Winter Garden, FL Real Estate News

By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
It's no secret... KITCHENS SELL HOUSES. The kitchen is one of the most, if not THE most, popular rooms in a home... at least for most people. When I take buyers out to look at homes, the first place they tend to focus on is the kitchen. The kitchen is a central part of every home and buyers want to feel like the kitchen will make them "feel good."If you're selling your home, I recommend placing great emphasis on your kitchen. While a newly-remodeled kitchen with tile floors, granite counters, cherry cabinets and stainless steel appliances is sure to impress anyone, many sellers can't afford to remodel their kitchen just to sell a home. So, if you don't have that "chef's kitchen" then work with what you have. ANY kitchen can look great.Here are some tips that will help any kitchen show ...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
If you’re facing Foreclosure….. 1. Do not pay doctor bills or credit card debt ahead of the mortgage. Keep mortgage payments current as possible.2. Negotiate with your lender to restructure your mortgage. If the loan is guaranteed by a federal or state agency, the lender may be required to grant assistance, or provide other options, to avoid foreclosure.3. Sell the house before it goes into foreclosure. If your mortgage is higher than the home’s market value, you may be able to persuade the lender to allow you to sell it for less and forgive the rest of the debt. (this is called a short sale)If you’re about to lose your home, filing for bankruptcy can stop the foreclosure process and allow you more time to try to work out a plan to keep the home. Get legal advise from an attorney speci...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Are you self-employed or a partner in a small professional practice? If so, you're probably very familiar with all the different challenges of running a business. Ultimately, you're responsible for attracting and retaining customers, providing them with quality services or products, getting paid for your work, and then paying your employees and vendors-all before ever paying yourself a penny.Then, from the remaining profits, the government wants their "fair share" of your success. Fortunately, with some knowledge and planning, you can take steps to minimize the taxes you end up paying. Here are five ways that self-employed individuals and Realtors® can cut their tax bill.1. Employ your childWhile you get to deduct the wages you pay to your son or daughter as a business expense, your ch...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Top Ten Short Sale Questions AnsweredNumber 10I can't make my house payments, but I do have an ability to pay back all or part of the negative equity. Also, I want to preserve my credit score...is a short sale right for me?Probably, not. In cases where the seller can pay back all or part of the negative equity (usually to the 2nd lien holder), it makes sense for them to work out a repayment plan. The lender will then release the lien and allow the home to close. Number 9If I pay mortgage insurance and default on my loan, why wouldn't that cover the deficiency amount?The mortgage insurance is not there for your protection, just the mortgage lender's.Number 8Do I have to have my home "Approved" by the lender prior to offering it for sale as a short sale?No. Technically speaking there is n...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
I owe more than my home is worth. Am I eligible for short sale or is my only option foreclosure or bankruptcy?Always consult your lender as to what your options are. The options usually are: a short sale, deed-in-lieu of foreclosure (basically an accelerated voluntary surrender), and foreclosure. The banks like to prevent foreclosure when at all possible. They've even been known to lower people's rates and/or payments because of all the new defaults in the past few years. Either way, your first stop should be to get information from you lender on what options they provide.Contact me for an assessment of your costs. We can go through the fees involved in selling your home. About the author: Jerry LaRose is an Orlando Area Residential Real Estate Expert, who can assist you with the purcha...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
If I pay mortgage insurance and default on my loan, why wouldn't that cover the deficiency amount?The mortgage insurance is not there for your protection, just the lender's. If you are paying PMI (private mortgage insurance) it is there to protect the lender in case you default on your loan. You can usually get the PMI removed after you have enough equity in the home. The lenders will not remove this for you. It is your responsibility to get this removed. Afterall, why do you want to be paying PMI if you don't have to. It doesn't protect you, it protects the lender.For more information on PMI, contact me. If you are a first time buyer, please contact me and we'll set up a buyers consultation to discuss buying a home. About the author: Jerry LaRose is an Orlando Area Residential Real Est...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Found this new search engine. Is it the new search engine. I don't know, but I will say it's pretty cool. However, I am disappoint that it doesn't have my photo of my website when I do the search. I don't know why. Is it my website or is it managedQ? It's at least worth a look. enjoy! BY the way I think the name is terrible.http://beta1.managedq.com/ManagedQ: The Next Step In Search The field of Search is years behind where it should be, as it hasn't fundamentally changed in more than a decade. Results may have improved a bit, but people Search in literally the same way they did in 1995. Jerry LaRose is an Orlando Area Residential Real Estate Expert, who can assist you with the purchase and/or sale of real estate in Orlando, Windermere, Winter Garden Florida or any place in the country....
