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Happy Holidays from The Wemert Group

We just want to take a moment and say Happy Holidays to our followers. We hope you have a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Hanukkah with your family and friends. Thank you to our past and current clients for trusting us with your real estate needs. We are looking forward to a prosperous and exciting 2015! Happy New Year!

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“Our Favorite Things” Featuring Move-in Ready Apopka Home

Sitting at 2669 Attleboro Place in Apopka is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home, over 1,100 square feet, with a low HOA and near top-rated Seminole County Schools. When we asked the current Sellers to list out their “Favorite Things” about their home and community, here is what they wrote:

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A Talk With the Seller, “The A+ Neighborhood”

When searching for a home, of course it is important to find the home that best fits your needs– number of bedrooms, bathrooms, backyard space, and whatever else you and your family desire. But, the most important thing to remember is the location. What kind of location does your family need? After-all, what’s granite countertops and stainless steel appliances without a fitting neighborhood for your family?

So we sat down with Adriano, current seller, to chat with him about 1979 Fishtail Fern Way, a home that thrives not only on its interior and exterior amenities, but also on the community in which is resides. “Right behind the community is an elementary school, one-and-a-half miles away, and it’s the highest rated school, along with the middle school and high school,” says current Seller, Adriano.

Adriano is referring to Ocoee Elementary, Ocoee Middle, and Ocoee High Schools– all top rated, high quality, “A” schools. Doing our research, we have found the majority of reviews of these schools, to hold true to Adriano’s explanation, including comments like, “This is a school with heart,” “The teachers are second to none,” “Amazing school with a ‘small town’ feel.”

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The Seller also opens up about his experience as a neighbor within the community, “We’ve lived here for three years and it has been absolutely fantastic! We are selling because we are moving to North Carolina,” he explains, “But, I can tell you that the residents run the HOA  and the community is very well maintained; the gates are monitored and always locked.”

“We are adjacent to Windermere, where homes are larger, but the schools aren’t A-schools. Anyone doing their research for great schools, will realize how ideal this neighborhood is,” the Seller boasts.

Additionally, Fishtail Fern was built as an energy efficient home, with spray foam insulation and double-paned windows. “This has definitely been a benefit for us, keeping our home cool throughout the year and warm when it’s cold outside.” When we asked Adriano about his electric bill– as most often energy efficient homes make an impact– he says, “I can tell you that before living in this home, we lived in a small apartment and the bill for this home has been equal to the bill in that small apartment.”

In all, Adriano and his wife are motivated to sell, as they make their move to North Carolina, and it is clear that they are excited to find the family that will fill their soon-to-be former home with the love and neighborly ambiance they have instilled throughout the past three years.

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To view this home in person, contact us at 407-412-8488.

Price Improvement: From $285K to $275K

Research Schools to Find Out More about a Community

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The Wemertmobile! #WheresWemert

You’ve seen it on the road, at events, in parking lots, running errands and making strides throughout East Orlando, so we wanted you to be the first to see our new logo on the Wemertmobile. Check out the new look! If you catch the Wemertmobile out and about, remember to snap a photo and share with us on our Facebook Page, and hashtag #WheresWemert. We will send you a gift card to Starbucks!

 

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ANNOUNCEMENT by NAR: Important Provisions for Distressed Homeowners & Commercial Property Investors

WASHINGTON (December 17, 2014) – The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Chris Polychron:

The package of tax extensions approved by the U.S. House and Senate, and headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes important provisions that will help distressed homeowners and commercial property investors with transactions made during 2014. NAR applauds Congressional leaders in both chambers for their effort to pass this legislation before adjournment.

Realtors® strongly supported the bipartisan Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, which was included in the package to prevent underwater borrowers from paying taxes on any mortgage debt forgiven or cancelled by a lender in a workout or after their home was sold for less money than was owed. We are grateful to Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., for championing the provision.

The legislation also includes one-year extensions of the 15-year depreciation schedule for leasehold improvements and the deduction for improvements to energy efficient commercial buildings.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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New Featured Listings

5386 Dahlia Reserve Drive, Kissimmee, FL 34758

This is a beautiful two-story pool home, with 5 bedrooms, on a water view. There is no HOA, so you don’t have to worry about the extra expense. The master bedroom is downstairs and boasts a huge walk-in closet and bath with dual sinks, garden tub and separate shower. Enjoy the light and bright great room that features a vaulted ceiling, perfect for relaxing in a reading room, or an exercise area. The kitchen is an open concept, with view of the pond, from the breakfast nook and family room. The property comes partially furnished. View more about this property HERE.

