Carlos & Millie Gil Cascades Realtors
Bold Real Estate Group
Phone:
772-224-1634
Fax:
772-673-8449
Mobile:
772-224-9011
BoldRealEstateGroup.com

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Cascades 55-Plus Port St Lucie

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Buyer's Resources

Tips To Help You Avoid Buying The Wrong Home in Florida

Buying a home in Cascades Port St Lucie Florida can be an exciting and sometimes stressful time.   You may find a house you absolutely love but the price is too high.  It's easy to let your emotions get the better of you. 

What you need to remember is that there will always be other homes.  And many times you'll find an even better home than the one you thought you just couldn't live without!  The best way to avoid buying a money pit or a home that really doesn't suit all your needs or your budget is to keep your emotions out of the equation.   Below are a few things you can do to help avoid making a home buying mistake.

1.  Visit the home at different times of the day.  You may find that the nice quiet home you found is extremely noisy during the morning and evening rush hours.  Additionally, the traffic during those time may not allow you to easily get across a busy street or intersection.   You may also find that the school across the street seems like a great thing; however, the noise throughout the day from the playground may be more than you bargained for.

2.  Check the local newspaper archives and talk with as many neighbors as you can to determine how safe the neighborhood is and if there are any zoning issues, etc. You want to make sure it's the type of place you want to raise your family.  Additionally, it may be a neighborhood full of singles or seniors and if you have children, that may not be an ideal living environment. 

3.   Ask the seller in Cascades Port St Lucie to provide you with receipts of any work that has been completed.  If they tell you the home was recently painted and then show you a receipt for $800, then you'll know that cheap materials were probably used and a repaint will more than likely be needed sooner than you expected.

4.  Have the seller in Cascades Port St Lucie provide you with a year's worth of utility bills.  If the home has lots of windows and high ceilings, etc. the monthly utility bill may push you way over what you can afford to pay each month.

5.  Make sure you drive through not only your proposed neighborhood but everything within  a  three mile radius of the Cascades community.  Your proposed neighborhood and the surrounding streets may be absolutely perfect but there may be a dilapidated or not so great neighborhood just a few miles away that could potentially pose a problem for your neighborhood.  And what if you have to drive through that not so great area on a daily basis to get where you need to go? 

Talk with Realtors Millie and Carlos about the home and neighborhood you're considering.  Millie and Carlos knows the local neighborhoods very well and will be able to guide you in the right direction.  They will also be able to make recommendations based on his experience.   The only thing you need to remember is to never buy a house based on your emotions and to use your Realtor's knowledge and experience to help you make the right decision.

If you're thinking of buying a home in Cascades located in St Lucie West Florida, contact Bold Real Estate Group currently servicing the neighborhoods of Port St Lucie, Palm City, Stuart, Vero Beach, Palm Beach.  Having the right Florida Realtor means having a Realtor who is committed to helping you sell your Florida home with the highest level of expertise in your local market. This commitment level has helped Bold Real Estate Group build a remarkable track record of delivering results.

About the Author:  Millie Gil has been a successful Licensed Real Estate agent for over 25 years in Florida.  Millie is Vice President of Bold Real Estate Group in Stuart.  A boutique agency committed to concierge personalized service for discerning buyers, sellers and renters of residential and commercial properties. Millie is fluent in English and Spanish with a strong network of real estate professionals worldwide.  Other post by Millie Gil

 

Florida Retirees Getting a Loan: the Big Picture

The ongoing housing recovery is being boosted by some older participants. Builders and developers in particular have found that catering to the 55+ segment of the market is good business.

Many retired Florida buyers in Cascades Port St Lucie, Stuart, Woodfield Vero Beach, Hutchinson Island or Ponte Vedra Nocatee 55+ new community are looking to enter the resurgent market will be pleased to learn that getting a loan is still possible, even if their income isn’t all that it used to be. In addition to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, intended to keep lenders from discriminating on the basis of age, last Saturday the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a bulletin describing new tools which help Freddie Mac lenders evaluate properties—and new guidelines for disclosing that data to borrowers and loan applicants.

Let’s face it: retirees with excellent credit probably owe that to good old-fashioned financial habits (not to mention previously paid-off home loans). That can be a powerful offset to newly-limited income.

The mind-numbingly complex and changing rules governing Freddie Mac lending is just one reason why the guidance of an experienced Florida mortgage professional is so important. But a simplified overview would highlight the major 2011 Federal Housing Administration (FHA) changes to the guidelines lenders use to qualify borrowers getting a Freddie Mac-sponsored loan. They allowed the factoring in of individual retirement accounts, sales of businesses, and even some lump-sum retirement distributions. To qualify, assets held in retirement accounts had to be fully accessible to the borrower, and early withdrawals needed to be penalized. There were also rules relating to income from non-taxable sources, provenance for social security and pension income, etc.—as well as other guidelines for whether part-time income is considered (it might not be, unless it’s a long-term situation). On the other hand, dividend and interest payment income was usually counted, as was income derived from investment and savings accounts. 