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
I've read recently that Google Spreadsheets as part of the Google Docs suite added several new features; better revisions comparison through color highlights, change notifications, and a Google spreadsheet gadgets directory.I thought what google has a spreadsheet and word processor free. So I check it out and yes they do and pretty cool. It's worth a look. Here it is.http://www.google.com/google-d-s/intl/en/tour1.html About the author: Jerry LaRose is an Orlando Area Residential Real Estate Expert, who can assist you with the purchase and/or sale of real estate in Orlando, Windermere, Winter Garden Florida or any place in the country. Jerry has created a team of professionals throughout Orlando and the country to ensure that you enjoy a smooth transition to your new area. Please visit ...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
The Median Sales Price for homes in the Orlando area as we all know has decreased significantly. Everyone is asking, where's the bottom. Well, I'll be the first to say that I see the bottom. I will go on record to say that we're almost there. I pulled this trend chart from Trulia and it represents the median sales price of homes. The most important lines are the black and purple. The black line is actual sales of the median priced home. Notice that this jumped out of proportion Jan.1 2004. If prices had not jumped due to supply and demand and had just progressed normally at a 3-5% increase, that average which is represented by the purple line would be approx. $205,000 today. However, the actual today is at $225,000. Therefore, I see the market still correcting another 10% and possibly ...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Don't wait too long to buy a home in today's market? While today's market plays to your advantage as a buyer, with reduced housing costs and favorable interest rates, are you sitting by waiting? When the market turns, today's bargains will be yesterday's missed opportunities.While it is conceivable that home prices may drop further, it is likely that the decreased prices will be accompanied by increased financing costs due to rate cuts by the Fed. This means that any money saved on paying less for a house in a few months time will be offset by having to pay off your mortgage at a higher interest rate making "playing the waiting game" a waste of time (and very little fun).This rate increase isn't just speculation. Just a couple of weeks ago, in early February, the fixed mortgage rate jum...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
If your home is on the market, you better make it easy for buyers to see!I was showing homes yesterday and I had problems showing 3 of the 7 homes I was to show my buyers. At the first home, the home owner was there and unaware of the showing. I guess the realtor never told them. (It's never a good idea to have the home owner at home when the buyers are there.) The whole situation was awkward and the buyers just rushed through the home.At the second home, there was a combination lock box on the home. When I opened it up, there was no key inside......how am I suppose to get into the house? I am sure the home owner removed the key. With combination lock boxes, home owners can open them......actually, in my opinion; they are completely unsafe because ANYONE can open them. With electronic l...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
I must admit that it is a challenging time to be selling your home. Improve your odds of selling your home in today's buyer's market with the following tips:1. Be motivated! There are many homes listed right now. If you don't need to sell, then don't. Ask yourself: Why am I selling?2. Condition. Gone is the day where the buyer wants to fix up a home. If it's broken, fix it. If it's not neutral, make it. Why should a buyer buy your home over another. Contact me for staging tips.3. Price it right! What does that mean...........be prepared to list your home 10% below other comparables. Next, be prepared to lower the price every couple of weeks. Contact me for a CMA. (Comparative Market Analysis)4. Hire a REALTOR! Call me at (407) 580-7011 to schedule your marketing consultation. About the ...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Home foreclosures hit record highHome foreclosures soared to an all-time high in the final three months of 2007 and probably will keep rising, evidence of homeowners' suffering and the economic danger from the meltdown.The Mortgage Bankers Association said Thursday the proportion of all mortgages that slipped into foreclosure set a record, 0.83 percent, from October through December. The previous high, 0.78 percent, came in the July-through-September period."Clearly it's the worst it's been," At the same time, more homeowners fell behind on their monthly payments.The delinquency rate - when payments are at least 30 days past due - for all mortgages climbed to 5.82 percent, the higher since 1985. The rate was 5.59 percent in the third quarter last year.Homeowners with tarnished credit wh...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Mortgage rates dropMortgage rates sank this week, reflecting investors' worries about the country's economic health.Freddie Mac, the mortgage company, reported Thursday that 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 6.03 percent for the week ending March 6. That was down from last week's 6.24 percent, which had been the highest in more than three months."Weak economic reports that indicated declines in the job market, slowing in manufacturing and low consumer confidence drove bond yields lower this week and mortgage rates followed," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are now at the same levels as they were two weeks ago, erasing last week's upward jump."Other mortgage rates also fell this week.Rates on 15-year, fixed-rate mort...