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Archive for June, 2014

For The Self-Employed, Getting A Loan Takes Planning, SW Florida Homes. Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri, Estero

 For the Self-Employed,Getting a Loan Takes Planning. SW Florida Homes, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri, Estero . You don’t have to tell anyone who is self-employed that there are extra costs that go with the benefits. In addition to the long hours and weight of responsibility that come with the job description, getting a home loan has always added special challenges. Now that we are into For the Self-Employed,Getting a Loan Takes Planning. SW Florida Homes, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri, Esterothe new Dodd – Frank era of federal oversight, some of the changes warrant an early heads-up.

The 2010 legislation that went into effect on January 10 created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with the function of tightening the rules lenders follow in order to discourage the issuing of mortgages that borrowers can’t be reasonably expected to be able to repay. To deliver on that worthy purpose, more proof and more paperwork will be required to support the income claimed on loan applications (here you might well be hearing an imaginary smacking sound from self-employed persons reading this and whacking their foreheads—paperwork is the bane of the self-employed).

If you are your own boss and getting a loan in SW Florida is on your horizon, take heart! Just because it may be more difficult to apply for home loan doesn’t mean it’s impossible. For the Self-Employed,Getting a Loan Takes Planning. SW Florida Homes, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri, Estero

For the Self-Employed, Getting a Loan Takes Planning. SW Florida Homes, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri, Estero . The new lending rules describe eight specific factors lenders should verify and document before advancing home loans. They includes the borrower’s assets, credit history, employment status and other debt obligations. The penalty for lenders who fail to do so adequately is that they may be legally liable if a borrower proves unable to repay.

For the self-employed, the extra burden can come with the requirement that borrowers be able to show consistent income (hear that foreheadFor the Self-Employed,Getting a Loan Takes Planning. SW Florida Homes, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri, Esterosmacking sound again?) The general rule is that borrowers be able to provide at least two years’ worth of personal tax returns. Since self-employed people getting a loan in SW Florida often have perfectly valid reasons for fluctuating annual incomes, it’s vital to talk with a broker and lender as early as possible to establish the taxable income level needed to qualify for a loan.

That talk should cover other areas. For instance, self-employed people have greater flexibility than most when it comes to reporting deductible expenses on their income tax forms. Since those same deductions result in lower net incomes, that can be problematical when it comes to getting a loan. One way to counter that problem is to demonstrate that the expenses incurred were used to buy things that will improve their business in the long-term. Another approach is demonstrate that For the Self-Employed,Getting a Loan Takes Planning. SW Florida Homes, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri, Esterosimilar expenses are not likely to re-occur (particularly apt when a business is just starting up).

For the Self-Employed, Getting a Loan Takes Planning. SW Florida Homes, Naples, Ft. Myers, Isles Of Capri, Estero . If you are among the self-employed—and plan on getting a loan—planning is key.  Get your ducks in a row now so the loan process doesn’t derail you later. It’s never too early to call me as an early resource before we get to move on to the fun stuff—your SW Florida home search! 

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Latest SW Florida Home Design Ideas Focus On Kitchen Updates, SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Marco Island, Bonita Springs

Latest SW Florida Home Design Ideas Focus On Kitchen Updates, SW Florida, Naples, FT. Myers, Marco Island, Bonita Springs. Keeping your SW Florida kitchen looking up-to-date doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Contemporary home design in SW Florida is all about knowing what the latest Latest SW Florida Home Design Ideas Focus On Kitchen Updates, SW Florida, Naples, FT. Myers Marco Island, Bonita Springstrends are and which to choose when regular maintenance calls for a change in appliances or decor.

