Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Dec. 28, 2021

Making Sense of Home Equity Loans

Making Sense of Home Equity LoansWith all the attention on foreclosures and “underwater” mortgages, it’s easy to forget that millions of Americans have owned their homes long enough to have substantial equity. It’s still possible for many to tap into that wealth through a home-equity loan.

There are two ways, each with pros and cons.

With a home equity installment loan, you borrow a lump sum with a fixed interest rate and then make monthly payments that stay the same until the loan is paid off, just like a mortgage or car loan. You generally pay a lower rate for a loan to be paid off in three to five years than for one spread over 10 or 20 years.

The second type is the home equity line of credit, or HELOC. It works like a credit card, letting you borrow as much as you choose up to your credit limit. Interest rates change every month or so, depending on market conditions, so your payments can vary as the rate and outstanding debt fluctuate.

Both types are “secured” loans which use your home as collateral. That means they offer lower interest rates than “unsecured” loans like credit cards, but if you fail to make home equity payments the lender can foreclose on your property.

Homeowners can use equity loans for any purpose, from home renovations to paying for college or cars.

Home equity installment loan rates average about 7.98 percent for a 36-month loan and 8.58 percent for a 10-year loan – a bit more than you’d pay on a mortgage. Some HELOCs are charging as little as 5.3 percent to start, though that could rise substantially as conditions change. In comparison, you’d be hard pressed to find a credit card that doesn’t charge in the double digits.

Another benefit: interest payments on both types of home equity loans can be deductible on federal taxes if you itemize your return and meet certain qualifications.

The deduction can make the home equity loan substantially cheaper than other loans. If you are in the top 35 percent tax bracket, a $100-a-month interest payment really costs you just $65 because it cuts your tax bill by $35. A homeowner in the 15 percent bracket would end up paying $85. A $100 payment on a credit card or car loan really does cost you $100, since there’s no deduction.

To figure the after-tax equivalent of the rate on an equity loan, subtract your tax rate from 1 and then multiply the loan rate by the result.

If the loan charges 8 percent and you are in the 35 percent bracket, multiply 8 by 0.65. Your after-tax loan rate is 5.2 percent. [8x (1-0.35]

An installment loan is best if you have a single, large need, like a home renovation, since you know the rate will not go up even if you stretch the payments over many years. The HELOC is best used as a back-up fund, to get you through short periods when expenses exceed income. Because the rate on your balance can rise, it’s best to use a HELOC sparingly, and to pay your balance off as fast as you can.

Greater Pensacola, FL Real Estate Experts – Making It Happen for Buyers and Sellers!

Grand Realty is a greater Pensacola real estate company that opened its doors in June of 2003. We strive to help all of our clients with their individual real estate needs, whether it’s buying a home in Pensacola FL and the surrounding area or selling their existing Pensacola property.

We have approximately 30 agents with a wide range of specialties that include:

Pensacola new home buyers

Pensacola short sales

Pensacola Foreclosures

Pensacola Investment properties

Pensacola commercial properties

Pensacola vacant land

Pensacola water front properties

Grand Realty is also proud to say we have agents who are bilingual, Spanish and Chinese that are placed throughout a good majority of Northwest Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Jay, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre. The Broker of Grand Realty is also licensed in Alabama. Please feel free to email or give us a call, and from everyone at Grand Realty, thanks for your business!

 

Posted in CHEAPER LOANS
Dec. 28, 2021

Childproofing Your Home

Childproofing Your HomeKeeping your home a safe place for children is a crucial step in home maintenance. About 2.3 million children are accidentally injured every year, and more than 2,500 are killed, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After having children, be sure to make the necessary home improvements to protect your loved ones. Here are some tips to help you.

Secure your windows and doors

According to the CPSC, every year about eight children under the age of 5 die from falling out of windows in the United States, and more than 3,000 are injured.

Always open double-hung windows from the top or fit them with locks to prevent small children from opening them.

Low windows shouldn’t open more than 4 inches. Window stops are available that can prevent windows from opening more than this. Some newer windows come with window stops already installed.

Window screens are not strong enough to prevent falls. To make windows safe, install window stops or window guards, which screw into the side of a window frame, have bars no more than 4 inches apart, and can be adjusted to fit windows of many different sizes.

According to industry standards announced by the CPSC in June 2000, the guards must fit snugly but not so securely that an older child or adult can’t remove them in case of an emergency. (The CPSC considers non-removable window guards safe for windows on the seventh floor and above.)

Keep furniture away from windows to prevent children from climbing up and reaching the windowsill. Tragically, thousands of children fall from windows every year.

Use doorstops or door holders on doors and door hinges to prevent injuries to hands. Children are prone to getting their small fingers and hands pinched or crushed in closing doors.

