Mortgage Lending is Full of Options


What’s new in the housing market? Well, for one thing there is a greater diversity of mortgage instruments now available. Let’s look at the way this has played out over the last few years.

After the recession, there was a lag in lending where mortgage bankers, previously too lenient, had now swung in the opposite direction and did not seem to want to lend to anyone. As the housing bubble has faded into the background and home values have rebounded, lenders have begun to have confidence in their collateral once again. And buyers are beginning to believe again that a house is more than a home – it’s a good investment now.

So loans are closing, both conventional and FHA, and interest rates are still attractively low. In addition, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to raise their targets for affordable housing so low-income borrowers have some options. The USDA is still making 0% down loans in communities with a population of less than 5,000. And, banks are beginning to announce that the “no-interest” mortgage is making a comeback, although it will be re-worked into a less toxic instrument. All of this results in borrower’s having more options than ever before.

And these changes are coming at a time when housing prices are still in an attractive range and sellers are still willing to sell.

So if you are a potential buyer who has held off trying to get pre-approved, now may be the time to gather your paystubs and bank balances and talk to your local mortgage loan originator. There are many loan programs available, lots of structuring options, and plenty of homes to look at. Now is the time!



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Home Buyers Come in All Shapes and Sizes!

Who Are Today's Home Buyers?

What does today's modern family look like? Increasingly, it may be a Mom, Dad and one or more adult children. Or, it may be a young couple with a single parent sharing the home and the expenses. The traditional American family still exists but there are more variations than were common in decades past. Another very common variation includes couples who are willing to sign up for a 30-year mortgage before they say, "I do," to each other.

In the post-war era all the way through the 1970's there was a life stage associated with traditional home ownership:

1. Go to college or a trade school

2. Get a job

3. Get married

4. Buy a house

Now those steps are less clear. Many adults go back to school for 2nd degrees or advanced degrees even later in life. Many adults are waiting until their late twenties and early thirties to get married. Many are considering home-ownership at an earlier age or participating in some manner in their parent's home ownership. Some juggle multiple jobs and others are work-from-home entrepreneurs or telecommuters.

What does that mean to a sales associate showing a home?

• Listen carefully to fully understand the needs of the home buyer. If they juggle multiple jobs they probably want a turn-key solution. If they work from home they have to be very happy with the home they purchase. If they are a mixed-generation family, separate living areas may be key.

• Pre-qualification is more important than ever. Multiple people with mixed income streams require more attention from a lender. Educating the home buyer to understand the value of having the lending in place before even looking is critical.

• Make sure everyone involved is on board as much as possible throughout the home-buying process. Maybe you're working with a young couple; they love the house on 123 Happy Life Lane. They look at it a second time and then they say, "Well, we won't know until Mother looks at it, too." Suddenly you meet Mother who has some game-changing opinions. The sooner you can meet and talk to all of the players the better your chance of finding this family the right home.

The good news is that more people are enthusiastic about home ownership at all life stages than ever before!




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Building a Successful Team


What does it take to assemble the best team of real estate professionals? The first thing is to have an open mind. Innovators and high-achievers are not always conventional people. They come in all shapes, sizes, and mindsets but they all want to be part of a team that can provide support, motivation, education, and common goals.

Synergy is important. A team needs leaders, but it also needs people who play a supportive role.  A team needs ambitious people but part of their achievements should be lifting up their teammates.  All parts of the team add value and that’s what creates the win-win situation.

A team needs ongoing training. Everyone has specialized skills but not everyone knows everything. Having regular training opportunities means that the team grows in expertise and knowledge. This builds strength and increases over all sales.

As the team builds, the expertise and experience the firm can offer grows along with it. More expertise and experience results in more success and a successful team is an energized and effective team.

Is this the type of scenario you could see yourself being a part of? Would you like to tap in to the strong record of success and synergy already developed by RE/MAX Flagstaff? We would love to talk with you about your goals and vision for the future. Why don’t you give us a call today and let’s explore the possibilities!

