Your resource to become an informed home buyer and/or seller.
Whether buying or selling a home I am ready to walk through this exciting process with you. Please utilize these resources to help you prepare for this important journey. I will be happy to discuss the process and your individual needs so please call me (352) 476-3303 with any questions you may have.
Citrus County Real Estate Market Report - December 2023
Welcome to the Citrus County Real Estate Market Report for December 2023.
As we approach the end of the year, it's crucial to stay updated on the current state of the market. In this report, we will discuss recent trends, inventory levels, buying activity, and interest rates. Whether you're a potential buyer or seller, we have valuable insights to help you navigate the real estate market in Citrus County, Florida.
Current Market Overview
As of November 2023, inventory levels in Citrus County have seen a rise, providing buyers with more options. However, buying activity has shown a slight decline. With more homes on the market and slower sales, it's natural to observe a slight adjustment in the days on market across various price categories. These trends are in line with the current market conditions.
Favorable Interest Rates
A positive note for buyers is the downward trend of interest rates. As of today, the average 30-year mortgage rate stands slightly above 7%, a significant decrease from the previously recorded peak of over 8%. This decrease presents an excellent opportunity for those considering purchasing a home.
The Holiday Advantage
The holiday season brings a unique advantage to both buyers and sellers. For buyers, the homes on the market during this time usually belong to motivated sellers. These homeowners often have a heightened desire to sell their properties quickly, making negotiations more favorable for potential buyers.
Similarly, sellers who receive offers during the holiday season can expect more serious buyers. Many casual buyers may have their attention diverted by holiday plans, leaving behind only those genuinely interested in making a real estate transaction. So, if you're thinking of selling, it's an opportune time to attract quality buyers.
Luxury Property Selection
Citrus County offers a range of luxury properties for discerning buyers. Currently, there are 20 homes listed above $1 million. Among these, you'll find seven farm properties with acreages ranging from six to 82 acres. If waterfront living is your dream, there are 12 stunning waterfront homes available.
For those seeking a combination of luxury and amenities, there is one outstanding home in Terra Vista. While there are numerous options available at varying price points in Terra Vista, this particular property stands out with its newer build, spacious interior, and desirable features. Reach out to us for a comprehensive list of luxury properties or to schedule a viewing of any of these unique homes.
To explore the possibilities that the Citrus County real estate market has to offer, reach out to Ruth Squires at RES Lodger Group. For a list of luxury properties or any other inquiries, please text your request to 352-476-3303. You can also contact us directly at 352-794-1426 for personalized assistance with buying or selling your property.
In conclusion, the Citrus County real estate market is currently witnessing increased inventory levels and decreased buying activity. However, lower interest rates provide an excellent opportunity for potential buyers. Additionally, the holiday season creates an advantage for both buyers and sellers, as motivated sellers and serious buyers converge during this time. If you're interested in luxury properties, Citrus County offers an array of options, including farm properties, waterfront homes, and exceptional homes in communities like Terra Vista. Contact Ruth Squires at RES Lodger Group to make the most of the current market conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time to buy a home in Citrus County?
The current market conditions, including rising inventory and lower interest rates, make it an opportune time to buy a home in Citrus County. Reach out to RES Lodger Group for personalized assistance.
Are there any specific advantages of buying during the holiday season?
Buying during the holiday season can benefit buyers as motivated sellers are more inclined to negotiate and close deals quickly. Serious buyers also tend to be more active during this time.
How many luxury properties are available in Citrus County?
Citrus County currently has 20 homes listed above $1 million, including farm properties, waterfront homes, and exceptional properties in communities like Terra Vista.
How can I schedule a viewing of a luxury property in Citrus County?
To schedule a viewing, simply contact Ruth Squires at RES Lodger Group and express your interest. We will ensure you have access to view your desired luxury properties.
What are the advantages of working with RES Lodger Group?
RES Lodger Group provides personalized assistance for buying or selling properties in Citrus County. We are here to help you navigate the real estate market and make informed decisions to meet your unique needs.
The holiday season is often seen as a time of relaxation, celebration, and spending precious moments with loved ones. It's no surprise that the real estate market tends to slow down during this time of the year, with many sellers opting to take their homes off the market until the new year. However, there are compelling reasons why buyers should consider taking advantage of this seemingly quiet period and make a move during the holidays. In this article, we will explore three reasons why buying a home during the holidays can be a wise decision.
1. Motivated Sellers and Buyers
One of the key reasons to buy a home during the holidays is the presence of motivated sellers and buyers. For sellers who have their homes on the market during this time, their motivation is often driven by a pressing need for a quick sale or a deadline-driven situation. This means that they are likely to be more willing to negotiate on price and terms. As a buyer, you can use this motivation to your advantage, potentially securing a better deal than you would during the bustling spring or summer months.
On the flip side, buyers who are actively looking for a home during the holidays are also likely to be highly motivated. With a limited number of homes on the market, these buyers know that they must act fast and make decisions efficiently. This sense of urgency can lead to a smoother and faster buying process, with less competition from other buyers.
2. Less Competition
Another significant advantage of buying a home during the holidays is the reduced competition. While many buyers choose to put their home search on hold during this time, those who remain in the market have a unique opportunity to explore available listings with fewer competitors. This means less pressure and a better chance to secure the home of your dreams without facing bidding wars or multiple offers.