Preventing Drowning

If you have a permanent pool, enclose it with a fence that’s at least 4 feet high, and lock the gate leading to the pool after each use. Always secure and lock the cover on your spa or hot tub.

Prevent fires

Nearly 2,500 children in the United States were injured or killed in residential fires in 2007, and more than 1,000 of those children were under the age of 4, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Experts say that a working smoke alarm can cut in half the chances of dying in a fire. Install smoke alarms in every room of the house. Check them monthly to be sure they’re working, and change the batteries at least every year.

Consider installing smoke alarms that use long-life (ten-year) batteries.

Consider keeping a fire extinguisher in your home, and have it serviced or checked according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Check FEMA for advice on when and how to use a fire extinguisher.

Start talking to your child about the dangers of fire. Make an evacuation plan and practice your fire escape route regularly.

Protect outlets

It’s a good idea to protect electrical outlets with outlet covers. Unfortunately, the removable little plug-in caps can easily end up in your baby’s mouth. Instead, replace the outlet covers themselves – at least those that are accessible – with ones that include a sliding safety latch.

If you’re using extension cords in your home, cover any exposed outlets with electrical tape.

Use caution with furniture and fixtures

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 16,000 children under the age of 5 went to the emergency room in 2006 with injuries caused when television sets, bookcases, and other furniture and appliances tipped over on them. Between 2000 and 2006, more than 130 young children died from furniture tip-overs.

Large or heavy bookcases, dressers, and appliances are real hazards: Bolt whatever you can to the wall. Push items like televisions back from the edge of the furniture they’re on or move them out of reach, and then secure them, too. Always put heavier items on bottom shelves and in bottom drawers to make furniture less top-heavy.

Babies start pulling up on furniture shortly after they start crawling. And when they learn how to climb, watch out! Some children scale counters, bookcases, and anything else they can grab on to. Place floor lamps behind other furniture so that their base is out of your child’s reach.

Keep dresser drawers closed when you’re not using them – they make perfect ladders. And be particularly careful to fully close file cabinet drawers, because pulling out one drawer could cause the cabinet to fall over.

Furniture corners are another common hazard, especially those found on coffee tables. Cover all sharp corners and hearth edges with bumpers to soften the impact if your child falls.

These childproofing tips will help new parents provide a loving and safe home for their child. Be sure to check out the beautiful homes in the Pensacola, FL area, the home of Grand Realty. We would be happy to help you find your perfect home in a safe and secure neighborhood.

Source: babycenter.com

Greater Pensacola, FL Real Estate Experts – Making It Happen for Buyers and Sellers!

Grand Realty is a greater Pensacola real estate company that opened its doors in June of 2003. We strive to help all of our clients with their individual real estate needs, whether it’s buying a home in Pensacola FL and the surrounding area or selling their existing Pensacola property.

We have approximately 30 agents with a wide range of specialties that include:

Pensacola new home buyers

Pensacola short sales

Pensacola Foreclosures

Pensacola Investment properties

Pensacola commercial properties

Pensacola vacant land

Pensacola waterfront properties

Grand Realty is also proud to say we have agents who are bilingual, Spanish and Chinese that are placed throughout a good majority of Northwest Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Jay, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre. The Broker of Grand Realty is also licensed in Alabama. Please feel free to email or give us a call, and from everyone at Grand Realty, thanks for your business!

Grand Realty

4011 Pace Road Pace, Florida 32571 United States

Office Phone: (850) 512-1185

Email: Office@grandrealty.net

 

 

 

Dec. 28, 2021

Think Big Residential Potential: How to Find a Great Neighborhood

Before you can find the right home in Pensacola in which to live, you have to find the right neighborhood. When contemplating where your new neighborhood should be, why not think big? Here are some tips to help you find a neighborhood.

Where to start

There are a lot of neighborhoods in Pensacola, so it can be hard to know where to start  to find the right one for you. Begin by thinking big about the places that matter most in your life.

First, get out a map of the city to which you are moving. Identify the locations that are likely most important to you. These might include where you will work and where your family and friends live, for instance. These will give you some starting place to work from in locating a neighborhood.

Creating your list of neighborhoods

Once you have identified the locations that are important to your life, figure out if there are any areas that overlap these significant locales. If so, start looking at the neighborhoods in these overlapping areas. If not, see if you can determine whether it is more important to be closer to one than the other. Would you rather have a shorter drive to work, for instance, or are you willing to trade a longer commute to be closer to family or live in a “cooler” section of town? These decisions will help you create a list of potential neighborhoods.

Gather neighborhood information

To find the right neighborhood, you will need to do your homework. It’s time to gather your information about the neighborhoods on your list. Ask your friends and co-workers who live in these neighborhoods to tell you about them. What do they like about living there? Are there convenient attractions and amenities? Does the neighborhood feel like a safe place to live? Also, start an Internet search on the neighborhood and see what you find.

