Happy Safe Halloween

Found this excellent short video on Halloween safety tips:

I also came across the post Halloween Safety and Fun which offers great tips for making Halloween safe for the kiddies. Many of our tenants at Showcase Property Management have children young and older who will be dressing up and hitting the neighborhoods to collect their bounty of candy all across Brevard County, FL

Some of the tips for trick-or-treating include:

  • Plan your Halloween ahead of time
  • Plan your trick or treating route
  • Make sure your kids are costumed for safety

All of us at Showcase Property Management are wishing you and your family a happy, safe Halloween!

USDA Home Loans in Brevard County, FL

Not all properties are eligible to receive rural funding with a USDA Home Loan.  In order to be eligible for  a USDA loan, household income must meet certain guidelines. Also, the home to be purchased must be located in an eligible rural area as defined by USDA.

The USDA only provides funding in Non-Rural areas.  These are areas that lie outside non-rural areas as defined by the USDA's Satellite Grant Program Request for Proposals (RFP), published in the Federal Register on May 7, 2010. The term "rural area" means any area, as confirmed by the latest decennial census of the Bureau of Census, which is not located:

– within a city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of greater than 20,000 inhabitants; or


– an urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants

USDA home loans are ideal for first time home buyers or anyone who qualifies within the income guidelines. Please contact me at kgblady@cfl.rr.com to obtain more information about USDA home loans.

Zillow Offers Guidelines: Investing in Real Estate

With all the short sales and foreclosures it makes it an ideal time to buy real estate. I came across an excellent post on Zillow, Investing? 6 Types of Properties to Pursue which offers solid advice on scoping out investment properties.

Leonard Baron says, “Too many people buy fixer-uppers thinking they’ll add value by doing a renovation. Then they get mired in a much more expensive and time consuming property than they ever expected. More money into the property means lower investment returns for you and less wealth-building than you expected.”

Investors get mesmerized by a “cheap price” however price is just one factor in the equation. Location, location, location is still very important, along with the rental demand. What about resale, will the property sale easy in the future?

Our Turnkey Operation was created to help investors purchase prime rental properties. Our rehab team can help with properties that need CPR, (Carpet, Paint, Repair). Once repairs are complete we put it on the market for rent.

Whether you’re a long time investor who wants to add to your existing portfolio, or a newbie venturing into investing in rental properties for the first time, contact me. I am confident you’ll be impressed with how easy we make it to invest in real estate.

Existing Home Sales Leap To 2-Year High

Guest post by Chris Brown

The home resale market put forth another strong data set last week. Home sales prices are higher nationwide and sales volume has moved to a 2-year high.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 4.82 million “existing homes” sold on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis in August, representing a near 8 percent improvement from the month prior and a nine percent jump from August 2011.

An existing home is a home which has been previously occupied.

Home sales were unevenly split across price tiers, with more than half of all homes selling for less than $250,000. This suggests that the first-time home buyers and real estate investors continue to be active in today’s market as a foundation for growth is built.

According to the Existing Home Sales data :

·        First-time buyers accounted for 31% of all home sales

·        Real estate investors accounted for 18% of all home sales

·        Other, repeat buyers accounted for 51% of all home sales

Also noteworthy is that “distressed homes” accounted for the smallest percentage of overall home sales since the real estate trade group starting tracking such data.

In August, homes in various stages of foreclosures accounted for 12% of all sales and sold at an average discount of 19 percent below market value. Short sale homes accounted for 10% of all sales and sold at an average discount of 13 percent below market value.

Of all the data in the August Existing Home Sales report, though, perhaps most relevant to today’s buyers is the shrinking national housing supply.

At August’s end, there were 2.47 million homes listed for sale nationwide, a three percent increase from the month prior. However, because the pool of available home buyers is increasing more rapidly than the number of homes for sale, housing supplies fell 0.3 months to 6.1 months.

This means that at the current pace of sales, the entire housing supply would be sold by March 2013.

For today’s home buyers, home affordability appears poised to worsen. Mortgage rates and home prices remain low today, but market conditions like these rarely last long. Talk to your real estate agent about what options you have ahead of you. 2012 is coming to a close.

By 2013, the housing recovery may be fully underway. 

Chris Brown, Certified Mortgage Planners 407.367.2974 / Chris@cmpFL.com

Renting a Home After Short Sale or Foreclosure

With all of the short sales and foreclosures taking place borrowers are wondering how to rent with bad credit. Prospective Tenants have their credit pulled as part of the application process. Prior to the real estate anomaly, a low credit score would result in being declined, however, with the over whelming number of people losing their homes in short sales and foreclosures, owners and property managers find themselves making concessions.

In a post How to Rent a Home if You Have Bed Credit, Tamara Holmes reported, “According to a recent survey by Rent.com, 81 percent of property managers have seen a decline in the credit worthiness or credit score of prospective renters, and due to the shift, 43 three percent of landlords reduced their credit policy standards in order to fill vacancies.”

