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Cost Of Remodeling Up, But Remodel Value Down?

The annual Remodel Cost vs Value report has been released for 2015 and the results are in. The report, done by Remodeling.hw.net shows that while remodeling costs for various projects are increasing across the board, the recouped value was seen in only 50% of the remodeling jobs.

The overall cost-value ratio decreased to 62.2% for 2015 – a 3.9-point drop compared to 2014.

The top five mid-range remodeling projects based on their return on investment were as follows:

1. Entry door replacement (steel): 101.8% ROI, $1,230 average cost
2. Manufactured stone veneer: 92.2% ROI, $7,150 average cost
3. Garage door replacement: 88.4% ROI, $1,595 average cost
4. Siding replacement (vinyl): 80.7% ROI, $12,013 average cost
5. Deck addition (wood): 80.5% ROI, $10,048 average cost
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Borrowers Are Having Better Luck With Small Lenders

According to Bloomberg, borrowers who have minor blemishes, like a brief period of unemployment on their credit reports, are starting to have better luck obtaining loans with smaller lenders. While larger institutions like Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have generally tightened their restrictions on home loans over the past few years, smaller banks are stepping in to take on those “higher-risk” buyers.

For example, TD Bank’s Right Step program allows borrowers to put only 3% down and not pay mortgage insurance as long as their credit scores are 660 or above. Banc of California is offering loans to buyers who have had foreclosures or late payments on their records providing they put 20% down and are able to show strong assets in their finances.

Read the entire article on FloridaRealtors.org

 

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September’s Featured Property: 10154 Silver Maple Ct

Check out this month’s featured property: 

10154 Silver Maple Ct

silvermaplefront

This home is a Cypress model located in Botanica Lakes. This is a truly fantastic floor plan that features 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms and a tremendous master suite. This home is almost 3,500 sq ft and sits on the corner of a cul-de-sac, which provides privacy and quiet. The pavered porch and french entry doors give this home great curb appeal and character. Upgraded corian counter tops, GE Profile stainless steel appliances and 42″ wood cabinets with crown molding are just a few of the kitchen highlights.

Tile and crown molding run throughout the downstairs, which also features a mother-in-law or guest wing, complete with full bath and two bedrooms. The master suite is truly a private retreat in the home, featuring a tray ceiling, private sitting area and built-in speakers (also featured in the living room). 

Community amenities include a clubhouse, resort-style pool with spa, children’s water playground, lighted tennis courts, basketball court, sports field, excercise room, aerobics/dance studio and more! Botanica Lakes is conveniently located near I-75, Gulf Coast Town Center, the airport and many shops and restaurants. This model is rarely available, so don’t miss out!

silvermapleliving silvermaplekitchen silvermaplefamily silvermaplemaster

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The Increase Of Rental Prices Is Burdening Potential First-Time Homebuyers

According to Zillow, rent payments now comprise 29.5% of the renter’s income, compared to 24.9% a few years ago. This is occurring in 88 of the country’s 100 largest real estate markets. This could be bad news for potential first-time homebuyers who have been renting and saving up money for a down payment.

CC Image Courtesy of Hans on Pixabay.com

CC Image Courtesy of Hans on Pixabay.com

Right now, the affordability of homes in major metropolitan markets is strong, encouraging first-time homebuyers to save money and utilize the low mortgage interest rates. However, with rent prices increasing, it will become more difficult to save the money necessary for a down payment.

U.S. home values rose 6.5% between July 2013 and July 2014, but so has rent prices; increasing 2.8% during the same time to an average of $1,318 a month.

Read the entire article on MSN.com

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Big Borrowers Getting Younger?

According to an analysis by loanDepot, a private non-bank lender, the average age of borrowers of home purchase loans more than $417,000 was 38.5 in this year’s second quarter. Compared to the age of 41 in the same quarter last year and the age of 49.5 in the last three months of 2011, this data shows that big borrowers are getting younger.

 

CC Image Courtesy of Nyttend on Wikimedia Commons

CC Image Courtesy of Nyttend on Wikimedia Commons

Despite this indication of a younger borrower trend, economists maintain that the lending market still relies on baby boomers as they have more equity than millennials. This equity could come from the stock market or the recovered equity in their current homes.

Check out the full article here on msn.com

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Celebrity Real Estate: “Dexter” Star Michael C. Hall Lists His Home In L.A. for $4.5 Million

Michael C. Hall, of “Dexter” fame, has listed his 1923 Spanish Colonial home for $4.5 million.  The home features just over 5600 square feet and has six bedrooms and six bathrooms.  The estate includes the main home, a guest home and a three-car garage. A giant lap pool sits in the courtyard with a garden and patio area.

Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

Photo courtesy of Realtor.com

 

Click here to read about all the features of the home and for more pictures on Realtor.com!