With fewer buyers in the market, you'll also have more time and attention from real estate agents. They can provide you with personalized assistance and guidance, making your home-buying journey more enjoyable and less stressful.
3. Festive Atmosphere and Unique Opportunities
The holiday season brings with it a special ambiance and festive spirit that can enhance the home-buying experience. Many homeowners go above and beyond when it comes to decorating their houses, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. Walking through beautifully adorned homes can ignite your imagination and help you envision yourself celebrating future holidays in your new home.
Additionally, the holidays often present unique opportunities for buyers. Some sellers might be more inclined to negotiate on price, offer concessions, or include additional goodies, such as furniture or appliances. This can make the home-buying process even more enticing, as you may be able to secure a home that exceeds your expectations within your budget.
In conclusion, buying a home during the holidays can provide several advantages for motivated buyers. The presence of motivated sellers, the reduced competition, and the festive atmosphere all contribute to a unique opportunity to find your dream home. If you have been contemplating making a move, don't let the holiday season deter you. Take advantage of the factors that work in your favor and make this holiday season a memorable one by becoming a proud homeowner.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it a good idea to search for a home during the holiday season?
Absolutely! The holiday season can offer unique advantages, including motivated sellers, reduced competition, and a festive atmosphere. Take advantage of these factors and start your home search during this time.
2. Will there be fewer options available during the holidays?
While it's true that there may be fewer options on the market during the holidays, the available listings are often from sellers who are highly motivated to sell. This can present an opportunity to negotiate and secure a favorable deal.
3. Can I still negotiate on price during the holiday season?
Yes, sellers who have their homes on the market during the holidays are often motivated to sell quickly. This motivation can work in your favor when it comes to negotiating on price and terms.
4. Will I have less competition as a buyer during the holidays?
Typically, there is less competition from other buyers during the holiday season. Many people choose to put their home search on hold, giving you a better chance to secure the home of your dreams without facing bidding wars or multiple offers.
5. Are there any unique opportunities for buyers during the holidays?
Yes, some sellers may be more inclined to offer concessions or additional goodies, such as furniture or appliances. Take advantage of these unique opportunities to secure a home that exceeds your expectations within your budget.
The holiday season is often a time when people's minds are preoccupied with festivities, family gatherings, and gift shopping. The idea of buying a home during this busy time might seem counterintuitive. However, there are actually several compelling reasons why purchasing a home during the holidays can be advantageous. In this article, we will explore three key reasons why buying a home during the holiday season can be a smart decision.
1. Motivated Sellers and Buyers
One of the primary reasons to consider buying a home during the holidays is that both sellers and buyers tend to be highly motivated. For sellers, having their house on the market during this period shows a clear determination to sell. These motivated sellers are more likely to negotiate and consider competitive offers. As a buyer, this means that you have an opportunity to find motivated sellers who are ready to close a deal before the end of the year.
Moreover, the buyers who are actively looking for a home during the holidays are usually serious about their search. They are not simply browsing or casually considering their options. These buyers have a sense of urgency and are determined to find a home that meets their needs. By joining their ranks, you increase your chances of finding a motivated seller who is willing to negotiate and accept a fair offer.
2. Less Competition
Another advantage of buying a home during the holidays is that there is often less competition in the market. Many potential buyers postpone their search until after the holiday season, assuming that there will be more options available or that prices will drop. This presents an opportunity for savvy buyers who are willing to take advantage of the reduced competition.
With fewer buyers in the market, you are less likely to find yourself in a bidding war or facing multiple offers on a property. The decreased demand can give you an edge when negotiating with sellers. Additionally, real estate agents and mortgage professionals tend to have lighter workloads during the holidays, meaning that they can dedicate more time and attention to your home buying process.
3. Festive Atmosphere and House Decorations
One of the joys of buying a home during the holidays is the festive atmosphere that accompanies it. Houses are often beautifully decorated with lights, wreaths, and ornaments, creating a warm and inviting ambiance. When touring potential homes during this time, you can envision how your own decorations would fit in and imagine yourself celebrating future holidays in your new home.
Furthermore, the holiday spirit tends to bring out the best in people, creating a sense of happiness and cheer in the air. This positive energy can make the home buying process more enjoyable and exciting. It adds a touch of magic and anticipation, making the entire experience feel special.
In conclusion, buying a home during the holidays can offer several advantages. Motivated sellers and buyers, coupled with reduced competition, create a favorable environment for negotiating and finding a property that meets your needs. The festive atmosphere and house decorations add an extra element of joy and excitement to the home buying process. If you are considering purchasing a home during the holidays, reach out to our dedicated team at Aries Luxury Group. We are here to assist you every step of the way. Contact us at 352-794-1426.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are prices lower during the holiday season?
While prices can vary depending on the local market conditions, there is no guarantee that home prices will be lower during the holiday season. However, motivated sellers and reduced competition may increase your chances of negotiating a favorable deal.
2. Will I have less access to real estate agents and mortgage professionals during the holidays?
While some professionals may have reduced availability during the holidays, reputable agents and mortgage professionals prioritize client needs and will still be accessible to guide you through the home buying process.
3. Should I wait until after the holidays to start my home search?
Waiting until after the holidays may give you access to a larger inventory of homes on the market. However, it also means facing more competition from other buyers. If you are ready to purchase and find a suitable property during the holiday season, it can be a favorable time to buy.
