Bradenton Real Estate

January 2, 2013

Selling Your Home? Tips for Getting Across the Finish Line in 2013

Selling Your Home? Tips for Getting Across the Finish Line in 2013

 

Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.

Copyright 2013 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

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
Email: info@TheSerenaGroup.com

or use the form provided below:

You may also visit our website at: www.Bradenton-Florida-RealEstate.com 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.

October 23, 2012

Housing Sector Still Contributing in a Big Way

impact of real estate industry and housing sector on the economy

If you’ve purchased a home recently or intend to purchase soon, you may not have thought about the fact that you’re part of a vast industry that has made, and continues to make, a significant contribution to the American economy.

Consider the following information from an April 2012 report by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR):

“Research has consistently shown the importance of the housing sector on the economy and the long-term social and financial benefits to individual homeowners. The economic benefits of the housing market and home ownership are immense and well documented. The housing sector (in the U.S.) directly accounted for approximately 15% of total economic activity in 2011.

Those statistics include such contributing factors as: mortgage lending; home construction; real estate agents’ commissions; lawyers’ fees, home appraisal costs, and moving costs. These sectors generate taxes and other forms of income for government at all levels.

Beyond that the housing industry also produces long reaching economic ripples that extend well beyond the home purchases and related expenses and expenditures.

Real estate transactions create jobs and, thereby, facilitate economic growth in ways that you might not even have considered.

For instance, a NAR study on the economic impact of real estate in the state of Oregon tells the tale:

For every home sold in Oregon in 2011, there were additional expenditures on consumer items, such as furniture, appliances and paint, totaling, on average, $5,234.

When you consider the number of homes sold across North America, you start to realize the numbers of manufacturers, suppliers of goods and services, trades people and sales forces that are dependent on the health and prosperity of the housing industry. The real estate industry remains, even under less than favorable circumstances, one to be reckoned with. Naysayers notwithstanding, it will continue to be so.

Even now with national housing markets in flux, home ownership remains ingrained in our very psyche. The American dream is alive and well and still very much a reality for many people.

If you’re considering or planning to buy or sell a home in the Bradenton, Sarasota, Manatee County, or Sarasota County areas of Florida

Please consider working with our team of hard working and experienced real estate professionals, The Serena Group.

Learn more about us here → MEET THE TEAM!

You may contact us directly, anytime, at →  941.757.5377.

October 10, 2012

Real Estate Home Buying Report, Data, and Information for International, UK, Home Buyers and Investors For Florida Properties

Real Estate Home Buying Report, Data, and Information for International, UK, Home Buyers and Investors For Florida Properties

international, real estate, home buyer, home buying, information

If you’re a resident of the United Kingdom (UK), or an international home buyer from outside of the United States,and have been toying with the idea of buying a vacation or investment property or home in the United States, Bradenton, Sarasota, Florida is a location that you should be considering very seriously for a number of reasons:

  • There are still great home buying, and real estate investment opportunities in the Bradenton, Sarasota areas of Florida!   We are beginning to see a shift, however, from an all out buyer’s market to a more stable market that is just beginning to give a home seller the edge in some areas.
  • Great home prices coupled with the excellent dollar to pound exchange rate, currently, is a winning combination and great incentive to get serious about home buying or real estate investments right now.
  • It goes without saying… Bradenton, Sarasota, Florida property is always appealing due to our weather conditions and our unmatched gorgeous white sand beaches and warm Gulf of Mexico waters. These elements, combined with the others above, contribute to a ‘perfect storm’ situation for real estate investment opportunity for foreign investors or home buyers. Whether you plan to purchase a property for personal use or whether you’re buying a home or property for investment only and plan to lease it, the Bradenton, Sarasota areas of Florida will always be a ‘paradise’ that people will be happy to call home.

If you’ve been sitting it out on the sidelines, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to get into the real estate, home buying, game that time has arrived!

Contact The Serena Group today to schedule a personal consultation to discuss your plans, and to let us know how we can assist you with YOUR dream to buy a Florida home. We’re here for you!

Click the image below for a glimpse of a year over year comparison of real estate market data for the Bradenton, Manatee county area of Florida.

real estate, market, report, reports, data, statistics, information, UK, home buyers, foreign investors

Here’s a link to a recent article and more information for international home buyers from the Florida Association of REALTORS: INFORMATION FOR UK, INTERNATIONAL HOME BUYERS FROM FloridaRealtors®

October 3, 2012

Fall is for Football! Tailgating eBook ~ provided by The Serena Group

fall football, tailgating, eBook, recipes, ideas, advice, information

Tailgating & Football go together like:

  • Peanut butter & jelly
  • Bacon & eggs
  • Coffee & doughnuts
  • Franks & beans
  • Bread & butter
  • Fish & chips
  • Chips & dip….

Well, you get the idea!

tailgating, football, tips, ideas, recipes, informationBelow you will find some great tailgating ideas, recipes, tips, and information that will either enhance your enjoyment of game day or will help soothe your wounded pride (whatever the case may be!) while cheering on your favorite team.

