is anticipated that most functions will not be affected. However, mapping issues or amendments may be impacted.


FHA Connection is expected to be operational in order to obtain case numbers, perform CAIVRS checks, obtain insurance endorsements, and pay upfront MIP premiums.

Loans with a case file number, approved appraisal, clear CAIVRS and FHA approval (if test case) may close provided all other standard requirements are met.

Potential issues include:

·         System issues preventing case #s from being obtained

·         Support staff may not be available to assist with loan level issues

·         Uncertainty concerning loans submitted for a case number but placed “On Hold”

·         Uncertainty concerning the ability to obtain FHA Project Approval if project is not FHA approved

·         Uncertainty concerning the ability to have a case number transferred from another lender


Loans with an approved appraisal and clear CAIVRS may close (provided all other standard requirements are also met).

The VA has issued the following statement: 

Impact: The VA Home Loan Guaranty Program will continue to operate as normal in the event of a Government shutdown.

Lenders and Servicers should continue normal activities which include, but are not limited to, the following:

·         Lenders should continue to submit funding fees through the VA Funding Fee Payment System;

·         Lenders can obtain their Loan Guaranty Certificates in the WebLGY system;

·         Lenders can continue to order and receive appraisals and issue Notices of Value;

·         Lenders and Veterans can continue to obtain a Certificate of Eligibility online through the appropriate systems; and

·         Servicers can continue to perform loan modifications, submit claims and receive claim payments, and convey properties to VA.



Loans with a USDA Conditional Commitment that does not contain provisional “subject to” language and with clear CAIVRS may close (provided all other standard requirements are also met).

Potential issues include:

·         May not be able to issue new commitments or Loan Note Guarantees

·         May not operate GUS

·         Support staff may not be available to assist with loan level issues

Courtesy of:


Buying a Short Sale

In today’s market where short sales and foreclosures encompass nearly 50% of the Metro Atlanta real estate market, buyers are all wanting to know how to make offers on short sales and sellers are being faced with trying to choose one offer to send to the lender since most are being presented with multiple offers. However, buying a short sale is not the same as buying a non short sale home. There are differences and it is important to understand these differences. Some of the differences being:

  • Time: A short sale may take a considerable amount of time.
  • A Signed Contract does NOT mean a guaranteed approval.  The difference in a short sale is that the lender is approving the seller not the buyer so there is a possibility that the purchase may not be approved.
  • Many other variables may hinder the approval such as value, etc.

Here is a short video that will describe the process.

This Month In Real Estate

Stay informed regarding the latest trends in the real estate market.

Who Pays When I Buy A Home?

Who Pays When I Buy A Home?

Keep in mind that there are many agents that will charge the buyer if the commission does not satisfy the “minimum” that they are wanting or are satisfied with so that would be the first question I would ask.  We feel that we will be rewarded by the repeat business and referrals from the many satisfied clients that we gain so we do not adopt that thought process.  We are grateful in that we enjoy our career and thank God each day for the clients we meet so we never once see this as a hassle or as a burden.  So, to answer the question, the seller will pay the commission.  Here are a couple important questions for you to ask immediately when first seeing or inquiring about a home:

Atlanta Real Estate1. Who are you representing?

2. Who will pay your commission and is there a minimum commission that must be met in order for the seller to pay it?

3. If I am not satisfied with your services will I be able to cancel my agreement with you easily and with no cost or restrictions?

4. If I want to put an offer on a home you have listed how will that work?

Call us at 678-666-5101

New Construction

Opting for new home construction

Whether to buy an existing home or have one built is yet another decision to make during the home-buying process. If you decide to go with new construction, a real estate agent can be a powerful advocate in your corner as you negotiate upgrades, a move-in date and other terms with the home builder.
Below are some basic pointers to prepare you for the journey ahead.

Selecting a builder
Shopping for a large production or custom home builder can be a daunting task. Start by defining what architectural styles appeal to you and then seek out the builders in your area who offer those styles. Due diligence is essential. Ask friends for referrals to get firsthand accounts; verify the builder’s state license status, if applicable; and check whether they’re certified by the National Association of Home Builders.

The builder representative and your real estate agent
A builder representative’s ultimate goal is to sell you a home. His or her role is to provide a wide range of information to help you in your decision-making, from building restrictions, roads and easements to inspections, warranties, rebates and upgrades. A real estate agent knowledgeable in new-home construction will be able to help you wade through all the data and point out the downsides and upsides of each line item. Your agent also can look out for your interests in reviewing the builder’s contract, which often contains more legal jargon than consumer-friendly language.

