Posts by Mark Weber

Naples Happiest Place to Live 2017

#1 Happiest Place to Live in 2017 Is Naples, FL a Good Place to Live? Is Naples Safe? As a Naples native, one of the most frequent questions I’m asked is, “Is Naples, Florida a good place to live?” You may be thinking, “Is Naples safe?, “What’s the weather like in summer?” or “Would I be happy living there?” Those…

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Celebrity Homes & Stars Living in Naples, FL

Naples, Florida is a paradise that has been discovered by many looking to own their piece of real estate in Southwest Florida – including some notable celebrities. Just like us average Joe’s, celebrities are drawn to Naples for it’s quiet sophistication, amazing beaches and privacy. It’s easier to blend-in and avoid the celebrity stalkers of…

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Foreclosures vs Short Sales

What’s the Difference Between a Foreclosure and a Short Sale? One of the most frequent questions we get asked is whether it’s better to buy a foreclosure or a short sale. Which one will you get the best deal on? Free List of 100+ Naples Foreclosures Foreclosures in Naples, Florida and other parts of Southwest Florida can have significant advantages over short…

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Best Naples Beachfront Condos

View All Sancerre Condos Currently for Sale or Call (239) 417-1115 Sancerre, in my humble opinion, has the best beachfront condos in all of Naples, Florida. This prestigious Gulf front address, located at 1801 Gulfshore Boulevard North, offers privacy and world class service to 23 of the finest properties ever available in Naples. In fact, the…

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One-Time Showing Commission Agreement

A “one-time showing agreement” or a Commission Agreement for Sale is a commission agreement between a for sale by owner (seller) and the real estate brokerage company. It is a written agreement in which the seller agrees to pay a commission to the Realtor connected to the buyer. If that buyer purchases the seller’s (FSBO’s) home, the…

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Top 5 Mistakes Intelligent Home-Buyers Make & How to Avoid Them

Today, homebuyers are more educated and savvy than ever. It’s not surprising when a buyer asks for a list of recently sold comparable sales in the neighborhood, days on the market (DOM) a property has been listed or price reductions and other details found in a properties “listing history.” Even with the best tools in hand,…

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Are Verbal Offers for Real Estate Valid in the State of Florida?

“The fax didn’t go through; just tell them verbally that we accept $875,000.” This was a quote from a recent real estate transaction that went downhill shortly after the agent relayed this information, verbally. In the state of Florida, verbal contracts are not enforceable. A real estate contract must be in writing. In the good old days,…

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36 Sales Opening Day at Riverstone Naples!

36 Sales on Opening day at Riverstone in Naples FL. “We slept in our cars overnight to be the first in line to buy at Riverstone,” according to Derek Anderson Realtor for White Sands Realty in Olde Naples. “People wanted the biggest and best cul-de-sac lots on the lake and they were willing to wait over 12 hours to be first in line. Naples Florida real estate is looking positive no matter how you slice and dice it.”

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Naples Home Listings at 5 Year Low as Sales Rise

NAPLES, FL-There is more good news sweeping the Naples Florida real estate market and we are not even through January yet. Mutltiple Listing System (MLS) statistics released through the Naples Area Board of Realtors show an increase in overall sales while inventory continues to decline. Lower inventories mean less homes for sale, which in turn means…

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5 Acre Naples Luxury Ranch Home For Sale

Amazing Naples real estate opportunity. Naples home and 5 Acre Ranch within 8 minutes of the beach. Great location. This luxury Naples home has tennis, resort-style pool and horse stables! 6690 Bottlebrush Ln Naples, Florida 34109 Price: $1,650,000 5 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms 6010 Square Feet Welcome home to Equus Ranch! This exquisitely designed Naples home…

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Who Buys Naples Homes? – 5 Buyer Profiles

First-off, nobody likes to be profiled. Whether at the airport taking a flight or walking into the real estate sales office at a shiny, new home model. We are all unique and deserve respect. Yet, clients often are asked who is the “usual buyer” of Naples Florida real estate today. Some want to get an…

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Secrets Tips to Whip Your Realtor into Shape

First off, a note of safety. Please do not actually “whip” your Realtor. It would really hurt—unless you’re into that sort of thing. So, for safety’s sake, let’s replace “whip” with “charm” in our title and move on. Just as certain people have a way of charming the sales clerk into giving them a better deal than the…

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New Clubhouse Opens at The Best-Selling New Homes in Naples

The best-selling new home community in Naples now has the hottest new clubhouse. We were fortunate enough to hold our office real estate meeting at the new Marbella Lakes clubhouse last week. As you’ll see in the clubhouse video below, the pool area is like living at a 5-star resort in the Mediterranean and the…

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5 Trends in New Single-Family Homes in the U.S.

