Randy Durham | Randy Durham Team Blog

Thursday, February 25, 2021   /   by Randy Durham

Tax Credits: A Homeowner's Guide to Tax Season

Despite the many hidden costs associated with homeownership, there are many tax benefits to offset these expenses. If you are still paying your mortgage, there are several deductions available for you. The IRS has 1098 tax forms to report payments or other contributions that may be deductible from your taxable income. Form 1098 is the mortgage interest statement, which is provided by the company that services your loan. This form will tell you how much interest and prepaid points charged for loan origination in the previous year. This form also tells you the amount of mortgage insurance and property taxes paid by the lender. You are also able to write off energy-saving or medical-related improvements to the home, some taxes, and other expenses. Here are the most common deductions used by homeowners. 

1.     Retirement funds as a down payment: You can withdraw up to 10,000 from a traditional IRA account without paying a 10% early withdrawal penalty. Th ...

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Thursday, February 18, 2021   /   by Randy Durham

Gluten Free in Chattanooga

     If you have Celiac disease, eating out is often difficult if not impossible. However, the growing awareness of gluten intolerance is pushing many restaurants and bakeries to offer gluten-free options. Chattanooga is no exception to this trend. Many of the restaurants in the area offer gluten-free options. The find me gluten-free website has rankings of the eateries that are Celiac friendly, and the restaurants below make the top of the list that gluten-sensitive diners recommend.


Tony's Pasta Shop
This restaurant has the distinction of having an impressive gluten-free menu where you can create your own pasta or build your own pizza, enjoy gluten-free bread service, and offers several special dishes. The food comes out flagged as gluten-free.  Some cross-contamination issues have been noted online, so if you have Celiac use caution.

Bantam & Biddy
According to find me a gluten-free website, this restaurant ranks high on having Celia ...

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Thursday, February 11, 2021   /   by Randy Durham

Types of Deeds

A common question is "what is the difference between a title and a deed?" A title gives you legal ownership of the property. A deed is a legal document used to transfer the title to the new owner. The second thing the needs to be clarified is the difference between a mortgage and a deed of trust. They both do the same thing, but there are several differences in how the deed is transferred and what kind of foreclosure you will face if you can’t repay the loan. 

Deed of Trust
This term applies to real estate loans that are secured by a deed of trust (mortgages and deeds of trust both have the same purpose, but have a few distinctions). A deed of trust is a legally binding document to secure a real estate transaction instead of a mortgage. Three parties are involved: the trustor (the borrower), the trustee (the party who holds the legal title), and the beneficiary (which is the lender). In exchange for a deed of trust, the borrower gives the lender a promissory note (whi ...

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Thursday, February 4, 2021   /   by Randy Durham

What is the difference between short sales, foreclosures, REOs, and traditional sales?

Traditional sale
This is usually the most common type of sale, and the least complicated.  Let’s say that the owner of a home wants to put his home up for sale for whatever reason. They may be going through a divorce, relocating, upsizing, downsizing, the neighbors built an ugly fountain in the yard and they’re sick of looking at it…or simply because they want to. The reason doesn’t matter. All that matters is they want to move. As a buyer who wants that house, you are most likely going to be getting a conventional or government-backed loan such as FHA, VA, USDA, or a state-specific loan like THDA or GA Dream. If this is the case, then your chances are very high that you will be involved in this type of sale. A traditional sale happens when you buy or sell your home with a realtor or on your own. As a side note, buyer agents work for sale by owners all the time. They are not limited to showing you homes on their MLS that are listed with other agents. ...

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021   /   by Randy Durham

How to Deal with Negative Showing Feedback

It's my job to oversee marketing activities for hundreds of residential listings. In the past, our team even specialized in expired and distressed properties. When the market was slower, combing through showing feedback was a crucial part of revamping their marketing strategies and still is relevant today even in a faster-paced market. In real estate, great photography is your friend. Photographers can lift shadows to show the entire shot a room to highlight desired features like open floor plans, shiny hardwood floors, and decorative touches. However, they can't photoshop things like dated wallpaper or poor upkeep, or a truckload clutter with no place to hide it. Think of this process like seeing a great pair of pants on the rack and then realizing the pants give you a muffin top when you got to the dressing room. If pictures lead a buyer to be interested in your home, a showing is like trying a house on for size. Sometimes, images and virtual tours are only one of the key features th ...

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