Plan a visit

Once you have narrowed your neighborhood  list down to a few candidates, it is time to schedule visits to these neighborhoods. Take a friend with you so you have an objective eye to help you evaluate the neighborhoods carefully . Take notes on what you think about these neighborhoods. Also, bring along a digital camera to take some pictures so that the neighborhoods don’t start to run together in your mind. If possible, visit the neighborhoods twice: once during the day and once at night.

Pros and cons

When you have gathered your information, it is time to list the pros and cons of the neighborhoods that you are considering. Think big about your likes and dislikes about these neighborhoods. No reason should be discounted. If you like that a neighborhood is close to happening social scene, put that on the pros list. If a neighborhood just gives you a bad feeling, put it on the cons list. Once you have made a list for each neighborhood, use these lists to narrow down your pool of neighborhood candidates, keeping only the few that have lot going for them in the pro column.

Making a final decision

Now that you have all of your information, your pros and cons and your notes from visits, it is time to make the decision on which is the right neighborhood for you. If you have done your homework, you should get a good read of which neighborhood feels like home. If you are stuck between two neighborhoods, go back to your pros and cons list and see whether one has more pros than the other.

When it comes down to it, trust your instincts. You will likely know the right neighborhood for you when you see it!

To read more about tips to find a great neighborhood in Pensacola, please visit www.movingtoday.com

Greater Pensacola, FL Real Estate Experts – Making It Happen for Buyers and Sellers!

Grand Realty is a greater Pensacola real estate company that opened its doors in June of 2003. We strive to help all of our clients with their individual real estate needs, whether it’s buying a home in Pensacola FL and the surrounding area or selling their existing Pensacola property.

We have approximately 30 agents with a wide range of specialties that include:

Pensacola new home buyers

Pensacola short sales

Pensacola Foreclosures

Pensacola Investment properties

Pensacola commercial properties

Pensacola vacant land

Pensacola water front properties

Grand Realty is also proud to say we have agents who are bilingual, Spanish and Chinese that are placed throughout a good majority of Northwest Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Jay, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre. The Broker of Grand Realty is also licensed in Alabama. Please feel free to email or give us a call, and from everyone at Grand Realty, thanks for your business!

 

Grand Realty

4011 Pace Road Pace, Florida 32571 United States

Office Phone: (850) 512-1185

Email: Office@grandrealty.net

 

Dec. 28, 2021

Five Questions to Ask Before You Sign on the Dotted Line

It’s important to know which questions to ask before you sign any contract, no matter what kind of agreement it is. Leases are one of the most common types of contracts you’ll encounter in life, and knowing what to look for in a lease is good practice for being a savvy contract negotiator in other life situations.

Five important questions to consider before signing the dotted line are:

Does the contract clearly state what you’ll be receiving?

If you owned a business, for example, and you were signing a contract to buy a certain product from a vendor, you’d want that contract to spell out all kinds of specific details like a delivery schedule,  refund information, and most important of all, the price. Because a contract such as a lease is a legally-binding agreement between two parties, it’s very important that the language in that contract be specific.

While you may not “own” an apartment as a renter, you should still think of signing a lease as “buying” an apartment for a certain amount of time. When you sign a lease, what you’re receiving is a place to live and a certain set of amenities and services. So before you sign the dotted line, look over your lease to be sure that the terms you’re receiving are exactly what you expect.

Does the contract clearly state what you’ll be providing?

If you were signing a business contract, that contract would also detail what you’re responsible for -details like how much you’re paying for a product, when you’re obligated to make payments, and how often you’ll place orders. A lease contract is no different.

Before you sign a lease, make sure you can answer this question: “What am I responsible for providing as a tenant?” Your lease should clearly spell out your momentary obligations, as well as other responsibilities like requirements to keep the apartment reasonably clean, report maintenance requests, and keep  noise levels to a minimum, among others.

Does the contract make reference to documents you haven’t seen?

Sometimes contracts come with addendums. When you rent an apartment, a common addendum might be a lead paint disclosure document, or a pet rental agreement. If you’re asked to sign a lease that says you’ve received these addendums, make sure you get a copy of them.

Does the contract use words you don’t understand?

Sometimes the most important questions you can ask when signing a contract might be questions that clarify the legal terminology. Do you know what “indemnity” means? How about “subordination” or “assessor”? These are all common contract terms in leases, and if you don’t understand them, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It’s important you understand all details of a lease contract.

How does the contract end?

Another one of the most important lease questions you should ask involves the termination, or end, of a lease. Before you sign a lease, you should know the exact date your lease ends and what your obligations are when that time comes. For example, how are you required to give notice? if you break the lease early, what happens? These details are important to note as many contract disputes center around termination issues.