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Don't Get Caught In Mortgage FraudIt's like a Train Wreck. Mortgage fraud is among the top concerns of those investing in real estate. If you get caught in a mortgage fraud scheme it can create a financially painful and emotionally distressing situation. While there are many reputable and trustworthy mortgage providers, the lengthy documents filled with legal jargon make conditions ripe for misunderstandings. So before you sign, consider the following:1. Read every page of every document. 2. Sign documents only after seeing that the original and the copy contain the same contents. Be sure to get your copy. 3. Make sure there is no false or even slightly fibbed information on your loan paperwork. 4. Check the license background of your broker. 5. Ask how much your mortgage broker is earn...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
HUD Unveils Proposed Changes to Mortgage Process Published: March 3, 2008Within days, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development plans to unveil sweeping proposed changes to the American mortgage application process and real estate settlement system.The rule changes are the end-product of HUD's five-year effort to streamline mortgage disclosures, promote comparison shopping by loan applicants, and to stamp out eleventh-hour surprises at closings -- where fees come in hundreds or thousands of dollars higher than initial estimates.Realty Times obtained a point by point summary of the proposals in advance of their official release by HUD. The changes are designed to radically overhaul the current, much-criticized "Good Faith Estimates" (or GFE) disclosures and the "HUD-1" clos...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Washington Report: HUD Unveils Proposed Changes to Mortgage Process Published: March 3, 2008Within days, the federal department of Housing and Urban Development plans to unveil sweeping proposed changes to the American mortgage application process and real estate settlement system.The rule changes are the end-product of HUD's five-year effort to streamline mortgage disclosures, promote comparison shopping by loan applicants, and to stamp out eleventh-hour surprises at closings -- where fees come in hundreds or thousands of dollars higher than initial estimates.Realty Times obtained a point by point summary of the proposals in advance of their official release by HUD. The changes are designed to radically overhaul the current, much-criticized "Good Faith Estimates" (or GFE) disclosures a...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Yes, Florida is on-sale. Orlando is one of the best cities for bargain hunters.According to Forbes magazine Orlando is one of the top ten markets for home bargain hunters. Here they are:1. Salt Lake City, UtahOf the major metros in the U.S., Salt Lake City is adding jobs faster than anywhere. The economic boom in SLC has drawn residents from all over the country, and more than a few home builders trying to make a profit in these otherwise woeful times. Housing supply has gone up quickly, and there hasn't been a high rate of foreclosure.2. Raleigh, N.C.Raleigh is another market that has been driven by job growth. Like much of the Southeast, the expanding economy here has kept people moneyed enough to make home payments. According to RealtyTrac, there is only one foreclosure per 319 house...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
WASHINGTON -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Wednesday delivered an economic forecast fraught with risks from housing, labor and credit markets, suggesting policymakers remain on track to lower interest rates further next month. Meanwhile, Mr. Bernanke indicated that inflation risks are more two-sided, though skewed slightly to the high side -- a nod to the stagflationary mix of weak growth and rising price data of late.But Mr. Bernanke made it clear where the Fed's main worries lie. "It is important to recognize that downside risks to growth remain," Mr. Bernanke told members of the House Financial Services Committee.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120412412525296845.html?mod=hpp_us_whats_newsAbout the author:  Jerry LaRose is an Orlando Area Residential Real Estate Expert, who ...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
There are some important deadlines approaching with regard to provisions of Amendment 1.What you should do to receive benefits of Amendment 1 To receive some of the benefits of the changes enacted January 29th, certain citizens must take action by March 1, 2008. The Constitutional amendment created four new opportunities for taxpayers to obtain tax relief: 1. Increased homestead exemption 2. Portability of "Save our Homes" benefit 3. $25,000 exemption for tangible personal property 4. 10% annual assessment limitation for non-homestead property What taxpayers must do to receive these new benefits: 1. Increased homestead exemption - Homeowners that are currently receiving the homestead exemption will automatically receive the increased homestead exemption. No action is necessary. 2. Porta...
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