Allison supports local businesses, as well as helping area newcomers transitioning to Florida. Returning Veterans, First Time Home Buyers, Vacation home buyers, and home sellers in the Kissimmee St Cloud Area of Osceola County all rave about the excellent service they receive when using St. Cloud Homes they give Allison Stewart & St Cloud Homes the thumbs up.
If you or someone you know needs Unparalleled Service Call Allison Stewart, St Cloud Homes

Buying a Home in Florida? 3 Tips To Know Before You Go

Three TIPS FOR VIEWING St Cloud Florida  HOMES for Sale: You Should Know Before You Go

Searching for the perfect home St Cloud/Kissimmee Florida  can be a daunting task. Too often a potential buyer faces the frustration of calling on homes which are already under contract, or do not meet their budget.

Working with our trained staff of quality Real Estate Professionals here at St Cloud Homes, LLC is one way which will streamline the process and make the transition from potential home buyer to successful home buyer seamless. Once you have your financing in order; we will customize a personalized search addressing your wants and needs which match your budget. We will find the best homes which meet all those needs. You will choose the ones you want to see from the convenience of your computer. We will do the rest!

Here are Three Quick Tips to consider when viewing St Cloud Florida Homes for Sale  that will help you.

 

#1) Let us Set the appointment for you.   NEVER preview a home at dusk or in the dark. Keep in mind in the winter months it gets dark earlier. Schedule your viewing during daylight hours so you can see obvious things both inside and out.

 

#2) Take a notebook and camera with you. Taking photos and making notes of things you see is very important in determining if the home is want you want and you are prepared to make the necessary repairs.  It also will help remind you later which home you liked the best.

 

#3) Do not sign an “As-Is” Purchase Agreement, if you intend to ask for repairs after-the-fact. Knowing in advance what you want to repair/replace yourself will be very helpful in getting estimates before the house closes so you can budget appropriately.  Other costs you need to know are:

Title Work

Inspections

Property Taxes

Home Owners Insurance

Utility Deposits

Repairs

We here at St Cloud Homes, LLC will assist you in making the process of buying a home as easy as possible.  Our proven Fast Track System of Home Buying has proven results of happy home owners who utilized our service to make their dreams come true.

 

 

FAST Track to Owning a Home in St Cloud/Kissimmee Florida?

 We are Buyers agents specializing in residential Real Estate in St Cloud Florida,

St Cloud Homes, LLC is proud to announce the new Fast Track Home Buyers Program. It is free, simple, and effective.  Buying a home can be a frustrating experience. Here at St Cloud Homes, LLC we have a proven system which will put you on the fast track to home ownership.  Our free comprehensive program plan equips you with the tools you need to close the deal.

Here is how it works.

1)  The first thing you will need is a Pre-Approval Letter from your lender. It is free.  Any loan officer can assist you where you do your banking. They will need to know how much you earn, and how much you owe.  Based on your most recent pay stubs, and credit history, the loan officer will be able to determine if you can qualify for a home loan, and how much home you can afford. Once they have established that, ask them for a Letter of Pre-Approval.

2)  Call our office.  We will put you on the St Cloud Homes. LLC provides the Fast Track to finding the right home which meets your needs and budget. It is fast, simple and free. In just a few minutes we define what you are looking for, how much you can spend and what your needs are. Once we have that we will search for homes which are a match for you.

3) Fine Tuning To the Finish Line- The right home is out there, with our Fast Track program you will have the leading edge on the all the available homes in the St Cloud, Florida area which meet your needs and budget.  It is fast, effective and saves you valuable time.  We will narrow down your selections, set up your showings and prepare your offer, painlessly.

The housing market is heating up, and there is competition for well-priced St Cloud Florida homes for sale – our experts at St Cloud Homes, LLC explain how to make the best offer, what factors influence price, and what the current market conditions are.  So that your offer stands out and maximizes your chances of getting the home you really want. Our buyers love us– we make the process simple easy and as hassle-free as possible. We are with you EVERY step of the journey to your new home!