Now that you know which questions to ask, you’re better prepared to evaluate any contract life might throw at you- whether it’s an apartment lease, a job offer letter, or a service agreement with your plumber. Answering these five questions can help you make better decisions and protect your interests- no matter the situation!

To read more about questions that need to be asked before signing, please visit www.movingtoday.com

Greater Pensacola, FL Real Estate Experts – Making It Happen for Buyers and Sellers!

Grand Realty is a greater Pensacola real estate company that opened its doors in June of 2003. We strive to help all of our clients with their individual real estate needs, whether it’s buying a home in Pensacola FL and the surrounding area or selling their existing Pensacola property.

We have approximately 30 agents with a wide range of specialties that include:

Pensacola new home buyers

Pensacola short sales

Pensacola Foreclosures

Pensacola Investment properties

Pensacola commercial properties

Pensacola vacant land

Pensacola waterfront properties

Grand Realty is also proud to say we have agents who are bilingual, Spanish and Chinese that are placed throughout a good majority of Northwest Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Jay, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre. The Broker of Grand Realty is also licensed in Alabama. Please feel free to email or give us a call, and from everyone at Grand Realty, thanks for your business!

 

Grand Realty

4011 Pace Road Pace, Florida 32571 United States

Office Phone: (850) 512-1185

Email: Office@grandrealty.net

 

Posted in CONTRACT SIGNING
Dec. 28, 2021

Citizens Seeks Fewer Customers, Higher Premiums

Citizens Property Insurance has some new ambitious goals: Move as many as 678,000 policyholders out of state-run insurance and once again become the “insurer of last resort.”

Its strategy:Enact a flurry of policy changes that will undoubtedly raise premiums and reduce coverage for thousands.

Citizens, which unveiled the aggressive “depopulation” plan this month in a revised budget proposal, says it is doing so to prevent statewide financial havoc in the wake of a major hurricane.

“Citizens have the ability to levy assessments (hurricane taxes) on almost all Florida policyholders in the event of a deficit after a storm,” spokeswoman Christine Ashburn said in an email. “The long term goal will continue to be returning policies to the private market, which is ultimately how we can reduce the reliance on assessments.”

But some homeowners have already been impacted by the first wave of Citizens’ campaign to drastically reduce its size and shore up its finances.

Patricia Temple, of Coral Gables, is bracing for a $2,150 premium increase this year, after Citizens sent an inspector to her home and decided her payments were too low.

“I have to do what I have to do because I (can) not be without insurance,” said Temple, who is 79 and retired. “But I don’t understand how they can do this if the Legislature put in a 10 percent cap on rate increases.”

Temple became a Citizens client after Liberty Mutual, her insurer of 50 years, dropped her. Though she says that she has not made a property insurance claim in five decades, Citizens raised her rates by 50 percent.

Stories like Temple’s are echoed by thousands of policyholders who say they’ve seen costs suddenly spike despite never making a claim or experiencing hurricane damage. Under a sweeping re-inspection program, Citizens has sent inspectors to 158,000 buildings in the last two years. As inspectors check roofs and windows, more often than not, they find something that translates into higher premiums, with an average increase of nearly $900.

Another 209,000 inspections are scheduled for this year, and Citizens recently proposed a new $50,000 contract for a new study of wind mitigation credits. The study is likely to lead to premium increases, and Citizens board member John Rollins indicated the return on investment for the study  would be measured in millions of dollars.

Sean Shaw, founder of Policyholders of Florida, said that money will ultimately come out of the pocket of hard-working homeowners, who are paying more for less coverage.

“People are at such a disadvantage when Citizens do this,” he said. “It’s like they’re treating people like data points.”

Despite recent moves to reduce wind mitigation credits and raise rates on sinkhole coverage, Citizens has not experienced any significant reduction in size (the insurer swelled from 800,000 policies in 2007 to more than 1.4 million today).

Citizens’ depopulation push will soon go into overdrive, with several hard-charging coverage changes set to kick in over the next 18 months. Ideally, Citizens would like to shrink by 45 percent to 794,308 policies in the very near future.

With private insurers still wary about the Florida market, it’s not clear where 678,000 current policyholders will go for coverage when contracts end with Citizens.

Citizens’ theory is that its artificially low rates discourage private insurers by making the market uncompetitive. It’s banking on more private insurers picking up the slack as it depopulates.

Here are a few of the changes that begin Tuesday for Citizens policyholders

Homeowners who need to join Citizens will have to submit written proof that there is no private insurer able to provide affordable coverage for their home.

Citizens will no longer offer Builders’ risk insurance for new homes.

Coverage for carports, screened enclosures and fences will end for renewal policies.

The personal liability coverage limit will decline from $300,000 to $100,000.