Jimmy Millhollin 386-931-0487

Annette Gardinal 386-931-0485


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Is This Another Bubble? Or is the Market Hot!?

Is Northeast Florida a hot market or a housing bubble?

According to recent reports by the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors, home sales in Northeast Florida for June were up almost 13% over May 2015. June 2015’s total sales were higher than even May 2006. This has a few people worrying that there is a bubble, but most economic forecasters feel confident that sales levels are simply bounding back after years of being flat. Institutional investors who bought property when the market was very low are still in a holding position and renting properties to tenants rather than beginning to divest themselves of real estate.

Are you on the fence about selling your home? If you waited through the difficult years and are finally beginning to see that you’ll get your money out of it, this may be the moment for you. If, on the other hand, you are still close on what you owe vs. what your home is worth, it may be a good strategy to hold a little longer. Property seems strong and interest rates have not adjusted themselves upwards.

If you are a potential buyer and haven’t committed to purchasing a home at this time, this may be your best chance. Property values are still slowly rising and banks have continued to keep the mortgage rates at an unusually low historical level. Now, it’s just a matter of deciding which house, or style of home, you are interested in purchasing.

We can help you with that. Whether it is a townhome or a single family dwelling, has a dock or overlooks a golf course, there is a home in Palm Coast for you and your family. Let us know what your vision is for your life and we’ll help you achieve it.

Call the team at RE/MAX Flagstaff to work with professionals dedicated to making your next home purchase the best purchase of your life! Call us at 386-246-8585 to talk to a sales associate today!


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Your New Home, Will You Buy or Build?

You’re ready to live the Florida lifestyle and you’ve identified Palm Coast as the perfect place to live. Now you can’t decide – should you buy an existing home or should you buy a building lot and pick out a builder? There are pro’s and con’s for each.

Existing Home – This is the most popular decision, perhaps because it is the easiest. There are plenty of homes to choose from and there’s no question what the home will look like on that lot. It’s there, you can see it, you love it, hate it, or are indifferent. You get the advantage of someone else’s efforts and you can start with mature landscaping, an established lawn, and shade trees. Your Realtor® can help you pick out the perfect house with a golf course location, or a few blocks from the beach, or a pool home. A month later the title company can be handing you the keys and it’s all yours!

Built Just For You – This can be a great decision for the person who wants it his or her way from top to bottom. Your Realtor® can let you know about building lots that are on the market and show you the neighborhoods that fit your preferred lifestyle. Once you have chosen a lot, the process is similar to the closing process on a home. Note that you cannot do anything to the lot until it is legally in your possession. Have you found a builder you want to use? If not, the period while you wait to close can be a good time to interview builders. Choose someone legally licensed, bonded and insured. Ask to see and talk to other homeowners who have used that builder.

Now you’re ready to make decisions. Your lot will dictate some choices due to setback requirements and other parameters imposed by government or deed restriction. But all the finishes, colors, layout and equipment are matters you can decide on. Patience is going to be the most important attribute you can have because building frequently runs into delays and you will need to be comfortable with that. Finally, the house is finished and you’ll get your Certificate of Occupancy allowing you to move in!

No matter which way you go, you’ll end up with a home in Flagler County that will make you smile for years. Ready to get started? Call RE/MAX Flagstaff at 386246-8585!



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Everybody Wins!

This is a rare moment in time. Throughout the history of the US Real Estate Market there have been mainly two distinct types of market. Then, during the recession that began in 2007 a third type of market was born:


  • Buyer's Market
  • Seller's Market
  • Very Poor Market


A buyer's market exists when housing prices are "soft" and lending is easy. This means that home prices are lower than they could be, interest rates are down and lenders are looking for buyers. In this market the seller who holds out for a certain price has little chance of getting it – there are just too many homes on the market that a buyer can choose instead.

