Treasure Coast
Real Estate News & Market Trends

Sept. 18, 2023

Unlocking Hidden Potential: Can You Assume a Seller's Mortgage in Today's Market?


How you can assume a low mortgage rate from your home seller.

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This week's topic: Can I assume the seller's mortgage? Recently, with interest rates soaring compared to the past couple of years, I've received inquiries from buyers wondering if they can assume a seller's mortgage with a remarkably low interest rate.


The quick answer is yes; you can assume most mortgages, but that involves a specific process and a few considerations. Let's explore a scenario where a seller is asking $500,000 for their home, and they owe $300,000, which a buyer aims to assume at an attractive 3% rate, particularly appealing when the average mortgage rate hovers around 7.5%.


"You probably need cash to assume a mortgage."


However, there are important points to keep in mind. Firstly, the buyer must qualify with the seller's lender, meeting standard pre-qualification criteria, including credit, income, and debt-to-income ratios. Secondly, in nearly all cases, the buyer needs to cover the gap between the $500,000 asking price and the $300,000 mortgage assumption with cash.


In this example, the buyer would require around $200,000 in cash, plus additional funds for closing costs. While there's a possibility of using a second mortgage, it's often challenging and unlikely. So, while it is possible to assume the loan, having the necessary cash to cover the difference is essential.


I hope this sheds light on this significant question. If you have any more inquiries or need further information, please don't hesitate to email me or call at (772) 370-8631. Make it a great day.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Sept. 5, 2023

5 Forgotten Costs of Buying a Home You Need To Know


Buyers shouldn’t forget about these important home-buying costs.

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One common question I often receive is: "Are there any additional expenses associated with buying a home that I should be aware of?" The answer is yes, and some of these costs are often overlooked. Let's delve into them:


1. Homeowners insurance. Homeowner's insurance is a mandatory upfront expense, especially when securing a loan. Even in cash deals, it's highly recommended. So, remember this as the first cost.


2. Property taxes. When buying a home, especially with a loan, you'll need to prepay a portion of your property taxes into an escrow account. This can catch many off guard, as they focus on more apparent expenses like loan costs and insurance.


"Moving costs can be significant."


3. Utility costs. Don't forget about utility costs, which include deposits for services like electricity, internet, and other utilities. These upfront payments can add up quickly and often go unnoticed.


4. Moving expenses. Moving involves expenses, whether it's renting a truck, hiring movers, or even covering fuel costs if you're relocating a considerable distance. Moving costs can vary significantly, so be sure to factor them into your budget.


5. Furnishing your new home. Lastly, consider the need for new furniture, especially if you've sold your old pieces or are moving a long distance. Items like dining room sets, living room furniture, and electronics can quickly become expenses you hadn't anticipated.


I hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions about this topic or anything else, please call or email me. I am always here to help!

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Aug. 21, 2023

Now or Never: Embrace Florida Homeownership and Reap the Rewards


This is why now is the perfect time to secure your Florida home.

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Selling a home? Click here for a FREE home price valuation.


Today, I'll present three compelling reasons you should consider purchasing your Florida home now.


1. Renting comes with an annual escalation of rent. If you're a renter this year, it's almost certain that your landlord will raise the rent within 12 months. By opting to buy a home, you secure a consistent payment that won't fluctuate.


2. The continuous appreciation of home values. Over the past several years, we've consistently witnessed a rise in property values, barring the Great Recession. This upward trend makes buying a home a prudent investment.


3. A powerful tool for building wealth. Committing to a stable mortgage or rent payment serves to anchor the most significant portion of your budget. This stability, in turn, supports your wealth accumulation. Real estate remains one of the most effective avenues for wealth growth. If you're renting, you're effectively contributing to someone else's mortgage and financial gain.


For inquiries about real estate transactions on the Treasure Coast of Florida, feel free to call or email me. I'm dedicated to providing assistance whenever needed.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
Aug. 7, 2023

Real Estate's Microcosm: What Every Buyer and Seller Should Know


Understanding micro-markets lets you make more informed decisions.