The push to depopulate is set to intensify in the months ahead, and those with Citizens coverage can expect to be impacted by at least one of several policy changes being proposed. Among them:

Uncapping rates for new policies, causing new policyholders to pay as much as 50 percent more than existing customers for similar coverage.

Requiring new electrical and plumbing inspections for older homes.

Requiring new inspections and likely higher premiums in sinkhole-prone countries.

Increasing deductibles for “all other perils” coverage.

Most of the changes are being enacted without the Legislature, which this year declined to pass major property insurance reform.

With hurricane season set to begin in a month, Citizens says it must tamp down its level of risk in order to avoid financial  calamity for all customers.

While the company has been able to build up a surplus of more than $6 billion during a 6-year streak without a major storm, financial models show that a large hurricane this year could wipe out those funds and other resources.

That would lead to assessments for Citizens’  customers and potentially for all insurance policyholders in the state.

That’s why the Citizens board of directors, with the support of Gov. Rick Scott, is trying to attract private insurers back into the market by shrinking Citizens as quickly as possible.

“It is important that Citizens work towards having adequate rates to reduce the likelihood of assessments on all Florida policyholders,” said Ashburn.

Some say those private insurers are never coming back, particularly in the state’s high-risk areas where it doesn’t make financial sense to underwrite homes.

“We’d all love to see the depopulation of Citizens, but guess what? The private companies are not coming back to this area,” Sen. Mike Fasano,R-new Port Richey, told Citizens’ executives next week. “Please, please, leave the people alone that are struggling.”

Greater Pensacola, FL Real Estate Experts – Making It Happen for Buyers and Sellers!

Grand Realty is a greater Pensacola real estate company that opened its doors in June of 2003. We strive to help all of our clients with their individual real estate needs, whether it’s buying a home in Pensacola FL and the surrounding area or selling their existing Pensacola property.

We have approximately 30 agents with a wide range of specialties that include:

Pensacola new home buyers

Pensacola short sales

Pensacola Foreclosures

Pensacola Investment properties

Pensacola commercial properties

Pensacola vacant land

Pensacola waterfront properties

Grand Realty is also proud to say we have agents who are bilingual, Spanish and Chinese that are placed throughout a good majority of Northwest Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Jay, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre. The Broker of Grand Realty is also licensed in Alabama. Please feel free to email or give us a call, and from everyone at Grand Realty, thanks for your business!

 

Grand Realty

4011 Pace Road Pace, Florida 32571 United States

Office Phone: (850) 512-1185

Email: Office@grandrealty.net

 

 

Dec. 28, 2021

What Happens at Closing When You Purchase a Home?

A home closing is the event that marks your move from prospective home buyer to official home owner. When closing day rolls around, you won’t have to do much more than sign a few papers and possibly sign over some money. But it is important to know what you’re signing and understand the legal matters involved in the closing process. This guide gives you an overview of what happens at closing so you know what to expect when this big day rolls around.

Before closing day

There are a number of conditions that have to be met by both the buyer and seller before a sale can move forward. These conditions are called contingencies, and typical contingencies include things like home inspection, an appraisal and approval for a home loan.

Since there are many legal matters involved with a home purchase, you’ll work with your real estate agent and an attorney to make sure that all these contingencies are satisfied. During this process, you’ll likely hear the term “due diligence,” which refers to a process a lawyer undergoes when he’s checking to see if the seller can legally sell you the house. When all the financial and legal matters have been squared away, it’s time to officially seal the deal with a home closing.

Sign on the dotted line

Once you’ve been approved for a home loan and all contingencies have been met, you can schedule the closing. This is the event at which you will legally purchase a home. You can think of a home closing as an arbitration to handle the transfer of property from the seller to the buyer. Since both parties are involved, both seller and buyer show up to the closing. A closing agent, a neutral third-party who is in charge of officially recording mortgage and real estate transaction with the court, will be in charge of the proceedings.

Three important things happen at a home closing:

The home’s title will be transferred to you.

Your homeowner’s insurance coverage (which you should have secured and paid for by closing day) officially kicks in.

You officially commit to the mortgage.

To k make things official, you will sign a very large stack of legal contracts. These home closing documents will detail the financial and real estate transactions involved in the home purchase. You’ll go over these documents with the closing agent, checking for errors before signing your name on the dotted line. This whole process can take as little as an hour, though it might take longer, depending on how complicated the sale is.

Hand over your cash

At the same time that you sign the legal documents, you’ll also be expected to plunk down cash to cover a down payment and closing costs. The amount of closing costs you pay depends on the terms of your home loan and the terms you’ve negotiated with the seller. Typical down payments range from three to twenty percent of the purchase price, and closing costs usually come in at a few thousand dollars. You’ll be expected to present a certified check to cover all of these costs (your lender can provide you with exact closing cost figures ahead of time.) If you decide to pay points at closing, you’ll also be expected to pay for them at this point. Many home buyers who expect to live in their homes for five years or more pay for what are referred to as “discount points,” or fees that reduce their interest rate-saving them money over the life of their home loan. Paying points at closing is very common.

