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Sarasota Branch

In the Sarasota area, you can enjoy the breathtaking sunsets, educational museums, operas, ballets, plays, golf tournaments, and boat races. You can join in tennis, lawn bowling, water skiing, shell collecting, bird watching, growing exotic tropical plants, university classes, golf, or boating.sarasota bayfront

Quality service is available from knowledgeable physicians, bankers, lawyers, investment brokers, lenders and insurance agents, who can help answer your questions about living and conducting business in Florida.

Sarasota, together with its neighbors to the north and south, Manatee County and Charlotte County, form the 7th-largest market in Florida. It is also Florida’s third-fastest growing major market. With over 600,000 people, the Sarasota area is one of the largest, most affluent markets in Florida. In the last 5 years, it has grown 4 times faster than the national average. The per capita retail sales are almost 20% above the national average. It has a strong base of retirement age people, about a third of the population, but the fastest-growing segment of the market is middle-aged adults and their children. It has approximately 1/4 the population of the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

Sarasota boasts some of the oldest and newest homes in the area. Some homes were built over 50 years ago as winter vacation cottages. Others are new gated Bayfront estates with manicured grounds, marble foyers, soaring ceilings, the newest fixtures and technological advances, and spectacular views.sarasota manson

Residents from any neighborhood can enjoy the wide range of activities available throughout Sarasota. Whether your taste in art leans more toward circus posters, Rubens and Poussin, seashell creations, sand sculptures, or the new art of the Ringling School of Art students, it’s here.


Real Estate and Housing Forecast for 2018

The Housing Picture for 2018

National Association of Realtors

NAR reported existing home sales rose 3% in February. Nationally, 5.54 million units sold ending 2 months of declining sales. Housing inventory rose last month but is still down 8.1% from 12 months ago.

Housing inventory remains the most influential and persistent factor affecting prices although media and politicians blame speculation, building costs, interest rates, cost of living, and mortgage rules. When the economy is good people want homes. Construction is strong but can’t keep up. Simple rule of supply vs demand is driving home prices.

Ready to Choose a Realtor and Buy?

A perfect storm of demand, supply and economic factors are making Florida an excellent a great place to buy real estate. See the price projections for the major cities below.

The housing market in Tampa, Orlando, Panama City, Sarasota, Naples, Fort Lauderdale, and even Boca Raton are compelling real estate investment value propositions for snowbirds and other buyers in North America. As you’ll see, sunny and warm Florida home prices are quite reasonable.

Interest in buying Florida properties from buyers seems to grow and wane through the weeks and months. Although January and February are a lull in demand, the Florida economy is too strong to see that continue. The recent tax changes may discourage speculative investment for a while but buyers are now back.

The Florida housing market in 2017 was characterized by a lack of new construction, big price reductions on new condos, a disappearance of South American property buyers, softened house and condo prices, and of course, low taxation rates. If the glut of condo building in Miami is now complete, then we may see upward pressure on condo prices.

Choosing Your Florida Home Stylesarasota housing

The variety of homes in Florida is astonishing.  From modern three bedroom bungalows to condos in towering buildings to quaint beach houses to spacious multi-million dollar mansions, you can have your dream life, walk the beaches, shop for hours, and never have to shovel snow.  For a lot of buyers, that’s a compelling value proposition.

 

With more baby boomers hoping to retire somewhere nice, and who have been holding onto their old home because they have nowhere to go, will find Florida a compelling value proposition in real estate investment.


Things to Consider When Buying a Home in Florida

When Buying a Home in Florida

Whether you’re buying a second home/vacation home or you’re considering moving to warm, sunny Florida, consider a few matter beforehand:

  1. Can you afford to live in the region or neighborhoods you have targeted?
  2. Which cities and neighborhoods are safe and pleasant to live in?
  3. Summers are hot and humid. Can you take the heat and the indoor life?
  4. Do you like golf, fishing, walking the beach, boating, and water sports?
  5. How well can you run your business from Florida and how much back and forth travel will you need to do?
  6. What is the actual cost of living?
  7. How much will your mortgage payments be for the next 10 years?
  8. Is there a true demand for your area of work/profession?

Some people love Florida and some don’t like it at all. If you could live there during the winter only, as many snowbirds from New York, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington do, it’s might be a no brainer. All you’d have to focus on is finding a home and getting it at a bearable price.

