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.

 

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
 

 

3 Reasons Buying A Home Will Save you Money in 2013

3 Reasons Buying a Home in 2013 will save you money.  You have all heard about the fiscal cliff, tax increases and have wondered how badly will impact you. Depending on how much you earn the answer could be a lot.  Buying a home WILL save you money in 2013 for three simple reasons.

1) Gains in depreciated value. St Cloud Florida homes and Kissimmee Florida Homes for sale, lost between 40-50% of their previous high value when the real estate  market crashed. For Home Buyers looking to capitalize on value, these homes are now very affordably priced.

2) Mortgage Interest Deductions.  Mortgage rates are expected to remain low throughout 2013. However, even under the revised tax increases the Home Mort5gage Interest Loan deduction can put thousands of dollars back into your pocket.  This applies to second homes as well.

3) Property Taxes and Hazard Insurance- also tax deductible. Again, putting thousands of dollars back into your pcoket when you file an itemized return.

For people int he bracket most affected, now may be the time to seriously consider investing into a second home, vacaton home, or rental property.

Hurricanes And Florda Real Estate

Hurricanes and Florida Real Estate.  After the blitz of hundred year storms which paralized Florida back in 2005, many would be home owners feared living in Florida.  Hurricane Sandy, proved hurricanes can hit anywhere;  if the right combination of elements converge at the right time. 

Hurricane Sandy, was nearly 1000 miles in width span the entire eastern seacoast wrecking damage from Virginia to Maine and as far west as Ohio.   Makes one re-think the possibility that maybe Florida is not so bad after all.  We escaped this disaster with  nothing more than a little mild wind and some intermittent showers.

Perhaps it is time to reconsider that second home in Florida after all.  Housing has remained affordable, and there is a large selection of homes to meet almost every budget.

Rising Sales Prices Mean Market is Moving Upward. St Cloud Florida Home Sales Show Impressive Gain

Yep, You heard that right!  For the fifth consecutive month existing home sales across the country are up.  St Cloud Florida homes sales are showing impressive gains.  The median sales price of existing Homes in St Cloud Florida rose to $185,299, and supply of existing homes is at 6.8 months.  Factors contributing the the increase of over 6% over last years figures, are historic low mortgage interest, combined with a pent up buyer demand. 

 Buyers are turning to “traditional” sales; those which are not shorts-sales or foreclosures.  As rents continue to rise, buyers who are qualified for home loans are moving for faster acceptance on offers, and are avoiding the distressed properties which often entail longer waits and obstacles to closing in favor of dealing directly with a seller not an institution.  As a result, sales prices have made gains.

  This trend is reflected on a National  level as well as short sale and foreclosed properties accounted for only a combined 24% of all sales in July 2012.

Typically distressed homes are sold at a 15-17% reduction off of fair market value. There was a time not too long ago, that the number of distress sales outnumbered traditional sales. As the available inventory was reduced, higher prices could and would be achieved.  Buyers are frustrated at finding themselves in multiple offer bidding wars. Particularly those who are currently renting.   Every month they spend “shopping” is costing them money.

It is  tough to compete for low priced homes. Those priced on the bottom tier, often attract numerous offers and investors with cash. Making a financed offer less attractive to lenders looking to quickly off-load excess inventory. Price wars often ensue, and first time home buyers may have to make repeated attempts before realizing that working with a traditional seller may be the easier path to home ownership.

 

 

JUST IGNORE THE 800 POUND GORILLA IN THE 3 BEDROOM 2 BATH ST. CLOUD FLORIDA HOME

JUST IGNORE THE 800 POUND GORILLA IN THE 3 BEDROOM 2 BATH ST CLOUD FLORIDA HOME. You would be surprised how many times a Real Estate agent will point out the obvious. “This is the kitchen” a classic quote. Selling Real Estate is more about listening, that about talking.  Buying a home after-all, regardless of your budget, is the single largest purchase you can make.

Consumers in general,  are very smart. They know what they want and what they need.  The real skill is in matching those wants and needs with homes in their price range.  Some prices ranges are more competitive than others. For instance: if you are looking to purchase a 3 bedroom 2 bath Home in St. Cloud Florida for under $80,000,  it is possible, but you will have a lot of competition from buyers looking for similarly priced property.  The good ones go fast.  That is a fact.  So what can you do to be prepared?

THREE THINGS TO HAVE IN HAND WHEN YOU ARE READY TO BUY A HOME. 

1) Financing– Have your lender Pre-Approve You for a Home Mortgage. It is free and will determine how much you can easily afford.

If you will be paying in cash (over 60% of recent sales are cash) Then You WILL need a letter showing proof of funds from you lender.

2) A Real Estate Firm You trust, who is familiar with the local area.

                                                                                                              3) A List of 5 Homes which are your “best picks”

Pre-Arranging your financing in advance is the single most important step to purchasing a home.  Especially if you are looking for a Short Sale, or Bank Owned Property. The Pre-Approval must be submitted with the offer in order to be considered. Having the letter in hand, enables you to keep a competitive time advantage over other buyers who will be looking at the same homes you are.