In general, the 2011 changes made getting a loan easier for retiring Florida baby boomers, and that’s still the case. It certainly does stand to reason. After all, why wouldn’t reliable retirement income plus a good credit record mean that Florida retirees are terrific home loan applicants?

The upshot is that getting a loan for that dream retirement home in Cascades Port St Lucie, Stuart, Jensen Beach, Hutchinson Island or Ponte Vedra Nocatee 55+ may not be as difficult as you imagined…so why not give me a call to start the pre-qualification process?

If you're thinking of buying a home in Cascades St Lucie West Florida, contact Bold Real Estate Group currently servicing the neighborhoods of Port St Lucie, Palm City, Stuart, Vero Beach, Palm Beach.  Having the right Florida Realtor means having a Realtor who is committed to helping you sell your Florida home with the highest level of expertise in your local market. This commitment level has helped Bold Real Estate Group build a remarkable track record of delivering results.

About the Author:  Millie Gil has been a successful Licensed Real Estate agent for over 25 years in Florida.  Millie is Vice President of Bold Real Estate Group in Stuart.  A boutique agency committed to concierge personalized service for discerning buyers, sellers and renters of residential and commercial properties. Millie is fluent in English and Spanish with a strong network of real estate professionals worldwide.  Other post by Millie Gil

 

Buying a home is the largest purchase most people will ever make. Home ownership has great benefits. Home ownership also comes with certain responsibilities.

Are you ready for home ownership? Look at your current situation and determine if:

  • You have a continuing and reliable source of income prior to applying for the loan.
  • You have a credit history that shows you're ready for home ownership.
  • Your total debt is manageable and you can afford to take on the costs associated with home ownership.
  • You have money saved for a down payment and closing costs.

Once you fully understand your current situation, it's important to look at the pros and cons of home ownership to make the best decision for you and your family.

Benefits of Home Ownership

Home ownership has many advantages - both financial and personal. But buying a home is an important decision. Look at the benefits and the differences between home ownership and renting to better understand if owning a home is right for you.

What are the benefits of home ownership?

  • Tax savings.
    You may earn significant tax savings because you can deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from your federal income tax and many states' income tax if you itemize your deductions.
  • A more stable monthly housing expense.
    Your monthly housing loan or mortgage expense can remain the same for the life of your mortgage, depending on the type of loan you choose.
  • Equity.
    You may build equity in your home over the life of your loan, which allows you to plan for future goals like your child's education or your retirement.

Homeownership is not right for everyone. It may not be the right time in your life or you may not like the commitment associated with owning a home. Here are some differences between renting and homeownership:

  • Renters are typically free from maintenance obligations such as repairs or lawn care.
  • Homeowners often have more freedom in decorating, landscaping, etc.
  • Renters can move more easily and more quickly than homeowners and there are higher costs associated with buying and selling a home.
  • Homeowners have a financial investment and may build equity in their home.


How Much Can You Afford?

To get a quick idea of what you can afford to spend, multiply your annual gross income (before taxes) by 2.5. For example, if your annual household income is $50,000, you might be able to qualify for a $125,000 home. This is just a rough estimate - the actual number will vary based on factors such as your debt and credit history.

Mortgage lenders typically use the housing expense and debt-to-income ratios to more accurately determine how much you can afford to spend on your mortgage.

  • Housing Expense Ratio
    Mortgage lenders recommend that your monthly mortgage payment should be less than or equal to a quarter of your monthly gross income. This percentage can change based on the type of mortgage you choose and sometimes the area in which you're looking to buy.
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio
    You need to factor your other debts into determining an affordable monthly mortgage payment. Mortgage lenders look at whether your total debt is larger than 30-40% of your monthly gross income. Remember, debt is not just credit cards and student loans. It can also include alimony, child support, car loans, and housing expenses.

A mortgage lender, a housing counselor, or consumer credit counselor can help you better understand these guidelines. Before you talk to a financial professional, you can organize your financial picture by creating a budget. Don't forget that you also have to save for the down payment, closing costs, inspections costs, moving, and other related expenses.


 

What Are the Risks?

Check For Properly Working Appliances/Fixtures:
  • Bathroom
    • Sinks
    • Showers/tubs
    • Toilets
    • Vent fan
    • Heating fan
  • Appliances
    • Dishwasher
    • Stove
    • Oven
    • Ice maker
    • Garbage disposal
    • Range hood
    • Refrigerator
    • Freezer
    • Microwave
    • Trash compactor
  • Kitchen
    • Kitchen cabinet doors
    • Drawers
    • Sinks
  • General
    • Lights (interior & exterior)
    • Windows
    • Heating system
    • Ceiling fans
    • Hot water system
    • Air conditioning system
    • Electrical outlets
    • Door bells
    • Doors
    • Water purifier
    • Fireplace damper
    • Garage door
Ensure House Is Well-Built & Systems Are In Working Condition:
  • Exterior
    • Brick bulging or cracking
    • Shingles missing or broken
    • Siding rotted or missing
    • Gutters damaged or need to be cleaned
    • Concrete cracked in sidewalks/driveway
  • Basement
    • Water seepage in basement
    • Cracks in foundation
    • Poor ventilation
  • Interior
    • Sub-flooring damaged or loose
    • Cracked walls or ceiling
    • Cracked tiles
    • Loose plaster
    • Flooring damaged
    • Soft, springy floors
    • Water stains near windows
    • Water stains on ceiling below bathroom
    • Water stains in attic
    • Pipe insulation missing


