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In Citrus County Florida - Move Up To Your Dream Home Now!

by Kevin Cunningham

we are seeing more and more homeowners considering moving up to the home they have always dreamed of. Prices are still below those of a few years ago and interest rates have stayed near historic lows.

Sellers should realize that waiting to make the move when mortgage rates are projected to increase probably doesn’t make sense. As rates increase, the price of the house you can afford will decrease if you plan to stay within a certain budget for your monthly housing costs. 

Here is a chart detailing this point:

Don’t Wait! Move Up To Your Dream Home Now! | Keeping Current Matters

According to Freddie Mac, the current 30-year fixed rate is currently around 3.75%.With each quarter of a percent increase in interest rate, the value of the home you can afford decreases by 2.5% (in this example, by $10,000).

Freddie Mac predicts that mortgage rates will be closer to 4.7% by this time next year.

Act now to get the most house for your hard-earned money.

If you are ready to Buy or Sell,  Meet with the The Cunningham Team Team @ RE/MAX Realty One, your local real estate professionals who can help you find your dream home.

For more Citrus County, Florida home selling and buying insights, give The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One a call anytime to discuss your own real estate plans!

The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One “Your Nature Coast Real Estate Experts”

Kevin, Karen and Brogan The Cunningham Team  

(352) 527-7842

Click Here To Contact US

Rent or Buy In Citrus County: Either Way You’re Paying A Mortgage

by Kevin Cunningham

tpr jan 2

In Citrus County there are many renters that have not fulfilled their dream or resolution to purchased a home. Most of the time this stems from being uncomfortable in taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents for free, you are paying a mortgage - either your mortgage or your landlord’s.

As The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return.  

That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

Christina Boyle, a Senior Vice President, Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

Ask any Citrus County Banker, as an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

The graph below shows the widening gap in net worth between a homeowner and a renter:

Rent or Buy: Either Way You’re Paying A Mortgage | Keeping Current Matters

Keep In Mind

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, owning might make more sense than renting with home values and interest rates projected to climb.

If you are ready to Buy or Sell,  Meet with the The Cunningham Team Team @ RE/MAX Realty One, your local real estate professionals who can help you find your dream home.

For more Citrus County, Florida home selling and buying insights, give The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One a call anytime to discuss your own real estate plans!

The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One “Your Nature Coast Real Estate Experts”

Kevin, Karen and Brogan The Cunningham Team  

(352) 527-7842

Click Here To Contact US

We are just beginning the 2016 spring market, and it looks like the biggest challenge in Citrus County real estate will be the lack of available housing inventory for sale.

Here are what few real estate experts are saying on the subject:

 

David Crowe, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders:

“Many sellers may not have an absolute decision as to whether to buy an existing home or a new home. So the low inventory of existing homes is locking them in place.”

Ralph McLaughlin, Chief Economist with Trulia:

“We are in a time of short supply, which is great news for sellers because they will likely be faced with multiple offers due to the little inventory out there…Buyers will be up against a lot of other people and against a short supply of existing homes.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist with NAR:

“First-time buyers in high demand areas continue to encounter instances where their offer is trumped by cash buyers and investors. Without a much-needed boost in new and existing-homes for sale in their price range, their path to homeownership will remain an uphill climb.”

Fitch Ratings:

“One important issue that has restrained sales and starts is inventory. On an absolute basis, inventory has not expanded as much as in past recoveries, leading to less selection for buyers. This is especially true for existing home sales but is evident for new home construction as well. When it comes to U.S. housing inventory, more is better." 

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist for Realtor.com:

“The increase in sales is resulting in continued tighter-than-tight supply—measured by NAR to be four months in January.  For you non-economists out there, that metric measures the number of months it would take to sell the current inventory of available homes, at the current pace. Got it? Six to seven months’ worth of homes on the market is considered normal; four months is cray-cray.”

If you are ready to Buy or Sell,  Meet with the The Cunningham Team Team @ RE/MAX Realty One, your local real estate professionals who can help you find your dream home.

