1. DETERMINE HOW MUCH YOU CAN AFFORD
Determining how much house you can afford is easy if you meet with a Loan Officer because they can tell you what you qualify for. ﾠHowever, do not go based upon this third party’s assessment alone. ﾠOnly you know what you can realistically write a check for each month based upon your other expenses and obligations.
2. CHECK YOUR CREDIT
I recommend checking your credit months before you actually decide to purchase a home. Even if you think your credit scores are good, you will want to see what the bank will be will be looking at. You will be able to see if there are any errors on your credit report which can be fixed by contacting the three major credit reporting bureaus – Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax. If there are negative items on your credit report, try to get them cleared up and get a clean “bill of health”. If not, be prepared to give an explanation to the Loan Officer as to why the blemishes are there. I will be happy to give you a number of tips—just give us a call!
3. GET PRE-QUALIFIED OR PRE-APPROVED FOR A LOAN
You will need to be pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan in order to write an offer on a home. A pre-qualification means that a Loan Officer has reviewed your credit history, assets and employment, and has determined your eligibility. As long as the home appraises for at least the purchase price, the loan has a good chance of closing. Remember, the number the Loan Officer gives you will be what he/she says you can afford based upon your income and expenses. However, only you know for sure if this number is at or below what you know you can realistically pay each month.
4. FIND A GREAT AGENT
Professional expertise will help steer you clear of many pitfalls that can derail the entire home buying process. Choosing a seasoned professional who has worked out many of the “kinks” that can surface in a transaction will make the home buying process that much easier for you. I will be more than happy to assist you in all facets of the buying process. And guess what? You don't pay me! The Seller pays me to bring them a Buyer, YOU!
5. LEARN ABOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD
This is another area where my expertise will help you. Whether you are relocating to the area or buying in an area you are unfamiliar with, I will provide you with all of the details to help you make an informed decision. I will let you know what other homes in the neighborhood have sold for in the past year, and can give you demographic information about the neighborhood. Feel free to research the schools by clicking here, St Johns County Schools or on the link in the St. Augustine menu on the main page of my website. You can also learn about St Augustine too, there are several wonderful websites to browse. Once you’ve found a home that you are interested in, take a walk around and talk to the neighbors. There is no better way to see how well you will like living in a particular area than meeting the people that you will be sharing the area with.
6. GET A HOME INSPECTION
No house is perfect so you will definitely want to get a home inspection by a qualified, certified home inspector. The few hundred dollars that you will have to pay will be worth it, especially if it saves you thousands of dollars in future (unexpected) repairs. If the inspector says that the home will need certain repairs in the near future, he will usually give you an estimate for the cost of repairs. It is my job to use these as a negotiating point with the seller’s agent.
7. PROTECT YOURSELF
I will give you a copy of the documents that you will be signing at the closing table in advance for the big day so that you can read them and have time to ask questions. While I am here to guide you and provide you assistance, at the end of the day, it is your signature on the bottom line, so I want to make sure that you understand what you are committing to.
Suzy Bagan, and her husband Dan, live in St. Augustine on Moultrie Creek in the house that has been in Suzy’s family for two generations. All the children and grandchildren enjoy visiting to enjoy the creek for fishing and kayaking, swimming in the pool and going to the beach. Suzy grew up outside of NYC in a household of Yankees and Rebels— her dad was from Ohio and of course her mom was from St. Augustine and Suzy likes to think she has inherited the best from both cultures.
Dan and Suzy have a blended family and both have lived all over the US. They have five grown children— three in CA, one in TX and one in SC with two granddaughters in CA, a granddaughter and grandson in SC and a grandson in TX. Suzy’s passion for this area and love of people are some of the reasons her career as a realtor is so successful. Ironically, Dan’s grandmother used to vacation in St. Augustine during the cold Iowa winters.
Dan and Suzy are active in the Trinity Episcopal Parish where Suzy’s family has worshiped for years. She feels it is an honor and privilege to worship under the same roof as did her grandparents. Giving back to the community is also something they are passionate about and are involved in the Food Pantry and the Trinity Thrift Shop. They love to bike, go to the beach, enjoy their pool, eat out and listen to live music and entertain family and friends. Road trips are always fun!
Why should you call Suzy for your real estate needs? She is knowledgeable about the area, extremely competent, well trained and takes great joy and satisfaction in providing you with excellent service.