Leave a homeowner

When all’s said and done, you’ll leave your home closing with a stack of important documents proving you now own a house and -best of all- you’ll have the keys to your new place!

 

Greater Pensacola, FL Real Estate Experts – Making It Happen for Buyers and Sellers!

 

Grand Realty is a greater Pensacola real estate company that opened its doors in June of 2003. We strive to help all of our clients with their individual real estate needs, whether it’s buying a home in Pensacola FL and the surrounding area or selling their existing Pensacola property.

 

We have approximately 30 agents with a wide range of specialties that include:

 

Pensacola new home buyers

Pensacola short sales

Pensacola Foreclosures

Pensacola Investment properties

Pensacola commercial properties

Pensacola vacant land

Pensacola water front properties

 

Grand Realty is also proud to say we have agents who are bilingual, Spanish and Chinese that are placed throughout a good majority of Northwest Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Jay, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre. The Broker of Grand Realty is also licensed in Alabama. Please feel free to email or give us a call, and from everyone at Grand Realty, thanks for your business!

 

Grand Realty

3806 Hwy 90, Pace, FL 32571

Office Phone: 850-512-1185

Office Fax: 850-512-1195

Email: Office@GrandRealty.net

 

Map of Pensacola, FL

 

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FILED UNDER: CLOSING COSTS, DOWN PAYMENTS, HOMEOWNERSHIP

 

Dec. 28, 2021

Should You Pay Points on Your Mortgage at Closing?

Paying points on a mortgage doesn’t always make financial sense. It just might save you thousands of dollars- or it could really cost you. This guide will help you understand what points are and help you determine whether you should pay extra for them at the closing table.

What are mortgage points?

How  would you like to get a discount on your home loan? That’s the idea behind mortgage points. Also known as discount points, mortgage points are basically a fee you pay to your lender in exchange for a lower interest rate. A lower interest rate means you’ll have lower monthly payments over the life of your loan. (Origination points, on the other hand, generally refer to fees charged by the bank to cover the work involved in preparing your loan.)

The reason you’re able to get a discounted interest rate in exchange for paying points is because the bank is happy to collect more money from you upfront as a lump sum rather than collecting small amounts of interest from you over the term of a loan.

If you choose to pay points to lower your interest rate, each point will cost you one percent of your home’s purchase price. So, for example, if you’re buying a $200,000 home, one point would cost you $2,000. Each point you pay generally lowers your interest rate by .125 percent. That means that a 6.5 percent interest rate would be lowered to 6.375 percent if you paid a point on it.

There are three ways to pay for mortgage points: pay for them in cash at closing, negotiate to have the seller pay them for you or roll the cost into the total of your loan. If you roll the cost of points into your loan, that makes your principal balance higher. In our example, if you chose to finance the cost of paying a point, you would get a loan for $202,000, for instance.

Should you pay points?

In some cases, a bank might require you to pay points depending on the type of loan you want to procure. For most borrowers, however, paying points is optional and should only be done under certain circumstances. It’s important to note that paying points does not always make financial sense. For example, it doesn’t make sense for a homeowner to pay points unless he plans to stay in that home for a fairly long period of time.

To determine if you plan on staying in a home long enough to justify paying points, you can do some simple math:

First, calculate how much your monthly mortgage payments will be if you do not pay points. (You can use a mortgage calculator to do this.)

Next, find out how much your monthly payments will be if you do not pay a certain number of points.

Subtract the lower payment amount from the higher payment amount to determine how much you’d save by paying mortgage points.

Finally, divide the amount you would pay at closing for the points by the amount you would save each month on payments. The number you come up with is the number of months you would need to stay in the house in order to break even on paying points.

Let’s look at an example. Say you’re buying a $100,000 home, and you’re taking out a 30-year fixed rate loan. At 7.5 percent interest and no points, the monthly mortgage payment would be $699.21. If you buy one point at a cost of $1,000, your monthly payment is lowered to $690.68, a difference of roughly $8.50. Divide $1,000 by $8.50 and you get 117. 117 months is almost ten years. In this example, you’d have to live in the home for nearly ten years before you could recoup the extra $1000 you paid for points.

Another important point about points

Another thing to consider when you’re deciding whether or not you should pay points is that they are tax deductible. So paying points may help you save in more than one way.

To read more about mortgage points, please visit www.movingtoday.com

Greater Pensacola, FL Real Estate Experts – Making It Happen for Buyers and Sellers!

Grand Realty is a greater Pensacola real estate company that opened its doors in June of 2003. We strive to help all of our clients with their individual real estate needs, whether it’s buying a home in Pensacola FL and the surrounding area or selling their existing Pensacola property.

