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Survey Says… it’s a hot commodity

What in the world is a smart home? Wait, wasn’t that a 1999 Disney movie?

What exactly is smart home technology or home automation? It’s when you have the ability to monitor and control your lights, appliances, and other homes devices (like your TV or thermostat) straight from your smartphone. Neat, right?

Home automation isn’t so sci-fi-esque anymore. With more and more devices being labeled as having “smart home technology,” the question that is on everyone’s mind is: just how interested are new home shoppers in this technology and would they actually use it in their new homes?

New Home Source did exactly that and conducted a survey with a panel of new home buyers from varying demographics and at different stages in their home search. The goal was to see what home buyers had to think about this kind of tech.

Apparently, smart home technology is a hot commodity and it’s here to stay.

The panelists were asked a series of questions regarding smart home technology. When asked, in general, are you interested in smart home technology, 91 percent of panelists said yes and only 9 percent said no. 

For the purpose of the survey, smart home technology was broken into seven categories:

  • Temperature (thermostats and other temperature-monitoring devices)
  • Entertainment (TVs, music systems, etc.)
  • Security (door locks, alarm systems, etc.)
  • Safety (smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and other safety devices)
  • Lighting (lightbulbs, control systems, etc.)
  • Appliances (refrigerators, ovens, etc.)
  • Other

With that being said, here are the results of the survey:

Smart Home Technology

Would you be more inclined to buy a home with smart home technology? Let us know in the comments.


We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Contact:
Tania Matthews Team
info@TaniaMatthewsTeam.com
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711
407.917.7190

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This Month in Real Estate | March 2016

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmMKUeqagyI?rel=0&showinfo=0&w=560&h=315]

National Numbers

Here are just a few national Real Estate numbers we’re tracking for you right now.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of projected home sales held steady to 5.5M.

And the national median home price for existing homes decreased to $213,800. That’s down 4.2% ($220K) last month and up 8.2% ($198K) from this same time last year.

Finally, according to Freddie Mac, the national average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is down from last month (3.81%) to 3.62%.

Orlando Numbers

According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, the total number of units sold was 3,190.

Average List Price: $237,558
Average Sale Price: $230,999
Average Days on Market: 71

Lake and Sumter Numbers

According to the Realtors Association of Lake & Sumter, the total number of units sold was 683.

Average List Price: $185,432
Average Sale Price: $178,767
Average Days on Market: 81

If you’re looking to sell, now might be a good time to enter the market.

Want to learn more about how these numbers affect you, contact us.


We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Contact:
Tania Matthews Team
info@TaniaMatthewsTeam.com
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711
407.917.7190

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Adjustable Rate Mortgages, 2-Step Mortgages, & Balloon Mortgages

The world of mortgages is a confusing one. Let’s see if we can shed some light on adjustable-rate mortgages or ARMs, 2-step mortgages, and balloon mortgages.

Looking for the basics of the home mortgage loan process? Check out this blog post first: Home Mortgage 101. Learning the Basics.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

Considered a tad bit riskier because payments can change significantly, an adjustable-rate mortgage or ARM is a mortgage loan in which interest rates change based on a specific schedule after a “fixed period”. In exchange for the added risk associated with an ARM, you’re rewarded with an interest rate lower than that of a 30-year fixed rate.

One-Year Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

When acquiring a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage, you essentially have a 30-year loan where the rates change every year on the anniversary of the loan. Obtaining a one-year ARM can possibly allow you to qualify for a home loan that is higher and acquire a home that is more valuable. Many homeowners with extremely large mortgages can get the one-year ARM and refinance them each year. The lower rate allows them to buy a more expensive home, and they pay a lower mortgage payment so long as interest rates do not rise.

Adjustable-rate mortgage loans are considered to be rather risky because the payment can change from year to year in significant amounts.

10/1, 5/5, 5/1, 3/3, and 3/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

10/1, 5/5, 5/1, 3/3, and 3/1 ARMs are mortgages where the monthly payment and interest rate remain the same for “X/” amount of years for the first part of the mortgage and then changes every “/X” amount of years after. For example, in a 5/5 ARM the interest rate is fixed for the first 5 years and then at the beginning of the 6th year, interest rates are adjusted every 5 years.