This year, eco – friendly appliances are definitely ‘in’—as are the pops of bright color meant to create a vivid and welcoming kitchen. And as convenience features continue to evolve, those are increasingly prominent factors influencing design choices. Especially if you are planning to sell your SW Florida home in the near future, there are a few home design directions that are most likely to impress prospective buyers who’ve been exploring the latest kitchen trends:

Going green is a pronounced trend, not just in home design. Using renewable, Earth-friendly materials can be a way to update a kitchen while minimizing environmental impact. A sample idea would be a sustainable bamboo parquet butcher block to grace the kitchen counter or table. They come in beautiful, rich wood tones, and when large enough to cover a substantial counter area, can warm the feel of the entire room.Latest SW Florida Home Design Ideas Focus On Kitchen Updates, SW Florida, Naples, FT. Myers Marco Island, Bonita Springs

Latest SW Florida Home Design Ideas Focus On Kitchen Updates, SW Florida, Naples, FT. Myers, Marco Island, Bonita Springs. Another (almost diametrically opposed) current direction is to deck the kitchen out with a few of the latest high-tech gadgets. Even if you resist an ultra-modern look, a few chic techie touches can add a dash of luxury to your home. One example: Siemens makes a multimedia ventilation hood that has a 17-inch LCD screen with options for listening to music or watching TV.  It’s a creative way to make cooking more entertaining—and one that would certainly help make your SW Florida listing stand out!

Latest SW Florida Home Design Ideas Focus On Kitchen Updates, SW Florida, Naples, FT. Myers Marco Island, Bonita SpringsBright colors have not always been popular in kitchens, but lately, appliance manufacturers have been less shy about offering exuberant finishes. You can find dishwashers, blenders, toasters, microwaves and refrigerators in bright blues, pinks, yellows, greens and oranges. It can be an inexpensive way to add a splash of color to your kitchen…although if you are planning on selling soon, in many instances I’d recommend caution: perhaps confining the color pops to bright accent pillows or colorful floral arrangements.

Copper is also an increasingly popular trend in kitchen design this year. Its natural antibacterial properties make it a practical home design element, and that cool, rustic hue looks great in warm, gold-toned kitchens. Copper sinks and faucets are both practical and stylish (although keeping them bright and shiny can be another story!). Latest SW Florida Home Design Ideas Focus On Kitchen Updates, SW Florida, Naples, FT. Myers Marco Island, Bonita Springs

Latest SW Florida Home Design Ideas Focus On Kitchen Updates, SW Florida, Naples, FT. Myers Marco Island, Bonita Springs. If you are thinking of selling soon, consider incorporating one or two current SW Florida home design ideas if your kitchen could use a decor infusion.  Looking for more ideas?  Contact me today to discuss what is making today’s homes S-E-L-L!

Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral

Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral. If you are ready to list your SW Florida home for sale, set Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral. yourself up for success by avoiding these 5 common selling mistakes:

1. Putting your home on the market prematurely.

Presentation is everything when it comes to selling your home. So, before you place your home on the market, address any and all needed repairs, de-clutter,  depersonalize and consider staging.

2. Improper pricing.

In many cases, homeowners choose to price their home above current market value. The sales price of your home will be determined by the current market value; in other words, what buyers in SW Florida are willing to pay for your property. To determine the fair market value of your home, check recent comparable properties and recent sales in the surrounding area. Working with an experienced real estate agent is key to setting the right price.

3. Lack of marketing.

Once your home is listed for sale, it is important to market the property to prospective buyers. This is where using a professional real estate agent really pays off as they are experts in marketing your home through special events, open houses, and professional photographs with descriptions listed on a variety of sites help to place your property in the best possible light, in front of the widest possible audience of buyers.Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral.

4. Hiring an inexperienced agent.

Don’t place one of your largest financial assets in the hands of an inexperienced real estate agent. Choose a professional with not only general experience, but someone familiar with your type of property and neighborhood.

5. Don’t go it alone.

While it is tempting to list your property yourself to avoid the costs and fees associated with hiring an experienced real estate agent, this decision could be costly. Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral. A local agent stays abreast of the current home market conditions, trends and laws that could affect the pricing and ultimately, the sale of your property. A mistake in the sales process can be very costly and time-consuming.

Top 5 Home Selling Mistakes To Avoid In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Estero, Isles Of Capri, Cape Coral. Armed with this information, work to proactively avoid these common mistakes when you list your property for sale. If you’re thinking of selling and would like to discuss what you could get for your home, call me today.

How To Stage Your Home When Selling, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Marco Island

How To Stage Your Home When Selling, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Marco Island. If you’re thinking of selling your SW Florida home the most important thing you can do aside from selecting an experienced real estate How To Stage Your Home When Selling, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Marco Island.specialist is to properly stage your home for sale.