In a seller's market inventory is down. Each house sells quickly with multiple offers and often for a good bit more than the seller asked for. The buyer who really wants to get in to home ownership will need excellent credit and a willingness to negotiate aggressively to beat out other buyers.

After the housing market started to slide in 2007 foreclosures and short sales started to come on the market. But banks were cautious about lending and tightened their standards. Borrowers who once could have qualified for a mortgage found themselves declined. As housing values slipped, sellers found themselves owing more on their mortgage than their house was now worth. Interest rates went down but no one could qualify for the loan so it did not help.

Now we have a fourth type of market that is very rare. We call it the "Everybody Wins" market. How could that happen? Mostly through market correction. As home values have held steady, banks have become more willing to loan. As homes have sold, inventory has decreased. As a result of having less inventory on the market, home prices are steadily coming back up. Sellers can afford to sell their homes. Buyers can qualify for a mortgage and buy a home they don't have to bid frantically on. Lenders are loaning on homes that are holding their value.

What else do you need in a market like this? A good broker! Come to RE/MAX Flagstaff and see what a wonderful experience you will have selling or buying your home. Experience, professionalism, caring, and education come together to take you through the process to a successful outcome!



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How Do People Choose a Real Estate Agent?

When a person is thinking of selling their home or looking to buy a home they generally go through a licensed real estate agent or broker. If they are like most of us they may have one or more in their family, one or more that they know through a networking group, and a few whose names are familiar because of advertising. But how do they decide?

What makes an individual choose one agent over another? Many real estate agents would tell you that certifications in certain areas of real estate expertise play a big role. They may tell you that they are a specialist in this or that and have the letters behind their name to prove it. They might be wrong. A recent survey found that 1% of people responding said that they chose their agent based on professional designations. Knowledge of the neighborhood counted far higher with 13% of people feeling that was important. 15% stated that they chose someone they knew, either a friend or family member. So what were the biggest factors in choosing a professional?

Three important factors combined to equal 54% of factors that counted when selecting an agent or broker. Those can be broken down as:

23% - Agent is trustworthy and honest

23% - Agent has a good reputation

8% - Agent has a caring personality

All three of those factors can be boiled down to integrity and commitment to the needs of their buyer or seller. Think about that, how you are perceived as a person is more important than family ties, knowledge of the market, or designations. Another important factor? 4% said the reputation of the agent’s firm made a difference. That’s in that same thought process. Trust. Honesty. Reputation. Caring.

What else makes a difference? Communication and accessibility. 7% chose an agent that responded in a timely manner to them. 4% prefer an agent willing to communicate via mobile technology.

Here at RE/MAX Flagstaff we’ve built a reputation based on trust, honesty, and commitment to our country, to our firm, to our buyers and sellers. You will see us at community events, supporting local not-for-profits, taking leadership roles in service clubs, the Board of Realtors®, and the Chamber of Commerce. If you are interested in buying or selling a home, please call the team of RE/MAX Flagstaff at 386-246-8585.


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What New Home Buyers Need to Know

So you've been renting for a while and now you are thinking about taking the big step into home ownership. But it's a big commitment and one of the largest purchases you will ever make. Let's break the process and the factors down into bite-size pieces so you can prepare for the journey to owning your own home.


1) What are you looking for and where are you looking for it? As you have heard, location is the most important factor in home value. It is also one of the most important factors in home livability. You won't be happy if you don't like your neighbors, how far the house is from your job, and the quality of schools in the area for your children. So take a good look around and let your Realtor know your preferences. Then, give some thought to single-family home vs. condominium, single-story vs two-story, gated community vs open community. Narrowing down your choices based on the lifestyle you are looking for means you will be happier in the new home once you're living there.

2) Get your finances in order. If you have never applied for a mortgage you may find it a difficult process. There is a lot to it. A capable lender can walk you through the process and explain the ins and outs. You want to have this portion out of the way before you look at houses. Many a buyer has found the home of their dreams and then lost it when the financing fell through. Getting pre-approved helps you prepare an offer with confidence.