The economic recession has created some strong new trends in the way single-family homes are being built and will be built for many years to come. Many of us under increasing economic pressures have tightened our belts to the last hole. We finally realize that we can actually live just fine, perhaps even better, without…

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Tips for Getting Great Home Deals Today

Tara-Nicholle Nelson of Trulia reports on how to get great home deals in today’s real estate market. Some of her bargain shopping suggestions are key strategies we suggest and use for our Naples home buyers looking for great deals. Research comparable sales to get a discount of the market value , not just the asking…

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Canadians Top International Buyers in US

In the last year, 2 out of 3 Realtors in Florida has had at least one international home buyer according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Canadian buyers top that list of home buyers from outside our borders. The value of the Canadian dollar to the US along with more affordable US home prices…

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Are Naples Homes Headed Up Like Beverly Hills?

Naples, Florida is a lot like Beverly Hills when it comes to luxury home prices. If the median home price in Beverly Hills is any indicator of sunnier days to come, we may soon be be seeing brighter rays of sunshine on the Naples beaches as well. The median sale price of Beverly Hills single-family…

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5 Ways to Sell Your Home in a Buyer’s Market

It is no great secret that today’s real estate market continues to be a strong buyer’s market. At our office, we receive  several calls per day from people around the world that are looking for, “a really, really—no really, great deal.” So what is a seller to do in this market besides lay in wait…

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Hotels that Make You Feel Neapolitan

When people make plans to come to Naples to look at real estate they often ask me for recommendations of hotels in the area. In the past, I used to tell everyone to stay at one of the large hotels right on the beach like the Ritz Carlton or La Playa, but over the years…

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Luxury Foreclosures in Naples On the Rise

Mentioning “luxury” and “foreclosures” in the same breath may not make sense in most cities, but in Naples, Florida the increase in overall foreclosed homes due to the housing crisis has created a new animal that is becoming part of the local real estate market. Total 2010 year-to-date foreclosure sales of residential properties in Naples as…

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What Does REO Mean?

You may have heard the term REO used more often lately on the news or in conjunction with real estate. REO is an acronym for Real-Estate-Owned. Most REO’s are owned by a lender at a result of a foreclosure on a property. Lenders refer to these properties as REO since that is how the asset…

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Sold Naples Homes-2010/09/15

A total of 522 Naples properties including homes, condos and villas have sold since the 15th of last month. Sold (closed) single-family homes (Only) are listed below. You’ll note that prices are arranged from the high price of $4 million down to the low of $10,000. As you may also notice, the majority of the…

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Why We Excel As Naples Realtors

When searching for Naples homes, keep in mind there are about 346 Naples real estate firms for you to choose from. Some specialize in rental properties or even commercial property, but not everyone is the same when it comes to the level of service and knowledge they provide. When you Google “Naples Realtors” we most…

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Busier Spring & Summer for Naples Luxury Homes

The Naples luxury home market saw an increase in overall sales this summer. This corresponds to figures released from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). According to NAR, the home sales for $1 million plus homes were up .7 percent in July 2010 as compared to last year at the same time. These figures are…

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Naples Real Estate: The Truth About Median Home Price

Today I was contacted by Bankrate, Inc. for data and to comment about Naples median home prices for an upcoming article they are publishing on median home prices around the United States. For those that don’t know Bankrate is the Web’s leading aggregator of financial rate information. Basically, on their site, Bankrate.com, they provide consumers…

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Naples Waterfront Homes: Like a Box of Chocolates

Naples, Florida has some of the most amazing waterfront homes in the world. Like a box of chocolates, Naples waterfront homes and condos in Naples FL come in many different shapes and flavors. From luxury, beachfront mansions with post card views of the Gulf of Mexico to canal and bay front homes with deep water…

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$8.75 Million Naples Luxury Home on 10 Acres

Luxury Naples Home on 10 Acres in Florida. Listed on Naples MLS for $8.75 Million. This is one of the top Naples real estate properties with lots of land so near the beach. This home was the winner of the 2009 CBIA SAND DOLLAR AWARD / EXEC HOME. There are actually 2 luxury estate Southern…

