Why the name? We love dogs, especially whippets, and we stand for what they are: loyal, friendly, intelligent . . . . and we will run full speed ahead to find the right property for you! Let us "whip" one up!
Those of us who live in Florida have access to so many beautiful beaches both on the east coast with the Atlantic Ocean and the west coast with the Gulf of Mexico. Not only do the summer months bring an influx of beach goers, but so do the holiday seasons, spring breaks and week-end getaways.
On the east coast, some favorites are St. Augustine, Daytona Beach, Cocoa Beach, and Vero Beach before heading further south towards Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. On the west coast, many love the white sand beaches of Clearwater and St. Petersburg, Bradenton and Sarasota before reaching Ft. Myers and Naples. We also have incredible beaches all along the Florida Keys with so many unique restaurants and shops. No matter what the location, every beach in our sunshine state offers an enjoyable escape into paradise and many consider them to be their “happy place.”
With the extreme summer heat upon us, the beaches are getting more crowded with lots of fun activities and adventures to explore. Hotels and vacation homes are once again getting booked solid and local venders are reaping the rewards as well. It has been a very long year, but this summer is one to truly enjoy!
There will not be any Blog next week, as I am also heading to a beach: St. Augustine Beach with family to enjoy a week of sunshine, sand and serenity! But if you are in need of any real estate advice, our agents are always ready to help!!
Simply put, earnest money is a deposit that is put down to show the seriousness of purchasing a home. It is typically from $1,000 to $5,000 depending on the price of the home and the wishes of the sellers. In exchange for the earnest money, the sellers will take their home off the market and it will be listed as “pending.”
Earnest money goes into an escrow account, usually with the chosen title company, until the day of closing. At closing, this money is subtracted from the total owed and can be contributed towards closing costs.
Lenders do not consider earnest money as part of a down payment. The required percentage of down payment from a mortgage company is due at closing, while earnest money is due up front. But the earnest money can be used for expenses required to complete the closing.
When entering into a purchase agreement, there may be some contingencies. There are situations that are agreed upon where you can walk away from a contract and still get the earnest money refunded back: if there is an appraisal contingency and the appraised value is lower than the sales price; if the lender denies the loan for any reason; if the inspection period shows unsatisfactory or expensive repairs needed. However, if any other terms of the purchase agreement are broken, then the sellers can keep the earnest money.
A qualified real estate agent can help explain in detail a purchase contract so that all is understood before signing and being committed to something unaffordable. Our agents at Whippet Properties of Florida are experienced in all aspects of listing and purchasing property and are willing to assist in any way!
With the real estate market still so hot, many experts think this is a great time for sellers who have unusual or unique properties to take advantage and “cash out.”
For instance, sellers who paid too much during the last boom in real estate or did a renovation that made their homes “over-improved” for the market may find this is the ideal time to sell. Some purchased in a less desirable neighborhood or where properties appreciate in value more slowly. Some do not have the funds to modernize their home or bring up to date; those who have a second home to move into until they find exactly what they are looking for when prices stabilize would be wise to sell now and get top dollar.
Sellers in preferred locations, with modernized homes can sell whenever they choose because theirs are the properties buyers most favor. Homeowners with properties that need TLC or those located in less desirable areas may find their requested selling price is more of a challenge in average markets.
This is not the time to take advantage of buyers. But with the very low inventory, it forces some buyers to concentrate less on imperfections or less features in the home and instead focus on what is already there and in good condition. Home inspections will be done to ensure that all is in working order but buyers may be more willing to overlook renovations that are needed to update the home in the future.
When there is a shortage of listings as in the current real estate market, buyers with limited time or specific location requirements may be prepared to compromise by choosing from what is available. But be careful not to OVER price any property! Even though multiple offers will come in, an appraisal will determine the true value and a typical price in a less manic market.
For the best advice and guidance, contact us at Whippet Properties of Florida. We have over 60 years of combined experience in the residential real estate market!
When investing in real estate there are pros and cons of single-family and multi-family rental properties. It helps to research both, to determine which would be best for a starter investment.
Pros of Single-family homes as residential rental properties:
Cons of Single-family homes as residential rental properties:
Pros of Multi-Family Homes as residential rental properties:
Cons of Multi-family Homes as residential rental properties:
A lot of information and professional guidance is needed to successfully invest in any kind of real estate. Always seek the help of an experienced real estate agent, tax advisor and lender before moving forward in any kind of rental property purchase.
My Daughter and Son
Selling to a family member is not uncommon, but it can become tricky and should be done with professional guidance. It is perfectly legal to sell to family as long as it is not being done to avoid taxes. If the home is being sold at a very discounted rate, you might have to pay an estate and gift tax, but it is very much like any other real estate transaction.
If selling to an adult child, one option is to do an owner-financed sale. Payments would be made directly to the owner instead of a bank. But it must be legally arranged in case of default.
When transferring a property title, a quitclaim deed transfers your interest in the property to your relative, but they are not protected from legal claims. A general warranty deed transfer gives all the property rights to your family member and protects from future actions against said property. A special warranty deed transfer protects the family member from any issues that might have come up when seller owned the home. There are different tax implications for each type of transfer so an attorney should be consulted before doing anything.
As for gifting a house, you can gift up to a certain amount each year to as many people as you choose without being hit with a gift tax, but you cannot go over your federal gift and estate tax exemption in your lifetime. Some people will gift a certain amount of their home each year to their family member so that it’s tax-free. However, if you gift a home to a family member, unless they live there and it’s their primary residence for two years, when they sell, the original price paid is the tax basis for the person you gave the home to.
It is always highly recommended to seek professional advice and guidance when any kind of real estate tax is involved. And we at Whippet Properties of Florida can get you to the right person!
