Gainesville FL Real Estate Blog

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The Pros and Cons of Building Vs Buying a Home

July 5th, 2017 · No Comments

If you are in the market for a new home, you may have already begun to ponder whether you should build your new home or buy your new home.  There are many good reasons to go either way.  Below is a list of pros and cons of building vs. buying a home for your consideration.

  1.  One pro of building a home instead of buying is that you can customize the home to be exactly what you are looking for.  There will be no need to go in and change things once you move in because the home will already be build to your liking.  A con of building a home to get everything you wish for is that the price may be out of your comfort zone.
  2. A con to building your home instead of buying your home   is that picking every little thing out can quickly become a daunting task.  When you build your own home you will be picking out things you never thought much about such as door knobs and ceiling fans.  If you like to pick things out and you don’t mind spending time doing so then this may not be a problem for you.
  3. If you want things done quickly and you like instant gratification then buying a home may be better for you than building one.  Typically when you set out to build a home you have a time frame you plan to finish it in that doesn’t work out quite like you planned.  If you are an impatient person you may want to just buy a home and fix it to your liking or better yet just buy a home that is everything you’re looking for.
  4. A con to buying a home can sometimes be location.  If you love the home but you don’t like the neighborhood then buying may not be right for you.  When you build you will be able to build on land that you purchase and love.

These are a few pros and cons to building vs. buying a home that can get you starting thinking a little bit deeper about what you want to do.   Buying or building  a home is a big decision no matter which you choose, so be sure to think about every possibility before you begin.

 

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: North Central Florida Real Estate

3 Mistakes First-Time Buyers Make (and How to Avoid Them)

June 14th, 2017 · No Comments

There are a few mistakes that many first-time home buyers make. Here are three of the most common mistakes and how you can avoid them when purchasing your first home.

Mistake #1: Assuming your credit is good.

The information in your credit report determines whether you can get a loan — and how much interest you will have to pay – so it pays to be certain your credit reports are accurate.

Check your credit reports for free from all three credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to make sure everything is correct. If you find errors, contact both the credit reporting company and the information provider (the person, company or organization that provided information about you to a credit reporting company) involved in the errors and ask them to fix the credit report errors.

Mistake #2: Getting pre-qualified, not pre-approved, for a loan.

It’s far better to be pre-approved for a loan than to be pre-qualified. Here’s why…

With pre-qualification, your lender does a preliminary evaluation of your ability to pay for a home and gives an estimate of the mortgage amount they’ll give you. The lender does not verify the information you provide.

Mistake #3: Allowing emotions to influence your decisions.

Buying a home is an investment. It needs to be treated as any other investment. You don’t buy stocks because they are pretty and you shouldn’t pick your home that way either. Make sure the home you buy fits your needs and allows you room to grow over the next few years. As with any sound investment, time is the key to a good return.

If you are a first-time home buyer, I would be happy to help you find (and get the best price for) your first home.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home ownership

Now Is The Time For You To Buy A Piece of Real Estate

May 17th, 2017 · No Comments

So your life circumstances indicate that now is the time for you to buy real estate. Perhaps this will be your first home or you need a larger space to accommodate a growing family. You may be in search of a better school district or be forced to move because of your job. Whatever the reason for your housing search, there are four basic areas you need to investigate and specific questions you should ask before making a final decision on any house.

WISH LIST:

Before you actually tour any homes, you should determine exactly what you are looking for by asking yourself (and your family members) questions such as “What type of house do I want”? How much space will I need? What type of community and amenities are important to me? How much can I realistically afford to pay?

LOCATION:

Once you have narrowed down your neighborhood choices, do further exploration of these locations by asking about zoning, since apartments and commercial/industrial buildings lower the real estate value of homes. Is the appearance of the community appealing? Does the school district have a good reputation/rating? What about noise? Consider nuisance factors such as traffic sounds, barking dogs, railroad tracks, etc.–anything that will disturb or annoy you on a recurring basis. Ask, too, about property easements, commuting time to and from work, and demographics. Will you be the only family with young children or the sole 50+ resident in the neighborhood?

CONDITION OF Home:

In order to determine and structural or maintenance issues, ask about the age of the house, roof, and appliances. What kind of foundation and insulation does the home have? If you’re looking at an older property, ask if the plumbing and electrical systems have been updated. Has the house been inspected or appraised recently, and, if so, were any problems documented? Will the exterior of the residence require annual maintenance?

