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Tips On Home Equity Loans
What are one of the most applied for forms of credit in the country? Home equity loans. Home renovations, room upgrading, even vacations are funded...

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The anticipation surrounding moving into your home can only be dampened by one thing: closing costs. Closing costs must be paid to your lender before ...

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Top 5 Tips on How to Negotiate the Best Mortgage Deal


Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 10:25pm

Negotiating a mortgage for your new home can be stressful and intimidating. Here are 5 negotiating tips that you can add to your checklist:

1. KNOW YOUR SCORE - Checking your credit significantly beforehand is very helpful. This way, you can find out if your credit score is ranked high enough to negotiate better terms. If your score is below 700, then taking the time and effort to fix and improve it will be worth it, otherwise your mortgage may end up being unfavorable.

2. DO YOUR RESEARCH - Reading up on the business of mortgage lending and how the process works can be very advantageous to your negotiations. If you know what you are talking about, chances are that you will be taken seriously. When mortgage "lingo" is being tossed around, you will understand what is being said and will be able to respond intelligently. Use this knowledge as your negotiating leverage.

3. READ THE FINE PRINT - While this may seem like a redundant and obvious tip, many buyers zip right through to the end of mortgage documents without carefully reading everything. The "fine print" can be intimidating to digest, but you will find that most of it is quite easy to understand. Most importantly, if you do not understand anything or have any questions...ask!

4. SHOP AROUND FOR TITLE INSURANCE - Comparing costs for title insurance at Web sites like Closing.com. Ask your real estate broker to help you comparison shop and lead you to the right places to evaluate which company is right for you.

5. ASK FOR THE GOOD FAITH ESTIMATE EARLY - If you ask for the GFE early, there is a better opportunity for you to get any unanswered questions solved. If you have any concerns, you can always seek the advice of your real estate broker.

Please visit our Communities Page and learn about the best places to live around Central Florida or Visit our Foreclosure pageand find the best deals in properties.

Housing Boom Inspired Relocations


Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 11:13am

A side-effect of the housing boom, and now the housing slump, is just now coming to light. The number of people that actually moved to different cities, hoping to capitalize on the growing market, increased significantly. Clearly, the country's top three cities were affected the most. New York City welcomed over 53,000 new residents from 2007 to 2008, Los Angeles and Chicago grew by 27,000 and 21,000, respectively.

A Bloomberg News story says that the decrease in housing values actually is helping the underserved suburban areas of states such as Florida and California, as new residents are flocking to them.

Florida was one of the places that witnessed a flurry of action during the housing boom. The home values soared to astronomical prices, and people who did not foresee the bubble bursting, clamored to these places to take advantage of the upturn. Unfortunately, the bubble did eventually burst, causing home values to bottom out. Florida is one the hardest hit states as the attraction to profit from real estate is combined with warm weather, sunny beaches, beautiful homes, and an affordable standard of living is hard to resist; especially for those who come from cold northern states.

Bloomberg's news story added that not only did the housing bubble burst, but the migration bubble that followed has burst too. People are not so ready to relocate to states across the country in search of their capitalistic dreams anymore. Many families are now displaced, moving to more urban areas and affordable neighborhoods until another opportunity to follow the dream or move back home surfaces.
It is important to observe just how powerful the housing market is. It can shape our economy, but it can also shape where we choose to live and work. For something to convince a family of four to pick and move from, let's say, West Virginia to Florida, it undoubtedly is a force to be reckoned with.
As the housing market picks itself up and dusts itself off, it will be interesting to see how the migration factor changes, if it changes at all. Perhaps the ones who moved to Florida or other states will get a better deal the next time around.

To find deals in Central Florida, visit our Foreclosure page to check out the best homes that fit into your price range!



Florida Ranks Number One for Mortgage Defaults


Sunday, July 5, 2009 at 10:41am

A whopping 100,000 people in Florida were forced into foreclosure during the first quarter of 2009. The state ranks number one in the country for mortgage defaults, not to mention the only state reporting double digits. 11 percent of Florida homes are in foreclosure, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Rising unemployment contributed to many failed mortgage payment. People simply could not keep up with their loans, and the default-process affected people from all socio-economic backgrounds. People who were past 30 days late on payments were increasing quickly, bringing the number to 10.67 percent of Florida homeowners, totaling over 3.54 million.

The national rate, 9.12 percent, is lower because the home prices in Florida became overly inflated during the housing boom. Many wanted to get their hands on a piece of the real estate action, even if they were unable to afford their loan. Other homeowners had adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) and were became stuck when their mortgage payments rose excessively.
Agreeing that the foreclosure crisis is far from over, Jay Brinkman, chief economist of the MBA said, "It's going to take getting demand even with supply just to put a floor under prices. Even then, it may not get it up to a point where it gets buyers back above water."