5/25 Mortgages

Sometimes called a “30 due in 5”, a 5/25 mortgage is when monthly payments and interest rates do not change for 5 years and at the beginning of the 6th year, the interest rate is adjusted with the current interest rate for the remaining life of the loan.

2-Step Mortgages & Balloon Mortgages

A 2-step mortgage is an adjustable-rate mortgage that has the same interest rate for part of the mortgage and a different rate for the rest of the mortgage based on the current market rate. Those who chose to take the 2-step mortgage usually have plans of refinancing or moving out of the home before the period ends.

Lasting for a much shorter term and working a lot like a fixed-rate mortgage, balloon mortgages tend to have lower monthly payments because of a large payment (the balloon) at the end of the loan and because you’re primarily paying the interest for that month. Balloon mortgages are great for responsible borrowers with the intentions of selling the home before the due date of the balloon payment and are often used by investors. However, homeowners can run into big trouble if they can’t afford the balloon payment, especially if they’re required to refinance the balloon payment through the original loan lender.

Before Signing The Dotted Line

Before agreeing to any particular loan, we highly recommend you get in touch with a professional mortgage broker who can help make sense of everything. Make sure you shop around to find the best possible rate for you, as a small difference in interest rates can lead to thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the loan.

Need a reference? We’ll point you in the right direction. And if you’re interested in seeking more information on ARMs, check out this free Consumer Handbook on Adjustable-Rate Mortgages.

Looking to buy a home? We can help in that department. Get in touch with us and we’ll work out the details together.

Questions? Let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them.


We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Contact:
Tania Matthews Team
info@TaniaMatthewsTeam.com
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711
407.917.7190

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Home Mortgage 101. Learning the Basics.

Home MortgageAs if buying a home itself wasn’t daunting enough, especially if you’re a first time home buyer. The jargon that’s thrown around in the real estate industry can make things incredibly confusing, especially when it comes to a home mortgage loan. You’re often left with a lot more questions instead of leaving with the answers you were searching for.

In order to make an educated decision about something as important as buying a home and applying for a home mortgage, it’s easier to get comfortable with the mortgage process first and understand the basics as best you can.

We’ll cover the fundamental basics of what exactly a home mortgage loan is, understanding how much house you can afford, the different types of mortgages, and how to eventually pay back your loan. Let’s see if we can shed some light on all of it.

First things first.

What Exactly Is A Mortgage?

By definition, a mortgage is a loan that is secured by property or real estate. In exchange for receiving the funds to buy a property or a home, the lender is promised that you (buyer) will pay back these funds within a certain time frame for a certain cost (the interest). This promise, the mortgage, is a legally binding contract and secures the note by giving the lender the right to have a legal claim against the borrower’s home if the borrower defaults on the terms of that note.

Essentially, you (the borrower) has possession of the property or the home, but the lender is the one who owns it until the loan is completely paid off.

Borrower – is the individual or individuals extended a loan and mortgage for the purchase of a house and/or property. The borrower is responsible for making all payments and fees associated with the loan over the life of the loan.

Lender – the finance company or bank that directly awards home loan or mortgage money to a borrower or home buyer.

Loan – money lent from a financial institution to a creditworthy borrower over a specified period and at a particular interest rate.

This is a home mortgage loan at its most fundamental level.

Moving on.

How Much House Can You Afford?

Before the house hunting process ever begins, knowing exactly how much house you can afford is always a good idea. You’ll save a lot of time in the long run by planning ahead and not looking at houses that you cannot afford, bidding on properties you can’t obtain or applying for loans that you’ll be denied on.

There are a lot of factors that lenders use to calculate and figure out how much of a mortgage payment you can afford.

Including:

  • Front-end ratio
  • Back-end ratio
  • Credit Score
  • Credit Report
  • Income
  • Down payments
  • Available Funds
  • Interest Rates
  • The Lender

Canadian, eh? If you happen to find this page, check out this page on Canadian mortgage requirements.

Front-end Ratio & Back-end Ratio

There are two ratios that lenders consider when qualifying and determining how much any person can borrow for a mortgage. The first factor or ratio is called the front-end ratio. This ratio is the percentage of the yearly gross income that is dedicated to making the mortgage (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) each month compared to the total income for each month. The back-end ratio, often known as the debt-to-income ratio calculates and determines what percentage of your income is needed to cover your payments and debts. The mortgage is included in these debts as well as car payments, student loans, child support, credit cards, and other loans.

