Farmer’s Market to Resume in Rosemary Beach

Starting May 5, the 30A Farmer’s Market is coming to Rosemary Beach in the Town Center rain or shine, every Sunday year round from 9am-2pm and on Thursdays starting May 30 through Labor Day weekend from 9am-2pm.

The 30A Farmer’s Market will feature the best of locally grown farm fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs, beef, and chicken, fresh local seafood, artisan bread, homemade pastas, sauces, meatballs, BBQ sauce, local honey, grits, herbs, olive oil and vinegars, preserves, salsa’s and chow-chows.

It’s an International Farmer’s Market Event with food from around the world including homemade Greek food, Greek pastries, many delicious baked cakes, pies, tarts and cupcakes. Try the Gelato and wonderful jams, and take home fresh flowers to dress up any room.

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Trulia: Owning Costs 44% Less than Renting

Home price gains may be outpacing increases in rent, but the cost of being a homeowner is still much less than that of a renter, according to Trulia’s Winter 2013 Rent vs. Buy report.

After factoring all cost components including transaction costs, taxes, and opportunity costs, Trulia found buying a home is 44 percent cheaper than renting, down slightly from 46 percent a year ago.

“Although buying a home is still cheaper than renting, the gap is closing,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist. “In 2013, home prices should rise faster than rents, and mortgage rates are likely to rise in the next year as the economy improves. By next year, buying could be more expensive than renting in some housing markets, even for people with the best credit.”

In the last year, asking home prices showed a 7 percent gain compared to a 3.2 percent increase in rents during the same time period, according to data from the real estate site.

Trulia explained low mortgage rates have kept the cost of owning down; for the analysis, a 3.5 percent mortgage rate was assumed.

The San Francisco-based company also revealed that out of the 100 largest metros analyzed, buying was more affordable than renting in all metros.

In some metros, the cost of buying was much less than the national average. The buy-rent gap was the largest in Detroit, where buying costs 70 percent less than renting. For the next four metros in top five, the cost of owning was 63 percent less than renting; the four metros were Dayton and Cleveland in Ohio; Warren, Michigan; and Gary, Indiana.

Although owning was found to be less expensive in all metros, owners in San Francisco averaged the smallest savings at 19 percent, a steep decrease from the 35 percent savings seen in 2012.

If one were to receive a mortgage rate of 4.5 percent, Trulia noted the cost of buying would be just 9 percent cheaper in San Francisco. However, a rate of 4.5 percent would still make buying more affordable than renting in all metros analyzed.

“People who didn’t buy a home last year may have missed the bottom of the market, but they haven’t completely missed the boat,” Kolko added. “Even buyers who can’t get today’s lowest mortgage rates will still find that buying makes more financial sense than renting in nearly all local markets – so long as they can get a mortgage in the first place.”

Other metros where owning may not be as enticing to borrowers based on savings were Honolulu, where the cost of owning is 23 percent cheaper, followed by San Jose (-24 percent), New York (-26 percent) and Albany (-30 percent).

Government Home Loan Pre-approval–How To

So what does it take to get pre approved for a USDA Rural housing loan in 2013?  It’s actually still pretty easy considering all the changes that have happened in the mortgage market over the past 5 years. Mortgages in 2013 are “back to basics” in most cases.  Long gone are the days of qualifying for a loan with no income, poor credit, etc.   Homebuyers today that have decent credit, stable documentable income and manageable debt usually have no issue getting pre qualified for a mortgage today.

All of the Government home loans ( FHA, VA and USDA) pretty much require the same things in order to get pre approved.  Below we have outlined some key points.

Credit – in most cases a 640 credit score is needed to be pre approved for any of the government home loan today – FHA, VA, USDA. But keep in mind that a 640 credit score does NOT guarantee loan approval as all lenders / banks have additional waiting requirements (overlays) in regards to home buyers with any past bankruptcy, foreclosure, or short sale.  Additional for USDA Rural loans, a clean 12 month payment history on all other credit trade lines is important.

Income – It has to be stable and documentable in 2013.  The days of stated income or no doc loans are long gone.  Documenting income properly can sometimes pose an issue with self employed or 1099 workers, especially those that have not been self employed for at least two years.  Banks and lenders generally want to see a 2 year employment history.  Small gaps in employment history are just fine, just as long the gap isn’t too long, or unexplainable.  Recent college grads are generally exempt from the 2 year employment rule.

100% USDA Loans –  these loans are available to any homebuyer looking to purchase a home in a rural defined locations. Click here for the USDA eligibility map.  USDA also have income limits based on the number of members in the household, county, etc.  Please click here for more information on FL USDA income limits. USDA, along with VA, are the only mortgages in Florida that offer 100% financing with NO down payment. All USDA FAQ’s are listed by clicking here.

