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Thursday, 07 November 2019
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To rake or not to rake?  That is the question!  Every year about this time, you stop cutting the grass and realize just how many trees you have in your yard when the leaves start to accumulate on your lawn.  You may even be lucky enough to have leaves from your neighbors’ trees find their way into your yard!

You have always been told that the leaves must be removed from your lawn when they fall and have heard dire warnings about what could happen to the grass you spent all summer watering if you don’t act now!  Should you spend hours out there with all sorts of loud lawn tools blowing them into piles so they can be gathered into those special tall brown paper bags that are sold at the local home improvement centers?  Do you live in an area where, if you can get them all moved to the ditch in the front yard a large Hoover-style vacuum truck will come along and suck them up for you?  Should you get on your lawn mower, cue up your favorite tunes and chop them up?  Or, should you just ignore them and hope for some swift winds to move them on to the next yard?  Decisions, decisions…

There are a few reasons, other than wanting your yard to look neat and tidy, to remove the leaves after they fall.  Depending on the type of grass you have, it may use this time of year to fortify its root systems for better performance next summer.  There are a variety of “cool season” grasses like tall fescue, rye grass or Kentucky bluegrass and they will thrive at this time of year with proper sunlight and rainfall.  If the covering of leaves is too thick, the sunlight and rainfall will not penetrate the ground properly disrupting the rebuilding cycle.  After the leaves settle, get wet and matted down, there can also be issues with airflow which also aides in proper growth of the grass.  Warm season grasses like Bermuda and Zoysia will also benefit from the process of cleaning up the leaves in the fall.

If raking leaves is not what you want to do every Saturday for the next month, you can certainly take a less labor-intensive stance on leaf clean-up and use a lawnmower.  You can purchase special serrated blades that will help the mulching process by chopping them up into tiny pieces with one pass.  If you choose not to go through the hassle of changing the blade, you can use your regular blade and make a few extra passes to be sure the leaves have been sufficiently chopped into smaller pieces that will degrade quickly over winter providing a natural fertilizer for your lawn. 

Whatever method you choose, you don’t need to clean up every last leaf that falls on your lawn!  If you have trees with smaller or thinner leaves, many of those dry easily and break apart on their own, especially in high traffic zones.  However, chopping up or removing the thicker large leaves like oak and maple will help your lawn thrive in the spring!

 

"You've Got A Friend in Real Estate"

 

Jarod Tanksley 615.403.8265

www.BrentwoodandBeyond.com (for more Real Estate Tips)

Brentview Realty 615.373.2814

 

 

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Posted on 11/07/2019 5:12 PM by Jarod Tanksley
Monday, 28 October 2019
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There are different options for self-employed borrowers to consider as they begin the process of getting qualified for a mortgage loan.

Homebuyers requiring financing are asked to provide extensive documentation regarding their employment, income, and assets. Ever since the "Mortgage Meltdown" occurred from 2007-2009, the mortgage industry has been looking at these documents more thoroughly and critically. A loan officer today will often compare his or her job to that of a private detective.

In most cases, a homebuyer's income and assets are easily calculated and documented, however self-employed borrowers are faced with additional scrutiny that can often result in a lower "qualifying income" than these borrowers might expect.

The sub-prime mortgage era presented alternatives for self-employed buyers. There were "Stated Income," "No-Doc," "No Income-No Asset" and other variations that allowed buyers to avoid the more strict conventional underwriting guidelines that applied to self-employed borrowers. We're just now starting to see some alternatives returning to the market, but today borrowers are asked to put down more money and pay a higher rate whereas in the sub-prime era there was very little premium added for these special loan products.

Borrowers are considered self-employed if they own 25% or more interest in a business or if they are 1099 employees who file a Schedule C. Self-employed borrowers are required to have a minimum of two years consecutive self-employment in the same business and geographic area. 

Typically, two years of income tax returns are required for analysis, however automated underwriting findings may allow for review of just one year's returns. 

Business income is averaged over a two-year period using Federal Tax Returns. In the case of declining income, significant compensating factors must exist to consider the income in the qualifying ratios. A significant decline in income is not acceptable, even if the current income and debt ratios meet agency guidelines.

The type of business (sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation) determines how the income is calculated. The qualifying income will be much closer to the Net Income than it will be to the gross earnings, in most instances. This is where self-employed buyers can find themselves with less buying power than expected.

The one "tip" I could offer self-employed borrowers is that they should be conscious of the impact aggressive business deductions and tax write-offs can have on their qualifying income when it comes time to buy. While that may result in higher income taxes, it could also result in qualifying for their dream home.

And, of course, it is always best to get pre-qualified with a reputable lender before beginning your home search.

 

..."You've got a Friend in Real Estate"

Jarod Tanksley 615.403.8265

www.BrentwoodandBeyond.com

Brentview Realty 615.373.2814

 

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Posted on 10/28/2019 10:38 AM by Jarod
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