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Selling a home? Click here for a FREE home price valuation.


When it comes to real estate, the question "How's the market?" is not as simple as it seems. The real estate landscape is a complex web of micro-markets, each with unique dynamics, making it impossible to offer a one-size-fits-all answer.


In every market, be it in a particular city like Port Saint Lucie, Jensen Beach, or Stuart, or within a specific county like Indian River, Saint Lucie, or Martin County, there are micro-markets nestled within the larger market. Whether you are a buyer, seller, or investor, understanding these micro-markets is crucial.


Let's take Port Saint Lucie as an example. If you are looking to buy a house under $400,000, you'll find yourself in a highly competitive seller's market. Demand outstrips supply, making it a challenging environment for buyers. On the other hand, if you are selling a home priced over $600,000, be prepared for a more extended waiting period and a smaller pool of potential buyers. These two scenarios represent entirely different markets, even within the same city.


"It’s important to define your micro-market."


Asking a real estate agent about the market without specifying your position in it won't yield an accurate answer. Are you an investor, a seller, or a buyer? Each role corresponds to a different market reality. An investor might focus on distressed properties or fixer-uppers, while a seller may be keen on maximizing profits and minimizing the time on the market. Meanwhile, a buyer's main concern might be finding the right property amidst fierce competition.


Understanding the nuances of micro markets can significantly impact your real estate decisions. It's vital to align your objectives with the market conditions that suit your needs. For instance, if you are an investor, seeking properties in a seller's market might require patience and creative strategies, while a buyer may need to act quickly to secure their dream home.


If you have any questions or concerns about the local real estate market, don't hesitate to reach out to me by phone call or email. My team and I are here to help you make sense of the micro-markets and find the perfect opportunity for your real estate goals.

Posted in Market Updates
July 24, 2023

Weathering the Storm: Get Your Home Hurricane-Ready With These 4 Proven Tips


These four tips will help you get your home ready for a hurricane.

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Is your home prepared for a hurricane? Today, I’m discussing hurricane preparedness and home insurance for 2023. Here are some essential steps to take in case of a hurricane:


1. Check your roof for any damages like missing or cracked shingles. Consider having a roofer inspect it to address any issues.


2. Review your storm protection measures for windows, shutters, and panels. If you lack these, have plywood on hand and set up a system to put them up quickly.


"Ensure your insurance policy is up to date."


3. Invest in a backup power supply, like a generator. It doesn't have to be a whole-house generator; a smaller one from a store like Lowe's or Home Depot can suffice to keep your fridge, lights, and fans running until power is restored.


4. Be prepared with essential supplies for five to seven days, such as non-perishable food, bottled water, batteries, flashlights, and other necessities.


Also, ensure your insurance policy is up to date. Keep a copy of it along with important documents like birth certificates in a dry storage area for easy access during emergencies. Should you require further assistance in hurricane preparedness or have any questions about real estate, please don't hesitate to reach out via phone call or email. Let's work together to ensure your safety and preparedness during any potential hurricane event.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
July 11, 2023

Your Latest Market Update: Should You Make a Move Now or Wait?


Here’s what buyers and sellers need to know about our housing market.

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Selling a home? Click here for a FREE home price valuation.


Today, we will provide a Treasure Coast market update for the first half of 2023. We have some updates and news regarding the state of the real estate market, not only on the Treasure Coast but also in Florida and nationwide. An interesting article has been released.


Currently, 90% of homeowners have a mortgage interest rate below 6%. If you are a homeowner, you are in a favorable position. To put it simply, homeowners with interest rates well below 6% are in a good situation. Here's why: If interest rates decrease, which is expected to happen to some extent, let's say they drop to the high fives, the housing market will experience increased activity. Existing homeowners will benefit from this. As interest rates decrease, their property values will increase. This trend has been observed over the past few years.


