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Cape Coral sits on Florida’s stunning Gulf Coast, and the fun-to-say Caloosahatchee River runs here. But that’s not all—oh no. There are more than 400 miles of canals here, making it the city with the most miles of navigable waterways in the world. Cape Coral Beaches

“Snowbirds” are Northerners who head down to Florida to escape their unbearably frigid winters, just like migrating birds. One in five people of Cape Coral only live here seasonally. It probably has something to do with the fact that average highs hit the upper 70s to lower 80s November through March, with average lows staying in the mid 50s to low 60s.

Cape Coral burrowing owlsThe city has the largest population of burrowing owls in Florida, with about 1,000 nesting pairs. They’re one of the smallest owl species, averaging an adorable 5 to 8.5 ounces and 7 to 11.5 inches tall. In celebration, the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife has been hosting the Annual Burrowing Owl Festival for well over a decade.

Sun Splash Family Waterpark is a massive recreation center with all sorts of wet fun, including pools, splash pads, water slides, tube rides, flume rides and more. There’s stuff for kids of all ages, and for adults who want to act like kids.

And so much more to enjoy this great city: Cultural Park Theater, Four Mile Cove Ecological Preserve, the biggest Oktoberfest celebrations in the state, Octoberfest Cape Coralenvironmental classes hosted by Rotary Park Environmental Center, the Academy of Model Aeronautics and the Cape Coral R/Sea Hawks Club where your radio controlled toys can fly as well as the honoring those who served with the Southwest Florida Military Museum and Library offering 34,000 square feet of military history.

Not to forget about all of the luscious green golf courses, amazing spots to indulge as “foodies,” culture and history too much to fathom…come experience this amazing city!


Positive Look into Reverse Mortgages

The concept of a reverse mortgage is perhaps a bit counterintuitive. It can come with misconceptions–most founded by inaccurate information. Is a Reverse Mortgage for you? That’s really a question for your loan officer prior to counseling or the HUD counselor. We hope to shed a little light into the process and give you an idea about the benefits that can come with a Reverse Mortgage.

Similar but Different

A Reverse Mortgage turns a homeowner’s equity into cash without the need to refinance the property or obtain a conventional home equity line of credit (HELOC). A HELOC is a line of credit that uses the home as collateral and if used, requires monthly payments the homeowners must make. Similar but different, is a cash out refinance. In a cash-out refinance, homeowners can refinance an existing mortgage and take out some extra cash and use it in whatever way they wish. Still, in both instances, it’s a new loan with new monthly payments. A HELOC and cash out refinance are loan types for those who are “house rich” but maybe just a bit “cash poor” but can still afford to make monthly payments.

A Reverse Mortgage doesn’t require monthly mortgage payments. Typically, the only time a payment is made is when the borrower(s) ultimately leave the property, and the home is no longer the primary residence. They can always choose to make monthly payments of whatever amount they want, a little or a lot, but that is a choice, not a requirement. The funds from a Reverse Mortgage can be accessed through taking a lump sum, a line of credit or monthly payments for as long as the borrower(s) live in the home. The monthly installments can last the life of the loan or for a predetermined number of months, all the borrower’s choice. FHA also allows a combination of all 3, line of credit, lump sum, and monthly payments.

Here are the basic eligibility requirements for a Reverse Mortgage:

The borrower(s) must be at least 62 years of age
The property is the borrower(s) primary residence
The property must have sufficient equity
The borrower(s) must attend a counseling session with a Reverse Mortgage counselor
The borrower(s) must be able to demonstrate a reasonable credit history
The borrower(s) must be able to demonstrate they have sufficient income to cover property taxes and insurance
The last 2 requirements were added in 2015; borrowers must be able to keep their property taxes paid and the collateral insured as well as show responsible credit history. If that seems questionable, there is an option to establish a lifetime set aside (LESA) to ensure those charges are paid and the consumer is protected. Lenders will review the borrower’s monthly required obligations and compare that with the amount of disposable income as well as make certain the Reverse Mortgage is a sustainable solution. Unlike regular mortgages, there is no “debt to income” requirement with a Reverse Mortgage, so it is substantially easier to qualify. If there is an existing mortgage on the property, proceeds from the reverse are used to pay off the mortgage and eliminate existing monthly mortgage payments.

Reverse Mortgage loan amounts will vary based upon the age of the youngest borrower on the application. Generally speaking, the older the borrower, the more money can be issued. The property will also be appraised just like with any other FHA mortgage. The age of the borrower(s) and the amount of equity in the property are the two main line items a reverse lender will evaluate per a formula set down by the FHA. Visit our Reverse Mortgage calculator to get a rough idea of how much you will qualify for.