It’s all about timing
Market conditions greatly dictate a builder’s incentive to make a deal you cannot refuse. When a builder has inventory on his hands, his carrying costs start adding up. When this happens, a builder might be more amenable to strike a favorable deal, whether it’s throwing in upgrades or taking a bit off the asking price. A real estate agent can help you know when market conditions are right for these benefits. Also, watch for builder close-out sales. Builders promote these special events when a new subdivision is near completion but empty inventory still remains.

A word about paying up
While there are always exceptions, most builders require a deposit when a purchase agreement is signed. They also require that the buyer pay for any upgrades prior to closing. If you back out prior to closing, unless the agreement states otherwise, you will lose that money. Make sure you understand every detail in the builder’s contract before signing it.

Location, Location, Location!

Location, location, location

LocationWhere you buy not only affects the home’s current and future value, but it also affects your lifestyle. Your agent will be able to conduct a more targeted home search if you outline your preferences in neighborhoods and nearby amenities. Here’s a checklist of items you should consider and communicate to your chosen real estate agent.

* Urban, suburban or rural

* Commute time

* School districts

* Desirable neighborhoods

* Proximity to the airport

* Proximity to restaurants and retail

* Access to major highways and thoroughfares

* Access to public transportation

* Health care facilities

* Parks and recreation

* Length of time you plan to live in the home (Your agent should be knowledgeable about growth trends and projections that could affect your investment.)

Call or chat with us now! 678-666-5101!  You can also start searching LIKE AN AGENT now by clicking here.

Have You Created Your Home Wish List?

Creating Your Home Wish List

Before the home search begins, your real estate agent will want to know as much as possible about the features and amenities you desire. To help your agent better serve you, analyze what you want and what you need in a home’s features and amenities.

Atlanta Real Estate

Call Steven today at 678-666-5101 to get your home search started!


  • Age: Do you prefer historic properties, or newer ones?
  • Style: Do you have a special preference for ranches, bungalows, or another style of construction?
  • Bedrooms: How many?
  • Bathrooms: How many? Are they updated?
  • Living and Dining Areas: A traditional, formal layout, or a more open, contemporary plan?
  • Stories: How many?
  • Square feet: How much space?
  • Ceilings: How high?
  • Kitchen: How big? Recently updated? Open to other living areas?
  • Storage: Big closets, a shed, an extra-large garage?
  • Parking: A garage or carport? Room for how many cars?
  • Extras: Attic or basement?


  • Office
  • Play/exercise room
  • Security system
  • Sprinkler system
  • Workshop/Studio
  • In-law suite
  • Fireplace
  • Pool
  • Hot tub
  • Sidewalk
  • Wooded lot
  • Patio, deck, or porch
  • Laundry room

Call Steven today to get your home search started at 678-666-5101 or click on the “CHAT NOW” button to chat with us now.

Step 1- Get Pre Approved to see how much house you can afford.

Deciding how much house you can afford

Atlanta Homes For Sale

Start shopping for homes. Get preapproved for a home mortgage first. That is step 1 and then call Steven Betolatti 678-666-5101.

Your lender decides what you can borrow but you decide what you can afford.

Lenders are careful, but they make qualification decisions based on averages and formulas. They won’t understand the nuances of your lifestyle and spending patterns quite as well as you do. So, leave a little room for the unexpected – for all the new opportunities your home will give you to spend money, from furnishings, to landscaping, to repairs.

Historically, banks use a ratio called 28/36 to decide how much borrowers could borrow. An approved housing payment couldn’t be more than 28 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and his or her total debt load, including car payments, student loans, and credit card payments, couldn’t be more than 36 percent. (In Canada lenders apply similar formulas to determine how much a buyer can afford. The Gross Debt Service ratio, or GDS, is not to exceed 32 percent of the buyer’s gross monthly income, and the Total Debt Service ratio, or TDS, is not to exceed 40 percent of the buyer’s total debt load.) As home prices have risen, some lenders have responded by stretching these ratios to as high as 50 percent. No matter how expensive your market though, we urge you to think carefully before stretching your budget quite so much.

Deciding how much you can afford should involve some careful attention to how your financial profile will change in the upcoming years. In the long run, your own peace of mind and security will matter most.

Call me today to get started 678-666-5101.

8 Steps to Buying Your New Home

Eight steps to buying your home
1. DECIDE TO BUYAlthough there are many good reasons for you to buy a home, wealth building ranks among the top of the list. [Read more…]

Get Our Free App To Search Homes


As Realtors that stay updated with the latest technology, we are always able to keep you up to date with the latest technology for buying and selling homes.  Draw a radius around an area that you are searching in or see what homes are for sale near where you are currently.  This app is a terrific repertoire to our already amazing up to date tech savvy resources.  Check it out now!  Also check out our other new buyer resources.


Buyer Apps

Buyer Apps