From Contract to Closing

Congratulations! A seller has accepted your offer. Before you can take possession of your new home, however, several important details must fall into place. Our free pamphlet explains each step in the process and answers your questions about the most important steps in the home buying process.

From Contract to Closing

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Using the Web to Find Properties That Suit You Best

For most home buyers the first steps towards ownership begins with an online search. Typically that means utilizing a national real estate syndication Web site such as Zillow or Trulia to find listings and view homes for sale.

But buyers can be at a disadvantage when it comes to the accuracy and timeliness of  the listings served up by Trulia and Zillow along with a host of similar sites.  Real estate syndication Web sites have no IDX capabilities (Internet Data Exchange), which enable buyers to conduct online searches of approved MLS (Multiple Listing Service) listings in selected areas. IDX sites are provided only by licensed real estate brokerages and their agents.

As real estate investors and first-time buyers know all too well, real estate syndication sites are slow to  update their listings as compared to IDX sites, where a newly MLS listed property can appear in as little as 15 minutes. That same listing can take days to populate to the nationally syndicated sites.  By the time a first-home buyer or motivated real estate investor views the property and submits an offer, there could be multiple competitive bids or the property may have gone under contract.

For that reason first-time home buyers and real estate investors are turning to local IDX  Web sites to get a leg up on the competition. Several more reasons to consider IDX over syndicated listing sites:

-Local broker sponsored IDX sites display all agent-listed homes for sale versus about 80 percent for the national syndication sites.

-Local broker IDX sites show newly listed homes for sale quicker than the syndication portals. My own IDX site is updated several time a day.

-Local broker IDX sites almost never show a home listing as active that has already sold; about a third of listings that appear as active on national syndication sites are no longer for sale.

To be fair, the syndication sites are stepping up their game. But an IDX site will enable you to gain access to MLS listings and search homes much the same as an agent.

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Out of the Box Ideas That Take the Stress Out of Saving for a Down Payment

By Keith Loria

For those dreaming of owning a home, the thought of coming up with money for a down payment is enough to scare many perspective buyers away. However, even if you don’t have the necessary funds for a down payment in the bank, there are other options that you should take into consideration to come up with the money you need to put a down payment on your dream home.

The easiest way to get a down payment for a home is to borrow against one’s retirement account. Many people have been investing in a 401(k) plan or traditional IRA for years, and first-time homebuyers may borrow up to $10,000 for their down payment without incurring a penalty. For those who are self-employed—or if your employer allows it—you can also borrow up to $50,000 from your current 401(k) and pay yourself back over five years at a low interest rate.

In addition, you can do some research and look for down payment assistance grants. Down payment assistance and community redevelopment programs offer affordable housing opportunities to first-time homebuyers, low-income and moderate-income individuals and families who wish to achieve homeownership.

Family is another option that you may want to take into consideration when it comes to securing funds for a down payment. Sure, you may be too proud to want to ask for money, but if your family can help you and your family move into your dream home, isn’t it worth it? If you do get help from a family member, the lender will ask you to sign a form called a gift letter, attesting to the relationship. The lender may also require your parents to explain where they got the money and prove that they are financially able to make such a gift.

If you’re still not finding the money to put together for a down payment, there’s always the creative lease/purchase agreement. Homeowners who can’t sell their homes in this market will be more amenable to cutting a deal with buyers and may be willing to take part in a lease/purchase agreement, where you rent the home you want to buy and a percentage of your rent is applied toward the down payment. If you go this route, make sure you get a contract outlining all the details so both parties are safe.

Adding a down payment option to your wedding registry is gaining popularity among those just starting out in life together. Several mortgage companies allow those getting married to set up a down payment registry. What a great way to celebrate the joining of two people in holy matrimony than to help them buy a house.

If none of these things will work for your specific situation, there’s always the old fashioned “saving for a rainy day” tactic. Try putting aside 10 percent of your paycheck each week and make an effort to bring a lunch to work instead of going out. If you’re married, use the money you would spend on birthday, anniversary and Christmas presents and put that toward your down payment. You might also need to forget that vacation this year. It may seem like a lot, but the sacrifice will be well worth it when you’re living in your new home.

For more tips on how to save for a down payment, contact our office today.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Spacious Golf View Condo

Rare three bedroom condo in Riverbend at Indian River Plantation. Top floor unit with panoramic golf and lake views. Recently updated throughout with granite counters, stainless appliances, new bathrooms, tile floors, and ceiling fans. Other features include, high ceilings, master bedroom suite with walk-in closet, washer/dryer in unit, and expansive balcony with glass sliders. Covered parking under building with private storage room. The nearby Marriott Ocean Club offers resort amenities including beach access, marina, and available golf / tennis club membership.

Selling Your Home? Avoid These Mistakes

Real Estate Web ReportNow is a great time to buy real estate and even though it’s a buyers’ market, you can still leave the transaction as a satisfied seller. Oftentimes, sellers may get ahead of themselves and accidentally make a crucial mistake that can lessen his or her selling power. In order to ensure success, remember the following when trying to sell your home:

Don’t assume that staging isn’t important to the selling process. You want your home to look as good as possible so that potential buyers can picture themselves living their lives there. Whether you choose to stage your home yourself or to hire professionals, you may be able to present your home with the illusion of a higher value. According to a recent study, 94.6% of homes that were professionally staged sold in 33 days or less. Paint your buyers the perfect picture by appropriately staging your home.