With the Florida economy rolling along nicely, there’s no reason to believe there is a downside to buying property in the Sunshine State. And sunshine is a key benefit for most buyers here.

Interest in Orlando and Tampa real estate has been particularly strong and that’s likely due to the lower prices. Even homes in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale are half the price as those in Miami.

However the economies in Tampa and Orlando are holding their own and drawing in new residents due to lower than expected prices on condos and homes.

 


2018 Conforming Loan Limits Rise

The FHFA Raises Conforming Loan Limits from $424,100 to $453,100

U.S. home values expand and contract. Every year around the Thanksgiving holiday, the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) publishes their third quarter House Price Index (HPI) reportThis report includes estimates for the increase to the U.S. median home value over the last four quarters (usually Q3 to Q3). Essentially, the FHFA measures the amount U.S. homes have appreciated over the past 12-month period.

Based on the HPI report, the FHFA will use the results, whether up, down or no change, to recommend an adjustment to the conforming loan limits. This is a corrective measure to ensure conforming loan amounts keep pace with home appreciation.

According to the FHFA’s 2018 seasonally adjusted expanded-data HPI report, home prices in the U.S. increased on average by 6.8% from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017. As a result, the baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2018 will increase 6.8% from $424,100 to $453,100.

Why This Matters to Potential Home Buyers…Mortgage Rates Rise

The 2018 loan limit increase provides an expansion to your conforming loan amount potential. In other words, the 2018 loan limit increase allows Lenders to lend more money to qualified buyers within the conforming classification.

So…

If you were home shopping this past summer and everything was too expensive for you to qualify for using a conforming loan – contact your local Land Home Mortgage Representative and ask them to take a second look at your loan application. The loan limit change may potentially increase the amount you can borrow and turn that “No” into “Yes-Approved!”.

And for folks still trying to decide if homeownership is the right move; now is a great time to schedule a no-cost, hassle-free homeownership check-in with a local Land Home Mortgage Representative.

Say “Yes!” to homeownership!


5 Tips to Home Buying in 2018

Buying a home is like competing in a mud run, naked while planning a wedding at the same time. It’s taxing, it will make you feel vulnerable, it has its ups-and-downs, and it isn’t always fair. But – for those willing to take the plunge, bare their financial assets, and compete for their own backyard – home ownership is one of the most rewarding financial achievements of a lifetime.

When buying a home: Tip 1  – Select a qualified, knowledgeable loan officer and develop a down payment savings plan.

*Myth 1 – Only low-income individuals can qualify for down payment assistance programs. Down payment assistance programs are for a variety of individuals who meet various qualifying standards. These programs are designed to make homeownership possible for all who meet the qualifications and are able and willing to try. 

Credit Scores – What should my credit score be to buy a home?

When applying for a home loan, your credit score has a direct effect on the interest rate of your loan. Generally, the lower your credit score the higher your interest rate; the higher your credit score the lower your interest rate.

While you don’t need a high credit score to purchase a home, generally a higher score will help keeps your mortgage costs lower than if you were to have a lower score.

Buying a Home: Tip 2 – Check your credit report monthly and look for any errors or possible enhancement opportunities.

Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved – What’s the difference and which is better?

Most mortgage lenders offer prospective homebuyers two different options when it comes to their commitment to lend – a Pre-Qualification letter and a Pre-Approval letter.

A Pre-Qualification letter is simply a document stating you have submitted the necessary financial documentation (usually the last two years of W2s/Tax Returns, recent Bank Statements, and your Driver’s License) for review and you “qualify” for the requested loan amount.

The pre-qualified amount is based on the customer’s perceived debt-to-income ratio (DTI), their financial assets, and credit score.

In a competitive home buying market, as we are in today, home sellers want to see a Pre-Approval letter before accepting an offer on their home. The reason is that a lender’s Pre-Approval letter is basically one step away from a full fledge loan commitment and usually translates into a quick and straightforward closing process.

Buying a Home: Tip 3 – Get Pre-Approved!

 A qualified, knowledgeable Loan Officer assisting you to select the best loan package for your situation. Many factors go into the cost of your loan and poor choices up front can cost you a lot in the long run.