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Buyers: 8 Steps to Finding Your Perfect Home

Finding your perfect home in today’s market can be a challenge for new and seasoned home buyers alike. Whether you are looking for a home in my hometown of Naples, Florida or anywhere in the world, there are some basic steps you should take to ensure your success. 1. Research before you look. 87% of…

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Reality Check: Tweet & Sell on Twitter

“Twitter” used to be a word associated with bird sounds or general excitement, but now it’s synonymous with a high-flying social media service based at Twitter.com. Oprah, actor Ashton Kutcher and CNN have recently nudged Twitter further into the national conscience, but the publicity was hardly necessary. Unofficial figures for the free service that bills…

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Home Values Up in One Naples Community

“In June and July 2010, current owners who purchased single-family homes from us when we opened last year have equity of over $20,000 in many cases depending on the lot they purchased. That’s about a 6% to 10% increase in value in a little over a year.”

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Naples Florida “Miami without the Glitz” – New York Times

Mark Weber, Broker/Owner of White Sands Realty, enjoys reviewing articles and information that is relevant to buying or selling homes in Naples. The recent New York Times article featuring Naples, Florida gave some insight on the writer’s experience when spending “36 Hours In Naples” getting a feel for the community.  The journalist made a comparison…

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Making Home Affordable Helps Homeowners Prevent Foreclosure

by Simon Volkov – (submitted 2010-03-31) Making Home Affordable offers four programs; three of which help homeowners obtain reduced mortgage payments and prevent foreclosure. Home saving options include loan modifications, mortgage refinance, and second lien modification. A fourth program, Foreclosure Alternatives, is available to borrowers who can no longer afford to stay in their home.…

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Naples Home Sales Increase 100% As Inventory Declines

Overall pending home sales increased at least 100 percent in October 2009 compared to October 2008 in each price category under 2 million, according to a report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding new construction sales and Marco Island ). Summer is usually…

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The Hottest Selling Homes in Naples Florida

If you’re looking for a new Florida home and haven’t visited Marbella Lakes in Naples, you may be missing out on the hottest community around. With over 123 sales (and more every day) since it opened on February 28th of 2009, there are several reasons why Marbella Lakes is the top selling new community in…

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Don’t Miss the Naples Real Estate Come Back!

RISING SALES, DECLINING INVENTORY NAPLES, Fla.-The positive momentum continues according to a report released by the Naples Area Board of REALTORS® (NABOR), which tracks home listings and sales within Collier County (excluding Marco Island). Statistics compiled by NABOR show a dramatic increase in overall sales with inventory diminishing in Collier County, which is an encouraging…

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Naples FL Home Sells For $13 Million Cash

Uber-Luxury Real Estate is “On Fire” Another uber-luxury home sold in the exclusive Naples, Florida community of Port Royal for $13 million on Tuesday. It was an all cash transaction. This is the third home to sell for over $9 million in less than a month. The sale went for about 18% less than the listing price of $15.9 million. This estate…

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Home Showing Tips

Keeping Your Home Neat and Tidy Keeping your home picked up at all times can make showings go better and selling it easier on you and your Realtor. In today’s buyer’s market with tons of inventory for buyers to pick and choose from, your home must meet the cleanliness test. You want buyers to stick…

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Why You Should Not Be Home for Showings

If you are home when a showing is scheduled for your home, potential home buyers will feel like uncomfortable intruders. They will spend less time looking and more time worrying about invading your space. To put them at ease and keep them around long enough to fall in love with your home, take a walk…

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Neighborhood Announcements

Neighborhood Announcements When you first list your home many real estate agents send “announcements” to all of the other houses in your neighborhood. This can be done in the form of postcards, a letter, or flyers left hanging on the front door. The postcard may read “New Listing” or “Just Listed.” These are important because…

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Real Estate Office Advertising

Real Estate Office Advertising As mentioned previously, advertising your home in newspapers and magazines rarely sells your home directly. Most buyers begin their search for real estate online these days. Buyers are more likely to see your home on Realtor.com, Trulia.com or Zillow.com than they are in a local newspaper. You still want to be…

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Marketing Sessions

Your agent probably belongs to a local association of Real Estate Professionals and they often have meetings once a month. At these meetings there is often a “marketing session” where some agents stand up and tell about their listings and other agents stand up and tell about their buyers. Your listing agent has an opportunity…

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“Hot Market” Under-Pricing Sales Technique

Listing Commissions and Techniques that Can Backfire During a “hot market” or seller’s market there is a certain marketing technique which, though very effective, could cause trouble because of the way the contract is written. This is the practice of “under-pricing” the home. In a hot market, a home that is under-priced gets a lot…

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Are Real Estate Commissions Negotiable?