The “Two-Thumbs-Up” for Reverse Mortgages

The most compelling reason to get a Reverse Mortgage is to turn equity into tax-free cash while still living in the property. Interest accrues on disbursed funds and is directly tied to an index, such as a 1 Year or Monthly London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), plus a margin (typically 2-3%) and is only paid at a maturity event a.k.a. the sale of the property or six months after the homeowners leave the home. And, the proceeds are tax-free! Yet, please remember you still have to pay property taxes and keep your home insured.

A Reverse Mortgage doesn’t “sell” the property to the lender. The homeowners remain on the title and still own the home. A reverse gets rid of an existing mortgage, therefore eliminating monthly mortgage payments. Heirs are not held liable to pay off the full reverse loan balance should the payoff exceed the value of the home and any remaining equity will flow to the heirs just like any other mortgage.

But, Before The Reverse gets Best Picture…

There really aren’t too many negatives with a reverse but there are some considerations. The value of the inheritance can fall as the reverse needs to be paid off and loan fees may be a bit higher compared to a regular mortgage. Some lenders will cover some or all of those fees, and those that are not paid by the lender are deducted at the closing table. When accessing home equity, it’s important to understand all the financial consequences, and these consequences will be reviewed during counseling, but it may also make sense to speak with your financial adviser to make sure you understand the impact a Reverse Mortgage can have on your estate.

Overall, a Reverse Mortgage is a great option used to access your home equity without having to sell your home, and without any monthly mortgage payments. If you’re curious or know someone who this might benefit, it’s time to call a Reverse Mortgage lender today. And remember, like a friendly movie review from your sister, all opinions are valuable, they just might not be the most accurate or applicable. In other words, see that movie you think you might like, or in this case, look into a reverse, it just might be what you are looking for.

*The above advertisement has not been approved or endorsed by FHA or any other government agency.

*Please note all pricing, percentages and fees are subject to change and are based on personal circumstances. The use of hypothetical statements are meant to illustrate possible outcomes and are not intended to be a statement of facts.


9 Tips to Get Money for a Down payment

Get Money for a Down Payment

Whether you’re purchasing an existing home, building a new home or planning to fix up an older home, you’re probably excited about the prospect of closing the deal and moving in.

Not so fast. Buying a home is an expensive proposition – the biggest investment that most families ever make. While you aren’t required to cover the entire purchase price up front, you do need most times to come up with a down payment before you can close on your home.

The Biggest Closing Cost of All

money-down-payment-calculator

 

Most line items are small change compared with probably the biggest closing expense of all: your down payment. This is because your down payment is a key part of the offer you present to the seller. The general rule of thumb is simple: the larger the down payment, the stronger the offer. More precisely: the greater the down payment’s share of the total purchase price, the more likely the seller is to accept.

 

 

 

Tips and Tricks to Save

1. Determine Your Expected Down Payment and Timeframe

First, figure out about how big your down payment will be.

Down payment size is a function of three overlapping factors: your desired initial loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, your time horizon (when you want to buy), and local housing market conditions. When people talk about budgeting for a future home purchase, they generally refer to list prices: “We’re willing to pay $300,000,” or “We can afford $250,000, but no more.”

However, on the matter of affordability, the most important number is the down payment amount. If you can’t cobble together a $50,000 down payment on a $250,000 house (or a $400,000 house, if you’re putting down less than 20%), then you can’t really afford the house.

Lastly, don’t completely deplete your bank account to buy your dream home. It’s wise to have at least three months’ income in liquid savings as an emergency fund, regardless of your near- or long-term goals. Six months is even better.

2. Shrink Your Required Down Payment With a Special Loan

If you’re looking to buy on an accelerated timetable, live in an expensive housing market, or doubt your ability to save for a 20% down payment on an acceptable house in your target neighborhood, look into special loan programs with lower down payment requirements.

Beyond program-specific requirements, these special loans have some important drawbacks. Perhaps most importantly, they carry Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) premiums until LTV reaches 78% (though you can formally request PMI removal at 80% LTV).

3. Take Advantage of LHFS Down Payment Assistance Programs

Relatively few prospective homeowners realize that they could qualify for national down payment assistance programs that can reduce their out-of-pocket down payment costs by thousands of dollars.

4. Pay Off Outstanding Credit Card Debt

For many folks, paying off credit card debt is a high-priority goal. Even the low APR Credit Cards usually charge interest rates north of 10% APR. On an average balance of $1,000, that’s $100 in interest charges each year. If your debt load is higher, adjust accordingly.

Paying off credit card debt isn’t always straightforward, though. Focus on your highest-interest debt first, even if that means putting as little as $25 or $50 extra toward your payment each month. As your high-interest debt load shrinks, you can move onto lower-interest credit card debt, and you’ll likely accelerate your progress toward a $0 balance. With lower (or no) interest charges eating into your spending and saving power, you can then direct your dollars toward your down payment fund.