"New construction is a great option in this market. "


Furthermore, if you are a homeowner and interest rates remain the same or increase, you are still in a favorable position because you currently have an interest rate of 5%, 4%, or even below 3% for the next three years. Consequently, the value of your home will likely remain stable or potentially increase if interest rates decrease slightly and there is another surge in housing demand.


Now, let's consider the implications for buyers. If you are in the market to buy a house, it is highly recommended that you seriously consider making a purchase. Look for a house that you like, at a rate and payment you can afford, with a minimal out-of-pocket expense. This is the opportune time to seriously consider buying.


If you are not interested in a pre-owned home, you should explore new-construction options. If your dream home is not within reach, consider starting with a starter home. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere.


As always, call or email me with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in Market Updates
June 22, 2023

Financing Your Dream Home: What You Need to Know Before Hitting the Market


Discover the surprising reality of buying a home with no money down.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search.
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE home price valuation.


I receive numerous inquiries about financing and purchasing a house with no money down. There are many misconceptions surrounding real estate financing that I would like to address. One of the most common misunderstandings is whether it's possible to buy a house with no money down and have the bank cover all closing costs. Unfortunately, the answer is generally no, unless you are a veteran utilizing a VA loan.


For most individuals, financing a house without any upfront payment is not feasible. While there are limited options available, it's essential to understand how closing costs work. Let me explain the process. As a buyer, if you have arranged your down payment but lack funds for closing costs, you can request the seller to pay or contribute to these costs.


Closing costs consist of various expenses and can also be broken down into prepaid costs, such as taxes and insurance. Suppose you are interested in a $300,000 house. In that case, you can offer the seller the full amount and ask them to contribute, let's say, $10,000 towards your prepaid or closing costs.


"Many people are shocked to learn they can buy a home with no money down."


It's important to note that although the closing costs are deducted from the seller's side in the closing statement, you are essentially financing these costs. Similarly, if you are purchasing from a builder and use their approved lender, they may agree to cover your closing costs. However, it is crucial to understand that these costs are still factored into your loan.


To clarify, the misconception that you can buy a house with zero money down and have the bank pay all your closing costs is not accurate in most cases unless you qualify for a VA loan as a veteran. If you have any questions, concerns, or need assistance with your real estate matters, please don't hesitate to contact me, Richard McKinney, at ReMax Gold.


Feel free to call or email, and I'll be more than happy to help you navigate the complexities of real estate financing.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
June 8, 2023

The Importance of Getting Pre-Approved Before House Hunting


Unlock the secrets to a smoother house-hunting experience.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search.
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE home price valuation.


If you've just started house shopping or are considering it, you've probably heard the common advice from agents: "Get preapproved." But why is it so important to get pre-approved before looking at houses? Let's explore the reasons behind this crucial step.


1. Know your financial boundaries. Getting pre-approved allows you to understand your financial capacity upfront. It's essential to know how much home you can afford, the necessary down payment, estimated closing costs, interest rates, and monthly payments before you start house hunting. With this information in hand, you can make informed decisions and focus on properties that align with your budget.


2. Simplify the house-hunting process. When you're pre-approved, the house-hunting process becomes much smoother and more enjoyable. With a clear understanding of your financial capabilities, you can concentrate on the exciting aspects of each property. Instead of worrying about affordability, you can focus on the floor plan, suitability for your needs, and potential for customization. This simplifies your search and allows you to find your dream home more efficiently.


"You've probably heard the common advice from agents: 'Get pre-approved.'"


3. Enhance your negotiating power. Having a pre-approval strengthens your position as a serious buyer. When you find a house you love, you can confidently submit an offer, knowing that you've already been pre-approved for a mortgage. Sellers appreciate preapproved buyers, as it demonstrates your readiness and commitment. This advantage can give you an edge during negotiations and increase the likelihood of your offer being accepted.


