PGA VILLAGE VERANO PORT ST LUCIE
The Benefits Of Home Ownership
The decision to purchase a home in PGA Village Verano is exciting and a major investment for your future. Because there is only so much of it to go around, real estate is the top choice for many investors and the desire for most families. This article is designed to highlight some of the many benefits of home ownership and how buying a home can often turn the American Dream into a reality.
One of the most profitable markets in real estate is rentals, which means that many families are paying to live in a home that isn't their own. In some cases, renting a home is necessary. For all others, the money that would be spent on rent could instead be used to pay a mortgage. In fact, monthly rent payments often exceed that of a typical mortgage payment. One of the greatest benefits of home ownership is putting money into something that you can call your own and knowing that the monthly payments are going toward your home's equity.
Speaking of equity, many properties experience a growth in value as more development moves into the area or the economy strengthens through an increase in job opportunities. If this happens, home values soar and owners can bask in the glory of their newfound profit. When you purchase a new car, it depreciates the moment that you drive off of the lot. When you buy a home, however, it has the potential to appreciate year after year. There are few things in life that can offer you a return above and beyond your original purchase price, but a home can.
When you own a home, you will enjoy the freedom of decorating and making any changes that you choose without needing the permission of a landlord or property owner. In addition, you may even be able to use your home's equity to finance some needed improvements and/or repairs. In some cases, these changes may even increase the value of your home. An upgraded kitchen or bathroom, hardwood flooring or an additional room are examples of changes that could result in added value.
Another advantage of home ownership is the tax benefits that are available. The interest paid on a home mortgage as well as most property taxes paid are tax deductible. For additional information on deducting mortgage interest and property tax, consult the IRS or a tax professional.
In addition to providing yourself and your family with a feeling of stability and permanence, home ownership can also help strengthen your credit profile through timely mortgage payments and a steady financial history.
Buying Verses Renting A Home
When it comes to a home, you have two options: buy or rent. What is right for one person may not be right for another, which is why it's important to know which is the best option for your individual situation.
Why People Rent
There are a number of reasons why someone may either choose or be forced to rent, including sporadic or unpredictable income, a high debt-to-income ratio, a bankruptcy or foreclosure within the last six months, unpaid collection accounts or judgments, frequent relocating for employment or the inability to save enough money for a required down payment on the purchase of a home.
As a homeowner, you will be responsible for any maintenance or repair issues that arise. This is a big consideration when choosing whether to rent or buy. When you rent, the property owner is responsible for repairs and it may not always be obvious that these issues can be very costly.
How To Know When It's Time To Buy
If you have steady income with a good employment history, can provide a down payment of at least 5-10 percent of the purchase price and are current with all debts, it may be time to consider buying a home instead of renting. In some cases, the cost of rent may even exceed that of a typical mortgage payment.
When deciding to buy, job stability is a big factor. If your job does not require frequent relocation and you plan to live in the home for at least 5-10 years, you may want to consider making the purchase. If you need to relocate after that, you may have enough equity from the sale to use as a down payment on another home.
Home Buyer's Checklist
If you can answer yes to the following questions, you may be ready for home ownership. Your REALTOR® can help you to find the perfect home based on your individual needs.
· Have you been steadily employed for at least one year, but preferably two years?
· Do you plan to live in the home long enough to build equity?
· Can you provide a down payment and still have enough money left to pay for closing costs, utilities and home furnishings?
· Are you current on all debts, including auto loans, credit cards, etc.?
· In addition to any current debts that you may have, can you afford a monthly mortgage payment which will likely include property taxes and insurance?
· Do you have the time to devote to shopping for a home and comparing interest rates from various lenders?
· Have you checked your credit reports for inaccuracies and disputed anything that needs correction with each of the three major credit reporting agencies?
The decision to buy or rent is a very personal one that can only be determined after a careful evaluation of your situation. A REALTOR® can show you the perfect home and a lender can tell you whether or not you can afford it, but it's up to you to make the choice as to whether or not you are ready to make the move.
