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Believe it or not,...

How Community Push Back Can Impact Your Property Development

Believe it or not, everyone else in town is not necessarily happy about your real estate development project.  Funny thing but when new shopping malls, subdivisions and commercial buildings go up in an otherwise, rural—maybe even scenic—area, the residents sometimes take offense. Just try to build a Target near Grayton Beach or anywhere near Highway 30A and see what happens.

To be fair, not all community pushback involves someone lying down in front of a bulldozer these days.  More often it will take the form of people voicing their objections at zoning board, city council or county commission meetings.  If there are enough of them, the politicians who depend on their votes will listen.

So, what can you do to prevent this?  Some of the most successful real estate development projects have been those in which the real estate developer worked with the community to make the project as aesthetically pleasing, and in keeping with its surroundings as possible.  Even the retail giant Wal-Mart has begun redesigning stores to be more in keeping with community standards.  This is especially important if your real estate project is in a historic area or one with unique building characteristics.  Even in an undeveloped area, if you can leave as many trees and natural habitat as possible, that will go a long way to keeping the locals happy.  And happy locals don’t lie down in front of bulldozers.

 

Disclaimer:

The material on our website is intended to provide only general information and comments as a courtesy to the general public and potential real estate clients. Although we make our best efforts to ensure that the information found on our website is accurate and timely, we cannot, and do not, guarantee that the information is either. Nor do we guarantee the accuracy of any information contained on websites to which our website provide links.

Do not, under any circumstances, rely on information found on our website as a replacement for sound professional advice from individuals who specialize in such matters. Legal, insurance, and other related subjects are often complicated. For assistance with your specific real estate questions or inquiries please contact one of our knowledgeable real estate agents, any of whom will be pleased to determine whether our agency can assist you.

There are a few...

Why Buy Undeveloped Land for Sale?

There are a few reasons why undeveloped real estate can be an attractive buy. 

First, and perhaps most obvious, is in order to develop the real estate.  You buy a fifty-acre plot of old farmland, sub-divide it into two hundred quarter-acre lots and build houses on them.  Or, on a much smaller scale, maybe you buy one of those quarter-acre lots, then hire a contractor to build your dream home.

Real estate speculation with the hopes for appreciation is another reason.  If land prices are going up, you may want to buy a parcel and sit on it for a few years until it can be sold at a profit.  If, for instance, a brand new Home Depot just opened next to a wooded, twenty-acre tract, it’s a good bet that parcel is going to be eyed by developers.  If you snatch it up now, you may be able to sell it for more down the road.

Some people even buy for their own personal use.  A scenic cabin in the woods is a dream for many people.  It may not be for everyone, but there is a sizable market of real estate consumers looking for such a deal.  You might even be a farmer and want to plant more corn next year.

Whatever the reason, buying undeveloped land is sometimes just the right thing to do.  But make sure you have a good realtor like thos here at bealocaldestin.com who both understands your needs and knows the local market.  He or she will save you a lot of wasted time and legwork.

Disclaimer:

The material on our website is intended to provide only general information and comments as a courtesy to the general public and potential real estate clients. Although we make our best efforts to ensure that the information found on our website is accurate and timely, we cannot, and do not, guarantee that the information is either. Nor do we guarantee the accuracy of any information contained on websites to which our website provide links.

Do not, under any circumstances, rely on information found on our website as a replacement for sound professional advice from individuals who specialize in such matters. Legal, insurance, and other related subjects are often complicated. For assistance with your specific real estate questions or inquiries please contact one of our knowledgeable real estate agents, any of whom will be pleased to determine whether our agency can assist you.

For most homebuyers in...

Financing When Buying a Home

For most homebuyers in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach or anywhere else for that matter, securing financing is the most difficult part of the entire real estate purchase.  Even with good credit, a steady income and a high down payment you may still find the maze of forms and documentation needed to secure your real estate loan to be nothing short of labyrinthian.

Typically, most residential real estate financing is in the form of a mortgage loan which is a loan secured by the property you have just purchased.  In other words, the bank loans you money to buy a house and you put that house up as collateral.  If you fail to pay, they can take the house in foreclosure.

Traditional mortgages are typically either fifteen or thirty years in duration.  The monthly note on the principle and interest are typically fixed, however, many mortgages include property taxes and homeowner’s insurance.  Those rates are subject to change and can cause your monthly payment to go up or (less often) down.

In recent years there have been some “exotic” financing vehicles to enter the market.  Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs), and interest-only loans can make it easier to borrow more money than that for which you might otherwise qualify.  However, these approaches make it very easy for a borrower to become overextended…this is especially dangerous when used to finance a primary residence.

You don’t necessarily need a high income to get financing for a real estate purchase.  Some low-income borrowers can qualify for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, for instance.

When you do you go to bank, be prepared to provide them far more information and documentation than you might think necessary.  They will want to see bank statements going back for years.  Credit card statements.  Income.  Rent.  Expenses.  Alimony and child support (if applicable). 