5. Set Aside a Portion of Your Tax Refund

Expecting a tax refund this year? Reserve a slice of it to reward yourself for all your hard work last year – a nice restaurant meal, a frugal weekend getaway, a new piece of furniture for your home. Enjoy it.

Then sock the rest of your refund away in your down payment fund. If you reliably receive a $3,000 refund, spend $1,000, and save the rest, you’ll have $6,000 after three years, and $10,000 after five. That probably won’t account for your entire down payment, but it can’t hurt.

6. Make Recurring Savings Deposits

Knowing you need to set money aside each month is one thing. Actually doing it is another. Set yourself a calendar reminder on the same day each month or pay period to transfer a set amount of money – at least 5% of your take-home pay, and ideally 10% – into your primary savings account. You can then separate the share allotted to your down payment from your general savings or other savings goals. Or, better yet, create a separate savings account whose sole purpose is to hold your down payment funds.

7. Automate Your Savings Deposits

What’s even better than recurring savings account deposits? Automated savings account deposits that you don’t have to remember to execute each month. Most banks allow recurring savings transfers from internal or external checking accounts. Examine your budget and determine how much you can afford to save each pay period or month, and then make it happen, preferably on the same date (or the day after) you receive your paycheck or direct deposit.

8. Withdraw from Your IRA Without Penalty

Under certain conditions, your retirement account can serve as a supplemental funding source for your down payment.

This isn’t free money, of course. If you have a traditional IRA, you need to pay taxes on the withdrawn amount at your overall rate – 28% in the 28% bracket, and so on. On a Roth IRA held for longer than five years, your withdrawal is tax-free, because you’ve already paid taxes on the contribution.

If you and your spouse both have IRAs, you can both withdraw up to $10,000, for a total of $20,000. Depending on the projected size of your down payment, that could be a sizable boost. And, on Roth IRAs held longer than five years, you can withdraw tax- and penalty-free contributions in excess of $10,000, though any withdrawn earnings are taxable at your normal rate.

However, you also have to consider the opportunity cost of taking that money out of your account, potentially for years (by the time you make additional contributions to cover your withdrawal).

9. Take a 401k Loan

You can also borrow from employer-sponsored 401k or fund your down payment. On 401k loans, borrowing limits are much more generous: You can borrow up to the lesser of $50,000 or half the value of the account. That’s enough to fund a 20% down payment on a $250,000 house, or a 10% down payment on a $500,000 house.

However, the devil is in the details. You have to pay back your 401k loans, with interest – typically at 2% above the prime rate. On larger loans, that means several years’ worth of three-figure monthly payments and several thousand in interest charges. Plus, if you take out a 401k loan before applying for a mortgage loan, your credit utilization ratio will spike, which could raise your mortgage loan’s interest rate or cause the bank to think twice about lending to you in the first place.

As a general rule of thumb, 401k loans are useful in two situations: for funding small down payments ($5,000 or less) in their entirety or as the last piece of a multi-year, multi-source down payment funding strategy.

Final Word

Your house might be the single biggest purchase you ever make, but it won’t be the only big-ticket item you ever buy. Unless you can comfortably live without a car, you’re likely to buy a used vehicle every few years. If you have kids, you’ll need to budget for their education. Once you’re ensconced in your home, you’ll probably want to make sensible improvements that enhance its value or accommodate your growing family. And, all the while, you need to have enough set aside for the unexpected.

Every one of these items, and many others not mentioned here, demand a measured, thought-out savings strategy. As you notch small victories in your quest to cobble together a down payment for your dream home, don’t neglect your other goals – whether you’re aiming to reach them next month, next year, or next decade.

 

 

 

 


Dollars & Sense Buying a New Home

Benefits Buying a New Home

The emotional appeal of a brand-new, never-been-lived-in home is undeniable, but did you know that buying a new home has a host of financial advantages? As long as you stick to the timeline and budget you’ve set, your home search should be just like anyone else’s. Throw yourself into the exciting process of finding your dream home!

Less Maintenance

Cape Coral Home Mortgage from Land Home Financial for Maintenance savings for New HomesThe cost of maintenance is something many homebuyers overlook. If you buy new, you likely won’t need to replace the furnace, windows and other essentials for years to come.

Energy efficiency

Cape Coral Home Mortgage from Land Home Financial for Energy Efficient New HomesWhen you buy an existing home, you run the risk of getting poor insulation, drafty windows and used appliances. Newer homes tend to have more energy efficient features, which could save you on energy costs in the long run.

Design Choices

When you buy new, you have the power to build your dream home to match your individual tastes and lifestyle. Why settle for someone else’s taste in bathroom tile when you can choose every detail for yourself? Bonus: the cost of upgrades can be rolled into a 
mortgage payment, allowing you to avoid expensive out-of-pocket renovations down the road.

Warranties

Land Home Financial Cape Coral While warranties are less common on existing homes, they are very common on new homes. This can be a huge benefit for buyers who don’t necessarily have money set aside for unplanned home repairs.