First and foremost, there can be no set listing commission in a certain area of the country otherwise it could be considered price fixing. Each brokerage firm sets it’s own listing commissions based on the services they offer, their business plan and what the market will bear. Therefore, listing commission are different at different real…

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Listing Contract Disputes

There are times when you and your real estate agent have a disagreement that you cannot resolve by yourselves. Maybe the Realtor did a poor job in your opinion or misrepresented something. Maybe your real estate agent was really doing their job correctly, but you did not understand. Perhaps the Realtor has a dispute with…

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Agency Duties of a Transaction Broker Listing Agent

The agency duties of a real estate listing agent in Florida differ depending on which agency relationship is specified. Under an Exclusive Right and Authority to Sell Agreement, the default agency relationship in a Naples Area Board of Realtors contract in Naples, Florida is Transaction Broker. A Transaction Broker may show your property to a…

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Lockbox – Yes or No?

A lockbox is a key box with a cavity inside where a key to your home, and perhaps the clubhouse, can be stored for access by real estate agents or qualified professionals. Only a Realtor or a professional (like a home inspector) with an electronic key or the combination can get into the lockbox and…

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Details of a Listing Contract

A listing contract is a written, legal agreement between the home owner (seller) and the listing broker. It can be written by the listing agent who works for the broker, but the agreement must be signed by the broker and is between the brokerage company and the seller. There are several types of listing agreements…

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Exclusive Right of Sale Listing Agreement

The Exclusive Right of Sale Listing Agreement is the most widely accepted and used type of listing agreement for residential property in Florida. The Exclusive Right of Sale Listing Agreement gives the brokerage the exclusive right to list the home on the MLS, and represent the homeowner in the sale of the home. The agreement details the…

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Exclusive Agency Listing

An Exclusive Agency Listing allows a real estate agent to list and market your home on the MLS, guaranteeing them a commission if the house sells through any real estate agent or brokerage firm. It also allows sellers to seek out buyers on their own without paying a real estate commission. This is not a…

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Types of Listing Contracts

There are several different types of listing contracts for residential real estate, but very few of them are used. The Exclusive Right of Sale is the most common by far, but there the Open Listing, Exclusive Agency Listing and Limited Services Listing. Open Listing The “open listing” is mostly used by people trying to sell…

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Dropping Your Price…Too Late

Want to Start Off With a High Sales Price?  Beware! Overpricing your home is not a wise choice, especially in a buyer’s market. Your house will take longer to sell and you will get less if the market continues to decline. Later, when you have to drop your price, your house is “old news.” You…

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What Happens Behind the Scenes After You List Your Home

What Happens Behind the Scenes After You List Your Home So, you’ve worked hand-in-hand with your Realtor to come up with a list price and completed the listing agreement to get the ball rolling. If you start out with too high a price on your home, you may have just added to your stress level,…

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Which Real Estate Professional do you choose?

If you’re like many people, you pick Realtor number three. This is a real estate agent who is charming and seems willing to listen to your input and work with you. This is an agent that cares about putting the most money in your pocket. This is an agent that is willing to start out…

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Meeting With Real Estate Agents – Interviewing Realtors

So you’ve decided to sell your home and have a fairly good idea of what you think it is worth. Being a sensible home seller, you schedule interviews with three local real estate professionals who’ve been sending you fliers and magnetic calendars for years. Each real estate agent comes prepared with a listing presentation complete with a…

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Fixing Up Outside the House

Getting Your House Ready to Sell Fixing Up Outside the House First impressions and curb appeal are some of the most important preparations you can make to sell your home. Begin to think of your home as a marketable commodity. A homebuyer’s first impression is based on his or her view of the house from…

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Fixing Up the House Interior – Home Selling

Getting Your House Ready to Sell Fixing Up the House Interior When preparing your home for sale, the interior should be clean, bright and look as new as is humanly possible. The least traces of you or your family, the better chance you have of selling your home for top dollar quickly. If a buyer thinks there…

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Removing Clutter & Preparing Your Home for Sale