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5 Last Minute DIY Projects for the Holidays
Your holidays are a time when memories are created and you can deepen connections with the people who are most important to you. It's wonderful to spend time in a space that reflects the warmth of the holiday, so creating the right atmosphere is important. Even if your day-to-day life has left you no time to prepare, these five super-simple DIY projects can transform your home in a snap.
#1: Candy Cane Centerpiece
Use a fairly large, clear glass vase. Place small, shiny ornaments (or fresh cranberries!) at the bottom, then stand candy canes on top, allowing the crook of the canes to hook over the lip of the vase. Fill the center with white carnations. There are scads of variations on this idea - use what you have on hand and match your own color scheme.
#2: Chair Decorations
Dress up plain dining chairs with this simple project. Choose a sparkly fabric that complements your dining room, and a piece for each chair that is just wider than the chair. The fabric should be long enough to extend from the back of the seat, over the back, and down to the floor behind the chair. Secure the fabric with a sash; tie a large bow, and if you like, add mistletoe or ornaments.
#3: Place Markers
Add a personal touch to your holiday table by creating place markers. If you have a Scrabble game, use those tile and trays to make cool name plates for each place setting. Or make place card holders by hot-gluing 3 mini candy canes to create an easel for bright red name cards. The holders look like little pyramids, with the crook of the candy canes resting on the table.
#4: Berry Nice lighting
Create an attractive centerpiece or mantel decoration using fresh cranberries and simple tea lights. Fill a tray, serving platter or even a baking pan with cranberries, and nestle in several white tea lights. While you're in the fridge, see if there are any artichokes; they make a wonderful base for an elegant candle. Tie a red ribbon around them to complement their beautiful deep green tone.
#5: Fragrant Napkin Rings
Add a touch of greenery to the table with rosemary wreaths. This is a most useful herb, and great for holiday decorating. You can buy your own little plant in the produce section of most grocery stores. Cut a 6-inch sprig of fresh rosemary for each napkin and curl it around to form a miniature wreath. Secure the ends with a tiny bow.
You don't have to string a million lights to create a warm and festive atmosphere for the holidays. Keep it simple and use what you have on hand. Remember to appeal to all of the senses by including savory scents and sparkle. Put on some seasonal music, put a log on the fire, and prepare for some serious celebration.
How to Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets on a Budget
Just because your cabinets have aged doesn't mean they need to be replaced. With a touch of creativity and hard work, you can give your cabinets a refresher that won't cost you a fortune. There are many creative and budget-friendly options that will make your cabinets look brand new.
Before you start gutting your kitchen in desperation, consider these budget-friendly ways to achieve a kitchen refresh:
#1: White Paint
White cabinets are refreshing, sleek and will make your kitchen look clean-cut. Painting your cabinets white or any variation of white, such as cream or off white, and then accenting them with colors on your appliances, dinnerware, table, for example, will make the cabinets pop and make your kitchen look updated. Painting is an easy and affordable way to wake your kitchen up. White cabinets have become increasingly popular for those looking for a more modern style in their home.
#2: Contrast by Staining
Stain your lower cabinets a lighter color and upper cabinets a darker color or vice-versa to give your kitchen contrast. This will make your kitchen appear larger and eye catching. Staining cabinets is a simple and cost-effective way to give your kitchen a breath of fresh air. You can also stain both cabinets the same shade for a more cohesive look in case you're not daring enough for a full on contrast.
#3: Update Hardware
Another cost effective way to give your kitchen cabinets a re-vamp is to update the hardware. If you have brass handles, try switching them to gold or even a different style of brass handle. If you have silver handles, try changing them up and installing gold handles. Switching out and updating the handles are easy ways to refinish your cabinets on a budget that doesn't require a lot of work or pocket-emptying.
#4: Glossy Finish
Give your cabinets a glossy shine with high gloss spray paint. Don't let your cabinets remain dull and lifeless: Grab a can of high gloss spray paint and brighten them up. When the sun shines in through the windows in your kitchen, your glossy cabinets will catch the sunlight and brighten the room. Whether your cabinets are painted or wood, adding high gloss spray paint will improve the look of your cabinets and make them appear newer. The high gloss spray paint is a minimal cost with a big improvement.
How to Blend Technology with Your Home Decor
Technology. The broad topic encompasses everything from self-driving cars to measuring your pulse. Advancements are rapid and consumers benefit greatly from the technology sector's efforts.
When we talk about technology in the home, a bevy of images comes to mind: Smart appliances that shut off after so many minutes without use, programmable thermostats, solar cells, all provide new ways of living with technology.
These days technology blends form with function in all areas of your home, even the outside. We've put together a list of our favorite technological advances that relate to where we live.