For more Citrus County, Florida home selling and buying insights, give The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One a call anytime to discuss your own real estate plans!

The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One “Your Nature Coast Real Estate Experts”

Kevin, Karen and Brogan The Cunningham Team  

(352) 527-7842

Click Here To Contact US

Baby Boomers: Citrus County, Florida Is Where The Heart Is

by Kevin Cunningham

DownsizingPicnic_Blog

Within the next five years, Baby Boomers are projected to have the largest household growth of any other generation during that same time period, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard. Let’s take a look at why…

In Merrill Lynch’s latest study“Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices” they surveyed nearly 6,000 adults ages 21 and older about housing.

Crossing the “Freedom Threshold”

Throughout our lives, there are often responsibilities that dictate where we live. Whether being in the best school district for our children, being close to our jobs, or some other factor is preventing a move, the study found that there is a substantial shift that takes place at age 61.

The study refers to this change as “Crossing the Freedom Threshold”. When where you live is no longer determined by responsibilities, but rather a freedom to live wherever you like. (see the chart below)

Crossing The "Freedom Threshold" | Keeping Current Matters

As one participant in the study stated:

“In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can just stay where you are. There hasn’t been another time in life when we’ve had that kind of freedom.” 

On the Move

According to the study, “an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement.

The top reason to relocate cited was “wanting to be closer to family” at 29%, a close second was “wanting to reduce home expenses”. See the chart below for the top 6 reasons broken down.

Reasons for Moving in Retirement | Keeping Current Matters

Not Every Baby Boomer Downsizes

There is a common misconception that as retirees find themselves with less children at home that they will instantly desire a smaller home to maintain. While that may be the case for half of those surveyed, the study found that three in ten decide to actually upsize to a larger home.

Some choose to buy a home in a desirable destination with extra space for large family vacations, reunions, extended visits, or to allow other family members to move in with them.

"Retirees often find their homes become places for family to come together and reconnect, particularly during holidays or summer vacations."

Bottom Line

If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to. Meet with the The Cunningham Team Team @ RE/MAX Realty One, your local real estate professionals who can help you find your dream home.

For more Citrus County, Florida home selling insights, give The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One a call anytime to discuss your own real estate plans!

The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One “Your Nature Coast Real Estate Experts”

Kevin, Karen and Brogan The Cunningham Team  (352) 527-7842

Click Here To Contact US

Thinking of Buying A Home? What Are You Waiting For?

by Kevin Cunningham

For Citrus County, Florida spring right around the corner, you may be wondering if you should wait to enter the housing market. Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.3% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 5.4% over the next year. The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report projects home values to appreciate by more than 3.2% a year for the next 5 years.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained below 4%. Most experts predict that they will begin to rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Freddie Mac & theNational Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost three-quarters of a percentage point by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way You Are Paying a Mortgage

As a paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Bottom Line

If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to. Meet with the The Cunningham Team Team @ RE/MAX Realty One, your local real estate professionals who can help you find your dream home.

For more Citrus County, Florida home selling insights, give The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One a call anytime to discuss your own real estate plans!

The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One “Your Nature Coast Real Estate Experts”

Kevin, Karen and Brogan The Cunningham Team  (352) 527-7842

Click Here To Contact US

Low Inventory Causes Citrus County Florida Home Prices to Accelerate

by Kevin Cunningham

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) released their latest Quarterly Metro Home Price report earlier this month. The report revealed that home prices are not only continuing to rise but that the increases are accelerating. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, discussed the impact of low inventory on buyers in the report:

"Without a significant ramp-up in new home construction and more homeowners listing their homes for sale, buyers are likely to see little relief in the form of slowing price growth in the months ahead.”

Here are the percentage increases of home prices for the last three years, Quarter by Quarter:

Med Sales Price 2015

What this means to sellers

Rising prices are a homeowner’s best friend. As reported by CoreLogic in a recent blog post:

“With demand strong and inventory thin, the share of homes selling for the list price or more has also returned to pre-bust levels. With inventory tight, homes are more likely to sell above the asking price.”

