Heads or Tails?

They say that no coin is so thin that it doesn’t have two sides, and home prices are not so different. Many who invested like mad in real estate the last few years felt the giddiness of buying low and selling high. Investors are feeling the pinch now, but what about the regular folks who buy and sell their homes not for profit, but simply because they want security for themselves and their families?

Sellers want rising home values, but buyers need affordable housing. Unfortunately, these two concepts are often mutually exclusive. Sellers may not feel as positively about the markets right now, but as long as your house is your “home,” you shouldn’t be feeling as much pressure as someone who bought a property simply to “flip” it for profit.

If your income remains level, and home prices are falling, it actually makes you richer. How so? Because now you can buy more home for the money.

Ultimately, lower home prices will benefit buyers and the economy. Imagine what your children or grandchildren would be facing if home prices had continued their meteoric rise of a few years ago.

It’s easy to see that affordable housing is more important than wild appreciation (which must correct itself eventually). Widespread homeownership results in economic growth, so try to understand and not to fear lower home prices.

Want more information? Call or visit us for a detailed pricing analyses of available homes in our area, at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at http://www.gabesanders.com/ or http://www.treasurecoastflhomes.com/ . Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, (Sewall’s Point) Florida; please ask for Gabe Sanders or .

Real Estate Agent Relationships!

Sports agent. Talent agent. Insurance agent. Real estate agent. What significance does the label “agent” hold, and why is it important when buying or selling a home?

Webster’s dictionary defines an agent as “a person, firm, etc. empowered to act for another.” For an “agency” relationship to exist, there must be a “principal” and an “agent.” The principal is the person who empowers another to act as his representative, while the agent is the person empowered to act.

In real estate, an agency relationship is created when a seller signs a “listing agreement.” The seller gives the broker authority to act on his behalf to locate a purchaser. The agent must be loyal to his principal, exercise competence, and when negotiating a sale, the agent must protect the principal’s financial interests. The agent must also treat all third parties honestly and fairly.

It is also possible for an agency relationship to exist between a buyer and a broker. When this occurs, the broker’s fiduciary loyalty is to the buyer, and all sellers must be treated honestly and fairly. In that case, the agent attempts to secure the lowest price and most favorable terms for the buyer, his principal.

Whether buying or selling, it is critical to understand which parties make up the agency relationships. If in doubt, ask the real estate agent for a clarification.

Understanding real estate is our business, and we’ll happily share our knowledge with you. Why not give us a call at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at http://www.gabesanders.com/ and http://www.treasurecoastflhomes.com/. Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, Florida (Sewall’s Point); please ask for Gabe Sanders or .

Reverse Mortgages

If you are in good health and planning to stay in your home for a number of years, a reverse mortgage can be an excellent way to add some cash to your retirement. Recently, Congress approved the 2008 Hope for Homeowners bill, making some changes in loan limits that might make reverse mortgages more attractive to seniors.

A reverse mortgage is a loan against your home that doesn’t have to be paid back if you live in the house. You have to be age 62 or older to take advantage of the loan, which gives you cash for the equity in your home. In 2007, more than 100,000 such loans were made to seniors who wanted to add a little gold to their golden years.

The new housing law, passed in July with a starting date of October, allowed for a new, higher national loan limit of $417,000 on mortgages, but in some high cost areas that limit could be as high as $625,000. This higher limit might make a reverse mortgage more attractive to seniors with more expensive properties.

But the reverse mortgage is not just instant cash, it is also instant case — with strings. Homeowners pay a variety of fees before getting the mortgage (which can pay them in installments, lump sums or credit lines) and these fees can be pricey. The new housing bill reduces the maximum fee to 2 percent on the initial $200,000 of the home’s value and 1 percent on the balance thereafter with a cap of $6,000. This fee may not always be this high so you should shop around before deciding on a lender. Other fees include closing costs, service fees, mortgage insurance premiums, and interest rates.

To qualify for a reverse mortgage you must discuss the loan with a nonprofit or public agency approved counselor. You can find a local housing counseling agency by calling 800-569-4287.

Remember, about 63 percent of reverse mortgage shoppers decide against the loan. There are some good reasons for that. For one thing,you must be healthy enough to stay in the home. If you leave it for 12 months to go to a nursing home, for example, the loan becomes due. You must also be able to keep the property up. If you can’t do so physically or financially, the loan will also become due. In addition, the high fees often discourage loan applicants.

We know and understand all the new and innovative finance methods available on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Why not give us a call at (772) 323-6996 or visit us on the web at http://www.gabesanders.com/ or http://www.treasurecoastflhomes.com/ . Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, (Sewall’s Point) Florida; please ask for Gabe Sanders or .

Announcing a Price Reduction on Hutchinson Island Ocean Front Condo in Stuart Florida

Hutchinson Island, Stuart – Announcing a price reduction on 105-379 NE Tradewind Ln., a 680 sq. ft., 1 bath, 1 bdrm single story. Now MLS® $309,000 – Ocean Front.

Enjoy breathtaking views and cool ocean breezes from the balcony of this lovely 1/1 tropical resort condo. This is a fantastic island get-away! Play on the beach and swim in your pool or join the Ocean Club at Marriot Resort and enjoy the added amenities of golf, tennis and fitness. This unit can also work for you while you are away. Short and long term rentals are welcomed and this unit rents for $1500 per week.

Property information

Home Selling Opportunities

If you’re a homeowner, what do falling prices mean to you? You might assume that it’s a bad time to sell. But guess what? It could mean it’s the perfect time to buy the home of your dreams!

Do the math, and you see that market downturns can actually work in your favor. Homes are listing at prices that are truly affordable. If you’ve already built equity in your current home, you could parlay that into the purchase of a terrific property.

When prices do rise again, and you know they will, you will have made an excellent investment for the future. If the home you really want was previously offered at $500,000 but the price has fallen – let’s say 20% to $400,000 – that’s a sweet deal, even if your own home has lost some value.

In any home purchase, there are usually some concessions: location, style of architecture, or any number of features. If you made some concessions when you bought your current property, and you can replace the negatives with the positive features you’ve found in another home, now is the time to make your move!

Once the market turns around – and again, you know it will – you’ll find your appreciation will be greater in the new, larger home. It’s an upgrade at an opportune time that makes good investment sense.

Here’s a useful tool to give you knowledge of your local market, it’s called an MLS Market Snapshot and is customized for your neighborhood. Set up is quick and easy and located at this link: Market Snapshot .

If you need information to help you solve a real estate puzzle, call us at (772) 323-6996, or visit us on the web at http://www.gabesanders.com/ or http://www.treasurecoastflhomes.com/. We’ll be happy to share our knowledge with you at no cost or obligation, and if we aren’t sure of our answer we’ll direct you to the best Martin or Saint Lucie County resource. Our office is located at 1121 SE Ocean Blvd. in Stuart, Florida (Sewall’s Point); please ask for Gabe Sanders or .