4. How should I approach negotiations during the holiday season?
Approach negotiations with a fair and competitive offer, taking into consideration the motivations of the seller. Work closely with your real estate agent to determine an appropriate offer price based on comparable sales and market conditions.
5. Can I still close on a home purchase before the end of the year?
Closing on a home purchase before the end of the year is possible, but it depends on various factors such as the availability of mortgage financing, inspections, and the seller's willingness to expedite the process. Work closely with your real estate agent and mortgage professional to ensure a timely closing if that is your goal.
Hello everyone, Ruth Squires here from RES Luxury Group with eXp Realty. Welcome back to another episode of our Monthly Market Stats. Today, we're diving into the real estate trends for Citrus County, Florida, for October 2023. Let's get right into it.
Inventory is On the Rise
First up, let's talk inventory. As of today, we have 1,031 active homes on the market in Citrus County. That's a 0.75% increase from last month. While this may seem like a small percentage, it's a significant indicator of where the market is heading.
A Dip in Buying Activity
On the flip side, buying activity has seen a slight decline, down by 0.5%. This is likely influenced by the rising interest rates we've been experiencing. So, if you're a buyer, this is something to keep an eye on.
The List-to-Sale Ratio
For those of you looking to sell, the list-to-sale ratio currently stands at 96.84%. This means that if you're listing your home, you can expect to negotiate down to around 96-97% of your asking price.
The Power of Loan Assumptions
We've also been discussing the benefits of loan assumptions. This is an opportunity to take over a lower interest rate loan from a seller. If you're not familiar with how this works, we have previous videos that delve into the details, so be sure to check those out.
Special Tip: Quick Closings
Now, for those waiting for interest rates to drop, here's a tip: be prepared to close quickly. Our team specializes in 12-day closings. Imagine being able to present an offer with inspections done in three days and closing in just 12. You'll be even more competitive than a cash buyer, who typically looks to close in 30 days.
Ready for the Holidays
What's more exciting? If you act now, you could be in your new home before Thanksgiving or even Christmas. Our team is ready to assist you every step of the way.
Get in Touch
For more information or to get your pre-approval in place, don't hesitate to give us a call at (352) 794-1426. At RES Luxury Group, we're committed to providing you with white-glove service and red-carpet treatment because your satisfaction is our guarantee.
Have a great day, and stay tuned for more market insights!
Buy Now or Later - Can You Still Get a 2% Mortgage?
Is Now the Time to Buy with Rising Interest Rates?
Are you considering purchasing a home but unsure about the impact of rising interest rates? It's a common concern, and in this article, we'll explore the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision. As of the recording of this message, interest rates stand at 7.81% and are predicted to continue climbing. While there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer, let's delve into the benefits of owning versus renting and the risks associated with waiting for lower rates.
The Benefits of Owning
If you're currently renting, one of the major drawbacks is the lack of control. Your landlord can raise rental rates, decide to sell the property, or face financial difficulties, leaving you in a precarious position. Owning a home grants you stability and control over your living situation. Instead of paying a landlord and building equity for someone else, you are building equity in your own property. While there may be financial considerations to weigh, the long-term advantages of home ownership are substantial.
The Risks of Waiting for Lower Rates
Many potential buyers opt to wait for interest rates to drop to a more favorable level. However, this strategy carries its own set of risks. Firstly, there's uncertainty about how much rates will lower and where they will stabilize. It's impossible to predict the exact figures, making it challenging to time your home purchase accordingly. Moreover, when rates decrease, housing prices often rise due to increased demand. This heightened competition can make it difficult to find and secure the house you desire. Instead of waiting for rates to soften, you could consider purchasing now and refinancing down the line, giving you the best of both worlds – the house you want with a lower interest rate.
Winning Strategies and Tools
Don't let high interest rates discourage you. There are strategies and tools available to help you navigate the current market. One such option is assuming a VA loan. All VA loans are assumable, meaning you can assume an existing loan with a much lower interest rate than the current market rate. While you will need to provide a down payment to bridge the gap between the loan amount and the purchase price, this can be a worthwhile investment. Additionally, if you're selling a property that has appreciated, you may have the necessary funds to make the down payment. It's essential to consider the implications for the seller in terms of VA eligibility. Exploring these possibilities in more detail can provide valuable insights into your specific situation.
While the decision to buy a home in a rising interest rate environment can be challenging, weighing the benefits of owning versus renting, the risks of waiting for lower rates, and implementing winning strategies can guide you towards the right path. Remember, it's about finding the balance between financial affordability and long-term goals. If you require further assistance or have specific questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to provide support and guidance throughout your home buying journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I buy a home if interest rates are rising?
While rising interest rates may seem concerning, there are various factors to consider. Assessing the benefits of homeownership, such as building equity and having control over your living situation, can outweigh the potential challenges of higher rates.
2. Will waiting for lower interest rates save me money?
Waiting for lower interest rates can be risky. It's uncertain how much rates will decrease and where they will stabilize. Additionally, when rates drop, housing prices often rise due to increased demand, making it more competitive and potentially more expensive to purchase a home.
3. Can I refinance my mortgage to get a better interest rate?
Yes, refinancing is an option to secure a lower interest rate. By purchasing a home now and refinancing in the future, you can take advantage of the current market while still having the opportunity to adjust your interest rate later on.