FHA Loans –  these loans are available across Florida to any homebuyer that qualifies. FHA mortgages require a min 3.5% down payment, there are no income limits restrictions or property location restrictions.  Click here to learn all about FHA loan requirements in Florida.

VA Loans – available to all eligible past and present military personal.  Please click here to learn more about VA loans in Florida.

Homeowners that currently have a USDA, FHA or VA loan should also look into the verity of streamline refinance options available today. These programs allow homeowners to refinance REGARDLESS of the loan to value. If you currently have a USDA Mortgage, click here to learn about the Pilot program.  For FHA loans please click here,  VA loans can click here.  Interest rates are currently at all time low levels!

Please contact us at 904-302-6060 with questions, or visit www.UsdaMortgageSource.com for more information.

Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act Future?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The clock is ticking on a taxbreak that saves struggling homeowners from paying thousands of dollars to the IRS.

If the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 does not get extended by Congress by the end of the year, homeowners will have to start paying income taxes on the portion of their mortgage that is forgiven in a foreclosure, short sale or principal reduction.

So if you owe $150,000 on your home and it sells for $100,000 in a foreclosure auction, the IRS could tax you on the remaining $50,000. For someone in the 25% tax bracket, that would mean paying $12,500 in taxes on the foreclosure.  Similar taxes would apply for forgiven amounts in short sales and principal reductions.

“People trying to do short sales are freaked out about it,” said Elizabeth Weintraub, a real estate agent in Sacramento, Calif. “They’re telling me they’ll do whatever it takes to close by the end of the year.”

Should the tax break expire, a large number of mortgage borrowers could be affected. More than 50,000 homeowners go through foreclosure each month.Meanwhile, the number of short saleshas tripled over the past three years to a rate of about half a million a year.And, under the terms of the $25 billion foreclosure abuse settlement, roughly one million borrowers may have their mortgage debt lowered through principal reductions over the next couple of years.

“If there ever was a no-brainer in housing policy, this would be it,” said Jaret Seiberg, a policy analyst for Guggenheim Securities.

Yet, Seiberg is skeptical the exemption will get extended. Now that the election is over, he thinks Congress will be heading into a “lame duck” session, with very little legislation moving forward through the end of the year.

In addition, the cost of the exemption could make it a point of contention, he said. The office of Sen. Max Baucus, who heads the finance committee, estimated the cost of a one-year extension at $1.3 billion.

Others disagree. Tom Kolpien, the press secretary forRep. Tom Reed of New York, said Congress will likely act before the end of the year. (Reed is currently pushing for the extension on the House Ways and Means Committee).

“Both parties, both houses of Congress agree it’s good policy and it needs to get done,” said Jamie Gregory, chief lobbyist for the National Association of Realtors, which supports an extension. “The hold up is the process. I’m confident it will get done. I just don’t know how.”

Even if Congress allowed the exemption to expire, not all borrowers withforgiven mortgage debt will take a tax hit. If the debt is discharged in a bankruptcy, no tax is due. And anyone who is insolvent — meaning they have more debt than assets — at the time the debt was forgiven — would not have to pay the tax.

Real Estate Prices on the Rise

For local information about the Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, Niceville, and Crestview areas, contact me at MykeSaysSold@aol.com  850-305-6256

Reasons To Buy a NEW Home–Santa Rosa Beach Area

Top 5 Reasons to buy a new home

I have been helping customers negotiate some great deals on new homes here in the Florida Panhandle.

I wanted to share the top 5 reasons to buy a new home compared to a re sale.

You have to look at the total savings or as I like to call it the total cost of
ownership.

New Homes usually come with special incentives that are not always advertised “Free Stuff
New Homes will have a lower cost to insure when compared to a re sale
New Homes must meet a very high level of energy efficiency
New homes can be bought with very attractive financing offers
New Homes have a lower cost of annual maintenance

When you stack up all the savings purchasing a New Home is something you want to take a closer look at.

Although a new home may have an initial higher purchase price the overall monthly cost of ownership can be much lower than a home only ten years old.

New home builders are always contacting realtors about specials that are about to become available before they are made available to the general public.

DR Horton has 13 new communities here in the Florida Panhandle–great homes at a great price!  Contact me today to take advantage of these deals.

For Sale By Owner–I can do it myself and save lots of money!

The house has to be immaculate inside and out,

Potential buyers are beating on your door and calling the number you posted out in the yard

The legal and financial details of the home sale process loom.