Home Buying Checklist: The Process Of Buying Your New Home
Once you've made the decision to buy a home, it's time to start thinking about what comes next. Every buyer needs a checklist that will guide them through the process of searching for the perfect home, evaluating their choices and making a purchase.
Learn The Lingo
When you set out to buy a new home, you will need to familiarize yourself with various real estate terms, conduct research on the market value of homes in the area in which you intend to shop and learn the art of negotiation. This information will help as you browse homes, talk with REALTORS® and get further into the buying process.
Get A Free Credit Report
Every 12 months, you are entitled to request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies - Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. You should make this request before you begin looking at homes in order to allow yourself enough time to identify and dispute any inaccuracies in your credit file(s). When you approach a lender, you will need to make sure that everything is correct and up-to-date.
Pre-qualification is different than pre-approval in that it gives you a possible price range that you can afford, but does not guarantee you the loan. Pre-qualification is important because it will help you narrow your search to include only homes that you can afford. Knowing what you can pay beforehand will save you both time and disappointment in looking at homes that do not fit your budget.
Speak With A REALTOR®
Nobody knows the real estate business like a REALTOR®, so let them help you to find your new home. Based on your specific requirements, a REALTOR® can locate a home that will suit you at a price that's within your budget. When he/she finds one or more possible candidates, you will be invited to tour the home. At this point, you should take a camera for the purpose of later reviewing each house with visuals instead of relying solely on memory.
Make An Offer
Once you find the perfect home, make an offer that's less than you are actually willing to pay. This way, the seller can make a counteroffer that would hopefully still be within your budget. It's important to familiarize yourself with the art of negotiation so that can learn how to get the best deal without insulting the seller. If you have not yet been pre-approved, make sure that your offer is contingent upon your being able to obtain the necessary financing.
Obtain A Loan
Once you and the seller agree on a purchase price, you may be required to provide an earnest money deposit that will secure the home as you obtain a loan (if applicable). A lender will require a home inspection and appraisal for the property in connection with your loan application. In most cases, you will know within 24 hours whether or not your application is approved, but the actual closing will not occur until the inspection and appraisal are complete.
Now that the papers are signed and you have the keys to your new home, it's time to get moving - literally. Remember to decorate your new home and add all of those special touches that reflect your personality. After all, a house is only a house until you make it a home.
Buying Your First Home - Seven Tips For First-Time Home Buyers
Now that you've made the decision to purchase your first home, a hearty congratulations is in order! Becoming a homeowner, especially for the first time, can stir up some feelings of anxiety and excitement. With the knowledge that you gain through individual research and the help of your REALTOR®, you will soon begin to feel like a seasoned house hunter.
Tip # 1: Do Your Homework
Did you know that there are a number of incentives available to first-time home buyers? Everything from a 3-5 percent down payment and interest rates as low as 5.75 percent are just a few of the ways that lenders help to make the dream of home ownership into a reality for many. An FHA loan, for instance, is especially appealing to first-time home buyers. The best way to find out what's available, in terms of down payment requirements and interest rates, is to do your homework by comparing offerings from various lenders.
Tip # 2: Save Money
Although many loans are geared toward offering lower down payments to first-time home buyers, it's important to save as much money as possible so that you will have enough to provide an earnest money deposit (if applicable), pay for closing costs and still have the funds to furnish and decorate your new home.
Tip # 3: Get Your Credit Profile In Order
When you apply for a loan, the lender will access a copy of your credit report and will use the information to determine your creditworthiness and/or interest rate. This means that you will want to make sure that the information contained in your credit report is accurate and up-to-date. You can do this by requesting a copy of your file from each of the three major credit reporting agencies - Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
In addition to past credit history, lenders will also look at your current debt ratio in order to determine whether or not you can afford the home. This means that you may want to consider paying down some of your existing credit card debt and avoid taking on any new debt before applying for a mortgage.