Costs You will Need to Consider:

Down Payment money (can include gift funds)

Home Inspection

Survey

Home Owners Insurance

Closing Costs

Repairs and improvements you may want to make after closing.

Our fees are  paid by the seller at closing.

Advice For Couples Buying Their First Home 5 Simple Tips

House Hunting in St. Cloud Florida  –Marie and Jason were high school sweethearts.  She, was a petite blonde haired, blue eyed southern sweetie and he was a tall strapping ruggedly handsome, dark haired musician. They were both in their early twenties.  After their fairy tale wedding came the “living happily ever after” part.  Just as they had planned their wedding two years prior, they were now planning to buy their first home.

For two years they had lived off one income, while banking the other.  They cut corners to help build up their nest-egg.  They bagged lunch, cut coupons, and lived within their means. They entertained at home instead of going out. They carpooled, and planned their errands to save on gas money and most importantly they had two things.  A budget and a time frame.

The difference between a dream and goal is a time-frame.  They dreamed about finding and buying the perfect home, but they also planned for it.  They gave themselves two years to bank as much money as they could to buy their first home.  In that time, they had more than enough to put down a down-payment and get their credit up by paying all their bills on time. They lived within the budget they had set after reviewing all of their expenses, and where they could cut some corners comfortably they stuck to their budget.

They drove around on weekends getting a feel for where they thought they might want to  buy.  They looked at several different neighborhoods before contacting a buyers agent to work with them.  They had a very good idea of what they wanted.  Three or four bedrooms, two bathrooms, perhaps near water because Jason loved to fish and it needed to be fairly close to the school where Marie was a teacher. Marie had been to the ban and spoken with a loan officer who pre-qualified her so she knew how much home they could afford.

The first house they thought they wanted was a foreclosure. It needed a lot of work. They contacted their bank, and made a loan application. Because they had kept their debt down and paid their bills on time they were easily qualified for a loan that would cover the cost of the house and some improvements.  But the bank that owned the property rejected their offer.  During that process a home directly across the street became available.   It was a little higher, but needed a lot less work.  Marie crunched the numbers and realized they could afford it. So they made an offer on that home which was accepted.  In planning to buy a home, we advised Marie she would need to factor in closing costs, inspections, and any repairs the home might need. We prioritized the repairs so she could budget for them once they were closed and moved in.

The best advice we can give to couples who are planning to buy their first home is to do as Marie and Jason did.

1)  Have a budget and  a time frame.

2)  Cut all necessary expenses.

3)  Cut corners so you can save enough for the down payment, inspections, and closing costs.

4)  Get a loan pre-approval before you begin looking so you can narrow down choices which will fit into your budget.

5)  Work with a Realtor® who understands your wants and needs, and budget.

Working together, we found them the perfect home which met all of their needs– it also happened to be the first one they looked at…yes, we ARE that good at finding the perfect match for our buyers!

Rent to own homes in St Cloud Florida

Rent to own homes in St Cloud Florida are in high demand. The problem is, they are in

short supply.  Much like the search for “Big-Foot”,  do they really exist ?  Renters looking to

transition into home ownership,  need to be mindful, that in a rising market, a  ” Rent- To-

Own” Option is a poor choice for a home seller.

 

If there property is worth $100,000 today,

and you have a ” Option to Buy” in a year, the seller will actually be taking a loss.

price gains in the past year, have risen 12 percent.  So, that $100,000 home, would be worth

$112,000, as an example.  Costing the home seller $12,000 in appreciable loss as the

housing market continues to rebound albeit slowly.

 

Typically, renters looking for this type of easy entrance into the home market, may also

have credit issues, which are forcing them to look for less traditional and more “creative”

methods to transition  into home ownership.

 

The inherit risk to would be rent-to-own participants on the buying side, is of course the

possibility that the home seller is in distress, early stages of foreclosure, or in short sale

jeopardy.   Which means, you could lose any credit towards your purchase.