Insurance Premiums

Because new homes have modern plumbing, wiring and HVAC equipment, insurance companies tend to view them as a lower risk than older homes—a difference you could see in your premiums.

Whether you decide on a buying “New Home” or moving into a home built already, we can help provide the very best mortgage loan that fits your situation. Homeownership is a part—the essential part— of the American Dream. That’s a dream worth working toward.

Get Started on the application for a Pre-Approval Amount:

Click Here to Begin with Matt     

Click Here to Begin with Scott


Let’s Review Reverse Mortgages

The concept of a reverse mortgage is perhaps a bit counterintuitive. It can come with misconceptions–most founded by inaccurate information. Is a Reverse Mortgage for you? That’s really a question for your loan officer prior to counseling or the HUD counselor. We hope to shed a little light into the process and give you an idea about the benefits that can come with a Reverse Mortgage.

Similar but Different

A Reverse Mortgage turns a homeowner’s equity into cash without the need to refinance the property or obtain a conventional home equity line of credit (HELOC). A HELOC is a line of credit that uses the home as collateral and if used, requires monthly payments the homeowners must make. Similar but different, is a cash out refinance. In a cash-out refinance, homeowners can refinance an existing mortgage and take out some extra cash and use it in whatever way they wish. Still, in both instances, it’s a new loan with new monthly payments. A HELOC and cash out refinance are loan types for those who are “house rich” but maybe just a bit “cash poor” but can still afford to make monthly payments.

 

A Reverse Mortgage doesn’t require monthly mortgage payments. Typically, the only time a payment is made is when the borrower(s) ultimately leave the property, and the home is no longer the primary residence. They can always choose to make monthly payments of whatever amount they want, a little or a lot, but that is a choice, not a requirement. The funds from a Reverse Mortgage can be accessed through taking a lump sum, a line of credit or monthly payments for as long as the borrower(s) live in the home. The monthly installments can last the life of the loan or for a predetermined number of months, all the borrower’s choice. FHA also allows a combination of all 3, line of credit, lump sum, and monthly payments.

Here are the basic eligibility requirements for a Reverse Mortgage:

  • The borrower(s) must be at least 62 years of age
  • The property is the borrower(s) primary residence
  • The property must have sufficient equity
  • The borrower(s) must attend a counseling session with a Reverse Mortgage counselor
  • The borrower(s) must be able to demonstrate a reasonable credit history
  • The borrower(s) must be able to demonstrate they have sufficient income to cover property taxes and insurance

The last 2 requirements were added in 2015; borrowers must be able to keep their property taxes paid and the collateral insured as well as show responsible credit history. If that seems questionable, there is an option to establish a lifetime set aside (LESA) to ensure those charges are paid and the consumer is protected. Lenders will review the borrower’s monthly required obligations and compare that with the amount of disposable income as well as make certain the Reverse Mortgage is a sustainable solution.

Unlike regular mortgages, there is no “debt to income” requirement with a Reverse Mortgage, so it is substantially easier to qualify. If there is an existing mortgage on the property, proceeds from the reverse are used to pay off the mortgage and eliminate existing monthly mortgage payments.

Reverse Mortgage loan amounts will vary based upon the age of the youngest borrower on the application. Generally speaking, the older the borrower, the more money can be issued. The property will also be appraised just like with any other FHA mortgage. The age of the borrower(s) and the amount of equity in the property are the two main line items a reverse lender will evaluate per a formula set down by the FHA. Visit our Reverse Mortgage calculator to get a rough idea of how much you will qualify for.

The “Two-Thumbs-Up” for Reverse Mortgages

The most compelling reason to get a Reverse Mortgage is to turn equity into tax-free cash while still living in the property. Interest accrues on disbursed funds and is directly tied to an index, such as a 1 Year or Monthly London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), plus a margin (typically 2-3%) and is only paid at a maturity event a.k.a. the sale of the property or six months after the homeowners leave the home. And, the proceeds are tax-free! Yet, please remember you still have to pay property taxes and keep your home insured.

A Reverse Mortgage doesn’t “sell” the property to the lender. The homeowners remain on the title and still own the home. A reverse gets rid of an existing mortgage, therefore eliminating monthly mortgage payments. Heirs are not held liable to pay off the full reverse loan balance should the payoff exceed the value of the home and any remaining equity will flow to the heirs just like any other mortgage.

But, Before The Reverse gets Best Picture…

There really aren’t too many negatives with a reverse but there are some considerations. The value of the inheritance can fall as the reverse needs to be paid off and loan fees may be a bit higher compared to a regular mortgage. Some lenders will cover some or all of those fees, and those that are not paid by the lender are deducted at the closing table. When accessing home equity, it’s important to understand all the financial consequences, and these consequences will be reviewed during counseling, but it may also make sense to speak with your financial adviser to make sure you understand the impact a Reverse Mortgage can have on your estate.