Preparing your home for a real estate sale involves several steps including staging your home for showings to present it in its best light. Removing clutter is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything in their house. After years of living in the same home, clutter collects…

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De-personalize the House

The main reason you want to “depersonalize” your home is because you want real estate buyers to view it as their potential home. When a potential homebuyer sees your family photos hanging on the wall, it puts your own brand on the home and momentarily shatters their illusions about owning the house. Therefore, put away…

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Introduction – Emotion vs. Reason – Selling Your House

When conversing with real estate agents, you will often find that when they talk to you about buying real estate, they will refer to your purchase as a “home.” Yet if you are selling property, they will often refer to it as a “house.” There is a reason for this. Buying real estate is often…

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Termite and Pest Inspection

When buying real estate part of your offer for a home may include an inspection of the property. Along with that inspection, you may require a termite and pest inspection. This company not only inspects for termite damage and pest infestations. The company that performs the inspection is important to you as a buyer, because…

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Title Insurance

Title insurance protects the home owner and/or a lender (if there is a loan outstanding on the property) against any title defect or dispute that may arise. Lenders require title insurance to close on your home, but if you pay cash you don’t have to purchase title insurance – although we do not recommend that. Who should…

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Escrow and Settlement or Closing Company

When you have a signed contract to purchase real estate in Florida, you are going to need a settlement company or closing company. In Naples, Florida, the title company or attorney issuing the title insurance is usually chosen as the closing or settlement company. Most times the closing company will hold the buyer’s deposit and…

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Buyer and the Seller Must Agree

Buying a home does not occur in a vacuum, involving only you and the seller. There are all kinds of people and services involved behind the scenes to make it happen. Since some of these services affect both you and the seller, there will have to be an agreement on which companies you will use…

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VA and FHA Appraisals

How FHA and VA Financing Affects Your Offer Home appraisal inspections on FHA and VA loans are a little more detailed than on conventional loans. Qualified appraisers are required to perform certain minimum inspections as well as evaluate the market value of the property. Although these inspections are not as detailed as a professional home inspection and…

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Extra Costs to the Seller for VA & FHA Financing

How FHA and VA Financing Affects Your Offer If you are obtaining a VA or FHA loan in order to finance your home purchase, you must include that information in your offer. This is because government loans place additional financial and performance obligations on the seller. FHA and VA appraisals are also more strict and…

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Other Financing Details in Your Offer

How Financing Details Affect Your Offer When making an offer to purchase real estate, financing contingencies should be carefully considered. Your financing contingency should contain information on whether you are obtaining a fixed rate or an adjustable rate mortgage and what maximum rate is acceptable. Of course you may be able to get a loan…

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Cash Offers

How Financing Details Affect Your Offer If you are a fortunate real estate buyer making a cash offer to buy a home, there are certain things you should consider when making an offer vs those who finance. First and foremost, you are offering one less contingency than those buyers who finance. If your offer is…

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Seller Financing – Making an Offer

Another occasional request when making an offer to purchase real estate is to have the seller finance the whole transaction or “carry back” a second mortgage to help facilitate your purchase of their home. In cases when the seller owns the home free and clear or does not need all the proceeds from their sale…

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Closing Costs and Financing Incentives

How Financing Details Affect Your Offer There may be times when, as part of your offer, you request the seller to pay all or a portion of your closing costs, or provide some other financial incentive. One common request is asking the seller to pay a certain specified amount towards “closing costs and pre-paids.” Such incentives can…

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Interest Rates

How Financing Details Affect Your Offer Interest Rates A financing contingency in your offer protects you if interest rates suddenly become volatile and rise quickly. By adding a maximum acceptable interest rate in your offer, you are protecting yourself from such an occurrence. At the same time, the seller will probably want to see that…

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How Financing Details Affect Your Offer

Most buyers do not have enough cash available to buy a home, so they need to obtain a mortgage to finance the purchase. When making an offer, it is vital to include a financing contingency that informs the seller about your financing plans. A seller will want to know that you can quickly obtain a…

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Final Walk-Through Inspection

Writing an Offer – Safeguards Regarding the Property Before closing, the buyer should revisit the property to ensure it is in the condition you required in your offer and to inspect any required repairs have been performed. The closing or settlement company should not close until you or your Realtor give them the final go-ahead.…

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Inspections You Should Require

Besides an appraisal and the termite inspection, you should also have a professional home inspector go through the house and seek out potential problems. Of course, you will have inspected the home, but you are not used to looking at some things that a professional will find. Even if they are not things the seller…