Myths About Homeownership

Lenders evaluate mortgage applications a lot differently today than they did even 10 years ago. And even more has changed in the last 20 years. What used to close the door to homeownership may not be a factor today.

Here are some common homeownership myths:

Myth: You need great credit to become a homeowner.
Fact: You may still be able to buy a home with less-than-perfect credit. And remember, you can improve your credit over time.

Myth: You need to put 20% down to buy a home.
Fact: There are many types of mortgage products and programs that allow low and no down payments. But remember to factor in other costs such as closing costs, property taxes, moving expenses, and repairs.

Myth: You can't buy a home in the U.S. if you're not a citizen.
Fact: If you're a legal resident, you can purchase a home in the U.S.

Myth: If you don't have a bank account or credit cards, you can't qualify for a mortgage.
Fact: Having a bank account is always a good idea and helps you establish credit. However, lenders can approve you for a mortgage even if you don't have a bank account or credit cards. You'll likely need to keep records showing a history of payments you've made for items such as rent, utilities, and car payments.

Myth: Lenders share your personal financial information with other companies.
Fact: By law, banks and other financial institutions are restricted in their uses and disclosures of information about you. In some situations, you may choose to restrict the disclosure of your information if you don't want it to be shared.

Myth: If you're late on your monthly mortgage payments, you'll lose your house.
Fact: If you have a financial hardship, like the death of your spouse or a medical emergency and fall behind, it's possible to keep your home and get back on track if you contact your lender early.

Myth: You can't get a mortgage if you've changed jobs several times in the last few years.
Fact: Not true. You can change jobs several times and still get a loan to buy a home. Lenders understand that people change jobs. The important thing is to show that you've had a stable income.

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Master-Planned Communities For Active Adults-Not Your Typical Subdivision Anymore

Retirement living is changing drastically – these days you’re more likely to see residents zooming by on motorized golf carts and jogging that 3rd mile, than chugging along in a push wheelchair. This is not your grandmother’s retirement community.

Many of these master planned retirement communities are age-restricted and often located near metropolitan areas or nearby suburbs. The minimum age is typically 55, with one member of the household qualifying. Some communities restrict ownership to those who are age 62 and older, and all occupants must be at least 62.  Many are gated and private.

Living in Style – Amenities

How do you know if you’re in a Master-Planned Community or simply a typical subdivision? Generally, they are distinguished by the tremendous number of amenities and conveniences;

Club House
Golf Courses
Libraries
Fitness Centers
Swimming Pools and Spas
Arts & Crafts Centers
Billiards and Card Rooms
Tennis Courts
• Basketball Courts
Continuing Education Classrooms
• Hiking & Biking Trails
High-Tech Media Centers
Banquet and Ballrooms

The list is endless; it’s like an on-going vacation that never ends.

So why would you move out of a perfectly comfortable home that has served you well and into a retirement community filled with strangers? Just think of all the benefits waiting for you.

• Single-story living.
One level means those facing troubled knees or aching bones aren’t forced to climb stairs.

• Birds of a feather.
Your neighbors are unlikely to be screaming teenagers on skateboards; they are people just like you.

• Little or no yard maintenance.
The homeowner association mows lawns, waters gardens, trims trees, sweeps walks and, in areas where it’s needed, provides snow and ice removal.

• Resort living.
Fun-filled activities are located within walking distance or an easy commute. All fees are included.

• Mix work with play.
Many of today’s seniors are not ready to live a life of 100% leisure and want to continue working or perhaps start a new career. Homes in retirement communities generally include an office, den or separate workspace.

It’s also all the intangibles like human services, religious diversity, community spirit, healthcare and lifelong learning that are the cornerstones of these master planned retirement communities.

When choosing where you will retire, ask yourself, what type of life do I envision?

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About the Author:   Millie Gil has been a successful Licensed Real Estate agent for over 25 years in Florida.  Millie is Vice President of Bold Real Estate Group, a boutique agency committed to concierge personalized service for discerning buyers, sellers and renters of residential and commercial properties.  For more information please forward your request to communityinfo@comcast.net

View thousands of listings  www.Northeast-Florida-Relocation.comwww.BoldRealEstateGroup.com,  www.NewYork-Florida-RealEstate.com, www.PGAVillage-Homes.com, www.TheCascadesAtStLucieWest.com, www.HealthcareRelocationServices.com