Overall, a Reverse Mortgage is a great option used to access your home equity without having to sell your home, and without any monthly mortgage payments. If you’re curious or know someone who this might benefit, it’s time to call a Reverse Mortgage lender today. And remember, like a friendly movie review from your sister, all opinions are valuable, they just might not be the most accurate or applicable. In other words, see that movie you think you might like, or in this case, look into a reverse, it just might be what you are looking for.

*The above advertisement has not been approved or endorsed by FHA or any other government agency. Please also note all pricing, percentages and fees are subject to change and are based on personal circumstances. The use of hypothetical statements are meant to illustrate possible outcomes and are not intended to be a statement of facts.*


Stay Within Budget When Buying a House

5 Budgeting Tips

A house is likely to be the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make. And if you’ve waited a long time for this day to come, you’ve undoubtedly thought about the features you desire – maybe you’re craving a huge master bedroom with walk-in closets, or perhaps a gourmet kitchen. We’ve listed five budgeting tips for you to follow that will help you out.

While you don’t want to skimp on the amenities you love, adding too many can drive up the cost and destroy your budget. By thinking about your long-term financial goals and assessing your budget before you buy, you can score the home you want without experiencing buyer’s remorse.

1. Establish a Firm Price Limit and a List of “Must Haves”

When you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, your bank determines how much they think you can afford to spend on a house. But don’t assume the number they provide is the amount you should spend.

Go online and use a mortgage calculator – after you enter a sale price, a loan term, and interest rate, the calculator estimates your monthly payment, including home-owners insurance, property taxes, and private mortgage insurance. Also, research whether there are other expenses you’ll need to work into your budget after buying a home.

5 Home Buying Budgeting Tips with Land Home FinancialFor instance, association dues, a lawn or pest service or possible higher utilities; these costs can really add up and eat into your monthly budget. If you decide in advance which amenities are “must-haves” and which would simply be nice to have, you’ll be in a better position to stay within budget when you start looking at homes.

 2. Keep Tabs on Your Real Estate Agent

Land Home Financial Realtor PartnersI’ve had only positive experiences with my real estate agents, but not everyone is as lucky. Good agents respect your finances and only show you homes you can afford.

That being said, some agents may try to push the envelope and recommend properties outside your price point. Be firm and stick to your guns.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

It’s very easy to fall into the cycle of “compare and despair.” This is a nasty cycle to fall into, especially when it comes to buying a home. A house isn’t a pair of shoes or an expensive handbag – if you overspend when buying a house, it isn’t easy to recover from the mistake.

Rather than obsessing over the fact that your friend bought a house with an outdoor kitchen, offer your congratulations, and then get excited about what your budget can do for you. Maybe you’ll have four bedrooms instead of two, or you’ll have a gas oven instead of an electric one. Then, think about the ways you’ll benefit from staying within your budget, such as maintaining a healthy vacation or a retirement fund or starting a college fund for your kids.

4. Avoid Bidding Wars

Competing with other buyers is no picnic, and to win a bidding war, you often have to increase your offer. This isn’t necessarily bad, as long as you’re able to stay within budget – however, bidding wars can get out of hand quickly.

If you get caught in a bidding frenzy, you could end up spending more than you want. Decide how much you’re willing to pay for a particular house in advance, and resist the urge to exceed that limit. In other words, be willing to walk away.

5. Bid on Houses That Aren’t Selling

Some buyers shy away from homes that have been on the market for a long time, assuming that there must be some hidden defect. But sometimes, a home’s inability to sell is much more simple. For instance, maybe it just has bad curb appeal, or there’s too much inventory in a particular market.

Therefore, it is important that you do not automatically rule out a house just because it has been sitting for a long time. If anything, seek out these houses. The seller is probably motivated and willing to drop the asking price to move the property.

Even if the seller isn’t willing to drop the price, there are still more opportunities for negotiation when a home has been on the market for months. If you can identify the reason the property hasn’t sold, then you can ask the seller to reduce the home’s asking price or provide a cash allowance for the fix.

If you’re still concerned about possible hidden defects, state in your bid that the offer is subject to a satisfactory home inspection – which is a good idea no matter what.

Final Word

Staying within budget when buying a house takes discipline, so you must approach the buying process with care. Know what you’re willing to spend, and refuse to look at homes listed above your budget. If you’re unable to find a suitable property after a few weeks or months, revisit your budget to see if you have any wiggle room. If not, hold out – it’s only a matter of time before the right house comes along.

 


Have You Considered Refinancing?

Refinance with land Home financial Cape CoralA tight budget, an expensive home renovation and the desire to get your home paid off quicker are all good reasons to refinance your home. But what does refinancing your home mean and how can it help you achieve your financial goals? Take a look at the definition of home refinancing and what it can do for you.

