Tricia Jenkins, Realtor, NHCB
Florida Realty Investments
View my Zillow Profile and Reviews from Current Buyers/Sellers:
I would love to assist you with your home, townhome or condo purchase
anywhere here in the SW Orlando/Kissimmee/
St. Cloud/Lake Nona/Medical City Areas
Whether you are looking to buy your 1st home
or your 3rd home, I can help you find
what you are looking for!
If you are looking for an investment property, I can help you
find properties that will fit your needs and then I can also assist
with getting your property rented.
Great Article about preparing to Buy a Home - sometimes it takes some preparation on your part before you even apply for a pre-approval:
Orlando Sentinel By Garrett Foster
What every First-time Home buyer should Know
Meet fictional 34-year-old identical twin brothers Fred and Ted. Fred is a marketing manager for an import-export company. Ted is a social worker at a non-profit agency. Both are single and considered to be smart, successful guys. While Fred's annual salary is nearly four times what his brother earns, however, Ted is worth much more than Fred and is already in a better position to face retirement one day. Why is Ted worth more than Fred?
The difference? Ted became a first-time homebuyer when he was
just 26, while Fred still rents, paying off his landlord's mortgage with money
and resources that would be better spent building his own personal
wealth. Over the years, Ted tried to convince his brother of the many
benefits of home-ownership: tax savings, building equity, the ability to adapt
your home to your style and preference without having to get permission from a landlord, and more. Fred knew deep down his brother was right, but something always stopped him from moving forward: Was this the right time? What if he was transferred? What if prices dropped? What if prices started to rise -- along with his insurance and taxes?
Are you the victim of analysis paralysis?
In the end, Fred allowed himself to become the victim of analysis paralysis, continuing to throw his money away on rent, unable to deduct the mortgage interest from his end-of-year taxes and feeling frustrated he hadn't taken the plunge. Meanwhile, Ted saw prices go up and down; he worried at times if he could afford his taxes and insurance; and he had to rent his house out for a year when he took an assignment with an agency out of state. In the end, though, Ted watched excitedly as the forced savings of paying a mortgage increased along with his equity. And, even though the current market value of his home is less than it was a couple of years ago, it is still worth $250,000 more than what he paid for it in 2000. Fred's entire investment portfolio, including his 401-K, is less than half of that amount.
What's stopping Fred -- and maybe you, too -- from purchasing now?
So, what's stopping Fred from entering the market now at a time when prices are lower than they've been in years, interest rates keep inching downward, and builders and developers in a number of new-home communities are catering to first-time buyers with impressive incentive programs and special financing? Even though he'd never admit it to his "kid" brother (Ted was born six minutes earlier!), he is intimated about the application process. Fortunately, we have a few tips to steer Fred -- and other first-time buyers -- in the right direction.
Tips to take away the fear
First, if you're considering purchasing a home, it's important you get your finances in order. Start is by obtaining a copy of your credit report.
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you are entitled to obtain a free credit report once a year, or within 90 days of being denied employment or credit based on your rating. A credit report verifies such things as your name, address, social security number, job history and debt history. The major credit reporting agencies are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Visit any of their Web sites to obtain your free report. Credit scores range from 300 to 900, with the lower end indicating to lenders that you will be a poor credit risk. Generally, the cutoff point for issuing loans is around 600. If your credit rating is
questionable, it is probably a good idea to improve it before applying for a
loan. Paying off debt, canceling unneeded credit cards and even consulting
consumer credit counseling services are all steps you can take to get your finances in order.
Locate a lender
The next step is to find a mortgage broker, bank or credit union that can help you secure a loan. A mortgage broker will have access to a number of programs from a variety of lenders, while banks and credit unions will only offer you their programs. In either case, shop around for the best rate, terms and loan fees (in many cases you can negotiate these down).
To make things easier and more convenient, many new-home builders have in-house lenders who can offer a preferred rate, excellent terms and numerous incentives. While it is not mandatory that you use a certain lender, it is worth at least considering, since it can translate into big savings.
Finding the home of your dreams
Once you choose a broker, bank or credit union, you should ask to be pre-qualified, which is an initial assessment of how much you can afford and will give you leverage in your home-buying search. Prequalification is different from pre-approval, which is a more complete analysis by a lender of your ability to pay for a home as well as confirmation of how much is to be borrowed. Now comes the fun part -- finding the home of your dreams. Once you know how much you can realistically afford, you can work with a sales associate at a new-home community and/or a Realtor® to choose the neighborhood, floor plan and upgrades that work best for you and your family.
When you settle on a home that is the best fit, you will execute a sales contract on the property being purchased. You should give this -- along with the other items listed in the sidebar -- to whomever you decided will be handling your mortgage.
Retire early with Ted ---- Just as with owning a home, the road to closing will be filled with twists, turns and potholes -- and at times it will seem like you're signing your life away -- but, in the end, it will all seem worth it. Just ask
Ted? He's hoping to retire at 55 with the equity from his home, while Fred may
still be working and paying rent … unless he moves quickly. With the current market prime for first-time buyers, take the lead from Ted and become a
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Cell: 407-791-8679 / Tricia52974@yahoo.com
Check-List For First Time HomeBuyers
US NEWS & World Report By Geoff Williams
The spring homebuying season is in full bloom, and odds are, if you're reading this, you may be thinking it's time to finally start looking for your first house. But before you dive in, it’s important to get your finances organized and know what you can afford. Here’s a checklist to get you moving toward this major purchase.