 

Traditional methods for purchasing a home really are the best option still.  Loans through

FHA are available for would be buyers with FICO scores under 600.  It is wise to consult with

a mortgage broker, or banker, to determine what your credit worthiness is, and what you

may need to do, to improve your credit score to better position yourself to make purchase

purchase in the future.  Buying a home, is the largest purchase you can make.  Get good

ad use from a loan originator, and avoid looking to create problems down the road by

searching for short cuts.

 

HOW DO I BUY A HOME FOR UNPAID TAXES IN FLORIDA?

How do I buy a home for unpaid property taxes in Florida?

Every state is different when it comes to how they handle unpaid property taxes. In Florida, the process is different than it may be in other places.

Properties that are in arrears, are listed on the Clerk of Courts website. 

When a homeowner becomes delinquent, and their Property Taxes are not being paid by a mortgage lien holder, you can bid on a tax certificate at auction which is held at the courthouse.   A tax sales in Florida, means you are NOT bidding on property but instead the interest you will accept after paying the delinquent taxes in full on behalf of the homeowner. The bidder willing to accept the  lowest interest wins. This mean it could be as little as 1% for instance.

A Tax lien certificate is issued, but the owner of the property has 2 years to make good on the back taxes and interest before you can do anything with the paper you are holding against it.
This is known as the “Right of Redemption” which we have in this state. You must continue to pay property taxes for that property in order for the tax certificate to remain valid. The owner has the right to repay you, with interest, and reclaim the house at anytime during that window.       If they default, and fail to exercise their ” right of redemption”, then you can proceed with the Clerk of Courts to obtain a tax deed.

This is a lengthy process, with no guarantees that you will own the property, which you have paid the taxes for unless, the owner of record fails to repay you.  Investors, for many years looking for long term gains used this tactic successfully. When the Real Estate Market collapsed, tax sales became a little less popular as foreclosure increased. Banks looking to protect their investment, were paying taxes as part of the mortgage (funds were held in escrow for this purpose).

 

 

HOME BUYERS FAST TRACK PROGRAM- 3 SIMPLE STEPS TO BECOMING A HOME OWNER

 We are Buyers agents specializing in residential Real Estate in St Cloud Florida,

St Cloud Homes, LLC is proud to announce the new Fast Track Home Buyers Program. It is free, simple, and effective.  Buying a home can be a frustrating experience. We have a proven system which will put you on the fast track to home ownership.  Our free comprehensive program plan equips you with the tools you need to close the deal.

Here is how it works.

1)  The first thing you will need is a Pre-Approval Letter from your lender. It is free.  Any loan officer can assist you where you do your banking. They will need to know how much you earn, and how much you owe.  Based on your most recent pay stubs, and credit history, the loan officer will be able to determine if you can qualify for a home loan, and how much home you can afford. Once they have established that, ask them for a Letter of Pre-Approval.

2)  Call our office.  We will put you on the St Cloud Homes. LLC provides the Fast Track to finding the right home which meets your needs and budget. It is fast, simple and free. In just a few minutes we define what you are looking for, how much you can spend and what your needs are. Once we have that we will search for homes which are a match for you.

3) Fine Tuning To the Finish Line- The right home is out there, with our Fast Track program you will have the leading edge on the all the available homes in the St Cloud, Florida area which meet your needs and budget.  It is fast, effective and saves you valuable time.  We will narrow down your selections, set up your showings and prepare your offer, painlessly.

The housing market is heating up, and there is competition- our experts at St Cloud Homes, LLC explain how to make the best offer, what factors influence price, and what the current market conditions are.  So that your offer stands out.

Costs You will Need to Consider:

Down Payment money (can include gift funds)

Home Inspection

Survey

Home Owners Insurance

Closing Costs

Repairs and improvements you may want to make after closing.

Our fees are  paid by the seller at closing.

St Cloud Florida Home Prices Inching Higher

Looking for your next home? St Cloud Florida Homes for sale will cost you more than they did just six months ago.  On average about 12% more.  The reduction in the amount of available homes, has created an increase in sales price. While sales have been brisk nationwide, and recently the TV news has announced that home the housing market appears to be improving, those buyers who were “on the fence” will no doubt be paying more than those who acted while the market reports were bleek.

