Sarasota Homeownership is the Best Way to Build Wealth

December 17th, 2014

Sarasota Homeownership is the Best Way to Build Wealth

In a recent piece created by the New York Times, the article went in to detail on Sarasota Homeownership and Wealth Creation. The housing market has made a significant recovery, not only in sales, but also in the confidence of consumers and experts as an investment.

The article explains:

Sarasota Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth.”

Many of what the article said is on track with research that the Federal Reserve has also conducted in their Survey of Consumer Finances.

The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36x greater than that of a renter ($5,400).

One reason for this large difference in net worth is the concept of ‘forced savings’ created by having a mortgage payment. The Times explains more below.

Sarasota Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.”

“Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”

Bottom Line

“As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.”

If you are currently renting but highly considering purchasing, meet with a local real estate agent who can explain the benefits of purchasing over renewing your lease.

6 Ways To Increase Your Palmetto Home For Sale’s Living Room

December 13th, 2014

6 Ways To Increase Your Palmetto Home For Sale’s Living Room

We live in an age where every aspect of a person’s home must look spectacular. That includes your television. What are you to do with a giant glossy black screen spread across your living room wall? How do you make such a thing attractive to the eye?

Here are six solutions for integrating modern-day televisions into your Palmetto Home for Sale.


While many like to hang the TV over the fireplace, I don’t think it’s the best placement. Art should hang over a fireplace. A television? Not so much. Plus, in most cases, your television will be hanging much too high. There are exceptions, however, like this ultracontemporary home in Israel in which a freestanding wall accommodates a television and gas fireplace in a very sleek fashion.

Pop Up Pieces

Have you ever thought about a pop up solution? They’re often seen in bedrooms. If you’ve got the cash, you could commission a custom credenza such as the one designed by Australian architect Sam Crawford.

Escape Artist

Rather than employ a painted panel to slide in front of the screen, why not get whimsical? Dublin-based Eoin Lyons Interiors used a digital rendering that disappears behind a wood accent wall with bookshelves, and even incorporates built in seating for when the TV is not in use.

Open Sesame

Traditional custom built-ins still get the job done. Mahoney Architects & Interiors went with simple built-in bookshelves. Bi-fold doors accommodate the large width of the flat-screen television. Nothing is classy when trying to sell your Palmetto home for sale than having built-in items.

Hanging Out

Portico Design Group designed a contemporary family room in Vancouver using white cabinetry and accent panels. Much to my delight, there’s art over the fireplace, with the flat-screen TV hung off to the side. It’s not hidden, but it works.

Gather Around

Finally, for a more casual look, simply affix the TV to the wall, or perch it on a shelf, then create an art collage around it.

Overall, these fixes can make your Palmetto Home for Sale stand out and gather more offers on the table.

Should Your Refinance Your Sarasota Real Estate For A Bigger Mortgage?

December 5th, 2014

Should Your Refinance Your Sarasota Real Estate For A Bigger Mortgage?

An increasing number of homeowners who are refinancing their mortgages want more than a lower interest rate. They want a little extra cash.

In a cash-out refinance, borrowers can withdraw equity from their homes at the same time as they alter the interest rate on the mortgage. The transaction typically gets more popular when home values rise, as confident borrowers look for a way to cover home repairs, reduce debt or pay pressing expenses such as college tuition.

But Sarasota real estate owners should make sure they aren’t leading themselves into a black hole of debt, which could haunt them months or years down the line. They should also consider whether alternative moves might accomplish the same goal for less money.

Lenders completed 243,847 cash-out refinances in the third quarter, up 32% from the prior quarter and up 6% from a year ago, according to exclusive data from Black Knight Financial Services. Cash-out refinances accounted for 31% of all refinancing activity in the third quarter, compared with 18% a year ago. That was the highest share since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The move can be a convenient way to get extra spending money.

Putting the earned money of a cash-out refinance into remodeling your home and upgrading appliances can increase its value and be a huge benefit in the long run, says Stu Feldstein, president at SMR Research.