4. What is assuming a VA loan?
Assuming a VA loan means taking over an existing loan from a seller with a lower interest rate than the current market rate. This can be advantageous if you have the funds for a down payment and are willing to bridge the gap between the loan amount and the purchase price.
5. How can I determine if now is the right time to buy?
Deciding on the right time to buy is a personal decision that depends on your financial situation and long-term goals. It's crucial to assess factors such as affordability, stability, and the advantages of homeownership. Consulting with a real estate professional can provide valuable insights tailored to your specific circumstances. RES Luxury Group is here to help text "rate" to 352-794-1426.
If you're reading this blog, I imagine you have experienced some of the horrors of dealing with real estate agents. The vast array of financial professionals and their backgrounds, their expertise, their knowledge, everything can vary from such an extreme. And I think part of that is the entry aspects into our business. So you do have to spend time studying real estate, real estate law, transaction information, and codes of conduct, and ethics, and so on and so forth. And then you take a test, and you pass that test, and guess what, you're a licensed realtor. So I do feel that it's very important that you take the responsibility of hiring the right agent very seriously. And we see a lot of different things happen out there in the marketplace. One of the things that we hear often are horror stories about the realtor or the professionals involved in the transactions. Not always the real estate agent, sometimes it's the loan officer. There's different parties, the title company. But you do hear horror stories out there. And I was hearing of one recently that was triggered because the individual used Zillow to identify both her real estate agent and her loan officer, lender. And she had a bad experience with both. And it made me think, this is something that I should talk about to the general public and give some tips on how to hire the right agent. So we're going to talk about this based upon, largely upon, when you're looking to buy a home. I think that that's the most underserved segments of the population as far as identifying the right agent. I will give some tips that we'll parlay into if you're looking for a listing agent as well. But these are just things to think about and to consider.
How People Generally Find Their Agent
There are a few different factors when it comes to finding a real estate agent.
Internet: Many people land on Zillow and are assigned an agent by the platform.
Sign calls: Some people call the agent listed on a property sign.
Referrals: People ask for recommendations from friends, family or their social network.
Zillow may assign you a random agent, which can be risky. Buying a home is too important to leave it to chance. It's better to do your own research and select an agent yourself.
Calling the Listing Agent
While many believe calling the listing agent will give them an advantage, this is not always the case. Real estate agents often work in teams, and the buyer's agent on the listing agent's team handles negotiations. It's important to have representation and a loyal person working on your behalf.
Getting a referral from someone you know is a solid recommendation. However, if you're seeking recommendations online, it's best to ask specific questions related to the agent's expertise or experience to get more useful responses.
Hiring the right real estate agent is crucial when buying or selling a house. Avoid relying solely on Zillow or calling the listing agent. Seek referrals and ask specific questions to find the best agent for your needs.
If you'd like more tips on hiring the best real estate agent or want to discuss your real estate needs, feel free to contact our team at 352-794-1426.
Cost of Waiting to Buy or Sell a Home - Ruth Squires
Cost of Waiting to Buy or Sell a Home - Ruth Squires
Cost of Waiting to Buy or Sell a Home
There are a lot of economic factors that are affecting people's decisions to buy or sell a home currently, and I want to discuss what the potential costs of waiting are that you should be considering.
So one of the questions we often hear is, interest rates are so high, I want to wait until the rates start to come back down. And a question to ask yourself is, what's the magic interest rate that is going to be the prime time for you to purchase a home?
The thing that I want to mention is also that there are many ways to mitigate or manage the high rate environment. This is not anything new. Interest rates have always fluctuated. In the height of previous years, we had double-digit interest rates above 20%. So this is not unusual, and it's not as bad as I think people like to, and the media especially makes it out to be. So keep it in perspective.
And with every dynamic in the market, there is a counter dynamic, if you will. So with interest rates being higher and less buyers being willing to buy, homes are sitting on the market longer, which can create a lot more opportunity. And what I mean by that is you can seek out sellers that are more willing to negotiate with you to help you to have success in the higher rate environment.
Also, we often say on our team, you marry the home, date the rate. And what that means is you're buying a home for the lifestyle, the conveniences, the comfort and security that that home's going to bring to you and your family. So it's a long-term play. It's a long-term purchase in most cases. The interest rate that you're going to be paying if you are leveraging and financing is very much a short-term play. And so you date the rate and you marry the home. So don't allow something as short-term as an interest rate on a loan to derail your plans to make a move for yourself and for your family.
And we can talk more about that, but that's just something to kind of keep in mind as you're deciding what to do in the current environment. What's the cost of waiting?
The Cost of Waiting
So there's always a cost to every decision that you make. And I think it's financially prudent to think about the pros and cons of each of those decisions.
You might be going out to buy a car and you might want to sit and consider, do I actually need a new car? Do I need a brand new car? How much money am I spending on the car? What is the cumulative effect of spending those dollars now versus having those dollars invested for growth for future needs?
Thinking that way is helpful because oftentimes we make rash financial decisions not weighing all of the aspects that we have to think about for upcoming events in our lives and commitments that we have.
With the cost of waiting when you're purchasing a home, there are some very significant factors. And right now, one of the biggest things is we just emerged from an environment where there was a lot of buyer competition and not enough inventory of homes. And so what we saw was there were bidding wars on homes, there were multiple offers on just about every property that hit the market. They sold within a few minutes of coming active onto the market. Homes were selling before they came active on the market. It was a tough environment.