Some Realtors® are reporting that Appraisals are still a problem as they are based on recent sales, they generally lag slightly behind market valuations Realtors® use when pricing homes. Additionally some sellers have been holding out waiting for the market to improve and have priced their homes too high to clear the appraisal obstacle for financed purchases.

Pending sales are those which have yet to be completed-sort of like being in the bullpen warming up before being put in the game. These properties which are under contract are at the leading edge of the market.  They are waiting to close. They rely on sales which closed before them and will help determine sale that follow them once they have reached the closing table.  On average sales fail three times before they are successful.

The primary reason for this is failing to achieve the appraised value. One third are cancelled because buyers change their minds, or grow weiry of waiting for banks to counter their offers. When they do they are usually not within a range the buyer is willing to pay.

We have seen a sharp rise in foreclosed (bank owned) properties in need of work counter offering at prices that are unacceptable to buyers who must make the repairs.  The discounts once offered on “Distress Sales” are indeed diminishing as Lender scrutinize achieved sales and are pricing their properties comparable to those prices. But are they really comparble? Usually not.

Investors have been buying for over two years when prices hit rock bottom in St Cloud back in late 2010 and throughout 2011.  They could pick up older homes sharply discounted, make the repairs and updates and turn those sales around at a respectable profit.

Banks have responded, by raising the bar on what they will accept for their distressed properties by offering them at much higher prices than they did a year ago. Despite the fact they may need thousands of dollars of work.  Thereby decreasing the investors incentives for quick flips and higher profit margins.

For the average buyer or first time home buyer what is available on the lowest rung are generally homes which need a large amount of renovation.  If you want a “turn key” move in ready home you will be looking at paying $20-40,000 more that you would have just last year.  The trend is expected to continued as lender are tightly controlling both the borrowing end (financing) and the selling end at releasing the foreclosed homes in their inventories.

Buying a St Cloud Florida Home “As-Is” Means No Repairs

“As-Is” Means Just That–Put Away Your Punch List. Homes In my area, Homes in St. Cloud Florida are selling. In fact sales are up over 6% from this period last year. The shift to a Seller’s Market, has left some buyers a bit confused. When Homes in Kissimmee/St Cloud are offered “As-Is”, that basically means that what you see is what you get, and yes, you still can have a home inspection performed to verify things which are not blatantly obvious.

We recommend that buyers ALWAYS have a home inpection performed. Making an offer on an “As-Is” property, means that the seller is unwilling or unable to make repairs you may deem desirable. Signing an “As-Is” Purchase Agreement, means you can not backtrack later on and present a punch-list to the seller before you close. On a standard Real Estate Purchase Agreement, you may have this option, but an “As-Is” Purchase Agreement, permits a home inspection and financing contingency, but eliminated the repair clause.

 “The buyer would like new siding and a new garage door” said the Buyers Agent. “That’s nice” the seller agent responds. “Well, what is your seller going to do about it?” “Nothing” Said the buyers agent. “According to the “As-Is” Purchase Agreement your client signed, repairs are not the burden of the seller.” “Well, what if the financing falls through? What then?” “The Property was priced to reflect the repairs needed, and within the scope of comparable properties which have sold recently of similar, age, condition, size and location”.

One cannot change the terms and conditions if the sale after the fact, nor can one, re-define the “As-Is” Purchase Agreement after-the-fact. Once signed it is a binding agreement. Unless, the home inspection reveals unsatisfactory results or financing is declined you are bound by that agreement. Homes do not have to be perfect to sell. Infact, many have flaws, and are in need of some basic things. If you are planning on purchasing a Home in Kissimmee/St Cloud that is listed “As-Is” put away your punch list until after you close.