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Helpful Tips When Financing Your Next Home

Let’s say you are currently under contract on your new home and your home inspector gave it a great report.   You will be closing on it in one week, you’ve received your loan approval and everything seems to be going according to plan.  Time to go out and buy new furniture, right?  Not exactly.  If you are financing your home purchase, here are few tips to help keep your loan on track.

Banks are extremely cautious about home mortgages these days and can withdraw approval if any last minute loan application issues pop up – even up to the day of closing!  Here are a few tips to follow when you are under contract on a new home or are thinking about buying a home in the near future.

1) Don’t make any large finance purchases.  The pre-approval issued by the lender for your mortgage was based on your financial situation at the time of application.  Making a big purchase, like a new car or furniture for the new home, will increase your debt-to-income ratio and will mean more risk for the lender.  Even if you were to pay for the furniture in cash, this may prove to be a problem. The lender likes to see a steady balance in your bank accounts.  If suddenly, a week before closing, $5,000 is missing from the savings account you planned on using for your down payment, they might get nervous and withdraw loan approval.

2) Don’t apply for new credit cards or allow inquiries into your credit rating.  Every time you open a new credit card, your credit score drops.  Even an inquiry into your credit rating will lower your score and might affect your mortgage loan status.  Don’t be tempted by the “would you like to save 10% off today’s purchase” at the register!  Even if your credit is “excellent”, the lender will view the new credit line as a new “loan” source.

3) Don’t make any large deposits into your bank account.  As discussed in point number 1, the lender likes to see a steady balance in your bank accounts.  They want a clear view of your banking history, balances in your accounts, cash reserves, sources of income and any other potential funds that will contribute to your monthly mortgage payments.  A large deposit into your bank account will raise a flag with the lender and they will require legitimate documentation detailing where the money came from.

4) Listen to your lender!  As you approach closing, your lender will be asking for quite a bit of documentation. The best thing you can do is to provide that documentation as soon as possible. When you go under contract on a home, there will most certainly be a deadline for loan approval. Make sure you submit everything to your lender quickly to avoid delays that can jeopardize your contract.

Looking for more home buyer tips and advice and live in the Fort Myers area?  Our local Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach offers a FREE 8-hour Homebuyer Education Class on the 3rd Saturday of every month.  Workbook, handouts, lunch and refreshments are included!  Subjects covered include home ownership readiness and affordability, money and credit management, purchase, mortgage and closing processes and more!  The class also satisfies the educational requirements necessary for down payment assistance, Florida Housing Finance Corporation and the NSP Program.

 

Visit http://www.eventbrite.com/event/2569950792/eorg for more information and to register for the next available class.

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Bowman’s Beach On List Of “Superstar” Beaches

Our very own Bowman’s Beach on Sanibel Island has been named one of the top 35 “Superstar” Beaches in the country by NDRC (National Resources Defense Council)! These beaches have met national water quality benchmarks 98% of the time over the past five years. Of the water samples collected from 2010 through 2013, 0.0% of them came back exceeding the Beach Action Value (BAV).

From the leeparks.org website:

“Isolated and picturesque, this beach is probably the most popular on Sanibel. Great shelling and amenities make it worth the five minute hike from the parking area (fee required) to the beach. Adventurous beachcombers can walk for several miles on unobstructed white sand beaches covered in shells. The shoreline at Bowman’s Beach has experienced little of the intense development seen on the rest of the islands. Amenities include picnic tables, grills, pay phone, bathrooms and bike racks.”

Bowman’s Beach also allows weddings and small events, no permit necessary. It is open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM seven days a week.

CC Image courtesy of Bradeos Graphon on Wikimedia Commons

CC Image courtesy of Bradeos Graphon on Wikimedia Commons

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14 Best Places To Flip A Home

Many people these days have started, or are thinking about, flipping homes. While this is popular country-wide, the best counties for flipping homes seem to be concentrated on the east coast. In some cases, flippers were able to sell their home for 30% more than what they originally paid for it.  The criteria used to determine top lucrative counties was as follows:

  • the county had to have at least 100 single-family homes flipped between April 2013 and March 2014
  • the flips had to have at least a 30% return on investment
  • unemployment had to be below the national average of 6.7% in March
  • the county had to have an increase in foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the same time a year ago

Among the list is Nassau County, NYMonroe County, FLBergen County, NJ and Baltimore County, MD.

 

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It’s Kitten Season Here in Lee County! Adopt One Today!

Don’t shop, adopt! It’s Kitten Season here in Lee County and our shelters have become overcrowded with our feline friends. Animal Services has dropped the adoption fee to only $8! And as always, cats and kittens are two-for-one.

Please consider adopting your next pet. Follow the link to see the cats and kittens available for adoption here in Lee County!

Click here to see the adoptable pets!

Image from LeeLostPets.com

Image from LeeLostPets.com

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