What is Refinancing?

When a homeowner is refinancing, it means the homeowner is attempting to acquire a new mortgage for their home. The new mortgage pays off the original mortgage, usually giving the borrowers a better interest rate and/or a shorter term, or even cash.

Why Refinance?

  • To Lower the Interest Rate– Most mortgage lenders say that shaving even .50% off of a mortgage interest rate is a good enough incentive to consider refinancing. The long-term savings by getting a rate reduction can outweigh the cost of a mortgage refinance.
  • Shorten the Term of the Loan– The most common mortgage terms are 15-year and 30-year. In some cases, with a lower interest rate, getting a new 15-year can leave monthly payments very similar to what they were at the 30-year mortgage rate inevitably getting the home paid off much quicker. Changing from an ARM to a Fixed-Rate – Adjustable rate mortgages can offer lower interest rates at times. However, an arm isn’t for everyone. When homeowners need to control their monthly budgets with a more steady payment, changing to a fixed-rate mortgage when rates are low may be the best way to go.
  • Draw From the Equity– Sometimes homeowners need large sums of money to cover expenses such as a remodeling project, school tuition, or to consolidate other debts like credit cards and auto loans. It’s important to evaluate overall financial health and spending habits before tidying up other debts and expenses using your mortgage.
  • Eliminate PMI– Another possible benefit to refinancing is the elimination of private mortgage insurance. If the original down payment on the home was less than 20% PMI is usually required by the lender. A borrower may be able to refinance and if the value of the home has increased enough, thus eliminating PMI.

Points to Consider

  • Cost of the refinance– Application fees, title fees, lender closing fees, and loan origination fees are all costs to look into before deciding to refinance. Lenders, like Land Home Financial will help homeowners figure out when and if the costs would be recuperated.
  • Overall Financial Health– If the main goal of the refinance is to pay off the mortgage earlier, borrowers should also consider their other financial goals. The ability to save appropriately for retirement and pay off other higher interest loans should be factored into the decision to refinance. If refinancing doesn’t affect the monthly payment very much, refinancing could be just the ticket to achieving personal financial success.
  • Requirements– Contact Land Home Financial to find out the requirements for refinancing.

Final Words

By working with a trusted residential mortgage lender, homeowners can find a loan that is tailored to their specific financial situation, offering just the right term and interest rates. The refinancing process will operate quickly and smoothly, giving them true financial security and peace of mind.

Office Location: 1229 Cape Coral Pkwy E, Unit 13 Cape Coral, FL 33904


We Hire the Best

Do You Have What it Takes?

Land Home Financial Services, Inc has been helping individuals, couples and families get pre-approved for a home mortgage, offering the “right” mortgage for their situation and expediting the mortgage process as efficient as possible. We deliver from “pre-approval to close” with unmatched service by providing the right product and “Hiring the Best” in the industry! Our Loan Originators and Support Staff are focused on getting the mortgage closed properly as quick as possible!

Work for Land Home Financial Florida

LinkedIn_Recruiting_invest   And Here’s Why:

  • We service our own loans & bonus our LO’s year over year from the servicing
  • Company paid assistances to support each branch
  • Coaching & Training available for experienced Originators
  • We have our own Appraisal Desk – no AMC
  • Little to no Over-Lays (we go by AUS)
  • Originators can submit TBD files for Underwriting
  • LO’s submits directly to Underwriter to expedite Loan Commitments
  • We support our Originators offering DPA Loans
  • Our Underwriters actually call you to avoid suspending a file
  • Our processors chase conditions, not our Originators

 

If you live in Florida, have originated a minimum of 24 loans or more for at least 2 years – then WE Need to Talk!

Contact me ANYTIME including after hours or weekends!

 

Vincent Ortiz, Loan Officer

Direct 407.625.9093 Land Home Financial Loan Officer

Vincent.Ortiz@lhfs.com

 


Deciding the Best Place to Find a Home

Best Place to Find a Home

When you’re deciding the best place to find a home it can be said that “home is where the heart is.” Here are the most important factors to help you find a home that suits the needs of you and your family.

1. Affordability

No matter what your pay grade is, living comfortably and within your means should be your first concern. Affordability includes more than just housing expenses; the prices for consumable goods, like groceries, vary greatly from town to town. The price of gasoline, utility services including electric and water, and taxes, also varies.

2. Taxes

There are 40 states provide property tax credits or homestead exemptions that can provide homeowners with some additional tax relief. Consider local sales tax, income tax, and tax credits and exemptions when you’re looking for the perfect place to find a home.

3. Employment Opportunities

Employment opportunities vary from state to state and city to city, so spend some time researching the job markets in different areas of the country. Start by analyzing quality employment opportunities within your industry, then determine where the highest concentration of these jobs are located. Income levels for jobs can vary greatly from state to state. Do your research before you move, and ideally, find a job before you relocate.