What this means to buyers

In a market where prices are rising, buyers should take into account the cost of waiting. Obviously, they will pay more for the same house later this year. However, as Construction Dive reported, the amounts of cash necessary to buy a home will also increase.

“These factors have created a situation where the market keeps moving the goalposts in terms of the down payment necessary for first-time homebuyers to get into a home.”

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of selling and moving down, waiting might make sense. If you are a first time buyer or a seller thinking of moving up, waiting probably doesn’t make sense.

For more Citrus County, Florida home selling insights, give The The Cunningham Team Team at RE/MAX Realty One a call anytime to discuss your own real estate plans!

The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One “Your Nature Coast Real Estate Experts”

Kevin, Karen and Brogan The Cunningham Team (352) 527-7842

Click Here To Contact US.

The Cunningham Team

Ease pain, strain of buying home appliance

by Keith Barry

NEW YORK – Aug. 20, 2014 – At a recent housewarming party, talk turned to renovating the kitchen. My friends wanted to know what they should do about replacing the old appliances that came with the house.

Luckily, they'd invited me.

Not only do I get to use hundreds of them each year in my job as editor-in-chief of Reviewed.com's appliance coverage, I'm also a self-professed appliance nerd. That's right: The machines that tirelessly toil in our kitchens and laundry rooms are both my job and my passion.

While it's impossible to offer a one-size-fits-all recommendation for any particular product, here is some general advice for buying a new home appliance.

Measure twice, buy once

Everyone knows to measure the space where a new appliance will go, including required clearances. But while an appliance might fit in your kitchen or laundry room, that doesn't necessarily mean you can get it into your house.

Today's appliances are getting bigger and bigger. It's not uncommon to see refrigerators that are 35 inches deep or washer/dryer pairs that total 6 feet wide, so make sure you can get them through doorways and around corners. Especially in older homes, doorways can be quite narrow.

A friend ordered a new counter-depth fridge a few years back. She measured the space to make sure it fit perfectly, and even checked to see that it would fit through the kitchen door. But she forgot about her new kitchen countertops. Because they stuck out more than the old ones, the installers couldn't get the fridge into the kitchen without removing a chunk of granite.

Forget brand loyalty

Forget preconceived notions of appliance brands. Due to mergers, acquisitions and the rapid pace of innovation in the industry, products can vary drastically from year to year, even if the label on the front stays the same.

In other words, even if you hate your current washing machine, you shouldn't rule out buying another product from the same brand.

Consider Amana. Maytag bought the brand in 2001. In 2006, Maytag itself was acquired by Whirlpool. Today's Amana refrigerator has nothing in common with its predecessors, but it has a lot in common with a similar Whirlpool fridge.

Kenmore appliances have always been made by different manufacturers: Frigidaire makes the majority of the brand's ovens, LG makes its front-loading washers, and Whirlpool makes Kenmore dishwashers, for instance.

Even brands that haven't changed hands can change how they build products. GE, Electrolux, Whirlpool and Bosch have all invested in major redesigns in the past two years, including new, multimillion-dollar factories and state-of-the-art machinery.

Comfort counts

Today, it's possible to buy appliances online, at an independent retailer, or at a "big box" store. But while getting a low price is important, it's also good to know how you'll be treated after the sale.

If a major online retailer has the best price on the appliance you want, don't be afraid to order sight unseen. Online retailers frequently offer massive inventory and quick shipping. However, be sure to check the item for damage before the delivery company leaves – return policies can be very strict, even for broken products.

Local retailers offer their own advantages. Some feature fully functional showrooms where customers can use appliances and see how they'll look after installation. If you're undertaking a difficult project, an expert sales staff is extremely helpful.

Many independent retailers also offer local repair services. That's why some high-end appliance companies prefer to sell products through authorized specialty stores. The small-town appliance store might be the only place to get a pro-style range or built-in fridge.