4 Tips FOr Viewing St Cloud/Kissimmee Homes- Know Before You Go

4 TIPS FOR VIEWING HOMES: You Should Know Before You Go

Searching for the perfect St Cloud/Kissimmee Florida Home can be a daunting task. Too often a potential buyer faces the frustration of calling on homes which are already under contract, or do not meet their budget. Working with a trained professional is one way which will streamline the process and make the tranistion from potential home buyer to successful home buyer seamless.

Here are Four Quick Tips to consider when viewing homes that will help you.

 

#1) NEVER preview a home at dusk or in the dark. Keep in mind in the winter months it gets dark earlier. Schedule your viewing during daylight hours so you can see obvious things both inside and out.

 

#2) Take a notebook and camera with you. Taking photos and making notes of things you see is very important in determining if the home is want you want and you are prepared to make the necessary repairs.

 

#3) Do not sign an “As-Is” Purchase Agreement, if you intend to ask for repairs after-the-fact. Knowing in advance what you want to repair/replace yourself will be very helpful in getting estimates before the house closes so you can budget appropriately.

Four Things Every Home Buyer Should Know

 

Four Things Every Home Buyer Should Know
By Allison Stewart, RE Broker, St Cloud Homes, LLC
 
Buying a home is a big decision. When preparing to purchase a home, there are a few important steps you can take which will make the process flow more seamlessly and cause less stress.
 
The first step in buying a home to to know how much home you can afford. You can visit the loan officer at the bank you do business with, and in a few minutes they will be assess your credit. Things they consider are: Employment, income, debt, and your ability to repay a loan based on your credit history. Once they have established that you are credit-worthy, ask for a letter of Pre-Approval. They will provide you with one which you will need as the process progresses. There is no charge for them to evaluate your credit worthiness.
 
Once you have determined how much you can qualify for, then you can begin to think about what you need and what you want in a home. How many bedrooms do you need? How many bathrooms? Do you want a vintage home, or a newer home? Do you want to live in a subdivision or in the city? What amenities are important to you? Consider things like schools, hospitals, distance you are willing to travel to work, and proximity to supermarkets, banks, and recreational points of interest. Do I want a home in Kissimmee Florida or St Cloud Florida?
 
Studies have shown that 90% of home buyers begin their search on the Internet. On average they will browse online for four-six months prior to purchasing their home. While shopping online can be very helpful, the various sites are not always “live” and up to date. The home market changes rapidly. Homes can be listed and under contract within a day or two if they are desirable. It is wise to consult with a licensed Realtor® who has access to “live” MLS status updates.
 
Step Two: Finding the “right fit” with a Realtor® is very important. You need to feel comfortable with whomever you choose. You can only work with one. Realtors® abide by a Code of Ethics. One of the first questions they will ask is: “Are you are working with anyone currently?” The Code of Ethic does not permit Realtors® from interfering with an existing relationship. So finding a Realtor® you feel comfortable with is very important.
 
Step Three: Narrowing down the search for the right home. Depending on your price range, most buyers are looking for a three bedroom, two bath home between 1000-2000 square feet for under $130,000. That means you have competition for homes based on the current levels of inventory. Using up to date information, your Realtor will be able to ascertain which homes meet your needs and wants, which are currently available and can schedule showing appointments at your convenience. It is best to try and view several in one outing.
 
Step Four: Once you found the home you like the best, and can envision yourself living there, be prepared to write an offer. The current market is moving briskly, which means while you are “thinking about it” someone else is acting on it. Again, being mindful that there are other buyers competing for the same homes you may want. The current Real Estate Market conditions have shot from a buyers market to a sellers market, due to the reduced volume of available homes. Selling prices are averaging at 97% of asking price, which is not a lot of “wiggle room”. Short sales which have been pre-negotiated have no “wiggle room”, the lender has already established what they will accept. If you want the house, make your offer attractive to the seller.
 
These four basic steps will help your home buying experience go much more smoothly, less stressfully, and enjoyable.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Allison Stewart,
Real Estate Broker, SFR, CDPE
St.Cloud Homes & Land, LLC
407-616-9904