Banks say some Sarasota real estate owners are also choosing a cash-out refinance to pay off a home-equity line of credit, or Heloc. Payments on Helocs are often interest-only for the first 10 years, before principal payments are also due. The move can make sense if you refinance into a fixed-rate mortgage, because interest rates on Helocs are typically variable, so borrowers could get hit hard if those rates rise.

There are other tempting uses for this money. Using the cash to pay off credit-card debt or other debt can lead to savings, because the interest rate on the new mortgage will probably be lower. This results in extra money to put away.

But be aware of the risks. Borrowers who encounter trouble with timely credit-card payments don’t risk losing an asset, while borrowers who fall behind on home loans risk foreclosure. Take particular caution before using a cash-out refinance for luxury purchases, such as expensive travel.

Borrowers should also check their current interest rate. If they took out their current loan in the past few years, they may already be paying less than 4% on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage and could end up with a higher interest rate and larger monthly payments if they refinance now. Also remember closing costs, which are typically 2% of the loan amount on a refinancing, says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at

Another factor to consider: Borrowers who are 10 years into paying down a 30-year mortgage and refinance into another one will once again be making the early payments, which mostly go toward interest charges.

To pay down principal faster, ask lenders to make the new loan for a shorter time span. Many borrowers hesitate to take out a 15-year loan because it often comes with larger monthly payments. But most lenders offer longer options.

Consider taking out a Heloc or a home-equity loan, instead. The interest rates on these loans are usually higher. But because the amount borrowed tends to be smaller, borrowers typically pay less in interest charges than they would on a mortgage. Also, Heloc borrowers only incur interest charges on the amount they draw down.

Refinancing your Sarasota real estate is not something to do over night. You will want to take a closer look at what you are looking to do in the future and if you wish to sell relatively soon. If you have any questions about the real estate values in Sarasota, feel free to contact Team Works Real Estate to have a real estate professional answer all of your questions.

10 Things You Don’t Need To Pack For Your Next Sarasota Home

November 27th, 2014

10 Things You Don’t Need To Pack For Your Next Sarasota Home

Moving to a new Sarasota home is extremely exciting. Whether you’ve signed a lease on a new apartment or closed on your first home, it’s only natural to want to skip straight to the part where you kick back and settle in. Before that can happen, however, you have to get your things safely there. Packing up all of your belongings is stressful, and the task of properly securing everything can be a real hassle. You may not realize you’ve racked up an excessive novelty mug collection until you’re trying to fit them all into a single cardboard box. According to professional organizer Ashley Murphy, cofounder of NEAT Method, a move is your chance to start fresh and get rid of clutter. To help you purge while you pack, we asked Murphy to share the things you can skip while packing up for your next Sarasota home.

1. Expired Items 

Look through everything that can possibly expire — beauty products, medications, and condiments — and throw out anything that doesn’t make the cut.

2. Outdated Garments

The NEAT Method team coined this term to refer to extremely worn and/or stained clothes that, while once in great condition, are past the point of wearability.

3. One-Time Only Clothes

This includes pieces like bridesmaid dresses and old Halloween costumes. If it doesn’t seem likely that you’ll wear something again, it belongs in the donation pile.

4. Repeat Offenders 

Do you have a large collection of black tank tops? Six vases that you never use? You might not realize it until you line them all up, but this is the time to get rid of duplicates.

5. Trivial Keepsakes  

Murphy is often surprised to see how many people won’t part with old greeting cards and wedding invitations. Store only the keepsakes that are very meaningful to you and get rid of the rest.

6. Writing Utensils 

“I’ve come across households that had unknowingly accumulated enough writing implements to supply a school of 300 students,” says Murphy. Stash a few to use later, and throw out the rest.

7. Unused Gadgets 

Think about how many times you’ve used your small appliances and gadgets (the popcorn machine, panini press, or waffle iron). If you don’t use it in your current home, say goodbye. You probably won’t use it in your new home, either.