We have approximately 30 agents with a wide range of specialties that include:

Pensacola new home buyers

Pensacola short sales

Pensacola Foreclosures

Pensacola Investment properties

Pensacola commercial properties

Pensacola vacant land

Pensacola waterfront properties

Grand Realty is also proud to say we have agents who are bilingual, Spanish and Chinese that are placed throughout a good majority of Northwest Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Jay, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre. The Broker of Grand Realty is also licensed in Alabama. Please feel free to email or give us a call, and from everyone at Grand Realty, thanks for your business!

 

Grand Realty

4011 Pace Road Pace, Florida 32571 United States

Office Phone: (850) 512-1185

Email: Office@grandrealty.net

 

Dec. 28, 2021

Selling a Rented Home Can Pose Challenges

Some homeowners turned into reluctant landlords and rented out their homes to earn extra income while the housing market was sluggish. But now some of these homeowners are ready to sell.

However, real estate agents often caution clients that trying to sell a home when a tenant still lives there can be tricky since many renters – who have no financial stake in the matter – aren’t always so eager to help market a home and keep it tidy and neat on their landlord’s behalf.

Nevertheless, “it’s pretty common in this market to be selling a home with a tenant in it,” Chris Hager, a real estate professional with Long & Foster Real Estate in North Bethesda, Md., told the Washington Times. “There are lots of reluctant landlords out there who opted to rent their property rather than sell it, and now they want to put it on the market. There’s the potential for conflict between the tenant and the landlord, especially if it was not made clear to the tenant from the beginning that the owners wanted to sell.”

Landlords should make a point to clearly communicate their intentions to sell, and not “sneak” the house on the market without telling the tenants first, real estate professionals say.

Landlords might want to offer a concession on the rent to tenants in exchange for them keeping the home in clean, good condition while it’s on the market – such as 10 percent off each month’s rent while it’s on the market. But be sure to communicate expectations for cleanliness, such as keeping the dishes out of the sink and making the bed. Experts also suggest setting established hours for showing the property to make it easier on the tenant.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so it is particularly important to have the place in strong showing shape on the first and second weekends on the market,” says Nick Pasquini, broker-owner of Century 21 Redwood Realty in Washington, D.C., and Arlington and Ashburn, Va.

Click here for more information from FloridaRealtors.org

Greater Pensacola, FL Real Estate Experts – Making It Happen for Buyers and Sellers!

Grand Realty is a greater Pensacola real estate company that opened its doors in June of 2003. We strive to help all of our clients with their individual real estate needs, whether it’s buying a home in Pensacola FL and the surrounding area or selling their existing Pensacola property.

We have approximately 30 agents with a wide range of specialties that include:

Pensacola new home buyers

Pensacola short sales

Pensacola Foreclosures

Pensacola Investment properties

Pensacola commercial properties

Pensacola vacant land

Pensacola water front properties

Grand Realty is also proud to say we have agents who are bilingual, Spanish and Chinese that are placed throughout a good majority of Northwest Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Jay, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre. The Broker of Grand Realty is also licensed in Alabama. Please feel free to email or give us a call, and from everyone at Grand Realty, thanks for your business!

 

Grand Realty

4011 Pace Road Pace, Florida 32571 United States

Office Phone: (850) 512-1185

Email: Office@grandrealty.net

 

 

 

Dec. 27, 2021

Pensacola, FL Down Payments 101

Deciding whether or not to make a down payment on your new Pensacola, FL home can be a tough judgment to make. After you decide if you will make a down payment, you have to figure out how much money you can/ or will put down.  Don’t stress out trying to comprehend what to do; we can help you figure it out.

What is a Down Payment?

The amount of money a home buyer pays out of their pocket, when buying a house, is called a down payment. If you are taking out a loan to buy your new Pensacola home, your loan will not cover the down payment. For some loans, a down payment is required while others do not have a down payment. Your down payment is used toward the price of your home.

How Much Should My Down Payment Be?

The down payment on your Pensacola, FL home will be determined by the kind of loan you have—FHA, VA, or Rural Development. If you are trying to buy a Pensacola foreclosure or Pensacola short sale, your down payment could be anywhere from 0%-20%.  Your credit can also affect how much your down payment will cost, so talk to your lender to see how much you should expect to pay. After talking to your lender, you will know how much money you need to save up.

When your lender tells you how much is required as a down payment, you have the option of paying more than what is required. By paying a larger payment, you can potentially lower your monthly mortgage payments. Paying a larger down payment will allow you to take out a smaller loan, making the payments smaller than they would have been originally.

Down Payment Rules and Regulations

A down payment must be paid by you, the Pensacola home buyer. The seller of a home cannot pay the down payment of a home because it will be considered an increase to the sales price of the home. However, the seller can pay your closing cost if they would like to help you reduce the amount of cash you pay on any of the extra expenses. The seller paying the closing cost will allow the buyer to have more cash to use towards the down payment.