Let's start in the kitchen. Counter space quickly evaporates when devices find their way to electrical outlets. A solution to this clutter is alternative counter outlets. Power strips mounted under cabinets, and wired into existing kitchen wiring or plugged into an outlet, save counter space while providing power to devices. You can hook your phone up to an outlet while it rests in an attachable cradle, suspended from the main power strip. Listen to music, read recipes, or stream your favorite culinary inspiration without taking up counter space.
Next we have the living room. Wallpaper has some serious competition these days with photo murals. With the advancement in digital photo technology, interior design lovers can take a favorite photo and turn it into a massive wall covering.
Technology extends to the bathroom. Warm bath towels are divine, but most come with the compromise of the unsightly towel warmer, until now. Recent innovations in towel warmers (like wall-mounted sculpture versions) add style to warming up your terry cloth.
The fireplace in the 21st century. Speaking of staying warm, sitting by the fireplace can be accomplished with or without a chimney. Bioethanol fireplaces burn cleanly with no ash or smoke so that they can be used anywhere, inside or outdoors. Similar to a hand-held lighter, they are self-contained and even portable.
Sunny accessories are next. Harnessing energy from the sun has never been easier. Advancements in solar cell technology allow sun-loving people to take natural light and turn it into electricity.
Solar shingles. Building-integrated photovoltaics combine roofing materials with solar cells, turning your roof into a solar panel without the traditional look of solar panels. Gone are the days of huge slabs of wires on top of your house. Solar shingles work for new or existing roofs; they install over roof sheathing, are wired together, then connected to your home's electrical system.
Photovoltaic glass. Solar cells, which act as electric semiconductors, are sandwiched between layers of conventional glass to create electricity. What looks like standard glass could double as a power source in homes with this feature.
Think about a photovoltaic skylight, the opening in the roof allows for natural light while generating electricity at the same time. Recently in Spain, an entire garden wall was constructed from photovoltaic glass. The wall serves as a privacy feature as well as a large solar cell for the home.
3 Must-Have Home Technologies
We live in a technology driven world, meaning that technology is constantly a part of our lives – even at home. However, when it's time to relax for the evening and pull away from the computer, there are still a number of home technologies that can be working in the background to simplify and streamline your life.
As you might imagine, there are so many different kinds of technologies you can implement into your home - many of which can earn you a higher resale value when it's time to put it on the market.
Whether you're looking to improve resale value or simply want to streamline your home life, these three home technologies are a great place to start.
Having a home with a garage is already a top priority for most homebuyers, but having a garage that's technologically savvy is an even bigger added bonus. With the iSmartGate app you can open your garage door with your iPhone without ever having to worry about remembering your garage door opener or password to open the garage. Maybe you were in a rush in the morning to get to work and can't remember if you've closed your garage door – no problem, all you have to do is open the iSmartGate app and it'll tell you if you've closed your garage door or not and if you haven't, you can with the click of a button.
In three steps, you can simplify your life. First, have the iSmartGate device installed in your garage door, then download the iSmartGate app and finally enjoy the iSmartGate and throw out your old garage door opener. The iSmartGate is compatible with any garage door, can have unlimited users and is simple and easy to use.
In fact, there are several garage door apps for both iPhone and Android devices. Here's a great list.
#2: Nest Learning Thermostat
Heating and cooling your home has never been easier than with the Nest Thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat automatically adapts to your lifestyle as each season changes. After one week of use, the thermostat programs itself. The Nest Learning Thermostat knows when you're away and uses Auto-Away to turn itself down to save energy and money. You can program the temperature from your phone so that you have full control of your home's temperature.
The Nest even shows you how much energy you use every single day in Energy History and how much you use every month in your Home Report. You'll also receive alerts on your phone if the temperature in your home drops too low or if your furnace is acting up.
Having cameras installed outside of your home can help keep your home safe. You can watch the footage live from your phone with many different brands of security cameras. Even when you're away, you can keep an eye on your home while also adding value to your home. Safety is a top priority, so having a top-notch security system installed can attract homebuyers that are willing to pay more for that security. Here's a great list that will help you get started.
Adding technology to your home that can make life better and simpler is a great start when trying to increase the resale value of your home. These are just a few suggestions for success!
3 Ways to Find the Best School for Your Children
One of the most challenging issues for parents is finding the right schools for the kids. Choosing a school and school district plays a major role in choosing where to live. But even if you're not moving, you may have options, and you do not have to make this decision uninformed.