If you’re a Florida Football fan, please visit our website for all your College and Pro favorite Florida teams game schedules and updates… all on one page!  →  FLORIDA FOOTBALL TEAMS, SCHEDULES

And while you’re there… if you’d like to also view homes for sale, get home selling tips and information, find out what you  need to know before buying a home, use our mortgage calculators to find out what payments would be on your dream home, request a market evaluation for your home, get real estate market reports and statistics for your neighborhood, get information about foreclosures and short sales… and/or just about ANYTHING else you could think of that relates to real estate – buying or selling.

You’ll already be there… take advantage… and if we can help… please let us know!

THE SERENA GROUP IS HERE FOR YOU!

http://www.Bradenton-Florida-RealEstate.com

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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 www.FreddieMac.com.

The Serena Group ~ Keller Williams Realty of Manatee

is here for you!  Contact Us Today!

August 13, 2012

Zillow Study Finds Owning a Home After Three Years More Beneficial Than Renting

Zillow Study Finds Owning a Home After Three Years More Beneficial Than Renting

View this document on Scribd

Thank you to Mike & Winnie Koebel of Home Lending Source for this guest blog post.

July 31, 2012

Did You Know?►Chase Bank and Cell Phones for Soldiers ~ Programs and Benefits for Military Families

The Serena Group team members are, and always have been, fervent supporters for anything that rewards, recognizes, enhances the lives of, or provides assistance to military men and women and their families.

The Serena Group has been involved, for a number of years, with Cell Phones for Soldiers, an organization that recycles donated cell phones and uses the proceeds from those donations to award free talk time to our military troops, and their families, while they are serving our country and its citizens.  It’s a GREAT organization and we enthusiastically encourage you to explore it in more depth by visiting their website below ▼

CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS

If you have a cell phone/phones to donate to Cell Phones for Soldiers, in Manatee or Sarasota counties in Florida, you may drop them off at:  Keller Williams Realty of Manatee in Braden River Plaza.

Here’s a link to a map of our office location ▼

4520 State Road 64 East, Bradenton, FL  34208

Another fantastic ‘military family friendly’ organization, and one of our priority partners,  is Chase Bank.

If you’re a member of the military and need assistance with:  housing, jobs, education, banking, or credit options, you need to run… not walk…to ►ChaseMilitary.com and see how making a connection with Chase Bank may benefit YOUR family.

Here’s a testimonial from a very happy military family who is definitely glad they reached out to Chase for assistance ▼

READ ABOUT THE MCINTYRE FAMILY’s EXPERIENCE HERE!  

For more information about Chase Bank, and it’s programs for military families in Manatee or Sarasota counties in Bradenton, contact Chris Tennant,Mortgage Banker for Chase Bank  here ► More information about Chase Military

July 17, 2012

Ways to Prep For Hurricanes and Protect From Tornadoes

Hurricane Preparedness

Ways to Prep for Hurricanes and protect from tornadoes.

Most people take fire safety seriously and have fire extinguishers handy and escape routes pre-planned should a blaze threaten their home. Yet while tornadoes/hurricanes and the violent storms surrounding them are far more common than homeowners realize, many homeowners don’t take the necessary steps to prepare for these destructive storms. On average, some 1200 tornadoes appear each year in the U.S.

With the possibility that the 2012 storm season will be a long and challenging one, The Hanover Insurance Group today provided tips to help home and business owners in tornado-prone states to prepare and minimize damages.

While tornadoes can occur in the United States during any month, weather conditions produce a peak season that runs through October. In areas of the country subject to the harshest storms, winds can far exceed those of even the strongest hurricanes, averaging between 110-205 mph.

Hurricane season traditionally runs from:  in the Atlantic – June 1 and ends November 30. In the Eastern Pacific -May 15 through November 30.

“Tornadoes can form in every state east of the Rockies,” said Mark Desrochers, president of The Hanover’s personal lines business. “Preparing for a tornado is a practical safety precaution that should be taken by all households in these states. With proper preparations, home and business owners can significantly reduce the risks of injury to their family and pets, as well as damage to their property. This also enables them to recover quicker.”

To help prepare for a tornado/hurricane  and respond in the event one strikes, The Hanover suggests the following 10 tips:

1) Make an action plan. Prepare in advance so that when a tornado/hurricane watch is issued, you already have an existing plan of action. Unlike hurricanes, which tend to be closely monitored for days, tornadoes can spring up quickly. In many cases, you will have to take shelter within minutes in your own home or a below-ground storm shelter. Experts advise never trying to outrun a tornado by car. Instead, move to the basement or to an inner windowless room or interior hall. Protect your head and neck with your arms and hands. Ensure everyone knows the action plan.

