Think You Should FSBO? Think Again

October 19th, 2014

Think You Should FSBO? Think Again | Keeping Current Matters

6 Ways to Match Your First Sarasota Dream Home to Your Budget

October 11th, 2014

6 Ways to Match Your First Dream Home to Your Budget

Not to ruin any dreams but chances are your first home won’t be your dream home. And that’s okay. They key to buying your first home is finding the perfect balance between your requirements and your budget.

  1. Starter Home- It’s called a “starter home” for a reason. This more often than not will not be the home you live in for the rest of your life. But that can be very exciting! When smart savings open up opportunities to move up, your first Sarasota home can provide you with funds for your next purchase.
  2. House to Condo- Depending on budget a condo might be the optimal choice to get you closer to your dreams than a single family home.
  3. Older vs. New Construction- According to a recent Trulia report, twice as many people prefer new homes over existing ones. But, new means construction and that means money. On average newly constructed Sarasota homes cost up to 20% more than it’s existing counterpart.
  4. The Fixer- Rather than paying a bigger price tag on a home that someone’s already done all the work on purchasing a Sarasota home you can add value too can help you get more home for your dollar. And having the option to improve as time goes on allows you to have the available cash to fund the renovations when necessary.
  5. Balancing Dreams and Location- The battle of where you want to live vs. where you can actually afford can get ugly. Be prepared for this!
  6. Knowing Must-Haves vs. Should-Haves- This will really help you prioritize and what exactly is most important to realizing your dream home. Compromises will have to be made but you shouldn’t have to sacrifice any must haves to find your dream Sarasota home!

Future Sarasota Homeowners Share American Dream

October 2nd, 2014

Generation Next is becoming generation now and as the economy is getting better they’re looking ahead. It’s recently been revealed, from 2 separate articles that both Millenials (ages 18-29) and Generation Z (ages 13-17) still feel that home ownership is a key step in creating their successful futures. This could bring huge changes to the Sarasota home buying market.

Millenials Optimistic on Home Ownership

The Demand Institute has revealed, in their recent report Millenials and Their Homes: Still Seeking The American Dream that despite the subject generations reputation of being more transient than their parents they still believe in home ownership. The report predicted:

  • 8.3 million new Millennial households will form in the next 5 years and
  • 1.6 trillion dollars will be spent on home purchases

The report also stated that:

  • 75% believe home ownership is an important long term goal and
  • 73% believe that ownership is an excellent investment

What About Today’s Teens

Better Homes & Gardens recently surveyed a group of teens 13-17; Generation Z on their values and feelings towards home ownership. This survey revealed very traditional views from this group. It was also uncovered that this group is willing to sacrifice many of today’s luxuries for these goals.

  • 53% would be willing to give up all social media for one year
  • 89% feel owning a home is part of the American Dream
  • 97% believe they will one day own a home

Bottom Line

It seems pretty clear that home ownership remains a huge part of what is perceived as the American Dream and that young people of this country are still chasing it. So, in the next 5 years we can expect some huge and very positive trends in the Sarasota real estate market!

The Truth About Buying a Sarasota Home; You Don’t Need 20% Down

September 27th, 2014

In a recent survey, it was revealed that 60% of Americans feel that now is a good time to buy a home and 95% want to own a home if they don’t already


The survey also reported people are often intimidated by “navigating the home buying process” and “qualifying for a mortgage.” The general consensus was buyers need a very good credit score and a high income, also that its necessary to put 20% down. In actuality the majority of these beliefs are unfounded. There’s very little reason to be intimidated at the thought of buying a Sarasota home. In a recent blog post Freddie Mac confirmed there is misleading data in regards to down payments for a home purchase.


Christina Boyle; Freddie Mac’s Vice President and Head of Single Family Sales and Relationship Management expanded on home buying education:

Buyers “can get a confirming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5%”

“Letting more consumers know how down payments are determined could bring more qualified buyers off the sidelines”


Whether you’re saving for your first Sarasota home or you’re dram house; make sure you do your research. The results may surprise you!

Sarasota Home Prices Across Time

September 17th, 2014


Looking back through time we always see what we should have done. It is very hard to predict the future as anything can change at any time. What we can do though is see just what history has shown us so we can make sure not to repeat ourselves. Everyone knows that history will repeat itself, but as we can see from the infographic above, we may want to make sure that we secure our Sarasota home prices before they do.