There are numerous resources available to find the best possible educational opportunities for your family.
1. Look into the educational options that are available. In addition to the traditional public school system, many areas are also offering school choice programs. These school districts provide specialty magnet programs that focus study on a particular area from STEM, to the performing arts, to vocational-technical programs. Some start as early as elementary school. At the younger grades the magnet schools often have a lottery system for admission, and the high school level requires an application and auditions for the performing arts.
Check into your school district's requirements, and if you are military ask if there are special waivers for admission in place. The next possibilities are charter schools, which often specialize and have admissions requirements, but are free because they are part of the public school system.
The final options are private and parochial schools in the area. They vary widely in size and cost of tuition.
2. Mom and Dad – Do your homework! Go online and gather information. Start with local and community websites, including the school district and the individual schools. You may also want to read community blogs or social media groups to get a better feel for how the local neighborhood feels about its school system. Just keep in mind that often people only post the negative and rarely discuss the positive, so take any information with "a grain of salt." There are some statistics about each school that you should take into consideration while you are doing your research.
Look at class size, the student-to-teacher ratio, graduation rates, average test scores, and the school's overall "grade." To get even more specific, look at the list of courses that are offered, the clubs, sports and activities that students can participate in, and the role of parents in the school system.
Finally, for high school students, see if there is a list published of the colleges and universities that graduates are attending. This provides an excellent picture of the rigor of the academic program and the preparedness of the students.
Some good online resources for finding this information are: www.greatschools.org, the U.S. News and World Report Best High Schools rankings, and www.privateschoolreview.com.
3. Go on a school visit. Once you have identified schools that would be a good fit for your family, contact the school administration for a tour. Often, especially with private, charter and magnet schools, a "shadow day" where the student spends a day visiting classes is an admissions requirement. As a parent, this is gives you a great opportunity to get a better feel for how the school is run, the type of classes, the other students and a chance to ask in-depth questions regarding curriculum and activities.
Don't be afraid to ask around at work, church and among professionals in the area. This is a choice that you'll want to research thoroughly.
Tips to Make Your Living Room Look Larger
A living room is for l-i-v-i-n-g, not an opportunity for claustrophobia. If you're feeling the pinch of a not-so-spacious gathering area, take charge. Transform a small, yet soon-to-be-mighty living space into a welcoming license to chill with these tricks of the trade.
1. Draw the eye up. One way to accomplish this is with ceiling art. A sparse, light etching will complete the task without all the drama.
While you're up there, hang or install a shelf. If you're hankering for storage or display options, but the floor is occupied, rise up. Similar to the decorative ceiling option, a shelf high above the surface will command elevated attention.
2. Reduce the accommodation clutter. Instead of 15 seating options in your living room, fill small spaces with one expansive piece of furniture. Sectional sofas or traditional couches with large ottomans equip you and your guests with resting areas without the fuss.
3. Get clear. Anything transparent will fool the eye, creating the illusion of space. Glass-topped tables, or glass lamp bases, reduce definitive edges, allowing the line of vision a free pass to keep moving. Another permeable perspective for a larger space is see-through furniture. Lucite has reclaimed its respect and is back from the mid-modern days with fervor. Designers like Alexandra Von Furstenberg are adding contemporary updates to acrylic, bringing a classic adaptation into today's living rooms.
4. Mirror, mirror on the wall, are you the best option of them all? Maybe, maybe not is my immediate answer. Yes, they reflect light, but they also reflect unsightly elements as well.
First consider what the mirror will be reflecting. Feng Shui aside, because there are so many conflicting opinions of what is right according to the ancient tradition, look at what you are bouncing back twice. If it is lovely, then by all means, double the vantage point. But, if it's not an ideal vista, try something else. Do you have an east-facing window? Adding a mirror to an opposite wall will act as double shot of el sol.
5. Strategic art. An option to create space without reflection is an art piece with a vanishing point. Vanishing points are the artistic translations of infinity. You feel like you're walking down a long hallway, but in reality it's a two-dimensional creation made to look like unrestricted territory. Your eyes travel along this surreal corridor to places unknown while everything else stays put. Where will it take you?
6. Optical illusion. Yes, you can literally use smoke and mirrors to make any room appear bigger by putting a candle in front of a reflective surface, but if this isn't your taste, go a different route.
Make your living space reflect your style, above all else. If you're prone to dark colors, then go for it. Bright and packed to the gills calling your name? Have fun filling the room with fun and fancy. You be you.
Should You Consolidate All Your Insurance with One Provider?