3) Find a Realtor to help you look for homes. Why do you need one? Many sellers do not want to deal directly with buyers. They don't want to show people through their home and listen to "Oh, I like this, and I hate that." The Realtor will help you negotiate with the seller without giving away how much you love the home. The Realtor can then help make sure everything goes smoothly through the closing.

4) Be prepared to be reasonable. You may find your dream house, but you also may find your dream house disguised with ugly carpet or a paint color you don't like. The sellers decorated the house to their own tastes, you will do the same. If you find the best house in your location with an amazing floorplan and a view of that golf course you love do not walk away because they planted azaleas. You can rip them right out as soon as the home is yours.

5) Understand the "hidden" costs. Many first time homebuyers have never faced their own maintenance costs. They are used to calling the landlord when something goes wrong. Additionally, your monthly expenses may be higher than just the mortgage. If you purchased a PUD or a Condo you will have HOA monthly fees as well. There will be costs associated with the move and costs associated with getting the house just the way you like it. Do not spend all your cash prior to closing.

Best tip we can give you? Get a RE/MAX Flagstaff Buyer's Broker to help you through the process. The team of professionals, the brand training, and the commitment to excellence will all work in your favor when you buy your first house. Are you  ready to buy? Give us a call at 386-246-8585


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What's So Great About RE/MAX?

Where do we even begin? When we started our RE/MAX brokerage we were sure we wanted to build a successful team of Realtors® who could provide a level of service second to none in the area. We could have started an independent real estate company and built a brand all our own. Or, we could have decided to join one of the other fine national real estate companies. We studied the options, discussed it among ourselves and went with RE/MAX. We have never regretted it.

What influenced our decision? It was many things. If we were going to go with a big brand it had to offer a lot. We wanted:

  • A name that people recognized, and most importantly, trusted,
  • A success-based path for a broker to take that was proven and demonstrably superior,
  • A body of educational, inspirational, and supportive material that would give our team an edge. We did not want to have to put that all together ourselves. We wanted to be sure the material had worked for others and been time-tested.
  • A good advertising platform that got buyers and sellers attention,
  • A sound technological platform that is easy to learn and effective when used.

As you can see, we wanted quite a bit and RE/MAX delivered. It was the only name in real estate that had all the pieces in place. Now, when we welcome a new sales associate to RE/MAX Flagstaff we are really glad we are a part of something truly global and spectacularly successful. We can honestly tell the newest member of our team that they are joining something great. If you want your career to be a part of the RE/MAX Flagstaff success story, talk to Jimmy Millhollin or Annette Gardinal about what the future may hold!


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Relocation - Fun or Nerve-Wracking?

Housing data released by Florida Realtors shows a market continuing to follow a positive trend.

Here are some of the highlights of that report:

  • Pending sales for existing single-family homes in February increased 14.7 percent year-over-year.
  • Pending sales for condominium and townhome units went up 7.5 percent.
  • New listings for single-family homes is up 5.5 percent and new listings for condominiums has risen 3.1 percent.

All positive indicators of a healthy and vibrant market. Additionally, interest rates continue to be attractively low and mortgage lending requirements have become slightly less stringent.

Those are all positive indicators for Florida’s housing market as is the disenchantment many long time northern residents are feeling for the extreme winters. States in the Northeast are experiencing more resident dissatisfaction than reported two years ago. Will dissatisfaction lead to selling and moving south? It often does if the homeowner is able to move and is not tied by family or job concerns.

Being welcoming and reassuring to those buyers who find themselves not sure where to settle in Florida can be the difference between being a consummate buyer’s agent, or missing an opportunity. Florida is a bigger state than many new arrivals understand and the differences between South Florida, the Space Coast, and the Panhandle are often hard to assimilate. RE/MAX Flagstaff is an established Florida company able to be the source of information for the buyer who wants to know more before deciding on an area.