So as a buyer, you were just constantly seeing the home that was perfect, that you felt like was the home you wanted, already gone, already spoken for, you lost out. So the thing to consider here is if you're waiting for interest rates to come back to an attractive level and then you reenter the market, there's a really strong probability that all those other buyers that are waiting are going to reenter the market at that time. And guess what? We're going to have that competition again. And it's going to feel like the last three years all over again.
So if you are staying in the market now and willing to look at options to make the interest rate less problematic for you, seller buy-downs, possibly some owner finance options, better purchase price, things like that, and you're willing to marry the home and date the rate, then you may have the opportunity today to get a much better deal than you will when the world opens up again and everybody's coming out in droves trying to buy the same house.
The other thing that happens with supply and demand, when demand is high and supply is low, is prices get pushed up. So again, the best deals are likely out there today and not in the future when rates soften.
Potential Market Decline
Another question that we're often faced with is, is the market going to decline or of course people feeling that they know the market's going to decline? And my answer to that is, I believe we will see a correction and we are starting to see a correction in the market, but I do not foresee any sort of market crash or anything close to it.
Yes, we are headed into a recession, that is evident, and with many recessions that we have gone through in the past, real estate has actually done very well and continued to increase in appreciating value. So I do not believe that there is a significant market decline on the horizon. The economists that we follow and listen to are also mirroring that sentiment that we are not headed for a market crash.
So I want you to rest assured that is not the case. And again, when you think about the cost of waiting, the cost is higher to wait than what it is currently today with the opportunities that are available.
Take Advantage of Opportunities
In a recap, what are your opportunities? Well your opportunities are strong negotiating options because sellers are motivated and homes are not selling quickly. Your opportunities are being able to secure the home that you want without the competition that we have been having in previous years. Your opportunities are getting the best price for the house, possibly finding a seller that is either willing to do a rate buy-down for interest rate reduction or owner finance and you name your rate. There are a lot of opportunities out there in the marketplace right now.
So if you are thinking about making a move for yourself and your family, it is really important to be talking to a team like ours that knows what options could best benefit you. So please don't be scared off by this market and if there's anything at all that we can do for you, I welcome you to give us a call at 352-794-1426.
Understanding Loan Information: What You Need to Know
by Ruth Squires - RES Luxury Group of EXP Realty
Are you planning to finance a home but unsure about the loan process? Many buyers are unaware of the money needed to buy a house or the different types of lenders available. In addition, terms like PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) can be confusing. In this article, I'll break down these important loan details to help you navigate your options.
How Much Money Do You Need to Buy a House?
When it comes to buying a house, the amount of money needed varies based on individual circumstances. Here are some key financial aspects to consider:
Earnest Money Deposit
When you make an offer to purchase a property, it's customary to provide an earnest money deposit. This deposit, usually around 2% of the purchase price, demonstrates your interest and commitment to the seller. However, the deposit amount can range from $500 to $50,000 depending on your situation.
Once your offer is accepted, it's important to conduct thorough home inspections to understand the property's condition. The cost of inspections can range between $500 and $1,500, depending on the size of the home and the type of inspections required (e.g., pest inspection, septic inspection).
Another upfront cost is the appraisal, which determines the property's value. The appraisal typically costs between $500 and $1,000, depending on the property's size.
When you reach the closing stage, you'll encounter closing costs. These costs can vary depending on your financial situation and loan type. Seller concessions can sometimes help offset these costs. Down payments also play a role, ranging from 20% for conventional loans to as low as 0% for USDA and VA loans.
Choosing the Right Lender
When selecting a lender, it's crucial to work with a knowledgeable professional who understands your loan options and the local market. National banks may lack the local expertise needed to guide you effectively. Reach out to your realtor for recommendations, as they often have trusted lender connections.
Understanding PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)
PMI, or Private Mortgage Insurance, is required for loans with less than 20% equity. This additional cost helps protect the lender in case of default. However, you can request the removal of PMI once your equity reaches 80-20 (20% equity). Proper communication with your lender is essential to eliminate PMI.
Remember, loans can be a valuable tool in achieving homeownership. Take advantage of resources and consider making extra mortgage payments to shorten your loan term. If you have any questions or need assistance, our experienced team at the RES Luxury Group is here to help. Contact us at 352-794-1426 for expert guidance throughout the loan process.
4 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Build Home
4 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Build Home
4 Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New Build Home
By Ruth Squires
Welcome to RES Luxury Group! We want to ensure that you make informed decisions when purchasing a new construction home. Our team is here to guide you through the process and provide you with white glove service and red carpet treatment.
When it comes to buying a new build, there are four costly mistakes that you should avoid:
1. Understanding the Builder's Contract
Many builders have their own contracts for purchasing new build homes. These contracts differ from standard real estate contracts, so it's crucial to thoroughly read and understand them. If you're unsure about any terms or have questions, consult a trusted attorney who specializes in real estate. Our team can connect you with real estate attorneys who can assist you.
2. Knowing the Difference Between a Spec Home and a Custom Home
A spec home is built for resale to the general public, while a custom home is tailored to your specific preferences. Spec homes are designed to be economically priced, with limited options and pre-determined models. Custom homes offer more flexibility but come at a higher cost.
3. Considering a Professional Home Inspection
While you can't negotiate the price based on inspection findings for a new build, we highly recommend getting a professional home inspection upon completion. This allows you to create a punch list of items that need to be addressed by the builder and contractors before closing. With a thorough inspection report, you have more leverage to ensure that all necessary repairs or changes are made.