Credit Score & Credit Report

Your credit score and credit report can play a significant role in determining how much house you can afford. This allows the lender to make a more informed decision about your home mortgage loan prequalification.

Your FICO score represents data within the credit report and includes the history of bill payments and the number of outstanding debts in comparison to your income. The higher your credit score, the better of a chance it’ll be to obtain a loan or to pre-qualify for the home mortgage you’re applying for. While on the other hand, a lower score may cause the lender to reject the mortgage application, require a larger down payment, or may result in higher interest rates.

Your FICO score and credit information can be acquired from the major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.

It’s incredibly important to keep up with your credit report and verify it’s accuracy. Unfortunately, identity theft is a huge problem and may cause issues on your credit report. You can get a copy of your credit report from each major credit bureaus for free at www.AnnualCreditReport.com

In the unfortunate event that there are any errors or issues, you can dispute them using this free guide from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

You can check out our nifty mortgage calculator to give you an idea of what kind of mortgage you can afford.

In addition, it’s also a good idea to consider your personal financial lifestyle when buying a home. Although you may be approved for a particular mortgage amount, it doesn’t necessarily mean you can actually afford the payment. There’s a lot of personal factors to consider and plenty of questions to ask yourself.

  • Are two incomes required to make ends meet and pay the bills?
  • How stable is your current job?
  • Do you have “champagne” taste?
  • Are you willing to make a lifestyle change to afford your new home?
  • Will you be making another “big” purchase anytime soon (e.g., a new car)?
  • Will there be a new addition to the family soon?

Income, Down Payments, & Available Funds

Lenders like to see steady sources of income. Avoid changing jobs or quitting before submitting a mortgage application and finishing the home buying process.

The more money you can afford to pay up front, the more likely you’ll be approved and it’ll also make for a lower loan. Of course, if you have an excellent credit history, you’re likely to be approved regardless of how much money you can afford to put down. For those with less than perfect credit, the amount of a down payment could make or break the difference between approval or rejection of the home loan. Along with a good down payment (although not necessary), it’s a good idea to have funds set aside and readily available to cover any closing costs if applicable or if something should arise. You’ll also want to avoid making any major purchases that can deplete any available funds before purchasing your new home.

Interest Rates

Although loans aren’t actually approved or denied based on interest rates, they do make a difference when determining what your monthly payments will be. It’s also possible for interest rates to change during the loan application process.

The Lender

Due diligence is an asset, and every lending institution is different. Learning the reputation and history of the lender, finding out how many mortgage applications they approve, as well as how many they deny can prove to be valuable. If the lender denies twenty percent of borrowers who apply, it’s definitely not a good sign.

Different Types of Mortgages

There are several different types of mortgages available and understanding the pros and cons between them can be helpful before you go mortgage shopping.

Conventional Mortgage Loans: Fixed-Rate Mortgages

A conventional mortgage loan is best suited for those who have good or excellent credit and usually follow fairly conservative guidelines when it comes to a borrower’s credit score, minimum down payments, and debt-to-income ratios. Consequently, you’ll need to have awesome credit to qualify for some of the best interest rates.  

The most popular and representing over 75% of all home loans, fixed-rate mortgages is when interest rates remain the same throughout the life of the loan. Fixed-rate mortgages usually come in 30, 15, or 10-year terms with the 30-year term being the most popular, although, a smaller term would build equity faster. What’s the main difference between these different terms? Basically, the longer the term the lower your monthly payment will be, but you’ll be paying more interest in the long run and vice versa.

Probably the biggest advantage of having a fixed rate mortgage is that you’ll always know the exact interest and principal payments for the entire life of the loan. If you lock into a fixed rate mortgage while interest rates are high, you can always refinance later when rates decrease.

 

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

Considered a tad bit riskier because payments can change significantly, an adjustable-rate mortgage or ARM is a mortgage loan in which interest rates change based on a specific schedule after a “fixed period”. In exchange for the added risk associated with an ARM, you’re rewarded with an interest rate lower than that of a 30-year fixed rate.