Real Estate Agents – Do I really need one to buy a home?realtor client land home financial

A qualified, experienced and reliable Real Estate Agent can often be the difference between getting your dream home or not. However, we will be the first to tell you – not all Real Estate Agents are created equal. Do your homework, and interview at least three different Real Estate Agents before selecting one.

Often, Loan Officers will have plenty of Real Estate Agent references they can share with you.

 Buying a Home: Tip 4 – Select your desired neighborhood and hire a qualified Realtor/Real Estate Agent.  

A Realtor has the full backing of the National Association of Realtors. and working with a Realtor provides the customer the security of knowing the agent they have chosen, answers to a National Association in terms of ethics, educational standards, and legal backing.

Mortgage Interest Rates – Will rates go up in 2018?

“What’s the rate today?” is every lender’s favorite question – NOT! Why? Well… there’s no simple, straight-forward answer to the question. As mentioned before, many different factors affect mortgage interest rates.

For informational purposes, most experts are predicting an increase in the base rate for a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage. This isn’t surprising given the historic lows mortgage rates experienced in 2015 and 2016. Again, while many factors affect mortgage interest rates, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the baseline rate for a 30-year fixed conventional mortgage is expected to increase to 4.6 percent in 2018, 5.0 percent in 2019 and 5.3 percent in 2020.

Buying a House: Tip 5 – Develop a sense of urgency to achieve your home ownership goals. 

2018 is a Fantastic Year for the First-Time Home Buyer to Purchase a Home

It is getting easier than ever to qualify for a mortgage which is due to several factors: Mortgage Lenders have begun accepting lower down payments, the debt-to-income ratios (also known as DTI) used to qualify for most mortgages became more forgiving last year and future home prices are expected to level off.

sarasota homeBest of luck and happy house hunting!

*Please note all pricing, percentages, and fees are subject to change and are based on personal circumstances. The use of hypothetical, predictive, and forecast statements, by Land Home Financial Services and noted third parties, is meant to illustrate possible outcomes and is not intended to be a statement of facts nor an endorsement of validity. 


We Give and Support Our Partners

Actively Involved in Improving Communities

Our staff gets hands-on with charities, non-profits and organizations to enact positive change and create strong, vibrant communities.

charity partners Take Care of Our Heroes

Specializing in VA Loans for more than 30 years and a VA Automatic Lender.

We Believe in Maintaining Long-Term Relationships

We retain close to 90% of the loans we originate, currently serving over $5 billion in residential loans so you don’t have to deal with a third-party.

 

Meet with a Real Person When You Need Help or Have Questions

Our Florida loan officers are currently operating within 10 branches located in Orlando, Kissimmee, Tampa, Sarasota, Spring Hill, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Boca Raton, Jupiter and Boynton Beach. We are licensed in 50 states, including the District of Columbia.

 


Realtor Partner Benefits

realtor partners land homeLand Home Orlando understands that marketing is essential ingredient, so we’ve designed a package of Realtor Partner Benefits created to assist our Realtor’s success. We know the real estate industry and the challenges you face and how to help overcome these obstacles. Land Home has developed a wide variety of co-marketing materials to sell listings while generating new ones. We provide our Realtor Partners a comprehensive list of materials and marketing services. From Start to finish we are able to support the needs of our realtors with our Realtor Toolbox including: Open House Flyers, Call Center Campaigns, Loan Programs Flyers, Email Marketing, Door Hangers, Lead Generation Postcards, Postcard Mailings (listings & sold homes), Homebuyer Seminar Presentations & Home Buying Tips.


A Positive Review of Reverse Mortgages

The concept of a reverse mortgage is perhaps a bit counterintuitive. It can come with misconceptions–most founded by inaccurate information. Is a Reverse Mortgage for you? That’s really a question for your loan officer prior to counseling or the HUD counselor. We hope to shed a little light into the process and give you an idea about the benefits that can come with a Reverse Mortgage.

Similar but Different

A Reverse Mortgage turns a homeowner’s equity into cash without the need to refinance the property or obtain a conventional home equity line of credit (HELOC). A HELOC is a line of credit that uses the home as collateral and if used, requires monthly payments the homeowners must make. Similar but different, is a cash out refinance. In a cash-out refinance, homeowners can refinance an existing mortgage and take out some extra cash and use it in whatever way they wish. Still, in both instances, it’s a new loan with new monthly payments. A HELOC and cash out refinance are loan types for those who are “house rich” but maybe just a bit “cash poor” but can still afford to make monthly payments.

