Orlando, FL Real Estate News

By Taiane de Gregorio
(Sunvest Communities USA)
For your own safety, and to make sure you're getting your money's worth in the home you choose, using a professional home inspector is highly recommended. A home inspector will check a variety of things such as your home's plumbing, heating, cooling, and electrical systems, and look for structural problems like a damp or leaky basement, etc. Usually, you call an inspector immediately after you've made an offer on a home. However, before you sign any written offer, make sure (or have your attorney make sure) that it includes an inspection clause, which says that your purchase obligation is contingent on the findings of a professional home inspector. Your inspector will not tell you whether he or she thinks the home is worth the money you are offering. Rather, the inspector's job is to ma...
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By Taiane de Gregorio
(Sunvest Communities USA)
When you sign an offer to purchase, your realtor will ask you for "earnest money." This refers to a monetary commitment that shows you are serious about wanting to buy. Usually, you will be asked to write a check for one to 10 percent of the sales price. This money will be held in a special escrow account. If your offer is accepted, your earnest money will be included as part of your down payment . If your offer is not accepted, you'll get back all your earnest money. But keep in mind that if you back out, you may forfeit the full amount.
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By Sean Kelley
(Broker )
On a day to day basis I am just floored by the influence the media has on all of our lives. How many times have you turned on the news to see a "Special Report" on the "Housing Bubble" and the newscaster (who is sitting at a desk somewhere in the US) is rattling off housing statistics that are compiled from the NAR (National Association Of Realtors) The key word here being National. These reports always concentrate on the negative aspects of todays housing market simply because it creates fear and fear creates ratings. When sellers see these reports they get very nervous and decide the only way to compete in this market is to drop their price. And it gets worse, buyers see this report as an opportunity to offer substantially less for a home. This double whammy to the housing market is c...
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By Taiane de Gregorio
(Sunvest Communities USA)
There is no set number of homes you should look at before you decide to make an offer on one. That's why providing your realtor with as many details as possible up front is so helpful. The perfect home may be waiting for you on your first visit. Even if it isn't, the house-hunting process will help you get a feeling for the homes in the community and narrow your choices to a few homes that are worth a second look. If you're looking in more than one community, try to make the most of each house-hunting trip. Ask your sales professional for welcome kits, maps, and information about schools, houses of worship, and recreational facilities. Also, be sure to take along a camera and snap some pictures of all the homes you're interested in. That will make it easier to remember and reach a decis...
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By Taiane de Gregorio
(Sunvest Communities USA)
Tell the sales professional everything you like and don't like about each home you see. Don't be shy about discussing a home's shortcomings. Is the home too small for your needs? Let the sales professional know. Was the home perfect except for the carpeting? Let the sales professional know. However, remember that there can be two types of sales professionals involved in a real estate transaction; those working for the buyer, and, frequently, those paid by and working for the seller. The seller's agent is obligated to help secure the best price for the seller. In addition, seller's agents may also report any confidences you share with them — including any willingness to pay a higher price should the seller not accept your initial offer. This is why you may want to be represented by a buy...
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By Taiane de Gregorio
(Sunvest Communities USA)
There is really no rule to use in calculating an initial offer. Naturally, the buyer wants the best value and the seller want the best price, but negotiations can be influenced by many factors, such as a seller who may be changing jobs and wants to sell quickly, or a buyer who is set on a specific home. After you've looked at the home's features, asked questions, checked comparables, and talked about it with your sales professional, you should have a good idea of what the home's value is in the current market. Consider what you can afford, and make an offer that you consider to be fair. Most buyers and sellers negotiate on price, with both sides "giving" a little until both agree. At that point, you typically will begin the process of arranging for an inspection and applying for a mortg...
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By Taiane de Gregorio
(Sunvest Communities USA)
When you've found a special house you want to call home, you'll probably feel excited and a bit nervous. Let the agent  know you're ready to write an "offer to purchase" — a written document that declares how much you are willing to pay for the home provided that certain conditions are met. This is the time when it is most important for you to keep in mind that, unless you have specifically retained the services of a buyer's agent, the sales professional is working for the seller. As the legal agent of the seller, he or she is obligated to help the seller get the best price, and will report to the seller any confidence you share. It's best to make your offer without sharing with the agent your willingness to offer any higher price if the seller does not accept your offer. Your offer sho...