One-Year Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

When acquiring a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage, you essentially have a 30-year loan where the rates change every year on the anniversary of the loan. Obtaining a one-year ARM can possibly allow you to qualify for a home loan that is higher and acquire a home that is more valuable. Many homeowners with extremely large mortgages can get the one-year ARM and refinance them each year. The lower rate allows them to buy a more expensive home, and they pay a lower mortgage payment so long as interest rates do not rise.

Adjustable-rate mortgage loans are considered to be rather risky because the payment can change from year to year in significant amounts.

10/1, 5/5, 5/1, 3/3, and 3/1 Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

10/1, 5/5, 5/1, 3/3, and 3/1 ARMs are mortgages where the monthly payment and interest rate remain the same for “X/” amount of years for the first part of the mortgage and then changes every “/X” amount of years after. For example, in a 5/5 ARM the interest rate is fixed for the first 5 years and then at the beginning of the 6th year, interest rates are adjusted every 5 years.

5/25 Mortgages

Sometimes called a “30 due in 5”, a 5/25 mortgage is when monthly payments and interest rates do not change for 5 years and at the beginning of the 6th year, the interest rate is adjusted with the current interest rate for the remaining life of the loan.

2-Step Mortgages & Balloon Mortgages

A 2-step mortgage is an adjustable-rate mortgage that has the same interest rate for part of the mortgage and a different rate for the rest of the mortgage based on the current market rate. Those who chose to take the 2-step mortgage usually have plans of refinancing or moving out of the home before the period ends.

Lasting for a much shorter term and working a lot like a fixed-rate mortgage, balloon mortgages tend to have lower monthly payments because of a large payment (the balloon) at the end of the loan and because you’re primarily paying the interest for that month. Balloon mortgages are great for responsible borrowers with the intentions of selling the home before the due date of the balloon payment and are often used by investors. However, homeowners can run into big trouble if they can’t afford the balloon payment, especially if they’re required to refinance the balloon payment through the original loan lender.

Before Signing The Dotted Line

Before agreeing to any particular loan, we highly recommend you get in touch with a professional mortgage broker who can help make sense of everything. Make sure you shop around to find the best possible rate for you, as a small difference in interest rates can lead to thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the loan.

Need a reference? We’ll point you in the right direction. And if you’re interested in seeking more information on ARMs, check out this free Consumer Handbook on Adjustable-Rate Mortgages.

Federal Housing Administration Home Mortgage Loans

Federal Housing Administration mortgage loans or FHA loans, usually has more flexible guidelines and standards that benefit those whose housing payments will be a pretty big chunk of their take-home pay, have a lower credit score, and home buyers with small down payments. In comparison to conventional mortgage guidelines that tend to cap debt-to-income ratios at around 45% and sometimes less, the FHA allows you up to 57% of their income on your monthly debt obligations, such as the home mortgage, HOA fees, your credit cards, and any student or car loans.

FHA loans require a minimum down payment of 3.5% and two mortgage premiums. The first is an upfront premium of 1.75% for the loan amount and is to be paid at the time of closing. The second is an annual premium varying from 0.45% on the low end and up to 0.85% on the high end, rolling into the monthly mortgage payment for the entire life of the loan. Premiums aside, you can qualify for an FHA loan with a credit score of 580 or even lower and they’re often the only option for home buyers with a high debt-to-income ratio and a less than awesome credit score.

Fun fact: the Federal Housing Administration doesn’t actually loan any money, they insure the mortgage.

Veterans Affairs Home Mortgage Loans

VA loans are available for the majority of active-duty military, veterans, National Guard, and for those in the Reserves. VA loans are also available for the spouses of military members who died during active duty or because of a service-connected disability. If you do qualify for a VA loan, you’re not required to place a down payment, however, the VA does charge an upfront funding fee of 1.25% – 3.3% depending on the loan amount which may be paid by the seller or rolled into the mortgage loan. And just like FHA loans, the VA doesn’t loan any money but guarantees the loans made by private lenders.

Fast forward a bit and now we need to know how we actually pay back this home loan.

Paying your home

Repaying A Home Mortgage Loan

Usually, your home mortgage loan is paid back in monthly installments and consists of the principal, interest, taxes, and insurance.

The principal is the repayment of the initial balance borrowed. For example, if you borrowed $250,000 to buy your home, your initial principal balance would be $250,000 and after every payment, the principal balance decreases. While the interest is the cost you pay for being allowed to borrow the money for the past month.