COST:

Asking the right questions in this area is extremely helpful in determining your offer on the Gainesville real estate. Inquiring about neighboring comps, what the seller paid, and how much he owes will give you an idea of the rise/fall of nearby prices and alert you to possible short sale or foreclosure status. Ask how long the house has been on the market and if there have been any offers; perhaps the seller will be willing to negotiate price or offer incentives. Addition inquiries should be made re: the cost of insurance and property taxes on the property and the amount of any homeowners’ association fees.

Arming yourself with answers to questions such as these should help you make an educated decision as to whether or not a particular piece real estate is for you.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home ownership

Home Buying Made Easy

April 19th, 2017 · No Comments

home buying made easy

If you are currently in the market for buying a house, then you are likely already aware of just how difficult it can sometimes be.  There are many stressors throughout the process that can make the home buying process seem anything but easy.  Below are a few ways that home buying can be made a bit easier if you do your part to put them into action.

  1.  The first and most important thing you need to do before looking for a home to buy is to find an agent.  The reason this part is the most important is because buying a home is a huge financial obligation and you want to choose the right person to help you with such a big decision in your life.  A good way to find an excellent Realtor is to talk with your friends and family members that you trust to see whom they have used in the past.  Once they give you a few suggestions, you can meet each one and see which one best matches your personality wishes.  You will be spending quite a bit of time with this person so you want to make sure that you get along beautifully with them.
  2. The next step in home buying made easy  is to find a lender.  Many times you can find out from your Realtor about what lenders they tend to use or who they think can be the best match for you and your particular situation.  If your Realtor doesn’t lead you to the best match, again you can talk to your friends and family for suggestions.
  3. You then need to make sure your credit is as clean as it can possibly be.  Lenders can many times give you a bit of guidance in this area so that you can get approved for a loan.
  4. It is important that you get pre approved for a loan before you go out searching for the home of your dreams.  The lender that you choose will help you to know exactly how much of a house you can comfortably afford before you get your heart set on one.
  5. Lastly, figure out exactly what you are looking for in a house.  Make a list of your wants and desires in order of their importance.  This will help to guide you in your home buying  adventure and will help avoid wasting precious time.

These are just a few ideas on how to make the home buying process a bit easier.  Once you do your part to put all of these in motion you will be well on your way to finding the home of your dreams.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info

Things to Look For Before You Purchase a Home

February 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

things to look for before purchasing a house

While purchasing a home can be a wonderful thing, if you don’t do your due diligence when it comes to checking things out beforehand you may find yourself in a bit of a mess.  Below you will find a few things that you should look for before you purchase a home. 

  1. If you go to look at a home and the house seems smaller than the listed square footage you may want to get someone to check it for you. It isn’t likely that a seller of a home will out and out lie about the square footage of their home but they might include things that shouldn’t be included in the total such as attic space or garage areas.
  2. Another thing you should check out before you purchase a home  is crime in that particular area.  You can do this by looking online at such sights as Trulia but you can also call the local police department in that area and ask point blank what the crime rate is there.  You can also check for registered sex offenders to see if any might live nearby.  Once you find out these things it may change whether or not you actually want to purchase that home.
  3. If the home you are looking at is in a neighborhood that has an HOA you need to check into all the details surrounding the home owner’s association. These details might make or break the deal for you.
  4. Be sure not to pass up the pest inspection before you purchase a home. Sometimes folks will skip this part of the inspection to hurry up the process of home buying.  This is a very important step in home buying  that can potentially cause you to be sorry you bought the house in the first place if you don’t have it done.
  5. Lastly be sure to talk to those who know the house or live near the house and ask them if there are any weird stories about it such as a death in the home or rumors of ghosts. While this may seem silly, it is my guess that no one wants to purchase a home with either of these issues.

If you do your best to get the answers to all of your questions about a particular house before you buy it, you will likely be happy with your purchase.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · Real Estate

Common Real Estate Myths

January 4th, 2017 · No Comments

common real estate myths

If you are in the process of buying or selling a home, you may have already come across some of these common real estate myths.  Real estate myths are abundant and are quite prevalent in the real estate world.  Below you will find a few real estate myths to be wary of whether you are buying or selling a home.