I realize many of the people who have lost their homes are good people who just hit hard times. If a prospective tenant just has a blip on their credit report associated to a distressed sale situation and no derogatory or criminal issues, I go to bat for them with our owners. What prospective tenants need to understand is, owners are the ones that approve or decline. I have to say, most of the people who I have rented to that have come from a distressed sale have turned out to be some of my best tenants.

Prospective tenants should have a letter prepared explaining their situation and expect to pay first and last month’s rent, along with a security deposit, along with having, references you can provide.

We do our very best to help folks coming out of mortgage misery. You can search for rental properties at Rent With Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HomePath Financing Foreclosures

Wow, what a great option for home financing!   Fannie Mae properties listed on their website www.homepath.com are eligible for HomePath mortgages.  HomePath is offered exclusively to borrowers buying homes from Fannie Mae.  There are options for Primary Residences, Second Homes and Investment properties to include Single Family Residences and Condominiums.   Primary residences require a minimum of 3% down payment, with 10% down payment on Second Homes and Investment properties. 

 A few advantages to mention regarding the benefits of HomePath financing are No PMI (private mortgage insurance), No Appraisal, No Condo Questionnaire, and No need to fix repairs to qualify for financing.

Generally, if the borrower does not have 20% down payment, mortgage insurance would be required.  No mortgage insurance can save a borrower thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. For example, if the mortgage insurance is $100 per month, with a minimum of 5 years to keep on the mortgage, that is $6000 over the life of the loan.  With Homepath financing, mortgage insurance would not be required, thus a huge savings to the borrower. 

There can be many issues with a house appraising.  With HomePath, the sales price is used as the property value.  Fannie Mae has determined the price and the lender will accept that value without an appraisal.

Condominiums do not require a review except to verify that the project is not a Condotel.  This would avoid the need for a condo questionnaire to be completed.  The information contained on the condo questionnaire may make a condo ineligible for financing under normal conventional financing.    With HomePath, that would not be an issue.  Another great advantage is that some lenders have no additional LTV limits that would apply to Florida properties. 

A Fannie Mae-owned house or condominium may need repairs but would not be able to be completed prior to purchase. By applying for a HomePath mortgage, which doesn't require a property inspection or appraisal, the borrower would be able to finance the property and make the repairs after closing.  HomePath allows for 6% seller contributions for Primary and Second Homes, and 2% seller contributions for Investment Property. This could allow the borrower to keep more of their closing costs money in their own pocket to complete the repairs needed after closing. 

Happy to answer your questions on HomePath Financing.

Dawn M. Houser Senior Mortgage Banker

Phone:  239-464-9455   / Fax:  866-686-5382  / Email:  Dawn.Houser@aemc.cc

 

 

Successful Short Sale Helps Owner with Mortgage Relief

I had an owner of a property in Hammock Trace subdivision in Melbourne, Fl approach me to rent her winter vacation home that she purchased during the real estate boom years.  She wanted to receive enough rent to cover the mortgage payment.  I placed her home on the market, but could not get the property rented for the amount the owner wanted.  The owner was very distraught, her husband was ill and she was unable to rent the property, she was at a loss. She thought because she was upside down there was no way she could sell.  I asked Agi Anderson, who is a CDPE to meet with her to discuss selling her property in a short sale. The property recently closed, we saved the owner nearly $80,000, because they did not have to pay anything towards the deficit. They did receive a 1099 from their lender, however with proper guidance from an expert CPA, they should have minimal tax to pay.

So many owners are suffering with mortgage distress because of an upside down situation.  If you have a deficit, if you are upside down, there are options for mortgage relief.   Please contact me… my team and I are here to help.

Many tenants we place plan to buy at the end of their lease.  If you’re thinking about buying and want to consider a short sale, you need to allow at least three months for processing.  The agents on the KGB Home Ownership team can set you up to receive automated MLS property alerts based on your personal preferences.  They can also help you get prequalified for financing.  If you are worried about your credit, they can also lead you in the right direction.

The short sale process helps owners with mortgage relief and tenants with exceptional buys in real estate.  Some of our tenants have an interest in purchasing the property they rent.  It’s great when we create a win/win for everyone.

HURRICANE POOL PREPERATION GUIDE

Fortunately Brevard County, FL had very little impact from Hurricane Isaac, but the hurricane season is still upon us for a few months. The last thing you want to worry about is what to do with your swimming pool or spa. Blu Water Pool Service has prepared a list of what to do with your swimming pool if a storm or hurricane is approaching.

Following are some do's and don'ts for swimming pools in reference to hurricanes:

Do:

Shock or super chlorinate your pool (in the event of long utility outages, it may be your only source of water) It may be necessary after the storm to use the pool water for flushing toilets and other water uses by the old hand carry bucket method) Be very careful of this tropical storms bring rain and other unknown items AND CONTAMINATS into the pool. DO NOT USE AS DRINKING OR BATHING WATER.

Shut off the power (by simply flipping the breaker) to your pool pump and/or automation systems, heaters or heat pumps (may help to prevent against damage from electrical surges during and after storms).

Deck drains/gutters are clean and free of debris; this is only a small safeguard against keeping water out of your home if flooding occurs.