Probably the best thing you can do when starting your real estate purchase journey is to become pre-approved for financing.  Essentially, this means that you jump through all the lender’s hoops now, rather than after you’ve found a property.  The advantages are obvious.  First, if you don’t know what the bank will give you, you may waste your time looking at, and negotiating on, properties outside your price range.  Second, having pre-approved financing makes your offer more attractive to the seller—especially if you’re competing against another potential buyer who has not been pre-approved.  Finally, it gets a lot of the work out of the way up front so that, when you do find a house you’re ready to purchase you can concentrate on things like repairs, securing your insurance and negotiating the best price, rather than running around looking for the July Visa statement from three years ago.

 

Disclaimer:

The material on our website is intended to provide only general information and comments as a courtesy to the general public and potential real estate clients. Although we make our best efforts to ensure that the information found on our website is accurate and timely, we cannot, and do not, guarantee that the information is either. Nor do we guarantee the accuracy of any information contained on websites to which our website provide links.

Do not, under any circumstances, rely on information found on our website as a replacement for sound professional advice from individuals who specialize in such matters. Legal, insurance, and other related subjects are often complicated. For assistance with your specific real estate questions or inquiries please contact one of our knowledgeable real estate agents, any of whom will be pleased to determine whether our agency can assist you.

 

How’s that mortgage payment...

Is it time to Refinance?

How’s that mortgage payment coming along?  Having fun paying it?

Of course not.  Who is?  But, maybe if you got locked into a high monthly note, or an almost usurious interest rate, there may be something you can do about it.

First, let’s be clear.  Refinancing is not as easy as it was back before 2008.  The rules have changed.  Credit scores and a good payment history are no longer enough.

But, if you qualify and can convince a bank to lender to do it, refinancing into a lower note or a lower rate may be the way for you to go. 

There are some downsides.  First, you will have to part with some money up front.  Typically, it will be necessary to have an appraisal (let’s call that $400) and to pay closing costs that, depending on the amount being refinanced, can run into the thousands.  The good news is that you should have a lower monthly bill to pay or—at least—a shorter time in which to pay it off. 

The biggest factor is the value of the property.  If it is “underwater” (i.e. the appraised value is less than the amount you owe) getting someone to refinance will be nearly impossible.  Otherwise, it could be a great help. 

Talk to your realtor first.  He or she will have a good sense as to the value of your property, and you may actually be better off actually selling your home rather than refinancing. Your real estate agent can even arrange an appraisal if needed.  Once you have that information, you’ll know whether proceeding with refinancing is an appropriate option.

 

Disclaimer:

The material on our website is intended to provide only general information and comments as a courtesy to the general public and potential real estate clients. Although we make our best efforts to ensure that the information found on our website is accurate and timely, we cannot, and do not, guarantee that the information is either. Nor do we guarantee the accuracy of any information contained on websites to which our website provide links.

Do not, under any circumstances, rely on information found on our website as a replacement for sound professional advice from individuals who specialize in such matters. Legal, insurance, and other related

On the subject of...

Why Use A Real Estate Agent When Buying a Home or Selling Property?

On the subject of legal counsel, Benjamin Franklin said,“Anyone who represents himself has a fool for a client.”  The same can be said for those who don’t think they need a realtor when buying a home or selling a property. 

A good real estate agent is not just a “middle man.”  A good real estate agent is one who knows his or her market.  They know what a house for sale should cost, what neighborhoods to avoid when purchasing a home, what pitfalls might arise when selling a condo.  Most of all, though, a realtor takes on the work that you would otherwise have to do.  Searching for that perfect property for sale.  Screening prospective homebuyers.  Negotiating the real estate contract terms and conditions.  The realtor does the work that you would have to do otherwise.

Do you really want to call every property surveyor in the phone book to find the best one for the house you want to sell?  Can you afford to take time to show your home to all the “tire-kickers” and “Lookie-Lous” with no serious intent to buy?  Nothing better to do than go through the hundreds of classified ads under “Homes for Sale” in your newspaper?

 

Will you recognize an encroachment if you see one?  Know how to find easements or silent titles?  What flood zone a home for sale might sit in?  How long a property has been on the market?  The millage rate? 

 

If you’re retired and bored with  nothing else to do, maybe you can take the time to research these and the dozens of other issues you will need to understand.

Or, you can do the smart thing.  Consult a qualified, professional real estate agent who has already done the leg work for you.  After all, you don’t want a fool for a client, do you?

 

Disclaimer:

The material on our website is intended to provide only general information and comments as a courtesy to the general public and potential real estate clients. Although we make our best efforts to ensure that the information found on our website is accurate and timely, we cannot, and do not, guarantee that the information is either. Nor do we guarantee the accuracy of any information contained on websites to which our website provide links.

Do not, under any circumstances, rely on information found on our website as a replacement for sound professional advice from individuals who specialize in such matters. Legal, insurance, and other related subjects are often complicated. For assistance with your specific real estate questions or inquiries please contact one of our knowledgeable real estate agents, any of whom will be pleased to determine whether our agency can assist you.

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