4. Understanding Termite Handling
In Florida, termites are a common issue. New construction homes are treated for termites, and the termite company provides a termite bond as insurance against future infestations. To save costs, it's important to transfer the termite bond into your name and renew it annually. This way, you can avoid the expense of a new policy if you were to purchase a home without an existing termite policy.
If you're interested in learning more about these mistakes and how to protect your interests when purchasing a new construction home, watch this video.
For expert assistance and guidance in buying your new construction home, please reach out to Ruth Squires and RES Luxury Group at 352-794-1426. Your satisfaction is always our guarantee.
Hey, R.E.S. Luxury Group friends and family. Ruth Squires here, and I'm excited to announce a new series of activities that we are going to be hosting. We are capping off 2023. It's August already. I can't believe there's so few months left of the year, and we want to make this year go out with a bang. We thought it would be fun to host monthly gatherings where we all get together, we just enjoy each other's company, and have a good time.
So the first of the series is going to be this month, August 23rd, from 2 to 4 p.m., and we will be going to downtown Inverness to the Depot. If you're not familiar, the Depot is the new park in downtown Inverness that was just renovated, I believe it was last year or the year before. Inverness did a beautiful job, absolutely incredible park. So we're going to gather there. We're specifically going to the train station, which is a really neat venue that has games, food, just a beautiful atmosphere. So we will be reserving a couple of the duckpin bowling lanes, and it'll just be a nice time to gather, to enjoy each other's company, have some laughs, and just have a good time, just kind of cut loose, which is something we love to do, kind of de-stress from all the other stuff that's going on.
We would love to see you there. Please click here and send us an email if you would like to be on the list for RSVP. And again, it's August 23rd from 2 to 4 p.m. Very low-key, just show up with a smile on your face, and we'll have a good time. Also stay tuned, we're going to be doing other gatherings like this. We are planning to host a movie night. We would like to do some karaoke, just some fun things, maybe the walking historic tours that we have around the county. Get you out there with us, seeing what's in the area, and just enjoying time together.
So can't wait to see you. Click here, let us know if you'll be coming, and otherwise, just give us a call if you have any questions. 352-794-1426. Stay tuned for more great activities.
Three Important Resources for Buying a Home | Ruth Squires
Three Important Resources for Buying a Home | Ruth Squires
Three Important Resources for Buying a Home
So you've found your trusted local realtor, but what other resources do you need when buying a home? Here are the top three:
1. Financial Person
Whether you're financing or paying cash, having a resourceful and expert lender or banker is crucial. They will help orchestrate the money and ensure the smooth financial aspect of the transaction. Connect with your financial advisor or your bank institution representative to be prepared.
2. Quality Title Company
A reliable title company plays a critical role in guiding the transaction. They handle timelines, title search, and ensure everything is in order with the property's history. They are also the fiduciary of the money, holding the escrow deposit until closing. While sellers typically choose the initial title agent, it's advisable to request your trusted title agent for a smoother process.
3. Good Quality Inspectors
As a buyer, it's necessary to have good quality inspectors for the property. While your realtor can provide recommendations, ultimately, you will choose an inspector based on your needs. Conduct thorough inspections to make informed decisions before finalizing the purchase.
Contact Ruth Squires
Hi, I'm Ruth Squires, your trusted local realtor. I'm here to help you through the home-buying process. Reach out to me with any questions or if there's anything I can assist you with.
Experts recommend avoiding large purchases 3 to 6 months leading up to your home purchase which could effect your credit score. Lenders are looking for reliability and a clear paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible. For instance, if you currently rent, make sure you're paying by check or money order so your payments can be tracked and verified. So plan ahead and avoid taking on new debt, new credit cards or any other big ticket items to ensure the loan process goes as smoothly as possible.
Buying Tip #9: Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
There’s a big difference between a buyer being pre-qualified and a buyer who has a pre-approved mortgage. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses you can't afford. It also gives you the opportunity to shop around for the best deal and the best interest rates. Do your research: Learn about junk fees, processing fees or points and make sure there aren’t any hidden costs in the loan.
Buying Tip #8: Set Boundaries
It’s absolutely essential to get a survey done on your property so you know exactly what you’re buying. Knowing precisely where your property lines are may save you from a potential dispute with your neighbors. Also, your property tax is likely based on how much property you have, so it is best to have an accurate map drawn up.
Buying Tip # 7: Time the Market Myth
Don’t obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the best time to buy. Trying to anticipate the housing market is impossible. The best time to buy is when you find your perfect house and you can afford it. Real estate is cyclical, it goes up and it goes down and it goes back up again. So, if you try to wait for the perfect time, you’re probably going to miss out.
Buying Tip # 6: Bigger Doesn't Mean Better
Everyone’s drawn to the biggest, most beautiful house on the block. But bigger is usually not better when it comes to houses. There’s an old adage in real estate that says don’t buy the biggest, best house on the block. The largest house only appeals to a very small audience and you never want to limit potential buyers when you go to re-sell. Your home is only going to go up in value as much as the other houses around you. If you pay $500,000 for a home and your neighbors pay $250,000 to $300,000, your appreciation is going to be limited. Sometimes it is best to is buy the worst house on the block, because the worst house per square foot always trades for more than the biggest house.