  1. Some folks believe that if you don’t use a real estate agent you are likely to get a better deal. This is totally false because no matter which one of you have the agent…one of them is going to get the commission be it the buyer’s agent or the sellers agent.  The only way to get around dealing with paying a commission to a realtor is if you sell or a buy a home that is for sale by owner.  If you do decide to purchase or sell by owner, be very careful because there are a lot of things that can and perhaps will go wrong when you try to go it alone.  Real estate agents deserve all the commission they get because they do a lot of work that you don’t have to worry about doing yourself.
  2. Another common real estate myth is that you should set your asking price higher than what you expect to make.  If you price your home too much above the market value you are likely going to be doing yourself an injustice.  Folks are going to pass your home by because they know that it is not in their price range.  Setting your home at a reasonable price is a good way to get buyers to show some interest and not be scared off by sticker shock.
  3. Yet another common real estate myth is that all of the houses listed in the multiple listing systems are all available to look at online. Most of the houses on MLS are listed online but if you don’t tell your realtor that you want your home listed online he or she may not do so.
  4. Another real estate myth is that having an open house will basically guarantee that you home will sell.  While open houses are good to get folks out looking at your house, they don’t always bring the buyer to your door.  Typically those that look at your house during an open house are just browsing and likely won’t give you an offer.

Do your part not to let these real estate myths fool you by knowing them ahead of time before you buy or sell a home.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · Seller Info

A Few Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Condo

December 7th, 2016 · No Comments

purchasing a condo

If owning your own home isn’t on your agenda and you would rather purchase a condo or townhome to make things a bit easier on yourself, you are not alone.  There are several things however that you should consider and think about before purchasing a condo and a few of those things are listed below.

  1. One thing to consider when purchasing a condo  is who the manager is.  If you have a manager that is easy to deal with then you shouldn’t have any issues, but if you have a manager that doesn’t see eye to eye with you on things you may find yourself wishing you never would have purchased a condo.
  2. There are fees associated with owning a condo. You should definitely check into the fees associated with your particular condo before purchasing it.  These fees can range anywhere from $200 to $400 per month or year depending on how upscale the condo is you want to purchase.
  3. Looking at the condo financial statements is a great way to see if you really want to purchase a condo or not. For example if the condos financial statements do not include paying for repairs on a broken street light, you may end up seeing the repair costs tagged on to your bill.  Taking these types of things into consideration could sway your decision one way or the other regarding purchasing.  If you find that repairs on such things are not included in a particular condos financial statements you may want to search for a condo that does cover them.
  4. Knowing the rules of condo living can make or break your decision of purchasing as well. Some condos don’t allow holiday decorations while others just tell you where to park.  It’s up to you to decide what is most important to you and what rules simply do not matter that much, however knowing the rules is imperative.
  5. Checking out the condos liability insurance to make sure there are no pending lawsuits against it is also a good idea.

These things to consider before purchasing a condo are just the tip of the ice berg.  Do your due diligence, ask questions and find out all there is to know about condo living  before sinking your money into a one you are not happy with. If you do all of this and you are satisfied, you will likely enjoy condo living and all it has to offer.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home ownership

How Gainesville Home Buyers Put $8000 In Their Pockets

February 28th, 2009 · No Comments

First-time Gainesville home buyers have an opportunity to put $8000 in their pockets…FREE!

The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” signed into law last week by President Obama provides an $8000 tax credit for first-time Gainesville home buyers.

Important Facts To Know:  

  1. It is a tax credit to home buyers, not a loan as in last year’s program;
  2. It is only for first time home buyers, defined as someone who has not had an ownership interest in a principle residence in the 3 year period prior to the date of the 2009 purchase;
  3. The buyer must remain in the home for a minimum of 3 years;
  4. It is applicable to purchases between January 1, 2009 and December 1, 2009; and
  5. Full credit is available to those with adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less ($150,000 for married filing jointly). The credit is phased out entirely for those with adjusted gross income over $95,000 ($170,000 for married filing jointly).

If you bought a home last year under the old $7,500 tax credit rules, those rules still apply to your 2008 home purchase. 

If you purchased a home after January 1, 2009, or are thinking of buying a Gainesville home this year and want to learn more about the $8,000 tax credit, give me a call or visit GatorHomes.com.

Issues you will want to consider are the definition of adjusted gross income, how to apply for the credit, what happens if your total tax liability is less than the credit, definition of ‘principle residence’, and other issues. I am happy to advise you as to how you can benefit from the tax credit.

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Tags: Buyer Info · Money matters