There are two types of insurance payments when it comes to owning a house. First, a private mortgage insurance or PMI protects the lender from any loss if their investment in case the borrower defaults, whereas hazard insurance is exactly that, protecting both the borrower and the lender from property loss from any hazard. Typically, a private mortgage insurance isn’t required if you put 20% or more as a down payment on your home. And as long as you’re not behind payments, the private mortgage insurance payments are usually automatically terminated when the loan-to-value (LTV) reaches 78% or when you reach the midway point of your loan.

And as always, Uncle Sam needs his cut – a percentage of the value of the property is paid as taxes and can vary depending on where the borrower lives and are often reassessed annually.

Before Signing The Dotted Line

Before agreeing to any particular loan, we highly recommend you get in touch with a professional mortgage broker who can help make sense of everything. You’ll also want to make sure you do some shopping around first to find the best rate possible, as a small difference in interest rates can end up being thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the loan.

Need a reference? Ask and we’ll point you in the right direction.

Looking to buy a home? We can help in that department. Get in touch with us and we’ll work out the details together.

Questions? Let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to answer them.


We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Contact:
Tania Matthews Team
info@TaniaMatthewsTeam.com
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711
407.917.7190

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Townhouse Listed | 7708 Moser Ave. Windermere, FL 34786

7708 Moser Ave Windermere FL 34786

Beautiful 3/2.5 townhouse corner unit in Windermere, FL 34786 has just been listed by real estate team, Tania Matthews Team with Keller Williams Classic III Realty.

Located in the Lake Sawyer South subdivision of Windermere, FL 34786; 7708 Moser Ave. is a 1,644 square foot townhouse. Enjoy low maintenance living with no yard work.

This end unit townhouse boasts a spacious two car garage with extra storage, it’s fully fenced with a private courtyard and a covered front porch to enjoy the sunny days of Florida weather. With an open concept living and great room, this home features wood flooring, french doors, and gorgeous crown molding.

All the bedrooms are located upstairs and the spacious master suite features a walk-in closet with Corian counters, while the master bath has plenty of cabinet and drawer space with a large shower. There is also a half bath located downstairs.

The kitchen in this townhouse is absolutely impressive with granite countertops, mosaic tile backsplashes, stainless steel appliances, an island, double sinks, while conveniently having space for a breakfast bar and dining nook.

Conveniently located in Windermere, FL, this home is only minutes away from Disney, downtown Orlando, and International drive with easy access to both the 429 and I4. And because you’re located in Windermere, there’s plenty of amenities to go around. Whether you prefer watersports, fishing, or golfing. Windermere has it all.

Residents living in Lake Sawyer can also enjoy the pool with a cabana, walking trails and a tot lot. A truly wonderful neighborhood.

7708 Moser Ave. Windermere, FL 34786 is currently listed at $225,000.

If you’re interested in seeing this cozy corner townhouse for sale in Windermere, or if you’re interested in buying a home in Windermere or selling a property in Windermere, please feel free to reach out.

Windermere, FL Real Estate


We’re not your typical Windermere Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Contact:
Tania Matthews Team
info@TaniaMatthewsTeam.com
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711
407.917.7190

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This Month in Real Estate | February 2016

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpoCJYW7PGs?rel=0&showinfo=0&w=560&h=315]

National Numbers

Here are just a few national Real Estate numbers we’re tracking for you right now.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of projected home sales rose to 5.5M as compared to 5.4M last month.

And the national median home price for existing homes increased to $224,100. That’s up 1.9% ($220K) last month and up 7.6% ($208K) from this same time last year.

Finally, according to Freddie Mac, the national average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is down from last month (3.96%) to 3.81%.

Orlando Numbers

According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, the total number of units sold was 2,575.

Average List Price: $222,762
Average Sale Price: $215,406
Average Days on Market: 82

Lake and Sumter Numbers

According to the Realtors Association of Lake & Sumter, the total number of units sold was 540.

Average List Price: $178,659
Average Sale Price: $172,185
Average Days on Market: 82

If you’re looking to sell, now might be a good time to enter the market.

Want to learn more about how these numbers affect you, contact us.