A decision that comes up fairly quickly is whether to buy a house in Florida or a condominium. Chances are the buyers had a single-family home in the state they are leaving, but they may be committed to the idea of a maintenance-free life. If they are undecided, their agent can show them representative listings and see which way they are leaning. For some who move from a single-family house, having that privacy is priority #1. For others, having a clubhouse, pool, and the chance to make new friends is more important. Either way, we are here to help.

Welcome to Florida!


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Vacation Properties in Sunny Florida


Florida is the land of vacationers and it is also one of the prime markets for vacation homes. People come to visit and think, “I wish I could live here.” And they can! But helping a seller or a buyer with a vacation home is different from helping people negotiate their primary residence.

Often, a vacation home transaction is not urgent. No one is depending on this sale to provide them with a home or release them from a home they want to leave. Sellers can take their time making up their minds and buyers can scout around longer and really look at all the options.

Lending is also different. Some lenders have good programs for a vacation home buyer, others prefer to stick to owner-occupied homes. Not all lending incentives and packages are available for a second home.

Marketing the vacation home means forgetting the value of being in a good school district and, instead, focusing on how many miles the property is from the beach. How long is the drive to nearby attractions like Disneyworld and Universal Studios? Is there a golf course nearby? Restaurants and walking trails close? Those external factors become much more important than how close job opportunities are.

At RE/MAX Flagstaff we know how to help you find your ideal vacation spot in Northeast Florida. We know how much you will save on your annual vacation costs and can advise you if you want to rent the home out when you are not using it. We can also help you effectively market and sell it when the time comes. We have buyers who are interested!

The market comes and goes for residential home buying categories and at this time investors are buying a smaller percentage of the overall market, single family home buyers are holding steady, and vacation home buyers have taken an upturn! This market has languished for a while but the improvements in the economy are now really making a difference. Come talk to the professional team at RE/MAX Flagstaff or just give us a call at 386-246-8585.

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Why Should RE/MAX Flagstaff Be Your Broker?

So you are a real estate agent? That’s wonderful! You are in one of the most rewarding and enjoyable industries in the US. You’ve got everything you need, right? Experience, knowledge of local markets, good connections in town - you just have to nail down the right broker to work with.

Does that really matter? Real estate professionals are self-starters who work for themselves, set their own hours, and determine their own rate of pay by deciding how hard to work. If you are doing everything yourself what is the difference between any two brokers?

It turns out the difference is more than you might think. If you’re determined to be a success, you will want an office that is busy enough to be visible, friendly enough to make you feel comfortable, and professional enough to have training methods to help you succeed. You will want an office that has name recognition and respect in the community.

You probably want to work for someone who has been in the business long enough to know what works and what doesn’t.

At RE/MAX Flagstaff we really want you to succeed. We are just like the flagstaff holding our flags high. We support our agents by holding them aloft! They are in business for themselves, but not by themselves.

Why would an agent join our office?

1.       Training = GROWTH!

2.       Teamwork = SYNERGY!

3.       Synergy = SUCCESS!

4.       Success = EVERYBODY WINS!


If you want to be a part of the team where Everybody Wins, this is the team for you!

Why RE/MAX? Watch and learn!

Call today to become a part of the RE/MAX Flagstaff Team:

Jimmy Milhollin 386-931-0487
Annette Gardinal 386-931-0485

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Four Tips For Working With a Single Home Buyer


According to a finding from the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, more than 50% of adults were single last year. This marks the first time since 1976 that single adults accounted for more than half of the population. And the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies has determined that many young adults are purchasing a home before marrying.

This changes the reasons people buy a home as well as impacting how people obtain a mortgage. The single male or female working American is not necessarily motivated by family needs (now or planned) to make that first home purchase. They may be purchasing solely for financial investment reasons, or may be protecting themselves from rising rents and the whims of landlords.

What can we say about the single home buyer?

  • They are tech savvy and will start online before they talk to a real estate professional.
  • They don’t have the need for as much interior or exterior space as a family.
  • Surprisingly, they may prefer a house to a condo because of privacy.
  • They may look for a home near lifestyle factors and amenities instead of a high-rated school district.

