Bradenton Real Estate

December 30, 2012

FHA Loan Fees Are Scheduled To Increase… Again in 2013!

FHA mortgage update

In case you haven’t heard… FHA loan fees are scheduled to increase… again in 2013!

These changes are projected to be in effect by the early part of 2013, and would raise FHA mortgage insurance rates from 1.25% to 2.05% per year.  That percentage increase translates to about an $800 hike in loan costs per year for every $100,000, being financed by an FHA loan, for a home purchase.  Additionally, this news also means that, potentially, the loan amount that a home buyer could qualify for would also drop by $10,000 per $100,000 being financed by an FHA mortgage.

The proposed hike in FHA mortgage insurance premiums, for a large number of home buyers, will negatively affect their ‘home purchasing power.’   The price of a home that a buyer could qualify to purchase, when these increased fees are factored in, will most likely be greatly reduced and some home buyers, in certain price ranges, could even be locked out of the market completely.

What does that means to you, if you’re planning to purchase a home with an FHA mortgage?  It means that now, rather than later, is the right time to start your search for your new home!

FHA mortgage insurance rate hikes, coupled with lower inventory of homes in certain price ranges, and rebounding home prices in many areas, indicates that people who plan to purchase a home in 2013 should consider doing so in the early part of the year to take full advantage of their ‘home purchasing power.’

If you are planning to sell your home in 2013, you can also apply this news to your plans. It’s a good bet that more buyers will be, most likely, in the market to purchase homes early in the new year which would mean that there will be a larger ‘home buyer pool’ and more interest  for your property if it’s on the market in early 2013.

If you’re not sure what property values are for your neighborhood or community, contact a trusted real estate professional for a ‘Market Analysis’ report.  This analysis will give you an educated look at whether prices are stabilizing, declining, or rising for your subdivision or community, and based on those facts you can decide, with your agent’s professional guidance, when the time is right for you to put your home on the market for sale.

If you live in the Bradenton, Sarasota, Manatee County, or Sarasota County areas of Florida, or own an investment, vacation, or part-time residence here, The Serena Group would be happy to provide a market report, with no strings and free of charge, for your home… just contact us today to make your request!

Phone Direct: 941.757.5377

or use the form provided below:

You may also visit our website at: for a wealth of real estate information including:

mortgage tools and calculators, school ratings, relocation information, new home construction information, area, community videos, home search tools, foreclosures, short sale facts and information, and home buyer and home seller reports and tools.


September 9, 2012

Mortgage Rates Change Little, Remain Near Record Lows – September 2012

mortgage news, freddie mac
Freddie Mac recently released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates declining or remaining the same from the previous week amid mixed economic data, and continuing to hover around their all-time record lows.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.55 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending September 6, 2012, down from last week when it averaged 3.59 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.12 percent.

Additionally, the 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.86 percent with an average 0.6 point, the same as last week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.33 percent.

Results showed that the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.75 percent this week with an average 0.7 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.78 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.96 percent.

The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.61 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.63 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.84 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

“Mortgage rates were little changed over the holiday week amid mixed economic data releases,” says Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Although consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in July, representing the largest gain in five months, the core price index was unchanged suggesting little threat of inflation. Consumer confidence picked up slightly in August according to the University of Michigan, but remained below this year’s peak in May. And the manufacturing industry contracted for the third consecutive month in August.”

For more information, visit

The Serena Group ~ Keller Williams Realty of Manatee

is here for you!  Contact Us Today!

May 1, 2012

Updates to Florida’s Hardest Hit Program for Underwater Homeowners

Florida Hardest Hit Program UpdateThis past Friday, April 27, 2012, Changes to the eligibility requirements for Florida‘s Hardest Hit Fund Program were approved by the Florida Housing Board.  

Even after passing through the Florida Housing Board, the changes to Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund Program will not take effect until the US Treasury reviews, approves these changes, makes changes to their systems, and trains their staff.

Approved changes to Florida’s Hardest Hit Fund include:

  • Increase of time period for homeowners to receive assistance increased from 6 months to 1 year.
  • Cap for allowance to bring a loan current increased from $6000 to $18,000.
  • Monies to bring a loan current will be given to the homeowner upon approval instead of later in the process, helping to minimize the damage to the homeowner’s credit.
  • Monthly expense limitation of 31%, to qualify for money to bring the loan current, has been removed.
As of April 1, 2012, in Florida, nearly 90 million dollars has been earmarked to assist approximately 4,955 homeowners.

For more information or for an application visit: 

November 28, 2011

5 Reasons for a Mortgage Refinance Other Than Lowering Your Payment

Filed under: MORTGAGE INFORMATION,Mortgage Tips — serenagroup @ 1:35 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Visit for more articles like this.


September 29, 2011

What Do You Know About USDA Home Mortgage Loans?

If you’re planning a home purchase, and are planning to get a mortgage,

make sure that you explore all the options that are available to you.

One of those options might be a USDA mortgage loan.

USDA mortgage loans have some huge benefits if the property that you’re choosing and your financial situation meet certain criteria:

  • Home must be within certain geographic areas.  For our area in Manatee County, Florida, the geographic  area includes a rather large part of the county.
        For more specifics, you can look up a property address by going to:

  • The income of the borrower(s) must be within certain limits.  $75,200 for a family of 1-4, and $99,250 for families of 5 or more.