8335 Purcell Drive, Orlando, FL 32825

This property is completely renovated but still managed to keep its original character and charm. A 3 bedroom/2 bath home with a fenced yard, new interior paint, crown molding, double-pained windows with lifetime warranty, this home is ready to be enjoyed by the right family! The HOA is optional, which is a huge benefit, especially in its well-kept community. View more about this property HERE.

9746 Tiramasu Trail, Orlando, FL 32829 

This is an adorable 3 bed/2.5 bath townhome, with a bonus loft upstairs. The property is a foreclosure, with new interior paint, a brand new refrigerator, paver driveway and attached 1-car garage. The home also boasts an island kitchen that overlooks the living room and a screened lanai that overlooks a wooded area. View more details about this property HERE.

1145 Largo Drive, Orlando, FL 32839

This property is a charming 3 bed/1.5 bath, on nearly 1/4 of an acre, on a corner lot with a 2011 roof, and fairly new windows. There are beautiful french doors that lead to the covered porch from the living room. This property is close to downtown, and has lake access only blocks away. View more about this property HERE. Read Tips on a Fixer Upper and Advantages of a Fixer Upper.

110 Cloisters Cove, Casselberry, FL 32707 

This is a Short Sale property and a great fixer upper. Are you an investor looking to flip a home? This could be your next project! At only $75K, this property already has the framework, it just needs an inside uplift. Not an investor? If you have the vision, motive and handy talent, this may be the best property for you. See more details and photos HERE. Read Tips on a Fixer Upper and Advantages of a Fixer Upper.

 

204 S Randolph Avenue, Kissimmee, FL 34741

 

This home is the perfect fixer upper for the handy homeowner or for an investor. A one bedroom home on a corner lot, this property has great potential to be fixed up, especially at its price. View all details here:http://bit.ly/1C0xMXu. Read Tips on a Fixer Upper and Advantages of a Fixer Upper.

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Advantages of Buying a Fixer Upper

Even though stepping into a Fixer Upper can be a serious time and financial commitment, it comes with many advantages.

-More house for your money: You are most likely to get a bigger home for your money with a fixer upper. Look for the square footage you want and remember, the rest can be fixed.

-More charm and character:  You may find original hard wood floors, and arched doorways. Some of the aesthetic character you will find in a Fixer Upper are the features that homeowners buy to add to their new home.

-More creativity and personal touches: With a Fixer Upper the vision is all yours. If you want a big island in the kitchen or a spa like bathroom, you get to choose all the features you want to make your home exude your own personal preferences. What’s better than that, when all is said and done?!

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From This To That: Investment Properties

Here’s your chance to rebuild, repurpose, restyle and completely redo a home to match your particular taste and style. Find some inspiration and make a home your own. If you’re an investor, this is your craft. If you’re simply a buyer who thrives from renovation projects, these homes (pictured below) are meant for a buyer like YOU. Check out our article on key tips to consider when prepping to buy a Fixer Upper and Benefits of Buying a Fixer Upper.

When dealing with a fixer upper, here are some key tips to consider:

Decide What You Can Do For Yourself

Price the Cost of Repairs and Remodeling Before You Make an Offer

Check Permit Costs

Double Check Pricing on Structural Work

Check the Cost of Financing

Calculate Your Fair Purchase Offer

Include Inspection Constingencies in Your Offer

 

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Key Tips to Consider When Buying a Fixer Upper

Are you ready to buy your first Fixer Upper property? Here are some key tips to consider as you prepare to buy, courtesy of Realtor.com.

1. Decide what you can do yourself

TV remodeling shows make home improvement work look like a snap. In the real world, attempting a difficult remodeling job you don’t know how to do will take longer than you think and can lead to less-than-professional results that don’t increase the value of your fixer-upper house.

  • Do you really have the skills to do it? Some tasks, like stripping wallpaper and painting, are relatively easy. Others, like electrical work, can be dangerous when done by amateurs.
  • Do you really have the time and desire to do it? Can you take time off work to renovate your fixer-upper house? If not, will you be stressed out by living in a work zone for months while you complete projects on the weekends?

2. Price the cost of repairs and remodeling before you make an offer

  • Get your contractor into the house to do a walk-through, so he or she can give you a written cost estimate on the tasks to be done.
  • If you’re doing the work yourself, price the supplies.
  • Either way, tack on 10% to 20% to cover unforeseen problems often present in a fixer-upper project.