How can you assist them during the home-buying process?

  • Advise them of the need to acquire pre-approval from the mortgage lender of their choice.
  • Be knowledgeable about local property values and investment opportunities.
  • Be thorough when explaining the offer and contract process so they understand how negotiation works.
  • They may ask more questions – answer them with patience and clarity.

Even though the buyer is single, they may bring a trusted family member or friend along to view the houses with them. If that’s the case be sure to have materials for that person to look at as well. After the closing, follow up and maintain the relationship. This buyer may be your next seller!


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What Do Home Buyers Want

We’re still at the beginning of the year 2015 and so many articles are coming out predicting what this year will bring in the real estate industry. How will sellers fare? Will home prices go up or down? Will mortgage rates rise? What are buyers looking for?

That’s all interesting to us, especially the last question. What are buyers looking for? And one of the reasons it makes a very big difference is that everything else is tied to it. If buyers don’t find what they are looking for, sellers cannot sell! If buyers are not eager or enthusiastic about buying, home prices decline! If buyers don’t take out loans to buy houses, mortgage loan specs are affected. It’s true, the buyer is an extremely important part of the real estate transaction. And the real estate professional who forgets that is making a mistake.

So what are the trends that are so important? There are many of them and some are more important than others. First, buyers are going online more and more. We may not like it, but that’s where they are because it is the most convenient way to find anything. Like online dating, many “facts” found online are erroneous but that is still the first path a big percentage of buyers take.

Millennials are under scrutiny now that they are of purchase age. Their numbers have surpassed that of baby boomers and their methods are more digital than direct. Therefor everyone is in a rush to try to figure them out. Here’s a secret – they don’t want anything that much different from the baby boomers. Really. They want a house with the features they prefer, for the price they want to pay, in the area they would like to live. They are more savvy than their grandparents were when they buy their first home because they’ve seen the housing bubble first hand. They have more tools at their fingertips to help them decide. What do they need a real estate agent for? Oh, so many things. Negotiating the deal, helping them find the other professionals they need in the deal – the surveyor, title company, inspector, maybe even a carpenter or carpet company. They need to know your knowledge of the local market from your insiders perspective.

Don’t forget, trends come and go but the need for housing is everlasting.


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Why list your home with RE/MAX Flagstaff?

So you are thinking of listing your home for sale. Congratulations! It’s an exciting time but it can also be stressful. You have a lot of things to do and that includes choosing the correct real estate professional to handle the listing. How do you decide who the right person is? The decision can affect how long it takes your property to sell, what price it sells for, and how easy or aggravating the experience is.

At RE/MAX Flagstaff we work with you to take the transaction to a successful conclusion. Let’s look at some of the elements you are concerned about.

How fast will my house sell? Of course, like anything, that answer has a variety of factors that affects it. Here are some and how they work. Current market trends are dictated by the amount of inventory on the market, the number of buyers actively looking, referral opportunities, curb appeal, marketing efforts and certainly price.

When we list a house for you we put it on the Multiple Listing Service which has an online feed. So your house appears on many different platforms including websites and apps which allow buyers and other real estate professionals to see the listing. We’ll take multiple pictures, write an appealing description and highlight upgrades or special features. We will feature your listing on our social media outlets. We will publish your listing in local newspapers and other print media.

The RE/MAX brand will help because if a Realtor in another state has a seller who wants to move to Florida they will refer that seller to RE/MAX offices in this state. So a buyer may come straight in from selling their out of town property, ready to buy your house!

Curb appeal also plays a part. If you are open to it, we will make suggestions that we think will increase the attractiveness of your property. It may be as simple a matter as de-cluttering or trimming some landscaping. We can even give you the names of stagers if the house is empty or you need help with some rooms. Does your house need upgrading in several areas? There may be some upgrades that give you a better return on your investment!

