Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Builder Basic or Upgrade? New Construction Upgrading Tips

What sort of things should be upgraded in a new home?  I recommend focusing on ROI (return on investment) at resale and stay away from things that cost you a lot now while adding no value to the home later.
Don't Upgrade. I wouldn't upgrade carpeting, plumbing fixtures, ceiling fans, flooring, lighting or appliances.

Most times, you will find a much better price sourcing these things yourself while getting the style and brand you want.  My suggestion. Go with whatever the builder offers as standard and if you don't like them, make changes incrementally, but over time.

Things to upgrade. I recommend upgrading things that actually add value and cost a lot once the house is completed. Things like extra recessed lights, built-in smart home system, pre-wire and pre-plumb for outside kitchen, upgraded cabinets, more sq.  footage, extra bedroom or bathroom, covered patio, metal/wood banister instead of half wall, 3rd stall garage, cabana apartment, etc.

Lastly, if you decide to purchase a new construction home, make sure you have your Realtor with you.  Why? The builders sales reps. are there to represent the builders interests, not yours, and since 99% of builders pay the Realtor's commission, you are getting full service and representation without paying for it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Zero Down Financing Available In Greater Orlando

Saving for downpayment? Nope.
Saving for closing costs? Nope.
Money to purchase appliances or paint? Nope. can purchase a home with 100% financing!!  
Is this you?  Or, are you and your partner trying to get ahead but find it impossible to save to buy a house? Then consider USDA financing.  It is income based, so if you/partner have a household income (combined) of $75,600 your income qualifies for the program. 
Since USDA is the old Rural Financing Program, the areas eligible for 100% loans are outside DT and the immediate areas. 
The current map of eligibility for USDA is quite large and includes the following communities: Areas of Kissimmee, extreme East Orlando, areas of Apopka, the area just south of Lake Nona in St. Cloud, Winter Garden, Davenport, Ocoee, Groveland, Orange City, Wedgefield (acre + lots), Geneva, Poinciana, Celebration & Haines City.
Program requirements
  • No Down Payment Required
  • Seller paid closing costs OK up to 6% of purchase price
  • No Pre-payment penalty
  • Max. loan amount is $417,000
  • 620 Credit Score required
  • New and existing homes OK
  • 30-year fixed rate loan
   Maximum adjusted gross household income:
    1-4 Person: $75,650
    5-8 Person: $99,850
Loan approval is fast...ask how & begin looking at houses!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Neighborhood Home Buying Tips & Hurricane Season in Orlando: Who Get's Power First?

We hired a seasoned electrician for several projects around the house the other day, and during one of our discussions, he opined on our Hurricane Season then offered some interesting observations that I never considered.

For example, following a major hurricane, older neighborhoods like Thornton Park will likely take longer to have power restored following a hurricane compared to a newer suburban area like Lake Nona.

It has nothing to do with one area having more clout over the other; it has everything to do with buried power lines VS utility pole supplied power and making $$$.  In his view, money is the ultimate prioritizer following hurricanes.

In newer areas where utility lines are buried, like Lake Nona, homes are connected to transformers and sub-stations which feed neighborhoods with electricity.  If a transformer or sub-station goes down, you could have hundreds of consumers affected...consumers who are not consuming (purchasing) power from the utility company.

In Thornton Park, if the beautiful Live Oak tumbles to the ground and takes out your power line in the process, is the utility company going to send its crew to an individual consumer first or take care of a sub-station supplying (selling) power to hundreds?

Let's hope we never have to experience it first hand to see if he's right.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What's Stopping You? 3 Reasons Buyers Have Trouble Saving For A Downpayment

What's preventing you from buying your first property?  A recent study found that most people defer their long term goals, including purchasing their first home, due to outstanding debt.  What are the biggest culprits?

1. Credit Card Debt: 50% of us sweat the billing statement each month, knowing the outstanding balance grew despite making more than the minimum payment.

2. Student Loans: 46% of us are strapped into unholy agreements with Sallie Mae, Navient, etc., for loans WHICH  WILL  NEVER  GO  AWAY!!!!!!

3. Car Payments: 38% of us have a car loan.

I was stuck with "all the above" when my partner and I looked for our first place 23 years ago.  My debt to income ratios were so high (which disqualified us for traditional financing) we decided to search for someone willing to sell with seller financing instead of traditional bank financing.  The plan worked!

We purchased our first home with seller financing, a side by side duplex, and a couple years later we refinanced into traditional bank financing using the rental income to qualify for the loan.

That's how we got our start.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Buying VS Renting: Which Type Of Financial Benefits Do Homebuyers Get That Renters Don't? Part 3.

Buying VS Renting: Part 3 of Series.
Discount Points Deduction

I am guessing most people don't know about discount point(s) and how they work. What, exactly, is a discount point and why should you even consider it?

A Discount Point(s) can be used to lower the interest rate on your home loan.   

Generally speaking, each point costs 1% of the loan amount, so if you have a $200,000 mortgage and purchase one discount point for $2,000 (1% of loan amount), you’d get a one-time $500 tax savings assuming you’re in the 25% tax bracket ($2,000 x 0.25 = $500).

If you plan on holding the property for 5+ years and want to lower your mortgage interest rate, consider paying point(s).

Pt. 1 Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction Article May 6, 2015.

Pt. 2. Property Tax Deduction Article May 18, 2015.

Pt. 4. Mortgage Insurance Deduction.

Pt. 5. Going "Green" Deduction..