Treasure Coast Real Estate Blog

Read Articles for Home Buyers and Sellers

Discover valuable resources to help you make informed decisions and achieve your real estate goals. Scroll down to access a variety of informative articles.

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Feb. 25, 2024

How to Make a Down Payment Possible

When you pay your monthly rent, you might often wish your money was going towards your future. However, for many aspiring first-time home buyers, the down payment required for homeownership seems impossible. But climbing the "down payment mountain" is not an unattainable goal. Like any significant challenge, it's about breaking down your daunting goal into smaller, practical steps.

Get $6,500 in Down Payment Assistance

Down Payment Assistance for Eligible First-Time Homebuyers 

The Cross Country Mortgage Community Promise program (CCM) offers down payment assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers living in qualifying neighborhoods in select cities. Here are the basic eligibility requirements for the CCM Community Promise down payment assistance:

  • At least one borrower must be a first-time homebuyer
  • Primary residences only
  • 3% minimum down payment
  • No income limits
  • Live in an eligible census tract
  • Homeownership education (if all borrowers are first-time homebuyers)
  • Eligibility information is available from a CrossCountry Mortgage loan officer.

Find out if you are eligible for a CCM Community Promise program. If you are, it's a $6,500 boost toward home ownership. Read MoreDown Payment

Looking to save up for a down payment? Here are five tips to help you get started:

1. Track your spending for a month or two to get an idea of where you spend your money.

2. Determine how much you need to save and set a timeline to reach that goal.

3. Consider making significant changes like downsizing your apartment or reducing the number of cars you own to save more money.

4. Open a savings account to keep your down payment money separate from your regular checking or savings account.

5. Be cautious when investing your money, especially in high-risk investments like stocks or startups. It's better to be conservative and protect your savings.

Knowing how much home you want to buy is essential when saving up for your down payment. I'm happy to give you an idea of what homes are selling for in your area. Feel free to get in touch any time if you have questions.

 

Eric Slifkin, Broker Associate

Eric Slifkin, Team Lead

Your local real estate expert

Are you seeking a home that suits your lifestyle, community, and neighborhood needs? With his team, Eric offers home buyers a turnkey approach to finding and purchasing real estate from the Treasure Coast to the Palm Beaches and beyond.

 

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Whether buying or selling a home on the Treasure Coast, we are always happy to meet with you to discuss your wants and needs with no obligation.

 

 

Feb. 14, 2024

Sell your Treasure Coast home!

Looking to sell your Treasure Coast home?

Get top dollar for your Treasure Coast property today! 

Discover how we can help you sell your home on your terms without any stress or hassle. Our 100+ Point Marketing Plan ensures that your home is in front of more buyers, helping you to sell faster and for more money. Get top dollar for your home with our expert assistance! Learn More

Learn how we market homes (5-minute video)

Get Top Dollar for Your Home With Our 100+ Point Marketing Plan!

Learn how we will get your home:

■ In front of and shown to more buyers

■ sold faster and for more money

■ Sold on your terms without the hassle and stress

 

Learn More

 

Posted in Home Selling
Feb. 10, 2024

National Real Estate News

Real Estate Update
National news and local views for the week ending Friday, February 9, 2024

 

Eric Slifkin, Broker Asociate

Welcome to this week's talking points on real estate market trends. As always, we are here to answer your questions and concerns about buying, selling, or renting a home on Florida's Treasure Coast.  -Eric Slifkin, Broker Associate

 

National Real Estate News

Fed holds rates steady

The national inventory of homes for sale is improving. Usually, inventory levels start to fall in Sept/Oct seasonally and decline until Jan/Feb. But in 2023, inventory kept rising until Dec! The net result is that the inventory in Jan 2024 was up 8% year-over-year. More homes for sale = more options for buyers & more transactions.

Fed in Grinch mode

Jerome Powell and his fellow Fed members have done everything possible to 'push out' rate cut expectations. The market is now only putting a 17% probability on a rate cut on March 20, and average 30-year mortgage rates have climbed back to nearly 7%. Let's hope that the Fed's 'higher for longer' chatter doesn't lead to a repeat of 2023's very disappointing spring selling season.

Protect your (financial) rep.

You'll want to move house someday, and when you do, you'll want a credit score that says, "Lend to me! I'm responsible!" Stay on top of your credit score (most credit card companies and many banks offer free monthly reports), always pay your bills on time (autopay is your friend), and try to keep your credit utilization (your balance divided by your credit limit) modest.

