Home Buying 101 for New Graduates

Class of 2015 - blogCongratulations to the new grads this year! Although buying a house may seem like a distant dream there are steps you can take now to buy your first home a few years after graduation.

Step One: Get Your Credit Report
You can find our your credit score right away at annualcreditreport.com. If you have yet to establish credit, you can do so right away by opening a credit card or paying your cell phone bill. To ensure the best credit score possible, make sure you always pay your bills on time, keep your balances low or at zero, and keep the cards open. The longer you maintain clean credit the better your score gets.

Learn more about credit reports & scores here: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Step Two: Collect Important Documents
When applying for a mortgage you’ll need to provide various financial and official documents from the previous two years. As you receive them, make sure to collect and save pay stubs, bank and investment statements, W-2’s, tax returns, credit card statements, student loan balances, car loans, diplomas (for applicants who attended undergraduate/graduate school in the past two years), and a list of addresses where you have lived in the last two years.

Step Three: Saving Up
 Continue reading

Real Estate Outlook for Spring 2015

Market Update - blogTwo articles from FloridaRealtors.org have given us insight into the market for Spring. A reduced inventory means a seller’s market is in full swing and projected to last into the Summer. Buyers have taken advantage of lower mortgage rates (right around 4%) which contributes to the contracted supply of homes on the market. The depressed rates have motivated high-end buyers to jump on homes valued between $750,000 – $1 million or second vacation homes. Other advantages for buyers include loosened lending standards, and the FHA’s reduced annual insurance premium.

Continue reading

15 Apps for Aspiring Home Owners

15 apps - blog (1)

What a time to be alive! Mobile apps make buying a home easier than ever before. These are 15 apps that will turn you into an unstoppable investor and wise decision maker.

When on the Hunt

Realtor.com

When searching for a home to rent or buy we recommend Realtor.com for the most accurate market information. Use it to check median home prices in your area as well.

Homesnap

Take a picture of a home that’s caught your eye with your smart phone and see the sale information, schools, and other data pop-up instantly. This app makes the home-buying process easy to share with friends, family, and your realtor.

Zillow Mortgages

Zillow offers 3 easy-to-use calculators to determine monthly payments, affordability, and refinancing. The home screen of the app tracks current market trends and loan programs so that you can always stay up-to-date.

Saving for Your Future

Mint

Offered by Intuit, Inc., the creators of Turbo Tax, Mint makes tracking bills and spending hassle-free. With all of your accounts and investments viewable in one place, saving for your dreams becomes a reality.

Making Your Decision

Sigalert

Find out your commute times, traffic patterns, and best routes using Sigalert. This app provides real-time traffic updates to keep you moving.

Meetup

When you’re new to an area it can be difficult to meet new people. Meetup connects users with other people in their community who share the same interests or needs.

Indeed

Indeed is an essential app for casual and serious job-seekers alike. You can search for jobs in your area or based on your expertise, as well as upload your resume for employers to see.

Continue reading

Strong March Numbers Keep Our Local Inventory Tight

The Central Florida real estate market indicators from March 2015 are excellent! The median price of homes is up 10% from last March, and we had the most homes sales in one month in a long time, breaking the 3000 ceiling (3067).

Our close to home real estate market in Orlando has been strong and steady for a few years, and March showed the surge here as well. The biggest contributor to this was the normal first-of-the-year bump. Also, many buyers began jumping into the market to lock-in what may be the twilight of the super-low interest rates we have experienced for several years.

This has reduced our inventory to less than 4 months (3.75), which almost always means the market is moving in the direction of a stronger seller’s market, prices are going up faster than average Continue reading

Contingent Offers Make a Comback

It was once common to make an offer on another house that was contingent on the sale of your current home in order to close. For over 5 years since the downturn in 2008, contingent offers of this kind have been unheard of. Part of this had to do with so many owners with no equity or negative equity, and part of it was because average marketing time was months and months and few sellers wanted the entanglement.

All that has been gradually changing over the last year, and many sellers are again ready to entertain offers contingent on another sale. Recently we have been involved in three sell-and-buy transactions like this that were contingent on the buyers first selling their own homes. This is a strong indicator that the overall real estate market in our area is returning to a more normal function.

Why make a contingent offer? The reasons are simple:

Continue reading

Orlando Metro Area One of the Fastest Growing in the US

The US Census Bureau confirmed something we’ve suspected for awhile, Florida has 6 out of 20 of the fastest growing areas in the nation, reported by CBS/Miami AP reported today. This is great news for sellers and buyers in the Central Florida region.

The growth is driven by increases in the state’s metroplexes in areas such as central and southern Florida, Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. Six Florida metro areas were among the 20 fastest-growing: The Villages, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton and Panama City.

You can read the full article here.

Welcome Home to Andrea and Ryan

We’re so happy for our recent clients Ryan and Andrea. They found a cute Gamble Rodgers home in Delany Park, FL. Congratulations to them!

Elton Moughton – Sanford’s First Architect

Check out Seminole Centennial on YouTube for more Central Florida history.

New Listing: Under Contract in 1 day, 98% of List Price


Lovely remodeled mid-century, three bedroom, two bath home in fantastic location close to all the Winter Park amenities and walking distance to Brookshire Elementary, parks, and Cady Way Trail. Click here to view more photos and details in the MLS.

New Listing: Under Contract in 1 day, 100% of List Price

IMG_0161-0.JPG