We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Contact:
Tania Matthews Team
info@TaniaMatthewsTeam.com
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711
407.917.7190

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Florida Homestead Exemption: What You’ll Need to Know.

The Florida homestead exemption is a legal system designed to protect the value of a resident’s home from property taxes, ultimately having incredible financial benefits on your property.

What are the benefits?

Florida Homestead Exemption calculation On the most fundamental level, the homestead exemption itself allows most homeowners a $25,000 deduction from their property’s assessed value, which can ultimately result in several hundred dollars in tax savings. But it doesn’t end there. If your home is worth at least $50,000 you’ll receive an additional $25,000 deduction from the assessed value of your home, although, this additional deduction does not apply to school tax levies. Additionally, if you’re over the age of 65 or have a disability you can qualify for additional homestead exemptions. However, probably the most important aspect of the Florida homestead exemption is the “Save Our Homes” amendment to the Florida Constitution. This amendment caps the future increase of the assessed value of your homestead property to 3% per year or the rate of inflation. And in many cases, you can transfer these tax savings to a new Florida property if you move. This is huge.

Which properties qualify for a Florida homestead exemption?

As of January 1st of the tax year, you must have either legal or beneficial title to the property that you’re seeking the Florida homestead exemption on and it must be your permanent residence or the permanent residence of a legal or natural dependent of yours. For example, if you’ve moved into your new Florida home in 2015, you’re all set for the 2016 tax year. But, if you’ve moved in after January 1st of 2016 you won’t qualify for the 2016 tax year, although, you can go ahead and apply for the 2017 tax year. You also can’t claim more than one homestead exemption within the state of Florida or any other residency-based exemption in another state. The county Property Appraiser can consider several factors when determining whether the property is your permanent residence. Including but not limited to:

  • Existence of a formal declaration of domicile.
  • Where your children are registered to go to school.
  • Place of employment.
  • Residency in another state.
  • Where you’re registered to vote.
  • Driver’s license address or ID card.
  • Vehicle registration.
  • Address for your federal income tax return.
  • Address on your bank statements.
  • Proof of payment of the utilities of the property.

When’s the deadline (Tax Year 2016)?

March 1st. Don’t miss it, mark your calendars.

Missed the March 1st deadline?

So you missed the March 1st on-time deadline? What now? Luckily for you, Florida law allows the Value Adjustment Board or Property Appraiser to grant late-filling homestead exemptions. So long as you qualify, you can file the petition with your Value Adjustment Board or Property Appraiser no later than 25 days after the mailing of the Notice of Proposed Property Taxes, or more commonly known as the TRIM notice which is usually mailed out in mid-August. 

When’s the late deadline (Tax Year 2016)?

September 19th. This is it. No more second chances.

Here’s how to apply.

The Florida homestead exemption applications need to be filed to the county Property Appraiser by March 1st of the tax year you’re seeking the exemption for. Filing for the Florida homestead exemption is pretty straightforward and can be done online. What you’ll need:

  • Florida Driver’s License or ID card.
  • Vehicle tag number (if you own a vehicle)
  • Voter’s registration (if you’re registered)
  • Immigration Card (if applicable)
  • Social Security Number
  • Your previous address.
  • If you’re married, you’ll also need the above information for your spouse.

To file online, click your Central Florida county below to begin the application process.

Have you been thinking about buying a home? Contact our team directly and we can help you with the home buying process. Allowing you to take full advantage of this tax benefit.


We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Contact:
1200 Oakley Seaver RD Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711

 

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This Month in Real Estate | January 2016

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7SGUPER3Ys?rel=0&showinfo=0]

National Numbers

Here are just a few national Real Estate numbers we’re tracking for you right now.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the number of projected home sales dipped to 4.8M as compared to 5.4M last month.

And the national median home price for existing homes increased to $220,300. That’s up 0.5% ($219K) last month and up 6.3% ($207K) from this same time last year.

Finally, according to Freddie Mac, the national average for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is down from last month (3.97%) to 3.96%.

Orlando Numbers

According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, the total number of units sold was 2,273.

Average List Price: $226,187
Average Sale Price: $218,800
Average Days on Market: 78

Lake and Sumter Numbers

According to the Realtors Association of Lake & Sumter, the total number of units sold was 437.

Average List Price: $197,612
Average Sale Price: $187,192
Average Days on Market: 86

If you’re looking to sell, now might be a good time to enter the market.

