How Can I Improve My Home’s Value?

 

Buyers generally seek the least expensive home in the best neighborhood they can handle. Like the guy in the video says, you want to present a home that fits in the neighborhood but doesn’t stand out too much.

For example if neighbors are all 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and 3000 square feet additions that make your home 5, 4, and 4000 will make yours harder to sell.

Improvements should make it show well and fit well in the neighborhood. Last-minute capital investments in large structural changes aren’t likely to pay off.

But cosmetic upgrades like paint and landscaping help a home “show” better and often do pay off.

Of course, all systems and appliances should work to get a top price. To make your home competitive and attract buyers and bids work with a professional real estate agent and start early.

Suncoast One Title has locations in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and North Port Florida

What Is Mortgage Insurance?

 

Like the video shows, mortgage insurance is a policy that protects lenders against some or most of the losses that result from defaults on home mortgages. Like home or auto insurance, mortgage insurance requires payment of a premium, is for protection against loss, and is used in the event of an emergency.

If a borrower can’t repay an insured mortgage loan as agreed, the lender may foreclose on the property and file a claim with the mortgage insurer for some or most of the total losses.

You generally need mortgage insurance only if you plan to make a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price of the home. The FHA offers several loan programs that may meet your needs.

Suncoast One Title has locations in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and North Port Florida

What Can I Expect To Happen On Closing Day?

 

While this video simplifies things to help you remember: you’ll present your paid homeowner’s insurance policy or a binder and receipt showing that the premium has been paid. The closing agent will then list the money you owe the seller remainder of down payment, prepaid taxes, and so on. and then the money the seller owes you unpaid taxes and prepaid rent, if applicable.

The seller will provide proofs of any inspection, warranties, and so on. Once you’re sure you understand all the documentation you’ll sign the mortgage, agreeing that if you don’t make payments the lender is entitled to sell your property and apply the sale price against the amount you owe plus expenses.

You’ll also sign a mortgage note, promising to repay the loan. The seller will give you the title to the house in the form of a signed deed. You’ll pay the lender’s agent all closing costs and, in turn, he or she will provide you with a settlement statement of all the items for which you have paid.

The deed and mortgage will then be recorded in the state Registry of Deeds and you will be a homeowner.

Suncoast One Title has locations in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and North Port Florida

What Are The Advantages Of 15- And 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages?

 

For both, as we show you in this video, compared with other options,  with fixed rates, housing costs won’t be affected by interest rate changes and inflation.

With A 30-Year Term: In the first 23 years of the loan more interest is paid off than principal meaning larger tax deductions. As inflation and costs of living increase mortgage payments become a smaller part of overall expenses.

With A 15-year Term: Loan is usually made at a lower interest rate. Equity is built faster because early payments pay more principal. And the loan is paid off earlier.

Compare payments, principal and interest totals to make a decision.

Suncoast One Title has offices in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and North Port, Florida

Buying a home process in North Port Florida 

How Can I Keep Track Of All The Homes I See?

 

There are some great tips in this video, like:

if possible, take photographs of each house: the outside, the major rooms, the yard and extra features that you like or ones you see as potential problems.

Write things down as you go. And don’t hesitate to return for a second look.

Use the HUD Home Scorecard (www.hud.gov/buying/checklist.pdf) to organize your photos and notes for each house.

Suncoast One Title has offices in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and North Port

What Is Equity?

 

Equity is the value YOU own in property such as a house. It’s the difference between what’s OWED and what the property is WORTH in the current market.

The example this video shows – you have a house worth $300,000 today and you owe the bank $200,000.  Your equity would be $100,000.

If the house is valued at $500,000 in five years, and you still owe $150,000 your equity will be $350,000.

Equity grows if the property value goes up or if the amount owed goes down.  The key thing to remember, simple as it sounds, is that you “own” increases in value. The bank’s loan doesn’t go up if the home’s value goes up.

Equity in a home can be used as collateral for loans but a house is not a piggy bank. Home equity can become a key financial asset over time; treat it wisely.

Suncoast One Title has locations in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and North Port Florida

What Is “Prime”?

 

The Prime Lending Rate – sometimes just called “Prime”  – is the interest rate that banks charge each other for overnight loans. Some consumer rates – like ARMs – are set in relation to Prime.

In the US, Prime is affected by the Federal Reserve lending rate to banks; historically, Prime is about 3 percent above the Fed rate.

The video shows  an example.

  • The Federal Reserve loans to Bank A at 1%
  • Bank A loans to Bank B at 4%
  • Both banks – A & B – will recalculate variable-rate loans like ARMs on that 4% Prime figure.

ARM rates are frequently defined as “% above Prime” – that gap is usually called the “margin” or “spread.” Just remember those 3 layers in Prime: Federal Reserve Bank A Bank B And finally, YOUR rate.

Suncoast One Title has locations in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and North Port Florida

What Types Of Closing Costs Are Associated With FHA-Insured Loans?

 

While this video simplifies things to help you remember, except for the addition of an FHA mortgage insurance premium, FHA closing costs are similar to those of a conventional loan.

As of 2013, the FHA requires a single, upfront mortgage insurance premium equal to 2.25% of the mortgage to be paid at closing (or 1.75% if you complete the HELP program).

This initial premium may be partially refunded if the loan is paid in full during the first seven years of the loan term.

After closing, you will then be responsible for an annual premium – paid monthly – if your mortgage is over 15 years or if you have a 15-year loan with an LTV greater than 90%.

Suncoast One Title has locations in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and North Port Florida

How Should I Prepare The Inside For An Open House?

 

For many homes and markets, professional help from someone in “staging” makes good financial sense.  Like this video say, check your staging options first.
If you are doing it yourself, here are 5 key tips.

One – Depersonalize.

You want the buyer to envision this house being their home?

Remove the things that make it YOUR home – photos, awards, collections, and STUFF.

Two – MOVE the stuff.

It’s tempting to shove things in closets and attics but your prospective buyer will see a much smaller house if those spaces are full.

Move it to a storage space or a friend’s garage.

Three – Warm it up.

Baking bread or cookies

adding fresh flowers

and colorful pillows and throws

are touches used by professional stagers to make a place warm without your stuff.

Four – Light it up!

 

  • Light sells homes.
  • Clean windows, inside and out.
  • Light bulbs all working and curtains open or even gone.

Five – Go Away.

Don’t hover – leave.

Pack for a day trip and have your realtor tell you when to return

Buyers won’t envision themselves buying if you’re around.

Depersonalize and move stuff out;

Warm it up and light it up.

Then leave and let your realtor do their job.

Suncoast One Title has locations in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and North Port Florida

What Are The Steps Involved In The FHA Loan Process?

 

The video puts this in more visual terms, but with the exception of a few additional forms the FHA loan application process is similar to that of a conventional loan.

With new automation measures FHA loans may be originated more quickly than before. And, if you don’t prefer a face-to-face meeting, you can apply for an FHA loan via mail, telephone the Internet, or video conference.

Suncoast One Title has locations in Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and North Port Florida