The infographic above displays over the past 5 decades the average mortgage rate on a new home at $200,000. Obviously back in 1970, 1980 and the 1990′s, $200,000 was a  good amount to be spending on a home. Not many people went over that price and for good reasons. When looking at the prices for the previous months with the average mortgage rates and a home price of $200,000, it seems like a better time than ever to look in to a new home.

Looking at the mortgage rates, you can see that in order of most expensive to least expensive we have the:

  1. 1980′s
  2. 1970′s
  3. 1990′s
  4. 2000′s
  5. Current Rates

Even if we were to look at the cost of the $200,000 home over time, the order of most expensive to least expensive once again is:

  1. 1980′s
  2. 1970′s
  3. 1990′s
  4. 2000′s
  5. Current Rates

When looking at this infographic, the only cost per month that is below $1000 or $12,000 a year, is the current day mortgage rates. We all know that the Sarasota home prices have increased over the past two years since bottoming out in 2008 and getting the most home for your money is always a top priority. When looking to purchase a new home though, it seems that now is actually the best time to get a mortgage than it has been in the past 45 years. The mortgage rates are projected to rise in the near future, but if you want to be ahead of the curve, it seems that it would be easier to be safe than sorry when it comes to your money, your equity and your wealth.

Sarasota home prices will rise and mortgage rates will rise as well. As the economy picks back up, both of these will increase even more, so now may be the best time to look in to that home you have had your eye on than ever. We do not know if the 1980′s above 10% rates will ever come back, but we do know that if you can get the rate for a third of the cost, then we would definitely suggest jumping on these record low rates.

Renting Vs. Buying a Sarasota Home

September 9th, 2014

Renting Vs. Buying a Sarasota Home

Renting and buying are always the two forefronts that lead our Sarasota Real Estate Market. On one end you have the people who want to rent in order to be able to leave whenever they would like and have the option to bounce around from place to place. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have the home buyers who are looking to raise a family, build equity and live the “American Dream” for however long they wish to in their home. At the end of the day, neither way is a bad choice. There are some individuals that would rather rent their entire life and enjoy that part of living, but if it were up to us, everyone would own a Sarasota home.

When looking at the infographic, you have two distinct categories: Historically and Now.


After looking at this infographic for awhile, there are three main things that pop out to us:

1). The current percentage of your income needed to rent a Sarasota Property is higher than the percentage of your income needed to afford a home

2). The only percentage that has decreased for the 2014 prices in comparison to the historical prices is the income needed to afford a median home

3). Even if you look at historically or now, the amount that you need to rent is still going to be higher than the amount that you need to own a home

The one line that we really love about this infographic is that whether you are buying or renting, you are still paying a mortgage. Most potential home buyers will not notice this at the end of the day, but you are having to pay a mortgage when you rent, it just is not written as the word “mortgage”. Whether you are or are not looking to buy, just know that historically, the mortgage rates are at their lowest they have been in decades. You may want to spend less of your hard earn income on rent and look in to owning a Sarasota Home instead.

5 Questions To Ask Every Sarasota Real Estate Agent

September 4th, 2014

5 Questions To Ask Every Sarasota Real Estate Agent

The process to purchase or sell a home can be a long and tedious one. Working by yourself as a for sale by owner can make this process even more taxing than it needs to be. This is why we definitely suggest working with a Sarasota Real Estate Agent on both ends of the deal. If you are a buyer, you may not be aware, but you will not pay a cent more for a real estate agent when you purchase the property. The agent’s commission will actually come from the seller, so the amount you pay will not change at all with or without an agent.

If you are a seller, you may be wasting more time and money than you expect by not utilizing an agent. It is statistically known that a Sarasota real estate agent can actually get you more money for your property than if you sell it buy yourself. Of course the amount of time that it takes to show the property, market the property, do the paperwork, contact the closing company, title company, lenders, mortgage, etc is enough for a for sale by owner to throw in the towel. But what should you ask the agent to make sure that you are getting the best realtor for your property or buying process?

Here are some of the main questions that we may suggest asking your next Sarasota Real Estate Agent before you sign on to make them your realtor:

  1. Where are home prices going and will they appreciate over the next few months, years, etc?
  2. Should a 1st time buyer or move up buyer save for a bigger down payment prior to purchasing the home?
  3. In 12 months, where are the 30 year fixed mortgage rates going to be?
  4. Why should I use an agent when I can shop for a home myself online?
  5. How great of a benefit is owning a home for my family?

