Tuesday, July 28, 2009

House Hunting Checklist

  • Establish your housing budget by reviewing your debt vs. income.
  • Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan by a lender.
  • Start researching neighborhoods and home prices.
  • Find a Realtor who is familiar with your desired area.
  • Start house hunting, and be proactive about it.
  • Focus on the parts of the house you cannot change.
  • Ask plenty of questions when looking at potential homes.
  • Make an offer based on comparable sales and your Realtor's advice.
  • Be prepared to negotiate, and have a plan for doing so. Your Realtor can give you up-to-date info on trends in the area or if offers have already been registered for the property.
  • Get the home inspected after your offer is accepted, ASAP. This is one of the most critical steps. Even new home construction should be inspected before closing, don't let the builder talk you out of it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Why should you use a Realtor to purchase a new home?

The advantages of having a Realtor® help you purchase a new home are the same as those for purchasing a resale home:
  • Knowledge of the market
  • Help in finding the perfect home quickly
  • Expertise in contract writing/negotiation
  • Closing assistance

The builder has a professional representative watching out for his/her needs, and you need the same expert representation. Your Realtor® will get to know your needs and wants and help find that perfect home and also provide valuable information on what to watch out for.

Buying a new home is a little more difficult and time-consuming than buying a resale. As a Realtor® I have experience working with builders and have access to a database of information about subdivisions, floor plans, etc. I am also familiar with new home warranties and builders purchase contracts for all the builder in the area. It is very important that your interests be professionally represented when you are entering into a contract for a new home. These transactions are complex and the contract details must be exact in order to protect you and to ensure you get exactly the home you want!

Is there any advantage to not using a Realtor® to purchase a new home?
No. There is no financial advantage for you to buy directly from the builder. Builders have a “single-price” policy, meaning you will be charged the same price whether your interests are represented by a Realtor® or not. Just as in any resale, the Seller pays your Realtor’s fee. Magnolia Properties does not charge buyers Transaction fees.

Greenland Chase, good value

Greenland Chase is a popular new neighborhood in Jacksonville, FL. Providence Homebuilders has many energy efficient floor plans to choose from and they are selling quickly here. It seems the low HOA fees, central location, great schools, and beautiful lots are driving the sales here. If you don't want to be so close to I-95 they also have a community off Hood Road, Emily's Crossing. Feel free to contact/email me about these communities.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jacksonville, FL Real Estate Market Update

It seems the market may be starting to heat up here in Jacksonville, FL. I spent the weekend showing homes in several new subdivisions in the Mandarin area and there were many buyer there looking. If those translate into sales that will be good for our local market and home prices.

Remember if you are a first-time buyer, there is up to $8,000 Federal Tax Credit available, but home must close by November 30, 2009 to be eligible.

Some basic qualifications for the tax credit are:

  • To qualify as a “first-time home buyer” the purchaser or his/her spouse may not have owned a residence during the three years prior to the purchase.

  • The buyer's income—single buyers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000—may receive the maximum tax credit. Some buyers may still be eligible for the credit. The credit decreases for buyers who earn between $75,000 and $95,000 for single buyers and between $150,000 and $170,000 for home buyers filing jointly. The amount of the tax credit decreases as his/her income approaches the maximum limit. Home buyers earning more than the maximum qualifying income—over $95,000 for singles and over $170,000 for couples are not eligible for the credit.

  • The credit is for 10% of the purchase price, up to $8,000 (also depending of the income limits noted above)

  • The buyer does not need to repay the tax credit, if he/she occupies the home for three years or more. However, if the property is sold during the three-year period, the credit will be recouped on the sale.

Click here to out more information about the $8,000 Federal Tax Credit.

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