Unfortunately, the situation may get even worse with those who were able to get loan modifications. A study done by Fitch Ratings predicts that 75 percent of homeowners that have had subprime loan modifications would fall behind on their payments by 60 days or more by the end of one year. Brinkman adds, "There may be repeat visitors [defaulters] coming back into the numbers."

How do you benefit? Get a great deal on Central Florida housing by visiting our Foreclosure page or our Hot Properties Page and find the best deals available on the market updated every hour.

One of the Best Places to Own a Home? Sunny Central Florida!


Friday, July 3, 2009 at 11:34am

Central Florida is one of the most visited destinations world, not to mention a hot spot for young people and retirees. The area has something to offer everyone. From sparkling lakes and rivers perfect for fishing or boating, to unique attractions and recreational venues. The best part about Central Florida? The great weather! Florida's average high temperature is around 81 degrees Fahrenheit with a low hovering around 60 degrees. Itís no wonder they call it the Sunshine State.

Cynthia Shelton, president of the 2009 Florida Association of Realtors beams, "Florida is a great place to live and I feel privileged to call it home." Alluding to the variety of entertainment options, Shelton adds, "There is so much to see, to experience and to enjoy in Florida... [like] the family fun offered by Orlando's theme parks and attractions. We have visitors coming here from around the world to vacation in Florida. But they only get to sample what Florida offers for a brief time; when you're lucky enough to be a Florida homeowner, there's no end to the possibilities!"

According to Enterprise Florida, a public-private partnership dedicated to the economic development of the state, Florida has the following amenities:

- The state's park system, one of the largest in the U.S., has 160 parks covering more than 700,000 acres

- Seven of Relocate-America's Top 100 Places to Live in 2008 were Florida cities. These rankings attest to Florida's high quality of life, and are based on a combination of economic data and feedback from people who live in each area.

- In many ways, Florida's cost of living is below that of other states with similar economic growth. The Florida Association of Realtors shows that $187,800 was the statewide median price for an existing home at year-end 2008.

- Noted for its outstanding statewide system of trails, Florida was named the Best Trails State in America.

- Five Florida universities were named to the Best Values in Public Colleges list for 2009 by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. The schools are University of Florida, ranking No. 2 in the nation; New College of Florida, No. 8; Florida State University, No. 17; University of Central Florida, No. 42; and the University of South Florida, No. 75.

Please visit our Communities page and learn about the best areas around Central Florida or you can come a fly with us as we take you on a 3-D Google Earth Tour of the best communities Central Florida has to offer.

Avoid Remodeling Problems: Top 5 Tips


Wednesday, July 1, 2009 at 6:04pm

Thinking about remodeling your home? So are millions of other Americans. However, the economy is forcing homeowners to re-evaluate their role in the remodeling. Over half of homeowners with plans to remodel are attempting to complete the work themselves. Sure, there are easy ways to fix-up your house such as decorating and painting. But be careful when it comes to more skilled projects like installing appliances or tiling floors, as mistakes can become costly, not to mention a huge nuisance.

Consumer Reports conducted a survey of 6,000 readers, asking them about their biggest remodeling problems, what their blunders cost them and ways to avoid getting into a similar situation again.

1). THINK BEFORE YOU ACT - Rushing into things can be one of the costliest mistakes homeowners make. If you find that something has gone wrong during your project, fixing the problem can be an expensive hassle. Do your research first.

2). STUFF HAPPENS - Even careful planning cannot prevent the unexpected from happening. A variety of setbacks can occur during a remodeling project, from uncovering structural problems to hidden water damage. Be prepared and anticipate the unanticipated.

3). DON'T BE CHEAP! - Yes, we all love a bargain and many of us pride ourselves for "shopping around." But always going for the lowest-priced contractor or trying to save on inexpensive materials may end up being an expensive faux pas. Sometimes you can find great contractors at affordable prices, and the cheaper materials may be the best for the job, but make sure you are aware of what you are signing up for. It's better to spend a little more and be confident in the end-result.

4). GET THAT PAPER - Paperwork. It is so imperative for contractors to furnish valid licenses, insurance, workers compensation. Permits to allow the contractor to do the job(s) should also be obtained. Lien wavers are essential as they help homeowners to avoid any unpaid vendors or suppliers from contacting them for payment. Make a checklist of all the paperwork you need before the project begins.

5). SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF - Instead of joining the bathroom-and-kitchen-remodeling bandwagon, focus on the less glamorous details like lighting, air-conditioning filters, and shelving. They may seem unimportant, but all the small stuff adds up to a beautiful home. Perhaps start off with minor projects that you can tackle before moving on to larger projects.

Please visit our communities page so that you can learn and visit the best communities around Central Florida .