Pay down your debt. And while you're at it, check your credit score and look over your credit report. "Before you start the process, you should make sure your credit score is OK," says Michael Eisenberg, a certified public accountant and personal financial planner with Eisenberg Financial Advisors in Los Angeles. "If you don't have a good credit score, you may not get the best [interest] rate. In fact, you may not get a loan, period."
So before you do anything else – with any luck, long before you do anything else – focus on paying down your credit cards, paying your bills on time and raising your credit score. (A score of 720 and above is generally considered good, and 750 to 850 is excellent). You want your future mortgage lender to like what it sees when it comes time to request a loan for a house.
Have money in the bank. Most experts suggest that you have at least 20 percent of the house's purchase price saved as a down payment. You can certainly buy a house without that – and many people do – but there are plenty of good reasons to put down at least 20 percent. For starters, you'll almost certainly avoid paying private mortgage insurance, or you won't have to pay it for long. PMI is typically 1 to 2 percent of the value of the loan, split into monthly payments. It may not seem like much, but if it adds, say, $100 to your monthly mortgage payment, you can see why you'd like to avoid it.
In other words, if you happen to have $20,000 in a bank account, and you're thinking of buying a house in the not-so distant future, hang onto it. This isn't the time to buy that motorcycle you've always wanted or invest in a coin collection.
Fine-tune your budget. Regardless of what you have in the bank now, this is a long-term, year-after-year, month-after-month expense you're going to take on. "So the first thing I would say to anyone buying a home is, 'Let's see how much you can afford to spend,'" Eisenberg says. "Everyone thinks about the mortgage and interest, but there's more to it than that. What about the property taxes? Will you have homeowner association fees? Are you renting now, and will your house be much bigger? That means you'll pay more for utilities. Are there amenities that you're going to have to take care of? Does the house have a pool? You need to plan much more than by asking yourself if you can afford the mortgage."
Pej Barlavi, a real estate broker in New York City, agrees. "I always recommend to work your numbers backwards," he says. "First, know your budget or set a monthly budget that you will be comfortable with paying that will not put you under a difficult strain should you not be able to work for several months."
That might sound a little grim, but think about it. If this is going to be a house you'll live in for years, there are going to be good and bad times ahead. You want to be prepared.
Think about how you'll pay for the house. Yes, with money. But will you take out a fixed-rate mortgage or an adjustable-rate mortgage?
ARMs had a terrible reputation after the Great Recession, and for good reason. With an adjustable-rate mortgage, you'll get the lowest rate available – but then it will adjust after several years, often based on an index, like the Cost of Funds Index. The main point here is that your payment with an adjustable-rate mortgage won't stay the same.
"During the economic meltdown of 2007-2009, many homeowners lost their jobs and then discovered the interest rates on their mortgages were going up," says Diana Webb, an associate professor of finance at Northwood University. Small wonder she says: "Adjustable rate mortgages are the scariest mortgages that I see."
But the interest rate for an ARM is low, and if you believe you aren't going to live in your house for long, it might be a good fit for you. Some ARMs also have a limit on how much they can adjust, which may make them more appealing.
Still, some financial experts are wary. "These ARMs are basically predatory," Webb says. "First-time homebuyers also may not know mortgage brokers are paid a higher commission for an ARM than on a fixed-guaranteed loan."
Consider the length of your home loan. Most homeowners go with a 30-year mortgage. Others try for a 15-year loan or somewhere in between.
"The immediate benefit of a 15-year loan is that it's a shorter-term loan, and you typically get a much lower rate than a 30-year loan," says Doug Leever, a mortgage sales manager at Tropical Financial Credit Union, which services South Florida. For instance, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, if you were to take out a 15-year mortgage now, the average rate is 3.25 percent; for a 30-year mortgage, it's 4.14 percent.
If you can do a 15-year loan, it's a no-brainer that you'll spend less on your house than you will with a 30-year-loan, but plenty of people can't swing that. "The payment will be higher, and you need to make sure you're comfortable with the higher payment," Leever says.
Start gathering paperwork. Not everything about buying a house involves calculating numbers. You'll also want to start looking at paperwork with numbers on it. Yep, the fun never ends.
So start gathering your federal income tax records for the past couple of years, recent paycheck stubs, canceled checks for rent or utility bill payments and any other paperwork a mortgage lender might want to see, like credit card and student loan information.
Scout out where you want to live. It isn't enough to think you want to live in a certain geographical area, like the west side of the city. You really need to drill down.
"Many neighborhoods are different and change from one block to another, so the purchaser should be aware of what their money will get in their favorite neighborhood," Barlavi says.
Tax rates will be different in different communities, of course, so that's another consideration. There are some neighborhoods you may not be able to afford, so it's good to get a sense of that early on to avoid experiencing a huge letdown. Of course, you can wait until after a lender approves you for a mortgage, and you may want to wait until you've found a real estate agent to show you the ropes.
But once you truly know you can afford to buy a house, driving around a neighborhood will start to make the idea of homebuying real – and besides, it'll provide you with a much-needed break with a more enjoyable set of numbers: street numbers. It's far more fun imagining yourself living somewhere than envisioning how you’ll pay for it.
Free Free to Call, Text or Email me: Cell: 407-791-8679 / Tricia52974@yahoo.com