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Condition of the Property

Writing an Offer – Safeguards Regarding the Property Condition at Closing The last thing you want when you assume possession of your new home is to find it in a total mess. Therefore, you should make it clear in your offer that certain minimum standards are required on closing. If you do not, you might…

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Disclosures From the Seller

Writing an Offer – Seller’s Disclosure Statement Although you have toured the property, looked at the walls and ceiling, turned on the faucets and played with the light switches, you have not lived in it. The seller has a lot more knowledge about his or her home from living there. For this reason, you may…

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Transfer of Possession & Closing on Your Home

Closing On Your Home A transaction is considered “closed” once all documents have been signed, money transferred and the deed has been recorded. Then you own the home. On the day of closing (or prior to if you are doing a mail away closing), the closing agent will provide you with a finalized Settlement Statement and HUD-1…

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The Closing Date

Offering to Purchase Real Estate- the Basics It is absolutely essential that you include a closing date as part of your offer to purchase real estate. This is an important date in the contract and should not be considered lightly. If you’re obtaining financing and a mortgage approval, allow as much time as possible. With…

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Earnest Money Deposit

An earnest money deposit is the initial deposit you make with an offer to purchase real estate. How Much Should You Put Down With Your Offer? After you have come up with an offer price, the next step is to determine how large a deposit you want to make with your offer. Determining what to…

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Contingencies in a Purchase Offer

In most purchase transactions there may be a slight challenge or two, but most things will go quite smoothly. However, you want to anticipate potential problems so that if something does go wrong, you can cancel the contract without penalty. These are called “contingencies” and you must be sure to include them when you offer…

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Writing an Offer to Purchase Real Estate

Once you find the home you want to buy, the next step is to write an offer – which is not as easy as it sounds. Your offer is the first step toward negotiating a sales contract with the seller. Since this is just the beginning of negotiations, you should put yourself in the seller’s…

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The Final Decision on Your Offer Price

Major Factors Influencing your Offer Price Comparable sales information helps you to determine a base price range for a particular home. Adding in the various factors like property condition, improvements, market conditions, and seller motivation help determine whether a “fair” price would be at the upper limit of that range or the lower limit. Perhaps…

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How Seller Motivation Affects Your Offer Price

The most common “motivated seller” is someone who has already bought his or her next home or is relocating to a new area. They will be under the gun to sell the home quickly or face the prospect of making two mortgage payments at the same time. Since that can drain a bank account quickly,…

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How Market Conditions Affect Your Offer Price

A hot market is a “seller’s market.” During a seller’s market, properties can sell within a few days of being listed and there are often multiple offers on the same home for sale. Sometimes homes even sell above the asking price. Though most buyer’s want to get a “deal” on a home, reducing your offer…

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How Home Improvements Affect Your Offer Price

Home improvement additions or big upgrades should be considered when comparing similar homes you are considering making an offer on. Cosmetic changes should be largely ignored, but major improvements should be taken into account. Most important would be room additions, especially bedrooms and bathrooms. Other items, like expensive floor tile or swimming pools should be…

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How Property Condition Affects Your Offer

Since you have toured the property you are interested in, you should know how it compares to the general neighborhood. All you have to do is put the home in one of three categories – average, above average, or below average. When evaluating a home’s condition, there are a number of things you should consider.…

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Other Factors Influencing Your Offer Price

Comparable Sales and Your Offer Price Gathering and analyzing information from comparable sales helps to establish the price range you should consider when making an offer to buy a home. More weight should be given to the most recent sales (in the last 3 to 6 months), but even so, you need to do a…

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Comparable Sales – Pending Transactions

Obviously, the most valuable information when looking at comparable sales would be the most current sale possible. A sale last week has more validity in helping you determine a purchase price than a sale from six months ago. The problem is that there is no actual record of the sales price until the transaction is…

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Comparable Sales in the Multiple Listing Service

Most of the public is aware that the Multiple Listing Service is a private resource where Real Estate Professionals list properties available for sale. Recently, the public has been able to access some of that information on such sites as Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Trulia.com and others. Once a property is sold and the transaction has closed,…

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Comparable Sales in the Public Record

The most accessible source of information on comparable sales for the public are closed sales is the county’s public record system. The public records include all sales, even ones that don’t go through Realtors and are thus not entered into the MLS. When someone buys a home the property is deeded from the seller to…

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Determining Your Offer Price

When you prepare an offer to purchase a home, you already know the seller’s asking price or list price. But what price are you going to offer and how do you come up with that figure? Determining your offer price is a three-step process. First, look at recent sales of similar properties or comparable sales…

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Should You Try to “Time the Market”?

