You’ve undoubtedly been hearing and reading about the “subprime lending crisis” hitting the Treasure Coast of Florida as well as the rest of the nation. The bottom line for buyers is that it may be more difficult to secure a mortgage in this atmosphere. It then follows that demand for rentals may increase.

That rising demand has encouraged many people in the Stuart area to consider the benefits of becoming a landlord, or residential property manager. Some have donned that hat because they’ve been unable to sell and needed a tenant, while some savvy investors are actively buying properties at lower prices and looking to profit from rental income.

In either case, consider a few tips before entering this type of venture. First, don’t necessarily expect to regain your entire investment. Be careful not to overpay for a property, and also take care not to underestimate the cost of repairs and maintenance, which will likely have a large impact on your bottom line.

Two important people to hire: a property manager and an accountant. A manager will have knowledge of local ordinances and proper pricing, as well as how to locate responsible clients. An accountant, on the other hand, will have knowledge of tax breaks, write-offs, and deductions that will help you meet your financial goals.

Step one may be contacting an agent or broker with experience handling or even managing rental properties. Help ensure success with careful planning and support.

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
We’ll be happy to share our knowledge with you at no cost or information, and if we aren’t sure of our answer we’ll direct you to the best Martin or Saint Lucie County resource.

Open House in Sewalls Point on Sunday

Open House in Sewalls Point on Sunday

Sewalls Point, Sewall’s Point – We invite everyone to visit our open house at 3 Quail Run Ln. on October 21 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

Property information


Remember playing “Monopoly”? “Do not collect $200!” became a household phrase. Sometimes, towards the end of the game, you might have sold a property to another player for half-price just to raise some cash.

In real life, you would never accept half-price for your home – or would you? What if you owed $88,000 on a home you wanted to sell for $100,000? Now what if a prospective buyer offers to buy it at a discount of 6% off the asking price? Although you would like to receive full asking price, you accept. You’ve just sold your house for half price!

How’s that? Your equity – the difference between the sale price and what you owe – is what you receive at closing. It can easily slip through your fingers at the hands of a buyer who is good at negotiation.

Allowing that 6% discount ($6,000), you are selling for a price of $94,000 while you still owe $88,000. That means you will receive $6,000 cash in hand at closing rather than the $12,000 you had anticipated – half price!

Perhaps the most valuable role we play as your Stuart Florida real estate agents is that of negotiator. When we list your home, you empower the team of the Gabe Sanders real estate team to represent you in any negotiations that take place. Expect the best from us and reap the financial rewards.

Call us for information or contact us at

Is it really a good time to buy a home in Stuart, Florida now?

As in most real estate related decisions, the answer is ‘it depends’. Most Realtors, like myself, are currently saying yes. One big factor in that answer is that the market has slowed and many Realtors are looking for business. So, let’s just ignore any possible personal motivations and look at the current conditions. The following current conditions are for the local market in Martin County, FL (including Stuart, Jensen Beach, Palm City, Hobe Sound and Hutchinson Island). Some of the following may apply to your area, but real estate is very local and conditions can be very different (sometimes even within certain towns and neighborhoods). For instance, Port St. Lucie, right next door to Stuart has completely different market dynamics and it would be a mistake to treat Saint Lucie and Martin Counties the same.

So, is it a good time to buy or not? It is not a good time if home prices are going down. And currently in most segments of the market in Stuart, prices are still declining. How long will it last? No one knows for sure, but our best guess is currently another 12 to 18 months. But prices aren’t the only factor in owning a home.

Mortgage rates and availability is a big factor of home ownership. We feel that rates will be going up in the future and this might make it less affordable to buy later than buying today. If you’re able to pay cash for a home with no financing, you may very well be better off by waiting a while.

Availability of homes. Our inventory in Martin County remains quite high by historical standards, but has been more or less steady for the past 11 months. This is a strong leading indicator that as prices continue to soften, inventory will gradually decline. Our current inventory of single family homes is around 2800. If you’re in the market for a specific neighborhood or area and have specific requirements, there is no guarantee that the home that fits you best will be available in six months or a year. Martin County is a limited growth area with not very much new construction coming on line, and where the new construction is, may not be where you want to be. So with a good choice of inventory at present, if a home is available that meets your needs, that same or similar home, neighborhood, etc, may very well not be available in the future. (I have clients now, that can’t find a home in the neighborhood of their choice for any price.)

So, is it a good time to buy? ‘It depends on your criteria and financial status’. If you’re thinking of making a move to or within Stuart – Martin County, Florida, give me or my partner, , a call or contact us from our web sites at or and we’ll let you know what and when can be the right time for you.

FHA steps up to fill mortgage void

First-time buyers and those who have lower to middle income have an old way, now turned new, to find a mortgage on the Treasure Coast of Florida.

It’s a good time to investigate the federally-backed Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. Mortgage applications increased from 41,530 in December 2006 to 73,444 in June of this year.

When the FHA was established in 1934, it provided a way for lower- and middle-income buyers to get a home of their own. At the time, many banks required a down payment of one-third of a home”s purchase price.

Today, FHA requires a 3 percent loan down payment.

As many mortgage companies came up with innovative financing plans in recent years, the number of buyers turning to FHA fell significantly. Meg Burns, FHA’s director of the Office of Single Family Program Development says, “Given how many borrowers really could benefit from FHA financing but how few of them do, I would say we are still in the doldrums.” But the situation is changing.

Though there are still nothing-down loans available, most require the buyer to have a high credit rating and above- average income to get one.

The FHA system needs some updating but still works for many people. Current limits are for a maximum loan of $362,790. But with recent legislation this may soon increase. But, even with the current limits there are some tremendous values available in Stuart, Jensen Beach, Palm City and in Port St. Lucie where an FHA loan may just make the difference.

Because some lenders don’t like the FHA paperwork, often a mortgage broker handles the loan. It can take from 90 to 120 days to get approval. Buyers should know what the entire cost of the mortgage will be including the broker’s fee.

Please contact me here or call 772-323-6996 if you need a list of current FHA lenders/brokers.