Tip # 4: Start Your Search
With the World Wide Web being what it is today, it's no surprise that many potential home buyers start their search online. A Realtor's Web site is designed to not only list real estate, but also to educate a buyer as they move through the process of searching for a new home. In addition, the internet offers a way for consumers to browse through color photos and virtual tours, both interior and exterior, along with information pertaining to the homes themselves. The convenience of being able to find a home that you like without having to wait is just one of the many benefits to shopping for a house online. When you are finally ready to meet with a REALTOR®, you will already have one or more prospects in mind.
Tip # 5: Have Patience
Perhaps you will find the perfect house this week, or maybe it will take a little longer. Some buyers find exactly what they are looking for right away, while others have to do a little more searching to find their dream home. As a first-time home buyer, it's a good idea to begin the process with an understanding that good things really do come to those who wait. You may see a number of homes, take numerous photos and may even make an offer or two, but patience may very well be the key to finding your new home.
Tip # 6: Take Notes
If you see a lot of homes, it will be impossible to remember the features of each. For this reason, you should consider taking a notebook and writing down each unique or defining aspect that you like or dislike about a particular house. This information, along with any photos that you take, will help you greatly when it's time to make a choice.
Tip # 7: Don't Settle
A home is a big investment and it could, quite possibly, be the largest you will ever make. For this reason, along with the fact that you will be living in the home every day, make sure that you get what you want. There could be an instance where you need to make some type of compromise, but you may want to avoid choosing something just because it's within your price range or you feel as though it's your only option. New houses are placed on the market every day and, as a buyer, the next one listed may just be your dream home.
Finding Your Perfect Home
As the old saying goes, real estate is all about location, location, location. But, there is a lot more to it than just plain geography when it comes to finding your perfect home. There are a lot of things to consider during the search because, for most, a home is the most significant purchase they will ever make.
Choose A Good Area
When searching for your perfect home, the obvious place to start is with the selection of a location. If you have children, you may want to choose a home that is close to good schools and is also located in a family-oriented neighborhood. Many people also look for a home that offers a short commute to and from work. If you are shopping within a specific price range, you can also narrow the choices by finding an area that offers the best value for your dollar.
Select A Style
The perfect home for you is one that has all of the elements that you want. Whether it's a garage, basement, extra bedroom or bath, a large kitchen, fireplace or open floor plan, choosing the style of home that you want is an important first step in finding the perfect place to hang your hat. You may also want to consider whether you prefer a single-level or two-story home. Many home buyers also factor in floor plans when searching for a house, including those that offer an open and flowing design.
Now that you know what you want and where you want it, it's important to find out how much of a home you can afford. Pre-qualification is not the same as pre-approval. With pre-qualification, your lender will request specific information relating to your income and expenditures and will offer a possible price range for you to keep in mind while shopping. Pre-qualification does not guarantee that you will receive an approval, but it does give you a good indication of how much you can afford based on your current situation.
Talk To A REALTOR®
Nobody knows the real estate business like a REALTOR®, so let them help you in your search for the perfect home. They can answer questions relating to the neighborhood, recent inspections on a particular home and any needed repairs. Because a REALTOR® has access to a number of area homes, they have the ability to show you various choices within your preferred area and price range.
Ask About Amenities
One of the most significant concerns of any home buyer is what a home has to offer. Utilities, such as water, sewer, cable, phone and electricity are just a few of the things to consider. If the home is in a subdivision that requires the payment of association dues, how will these funds be used? What amenities does the home owner's association offer? These are all questions to ask your REALTOR® when shopping for the perfect home.
In conclusion, you should know that the search for your perfect home is a journey. It may be either long or short and with or without some bumps along the way, but the greatest satisfaction will be at the journey's end and your future's beginning.
What Is An Earnest Money Deposit?
An earnest money deposit, also known as a good faith deposit, is a specific dollar amount that a potential buyer pays to the seller in an effort to display their serious interest in a property. It's important to note that an earnest money deposit is not the same as a down payment.