 

Enlarged talking points

 

Contact us today! Thanks for visiting this week's talking points on real estate market trends. As always, we are here to answer your questions and concerns about buying, selling, or renting a home on Florida's Treasure Coast, and we are always happy to meet with you to discuss your wants and needs with no obligation. -Eric Slifkin, Broker Associate at Keller Williams Realty

Posted in News
Feb. 3, 2024

Pros and Cons of a Reverse Mortgage

Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is essential before deciding if you're considering a reverse mortgage. While advertisements on daytime TV may portray reverse mortgages as a solution to financial freedom in retirement, it's crucial to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks before committing to this type of loan. This guide will provide an overview of the reverse mortgage process and help determine if it aligns with your financial needs.

Guide to Reverse Mortgages

First, let's define a reverse mortgage. Essentially, it's a financial option available to individuals at least 62 years old (in some states, proprietary products are available to borrowers as young as 55). Instead of paying a lender monthly, the lender pays you. You can receive cash, a line of credit, or monthly payments by converting your property equity. This can be an attractive source of supplemental income during retirement.

To be eligible, you need to fulfill specific requirements. For instance, you must own your home outright or have a significant amount of equity available. The home must also be your principal residence place and in good condition. You must also be free from any federal debt defaults and not currently in bankruptcy proceedings. Before obtaining a reverse mortgage, you may need to meet with a HUD-approved counselor to discuss the advantages and disadvantages and alternative options.

What are the pros and cons of a reverse mortgage? 

-It can provide supplemental income during your retirement years. 

-It can be beneficial if you need more than other income sources, like Social Security, to cover your expenses. 

-It can also help you pay off your mortgage if your loan balance is low, giving you more financial freedom. 

Moreover, you get to keep your home and enjoy an influx of cash rather than being forced to downsize or move away from friends and family. Lastly, lenders are insured, so you and your next of kin are protected from owing more than the home's value.

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider. 

-A reverse mortgage may reduce the inheritance your heirs receive, as the home will likely need to be sold to repay the debt. 

-Not following up on expenses like property tax and insurance could result in default and foreclosure. 

-Reverse mortgages involve closing costs and insurance premiums, which can lower the available funds. 

-If you need assistance from government programs like Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the money you receive through your mortgage could disqualify you from receiving these benefits.

Different types of reverse mortgages are available.

The most commonly used reverse mortgage type, The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), is a loan program backed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Although HECMs are flexible and don't have any income limitations or medical requirements, they come with mortgage insurance premiums (MIPs) that you need to pay. These fees include an upfront payment of 2% and a monthly cost of 0.5% over the life of your loan. You can choose to finance both fees through your loan, but doing so may reduce the amount of cash you receive.

Overall, the reverse mortgage process can be complex and requires careful consideration. Suppose you're thinking about getting a reverse mortgage. In that case, it's essential to work with a knowledgeable and trustworthy lender who can assist you in navigating through the process.

 

Feb. 1, 2024

Improving Housing Market in 2024

Are you considering moving to a new home this year? Here's why you don't need to wait until spring, the peak season for homebuying:

1. Mortgage rates are currently lower, making moving more affordable.

2. More buyers are entering the market, making today's rates an excellent time to sell.

3. Listing your house now puts you in a great position to beat the competition.

4. Home prices are forecasted to rise, so consider moving before they increase.

5. You have tremendous equity, which can help with your next move.

Contact us today to get ahead of the competition.

Instant Home ValuEstimate

 

 

Jan. 28, 2024

Are Fixer-Upper Homes Out of Favor?

Why Fixer-Upper Homes Have Become Unpopular

The demand for fixer-upper homes has decreased significantly in today's housing market. However, they have traditionally been popular among buyers seeking a money-saving opportunity to customize their homes to their liking. Recent surveys indicate that 77% of homebuyers are not interested in purchasing a home that requires renovation. This trend has made it challenging for real estate agents to sell outdated homes that need renovation.

Buying or Selling a Fixer-Upper

Most of today's buyers are millennials, baby boomers, and first-time homebuyers who prefer move-in-ready homes. First-time homebuyers, in particular, are looking for something other than the stress of fixing up a home. Millennials, often referred to as the HGTV generation, want the outcome of a renovation without the hassle and consider even minor repairs a deal-breaker. Baby boomers downsizing into retirement no longer have the time or desire to invest in home maintenance and updates.

Apart from buyer preferences, many homebuyers need assistance in affording fixer-uppers due to high mortgage rates, property prices, and taxes. Inflation, job security concerns, and high construction loan rates make buyers more hesitant to invest in outdated homes.