8. CDs

A digital music library lets you keep all the songs you love but takes up very little physical space. Burn your CDs to your computer, and throw out the hard copies. That way, your entire music collection will be in one place.

9. Magazines and Books 

Donate anything you’ve already read to a local library, nursing home, or family shelter.

10. Borrowed Items

Specify a “returns” bin as you pack, and throw in anything (books, clothes, pots, pans) that should go back to friends and family.

Get rid of all of the clutter and you will see that moving in to your new Sarasota home really isn’t that hard at all!

Spice Up Your Bradenton Home Before Selling It

November 22nd, 2014

Spice Up Your Bradenton Home Before Selling It

If you’re thinking about selling your Bradenton home, you’ve probably thought about spicing up your home to make it more appealing to potential buyers. But beyond the basics of de-cluttering, what can you do to make your home shine without breaking the bank? Below are a few tips from some of our experienced realtors.

Throw Out The Welcome Mat – Seriously.

Many Realtors suggest buying a new welcome mat as a way to make your home feel more fresh. A new coat of paint and inviting flowers by the door also make a great impression. The door should be freshly painted and cleaned. Realtor Sam DeBord of Coldwell Banker advises potential Bradenton homes sellers to pay special attention to the front door. He advises to put a new handle on the front door, a new light over the front door, and new contemporary street numbers near the front door to add appeal without spending a large amount of money. To make your front door really shine, try a new color! Just make sure it matches your home’s paint scheme.

Add Natural Light

Making a home appear spacious and full of natural light is one of the easiest ways to ensure your home is more appealing. Realtor Teri Andrews Murch of Lyon Real Estate recommends giving windows a thorough washing. Pull open drapes for showings, and the home will be brighter. She also suggests changing out light bulbs to incandescent and going for the maximum wattage in the fixture. While you are changing those light bulbs, you might also want to make sure the switch plate covers match the outlets. These small details influence one’s perception of property condition.

Give Your Kitchen Some Love

Kitchens sell homes, says Carrie Abfall of RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals. She advises knob changes or a new faucet to help make an older kitchen look more modern. Abfall also recommends giving your fireplace some special attention.

Don’t Forget The Garage

Potential buyers look everywhere – even the garage. Laurie Davis of Keller Williams Realty has a great suggestion for making your garage look more appealing. First clean it up. Then, go to your local home improvement store and pick up an epoxy floor kit, some wall paint, and sheets of peg board for organizing. A little elbow grease can turn your garage into a cozy space, if you’re trying to sell your Bradenton home.

Signs To Tell That You’ll Love Your Sarasota Neighborhood

November 14th, 2014

Signs To Tell That You’ll Love Your Sarasota Neighborhood

When hunting for a new house, finding a nice Sarasota neighborhood is equally important. When you’re searching in unfamiliar territory, however, it can be hard to figure out if you’ll actually like a neighborhood or not. How will you know if a new area is “the one” or if you’ll be itching to leave soon after moving in?

What do you need to have nearby?

It’s important to brainstorm things that you need close to your home. Do you need to live near a large selection of restaurants? Is it important to you to live near an international grocery store? Think about these things, and pay attention to them when you’re exploring a new Sarasota neighborhood.

Is walking important to you?

For a lot of people, having the convenience to walk to stores and restaurants is extremely important. If walkability index is important to you, check out Walk Score to find a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle.

Do you enjoy a quiet or lively environment?

It’s one thing partying with your friends in a trendy neighborhood on the weekend. It’s an entirely different thing owning a house in that neighborhood. Some things to consider when buying a home are noise level and how crowded the streets tend to be. If you enjoy coming home to a peaceful, quiet environment, you may want to search for a house in a quieter neighborhood.

Do you want to live near your friends?

How busy is your social life? Are you constantly hanging out with friends? If so, you may want to search for a house in a friendly, social neighborhood, or a house that will be easy for your already existing friends to locate.

Does it seem like a place you’d like to live?

Visit your potential  Sarasota neighborhood during different hours of the day to get a feel for the surrounding area. Observe the location, check out crime statistics, research the school district, and chat with a neighbor or two. This way, you can learn a lot about the community before signing on the dotted line.