A Reverse Mortgage doesn’t require monthly mortgage payments. Typically, the only time a payment is made is when the borrower(s) ultimately leave the property, and the home is no longer the primary residence. They can always choose to make monthly payments of whatever amount they want, a little or a lot, but that is a choice, not a requirement. The funds from a Reverse Mortgage can be accessed through taking a lump sum, a line of credit or monthly payments for as long as the borrower(s) live in the home. The monthly installments can last the life of the loan or for a predetermined number of months, all the borrower’s choice. FHA also allows a combination of all 3, line of credit, lump sum, and monthly payments.

Here are the basic eligibility requirements for a Reverse Mortgage:

The borrower(s) must be at least 62 years of age
The property is the borrower(s) primary residence
The property must have sufficient equity
The borrower(s) must attend a counseling session with a Reverse Mortgage counselor
The borrower(s) must be able to demonstrate a reasonable credit history
The borrower(s) must be able to demonstrate they have sufficient income to cover property taxes and insurance
The last 2 requirements were added in 2015; borrowers must be able to keep their property taxes paid and the collateral insured as well as show responsible credit history. If that seems questionable, there is an option to establish a lifetime set aside (LESA) to ensure those charges are paid and the consumer is protected. Lenders will review the borrower’s monthly required obligations and compare that with the amount of disposable income as well as make certain the Reverse Mortgage is a sustainable solution. Unlike regular mortgages, there is no “debt to income” requirement with a Reverse Mortgage, so it is substantially easier to qualify. If there is an existing mortgage on the property, proceeds from the reverse are used to pay off the mortgage and eliminate existing monthly mortgage payments.

Reverse Mortgage loan amounts will vary based upon the age of the youngest borrower on the application. Generally speaking, the older the borrower, the more money can be issued. The property will also be appraised just like with any other FHA mortgage. The age of the borrower(s) and the amount of equity in the property are the two main line items a reverse lender will evaluate per a formula set down by the FHA. Visit our Reverse Mortgage calculator to get a rough idea of how much you will qualify for.

The “Two-Thumbs-Up” for Reverse Mortgages

The most compelling reason to get a Reverse Mortgage is to turn equity into tax-free cash while still living in the property. Interest accrues on disbursed funds and is directly tied to an index, such as a 1 Year or Monthly London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), plus a margin (typically 2-3%) and is only paid at a maturity event a.k.a. the sale of the property or six months after the homeowners leave the home. And, the proceeds are tax-free! Yet, please remember you still have to pay property taxes and keep your home insured.

A Reverse Mortgage doesn’t “sell” the property to the lender. The homeowners remain on the title and still own the home. A reverse gets rid of an existing mortgage, therefore eliminating monthly mortgage payments. Heirs are not held liable to pay off the full reverse loan balance should the payoff exceed the value of the home and any remaining equity will flow to the heirs just like any other mortgage.

But, Before The Reverse gets Best Picture…

There really aren’t too many negatives with a reverse but there are some considerations. The value of the inheritance can fall as the reverse needs to be paid off and loan fees may be a bit higher compared to a regular mortgage. Some lenders will cover some or all of those fees, and those that are not paid by the lender are deducted at the closing table. When accessing home equity, it’s important to understand all the financial consequences, and these consequences will be reviewed during counseling, but it may also make sense to speak with your financial adviser to make sure you understand the impact a Reverse Mortgage can have on your estate.

Overall, a Reverse Mortgage is a great option used to access your home equity without having to sell your home, and without any monthly mortgage payments. If you’re curious or know someone who this might benefit, it’s time to call a Reverse Mortgage lender today. And remember, like a friendly movie review from your sister, all opinions are valuable, they just might not be the most accurate or applicable. In other words, see that movie you think you might like, or in this case, look into a reverse, it just might be what you are looking for.

*The above advertisement has not been approved or endorsed by FHA or any other government agency.

*Please note all pricing, percentages and fees are subject to change and are based on personal circumstances. The use of hypothetical statements are meant to illustrate possible outcomes and are not intended to be a statement of facts.