4. Real Estate Value

Since buying a home is the single largest investment you will probably ever make, you need to seriously consider this factor. With real estate in a constant state of flux, it’s important to research current home prices, the length of time homes are for sale, the resale values of homes, and probable long-term value estimates.

5. Crime Rates and Statistics

No one wants to live in a high-crime area, but that doesn’t mean that everyone can live in a Utopian society where crime never happens. By researching the crime rates and statistics for various areas, you can learn more about the safety of a town or neighborhood.

Keep in mind that just because an area is safe today does not guarantee that it will be safe in the future. The long-term stability for a neighborhood can be a determining factor in how safe your surroundings are. Also, consider the future development of a particular location as you narrow down your choices.

6. Proximity to Family and Friends

Find a home close to friends and familyIf extended family and friends are important to you, choose to find a home either within driving distance or within a reasonable distance by plane. Otherwise, you’ll constantly feel torn, and likely spend all of your vacation time and energy shuttling back and forth to visit friends and family.

7. Climate

The climate plays a large role in our lives as it impacts our hobbies, behavior, and sometimes even our jobs. Living in the climate in which you are most comfortable contributes to your mental health, so choose wisely!

8. Education System

A good education is essential to setting up children to better handle the rest of their lives, so the importance of good schools cannot be overstated.

9. Culture

If you crave constant cultural stimulation, you definitely want to choose a place that has a lot of cultural offerings. Many people need to be near their favorite team, or a vibrant music scene or the theater. If you have a favorite hobby or recreational activity, make sure that you can continue to pursue these interests when you find a home. Finally, if you enjoy being around a specific religious or ethnic community with your same beliefs and interests, this should be a factor in where you choose to live.

10. Commute Time and Public Transportation Options

The explosive growth of the suburbs surrounding metropolitan areas have made commuting times in many areas unbearable. The length of time it takes to get to work can be a determining factor when deciding on where to find a home. A good public transportation system is a major plus when choosing a place to live.

11. Food Options

If you’re a foodie, you may want to try to find a home to live in near the ocean or near a metropolitan city center. Grocery store fare, while plentiful, doesn’t replace the quality of fresh food from the ocean or fresh produce from the farmers’ market. If eating locally and sustainably is important to you, consider whether you can pursue this lifestyle in your new home.

12. Town or City Size

Best way to find a home as a familyIf you enjoy a friendly wave from everyone you pass while driving to the post office, then a smaller town is definitely for you. If you wish to remain relatively anonymous, find a home in a larger town or a big city is better suited to your personality.

13. Healthcare Facilities

Healthcare facilities are important at any stage in life, but they are especially relevant if you have children or if you are nearing retirement age. Easy access to good healthcare can increase your quality of life exponentially, so be on the lookout for towns and cities with good hospitals and medical schools. Often, there will be a correlation between cities and the quality of the healthcare.

14. Proximity to an Airport

If you travel a lot, you may need to live within close proximity of an airport. If you live more than an hour away from the closest airport, traveling to and from the airport can become very time-consuming and expensive. If you spend a healthy amount of time traveling, definitely consider the distance to the airport.

In closing

The reality of choosing a new place to live encompasses an incredibly large series of factors, all competing for your attention. In order to be successful in your search, you must determine what is most important to you and your family, do your homework, and then continue to be vigilant in your search until you find the right place to live. It can be intimidating and frustrating at times, but all that effort is worth it in the end once you are settled in your ideal location. Happy hunting!


Down Payment Assistance Program for Heroes

House2Home Community Plus

Land Home Cape Coral Armed Forces Down Payment Assistance Home LoanHere at Land Home Financial Cape Coral, it’s our honor to offer up to 6% in down payment assistance on Conventional Loans in the form of an interest-free soft second forgiven over a 3-year period for our hometown heroes!

Who is eligible:

  • Peace Officers, Sheriff, Border Patrol Agents, Correctional Officer, others serving in a Law Enforcement capacity, including administrative staff
  • Firefighters, Cal Fire, paramedic, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), including administrative staff that supports firefighters
  • Current member of a State Teachers Retirement System or University Retirement Plan, employees of an accredited Private, Charter, or Public School district or State University, Junior College or Private College, including school administration and staff
  • Medical personnel including Doctors, Nurses, phlebotomist, health ambassador, hospital/clinic, American Red Cross employees
  • Civil Service (Federal, state, or local municipality) employees
  • Military Service, Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy employees (both active and retired)

Assistance Program for HEROES Benefits:

  • Can be used for down payment and/or closing costs
  • Not limited to first-time homebuyers
  • Types of properties allowed: single family, condo, and manufactured
  • No sales price limits

It seems it is the least we can do for the “Ultimate Sacrifice” of giving of yourself for the the safety and freedoms of us here in the United States. At Land Home Cape Coral, it our honor to be able to serve those who protect our freedoms, care for heath and teach our kids!

