Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval


There are plenty of real estate terms used in transactions so naturally, it can be confusing for both buyers and sellers trying to navigate the process. The home loan process might feel overwhelming and difficult to understand. Both buyers and sellers find terms like “Pre-Qualification” and “Pre-Approval” used interchangeably, so it’s no wonder they find themselves wondering how to proceed.


The first step in obtaining a home loan is to meet with a lender and discussing your financial situation. The lender will discuss income, job stability, debt and credit. Once they have performed a basic review of the qualifications and run credit, they will issue a Pre-Qualification Letter to the potential buyer. This letter will identify the maximum sales price, down payment requirement and basic terms of the loan, such as interest rate.

The Pre-Qualification letter is used to provide evidence that the buyer has been reviewed by a lender who is vouching for their ability to obtain a loan.



A Pre-Approval is quite different. In this case, the lender collects all the necessary information and proof of eligibility and has it reviewed by the lender underwriter for approval. A Pre-Approval letter is almost like shopping with cash, the only remaining piece of the puzzle is the property they are buying.


The A Team

Advantages of Selling a Home This Winter


Home sellers and real estate agents often fear the winter months because it
seems like a poor time to list. The truth is, winter can be a great time to list
your home for sale!

Less Inventory
Conventional wisdom tries to say that taking your home off the market in winter,
or waiting to list, until the spring selling season starts is the best way to sell your
home. The truth is that if you are trying to sell your home, wouldn’t you rather list
while the competition is less?

Higher Prices
With the end of the summer season, often homes are removed from the market,
likely because the sellers mistakenly believe they need to wait for the spring. But
when listings flood the market in April, prices can go down as a “buyers’ market”
takes hold and inventory increases.

Serious Buyers
Buyers in the winter also tend to be more serious about a home purchase. The
holidays are a time to relax and enjoy family and friends. In real estate, studies
show that if a buyer is out looking for a new home during these months, they
have a reason to move, which tend to create better offers.

Home sellers can enhance their ability to capitalize on the slower pace and
smaller inventory by listing their homes for sale now. Winter is the perfect time to
get the highest possible sales price while the competition is drinking pumpkin spiced
lattes and waiting for Spring.



Stay warm!

The A Team

What are Contingencies on a Contract?


Contingencies are commonplace in contracts of all kinds. A contingency allows for one party or another to legally back out of a contract in the event of some specific condition occurring. They are protection against the unknown.

In real estate, there can be contingencies inserted for either buyer or seller or both. These take many different forms and until removed in writing, either party may change their minds based on the result of the contingent event or issue.

Some examples of home buyer contingencies:

  • Home inspections – condition of the home
  • Specialty inspections – mold, geological, roof inspections
  • Code Violations – an investigation into improvements made without permits
  • Lender appraisal – ensures the offered price is not too high
  • Sale of current home – allows the buyer to back out if they cannot sell their current
    home in specific time frame
  • Final loan approval – loan is ready for signature and close
  • HOA CC&Rs – review of documents to ensure rules and regulations do not infringe on
    enjoyment of property
  • Insurability – home owner’s insurance available at a reasonable rate

Home sellers can also have contingencies included as well, such as one which states the sale is contingent on finding a replacement home. Contingencies are a fact of contract law. In real estate, they ensure that the offer is concluded as expected.


The A Team

Home Decor Inspiration: Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is the start of the holiday season. While the standard pumpkins and
scented candles are a nice touch, there are so many other options for decorating
a home for Thanksgiving. Consider these interesting and unusual touches to bring
a fall feel to your home.

Colorful Leaves – In most parts of the country, there are piles of fall leaves
in the front yard. There are a huge variety of uses for these bright leaves.
Gather some to use on the dining room table, inside candle hurricanes or
scatter along the mantle.

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Natural Elements – Decorations don’t need to be so obvious. Consider
using driftwood, acorns and pine cones to add a fall flavor to your home

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Fall Fruit – Lemons placed in a bowl have long been a staple in spring and
summertime staging. In fall and winter, change the lemons to a variety of
colors of apples. Everything from red to green and everything in between
adds a seasonal tone to the kitchen.

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Pillows and Throws – There’s no rule that says that one needs to keep the
same pillows and throws throughout the home all year around. Consider
fall/winter colors and themes to add interest to living rooms, bedrooms and

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Happy Thanksgiving from The A Team!

Passion + Purpose: Salvation Coffee

Welcome to our First Passionate Purposeful Local Business Interview…..THE A TEAM had the honor of interviewing Jim Young the owner and inspirer behind Salvation Coffee located on 3321 S Church st in Burlington.