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By Taiane de Gregorio
(Sunvest Communities USA)
Renting offers a lifestyle that's nearly maintenance-free. That may appeal to you, but consider that renting offers you no equity , no tax benefit, and most likely no protection against regular rent increases. If your rent has averaged $700 a month for the last 10 years, you've spent $84,000 with nothing to show for it. Isn't it time you invested in yourself instead of your landlord? Several financing options hold special advantages for first-time buyers or families with limited cash reserves.  FHA -insured and VA-guaranteed mortgages can minimize or even eliminate your down payment . You may also consider a lease purchase agreement or borrow cash for a down payment from life insurance, profit-sharing or a retirement account. In addition to tax deductions you'll likely receive that can ...
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By Taiane de Gregorio
(Sunvest Communities USA)
A good real estate professional is perhaps your best source. We know where the local schools are and can provide you with valuable information about school districts, including test scores, extracurricular activities, bus service and more. If you're relocating, a sales professional may even be able to put you in touch with teachers and principals when you visit the area. And if you want to do a little searching on your own, the Internet may also be a good place to start. My web site has a special link to neighborhood information, including information about  Orange and Osceola county public schools.
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By Taiane de Gregorio
(Sunvest Communities USA)
It's a matter of personal preference. Both new and older homes offer distinct advantages, depending upon your unique tastes and lifestyle. New homes generally have more space in the rooms where today's families do their living, like a family room or activity area. They're usually easier to maintain, too. However, many homes built years ago offer more total space for the money, as well as larger yards. Taxes on some older homes may also be lower. Some people are charmed by the elegance of an older home, but shy away because they're concerned about potential maintenance costs. Consider a home warranty to get the peace of mind you deserve.
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By Taiane de Gregorio
(Sunvest Communities USA)
We've found that affordability is probably the single biggest concern of today's first-time home buyers. Given the wide range of media coverage regularly devoted to the issue, it's not surprising that many young families wonder how long it will take them to afford their first home. My advice: Don't sell yourself short. Talk with a real estate professional, a good sales professional is committted to honestly and responsibly working with you to determine an affordable price range. There are many financing options available  today, and some include low dow payments or no money down. A real estate professional will help you find something that fits your budget and you might just be surprised how much you can afford!
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By Taiane de Gregorio
(Sunvest Communities USA)
With so many homes on the market you will never get anywhere unless you narrow your choices. You can begin this process by first indentifying one or a few neighborhoods that are right for you by:Consider local factorsUsing neighborhood strategiesFactors to consider when evaluating a neighborhoodWhen evaluating a neighborhood you should investigate local conditions. Depending on your own particular needs and taste, some of the following factors may be more importantconsiderations than others:Quality of schoolsProperty valuesTrafficCrime rateFuture constructionsProximity to schools,hospital. your job, transportation, shops,etc.Neighborhoods Seach StrategiesYou can maximize your home purchase location by incorporating some of the following strategies into your neighborhood search:Look for ...
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By Teri Isner, GRI, CRS, CIPS
(Keller Williams Realty at the Lakes)
From The State Police - NOT A JOKE      You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside. You start The engine and shift into Reverse, and when you look into the rear view Mirror to back out of your parking space, you notice a piece of paper Stuck To the middle of the rear window. So, you shift into Park, unlock Your Doors And jump out of your car to remove that paper (or whatever it is) That Is Obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car, that is when the car jackers appear out Of nowhere, jump into your car and take off. They practically mow you Down As they speed off in your car. And guess what, ladies? I bet your purse Is Still in the car, and if they see your home address and have your Keys, Your Home is now compromised!BEWARE OF THIS NEW SCHEME THAT I...
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By Colleen Irwin, Creative Real Estate Solutions...
(Retired)
I just spoke with a For Sale By Owner who was extremely frustrated.  The only calls they get are from Realtors wanting their listing.    Instead of calling, I had sent this owner a letter with a list of active, pending and solds in the past 6 months offering help if they needed it.    They called and I gave them some advice, I told them what  they really didn't want to hear.   Their listing is very overpriced, and a sign out front is just not going to find them the buyers.  These folks aren't ready to list with a realtor yet.   But I know that the relationship I am building with them will have them call me when they are ready to list.   I would be happy to assist you reach your Real Estate goals!Visit the Orlando Avenue Top Team's post of things that the For Sale By Owner will have to t...
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