The Purpose Of An Earnest Money Deposit
An earnest money deposit is used to secure a purchase contract, which means the buyer doesn't have to worry about the property being sold out from underneath them. Without an agreement, the seller would be free to sell the home at anytime. An earnest money deposit, however, secures the availability of the home as the potential buyer obtains an inspection, appraisal and financing for the purchase.
How Much Good Faith Is Enough
So, just how much of an earnest money deposit is required? Truthfully, it depends on a number of factors, including the home's purchase price, your location and the standard as set by other sellers. In most cases, the earnest money deposit is negotiable and the seller will be happy in knowing that the potential buyer is serious enough to offer their money in good faith.
How An Earnest Money Deposit Is Used
If the transaction is successful and the buyer follows through with the purchase, an earnest money deposit is most commonly refunded to the buyer or applied to closing costs. If the buyer defaults or is unable to obtain financing, the seller often has the discretion to retain the earnest money deposit as damages or as otherwise described in the purchase agreement.
Using Your Dollars And Sense
When it comes to an earnest money deposit, it's essential that buyers know who should receive the money and how to handle the payment. In most cases, the deposit should be made payable and presented to a licensed real estate broker, an attorney or escrow company. Your REALTOR® can assist in getting your earnest money deposit into the right hands. It's important to obtain a receipt, which should clearly outline the purpose of the deposit. The funds will be handled in accordance with the purchase agreement and/or as agreed upon by both the buyer and seller.
Before handing over a good faith deposit, make sure that you have faith in the person accepting your money. Potential buyers should not give an earnest money deposit directly to the seller, nor should they give it to anyone who claims to be with a brokerage firm unless their credentials are verified.
What Is A Home Warranty Plan?
A home warranty plan, also known as a home protection plan, is a service contract that offers homeowners a way to safeguard themselves against possible breakage or a malfunction within the home. It's impossible to predict the future, which is why so many buyers look for that little extra peace of mind to comfort them when life unexpectedly throws them an unforeseen problem.
Who Needs A Home Warranty Plan
Basically, anyone who purchases a home and is concerned with the cost of repairs should consider a home warranty plan. This is especially true of first-time home buyers who may not be familiar with home maintenance.
Factoring In The Cost
When factoring in the potential cost of repairing a major appliance or other home component, a home warranty plan may not be a bad investment. The actual cost of warranty coverage will depend on the plan chosen and the items protected. As is the case with everything in life, it's best to shop around and compare prices.
Who Pays For A Home Warranty Plan
As a buyer, you can order a home warranty plan in conjunction with the purchase of your home. However, some sellers or builders may include this type of offering as an incentive to attract potential buyers. In this case, the plan is yours at no additional cost. Some REALTORS® may also offer a home warranty plan as a gift to customers who buy a home through their agency.
What's Covered & What's Not
Just like a car warranty, no two policies are the same. Coverage varies by location and issuer, and your REALTOR® can help you to choose a warranty plan that best suits your needs. Most basic plans cover a home's heating and cooling system, electrical system, plumbing, water heater and major appliances, including a dishwasher, range/oven/cooktop, garbage disposal, etc. Coverage does not apply to items that are misused or damaged, either intentionally or through negligence. Instead, most home warranty plans are designed to protect the homeowner from defects that result during the course of normal wear and tear.
When considering the purchase of a home warranty plan, review the complete contract and familiarize yourself with exactly what's covered under your policy. If you want an upgraded policy, don't hesitate to ask your REALTOR® if one is available. Most companies do not require a home inspection and will notify homeowners when their coverage is about to expire. The good news is that most policies are renewable.
What To Do If A Problem Arises
If you are unable to satisfactorily resolve an issue with your home warranty plan, either due to denial of a claim or undesirable service, talk to the REALTOR® who sold you the home. If he/she refers a lot of business to this particular company, it may be possible for him/her to speak with them about reaching an amicable resolution.
The purchase of a home is a big step and it's likely to be the largest purchase you will ever make, so be sure to consider all of the options available to help protect yourself from costly repairs. Ask your REALTOR® for more information relating to available home warranty plans.