The types of things you should or could have insurance for vary as widely as the types of coverage and plans that are available for you. So the first thing you need to do is take a look at the assets that you own and decide if that item is something that a) is currently insured, b) can be insured, or c) should be insured.
There are some obvious assets in your portfolio that have statutory requirements that you carry insurance. There may even be rules on minimum coverage requirements. For example, all states require that you have car insurance. Lenders most often require that you obtain homeowners insurance in order to mitigate the possibility of loss for them. Landlords and storage units usually require that you have some form of renters insurance. These are but a few of the many instances that would require you to be insured.
Now to the question: should you consolidate your types of coverage? There are two primary reasons why a person would choose to consolidate. One, it is much easier to keep track of and make payments to a single insurance company. Otherwise, if you had five different policies from five different providers, you could spend a significant amount of time keeping track of when payment is due, writing out checks to each one, constantly dealing with renewal deadlines, speaking with different representatives about claims or plan modifications, along with a myriad of other administrative issues.
Second, and most important, the reason to consolidate is the simple fact that it may be less expensive to pay a single company. Most insurers charge you a monthly surcharge. Therefore, if you paid your auto, home, business, or other plan each month, you would be wasting heaps of money in these charges.
A significant benefit from consolidating your policies with one entity is the benefit of economies of scale. Multiple policies equate to multiple discounts, which lower your cost overall. So even if insurance for your car is higher with a given insurer, the overall discounts of having your home, business, and other assets may, in fact, lower your annual expenditure.
Taking the Next Step
When your insurance is all in one place, it's also easier to see the missing pieces. For example, what happens if you have a claim on your insurance that is not covered by the policy or if the amount required to rectify the incident exceeds your policy limits?
This is where an umbrella policy comes in. An umbrella policy is a liability insurance plan that is used to cover the gaps in your existing plans and pay up to specific policy limits above and beyond your general coverage. And it can be surprisingly affordable.
The key thing to remember is to protect your assets and limit your liability with the correct coverage. Sometimes consolidation is the best way to accomplish both goals. If you have multiple policies, it is well worth looking into.
4 Money-Saving Remodeling Projects to Tackle in 2016
Improvements on your home generally fall into two categories: the ones that would be nice to do and the ones that actually increase the value of your home. Yes, there are specific projects that you can undertake that will provide a significant increase to your real estate ROI and make your home a more functional, luxurious and enjoyable space. To that end, we have put together a list of home improvement projects that are proven to add value.
Basic Repair and Maintenance
Probably the most important home improvement projects that you can embark on aren't upgrading the kitchen or putting in a luxury bath, but just taking care of the basic maintenance around the home. Repair broken panes of glass, cracked tiles, the creaky step and all of the other items that are on the "honey do" list. These types of small fixes that only cost a couple of hundred dollars can ultimately increase the value of your home by as much as a few thousand dollars. Not only that, a home that is considered to be in pristine condition will sell much faster in a competitive real estate market.
Tame the Yard
Cut down tangled trees, trim the shrubbery, remove mold and freshen up the flower beds. Having a well-landscaped lawn not only promotes curb appeal and brightens the home exterior, but also can significantly increase the value of your home. According to a survey of real estate brokers conducted by HomeGain, an investment of $400 to $500 in landscaping can bring back a return as much as four times that amount.
Green efficiency projects are an excellent choice for both upgrading your home's systems and increasing its value. Not only will updating your home to save energy save you money in utility bills in the short term, it also makes the property more attractive to future buyers. For example, installing a solar powered water heater can provide you with money back in green tax credits that would offset purchase and installation costs and then save you as much as 80% on water heating bills. Take some time now to install energy savers for heating and air conditioning and even smaller projects like upgrading insulation to the attic.
Open a Can of Paint
A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color throughout the interior is a tried-and-true way of improving your home's appearance and making it more attractive to potential buyers. Don't forget the exterior either to maximize your home's curb appeal. The approach of using a fresh canvas in your home can result to as much as a 112% return on your investment for those cans of paint and brushes.
It isn't difficult to increase the value of your home with just a little time, imagination and investment. Good luck and happy renovating!
6 Front Door Trends We Love
Your front door is the gateway to your home and should reflect your personal style and add to your home's overall curb appeal. It is an architectural element and a great way to add fun and appealing decorating elements. The design of the front door has gone beyond being a utilitarian entrance to being a statement. Your choice of door and how you enhance the space around it are a great way to set your house apart .
Here are some of the latest and greatest design trends in front doors.