2) Create a survival kit. After a storm, it may be impossible to use roads for several days. You may be forced to live in your home for a while even if it is wrecked or you’re without electricity and water. So, it’s wise to assemble a survival kit containing a week’s worth of non-perishable food, bottled water, paper plates and cups, eating utensils, medicines, first aid handbook and bandages, blanket, a radio, batteries, flashlight, soap and toiletries, bleach for disinfecting, and spare clothing. Store the kit in the basement or other safe area.

3) Have debris removal tools on-hand. There may be a significant amount of debris following a tornado/hurricane that will have to be moved just to exit your structure. Some of this will be splintered wood and glass. With this in mind, store helpful items — including heavy soled shoes, gloves, eye protection and a small shovel to safely move debris. This should be kept in the same area as your survival kit.

4) Create a home inventory. Tornadoes/hurricanes can destroy your home and its contents, making it difficult to document your property losses, which can impede your recovery. With a proper home inventory you will have an acceptable means of documenting ownership and value in the event of a claim. Photograph or shoot video of your entire home or business, including the contents of each room, and store these with a written inventory and serial numbers in a fireproof safe or safe deposit box.

5) Ensure you have proper coverages in place. It is always a good idea to review your homeowner’s policy with your independent insurance agent, ensuring you have enough coverage for your contents and the physical structure as well. Also ask about other coverages that may be of value to you in the event of a tornado loss, such as reimbursement for temporary living expenses.

6) Create and share contact info. All family members should have the personal and business contact information (phone/email) for quick communications. Also ensure you have your agent and insurer’s claims office numbers stored in your mobile phone. After a storm, cell service may be more accessible than local land lines. Have important numbers on hand to help expedite your recovery after the storm. It’s important to keep your cell phone charged in advance, as power may be out for days.

7) Wait for official notice before returning home. If there is an evacuation after a storm, wait for official notice that it is safe to return to your home. When returning to your home, be cautious when entering a damaged structure. Stay away from damaged or weakened walls.

8) Take photographs and/or video documenting claim damage. Should your home or business be damaged in a tornado/hurricane, take pictures of the entire scene and document all damage — provided it is safe. Try not to remove items until an insurance adjuster has had an opportunity to visit the property and assess the damage.

9) Keep an accurate record of any temporary repairs or expenses. If you do need to make temporary repairs to help preserve the remains of your home or personal property, keep all records to ensure that they may be considered in your claim.

10) Engage with an Independent Agent. With careful preparation and planning — and assistance from your insurance professional — you can rest assured that you have the right coverages to meet your needs and a good plan of action in place. This will reduce the time and effort required to recover from a tornado and other major weather events.

While no one can tell you for sure whether a tornado or other weather event will strike your area, they are occurring with increasing frequency. So it is a good idea to consult with a local Independent Agent, have the right insurance carrier to meet your needs, and to be as prepared as you can in advance of such events.

Source: http://www.hanover.com

The Serena Group ~ Keller Williams Realty of Manatee

is here for you!  Contact Us Today!

July 10, 2012

Summer Ushers in Highest Consumer Sentiment in Four Years

Summer Ushers in Highest Consumer Sentiment in Four Years

consumer confidence report The Consumer Reports Index, an overall measure of Americans’ personal financial health, saw a sharp improvement in its consumer sentiment measure, which jumped to its highest level since October 2008.

The rise in sentiment (53.1 from 47.5 the previous month) was broad-based, with significant gains among those Americans in households earning less than $50,000 (+5.5 pts) as well as more affluent households earning $100,000 or more (+7.7 pts).

“With more than half the country earning less than 50,000, any improvement among that group may have a significant impact on the economy. They still have some distance to climb, but these are positive signs,” explains Ed Farrell, director of Consumer Insight at the Consumer Reports National Research Center.

The improvement in consumers’ mood was supported by a decline in financial difficulties, which reached the lowest level since first measured in April 2009. The Consumer Reports Index’s Trouble Tracker, a gauge of financial difficulties faced by Americans in the past 30 days, dropped to 41.8, down from 46.5 last month.

The decline in financial troubles was evident in both lower- and upper-income households. However, the level of financial difficulties faced by those in households earning less than $50,000 is three times as great as experienced by those in more affluent households (earning $100,000 or more) as measured by the Trouble Tracker, 58.9 versus 19.5, respectively.

The Consumer Reports Index’s employment measure climbed into positive territory this month (50.9), up from 49.7 last month, indicating that more Americans have started a new job versus those that reported losing a job in the past 30 days. The employment measure’s improvement was driven by a gain in job starts (5.5 percent), up from 4.0 percent last month, reversing a three-month decline.

After a five-month slide, the index’s past 30-day retail measure moved upward this month to 9.9 from 8.9 a month earlier, but is virtually unchanged from a year ago (10.2). Planned purchasing over the next 30 days (8.6), reflecting intent to buy in July, was also up versus last month (7.0), but lags last year at this time (7.7).

Source: Consumer Reports

The Serena Group ~ Keller Williams Realty of Manatee

… is here for you!  Contact Us Today!

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