Price is one of the strongest factors. We will do a Comparative Market Analysis to show you what other homes in the area, similar to yours, are selling for. The pricing decision is yours but we can tell you what is the most realistic range and also what neighborhood homes have appraised for. We want to make sure you get the best price for your home. Remember, you can put any price you choose on your home, but if the bank’s appraiser disagrees financing may be difficult. Additionally, if you put too high a price on your home you will be making mortgage payments every month it does not sell.

Next, your house will be shown to buyers and we will present all qualified offers directly to you. If the buyers want to negotiate we will represent you and follow your decisions on what concessions you are willing to make.

We can assure you that buyers are coming along now that the average rate on the 30 year mortgage has fallen again!

If a contract is accepted we will be there to handle any snags that come up along the way and will be at the closing table with you when the sale closes. From beginning to end, we will be there to help, to advise, to inform and take care of the many details that are part of the home selling process!


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First Time Buyers - Are There Opportunities?

Absolutely! Mortgage rates are at historic lows, holding steady at under 4% which makes a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage produce an affordable monthly payment even with mortgage insurance.

But, aren’t lending guidelines stricter than ever and down payments higher? In late 2013 and early 2014 that was certainly the case. But lending guidelines have eased as banks have seen housing prices rebound and employment rates return to higher levels. And that’s not all the good news.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced that they are officially rolling out programs for mortgages with a down payment of only 3%. In 2013, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stopped buying loans with a 3% down payment due to the housing slump but in 2015 that will change for the better.

The difference is that there will be better criteria on who can get these loans. The mortgages are available to first-time homebuyers and existing homeowners who want to refinance. Borrowers will have to have a credit score of over 620, buy private mortgage insurance, receive home ownership counseling and thoroughly document source of income and stability. That’s not unreasonable.

Clear lending guidelines are an important part of keeping the mortgage loan industry stable and the housing prices strong.

So look to 2015 to be the year that millennials leave their parents and purchase their very first home. We think that’s great news and there are plenty of starter homes in Palm Coast that are just perfect for a young couple or professional person to move into an ownership position.

At RE/MAX Flagstaff we have agents just waiting to work with buyers and guide them through the process of buying their new home. Whether they are looking for a single-family 3 bedroom 2 bath in a suburban neighborhood, or a maintenance-free condominium, we have plenty of listings to show them and information that can make the journey less frustrating. Let’s get started! Call 386-246-8585 when you are ready!



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How is the Housing Market in Flagler County Doing?

Current homeowners and people considering investing in a home in Flagler County want to know – is Flagler County doing as well as the rest of the nation in the housing turnaround.

We have good news for them – Flagler County is doing better! There are many factors that affect the current housing market in different areas of the country:

  • How far did the prices fall?
  • When did the prices recover?
  • What is the level of homeowner satisfaction?
  • What are other factors that affect the market?

This is what we have experienced here. In 2008 the housing market began to fall and fell faster in Flagler County than it did in neighboring St. Johns County. That might seem like a negative indicator but it did not turn out that way. When Flagler County began to recover, other counties in Florida were still losing value.

It was a struggle for home buyers to get financing, but the homes were selling out of foreclosures, short sales and from traditional sellers. Slowly, banks eased residential lending, and more houses sold and the price continued to rise.

Because we are in NE Florida, homeowner satisfaction is high. We’ve had no adverse weather events while the rest of the country has experienced early and brutal snow storms and even, so called, Frankenstorms.

This has resulted in many northern states showing low homeowner satisfaction in surveys. Some show that as high a percentage as 49% would move if given the opportunity. Where would they move? Many would move to Florida. Who does that benefit? Yes, it benefits us in Flagler County. We have a beautiful coastline, mild winters, and friendly, happy residents.

And that’s what makes all the difference! Our home prices are continuing to rise at a sustainable rate and our citizens are continuing to love living here.


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When Home Prices Rise, Buyers Win

September was a very positive month in 2014 with the volume of home sales higher than in September of 2013. The best news, however, was that the prices continued to follow a rising trend. Not as fast a rise as in 2013, but a respectable 5.4%. That’s good news to home owners and even to buyers.