Don’t be tempted to handle this situation by yourself; instead, make your life infinitely easier and use a Realtor to help you sell
your home.

The lure of saving money is a strong one.

Most Realtors charge between 6 to 7% on commission. As the seller, this comes out of your proceeds
at closing. I know you’re thinking that there’s no way that using a Realtor is worth anywhere near this much money.

However, it truly is worth every penny; here are the top reasons why you should use a Realtor when selling your home.

1. The Security of Your Family and Home

You cannot put a value on the security of your family and home. You
want your family to be safe in your home without having to worry. But remember
when I mentioned the hoards of potential buyers for your home? If you sell your
home yourself, you have to meet with each one of these buyers by yourself. The
problem is you never know who these people really are. It’s horrific to
consider, but it has happened where people have gone to a home on the premise of
looking to purchase it and instead have committed a crime.

The realtor, with the use of an electronic lockbox, knows exactly who was in the house AND when!  Realtors also get to know their clients, so there are not strangers casing your home.

When you use a Realtor, you don’t have to meet with the potential buyers and expose yourself and your family to possible harm. Instead, each person that enters your home is accompanied by a licensed Realtor.
Because the person is in your home with a Realtor, you and your family don’t need to be there. This mitigates the risk of someone harming you while in your home.

The chance of someone committing a crime against your property, either through theft or vandalism, is drastically reduced by their Realtor being
present.

2. The Value of Your Time

Let’s consider the hassle of dealing with potential buyers. When you sell your home yourself, you’re the sole contact with potential buyers.
If someone wants information, they contact you. This means your phone can be ringing constantly.  You can’t just ignore these calls; if you do, your house will take even longer to sell.

Remember the part about keeping your house immaculate? When you sell your home yourself, this has to be true 100% of the time.

People can and will pull up outside your home and demand to look inside at any time of the day or night. If you ask them to come back at
a more convenient time, you could easily lose a sale.

By using a Realtor, your time is reaffirmed to be as valuable as I know that it is.  A Realtor handles all the phone calls, and is
specially trained in how to answer these calls professionally without compromising the sale of your home. Your Realtor coordinates the showings
with other Realtors, leaving you with specific times for the showings. This will allow you to relax and enjoy the time you have remaining in your home.

3.  The Value of Peace of Mind for the Future

Selling a home is a complicated legal and financial prospect. Sure, you can buy generic forms to fill out for the Purchase Agreement and everything else.   But what assurance do you have that they’re filled out in a way that protects you for the future? After all, you certainly don’t want to deal with a lawsuit five years from now with your buyer saying that you made an error in the paperwork on the transaction.

When you hire a Realtor, they shoulder this burden. Realtors are required to carry what’s known as Errors & Omissions insurance. This
insurance protects you from such little errors. If there’s a problem, the insurance company is who works to resolve the situation, not you.

So don’t succumb to the lure of saving the commission money.

Hiring a Realtor is the absolute best thing you can do as you prepare to sell your home

Biggest Mistakes Buyers Make in a Hot Seller’s Market

In the current seller’s market that exists in many parts of the country, buyers need to perform near perfectly to attain the home of their dreams. Many of the best new listings that come to market are receiving multiple offers . . . and in just a few days on the market. So what can you do as a buyer to enhance your odds of getting your offer accepted?

1)      Get Serious and Work with a Real Estate Agent – while this sounds like a given, many buyers are casually looking and only get serious when they see a home on the internet and start their quest to buy that home from whatever agent they can find. By the time they get mobilized the home is gone!  Here in the Destin, and most of the Northwest Florida market, many homes that are terrific deals have multiple offers almost immediately after going on the market.

2)      Get Ready to Buy – There are great local lenders here in Destin, Niceville, Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, and Navarre markets – be sure to get prequalified or better yet preapproved for your loan. This eliminates any surprises and demonstrates to sellers that you are serious, qualified, and able to close. Have your proof of funds ready to show which is often required.  Especially if you find a foreclosure, they will want this proof of funds to come with the offer.

3)      Operate with a Sense of Urgency – Have your real estate agent set you up a new listings alert and when a hot property comes to market moving quickly is extremely important. If a listing comes to market on a Wednesday, waiting until Saturday to see it because you want to watch TV won’t work. Always assume that other interested buyers are seeing the home on day 1 and making an offer on day 1!

4)      Make Clean Offers – offers that are not clean result in delays and counter offers– delays results in more buyer offers – multiple offers drive prices up and probability of getting your dream home down. If there is something specific that the seller is looking for in your offer do everything possible to accommodate it.