Screen Enclosures: I spoke with the screen contractor and this is their suggestion: Look to see if the enclosures Tapcon’s, screws and 

braces are good, tight and built up to strength. He suggested on screen panels that: you shouldn’t tear them out or cut the screen what happens if it doesn’t come). I look at it this way it is a screen and aluminum structure. Storms if large enough can take down concrete walls. Preventative Maintenance always helps so contact a screen professional to get advice from them if you are concerned and want advice. If you want their number call the office and we can get you hooked up with Intercoastal Screen, Inc. 321-480-4313

Prune Branches of Trees and Shrubs In your pool area you should prune dying and weak branches of trees and shrubs so they do not end up breaking off and finding their way into the pool and equipment.

Do not:

Drain any water whatsoever out of your pool (we like in ground pools "in the ground") Flooding occurs when the soil is saturated with water or you live in low lying areas. Many pool owners believe that draining their swimming pools or spas before a storm hits will keep it from overflowing and flooding their property. Wrong. Properly built or installed pools should be equipped with overflows that will drain excess water. If you want to slightly empty the water level, lower it no more than to the bottom of the waterline tile (12”). Otherwise, the hydrostatic pressure can be too strong, possibly causing the pool to "float" or "pop" out of the ground, according to the The Official Broward County Hurricane Preparedness Guide. The water in your pool serves as a kind of shield, protecting your pool's finish from the effects of flying debris.

Put patio furniture in the pool (difficult to remove) it's safer inside than lying at the bottom of the pool which could also hurt you or someone else when trying to get it out.

Remove your pool pump, really, wouldn't you rather board up windows or chase garden gnomes down……..do most people even know how to do that? Not only you may leave exposed electrical wires and we know what happens when power and water mix. It is not a good combination.

After the Storm: CPR for Your Pool until the Professionals can get to you. Once you've received clearance to return home and have taken care of other more critical and emotional assessments of damage, you can address the pool or spa. You'll want:

Visually inspect your pool pump, motor, filter, heater etc for any damage. Let the motor dry for at least 24 hours before the system is turned back on. If it is underwater stop do nothing and call us.

Clean out debris from swimming pool to keep it from staining permanently and keeping system free of debris. Unless there is way too much or you are worried then call us.

Check pool water: Call with any concerns in the meantime: Balance water pH, super chlorinate or shock your pool, and run the filter until the water becomes clear.

Don't allow anyone to use your pool right before or after super chlorination. Wait until the pool water is healthy and safe.

DO NOT DRAIN: It may be tempting if your pool is a disastrous mess, but, again, don't drain it.

In short, if you are confused about how to handle your pool…….call one of our property maintenance coordinators….Words of Wisdom…. Do not Google!!!!!

Thank you Blu Water Pool Service, for providing this important information. 

Eviction Process Explained

Eviction is never a preferred option, but sometimes it's the only alternative. I found this excellent video that explains the eviction process. It's good information for tenants and owners to understand.

Some tips for tenants, if you are unable to pay your rent on time, call and advise you will be late. If there is no communication and three days pass after the rent is due, you will receive a three day notice.

The Three-Day Notice is a condition precedent and jurisdictionally required notice which must be given in a non-payment of rent situation in order for the landlord to proceed to filing an eviction action. It is a very specific notice, clearly spelled out in Florida Statutes, must be of a certain form, with specific rent items only allowed, and it must be prepared and served properly in order for it to be a valid Three-Day Notice.

 

 

 

 

At Showcase Property Management, we do our very best to place credible tenants, but life happens and unfortunately we are forced to file an eviction.

I have dealt with tenants in the past who thought they could prolong the eviction process and remain in a property without paying rent. This is NOT the case.

Eviction is the last resort, we don't want to place people out of their homes, but sometimes there's just no other option. 

SECURITY DEPOSIT TIME LIMIT

 

Your old tenant is moving out and you have a new one coming in.  Let’s say the old tenant left in a hurry, so you and staff have to now move out the trash and leftover belongings, steam the carpet, repaint the walls, do minor repair work.  There’s a huge chunk of change from the security deposit that you want to use to cover expenses.  You think to yourself you have 30 days to notify the previous tenant of your plans to use the funds to cover rehabilitation expenses.  That’s well within your rights.

What if you only use part of the deposit for repairs and/or rehabilitation?  Still think you have the full 30 days to deliver the remaining balance of the previous tenant’s deposit?  Not so, says Florida Law.  You have fifteen days to return the rest of the deposit to the previous tenant if you are not making any claim. That means, if you don’t have to do any cleaning, repairs or rehabilitation that requires you to take some/part/all of the previous tenant’s deposit, you have fifteen days to return/refund the full amount. If not, then you are opening yourself and the corporation to a lawsuit (and potential add-on fees that would double or triple what you would have to pay). So, be sure to ask your company’s attorney or the attorney you have on hand to handle your real estate/tenant legal issues.   The last thing you would need is to have to pay thousands of dollars, in addition to returning the previous tenant’s deposit, when you first were notified of the tenant’s intent to vacate the premises.