Sources: Consumer Reports

Housing Trend: Jewel-Box Homes


Monday, June 29, 2009 at 12:20pm

A new trend in housing has arrived in Central Florida: Jewel-box houses, as they are being called, are modest-sized homes that are constructed with premium materials, ornate detailing and custom interior-finishes.

The good thing about these new homes is that they appeal to a variety of demographic groups. Young professionals and newlyweds, as well as two fast-growing segments, empty-nesters and retirees all fit within the "jewel-box" target market.

Many factors, including energy efficiency and budget reduction play a role in the need to downgrade from larger homes to smaller ones.

Although "downsizing" has traditionally been referred to negatively, it is now a buzzword. "Homeowners are taking that portion of their budget that would have been used for larger living spaces, and using it for better details in smaller spaces," says Stephen Gidus, co-owner of PSG Construction in Orlando. Large homes with formal dining and living rooms, oversize foyers, and huge master bedrooms and bathrooms clash with the casual and relaxed way that Americans live today.

Sarah Susanka, author of "The Not So Big House" agrees that jewel-box houses are the way to go, "In most homes, the kitchen is the heart, the place where family and friends gather. Americans take quick showers, they don't luxuriate in soaking tubs. So why not invest in areas we regularly use, and eliminate those that are mostly for show?"

The furniture industry is also following suit. Jackie Hirschhaut, vice president/marketing at the American Home Furnishings Alliance, says "that manufacturers are making furniture that is smaller and more multipurpose: love seats instead of sofas, expandable dining tables, home-office armoires with fold-down work stations, and compact corner units for big-screen TVs".

It seems that the jewel-box trend could have some staying power if positioned to the right audience. What more proof could Central Floridians need to downsize? Check out our Hot Buy Properties page to search for price per square foot and make your dollar stretch farther than you thought it could!

Miami Heat Stars Raising Awareness for Foreclosure Assistance


Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 10:41am

In the city of Hollywood, Florida, one of the areas that were hit the hardest by the subprime crisis, some new and unexpected assistance has come forward. In an effort to educate and inform the community about the free support available to victims of foreclosure, Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade and former Heat champion Alonzo Mourning began a bus tour on Thursday, uniting with nonprofit and government organizations.

The aim of the bus tour is to alert the population that free foreclosure assistance exists, and that nonprofit organizations like the HOPE NOW Alliance intend to provide some much needed optimism for homeowners. Hope Now, a sponsor of the event, can help troubled homeowners renegotiate their loan terms.

Wade commented, "It hurts my heart. I know it hurts everyone's heart in here...I'm here to help bring awareness to this and to let everyone know that there is an opportunity for them, and that there is hope."

A local resident, Frances Rodriguez said that she was able to receive aid from the Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida. They helped her renegotiate her mortgage payments despite the fact she was 24 months behind.

Unfortunately, because of embarrassment or doubt, many of the 250,000 people that Hope Now has extended a helping hand to have declined to respond, said the organization's Director, Larry Gilmore. As a result, the Miami Heat stars were tapped to join the movement.

"They're not responding to mail. They're not responding to telephone calls," Gilmore added. "Our goal is to identify trusted advisors in the community [like Mourning and Wade] to encourage them to take action."

The bus tour seems to be catching quite a buzz. Wade and Mourning have been swamped, signing basketballs or jerseys at pit stops in hopes of translating some of their celebrity into indispensible education regarding foreclosure aid.

Please visit our Foreclosure pagewhere you can view and search for all the foreclosures and bank-owned properties in Central Florida.

The Housing Market's Future Salvation: Echo Boomers


Friday, June 26, 2009 at 9:55am

Could it be that Echo boomers, the term coined for the children of Baby boomers, could save the housing market in the years to come? According to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, the 25-44 year olds will soon be entering the home-buying market and will be looking to purchase homes in the next 10+ years.

How many Echo boomers are there? There are 75 million, to be exact. This is noteworthy because, "there will be 5 million more Echo boomers that there were [Baby] boomers when they first started swelling the markets, " says Eric Belsky, Executive Director of Harvard University's Joint Center.

This new customer base could translate to an impending increase in demand for housing units. Belsky adds that as the job market slowly begins to recover, the improvement of the housing market will follow. However, while it is certain that demand will eventually increase drastically, because of the Echo Boomers' median incomes, house prices may not rise along with that demand. The Echo boomer generation earns significantly less than their Baby boomer parents, and as a result their spending power is reduced in comparison.

Nevertheless, a looming short-term problem remains to be resolved. The credit and foreclosure crises are very real and very challenging predicaments. Nicolas Retsinas, Director of the Harvard University's Joint Center, echoes that same sentiment, saying "while fundamentally we see what could be the foundation for long-term recovery, we still have to get through today's challenges."