Staging your SW Florida home for sale means making sure that your home’s best assets ‘pop’ so that a potential buyer sees them right away. After all, if a buyer has to search for the potential in your home they may just pass on it. Here are a few tips that will help you to stage and style your home to sell quickly.

Make Sure Your Home has Curb Appeal

You want to do all that you can to boost the curb appeal of your home.  Sure, you have heard this a thousand times, but do you really know what it means? Curb appeal means that when people take a look at your home from outside, the home is attractive and inviting. The fact is people are most likely to drive by the home, sometimes more than once, before they ever take a look inside. This is where staging can make a difference.How To Stage Your Home When Selling, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Marco Island.

Cleaning from the Outside In

We all know that first impressions are the most important.  This is especially true when staging your home for sale in SW Florida. You will want to power wash the walkways, siding and so forth. Be sure that the house numbers are visible, clean, and easy to read. Fresh greenery and flowers in bloom are always a nice touch if they match the exterior decor.

The yard should be manicured and clean. Sod can be added as needed to keep curb appeal up. Windows should be maintained and sparkling clean for as long as the home is on the market. Pay special attention to the front windows. Finally, the entryway must say “welcome home” to those potential buyers visiting. Make sure that your outside lights are on in the evening times in case a potential buyer comes through. Illuminating lights aligning the walkway is also a good idea generally.

De-clutter your Home Before Showing it

How To Stage Your Home When Selling, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Marco Island.This is very important as it sets the tone for a potential buyer’s visit. The goal is to maximize a feeling of openness and space so that a potential buyer can see themselves living there.  Clutter needs to be thrown or packed away and moved out of the home. A storage unit may come in handy, because if you are like most, you likely have at least one room with extra furniture that just doesn’t match the rest of the room.  The floors should be clear of anything unnecessary, with the cabinets and walls minimally decorated. The goal is to really maximize open floor space so that a potential buyer “feels” that your rooms are spacious.

While you are still living in the home keeping a showroom appearance may be tough, and that is ok. A balance is healthy. Small touches like flowers, your favorite vases and using decorative (or fresh) fruits on the counter are all good rules of thumb.

While you are at it, keep that dining room table fully set. It should be as inviting as it would be for a holiday feast, but not too formal.

In your bedrooms, you’ll want to ensure that the decor and colors are as neutral as possible. One of the toughest areas to de-clutter is the master bedroom as it has most How To Stage Your Home When Selling, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Marco Island.of your day-to-day personal items and often many of your valuables too. Ideally, all of your valuables are moved to a safe deposit box in your bank. Another option is to move all of your valuable possessions (ie. jewelry) and personal items to a spare suitcase and lock that anytime you leave the home (you never know when someone will visit your house if its listed on the MLS and your agent has put a lockbox on the front door). Of course, you’ll need to keep the linens fresh in all of your bedrooms, and reduce artwork to a few contemporary pieces.

When there is a scheduled viewing or open house it’s a good idea to keep the closets open, but you’ll want to free up at least 30% of the closet space for potential buyers to really appreciate the size of the closet.

How To Stage Your Home When Selling, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Marco Island. In the bathrooms you want to be sure that you have well hidden all personal accents other than things that are both pristine and appropriate.  Even the soap should be clean and fresh. Everything should be looked at as if you were a visitor.

If you have an upper floor placing an eye-catching piece just at the top of the stairs may help entice your potential buyer to view the entire house rather than leaving after just looking at the first floor. You do want to add a pop of color or an interesting piece of art here and there to keep visitor’s interest throughout the tour. If you have areas that are a bit awkward like room under the stairs or a nook then find a unique way to showcase that area. An office area or built-in shelves could turn that once awkward area into the homes biggest selling point.

A very important item if you have pets is to eliminate pet odors as much as possible.  There are numerous sprays and air fresheners that do this and you’ll have to ensure its done daily. The goal is to must remain vigilant in keeping everything picked up, odor free and clean.

