Monday, February 24, 2020 / by Carl Gentile
Everything you need to know about Florida Homestead Exemption
For many home buyers, the process of buying a home is a lengthy, but exciting one! From starting your loan application to making an offer and then finally closing, every buyer will encounter what feels like endless amounts of paperwork, forms, and signing. But once you leave the closing table with your keys in hand, there is still many important things to do, one of them being filing your Florida Homestead Exemption!
The Florida Homestead exemption is an enormous benefit of owning a home in Florida! It's great that in Florida we do not have state income tax, which is one of the many reasons so many individuals are looking to gain Florida residency! The Florida Homestead Exemption reduces the assessed value of your property, therefore reducing the amount of property tax you pay! Who wouldn't want to save money!?
Remember If you purchased and resided in your home after January 1 of the given year, you quali ...
Wednesday, June 19, 2019 / by Carl Gentile
Dealing With Hardwood Floor Scratches
Hardwood floors are highly desirable for most homeowners, but they come with their share of challenges when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. After a few months or years of heavy use from kids playing with toys and chairs being shuffled around, it may be time for some DIY fixes.
Hiding scratches: If you’ve got a good eye for matching colors, you can actually use crayons or markers or purchase wax sticks from the hardware store to fill-in scratches. Try to match the stain color on your floors, but don’t worry if it’s a little off. If the color is close, once the scratch is filled, it’ll look like a variation in the wood grain.
Polishing floors: You can make a polish solution for your floors from household ingredients. Mix olive oil and vinegar in equal parts, pour it directly into scratches, and then wipe it off after 24 hours. It may take several applications, but this homemade polish will fill a ...
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 / by Carl Gentile
Homebuyers have always loved move-in ready homes. But now, as tech-savvy millennials enter the market, more buyers are adding smart home features to their turnkey checklist. S&P estimates that by 2020, more than 25% of all homes will be smart homes. And as high-tech habitats grow increasingly attractive to homebuyers, many will be willing to pay more for pre-installed smart tech. Appraisers are even beginning to place increased value on homes with smart features.
But what smart home technology features are homebuyers willing to pay the most for? Typically, devices that provide greater safety, security, efficiency, or cost savings add more value than novelty gadgets.
Keep reading for six smart home devices that homebuyers might be willing to pay more for.
1. Smart Door Locks
Smart door locks allow users to unlock doors from a phone, create special passcodes for guests, receive alerts when someone locks or unlocks a door, and lock doors automatically.
Besides being con ...
Monday, June 25, 2018 / by Carl Gentile
You DO NOT Need 20% Down to Buy Your Home NOW
The Aspiring Home Buyers Profile from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The results of the survey show that the main reason why non-homeowners do not own their own homes is because they believe that they cannot afford them.
This brings us to two major misconceptions that we want to address today.
1. Down Payment
A recent survey by Laurel Road, the National Online Lender and FDIC-Insured Bank, revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan.
According to the survey, 53% of Americans who plan to buy or have already bought a home admit to their concerns about their ability to afford a home in the current market. In addition, 46% are currently unfamiliar with alter ...
Thursday, June 21, 2018 / by Carl Gentile
Homes Are More Affordable in 44 out of 50 States
With both home prices and mortgage rates increasing this year, many are concerned about a family’s ability to purchase a major part of the American Dream – its own home. However, if we compare housing affordability today to the average affordability prior to the housing boom and bust, we are in much better shape than most believe.
In Black Knight’s latest monthly Mortgage Monitor, they revealed that in the vast majority of the country, it is actually more affordable to purchase a home today than it was between 1995 to 2003 when looking at mortgage payments (determined by price and interest rate) as compared to incomes. Home prices are up compared to 1995-2003, but mortgage rates are still much lower now than at that time. Today, they stand at about 4.5%. Here are the average mortgage rates for each of the years mentioned:
1995 – 7.93%
1996 – 7.81%
1997 – 7.6% ...