Want to learn more about how these numbers affect you, contact us.


We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Contact:
Tania Matthews Team
info@TaniaMatthewsTeam.com
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711
407.917.7190

No Comments

Real Estate Rehab Listings | Orlando, FL 32808

Real estate team, Tania Matthews Team with Keller Williams Classic Realty III lists two beautifully renovated and rehabbed single family homes in Orlando, FL 32808.

3509 Greenfield Dr Orlando, FL 32808

3509 Greenfield Ave, Orlando, FL 32808 is a three bedroom, two bath single family home with a total of 1,375 square feet of living space.

Upon entering the home, you will notice the dark hand scraped laminate flooring, an open living and kitchen concept boasting granite countertops, upgraded lighting and stainless steel appliances. No attention was lost to quality upgrades in the bathrooms with travertine flooring and subway tile.

Home Rehab List:

  • Fresh Paint
  • Windows
  • Flooring
  • A/C Unit
  • Hot Water Heater
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Granite Countertops

Total Lot Size: 8,351 square feet.

With plenty of room in the fenced in backyard, 3509 Greenfield Ave, Orlando, FL 32808 is currently listed at $125,000.

Next up.

4100 Robbins Ave Orlando, FL 32808

4100 Robbins Ave, Orlando, FL 32808 is another three bedroom, two bath single family home with 1,276 square feet of living space.

This single family home rests on a corner lot in the Meadowbrook Acres subdivision. It has a huge fenced in backyard and is conveniently located near schools, parks, and has easy access to major roads. This boasts granite countertops, upgraded lighting, stainless steel appliances, and the elegant touch of subway tiles in the kitchen and bathroom.

Home Rehab List:

  • Fresh Paint
  • Windows
  • Flooring
  • A/C Unit
  • Hot Water Heater
  • Lighting Fixtures
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Granite Countertops

Total Lot Size: 12,149 square feet.

4100 Robbins Ave, Orlando, FL 32808 is currently listed at $125,000.

Both homes are move in ready with you in mind, beautifully renovated and rehabbed.

Interested in seeing either of these newly renovated homes? if you’re interested in buying a home or selling a property of your own, please feel free to reach out.

Orlando, FL Real Estate


We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Contact:
Tania Matthews Team
info@TaniaMatthewsTeam.com
1200 Oakley Seaver Rd. Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711
407.917.7190

 

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Crash Course To Selling Your Home

Getting ready to sell your home can be a daunting task. Hopefully, we can break it down for you so you can feel a bit more comfortable with the entire process.

Define your needs & Write it down.

You’ll want to ask yourself and write down all the reasons why you’re selling your home and what you need/expect to accomplish with the sale of your home. For instance, a growing family may require the need for a larger home, or you’ve been given a job opportunity in another city that requires you to move.

As for goals, you’ll want to write if you want to sell your house within a certain time frame or if you’re looking to make a particular profit margin. Working with a knowledgeable real estate agent is crucial to setting accurate expectations and a realistic time frame for the sale of your home.

Now, let’s talk pricing.

Money talks. Name your price.

The next objective of selling your home is determining the best possible asking price. Setting a fair and accurate sale price for your home from the get-go is vital to generating the most activity from other real estate agents and their home buyers. If you want to have a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could have an appraisal done. This does, however, cost a few hundred dollars. You’ll always be better off setting a fair market value price than setting the asking price of your home too high.

Fun fact, studies show that homes priced higher the 3 percent of their market value take significantly longer to sell. In some cases, if your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think something’s wrong with the property and will ultimately force you to drop the price below market value to compete with the newer and more reasonably priced homes for sale.

Things to consider:

  • Take into account the condition of your home.
  • What are some comparable homes in your neighborhood selling for?
  • What’s the current state of the overall real estate market?
  • Is it a buyers market? Or a seller’s market?

Ultimately, when it comes to pricing your home, it’s definitely best and highly recommended to consult with your realtor. A real estate agent will understand the current state of the market, will know what comparable homes are selling for in your area, and the average time those homes were on the market before they sold.

Prepare your home.

