Posted in Real Estate: Buy, Sell, Lease

Can I Become a Homebuyer if I Have Bad Credit?

Image courtesy of Gabby K from Pexels

You may be a good candidate for a credit restoration program. Once you’ve improved your credit scores above the qualifying standards and have the eligibility income required, you can get an approval from the lender. If you need help with your down payment, there are sometimes local housing grants that are available on homes being sold in certain regions. You should consult with a credit repair specialist and a mortgage lender for an analysis of your current income and liabilities, as well as guidance on your next steps. Lenders can be found on Rocket Mortgage. Lexington Law specializes in credit repair. If you would like to speak to one of our preferred partners, we can arrange an introduction. Stay persistent in your pursuit of homeownership, your future self will thank you.

Posted in Uncategorized

New Construction: What Is Standard vs. Upgrades?

Model homes commonly showcase almost every upgrade offered by the builder.

New home buyers often fall in love with the model homes they visit because the builders hire interior designers to showcase almost every premiere feature they offer. As such, it is important to clarify what IS and what IS NOT included in the model that you buy.

Here is a list of typical upgrades offered by most new home builders:

  • Coffered, Vaulted, or Raised Ceilings,
  • Built-in Shelving, Alcoves, Art Niches, or TV Cut-outs,
  • Bonus Room, Mud Room, Laundry Room, In-Law Quarters, or Sun Rooms,
  • Covered Patio or Lanai, Wood Deck, Brick Paver or Concrete Slab Patio,
  • Swimming Pool (with Option to Screen Patio),
  • Landscaping (Front/Rear/Sides),
  • Fireplaces and Mantles,
  • Covered Porch,
  • 1 to 3 Car Garage and/or “Porto Cochere” (carport),
  • Dormers (real or faux), Shutters (real or faux), or Decorative Windows (such as “Bay” Windows),
  • Skylights or Recessed Lighting, and
  • Optional Siding (Brick, Stone, Stucco, or Log Siding). Note: I recommend you avoid buying a home with synthetic stucco, vinyl, aluminum, Hardy board (aka T-111 siding), or Masonite lap siding. These low cost options have aged poorly in the past and may cost you money for replacement when you want to sell, as well as lose its luster and reduce your home’s curb appeal.

Also, keep in mind what others are doing in your neighborhood. An appraisal rule of thumb to keep in mind is that if your home is the only one in the neighborhood that has a fancy “thing-a-ma-gig” that nobody else has, it will be deemed an “over improvement” and not be given weight to the bottom line market value of your home.

In closing, when negotiating the features of your new home, be sure to get the cost of each upgrade upfront and in writing and stick to your budget. Compare the builder’s costs versus doing it yourself, or consider the cost of outsourcing some of these optional items, such as the pool, on your own, post-purchase. But do keep in mind that any items included now will also be financed into your home loan at highly remarkable, low interest rates – in today’s market October, 2020 – that’s under 4% for a fixed 30-year loan.

Best of luck in your new home construction purchase!

Posted in Real Estate Sales Tips

To Build (New Construction) or Not to Build, That is the Question!

Buying “new construction” is an exciting undertaking. Unlike buying an existing home, you’ll get to make it your own before turning the key for the first time. Here are ten tips to keep in mind as you begin your home building journey.