Obtaining a pre-approval before you start looking at houses is a critical step in the home-buying process. It provides clarity on your financial boundaries, simplifies the house-hunting experience, and enhances your negotiating power. By taking the time to get pre-approved, you can embark on your search with confidence, knowing exactly what you can afford. So, if you're ready to begin your house-hunting journey, make sure to get preapproved first and enjoy a smoother path to homeownership.


Remember, if you have any questions about pre-approvals or real estate in general, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me by phone or email. I would be happy to help you with all of your real estate needs.

Posted in Real Estate Tips
May 24, 2023

Don't Let Your Money Go Down the Drain—Choose Homeownership


Discover the pitfalls of renting and the advantages of homeownership.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search.
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE home price valuation.


Today, we're going to delve into the age-old question of whether it's better to rent or buy a home. While opinions may vary depending on who you ask, we firmly believe that renting is a pure waste of money. We will debunk the notion that renting is a sound financial decision and highlight the benefits of homeownership.


1. Renting: Paying 100% Interest


When you choose to rent a property, every penny you spend goes towards paying someone else's mortgage. Unlike owning a home, where a portion of your monthly payment contributes to building equity, renting offers no long-term financial benefits. Essentially, you are helping your landlord build their wealth while missing out on the opportunity to invest in your own future.


"We firmly believe that renting is a pure waste of money."


2. The Case for Homeownership


a. Financial Readiness: If you are financially stable, have a steady income, and have saved up for a down payment, buying a home becomes a viable option. Owning a home allows you to allocate your monthly payments towards building equity rather than paying someone else's mortgage.


b. Long-Term Commitment: Buying a home makes sense when you plan to stay in the area for at least five years or envision yourself living in the same house for a considerable period. This long-term commitment allows you to reap the benefits of your investment and potentially accumulate wealth over time.


c. Finding the Right Home: It's crucial to find a house that meets your needs, whether it's size, location, or amenities. Taking the time to search for the perfect home ensures that you make a wise investment and create a living space that suits your lifestyle.


Renting may seem like an appealing short-term solution, but in the long run, it can be a drain on your finances. By buying a home, you have the opportunity to build equity, invest in your future, and enjoy the benefits of homeownership. If you are financially prepared, plan for the long term, and find the right property, owning a home becomes a wise decision. Don't let renting be a waste of your hard-earned money—consider the advantages of homeownership and take control of your financial future.


Remember, owning a home is not just a place to live but also an investment that can provide stability and financial growth. Take the leap into homeownership and enjoy the many rewards it offers. If you have any questions about this topic or real estate in general, please reach out by phone or email. I would be happy to help you.


Posted in Real Estate Tips
May 11, 2023

The Truth About Financing for a New-Construction Home With a Low Down Payment


Here’s the truth about financing your dream new-construction home.

Buying a home? Click here to perform a full home search.
Selling a home? Click here for a FREE home price valuation.


Are you considering building your dream home on a piece of land you've had your eye on for years? If so, you may be wondering how to finance your new-construction home. One question we hear often is whether it's possible to get financing with a low down payment for both the land and construction costs.


The short answer is no, unfortunately. You'll need to apply for a lot loan or a construction-to-permanent loan, which typically requires a larger down payment (usually around 10% to 30% depending on your credit). However, there are a few options available to you that may make financing your new home a little easier.


"There are options that will make the process of buying a new-construction home more manageable."


One option is to have your builder purchase the lot on your behalf and then build the home for you. This means that the builder will own the lot during the construction process, and you'll purchase the home from them when it's completed. You can typically finance this purchase with a low down payment using an FHA or conventional loan.


Another option is to purchase a spec home from a builder who already owns the land. These homes are usually ready in just a few months and can often be purchased with a small deposit of around $1,000 to $3,000. Some builders may even cover your closing costs, making this an attractive option for those who want to move into their new home quickly.


While financing a new-construction home may seem daunting, there are options available to make the process more manageable. If you have questions about financing your new home, don't hesitate to call or email me for guidance.

Posted in Real Estate Tips