Fix Before You List

For sellers, this trend means that homes requiring repairs or renovations will sell slower or for less than move-in-ready homes. If you plan to sell, making simple repairs or minor updates can attract more potential buyers. Additionally, pay-at-closing home improvement services such as Curbio can perform needed repairs while deferring payment until you close on the property.

Fix Now - Pay When You Sell

 

Jan. 7, 2024

Buying a Home is Easy

Working with a Real Estate Agent Who is a REALTOR®

Buying a home is more challenging than it seems. It involves many steps, which is why working with a real estate agent who is a REALTOR® is highly recommended.

These professionals help clients understand the home-buying process and their budgets, search for suitable properties, and serve as local housing market experts, providing information on price trends, negotiation trends, and community. They also arrange tours of homes and/or neighborhoods, decipher public property and tax information, and navigate state and federal forms.

Working with a Real Estate Agent Who is a REALTOR®

Click to Download the Infographic

Working with a REALTOR®

A real estate agent who is a REALTOR® also researches mortgage rates, terms, and reputable lenders, coordinates with lenders, steers important contract deadlines, and guides walk-throughs before closing to ensure the property's condition is satisfactory. They work with necessary parties to ensure all contractual terms are completed by closing, advocating for the buyer throughout the process and reviewing the buyer's closing statement to ensure accuracy.

Your Realtor will provide all the necessary information to live comfortably in your new home. They will ensure that all required actions are completed and will continue to be a trusted advisor throughout the closing process and beyond. This should be a celebration rather than a source of stress.

Moreover, a real estate agent who is a REALTOR® researches home information that aligns with buyers' interests, prepares the buyer to have the most attractive offer in the current marketplace, coordinates professional home inspections, consultations with lenders, and necessary property assessments, develops competitive offers, negotiates the best price and terms, represents clients' best interests, advises throughout the negotiation process and closing the deal, steward multiple parties and schedules to save the buyer time, and looks beyond décor, flooring, and paint colors to other significant aspects of the home.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Whether buying or selling a home on the Treasure Coast, we are always happy to meet with you to discuss your wants and needs with no obligation.

Jan. 4, 2024

Open House in Mariner Village

5081 SE Devenwood Way, Stuart, FL 34997

We are having an Open House on Sunday, Jan 7, from 1-3 PM

• Check out this 4-bed/2-bath CBS home in Mariner Village with one of the best water views in the community! Learn More

• Open house Sunday, Jan 7, from 1-3 PM. INFO: 772-708-4055

• Let us know if you want to view this property today or any listings you find online!Open House in Mariner Village, Stuart, FL

OPEN HOUSE - Mariner Village in Stuart, Florida

Go here for INSTANT ACCESS to all photos, details, and more.

 

Dec. 22, 2023

Decluttering Tips That Really Work

Organizing and decluttering can be a challenging task for most people. However, it's necessary to keep your home tidy and functional.

Let's begin by taking a "12-12-12" tour of your home. This tactic involves selecting 12 items to discard, 12 to donate, and 12 to relocate to a more suitable location. This tactic is valuable for a fun competition with your partner or children.

You can also keep a charity basket in a central location, like the laundry room, where everyone can donate unwanted items like outgrown clothes, books, and small toys. It's also essential to clear the pantry by throwing out expired spices, canned goods, and anything else that's been in your cupboard for too long.

Decluttering Your Home Checklist

Using inexpensive drawer organizers to separate small items in the kitchen and bathroom can also help keep things tidy. Another effective method is to go through your clothes closet or cupboard and separate your items into something you love, don't love, or are unsure about. You can then donate the things you don't need while keeping the ones you love.

Finally, make it a daily habit to involve your family in cleaning by asking them to pick up ten things and put them where they belong. You can turn it into a game to see who can finish first, with a prize like an extra story or 15 minutes before bedtime.

Questions about our local real estate market? 

Contact us today to learn more about homes for sale or selling a home on the Treasure Coast. Whether buying or selling a home on the Treasure Coast, we are always happy to meet with you to discuss your wants and needs with no obligation. Eric Slifkin, Broker Associate, Keller Williams Realty. Info: 772-678-1600.

Dec. 18, 2023

Where to Find Treasure Coast Homes

Are you looking for Treasure Coast homes this week? Look no further! Discover the finest homes and condos for sale on the beautiful Treasure Coast. Find the best homes and condos for sale today. Get the latest Port Saint Lucie MLS listings, with location, pictures, and viewing instructions, directly from our constantly updated feed.

Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Whether buying or selling a home on the Treasure Coast, we are always happy to meet with you to discuss your wants and needs with no obligation.

 

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