How To Stage Your Home When Selling, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Marco Island.Remember, staging your home to sell is really important, and it should not be taken lightly. The sooner you address this the better as it really is time-consuming and requires planning. Buyers will examine your SW Florida home from every angle, so make sure that your home is inviting and appealing from top to bottom, inside and out.

How To Stage Your Home When Selling, SW Florida Real Estate, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Marco Island. If you’re thinking of selling your SW Florida home and don’t know where to start in staging your home, please contact me today. I can provide you with expert advice after visiting with you or if you’d like the help of professionals, I can refer you to local staging experts we’ve worked with in the past.

Buying A SW Florida House: Is Buying New The Best Choice? SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral

Buying A SW Florida House: Is Buying New The Best Choice? SW Florida, Naples Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral. When it comes to buying a house in SW Florida, Almost the first thing most of us do is to check the online listings to see what’s out there that catches our eye. That quick Buying A SW Florida House: Is Buying New The Best Choice? SW Florida, Naples Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral.first look will usually reflect some preferences most of us don’t even bother to think about (that is, until we’re buying a house).

Sometimes they stem from our earliest childhood memories—the impressions that shape what ‘home’ should look like. Sometimes, those preferences have developed over time as an expression of our personal style. One preference can be a real trouble-maker if a couple discovers that their outlooks don’t match. It’s the one about which kind of home is more appealing: a brand new one (actually, the National Association of Home Builders defines a “new” home as one less than four years old) or an older, established home.

People who automatically tilt toward new homes can be following straightforward reasoning that goes without question. They don’t shop for used clothing; they know when they need another automobile they’re only interested in the newest model—so why in the world would they be drawn toBuying A SW Florida House: Is Buying New The Best Choice? SW Florida, Naples Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral. a house that’s a hand-me-down?

Buying A SW Florida House: Is Buying New The Best Choice? SW Florida, Naples Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral. People on the other side of the preference divide find new constructions lacking in the warmth and history an older home embodies. Out in the yard, they see fresh cement walkways and new plantings as pale imitations of the majesty of the grand, mature landscaping found in well-established neighborhoods.

However, I’ve often found that when my clients are buying a house in SW Florida, their new vs. established home leaning will sometimes disappear in the face of some immediate practical advantages. A few points:

More than 70% of single-family homes were built prior to 1990, according to Realty Trac. The result is more than twice the variety from which to choose.

Older, established properties are synonymous with close-knit communities where residents Buying A SW Florida House: Is Buying New The Best Choice? SW Florida, Naples Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral.know one another and their children. Buying a house in such a neighborhood can mean great support and community.

Buying A SW Florida House: Is Buying New The Best Choice? SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral. New developments can create a fresh gathering spot for families who are all starting out together. The opportunity to build new institutions shaped to modern preferences can mean the establishment of a host of lasting friendships, in some cases bolstered by shared community recreational facilities.

Older homes can have larger lot sizes owing to lower land prices in the past. Then there are those shade trees that have been growing for generations…

Most new homes have been designed to accommodate our modern addiction to acquiring stuff. If a walk-in closet in a must, an older house is less likely to fill the bill.

Older homes are generally more expensive to maintain. According to the American HousingBuying A SW Florida House: Is Buying New The Best Choice? SW Florida, Naples Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral. Survey, 26% of owners of older homes spent more than $100 a month on upkeep—while just 11% of the owners of new homes spent as much. In fact, 73% of the new home owners spend less than $25 a month for maintenance.

Ultimately the decision to buy an old or new house will come down to a combination of personal taste (“I don’t care: I love this house!”) and/or requirements (“I can’t live without _________”).

Buying A SW Florida House: Is Buying New The Best Choice? SW Florida, Naples Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Cape Coral. The takeaway: if you are planning on buying a SW Florida house, don’t automatically eliminate all the new ones or all the older ones. Give me a call: let’s take a look!

Kitchen Remodeling Trends In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Sanibel Island, Marco Island

Kitchen Remodeling Trends In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Sanibel Island, Marco Island. Almost half of all new homeowners in SW Florida update their home with some sort of home improvement project. Most new homeowners will partake in a remodeling Kitchen Remodeling Trends In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Sanibel Island, Marco Island.job within a few months of buying their new home. Kitchen remodeling projects are among the top remodeling projects for homeowners in SW Florida and other surrounding neighborhoods. From switching out and updating the appliances to changing out the backsplash small improvements can make all of the difference.