If your real estate agent cannot answer these five questions in a detailed and calm manner, you may want to steer clear of signing the documents. Knowing that your Sarasota real estate agent can answer these questions fluently will give you a piece of mind that you are in good hands and can rest assured that the process will be an easy one for you and your family.

Stay Away From The Renter’s Trap In Sarasota

August 28th, 2014

Many young adults fall in to the trap that they can not afford a Sarasota home so they will settle for renting out an apartment. They will then lease out the apartment, condo, townhome, or even home and be subjected to a loss of equity in their name by throwing money away. In a recent release from Zillow, as of August 2014, the United State’s is currently seeing better affordability in the real estate market than in the renting market.

Here are some shocking statistics that actually came out from that survey:

  1. Renters paid approximately 29.5% of their monthly income towards rent
  2. Home Owners/ Home Buyers only paid 15.3% towards they mortgage on a home

During the pre-bubble days (2007 and before), people renting right now are actually paying 24.9% more than what they would have back then, whereas the Sarasota home owners are paying 22.1% less.

As rents increase, it is getting harder and harder to live a normal American life with less income in your bank account. According to the Chief Economist at Zillow:

“The affordability of for-sale homes remains strong, which is encouraging for those buyers that can save for a down payment and capitalize on low mortgage interest rates… As rents keep rising, along with interest rates and home values, saving for a down payment and attaining homeownership becomes that much more difficult for millions of current renters.”

In all honesty, you may actually have enough saved up and ready to use on the down payment as HousingWire noted:

“It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment. 
It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.” 

If you are still not thinking that you are able to afford a Sarasota Home, look at what Freddie Mac had to say on the issue:

  1. Home owners can get a conventional mortgage with just 5 percent down
  2. During 2009 to 2013, the down payments of less than 10 percent more than quadrupled for Freddie Mac
  3. One in Five home owners who borrowed money put down less than 10 percent

Overall, you can afford that property that you want. Don’t get caught in this rental bubble and throw money towards something that will not provide equity. Instead put money towards a Sarasota Home and enjoy the equity that you will get towards this property.

The True Cost of Waiting To Buy Your Sarasota Property

August 20th, 2014

The True Cost of Waiting To Buy Your Sarasota Property

Looking at analytics on the housing market is exactly what we love to do. Seeing the trends that are occurring in the Sarasota real estate market make it that much simpler to purchase. Waiting to purchase a home is nothing new though. People have been doing that for years and the chance that this will end any time soon is not very high. But if you are a part of the Sarasota property owners who are wanting to move, but do not think that now is the best time, here are some statistics that may change your mind.

If your dream house currently is $250,000 today, the current mortgage rate that you can receive is 4.12%. This will come out to make your month payment with interest $1,210.90. Now if you were to wait one year, with the way that economist have stated the market will rise, the same home will more than likely sell for $270,000 with a 5.3% mortgage rate. After doing the math on a 30 year mortgage, that payment per month is $1,499.32.

This will actually increase your housing payment each month by $288.42. Now maybe waiting is what you wish to do and you want to see if the market does go in the direction that economist are stating, but losing $288.42 per month is almost equivalent to throwing away $10 every day just for the heck of it. That can be a car payment for the entire month, a cup of $2 coffee everyday with $8 left over for lunch, dinner or other spending, or even a way to save up for a nice vacation at the end of the year.

However you spin it, even through the 30 year loan, you will be looking at an additional $103,831 spent on the home. That is due to the $3,461.04 you will be spending each year multiplied by 30. Of course no one can predict the future, but when looking at what may happen next, it is safe to say that economist may have the best theory on what your Sarasota Property may be worth!

Harvard Gives 5 Reasons To Purchase A Sarasota Home

August 14th, 2014

In the recent study from Harvard University, the managing director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies gave his top five reasons as to why owning a home now was a smart financial decision. Of course, our theory has always been that when someone from Harvard tells you to do something financially, it may be a wise decision. Here are the 5 reasons why owning a Sarasota home is a smart financial decision:

1). The Housing Market is the only Leveraged Investment you can do

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2). In the end, you will pay for your Sarasota Home whether you own or rent

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”

3). Owning a property is another form of saving equity

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4). You will receive tax benefits while owning

“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5). Owning can help with the inevitable inflation

“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

What we have taken from this reading is that owning a Sarasota home makes perfect sense for many people, and now it makes perfect financial sense as well!