**Available for purchase of a primary residence. Subject to Income and Loan Amount limits. Other limitations and/or requirements may apply. Land Home Financial Services, Inc., NMLS #1796. www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org The rates and fees are subject to change without notice. This advertisement does not represent a commitment to lend.

Office Location: 1229 Cape Coral Pkwy E, Unit 13 Cape Coral, FL 33904


6 New Years Resolutions for Homeowners

For-Keeps New Years Resolutions for Homeowners

We all make New Year’s resolutions, but let’s be honest, most are wishful thinking. By February, that “lose 20 pounds” or “learn Spanish” resolution has gone right out the window.

But not for you, new homeowner. This year is different.

Your first 12 months of homeownership set the tone for the entire journey. With just a few smart decisions, you can save money now and get more out of your investment later.

So make room on that list between “run a 5K” and “travel more.” Here are essential New Year’s resolutions for new homeowners.

1. Start an emergency fund

Homeownership has a funny way of costing more than you think. An emergency savings fund provides a financial safety net, and your new home is the perfect reason to start one.

Remember, if the furnace quits on a cold night, there’s no landlord to call. Laid off unexpectedly or surprised by major car repairs? Mortgage payments are still expected on time and in full. Without an emergency fund, these expenses could force you into credit card debt or worse.

Ideally, your emergency fund should cover several months of expenses, but it’s OK to start small. Set aside a portion of every paycheck with the goal of saving $500 as quickly as possible, and then contribute as much as you can moving forward.

2. Take a closer look at your homeowners insurance

Just because a standard homeowners insurance policy satisfied your lender, it doesn’t mean you’re adequately covered.

“Homeowners insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are unique coverage options and, more importantly, ‘exclusions’ that homeowners need to be aware of,” says Ryan Andrew, president of The Andrew Agency, an independent insurance agency in Richmond, Virginia.

Does your policy cover the full cost of your jewelry or other valuables? Are disasters like earthquakes and floods excluded? Will the policy pay if your dog bites the new mailman?

“Your home is usually your biggest asset,” Andrew says. “Spend a few minutes reviewing your coverage and exclusions, and ask questions so you understand your policy.”

3. Get an energy efficiency audit

Heating, cooling and powering a home isn’t cheap. Why be uncomfortable or spend more because your house wastes energy?

After the dust settles, you may notice more about your home, particularly if you bought new construction, says Jessie Ferguson, director of operations at Renewable, a home energy consulting company. Maybe the air smells funny or one bedroom is colder than the others. She recommends getting an energy-efficiency audit rather than guessing at the problem.

Using blower door tests and infrared cameras, energy audits measure air leaks and detect air infiltration or missing insulation. Audits are performed by utility companies, city governments and some contractors.

“An energy audit is an inexpensive way to get real information about your house. They’ll tell you which fixes will deliver the best bang for your buck,” Ferguson says.

In addition to lowering your utility bills and making you more comfortable, a more efficient home may end up putting free money in your pocket, thanks to local, state and federal rebates.

4. Consider a home warranty

If the appliances in your new home are near the end of their life cycles, a home warranty may help shield you from the cost of replacement.

Also called home service contracts, home warranties are annual agreements that offset the repair or replacement cost of major home components and appliances.

Approach home warranty companies with caution, however. Read customer reviews and avoid gimmicks that seem too good to be true. Like insurance policies, home warranties are full of fine print, and homeowners often fail to realize what’s excluded until they try to make a claim.

“They can be helpful in the first year of homeownership, when you have so many other things to think about and pay for,” Ferguson says of home warranties. “Just make sure you know exactly what you’re getting.”

5. Create a disaster kit with a home inventory

Your new home is your castle, but it’s not indestructible. A disaster kit that includes financial documents and a home inventory will speed up recovery if the unthinkable happens.

A home inventory can be as simple as snapping pictures of big-ticket items in your home, or you could record items, brands, original prices, ages and condition in a spreadsheet.

No matter which method you choose, a home inventory is the best way to make sure you have enough insurance coverage to replace your valuables, Andrew says.

Store the inventory, along with copies of your personal identification, credit card information, vehicle records and other important documents, in a fireproof safe or another place that’s easily accessible if you have to evacuate.

6. Make a plan to build equity

Unless you bought your home with cash, it will be many years until you own it outright. Make plans now to build equity faster, you can unlock more benefits of homeownership even sooner.

Equity is a fancy word for “how much of your house is paid off.” Home equity is a valuable asset; accrue enough and you can use it to finance major renovations or pay off student loans.

You can build equity slowly just by making your monthly mortgage payments, or you can find ways to speed up the process. For example, take on smart home improvements or switch to biweekly payments to get “equity rich” even faster.

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