A Real Estatae Agent You Trust and who is familiar with the local area.  Real Estate is local. You may not be.  As a result, finding a firm or agent you are comfortable with and one with whom you feel understands exactly what you are looking for will easy frustration in the process of locating the right home for you.  They must be easily reached, and return calls in a prompt and courteous manner. This also applies to Real Estate Agents that List homes. Good communication is the key to forming a solid working relationship.

There are generally two sides to every Real Estate Transaction.  A Listing side (agent who works for the seller) and a Selling side (Agent who works for the buyer)  You do not save money using the Listing Agent when you are buying a home. In Florida, it is presumed all agents are “Transaction Brokers”  Meaning they can legally list a home for a seller and represent a buyer at the same time. However, they may not represent one to the detriment of the other”. 

A List of the Top 5 Best Picks.  90% of consumers begin their search for a home on the Internet. There are literally thousands of homes for sale in St. Cloud Florida and elsewhere.  Narrowing down the style, size, age, and type of home you prefer in your price range shortens the list considerably.  Of those remaining the top 5 which are most appealing can be viewed once showings are arranged through your agent.  We have used this proven method effectively for years.

Lastly, Don’t ignore the 800 pound gorilla in the room.  Not all homes are perfect. Some defects may not be readily visible. In distress sales the seller (bank) has not seen the property nor do they have any prior knowledge of potential defects. It is imperative you pay for a Home Inspection which can be a contingency to any offer you make. This will protect you in the long run.

 

 

 

 

3 Bedroom 2 bath St Cloud Florida Homes Under $100,000 are the Most Popular…why?

3 Bedroom 2 bath St Cloud Florida Homes under $100,000 are most popular. Contemplating buying a home? You are not alone. Baby Boomers, First time home owners, Pre-Retirement Planners, Vacationers, Empty Nesters, Returning Military Personnel, and second home buyers are all looking for the same thing; 3 bedroom 2 bath homes in St Cloud Florida under $100,000.

Why are 3 bedroom 2 bath Kissimmee St Cloud Florida homes under $100,000 so popular? Perhaps it is generational perception. Modern day families average 2.4 children. A modest 3 bedroom home will fill that need, while still being economical. For first time home owners, a 3 bedroom 2 bath St Cloud Florida home, will provide adequate space, and the family is less likely to outgrow it as quickly.

Cheaper to Maintain: 3 bedroom 2 bath St Cloud Florida homes, cost less in property taxes. Heating and cooling them is less expensive. Property Insurance (a big issue in Florida) is also less based on current replacement costs.

 

In the days of “bigger is better” before the mortgage mess, mega homes were all the rage. It did not take long to figure out that the Property Taxes, CDD fees, HOA Fees, Insurance, and operating costs were prohibitive. Compared to the median income in Central Florida which is $40,100. As a result, when you added in the adjustable rate mortgages which were resetting, these homes rapidly became unaffordable and fell first in the foreclosure crisis. Bigger was not better…just more expensive overall.

Vacationers, First time home buyers, returning Military Personnel, Empty Nesters, and Baby Boomers are now shifting their St Cloud Kissimmee Florida home buying needs to the more affordable and practical 3 bedroom 2 bath models. As a result demand for these homes has significantly increased. Investors have also been focusing on 3 bedroom 2 bath homes as well as they seem to fit the demographic of renters looking for alternatives to apartment housing.

Sales of existing homes in St Cloud Florida show the average 3 bedroom 2 bath home sold for $121,000 in the last quarter of 2011. Downward pressure from distress sales such as Short Sales, and Foreclosures have suppressed the market achieving only a 6% gain in price over previous years. In part due to the moratorium and bank scrutiny of foreclosure practices wihch halted release of additional foreclosed properties temporarily. With most of those issues now sidelined, the return of foreclosed homes to the market, will continue to apply pressure to the housing market prices, but not to pent up consumer demand for well priced affordable housing.

As disposable income continues to decline due to high fuel costs which are at historic high levels and rising; the cost of virtually everything will be impacted. This will leave consumers balancing their home budgets much more carefully. As a result the demand for economical low cost housing will continue to rise proportionately.

Back in the day when modest means meant you could still afford a home; the same is true now. Thus, the popularity of 3 bedroom 2 bath St Cloud Florida homes remains high.

Kissimmee 3 Bedroom Homes Are Hot

Kissimmee 3 Bedroom 2 bath Homes are a hot commodity.  The insider scoop is encouraging.  Sales of Kissimmee 3 bedroom 2 bath homes are up. Attractive prices, investors and first time home buyers can be credited with the recent spike in sales. Compounded with low interest rates on home mortgages.  Surprisingly 60% of the closed sales were cash transactions.

Investors have long known that the best time to buy investment properties, is during negative press. Prices in Osceola County bottomed out and have stabilized over the past couple of months. The current level of existing home inventory has also stabilized at about a five month supply.  On average, an Investor can expect to pay less than $150,000 for a Kissimmee 3 bedroom 2 bath home.

So what does this mean?  It means if you are looking to hedge inflation (which will rise over the next 12 months) and understand the demand for rental housing is on the increase; you will want to cash in on the existing home bargains still available in Kissimmee/St. Cloud Florida.