Lovely home thoughts


I love the holidays but there is also something nice about getting out of the glitz and glamour of the Christmas season and setting our homes in order.

As for me, I’m moving some things around and shaking up the decor. The amazing thing is, no matter what I do…it still feels like “home.”

For that, I am grateful.

I challenge you to cozy up your heart as you prepare your hearth for 2016. It’s going to be a great year.

Obstacles to Homeownership: Perceived or Real?


Americans believe in homeownership and their desire to partake in this piece of the American Dream. Unfortunately, some of the buyers believe there are obstacles preventing them from attaining that goal. However, studies have shown that many of the obstacles are perceived, not real.

A recent study by Fannie MaeWhat Do Consumers Know About The Mortgage Qualification Criteria?, revealed that many consumers are either unsure or misinformed regarding the minimum requirements necessary to obtain a mortgage. Let’s break down three such challenges.

Down Payment


Many renters have mentioned that the lack of an adequate down payment is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Maereport:

  • 40% of all renters don’t know what down payment is required
  • 15% think you need at least 20% down
  • An additional 4% think you need at least 10% down

The Reality

There are programs offered by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA that require as little as 3-3.5% down. VA and USDA loans offer 0% down programs. According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical down payment for a first time buyer is 6%.

Credit Score


Many renters have mentioned that the lack of an adequate credit score is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Maereport:

  • 54% of all renters don’t know what credit score is required
  • 5% think you need at least a 740 credit score

The Reality

Many mortgages are granted to purchasers with a credit score of less than 700. According to Ellie Mae, the average credit score on a closed FHA purchase is 687 and the average credit score on all loans is 722.

Back End Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI)


Many renters have mentioned that they carry too much debt which is preventing them from moving forward with the purchase of a home. According to the Fannie Mae report:

  • 59% of all renters don’t know what DTI is acceptable
  • 25% think you need at under 25%
  • 7% think you need under 39%

The Reality

Lenders like to see a back-end ratio that does not exceed 36%. Fannie Mae’s maximum total DTI ratio is 36% of the borrower’s stable monthly income. The maximum can be exceeded up to 45% based on credit score and other requirements.

Bottom Line

Don’t let a lack of knowledge or misinformation keep your family from buying a home this year. Call me and we will get a loan officer to evaluate your ability to buy now! No obligation, of course.

Clean House


I am often asked what helps a home sell. While beautiful interiors are important (such as shown in the above photo), nothing helps a home sell faster than cleanliness.

Sounds simple but it is true. A clean house = a sold house.

Buyers like to walk through a home and feel that it has been well-cared for and loved. When you pass the white glove test, the buyer will be impressed and will pay attention to your home.

There are other factors that affect sale, but…a spotless home is highly desired.

It is just that easy.

Homeownership Still Part of the American Dream


he National Association of Realtors (NAR) just released the first edition of their Housing Opportunities and Market Experience Survey (H.O.M.E.). NAR explained that the report covers:

“…core topics that will be tracked on a monthly basis such as views on housing as a good financial investment, whether homeownership is part of the American Dream…”

The current survey confirmed two long standing beliefs regarding homeownership:

1. Americans at every income level believe homeownership is part of the American Dream


2.)  Americans at every age believe that homeownership is a good financial decision


Bottom Line

Americans in all age groups and income levels believe in homeownership as a piece of their American Dream. If you are ready and willing to buy your dream home, CALL ME so I can help you determine if you are able to.

Living for the Now


There are so many little things that you can do to make someone’s day. And by doing that you can make that person feel a little less stressed, upset or simply get someone out of a bad mood. In turn it could mean that they would also spread a little bit of positivity to others. So, let’s get spreading that optimistic feeling!

  1. Do a good deed – Doing a good deed that would make someone’s day can trigger domino affect. Get your good deed check list when you subscribe!
  2. Share positive messages online – Whether it’s a video of cats, inspirational quotes or clips of people doing deeds for others, share it. It could make your followers think differently about the world.
  3. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while – Surprise that friend or family you haven’t chatted to for a long time. And make sure you phone them, not just text (lazy bones!)
  4. Smile at people – One thing I know people love is being given a smile. It’s something we don’t do nowadays but I think we should try a little more!
  5. Share the love – Give positive comments on social media. Too often nowadays hate has over thrown comments of positivity.
  6. Hug – Hugs make people feel loved, safe and wanted. I’m definitely a hugger!
  7. Be optimistic yourself – It’s easy to tell others to be optimistic but having a positive attitude yourself helps too.
  8. Play positive music – Uplifting songs naturally helps increase mood as well as productivity so why not put on some happy tunes when you’re next in the office!
  9. Make someone a cuppa – Tea is balm of the soul. A warm, caffeinated drink made out of the blue gives a feeling of comfort and sharing.
  10. Be there – Being there for someone in need of companionship is worth more than all the money in the world. Just listening to someone who feels alone or who needs to vent will increase their faith in others.

Just sharing a bit of positivity can help spread optimism. Start today!

Re-posted from Living For The Now Blog by Laura Saxby

Top Reason to List Your House For Sale Now!


If you are debating listing your house for sale this year, here is the #1 reason not to wait!

Buyer Demand Continues to Outpace the Supply of Homes For Sale

The National Association of REALTORS’ (NAR) Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun recently commented on the inventory shortage: “While feedback from REALTORS® continues to suggest healthy levels of buyer interest, available listings that are move-in ready and in affordable price ranges remain hard to come by for many would-be buyers.” The latest Existing Home Sales Report shows that there is currently a 5.1-month supply of homes for sale. This remains lower than the 6-month supply necessary for a normal market and well below November 2014 numbers. The chart below details the year-over-year inventory shortages experienced in 2015.


Bottom Line

CALL me so that I can show you the supply conditions in Central Florida and assist you in gaining access to the buyers who are ready, willing and able to buy now!