Big box stores such as Home Depot and Lowe's fit somewhere in the middle. Because they sell so many appliances, they can often negotiate exclusive deals with manufacturers that keep prices low on top-selling products.

Whatever you're buying, make sure that you like it. Home appliances are there to make life easier, not harder, so it's important to choose products that are easy to use, work as described and look good in your house.

Copyright © 2014 USA TODAY, Keith Barry, Reviewed.com

 

Interactive graphic: Florida under construction

by Brad O'Connor, research economist, Florida Realtor

Interactive graphic: Florida under construction


ORLANDO, Fla. – May 16, 2014 –While new home construction has picked up again in Florida as of late, not all areas of the state have been impacted equally. To illustrate this fact, we have developed an interactive graphic (Link below) using annual county-level building permit data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Because multifamily buildings contain multiple housing units, the graphic displays the total number of housing units permitted rather than the total number of residential buildings permitted.

In terms of single family home permits issued over the past five years (2009-2013), three counties have clearly stood above the rest. Hillsborough, Orange, and Sumter counties—the respective locations of Tampa, Orlando, and The Villages—have by far seen the most permit activity for single family homes.

The figures for booming Sumter County are by far the most impressive of the three counties given their relative population sizes. Over the past five years, Sumter County racked up nearly as many single family home permits as Orange County and over 55 percent more permits than the next county down the list, Palm Beach.

On the multifamily side [click the “Multifamily” radio button on the map to follow along], there are no real surprises. Miami-Dade County is far and away the leader, with over 52 percent more multifamily units than second-ranked Orange County.

For total combined single family and multifamily unit permits [click the “(All)” radio button], the top three counties are Hillsborough, Orange, and Miami-Dade, with the latter coming in nearly 49 percent higher than fourth-ranked Palm Beach. Entirely on the strength of its single family permit totals, Sumter County again sits impressively high at fifth on the list, just ahead of both Duval and Broward counties.

In all, the data show that the return of new home construction to Florida is largely concentrated in three of the state’s major centers of population and economic activity (Tampa, Orlando, and Miami), as well as The Villages. A little less obvious is the fact that recent construction is also much more concentrated along the I-4 corridor than it was during the five years leading up to the peak of last decade’s housing bubble. To see this change, select the years 2002-2006 using the Date Range slider on the map, and note how much more evenly-shaded the map becomes.

-- Brad O'Connor, research economist, Florida Realtors

Too see the Interactive map Click Here

Many of the Crystal River, Inverness, Beverly Hills, Citrus Hills, Sugarmill Woods & Pine Ridge area would-be first time home buyers are stopped short when they come up against the need to raise the initial deposit. But just because you don’t have a hefty down payment, it needn’t mean you can’t own your own home. You can still purchase a house with less than a 20% down payment if you are otherwise qualified—that is, if you take advantage of something called private mortgage insurance (“PMI”).

The reason there is a market for private mortgage insurance in Crystal River, Inverness, Beverly Hills, Citrus Hills, Sugarmill Woods & Pine Ridge is because lenders face an increased risk when they issue a loan with a low down payment. The simple fact is that the less money a home buyer invests in a property, the greater the possibility that he or she will choose to simply walk away. Someone with 5% equity in a home has a lot less invested than had they plunked down 20%—so if anything goes wrong, it’s proportionately easier for them to just hand the keys to the bank. Mortgage insurance covers the lender in such a default.

The cost of private mortgage insurance in Crystal River, Inverness, Beverly Hills, Citrus Hills, Sugarmill Woods & Pine Ridge comes in the form of monthly premiums in an amount set by the PMI issuer. The amount charged depends upon the loan-to-value ratio of the property, factored in with the borrower’s credit score. The insurer guarantees the difference between a 20% down payment and the amount put down by the borrower. For instance, if the borrower puts a 15% deposit on a $200,000 home, but then defaults, the PMI provider would cover the lender for $10,000—the difference between a standard 20% down payment (here that would have been $40,000) and the amount actually made as a down payment ($30,000).