Source:www.chicagotribune.com, www.jchs.harvard.edu, Reuters

The Joy of Living Within the Best Homes in Best Locations


Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 5:51pm

You have a regular place to live in. You have a garden that sends you off with lush greens and bight blossoms as you go to work. You have a gourmet kitchen that serves as your avenue to express love in terms of sumptuous meals served to your family on wonderful Sunday mornings. You sleep soundly in your cozy bed with pictures around that adorn your much-coveted room. What a great home you might have but the moment you step out of your own doors lay the greatest dilemma. You realize that you actually belong to a community which is not friendly and safe enough to stay calm and confident while you are out for work or for a short shopping. You do not have a park to walk your dogs and spend quality time with you kids for play. You travel miles and miles for hours just to reach the nearest grocery store. And worst, you find hard time reaching for the hospital or clinic in cases of health emergencies.

The joy of living is basically dependent on the best home situated in good locations. What joy could you get out of a great home in a dangerous or isolated community? What other comfort could you get from not being able to spend lazy afternoons in parks? What satisfaction could you have from a home away from transportation and amenities access?

If you want to live life to its fullest, look for homes that belong to a good and promising community. You would not want your children to grow deprived of great opportunities that others enjoy in the urban. Search for a haven that provides an environment conducive to great having a great life.

This is possible in every channel of homes for sale. The joy of living can only be found in homes that are located in good places. When choosing a home, you do not just consider the home per se. You should also take into consideration the community in which the home is located. Although it really pays to buy a foreclosure home discounted at 50-70% off the fair market price, you should also know that the real best buys are those that provide you with a sense of security in areas that open opportunities for leisure and fun for the family. Enjoying your neighborhood is equally important as enjoying your home. It is never impossible to buy a good home in your favorite city or community.

Let your home be in a community of oneness with nature without depriving you of the comforts of having shopping centers, cafe, and basic amenities like schools for your children, church and hospitals for you health. Many people prioritize the home and disregard the kind of people around. With every home, you are assured of a neighborhood that shares the same principle in life with you. Let your children grow in a friendly and fun community of warm and loving people.

Please Visit our Lake Mary coopilation of homes rated in the top 10 places to live in the USA.

Foreclosures Prevent Housing Market from Improving


Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at 3:11pm

Rising unemployment and escalating consumer debt is widening the gap between aspiring home-buyers and the homes they wish to purchase. Even though housing market prices have reached those similar to home values circa 2003, sales are still struggling due to foreclosures.

Using the standard ratio of mortgage to earnings, it has been traditionally advised that households spend one-third of their gross annual income on their mortgage. However, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies, job loss has caused an alarming jump in the number of U.S. households that have been using more than half of their incomes to make mortgage payments. In 2001 this comprised of 13.1 million households, and in 2007 it was 17.9 million. Due to the recent rise in unemployment, this statistic has most likely risen drastically in the past two years.

With tens of millions of households struggling to make house payments, and more individuals losing their jobs every day, the housing market is looking very bleak. Lenders are increasing the amount of down payments and requiring higher income brackets in order to qualify homebuyers. While these issues were only affecting certain markets in the U.S., a "ripple effect is just broadening out to cover a lot more places," says Susan Wachter, a real estate finance professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. States like Florida and California have been impacted from the beginning of the sub-prime crisis, but now small towns in South Carolina and Wisconsin are also being affected.

President Obama and his administration are spending up to $75 billion in an effort to help those overwhelmed with high mortgages. Unfortunately, the housing market will not see an improvement until the foreclosure crisis ends; foreclosures will continue to occur as long as nation-wide job loss persists.

Please visit our Foreclosure page where you can view and search for all the foreclosures and bank-owned properties in Central Florida.

Win for Vacation Home and Business Owners on Property Taxes


Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at 4:55am

On May 12, 2009 the Florida Senate just approve SB 532 on a 26 to 11 vote.
This is the biggest win for second home owners, investors, and business owners. This new bill will limit the amount of tax assessment increase annually to a maximum of five percent from the previous year. Second home owners can now budget their vacation home taxes accordingly and not worry about a tax bill double or triple from the previous year. There will not be any more surprises comes the tax time, in addition if property values ever get to be like during the Real Estate boom property taxes will only increase to maximun of five percent.

Incredible Condo Deal In South Orlando Just Listed


Friday, April 17, 2009 at 5:41am

Are You looking for a great investment property then look no more. This 2 bedroom 2 bath condo just got listed for $19,900 that's it, I repeat $19,900!!!!. The Last sale price on this condo was $218,000 back in January 2008 that represents 90% off the last sale price. Opportunity...Opportunity...

9924 SWEEPSTAKES LN # 2, ORLANDO Centrally located off Orange Blossom Trail and Central Florida Parkway in South Orlando. 5 minutes to the Florida mall.

It has Stainless steel appliances, updated counter tops, and the price is only $21 a square foot, you can not built a condo for that price...

Call us now and if want to know more about deals like this one....