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Thursday, December 11, 2014

I’m sure you have noticed that it seems like everyone has their real estate license. Your old friend from college, your hair dresser, your cousin, your sister’s new boyfriend, your best friend, they all seem to have their real estate license! The pressure to choose between all these people in your life can be very stressful and put pressure on your relationships. Many friends and family feel it is their right to sell your house because of your relationship with them. But is this how you would choose your doctor or your financial planner? Would you choose someone to perform surgery on you because he is dating your sister? Absolutely not! You would do your homework and make sure that this person is qualified to do your surgery. Would you entrust your cousin with your financial planning just because she has 3 clients and needs more business? Absolutely not! You would want to see past results and make sure that your cousin has a great track record with planning out other people’s finances before you would turn over your hard earned money to her. So why would you turn over the sale of one of your biggest investments to someone just because you are friends with them or related to them? Now don’t get me wrong, if they are the most qualified person for the job then it makes great sense. But if they have just started in the business and only have a few sales under their belt, it would not make sense to entrust them with your biggest asset. Experience selling homes is a must in this business. Sure, anyone can throw the listing into the MLS and set up appointments for people to see the home. But can an inexperienced agent really know the best ways to get you the most money for your home? Will they know the best ways to negotiate the least amount of repairs that you need to pay for? Will they know how to work with appraisers to get you the best possible appraisal? Will they know what to do if the appraisal comes in low? Most likely an inexperienced agent has not had to deal with all of these pressures and does not have the creativity or the negotiation skills to get you the best possible outcome. It is through experience that a seasoned agent can get you the most for your home. Years of experience are not the only criteria you should look at when choosing your agent. You alsoneed to look at their experience within the given area that your home resides. If an agent is highly experienced in Miami-Dade, then they are not going to be the best person for a home sale in Miramar. People often think that if you are good at selling in one location, then you will be good anywhere. It just doesn’t work this way. If an agent doesn’t know the area that you are selling in, how will they market the home? How will the agent answer questions for buyers and agents to put the house in the best light? The process of selling a home is quite different from location to location. In some areas the seller typically pays for title insurance, where as in Miramar they do not. If you hire an agent from outside of the area, they most likely will not know this standard and you will end up paying thousands of dollars more than you should have. I know that we all want to help our friends and family, but at the end of the day we must look out for our financial well being and take care of our most expensive investments, our homes.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014


Monday, November 24, 2014

Don't miss this gorgeous 6-Bedroom home sitting on one of the largest lots in Sunset Lakes.  This impeccable home overlooks the beautiful lake and pool. This home features a large covered patio perfect for entertaining! The gourmet kitchen has a large center island and walk-in pantry. The master suite has huge walk-in closets, dressing area and an enormous bathroom. This home is offered at $725,000. Call Sandra Rathe at 954-547-4601 for more information.

Monday, November 17, 2014

As we enter the final two months of the year, there is much to be excited about when it comes to mortgage lending.  The availability of various mortgage products and the presence of low interest rates are two of the main reasons why consumers were able to experience the American dream of homeownership this year and why many more will do the same as we close out 2014.

2014 may be remembered as the year where interest rate experts were completely wrong about rates.  As we entered this year, many experts had predicted that rates would hit 5% by the summer.  As the summer came and went, this prediction proved to be false and we actually saw a drop in rates.  More bad news for experts followed last month when rates dropped even further and hit the lowest mark seen since June of 2013. The 30yr fixed rate dropped below 4% and the 15yr rate dropped to 3.25%.  This sudden drop in rates created a significant increase in refinance applications. Hopefully, this will encourage prospective buyers to hurry up and find their dream home before the year ends.  The drop in rates we experienced last month was anywhere from .25% to .375%.  This is about $660 a year in interest savings on a $250,000 loan. 

In addition, there are numerous loan programs available which are becoming increasingly aggressive with the hopes of encouraging buyers back into the real estate market.  If someone is looking to put the least amount of money down as possible, then the FHA loan with 3.5% down is a great option.  This loan is available with credit scores as low as 580 and debt to income ratios as high as 56.9%!  The downside of FHA has been the high mortgage insurance it carries. However, there have been some positive modifications to that recently and, if FHA loans continue to perform well, then it should continue to improve.

Conventional (aka Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) loans recently brought back the 3% down program in an effort to compete with FHA.  Credit scores need to be a little higher (minimum of a 620 score) and debt to income ratios cannot exceed 49.9%. These loans do carry lower mortgage insurance rates as long as you are putting down less than 20%.  The following are some other niche programs that are now available to consumers:

  • 1yr self-employed tax returns

  • 95% financing on condos – owner occupied; 90% - second home; condo must be Fannie Mae approved or it requires a full review; 75% financing on non-approved condos

  • 70% financing for Foreign Nationals – purchase or refinance; delayed financing available – if you just paid cash for a property you can turn right around and pull the money back out.

  • Gifts allowed – 95% conventional loans allow the entire down payment to be a giftand same with FHA; gifts must be from an immediate family member

  • 100% financing on VA loans – Can be 2 years out of a foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy and still qualify.Rates are lower than conventional rates and no mortgage insurance! The VA refinance program allows Veterans to refinance without an appraisal and no income or assets need to be shown.Incredible program!

    If you have any questions about this topic please do not hesitate to contact me. To learn more about our company and mortgage products, please feel free to call Dan Longman, President of Priority Lending Corp, at 954-438-3776 ext.11 or email me at prioritydan@bellsouth.net. Visit us online at www.prioritylendingcorp.com 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

If you are looking for a large rental home for your family, look no further! This home is spacious and bright and features a modern kitchen with granite countertops, stainless steel refrigerator and lots of counter space and a breakfast bar! This 1-story dream house also features a formal living room and formal dining room with a large open family room. And don't miss the elegant master suite with dual walk-in closets and luxurious master bath with roman tub. This home also features beautiful wood floors in all the formal rooms. All complete with a totally private backyard with no neighbors in the back! This rental is offered at $3000 per month. Please call Sandra Rathe at 954-547-4601 for more information.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Don't miss this spectacular wide lake view from this pristine 4 bedroom pool home! This home also features a large open kitchen with breakfast area and snack bar. And enjoy the amazing lake views from your oversized screened in and covered patio. Perfectly located on a quiet cul-de-sac. Offered at $469,000 by Sandra Rathe, EWM Realty

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