The obligation to continue making PMI policy payments ends once the principal balance on the mortgage falls below 78%, since the borrower’s stake in the property will have risen to 22%—a touch above the 20% threshold. Borrowers can reach this benchmark early by choosing pay extra on their home’s principal balance or by making improvements that result in raising the value of the property: another way to improve the LTV. That route requires a request for PMI cancellation and borrower’s payment for an updated property appraisal (the appraiser will be named by the insurer).

For prospective buyers who are otherwise fully qualified — but for one reason or another can’t supply a 20% down payment — private mortgage insurance makes homeownership possible. No matter what your financial profile, starting the pre-qualification process is your first step. ContactThe Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One to get the ball rolling this spring!

For more Citrus County, Florida home selling insights, give The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One a call anytime to discuss your own real estate plans!

REMAX_Number_One_3D_Chrome_RGB

The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One “Your Nature Coast Real Estate Experts”

Kevin, Karen and Brogan The Cunningham Team

352-527-7842

The Cunningham Team Kevin, Karen & Brogan Cunningham Citrus County Florida's Real Estate Experts

The slick, entertaining formats of HGTV’s many buying and selling programs makes for great entertainment – but, as anyone who has ever actually bought or sold a house knows, they tend to leave some key information on the cutting room floor. Sure, real estate sales in town can in fact involve elements of creativity, presentation, personality, all of which make for interesting television viewing. But in real reality, successful real estate sales are largely based on contracts, disclosures, inspections, contingencies, and time. They may be less telegenic, but can be dramatic, especially when you’ve done everything in your power to make sure that a deal works out smoothly, only to be faced with last minute surprises that threaten to prevent you from closing (or cost you a bundle!).

Here are some of the major issues that can impede Crystal River, Terra Vista, Pine Ridge, Sugarmill Woods & Riverhaven real estate sales—and how to prevent them from happening:

Not Weighing the Comps

When you are in the process of making a major decision, it’s natural to seek the opinions of the people who are closest to you. When it comes to real estate sales, however, personal opinions from well-intentioned non-professionals can create distractions that wind up doing more harm than good. In the realm of contracts and negotiations, it’s important to give weight to the opinions of experienced real estate pros. They know how to provide unbiased guidance based on comps and statistics rather than emotion.

Verbal Agreements

Whether you are selling or buying, it’s essential to get any agreements about repairs or updates in writing. Parties will often discuss repairs or credits and assume that a verbal agreement will suffice. Not true. Not only can a repair come back to haunt you later, but certain repairs left uncompleted can delay the close of escrow.

Last Minute Changes

Whether it’s taking out a loan on a new car or holding one final goodbye party at the house, last minute actions by buyers and sellers have an uncanny ability to hold up a deal. When you are in contract for a property, keep your eye on the prize: if you’re the seller, don’t do anything that increases the risk of damage to the house. If you’re the buyer, don’t make sudden changes in your financial life until you are the legal owner of that property.

Buying and selling property is more intricate than a 30-minute TV show, but the end of the episode should feature the same broad smiles and satisfied handshakes—particularly if you don’t let an innocent move derail the purchase. Real estate sales in Crystal River, Terra Vista, Pine Ridge, Sugarmill Woods & Riverhaven are our business; call us anytime!

For more Citrus County, Florida home selling insights, give The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One a call anytime to discuss your own real estate plans!

REMAX_Number_One_3D_Chrome_RGB

The Cunningham Team at RE/MAX Realty One “Your Nature Coast Real Estate Experts”

Kevin, Karen and Brogan The Cunningham Team

352-527-7842

The Cunningham Team Kevin, Karen & Brogan Cunningham Citrus County Florida's Real Estate Experts

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 49

Contact Information

Cunningham Team
RE/MAX Realty One
2421 N. Lecanto Highway
Lecanto FL 34461
(352) 527-7842
(877) 792-4378
Fax: (352) 527-7842