When it comes time to remodel your SW Florida home, you may be confused on where to invest your money. If you want to invest in a remodeling job that is going to raise the value of your home then the kitchen is a great place to start. Even a minor investment can pay off big when it comes to resale value. Here are the current top trends in kitchen remodeling:   

·        Eco –Friendly products & Features – Consumers love eco-friendly products and are more likely to purchase a SW Florida home that has eco-friendly appliances or updates. Energy Star appliances can help conserve energy and are better for the environment as well as your budget. Energy saving windows Kitchen Remodeling Trends In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Sanibel Island, Marco Island.are another great investment that will maintain the heat in your home and lower your monthly energy bills as well.

·        Quartz & Granite – When SW Florida residents are surveyed almost all of them agree that one area of home improvement that is essential to a kitchen makeover is new countertops. Granite and quartz are some of the most popular options for countertops. Both of these materials are excellent at resisting stains and can really take a beating without sustaining damage.

Kitchen Remodeling Trends In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Sanibel Island, Marco Island.Professional Grade Stoves – SW Florida residents love a professional chef stove with all of the bells and whistles. A trendy home remodel that includes a stove with professional grade features such as an electric riddle or flat cook top are excellent selling points that can often bring you a return on your investment when you are ready to sell your home. Professional grade appliances are a sure-fire way to impress buyers and make your home one that stands out from the rest. Kitchen Remodeling Trends In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Sanibel Island, Marco Island.

Home Loan Assumability Is Making A Comeback In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero

Home Loan Assumability Is Making A Comeback In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero. As interest rates slowly increase, we’re starting to see more and more buyers in SW Florida taking advantage of assumable home loans to make Home Loan Assumability Is Making A Comeback In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero.the purchase. Mortgage assumability is a feature that enables home buyers to take on the loan previously obtained by the seller. The catch here is that the buyer has to pay interest at the same rate as the seller did. This feature is limited to mortgages that are covered by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). If you have a loan insured by either of these government bodies and are looking to sell your home, now is the time to market the mortgage along with the home.

With interest rates increasing, this is a convenient option for potential home buyers in SW Florida since the seller may have obtained the mortgage at a rate lower than the prevailing one in the market today. Aside from the cheaper mortgage payment, there Home Loan Assumability Is Making A Comeback In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero.are a few other benefits of home loan assumability for the buyers:

·        The buyer doesn’t have to pay the additional processing fees charged by lenders when originating a new home loan. There are many charges and expenses associated with getting a new mortgage that are completely avoided.

·        The buyer doesn’t have to get the house appraised (and pay for this expense). Many buyers may still bear this expense voluntarily but it’s not a requirement when taking advantage of an assumable loan.

·        A recording tax may not have to be paid.  A recording tax is normally paid each time a mortgage is obtained on a property. In this case, since a new mortgage is not being originated, a new tax will likely be avoided altogether.  

·        Since some part of the loan would have already been paid off by the seller, it is likely that a larger chunk of the mortgage payment goes towards paying off the principal amount.

Home Loan Assumability Is Making A Comeback In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero.Home Loan Assumability Is Making A Comeback In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero. These are some of the benefits for homebuyers to assume home loans when buying a new home in SW Florida. Now this may not turn out to be the best option for all buyers. For instance, if you are looking to buy a home for the first time, you might not be able to get 100% financing. Let’s say the value of the house is $150,000 while the seller owes $100,000. You will have to make up the difference of $50,000 by paying cash or by negotiating with the seller for seller financing. Home Loan Assumability Is Making A Comeback In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero.

Buyers also still have to undergo the standard screening process for creditworthiness by the VA or FHA. Finally, the buyer has to waive the seller off all future responsibilities and obligations pertaining to the loan.

Home Loan Assumability Is Making A Comeback In SW Florida, Naples, Ft. Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero. In a market where interest rates are on the rise, home loan assumability is a great option for buyers. Interested in learning more about how you can take advantage of this? Give me a call and I’d be happy to discuss.