Bigger is better. Larger doors and double doors are very popular and not only are dramatic but can be very practical for moving large items in and out of the home. Doors that incorporate windows or decorative glass are very popular, especially if they include period elements like stained or beveled glass. Doors are also using higher quality materials and the latest in construction technology to provide strength and insulation.
Bold colors. A door painted in a bright pop of color against the more neutral background of a home's construction has become the latest trend in outdoor décor. These bright and bold accent shades draw the eye and provide a great deal of visual appeal. Depending on where you are in the country, consider colors like red, yellow and orange in the Southwest and Southeast, or bright primary colors in the Northeast and Midwest.
Rustic, reclaimed materials. Doors are being made out of a variety of materials including architectural salvage items from older homes, churches and public buildings. Incorporating these vintage pieces adds a surprising and interesting element to any home's entryway. Recently there has been a trend in using barn doors to make a rustic statement in many homes.
Bright and light. Light up your entrance with hanging lanterns, outdoor-safe chandeliers or wall-mounted sconces that reflect the architectural period of your home to make your door a safe and inviting entryway.
Well-chosen hardware. Choosing coordinated hardware is another way to tie together the elements of your front door and add a final polish to the look. Quirky or elegant door knockers, letter plates, kick plates, vintage door bells and house numbers are all ways to add personality to the entry. Wrought iron, bright brass, oil-rubbed bronze and silver are all trending right now.
Incorporate plants and landscaping. An entranceway doesn't begin and end with the front door. The walkway, the steps and the area just in front of the doorway are all part of the welcoming experience. Dramatic planters with bright flowers or topiaries that accent the color scheme of the door and the house provide another element of visual appeal. Reclaimed items such as galvanized tubs or barrels are very popular right now as well as reproduction pieces of classic styles.
Whether you're looking to sell your home or simply want to spruce up the entrance, these are great tips that will keep your home looking fresh and inviting.
The Telltale Signs It's Time to Refinance
Have you been giving some thought to how you might be able to save money if you refinanced your mortgage? How do you decide if it's really worth it? Here are four signs that show you might want to sit down with a banker and explore refinancing seriously.
Interest rates are moving. If your mortgage has an interest rate that is several years old, it might be time to refinance. Mortgage interest rates fluctuate. If the Federal Reserve Bank raises interest rates, mortgage rates will likely follow.
You have substantial equity in your home. Equity in your home can be accumulated by your monthly payments or by the value of your home increasing. Either way, it's good news. You can ditch PMI (private mortgage insurance) when your home reaches its 80% loan-to-value ratio. A lower loan amount likely translates to a lower interest rate, saving you money on your payments.
There is a positive change to your credit score. Bank loans often involve a cargo-shipload of paperwork -- including your credit history. Indeed, you may not have realized it at the time, but the interest rate on your conventional loan was based on your credit score at the time of application. A current, higher score usually translates to a better interest rate.
Your income increases. The promotion comes through. A major client signs the contract. Your book was sold to a publisher. These are all good things that relate to more money in your pocket. Take that to the bank -- literally. Secure a better interest rate based on your increased ability to repay the bank loan. Or you could refinance to obtain a 15-year vs. 30-year fixed rate to increase your equity.
Your relationship status has changed. Breaking up is hard to do. Throw real estate in the mix and things get complicated. Division of the assets usually includes the residence, and that means each party's share of said assets. Refinancing the home is one way of "buying out" the other party involved.
Know Your Options
Once you've decided to explore financing, think about the kind of mortgage you want. You'll have a lot of choices. Below are some terms you should know, in order to make a choice that's right for you:
Jumbo Loans: Mortgage amounts greater than $417,000 (except for homes in Hawaii, Alaska, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) are considered jumbo loans. These types of loans mean more money is doled out by the bank and consequently they're riskier for the lender. Banks mitigate their risk by charging higher interest rates to borrowers.
Conforming Loans: A loan amount under $417,000 is called a "conforming loan" because it adheres to guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, buyers of secondary mortgages. Banks will typically sell qualifying loans to these government sponsored entities to free up cash.
Conventional Loans: Any mortgage issued by a lender, but not backed by the federal government. Both conforming and jumbo loans fall into this category, but only conforming loans sell on the secondary market.
LET'S TALK ABOUT IT
Get started on the path to your real estate needs. Please contact me for more information on how to get the job done.
Have a question? I'll be more than happy to answer. Want to discuss our ever changing real estate market? Call me.
Weichert-- Crown Properties
319 W. Town Place Ste 26
St Augustine, FL 32092
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