Buying Tip #5: Avoid Hidden Costs
The difference between renting and homeownership is the sleeper costs. Most people just focus on their mortgage payment, but they also need to be aware of the other expenses such as property taxes, utilities and homeowner-association dues. New homeowners also need to be prepared to pay for repairs, maintenance and potential property-tax increases. Make sure you budget for sleeper costs so you’ll be covered and won’t risk losing your house.
Buying Tip #4: Be Objective
Buying a house based on emotions is just going to break your heart. If you fall in love with something, you might end up making some pretty bad financial decisions. There’s a big difference between your emotions and your instincts. Going with your instincts means that you recognize that you’re getting a great house for a good value. Going with your emotions is being obsessed with the paint color or the backyard. It’s an investment, so stay calm and be wise.
Buying Tip #3: Give Your House a Physical
Would you buy a car without checking under the hood? Of course you wouldn’t. Hire a home inspector. It’ll cost about $200 but could end up saving you thousands. A home inspector’s sole responsibility is to provide you with information so that you can make a decision as to whether or not to buy. It’s really the only way to get an unbiased third-party opinion. If the inspector does find any issues with the home, you can use it as a bargaining tool for lowering the price of the home. It’s better to spend the money up front on an inspector than to find out later you have to spend a fortune.
Buying Tip #2: The Art of Bidding
Your opening bid should be based on two things: what you can afford (because you don’t want to outbid yourself), and what you really believe the property is worth. Make your opening bid something that’s fair and reasonable and isn’t going to totally offend the seller. A lot of people think they should go lower the first time they make a bid. It all depends on what the market is doing at the time. You need to look at what other homes have gone for in that neighborhood and you want to get an average price per square foot. Sizing up a house on a price-per-square-foot basis is a great equalizer. Also, see if the neighbors have plans to put up a new addition or a basketball court or tennis court, something that might detract from the property’s value down the road.
Today, so many sellers are behind in their property taxes and if you have that valuable information it gives you a great card to negotiate a good deal. To find out, go to the county clerk’s office.
Sellers respect a bid that is an oddball number and are more likely to take it more seriously. A nice round number sounds like every other bid out there. When you get more specific the sellers will think you've given the offer careful thought.
Buying Tip #1: Familiarize Yourself with the Neighborhood
Before you buy, get the lay of the land – drop by morning noon and night. Many homebuyers have become completely distraught because they thought they found the perfect home, only to find out the neighborhood wasn’t for them. Drive by the house at all hours of the day to see what’s happening in the neighborhood. Do your regular commute from the house to make sure it is something you can deal with on a daily basis. Find out how far it is to the nearest grocery store and other services. Even if you don’t have kids, research the schools because it affects the value of your home in a very big way. If you buy a house in a good school district versus bad school district even in the same town, the value can be affected as much as 20 percent.
When marketing your home, make the experience feel special and exclusive by using phrases like: “By Appointment Only”. When someone knocks on the door, do NOT invite them right in your home. Tell them that you will be happy to schedule a convenient time that they can come back and tour the property. Very important as it allows you to present the home just the way you want it to be for the prospective buyer and to vet them.
Vet the prospects before they come to your house.
1. Get their full name and contact information.
2. Determine their motivation and timeline to move i.e. how long have they been looking? How soon do they plan to make a move? Where do they live now? Why are they moving?
3. Discuss how they plan to make their purchase when they find the right home. “Will you be paying cash or financing your purchase? If financing: “Are you pre-approved?”
4. Ask if they will be bringing anyone else with them to view the property. If so, get the names of all other visitors that will be coming.
Be sure to keep a log of all visitors and any feedback they give you about the home. This way when you receive an offer you can go back to those that had expressed interest and make sure they do not want to make an offer as well.
For more tips and market updates visit & subscribe to my YouTube Channel RealtorCitrus.
Buyers often drive around neighborhoods they like taking note of homes for sale so this is an opportunity to get connected with them.
While agents are showing property in the area buyers will often see a For Sale By Owner signs and ask the agent about that property as well.
Advertise the special features: add riders to your sign showing important features i.e. pool, waterfront, golf course, social membership, remodeled, bed/baths, etc.
Signage at main roads and intersections. Leading signs should be used on connecting main roads to alert commuters that there is a home for sale nearby. You can use an address on these signs so people can drive by your home.
Review your community deed restrictions and be mindful of sign rules such as size of for sale signs, placement rules etc.
For more tips and market updates visit & subscribe to my YouTube ChannelRealtorCitrus.
Thinking about selling your home? 60% of homes sell during the summer months, making that the peak season for home showings. When you're serious about selling your home for top dollar, these staging tips will help your home to stand out against the competition:
Price the home competitively. Depending on the features & condition of the home coupled with a thorough assessment of the real estate market & similar properties, you may be able to sell your home quickly at a listing price above market value.
Prepare your home for the market. This includes minimizing furniture, removing area rugs, clearing countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, thorough house cleaning (dusting the fans, cleaning windows etc.), and repainting any brightly colored walls.
Closets and Storage Space: Many renters long for walk-in closets, kitchen pantries and garage or attic storage space.
Energy-Efficient Features: If you have a home automation system, double-paned windows or ENERGY STAR appliances, I'll include them on the listing and can display your utility bills during open houses.