  1. Establish a Set Budget. When it comes to establishing a budget for your new home, being a prudent homeowner is highly recommended. Therefore, you should plan on paying a 20% down payment on your new home and your monthly housing expense (principal, interest, tax, insurance, and association fee) at 25% of your income.
  2. Get Everything in Writing. Having a lawyer review your initial contract and any subsequent amendments is highly recommended. Here are a few items to look for in the contract: (i) a “cooling off” period; (ii) payment schedule; (iii) timeframe for completion; (iv) included plans and specifications, warranties and insurance protection; and no blank spaces. Be clear about what changes are allowed once you “sign off” on the final plans. Two addendums you should include are (a) “all changes must be clearly documented & mutually agreed upon” and “time is of the essence.”
  3. Stay Informed. Ask the builder for regular updates. Have somebody take pictures of the progress so you have evidence of any issues that may arise.
  4. Be Patient. Delays will happen. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
  5. Prepare for Hidden Costs. Does the developer’s estimate include “Finishing Costs”? How about zoning or CDD fees? Does your estimate include utility hookups, such a electric and gas meters? What about internet service wiring and installation? Are there estimates for your exterior, such as landscaping, concrete decks or brick pavers, fences and entries, or a mailbox? Try to think of every expense associated with your new home so that your estimate is as close to perfect as possible and that you have adequate financing in place to cover every expense. Ask about closing costs and developer contributions, if any.
  6. Choose the Right Builder. It’s always a good idea to read online reviews, talk to residents in the new community about their experience, and see if any complaints are filed against them on USA.gov – consumer complaints, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Better Business Bureau. Also check to see if they are registered with the National Association of Home Builders. Lastly, are they good at communication? The last thing you want is to feel in the dark whilst waiting on your new home to be built.
  7. Hire a Private Home Inspector (HI). Look for a home inspector with a current or prior Residential Contractor or General Contractor license. This type of person will know all the building materials and methods used in the construction industry. Their job is to ensure the structure is built up to code and complies with the municipal and HOA regulations and CC&Rs. Having the new home inspected by a 3rd party will help you rest easy at night while you wait. There are four stages of construction which warrant an updated inspection: (i) Foundations & Footings: the HI will check the slabs, foundations, drains and form work; (ii) Framing: the HI will check that the walls are straight & level, verify room dimensions, and ceiling height and roof lines all conforming to the plans & specs; (iii) Lock Up: This is the stage where the windows and doors have been installed. The HI will check the frames, seals, window flashing, brick and mortar work, and electric and plumbing; (iv) Final Inspection (Pre-Handover): At this point your home should be ready for a Certificate of Occupancy. Your HI will check for final interior/exterior finishings, paint, tile, carpet, wood flooring, cabinetry, windows & doors, and hardware, as well as inspect the site to ensure it is clear of any remaining materials or debris.
  8. Create an Image File. You will be looking at plenty of options for creating your new home just the way you want it, and trying to convey a mental image of the vision for what you want each room to look like is quite tricky. So, why not save images that demonstrate what you want? This will help you communicate your requests to the builder and other 3rd parties more succinctly.
  9. Think About the Little Things. Having electrical, telephone and internet outlets installed after drywall & insulation are installed is practically impossible to have done, so be sure to think about where you want your TVs mounted and cable boxes set prior to the electrical installation date. Do you plan on enjoying afternoon on the patio in the shade? The direction of your new home and where the sun sets will impact whether or not this happens. Keep shady sunsets in mind when you are looking at available lots. Location is important! By the way, corner lots are usually bigger and offer more privacy (one neighbor instead of two), so you’ll likely be charged a premium for it.
  10. Lastly, Begin With the End in Mind. Will this be your “forever” home or your “retirement retreat”? Whether you plan to grow a family in a home that you’ll spend the rest of your life in, or one you will approach your golden years in, take time to envision the lifestyle you want for yourself (and your growing family, perhaps) before you select a new home development.

In closing, buying a new home is fun when you think of the construction details with a business-like approach, and the community lifestyle & interior design with your heart. We wish you a successful journey in pursuit of your “forever” home!

Coleman Tanner Realty – Your Home for Real Estate Solutions!

To schedule a Home Buyer Consultation, we can be reached at (786) 258-8877 or by e-mail at sales@colemantanner.com.

http://www.colemantanner.com

Coleman Tanner Realty is an Equal Opportunity Housing provider.

Posted in Visions of the Future

5 Things on Miami’s “To Do” List for the Future!

What Do You Think Could Make Miami Even Greater in the Future?

miami

Being a visionary, I’m always thinking about the future, so here’s my “Top 5” suggestions of what I think Miami should have in future:

1.  Miami needs a Chinatown! I propose we designate North Miami as the location for Miami’s Chinatown on N.E. 163rd/167th Street!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

2.  We Want the  Metro rail to Actually go Somewhere! We Want It to Take Us to Key West!

Let’s call it, “The Key Lime Express!”

key lime

Let’s market it in the heart of Merrett Stierheim’s famous slogan,

“Miami, See it Like a Native!”

Can you imagine getting on the Metro rail in downtown Miami or at the Dadeland Station, Cutler Bay or even Homestead and riding along US-1 and the beautiful ocean as you cruise down to party for the weekend in Key West? What do you think it would do for the hotels and restaurants down here? 1 word, “awesome!” While we’re at it, why not have a CLUB CAR with dining, luxury seating and a bar serving Mojitos?! 😉

Subway Station in Munich

One more thing, let’s get the  Metro mover to move us over to Port Miami.

$10 for a 2 minute cab fare! Seriously? :-/

3.  What if We Were to Get a Universal Studios in Homestead?

 

This is my son, Sebastian at Universal Orlando

This is my son, Sebastian, at Universal Orlando

4.  Speaking of Homestead, Why Not Give Them a Few Resort Casinos Too! How about the Bellagio?casino

 

Can you imagine listening to Andrea Bocelli perform in concert with David Foster whilst sitting by the water feature at the Bellagio in Homestead?! WoW!!!

While we’re on the subject, let’s give Kendall a casino too!

How about building a hotel casino with some slots like this at the Palms of Town & Country?kendall casino

 

and last, but not least,  Hialeah, We Haven’t Forgotten About You!

5.  How would you like to get a makeover? Then, Let’s Give you the Cinderella “Rags to Riches” Treatment and Build You Some …Brand New Hollywood Style Movie Studios!

movie projector

 

Miami, You ‘re a Beautiful City and We LOVE You! Let’s keep you “Magically” Delicious in the Future!

miami 2