Let your furniture help you sell. To accurately stage your home, you must have furniture to show. Attempting to sell an empty house is never putting your best foot forward. Empty houses give buyers the feeling of emptiness and can sometimes be depressing. Walls may look in need of a paint job and the feel of the home may be too cold to entice a bid. Remember, the home must look warm, appealing and lived in.

Clutter is never good. No matter how many children a buyer may have, clutter will never be overlooked or understood. If you have children of your own, it may be tempting to let your home’s clutter take over to give the home a “lived in” feel, but don’t give in. Bathrooms and kitchens are especially important, as is the outside of the home as well. A clean, tidy atmosphere goes a long way in the minds of buyers.

Hide all traces of your cat or dog. Don’t be fooled into thinking that everybody loves pets. Pets should be crated and stored away during each and every showing. Pack up all toys, bones, etc., and make them disappear. You would also be naïve in thinking that your home didn’t have a certain pet smell. Steam cleaning carpets is a great idea. Get the help of a pet-less friend’s nose and clean, clean, clean!

Selling your home can be a great experience and a rather satisfying one as well. However, sellers must be prepared for the market and be willing to go the extra mile to prepare their home for the big sale.

Source: AOL Real Estate

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Florida’s Existing Home, Condo Sales Rising

Real Estate Web ReportNow may be the time for Florida second home or retirement home buyers to get serious. With strong demand and wavering prices, the best units are going under contract quickly.

This trend became evident recently while showing beachfront condos to an out of town couple. Having seen a dozen properties over a three day span, we scheduled second showings of three waterfront units only to find they had all gone under contract. Two were priced at half what they would have sold for five years ago and the third was even less with a dock! All were furnished and updated. The couple returned home disappointed they had  missed out on these properties and unable to purchase a home in time for the winter season.

While less desirable properties still languish, the market for well-maintained homes in good locations appears to be heating up. Buyers in this niche are now less inclined to move onto another property if all their demands are not met, thwarting more discerning buyers’ attempts to find a dream home at a bargain basement price.  Read Market Report

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Stuart, Florida Living

Stuart, Florida is situated on the banks of the Saint Lucie River with a vast amount of shoreline for its size. The ocean is about five miles east of town, offering visitors a host of recreational options including deep-sea fishing, swimming and kayaking. Golf, tennis and hiking round out the activities this desirable area has to offer.

 

In Stuart’s historic downtown district you will find an assortment of shops and restaurants, which may be accessed from Stuart’s own public dock on the St. Lucie. Cultural activities include performances at the restored Lyric Theater as well as free entertainment at Stuart’s newly rebuilt waterfront boardwalk. Several nearby B&B’s provide comfortable lodging with a romantic atmosphere. With its unpressured, relaxing atmosphere and unspoiled, natural surroundings this quaint little town has it all.

 

There is a variety of housing available in the Stuart area ranging from modest condos to golf communities to multi-million dollar waterfront estates. Buying opportunities are better than ever with the region’s ongoing construction boom having created competition among developers and resellers alike.

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Whitemarsh Reserve Townhomes in Stuart, FL

Whitemarsh Reserve by Lennar is a townhome community in Stuart, Florida. Located off Kanner Highway (SR76) and just minutes from I95, the community offers a variety of new and resale townhomes as well as a limited number of single level attached villas.

 

Lennar is currently offering a selection of value-priced three bedroom townhomes with attached one-car garages and double-width driveways. Available homes may include granite counters, stainless appliances and preserve views. The recreation area includes a resort-style pool with oversized pool deck, cabana with restrooms, basketball court, and tot lot.

 

Whitemarsh Reserve is close to local shopping, historic downtown Stuart, beaches, and “A” rated Martin County Schools. Palm Beach International Airport, Cityplace, and Palm Beach destinations can be reached in less than an hour.

 

Whitemarsh Reserve offers first time home buyers and second home or retirement home buyers an opportunity to purchase new construction at the best prices and terms in years.

 

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Stuart, Florida Real Estate: Home Buyers Win the Super Bowl

FootballSports analogies are great tools for motivational speakers or marketing gurus driving home a point. So I found it interesting when a colleague compared buying a home in Stuart to winning the Super Bowl. He commented, “Florida home buyers have won the Super Bowl- the only question is by how much”. In many cases home buyers not only get a great deal but may qualify for low interest rates and strive for seller concessions.

Some  of my own recent sales include a 3,000 square foot pool home in the Torino section of Port Saint Lucie, which just sold for $190,000. Another  Port Saint Lucie area home, built  in 2004 at a cost of $250,000, just sold for $86,000.

Homes I have recently sold in pricier Martin County reflect similar savings, such as a 5,000 square foot estate home that would have commanded $900,000 several years ago and closed for just over $500,000. I have also sold newer townhomes in the Martins Crossing subdivision for under $100,000. Or how about an 1,800 square foot single family home in Martin’s Crossing for $135,000? For those seeking a Winter residence, clean two bedroom condos can be found in Stuart’s Vista Pines adult community for as little as $50,000.

Getting back to the sports analogy- some buyers will lose the game in the fourth quarter by pushing for a few thousand extra in concessions. In those cases the seller may just let the clock run out on what would have been a trophy home for a more astute buyer.

 

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Waterfront Home For Sale in North River Shores, Stuart, FL

Waterfront home WITH DOCK in North River Shores! This remodeled 3/3/2 home features a split plan, master suite with luxury bath and a spacious family room with French doors leading to a screened patio. Oversize garage with room for a workshop. Close to everything. “A” rated Martin County schools. Currently tenant occupied and shown by appointment only!