Hypoallergenic Home: Buyers with allergy sensitivities are attracted to homes with wood or tile floors because they don't absorb odors or allergens from pets or smoke. I'll also mention if you've only used natural cleaning products in the home.
Remove personal pictures as they distract buyers from envisioning their family living in the home. You will be moving, so go ahead & carefully box these for safe keeping until you can place them into your new home.
Strategically place a few mirrors throughout the home. The psychological impact of seeing yourself in the home can influence a buyer’s decision.
Curb appeal – spruce up the landscaping i.e. trim bushes, refresh the mulch, keep grass cut, fresh coat of paint, etc.
A great way to evaluate how your home will show to potential buyers is doing a curb to curb review. Stand at the curb in front of the home and take note of anything that detracts from the look and appeal of the home. As you approach the front door you want to do a full 360° check of the surroundings. Open the front door and take note of everything that immediately draws your eyes. Consider moving or even eliminating anything that is not a feature of the home. Continue to walk through the home taking note of anything distracting or unappealing to the eye in each room. Your trusted and knowledgeable real estate agent will assist you with this process to seek a quick, top dollar sale of your home.
If you have any questions about selling your home, please feel free to call or text 352-476-3303 or email email@example.com.
For more tips and market updates visit & subscribe to my YouTube Channel RealtorCitrus.
In addition to the first impression with great photography of the home, your next opportunity is to draw the buyers in emotionally and get them excited by the description you provide. Be sure to include trigger words that reflect important things that buyers want as applicable to your home:
Updated ________ (be specific kitchen, bathrooms etc.)
Try to create a story that appeals to the lifestyle that your home will provide for the buyer i.e. entertaining space, well-designed kitchen for family meals, huge pool deck for backyard pool parties, luxurious master retreat for de-stressing, etc.
For more tips and market updates visit & subscribe to my Youtube Channel RealtorCitrus.
Did you know that much of Citrus County, Florida is eligible for low cost upgrades to septic systems per the new septic requirements?
For environmental reasons the state of Florida has mandated upgrades to our septic systems. There is government funding to assist with getting these systems upgraded to meet the new standards. This program will save you thousands of dollars that you would otherwise spend when your septic system has to be replaced in the future. How do you participate?
Contact your preferred septic company to see if they are an approved provider for this program
Schedule a site evaluation with that company
Pay the difference between the government subsidy and the actual cost of the septic upgrade ($650-$850 +/-)
Septic company will schedule the upgrade per their availability
Who is eligible: If your property falls within the affected area (contact an approved septic company to confirm) then you are eligible. Each individual vendor may have their own qualification criteria i.e. access requirements, etc. Age and condition of your existing system is not a factor.
Contact RES Luxury Group (352) 476-3303 if you’d like a referral to a participating septic company.
Always contact your home warranty company before you call a licensed professional. I have heard many homeowners complain that they had a professional out to service the covered item just to then find out the warranty company will not pay the bill. The warranty provider must open the claim first and then let you know who you can call for service in order for the services to be covered.
Ask the warranty provider about ALL options before deciding how you want to address the issue i.e. in some cases you may have a “buy out” available that allows you to utilize your preferred vendors at a lower cost to repair. Be sure the warranty company will still cover the replaced item.
If offering a home warranty as part of your home sale take advantage of programs that will cover your home while you have it on the market. Ask your realtor for more information.
Carefully consider the warranty coverage and options for upgraded plans against costs & deductibles. Some plans provide for energy efficiency upgrades to appliances, HVAC, etc. if replacement is needed.
2)Zillow.com – property integrated with all
listings not just for sale by owner properties
3)Interest centric sites: i.e. golfer websites,
equine websites, water activities etc depending on the community and home
features and lifestyle aspects
4)MLS flat fee listing: certain brokerages offer
these and they enable you to put your home into the local multiple listing
service for agents to see for a nominal fee. NOTE: you must be willing to pay a
buyer agent commission in order to utilize this service.
For more tips and market updates visit & subscribe to my Youtube Channel RealtorCitrus.
You’ve heard the quote “It takes a village to raise a
child”, well I would like to coin the phrase “It takes a village to close on a
home!”.As I reflect on the past 12
months and marvel over the great customers that I have been blessed to work
with on such important transactions, I am overwhelmed thinking of all the
people that were integral in getting us from contract to closing.
real estate transaction involves a seller and buyer, brokers & agents,
bankers, the title company, inspectors, contractor (roofers, plumbers,
electricians), a handyman, insurance agents, attorneys, financial planners, and
the list can go on and on. I am so grateful for my partners that have played a
huge role in assisting the 42 customers that I represented this year.
like to mention a few that have really gone above and beyond for my customers:
Kim Sechrest – American Mortgage
Petra Leene – HK Living USA
Jamie DiLeo – JD
Charlie Rise – Rise Construction
Roscoe Parsley PC - Home
Laura Bickford – Integrity Insurance Advisors
Scott Shannon – NRL Mortgage
Sarah Claus – Citrus Pool Doctors
Byers - Byers Discount AC
Ken Stoddard – KJS Flooring
Todd Workman – Suncoast
Sean Judge Lawn Care
Stacy Gaglione – A Lady and Her Brush
Millie Giovanniello – house cleaning
Ali Endicott –
First International Title
Just to name a few. I am grateful for all the
business partners that I have had the pleasure to work with and you know I will
continue to share you with everyone I encounter who needs your services!