The Business Cycle and Buying a Home Should you try to time the market? Just like investing in the stock market, the short answer is always, no. One problem with attempting to time your purchase of real estate to the business cycle is that no one can accurately predict the future. Why You Should Not…

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Supply and Demand in the Housing Market

The Business Cycle and Buying a Home When the supply of available homes is greater than the supply of buyers, appreciation may slow and prices may even fall, as happened in the early eighties, the early to mid-nineties and currently. This the classic buyer’s market. If you are lucky enough to purchase a home during…

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Recession and Expansion

The Business Cycle and The Housing Market There are times when the economy is brisk and everyone feels confident about his or her prospects for the future. As a result, they spend money. People eat out more, buy new cars, and….…they buy new homes. Then, for one reason or another, the economy slows down. Companies…

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How a New Car Payment Reduces Your Purchase Price

If you’re in the market to buy a home, buying anything as expensive as a car is a no, no. Even if you feel you can afford the car payment, mortgage companies approve your mortgage based on their guidelines, not yours. Can I Buy A New Car If My Mortgage Has Already Been Approved? Let’s say…

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Debt-to-Income Ratios and Car Payments

When determining your ability to qualify for a mortgage, a lender looks at what is called your “debt-to-income” ratio. A debt-to-income ratio is the percentage of your gross monthly income (before taxes) that you spend on debt. This will include your monthly housing costs, including principal, interest, taxes, insurance, and homeowner’s association fees, if any.…

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Don’t Buy a Car if You Want to Qualify for a Home Loan

Can I Buy a New Car Now that Our Mortgage has been Approved? When buying a home, your first priority should always be to maintain your credit at current levels or decrease it. Buying a car with a loan or even cash is a no-no since it will change your debt-to-income ratio or reduce your…

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The Effect of Changing Jobs

Important Things To Avoid Before Buying a Home For most people, changing employers will not really affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan, especially if you are going to be earning more money.  For some homebuyers, however, the effects of changing jobs can be disastrous to your loan application. How Changing Jobs Affects…

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Don’t Move Money Around

Important Things To Avoid Before Buying a Home When a lender reviews your loan package for approval, one of the things they are concerned about is the source of funds for your down payment and closing costs. Most likely, you will be asked to provide statements for the last two or three months on any…

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More Space

Benefits of Owning Your Own Home Both indoors and outdoors, you will probably have more space if you own your own home. Even moving to a condominium from an apartment, you are likely to find you have much more room available – your own laundry and storage area, and bigger rooms. Apartment complexes are more…

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Freedom & Individualism

When you rent as opposed to owning a home, you are normally limited on what you can do to improve your home. You have to get permission to make certain types of improvements. Nor does it make sense to spend thousand of dollars painting, putting in carpet, tile or window coverings when the main person who benefits…

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Forced Savings

Some people are just lousy at saving money, and a house is an automatic savings account. By owning your home, you essentially accumulate savings in two ways. Every month, a portion of your payment goes toward the principal. Admittedly, in the early years of the mortgage, this is not much. Over time, however, it accelerates.…

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Stable Monthly Housing Costs

When you rent a place to live, you can certainly expect your rent to increase each year – or even more often. If you get a fixed rate mortgage when you buy a home, you have the same monthly payment amount for thirty years. Even if you get an adjustable rate mortgage, your payment will…

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Income Tax Savings

Because of income tax deductions, the government is basically subsidizing your purchase of a home. All of the interest and property taxes you pay in a given year can be deducted from your gross income to reduce your taxable income. For example, assume your initial loan balance is $150,000 with an interest rate of eight…

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The Best Investment

As a fairly general rule, homes appreciate about five percent a year. Some years will be more, some less. The figure will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and region to region. Five percent may not seem like that much at first. Stocks (at times) appreciate much more, and you could earn over six percent with…

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Buying Naples Real Estate in 2010

Buying Naples Real Estate in 2010 Yes, now is a great time to buy Naples real estate. People from around the world are seeing that Naples is undervalued and buying second homes, vacation condos and moving to the area as part-time home owners or permanent residents. In 2010, Naples real estate home sales are expected…

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