Buying a Sarasota Home: 5 Things Sellers Will Hide

November 5th, 2014

Buying a Sarasota Home: 5 Things Sellers Will Hide

It’s your lucky day. You’ve found your dream Sarasota home, and you’re about to close the deal. Before you get ahead of yourself, make sure you’ve asked the right questions. If you’re not careful, that beautiful house you’ve set your signs on could turn into the perfect storm of well-hidden problems lingering beneath the surface.

Here are five things sellers will likely try to hide while their home is on the market. If you keep these things in mind, you’ll be able to make sure you’re not being deceived with a false outer appearance.

1. Pests

Imagine this. Your future house looks beautiful and solid from the outside, but troublesome termites are silently eating away at the foundation. Sounds pretty terrible, right? Homeowners often try to sell their property to avoid the complications and sky-high costs of a pest problem. Before you buy a Sarasota house, make sure to check for potential infestations.

2. Roof Issues

Have you ever looked at a home and wondered how old the roof was? It might seem inconsequential, but it’s actually very important. As a basic rule, roofs should be re-done every 10-15 years. Roofs that aren’t properly maintained can result in frustrating leaks, or even worse, total roof failure during strong wind or rain. To ensure the safety of your family, make sure to inquire about proactive roof maintenance.

3. Leaks

Leaks don’t only pertain to poor roof maintenance. Faucets, radiators, and ceilings can also result in problematic water damage. Leaks that occur behind the scenes may cause extensive damage to electric wiring or the foundation of the house. Homeowners sometimes provide a quick fix to a leak while their house is on the market, but the problem will inevitably reoccur in the future.

4. Age of Home Systems

The home system refers to items such as the water heater, furnace, and HVAC system. It’s important to keep the Sarasota home system well maintained. If a homeowner claims he/she doesn’t know how old the system is or when the above items were last replaced, you should consult with an inspector.

5. History of the Home

Sometimes, homes that have experienced horrific events are sold to unsuspecting buyers. For instance, maybe a death, suicide, or murder occurred somewhere on the property. To some, this isn’t of much importance. To others, this kind of history could set the scene for a nightmarish “haunted” house. It’s important to obtain details of the home’s history before signing any papers.

Having a licensed Sarasota Real Estate Agent by your side during this process can help you out immensely. The more that you know about the home, the better. And in this case, using a real estate agent from Team Works Real Estate will just benefit you in the long run.

Three Questions to Ask Before Buying a Sarasota Home

November 2nd, 2014

Three Questions to Ask Before Buying a Sarasota Home


Thinking about buying a home in the near future? You’re probably getting a ton of advice from everyone you know who’s been through it before. All of your friends and family probably have your best interests at heart but they might not be aware of what’s currently happening in the market place and what you really need in a home. Here are three questions addressing what you should really be asking before purchasing a Sarasota home in today’s real estate market.

  1. Why am I buying a Sarasota home in the first place?

This is easily the most important question for you to answer. Forget all the finances and think back to why you began to consider purchasing a home. A Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University study recently revealed that there are 4 major reasons people are buying homes; and none of them have to do with money

  • A good place to raise children & for them to get a great education
  • A feeling of safety in the area
  • More space to raise a family
  • Control of the space
  1. Where are home values headed?

The Home Price Expectation Survey provides a fair assessment of where housing values are headed in the future. Pulsenomics also does a survey every quarter and average the projections of over 100 experts into a single report. Here’s the results of the latest survey:

  • Sarasota homes will appreciate by 4% in 2015
  • The cumulative appreciation will be 19.5 by 2018
  1. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

The ‘long term cost’ of a home is easily impacted by an increase in mortgage rates. Numerous experts in their field including Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and Freddie Mac are all projecting that mortgage interest rates will increase by at least 1 percent over the next year


The bottom line is that you and only you can know for certain the perfect time to purchase a home. These questions will hopefully help you in making that decision.

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!