If you’re like the rest of us, odds are your home isn’t in superb “showroom” condition. As homeowners, we all tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, a broken porch light, and doors or windows that stick. It’s imperative to get your house in tip-top shape and make the necessary repairs and replacements. Leaky faucets, a torn screen, or even a worn out doormat can ruin a home buyer’s first impression. And as well all know, first impressions are everything. The condition of your home can affect how quickly your home sells and the price that a potential home buyer is willing to offer.

Also, make sure to remove any knickknacks from shelves and ensure all bathroom and kitchen counters are cleared, making every area seem as spacious as possible.

Something to note, a home with too much  “personality” is harder to sell. Consider temporarily removing family photos, mementos, and personalized decor during showings and open houses. This helps potential home buyers visualize themselves living in the home.

Getting the word out.

Now that you’re ready to sell, your real estate agent will set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home.
There are many ways to get the word out, including:

  • Online
  • Yard Signs
  • Open Houses
  • Media Advertising
  • Agent Referrals
  • Direct Mail
  • MLS Listing

Using a combination of these tactics, real estate agents will usually structure your home’s marketing plan so that the first three to six weeks are the busiest. Bringing the most qualified buyers to your home and creating buzz.

Receiving an offer.

When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, your real estate agent will first find out whether or not the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home. If so, then you and your agent will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction.

A contract, although not limited to this list, should include:

  • Legal description of the property
  • Offer price
  • Down payment
  • Financing arrangements
  • List of fees and who will pay them
  • Deposit amount
  • Inspection rights
  • Possible repair allowances
  • Method of conveying the title
  • Who handles the closing
  • Appliances and furnishings that stay with the home
  • Settlement date
  • Any contingencies

At this point, you essentially have three options:

  • Accept the contract as is
  • Accept it with changes (a counteroffer)
  • Reject it.

Keep in mind, once the written offer is signed by both parties, the contract becomes a legally binding contract. Make sure you address any questions or concerns with your real estate agent as soon as possible.

Some negotiating required.

Most offers on your home that come in will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement that works for all parties involved. It’s important to partner with a seasoned real estate agent that understands the intricacies of the contracts and contract clauses used in your area and, understands the areas that are easiest to negotiate, and will protect your best interest throughout the entire negotiating process.

Some negotiable items:

  • Price
  • Financing
  • Closing costs
  • Repairs
  • Appliances
  • Fixtures
  • Landscaping
  • Painting
  • Move-in date

Once both parties have agreed to the terms of the sale, your real estate agent will prepare a contract. If all goes according to plan, the closing table isn’t far off.

Preparing to close.

Once an offer has been accepted, there are a couple of things that need to be done before closing per the contract. Your home may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected, or repaired. And, depending on the terms of the contract that was written, as the seller, you may pay for all, some, or none of them. For the most part, your real estate agent can spearhead all of this and advocate on your behalf when dealing with the service providers and buyer’s agent. 

If the results of every procedure come back as acceptable terms defined by the contract, then the sale can move forward. However, if there are any issues with the home, the terms set by the contract will ultimately dictate the next step. It’s entirely plausible, depending on the outcome of the results, that the buyer or you may decide to walk away from the deal, open a new round of negotiations, or proceed to the closing table.

A few days before the closing, you’ll want to make sure that the entity that is responsible for closing the transaction has all of the necessary documents that will need to be signed on the closing date.

And finally, you’ll want to make any necessary arrangements for your upcoming move.

Finally. The closing table.

“Closing” refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer.  For the most part, your real estate agent or a member of the team will be present during the closing to guide you through the process and make sure everything goes as planned. 

After closing, it’s a good idea to make a “to do” list for turning over your home to the new owners.

Here’s a quick checklist to get you started:

  • Cancel utilities (e.g., electricity, water, gas)
  • Cancel any routine services (e.g., lawn care, pool maintenance)
  • Cancel any other recurring bills associated with your property.
  • If the new owners are retaining any of the services, change the name and billing info on the account.

This about sums up the entire process. If you’re looking to sell your home or know someone who is, we would love to help make this an easy and seamless transition.


We’re not your typical Orlando Realtor. We’re a real estate team consisting of different talents, strengths, and backgrounds. Coming together to achieve a common goal. Helping you.

Contact:
Tania Matthews Team
info@TaniaMatthewsTeam.com
1200 Oakley Seaver RD Suite 109
Clermont, FL 34711
407.917.7190