How can it be good news for buyers when home prices rise? First, it means they are purchasing an asset that is appreciating. A home is the largest investment many people will ever make and the housing crisis, where many homes lost value, was a disaster for homeowners. Second, it means that they will gain equity in their homes via appreciation as well as by paying against the principal.

Not the least consideration is that banks are more interested in loaning money on homes when those home values are increasing. No bank wants to get stuck with a foreclosed on home that is worth less than what they loaned on it. When lenders are enthusiastic, buyers have an easier time buying.

If you decide that now is the time to buy, make two appointments. 1) Make an appointment with a lender to get pre-qualified. You don’t want to find the perfect house and then be told your credit has some problems. 2) Make an appointment with a RE/MAX Flagstaff real estate broker to look at some houses. Our professionals will make sure you find the home that fits your needs and your budget. That’s what we’re trained to do!

Call RE/MAX Flagstaff at 386-246-8585 and let’s celebrate the good news in the housing market!b2ap3_thumbnail_38Pepperdine.jpg

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Winter Forecast: Cool with Flurries of Sales

There are states where cooler weather signals a slowdown of all activity. Boats are stored for the winter, golf clubs are cleaned and put away. Some businesses close or get ready for slower sales. Florida is not like that especially in the Real Estate profession. The statistics explain it all.

According to a Gallup poll done at the end of December 2013, an astonishing seven northern states reported that more than 40% of their population wanted to move away. It should come as no surprise that those feelings intensify during cold weather.

Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York reported that over 40% of their population wished they were somewhere else. Throughout the happy months of summer, people are more or less comfortable where they are. But with the first snowfall the discontent grows. Throw in some sleet, icy rain, a blizzard or two and hazardous driving and now you have mounting dissatisfaction. Florida looks pretty attractive about that time.

RE/MAX nationwide advertising gives a RE/MAX broker an edge here. Since RE/MAX is a familiar name in their home state, many people looking to relocate think of a RE/MAX agency first. Additionally, if RE/MAX is helping them sell their home up north, that broker will refer them to someone they can trust in Florida.

Here in Palm Coast, Winter is not a season where real estate slows down. And if you want to be part of the first flurries of sales, RE/MAX Flagstaff is the team you want to be on. Give us a call at 386-246-8585 and let’s get ready for Winter!


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The RE/MAX Advantage for Buyers and Sellers

Why should I list or buy a home from RE/MAX Flagstaff instead of an independent real estate broker? There is a lot that goes with being a part of RE/MAX and many of the advantages are ones that the seller or buyer will appreciate.

Of course, brokers appreciate having the RE/MAX name and advertising working to give them brand recognition and credibility. But that also works for sellers. Because RE/MAX has a well-known name, people trust it more and that works in a seller’s favor. Additionally, RE/MAX agents in one state refer business to RE/MAX offices in other states when they hear from someone who is moving. For that reason, listing with a RE/MAX broker in Florida means your home will get attention from RE/MAX brokers in many other states who know people who are planning to move.

Marketing is what gets your house noticed and gets your house sold. RE/MAX has carefully crafted marketing tips, techniques and standards that every RE/MAX office has access to. It gives your home an edge when it comes to getting sold.

For buyers, RE/MAX is also an advantage. RE/MAX brokers recruit seasoned professionals for their team and give them the training necessary to listen, negotiate and close in an effective manner. A buyer knows that when they have a RE/MAX sales associate working with them, they have an individual who knows what they are doing. That brings peace of mind, and a better opportunity to find the home they have always wanted.

The RE/MAX difference pays off. RE/MAX is consistently the top name in real estate and that means our buyers, sellers, and our team itself enjoys an advantage that’s hard to beat. If you’d like to list your home for sale or are hoping to find your dream home, call RE/MAX Flagstaff today at 386-246-8585 You’ll be glad you did!


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