Obviously this is a new business that has taken Alamance County and all Coffee Drinkers by Storm. Have you uploaded a photo of the infamous Salvation Coffee cup to your Facebook or Instagram yet?  Its just not the cups but the entire Coffee Shop that just embraces you with so much warmth and love.   Salvation Coffee is much more than just another coffee shop.  its a unique environment where you can share life and fellowship over Coffee together in a renewed, inspiring environment. We asked Jim a few questions just to get the behind the scenes look of what inspired him to start his own coffee shop….
Jim Young is a local, born and raised, his father passed away at the age of 12 and he was raised by his mother who was an ex-Marine.  His mother always believed in him, and instilled within Jim that you can do anything you set your mind to do.  Jim at 17 years old, enlisted to serve our country in the US Army.  Jim served in Germany in the 1980s.  On weekends they would visit local Coffee Shops and drink Espresso in the small little cups and enjoy fresh baked goods. Located in small mountain villages, with stone/brick walls just overlooking the countryside.   Jim stated “it allowed us to escape from the real world and enjoy a bit of warmth and romance during the 1980’s Cold War”.  Coffee is a universal love language, its a place people can come together and share life with one another.  The good and the bad over a cup of coffee, it just brings people soulfully together.  When Jim returned to the US in 1988 he first started his business called Ear Candy.  He had $80 in his pocket, and had to bum a ride to the bank to obtain his first business loan, but he made it happen on faith and a dream.  He continually took every penny he made and invested it back into the Business. He built Ear Candy to a business he no longer needed a store front, word of mouth keeps Ear Candy busy.
Jim noticed himself constantly working in Starbucks and the idea came upon him…there has gotta be better coffee…so he began to have the desire to roast his own beans first.  Coffee Roasters were thousands of dollars, and Jim said if I am going to do this I am going to do it smart.  So he found his first roaster online refurbished and much more affordable than a brand new one.  He ordered T-Shirts and Coffee Bags even before he had a business up and going.  Talk about faith…
Salvation Coffee – Where did this name come from?  Jim was recently save; he was restored and made new again.  The inspiration behind Salvation is to take the old stuff and make something restored and new…a new life, so to speak.  This goes deep for the Young family, much further than all the old restored football field signs, the old airplane jets, and other memorabilia and reclaimed furniture throughout the Coffee Shop.  Jim and his wife Karry, the true inspiration behind the design of Salvation Coffee,  created just that.   Their youngest daughter was recently also saved and has completed restored her life. When we asked Jim why did you want to start this Coffee Shop….he said after holding back a few tears, it was for my daughter Savannah. She was down a dark path, homeless and it brought her back to life.  Anyone that has met Savannah knows, the minute you walk in you’re greeted with an unwavering smile, a welcome, and she immediately begins to put her passion and love into your individual cup of coffee or tea.  She is always creating and encouraging you to try one of the creative drinks.  Her spirit is truly alive and well and you can feel it from the moment you are embraced by Salvation Coffee.
Jim noted, we are a christian business, the Bible is clearly visible and always on our shelf but we are not here to shove it down your throat we are here to just Love others.  Love your neighbor as yourself.  No matter your religion, the color of your skin, your sexual orientation, we love everyone just the same.  Salvation Coffee is a place of peace, a place where we share love, we share encouragement and we truly hope you feel empowered when you leave.
Jim’s future plans are to hopefully have a food truck or Motorcycle with a Side Cart and travel brewing coffee and sharing Salvation Coffee everywhere with others.  Being a veteran, Jim has a huge heart to bless other veterans.  He is an ambassador for Operation Enduring Warrior – OEW is a foundation that challenges veterans to maintain physical activity and continue to compete in challenge events, obstacle courses, triathlons etc.   It helps veterans’ rehabilitation physically, mentally and emotionally.  This is near and dear to Jim’s heart, a local veteran actually made the bar stools you see in Salvation Coffee!  He shared many stories of veterans overcoming their circumstances and re-birthing themselves to a new life.
If you are in West Burlington, looking for a place to drink a delicious cup of coffee and truly feel loved, I encourage you to visit Salvation Coffee.  Its one of our favorites, and the passion and purpose behind the business goes much further than just the coffee itself.  The coffee is delicious and the baked goods (they have healthy Keto treats too) are all out of this world.  Relax, rejuvenate yourself, share life with others and spread the love over an amazing cup of Salvation Coffee.

Top 5 Rooms to Remodel in 2018

With the popularity of the home remodeling shows, home owners across the country are
anxious to take out their tool box and remodel their home too. Most often, remodels are
better suited to professionals however, and this can cost significantly more. Regardless of the method, remodeling projects are not inexpensive, so making the best impact for the cost is important.

Here are the top 5 rooms to remodel in 2018:

1. Kitchen – Always a great return on investment. From functional spaces to bona fide
living areas, add extra seating, lighting and entertaining spaces such as a bar or counter.



2. Backyard Kitchen/Family Room – The backyard is an extension of the interior. Section
off areas for an outdoor kitchen and family room. Add a fireplace or even a TV.



3. Master Bedroom – Always a place to retreat and refresh. Master bedrooms are getting
makeovers with calm soothing paint colors, large picture windows and balconies or



4. Guest Bathroom – While not often the first thought, a powder room is easy to remodel
and gives a great impression. Make the space look larger with a monotone color


Find The Best Creative Guest Bathroom Ideas on a budget

5. Bonus Room/Media Room – Create a unique family space with a media room or bonus
room. Extra space which will bring more than its share of cost when selling.




The A Team

She Sheds


Do you have an old shed in the backyard that needs a facelift? Well we have the perfect solution – make it a ‘SHE SHED’!

It’s like a man cave but BETTER…a place for women to escape for some ‘me time’, relaxation, recharging…the possibilities are ENDLESS!

If you’re considering developing your own She Shed, here are some helpful tips to make it happen:


Paint the entire space — whether it’s a shed or any other neglected outbuilding — a bright white shade, floors included. This gives it a breath of fresh life!


Let your shed feel like an extension of the outside space that surrounds it for an airy, tranquil vibe. Adding a feminine floral print will bring the garden inside, and create more depth to the she shed. You could also add some live plants to the space!


You want your she shed to be a place where you can feel relaxed and pampered. To that end, furnish it with pieces that feel cozy and serene. A daybed, topped with lots of comfy pillows, is a fun idea and will make it a space you actually want to spend your time.


Whatever your style, run wild with it — after all, it’s your own space to define any way you wish! Lots of layered rugs and sitting poufs, a small vintage desk and a comfy chair to work from, are some great ideas to get you started.


Window boxes, full of flowers and vines create a homey feel. Hang some globe lights around the exterior, and maybe even a stone pathway, for an inviting look!

Here are some Inspirational photos:


We can’t wait to see how you She Shed!

The A Team