 A family member can gift you cash to pay for the down payment as long as it is clear to your lender that it truly is a gift and not a loan. The lender must also have proof of how the money originated. Make sure you review the IRS rules of gifting money to insure you do not have to pay extra taxes and penalties on the money gifted to you.

If you would like to calculate how much a down payment will change the mortgage payment, please visit our Mortgage Calculator at the bottom of our Blog home page.

Greater Pensacola, FL Real Estate Experts – Making It Happen for Buyers and Sellers!

Grand Realty is a greater Pensacola real estate company that opened its doors in June of 2003. We strive to help all of our clients with their individual real estate needs, whether it’s buying a home in Pensacola FL and the surrounding area or selling their existing Pensacola property.

We have approximately 30 agents with a wide range of specialties that include:

Pensacola new home buyers

Pensacola short sales

Pensacola Foreclosures

Pensacola Investment properties

Pensacola commercial properties

Pensacola vacant land

Pensacola water front properties

Grand Realty is also proud to say we have agents who are bilingual, Spanish and Chinese that are placed throughout a good majority of Northwest Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Jay, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre. The Broker of Grand Realty is also licensed in Alabama. Please feel free to email or give us a call, and from everyone at Grand Realty, thanks for your business!

 

Grand Realty

4011 Pace Road Pace, Florida 32571 United States

Office Phone: (850) 512-1185

Email: Office@grandrealty.net

 

 

 

Dec. 27, 2021

Four Tips to Help Your Pensacola, FL Home Sell

Placing your Pensacola, FL home up for sale can be a hard scary idea. If you place your home for sale and don’t take the proper steps it can be a long and trying process that leaves you scratching your head, thinking “Why will my home not sell?” Our goal is to give you a few ideas to help you with the home selling process.

Have a Comparative Market Analysis Performed

Before the national real estate market started to slide down hill, some home sellers would not accept the first offer that came along. Sellers would wait until they could find a buyer that would pay the original asking price. Now days that is not the case before selling your Pensacola, FL home, have a realtor perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). CMA’s allow you, the home owner to have a reasonable idea of what your home will go for. Listing your Pensacola home fairly will allow the home to sell faster, even if that means accepting a lower price than you would have liked. 

Be Flexible With a Home Buyer

If you find a willing buyer for your Pensacola, FL home, work with them as much as you can. A home buyer could request you to pay closing costs or to help with some closing expenses. When the home buyer makes these request take them into consideration. A home buyer has to pay a lot of expenses up front, so if they are short a little cash. It would defiantly stink if a buyer backed out because they could not come up with the remaining cash to cover all the expenses.

Make Your Pensacola, FL home Look Presentable.  

Your home has a greater chance of selling if you give it a face lift before placing it on the market. Now, we’re not saying gut out the house and do an intense remodel and demolition project. Dedicate one weekend to updating your home before it goes on the market. Apply a fresh coat of paint (light neutral colors are the best), replace burned out light bulbs, clean your house from top to bottom, this also includes outside.  A home buyer will not take a second look at a home if the clutter and dirt make the home look small and grungy.

Hire a Pensacola, FL Agent That Is in With the Times.

If your real estate agent does not use modern selling tools to list your Pensacola, FL home, request that they do. In today’s real estate market, most home buyers start their search on the internet. If your Pensacola agent does not list your property online, it will not be seen by the maximum amount of potential buyers. We’re not saying to only list online, but reality is that a lot of people only use newspaper as moving supplies rather than reading it. We are in the 21st century, so most people have graduated into the technology trends.

Greater Pensacola, FL Real Estate Experts – Making It Happen for Buyers and Sellers!

Grand Realty is a greater Pensacola real estate company that opened its doors in June of 2003. We strive to help all of our clients with their individual real estate needs, whether it’s buying a home in Pensacola FL and the surrounding area or selling their existing Pensacola property.

We have approximately 30 agents with a wide range of specialties that include:

Pensacola new home buyers

Pensacola short sales

Pensacola Foreclosures

Pensacola Investment properties

Pensacola commercial properties

Pensacola vacant land

Pensacola water front properties

Grand Realty is also proud to say we have agents who are bilingual, Spanish and Chinese that are placed throughout a good majority of Northwest Florida including Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Navarre, Perdido Key, Jay, Cantonment, Gulf Breeze, and Navarre. The Broker of Grand Realty is also licensed in Alabama. Please feel free to email or give us a call, and from everyone at Grand Realty, thanks for your business!

 

Grand Realty

4011 Pace Road Pace, Florida 32571 United States

Office Phone: (850) 512-1185

Email: Office@grandrealty.net