For more detailed information and to ask questions from a mortgage professional, READ ON HERE!

September 19, 2011

Home Mortgage Updates – Pending Changes

OK – it’s mid-September – where’s the cooler weather?

Well, if the weather is not cooling off, there are 2 upcoming changes that may have a “chilling” effect on mortgage lending.   Effective October 1, 2011:

1) Unless Congress steps in to take action, the current FHA maximum loan amounts for Manatee & Sarasota Counties will drop from their current level of $442,500, to $285,200 (for a 1-unit dwelling – single-family home, condominium, etc .) If you’re reading this and don’t like what you’re reading, please contact your Congressional representatives (House & Senate) to voice your concern.

2) The USDA will change their fee structure from the current one-time fee of 3.5% (which is usually included/financed in the mortgage) to a one-time fee of 2.0% (also to be financed) plus an annual fee of .3%, which will be added to the monthly payment.

 The net effect in terms of cost to borrowers should be as follows, based on a $100,000 mortgage:

Current – 3.5% upfront fee = $3500
– based on today’s current interest rates of 4.25%
— additional P&I cost is approximately $17.22 per month
New – 2.0% upfront fee = $2000
— based on today’s current interest rates of 4.25%
— additional P&I cost is approximately $9.84 per month
PLUS – .3% annual fee = $300/yr or $25/month
Total monthly cost = $34.84/month – more than double the current amount

Now the BIG question will be how much that will impact borrowers by lessening what they can qualify for!

Thank you for this Guest Post by:

Mike Koebel
Senior Mortgage Consultant

Home Lending Source
Reverse Mortgage Specialist
Direct: 941/792-2125


new mortgage disclosure form

Another change in near future is thenew ‘Mortgage Disclosure,’ combining the ‘Good Faith Estimate’ and the ‘Truth in Lending Statement.

Today is the last day to give the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau your feedback on the new ‘Mortgage Disclosure form that is being drafted.

The intent is to make it easier for the consumer to understand the basic facts for a mortgage loan that they are applying for before they commit to it.  If you haven’t weighed in with your feedback … do it today

Vote on your choice here…

August 23, 2011

Tips for Scoring Better Credit


Credit scores are a hot topic of discussion given todays’ world of uncertain financial news and situations.

In the housing market, Home buyers, with less than perfect credit, have difficulty qualifying for mortgages due to tighter restrictions and tougher underwriting for mortgage money. Home sellers are in unfavorable situations, in many cases due to the fact that property values have fallen below the amounts that are owed on mortgages, making foreclosure or short sale the unfortunate choice of many home owners who need to sell their homes.

How do you improve or rebuild your credit score? Here are some tips for both home buyers and home sellers… READ ON HERE: TIPS FOR SCORING BETTER CREDIT

July 15, 2011

Why Work With A REALTOR® ? We’ve Got Your Back!

On September 30, the cost of a mortgage could rise significantly.

“On October 1, 2011, the mortgage loan limits for FHA and the GSEs will decrease, lessening the availability of mortgage credit for hundreds of thousands of responsible and credit-worthy American families. What we need now is time for the real estate market and overall economy to heal, to self-correct, and stabilize. Reducing mortgage liquidity at this time will hurt our fragile economic recovery.”

Wondering what Real Estate agents do to earn their living besides selling homes?

The above excerpt is from a letter that thousands of REALTORS will be sending to their respective governmental representatives… on your behalf.

Reference the chart below to see how the proposed changes could impact our area of Florida

(click to enlarge!)

FHA mortgages, FHA mortgage news, real estate news

April 13, 2011

How to Find the Right Mortgage

The home buying process is daunting for a first time home buyer.  One of the first things a potential home buyer should do, even before going out to look at homes to buy, is to explore financing options, if planning to obtain a mortgage.

Here are some tips on how to find the right mortgage:

(click on the image to read, save, or print the article)

how to find the right mortgage

November 9, 2010

Your Home Mortgage Down Payment – Bradenton Real Estate, Mortage Information

Your Home Mortgage Down Payment

Bradenton Real Estate, Mortage Information

BRADENTON MORTGAGE INFORMATIONDo you have the money for a home mortgage down payment and closing costs?

The down payment for a home mortgage is a percentage of the value of the property that you’ve identified for purchase.

Freddie Mac says the percentage will be determined by the type of mortgage that you select.   Home mortgage down payments, as a general rule, range from 3 to 20 percent of the property value.

You may also be required to have Private Mortgage Insurance  (PMI or MI)  if your down payment is less than 20 percent.

Closing costs include points, taxes, title insurance, financing costs and items that must be prepaid or escrowed in addition to any other settlement costs. You can generally expect to pay between from 2 to 7 percent of the property value for mortgage closing and settlement costs. As a home buyer, you will receive an estimate of these costs in a ‘Good Faith Estimate’ or ‘GFE’  from your lender after you apply for a home mortgage.

Having a substantial mortgage down payment will open up more house buying options for you.   Getting pre-approved will also put you in a great position to purchase from the best homes.

Contact THE SERENA GROUP for – Bradenton Real Estate Information, and for recommendations for mortgage lenders for the Bradenton, Sarasota, Manatee and Sarasota county areas of Florida.

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