With the real estate market experiencing surging prices, low inventory and a backlog of new home construction, many buyers are wondering if what’s gone up must come back down . . . . are we headed for another housing market crash?
The housing market crash 15 years ago took many by surprise and caused a worldwide recession. It was primarily fueled by low interest rates, loose mortgage-lending practices and a boom in home buying. When the bubble did burst, millions of families lost their homes to foreclosure or short sales for almost a decade. Housing values dropped 30% or more and even today some real estate markets have not fully recovered.
So, are we headed in the same direction now? Many real estate experts say, “not likely.” After the former crash, Congress and federal regulators made significant adjustments to change how mortgage lending is regulated. Since then, standards have been raised and the process is now more strict; many loans of the past are now considered “illegal” and lenders who do not comply may face heavy penalties.
In the 2007 housing market crash, the influx of foreclosures added a housing supply into areas with falling prices and weak labor markets. However, now the effects of mass unemployment bear little resemblance to the Great Recession, thanks to the forbearance programs that have allowed homeowners to postpone their monthly mortgage payments without suffering penalties.
Equity can be an incentive to stay in a home longer (the difference between current market value and the amount owed on a mortgage). This will cushion a homeowner from default when values fall. Many have built up large home equity reserves with the recent housing stability and growth. When prices rise, equity also increases.
Inventory is now low due to continued low interest rates, an abundance of millennial buyers and relocation of buyers from other states. While no one can say for sure what will happen with the real estate sector, most experts are confident that we will experience a market dip, but certainly not a crash. The market always has a way of correcting itself, and in time there will be more stability in inventory.
When you are looking for a new home to buy, you will often see on listing sites that they are marked as either pending or contingent. So what is the difference and how do you know when a house is worth trying to pursue?
Contingent means that a seller has accepted an offer. These listings are still active so they can still be viewed online but they could be out of contract if all the provisions are not met. A closing does not happen until certain things are completed in a particular period of time.
Here are some contingencies:
A home inspection contingency: When an offer has been accepted, the buyer puts earnest money as a deposit on the home. If the home inspection creates an issue that the buyers and sellers cannot agree on, then the contract is null and void.
Mortgage contingency: if the buyers cannot get approved for a loan to purchase the property, then the home must go back on the market.
Appraisal contingency: a home must appraise for enough value to have a lender approve the mortgage financing.
Home sale contingency: When a buyer already owns a home and needs to sell to use the proceeds to purchase another one.
It is fairly common deals to fall apart because of contingencies.
When a home is pending, it means there is an agreement by contract and all contingencies have been dealt with. The deal could still fall through at some stage either with financing or an inspection, but it is less likely than when in the contingency phase. Some agents will accept “back-up” contracts just in case something like this happens, but once a contract is signed, the listing must be noted as pending.
Contact us at Whippet Properties of Florida for any of your listing or buying needs!
We invite you to visit the 60th Annual Oldsmar Days & Nights Festival to be held on April 23rd, 24th an 25th at the beautiful R. E. Olds Park, just northwest of Tampa.
There will be Arts & Crafts Vendors, Business Vendors offering a variety of services (financial planning, massage therapy, tattoo art, real estate or manufactured items). Also planned is a parade on Saturday, continuous live concerts on the stage, food vendors and a classic car show!
This will be our FIRST year participating in this exciting event and we hope you will stop by and see our booth. We will have registration for a door prize (worth $100) and several unique giveaway items for FREE!
You can register with us also to win one of several real estate perks if you choose to do business with us: commission discount, free home warranty, cash back at closing, free CMA . . . .
Make sure you visit Whippet Properties of Florida and enjoy a beautiful outdoor event! We look forward to seeing you!
Last year, the greeting card industry, which had been struggling because of the digital revolution, saw a sizable turnaround, especially over the holidays. Many who were skipping in-person holiday gatherings due to the pandemic decided to send greetings by paper cards instead.
Sadly, the results of covid-19 has brought death and illness to many known families, friends and acquaintances and I have sent out more get-well and sympathy cards recently than ever before. Just to add a short note or one line has meant so much to those who have received the cards. A text, an email or even a phone call may be better than nothing, but nothing counts or touches the heart quite like a hand-written note.
Sometimes we don’t write the notes because we don’t know what to say. But just a simple expression of support is enough. And the cards will be kept to re-read many times over the months and years to come. Just like personal customer service that we all love, so does a personal written note mean so much more than something sent through modern technology.
In these emotional times, the simple act of writing is associated with someone caring enough to put pen to paper to send their love. The joy it brings is unsurpassed! So, stock up on those birthday, get-well, sympathy, thank you, anniversary, and any other card that pertains to the event or situation at hand. You will make someone feel so very special and bring a big smile of happiness! We all need that these days.
When applying for a home loan, you have the option of getting a 15 or a 30-year mortgage. There are pros and cons to both options, so here are some of the comparisons:
With a 15-year mortgage, the interest rate is less and you are borrowing the money for half as long so you are definitely saving money.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) charges lower mortgage insurance premiums.
This option is a form of forced savings and the home is likely to go up in value or appreciate.
You will have a higher monthly payment
You may have to settle for a less expensive home due to the higher payments
You may have less liquidity or cash reserves to put towards savings
With a 30-year mortgage your payments are lower.
You have some flexibility to pay more without any penalties.
You may qualify for a more expensive home.
Tax laws allow a deduction of mortgage interest
Lenders do charge a higher interest rate.
You will pay much more in interest over the life of the loan.
You will build equity in the home at a much slower pace.
You may borrow more than you can really afford.
There is no right answer as to which is the better option. It depends on your financial situation, goals and priorities, both now and in the future. We, at Whippet Properties of Florida, can guide you to the right lender to determine which is best for you!