3. Check permit costs

  • Ask local officials if the work you’re going to do requires a permit and how much it costs. Doing work without a permit may save money, but it’ll cause problems when you resell your home.
  • Decide if you want to get the permits yourself or have the contractor arrange for them. Getting permits can be time-consuming and frustrating. Inspectors may force you to do additional work, or change the way you want to do a project, before they give you the permit.
  • Factor the time and aggravation of permits into your plans.

4. Double check pricing on structural work

If your fixer-upper home needs major structural work, hire a structural engineer for $500 to $700 to inspect the home before you put in an offer so you can be confident you’ve uncovered and conservatively budgeted for the full extent of the problems.

Get written estimates for repairs before you commit to buying a home with structural issues.

Don’t purchase a home that needs major structural work unless the following conditions apply:

  • You’re getting it at a steep discount
  • You’re sure you’ve uncovered the extent of the problem
  • You know the problem can be fixed
  • You have a binding written estimate for the repairs

5. Check the cost of financing

Be sure you have enough money for a downpayment, closing costs, and repairs without draining your savings.

If you’re planning to fund the repairs with a home equity or home improvement loan, do the following:

  • Get yourself pre-approved for both loans before you make an offer.
  • Make the deal contingent on getting both the purchase money loan and the renovation money loan, so you’re not forced to close the sale when you have no loan to fix the house.
  • Consider the Federal Housing Administration’s Section 203(k) program, which is designed to help home owners who are purchasing or refinancing a home that needs rehabilitation. The program wraps the purchase/refinance and rehabilitation costs into a single mortgage. To qualify for the loan, the total value of the property must fall within the FHA mortgage limit for your area, as with other FHA loans. A streamlined 203(k) program provides an additional amount for rehabilitation, up to $35,000, on top of an existing mortgage. It’s a simpler process than obtaining the standard 203(k).

6. Calculate your fair purchase offer

Take the fair market value of the property (what it would be worth if it were in good condition and remodeled to current tastes), and then subtract the upgrade and repair costs.

For example: Your target fixer-upper house has a 1960s kitchen, metallic wallpaper, shag carpet, and high levels of radon in the basement.

Your comparison house, in the same subdivision, sold last month for $200,000. That house had a newer kitchen, no wallpaper, was recently recarpeted, and has a radon mitigation system in its basement.

The cost to remodel the kitchen, remove the wallpaper, carpet the house, and put in a radon mitigation system is $40,000. Your bid for the house should be $160,000.

Ask your REALTOR® if it’s a good idea to share your cost estimates with the sellers, to prove your offer is a fair one.

7. Include inspection contingencies in your offer

Don’t rely on your friends or your contractor to eyeball your fixer-upper house. Hire professionals to do these common inspections below:

  • Home inspection. This is key in a fixer-upper assessment. The home inspector will uncover hidden issues in need of replacement or repair. You may know you want to replace those 1970s kitchen cabinets, but the home inspector has a meter that will detect the water leak behind them.
  • Radon, mold, lead-based paint
  • Septic and well
  • Pest

Most home-inspection contingencies let you go back to the sellers and ask them to do the repairs, or give you cash at closing to pay for the repairs. The seller can also opt to simply back out of the deal, as can you, if the inspection turns up something you don’t want to tackle when buying a fixer-upper home.

If any of these situations happens, this isn’t the right fixer-upper house for you. Go back to the top of this list and start again.

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Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Announce 3% Down Option

Released December 9th, 2014 – Orlando, FL

Yesterday, HousingWire reported that both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac formally announced their 3% down options on home purchases. Fannie Mae’s plan will be effective December 13, 2014 while the Freddie Mac plan will be available March 23, 2015. The HW article quotes FHFA Director Mel Watt:

“The new lending guidelines released today by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will enable creditworthy borrowers who can afford a mortgage, but lack the resources to pay a substantial down payment plus closing costs, to get a mortgage with 3% down. These underwriting guidelines provide a responsible approach to improving access to credit while ensuring safe and sound lending practices.”

This is great news to millions of purchasers that have been denied the opportunity to own their own home because of the almost impossible burden of saving for a 20% down payment.

Will these programs create future challenges?

Certain pundits fear that low down payment programs will create a wave of foreclosures down the road. Mr. Watt also addressed this concern:

“To mitigate risk, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will use their automated underwriting systems, which include compensating factors to evaluate a borrower’s creditworthiness. In addition, the new offerings will also include homeownership counseling, which improves borrower performance. FHFA will monitor the ongoing performance of these loans.”

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