About Alan Lane

You found my real estate blog. Fantastic!!! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I was always liked real estate especially hew homes. I am a Florida native and live in Tampa Bay. I’m a Realtor with Signature Realty Associates Williams Realty. If you are relocating to Tampa Bay, I can show you what the Tampa Bay lifestyle has to offer including its wide variety of entertainment options from our beautiful beaches to Walt Disney World and Universal Studios amusement parks. I have a wide variety of real estate experience and education. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in both Real Estate and Finance from Florida State University with over 25 years of real estate experience. My goal is to exceed rather than meet expectations. I believe in customer service and have always been willing to go the extra mile to accommodate the needs of my clients. I specialize in finding new homes for buyers in the Tampa Bay area like the bedroom communities of Brandon, FishHawk Ranch, Riverview, Valrico, and Lakeland. Some of the builders that I follow include Lennar Homes, Pulte Homes, Ryan Homes, KB Homes, M/I Homes, Highland Homes, etc. Follow my Blog for deals on new homes in the Tampa Bay Residential Market as well as other real estate and/or finance related topics. I have always been interested in real estate and finance all my life. My blog is about real estate and finance related topics that interest me. Thanks for reading my blog, Alan Lane

Improve your Credit Score

IMG_0331I found another tool to help potential home buyers.  Its an all-inclusive financial membership that can help you realize your dreams.  The web address is http://www.ucesprotectionplan.com.  There are several services provided (some quoted ver batem from the UCES Protection Plan website) to help its clients, which include:

  1. Budgeting – it tracks your income and spending by creating a personalized budget.
  2. Credit Restoration – This service can assist you in challenging the credit bureaus to remove inaccurate, obsolete and erroneous items from your credit report. Restore your score and maximize your financial credit score. You are provided with the the exact information you need to provide to the Credit Bureau’s to use the Fair Credit Reporting Act to your advantage and dispute the mistaken negative ratings that may be preventing you from obtaining the best credit score to obtain lower your interest rates, save money and advance your credit opportunities.IMG_0500
  3. Credit Builder – Allows access to your credit report in an easy-to-understand, online format and utilize our extensive financial library and resource center to assist in increasing your financial potential. Understanding how your credit score is calculated and how to read your credit report are the first steps in improving your current standing.Credit and Monthly Payment
  4. Credit Attorney – You have access to attorneys that will evaluate your case for difficult to remove, inaccurate items on your credit report. If legitimate, they will sue the agency to clean up your report, in which case you may be entitled to compensation.

    man in black holding phone

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  5. Credit Monitoring – Your interactive credit report, money manager and financial account alert system. Manage all your online accounts in one place, integrated with your credit and identity.
  6. Debt Payoff – Create a financial plan that will give you the exact payment guide to eliminate your debt quicker than you expected and save you from unnecessary interest payments. Taking into account your debt obligations and interest, the system will show you exactly how to properly allocate your money towards your monthly payments using nothing more than your current income, in order to speed up your debt payoff.
  7. Identity Monitoring – InfoArmor leads the identity protection industry with PrivacyArmor®, a proactive monitoring service that alerts you at the first sign of fraud. Get alerts for credit inquiries, accounts opened in your name, unsavory content on your social media account, compromised credentials, and financial transactions.

    black android smartphone on top of white book

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  8. Financial Lockbox –  You can have access to your financial contacts and information in one central, online location that can be accessed at anytime. This organizational tool can be personalized to forward to a contact of your choice in case of emergency.
  9. NetWorth – your Net Worth by figuring out your assets and liabilities, and using our quick and simple calculations to see where you stand! Your Net Worth Report will help you continue to build your Net Worth by tracking your progress.
  10. Savings Goals – Create multiple goals within the Savings Goals system and input how often you can personally put money aside. You’ll then be shown what you need to put away each week or month to hit that goal!
  11. Will & Trust – Protect your loved ones by preparing the same Will & Trust documents you would in an attorney’s office, but from the comfort of your own home. Without an estate plan in place, these crucial choices regarding YOUR health, YOUR finances, and YOUR family are suddenly out of your control.

    two person doing handshake beside table inside room

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  12. YFL Family Mint – Implemented in schools across America, you can now bring the FamilyMint online educational portal into your home to enhance financial knowledge among the children in your life.  This is something that is needed by rarely offered in schools today that offers an engaging way for kids to learn financial responsibility.

KW1784102f20KWweb_thumb.jpgAlthough the main service provided is Credit Restoration, the other services provided work well together to take back your financial future. A client membership with UCES is on a monthly basis with no cancellation fees. If you are interested, please click the following link: https://www.ucesprotectionplan.com/proplan99.aspx?rid=ALane6. 

If you have questions or concerns, my email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.

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Identity Theft

money-7Identity theft is when thieves steal your personal information in order to take over or open new accounts, file fake tax returns, rent or buy properties, or do other criminal things in your name.  In September 2017, Equifax announced a security breach in which the sensitive information of an estimated 145.5 million U.S. consumers was potentially compromised, which highlighted the importance of Identity Fraud.

The 13th annual Cost of a Data Breach study independently conducted by Ponemon Institute reports the 2018 global average cost of a data breach is up 6.4 percent over the previous year to $3.86 million. The average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information also increased by 4.8 percent year over year to $148.

 According to SANS Institute, identity theft recovery takes an average of 6 months and 100 to 200 hours-worth of work. For those with limited time for phone calls, written correspondence, emails, police reports, follow-up replies and investigative work, those hours can stretch out over years.

60 seconds

Only 17% of identity theft deals with credit cards, yet most solutions available in the market only provide protection and monitoring of your credit.

17 percent

LegalShield provides just some of these services:

  • Preventive Law (i.e. Phone consultation for any personal legal, writing letters, legal document review, etc.)
  • Estate Planning (i.e. As part of the plan a will be provided and updated every year)
    Motor Vehicle (i.e. Representing you in speeding tickets)
  • Other Matters (i.e. Lawsuit/IRS audit services, uncontested separation and divorce representation, etc.)

IDShield provides not only credit monitoring, but also identity restoration by Licensed Private Investigators. Some of the features include:

  • Complete Credit Analysis
  • Credit Inquiry Alerts
  • Daily ID Monitoring
  • Minor Child Coverage
  • $5 Million Dollar Service Guarantee

KW1784102f20KW_thumb.jpgA membership with LegalShield also gives you discounts on products and services (i.e. like new car prices, discounts on cell phone bills, clothes, furniture, appliances,etc) with services added monthly…

There are discounts for groups, please contact your Benefits Manager and we could set up a short overview at your office. If you are interested in any of these plans, please click the following link: https://www.hrmcplans.com/292710

If you have questions or concerns, my email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.

Paying Your Home With a HELOC

person giving keys on man

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I hate to pay more than you have to on your mortgage?  Your monthly mortgage payments will include two components: principal and interest. The principal balance is the loan amount, which decreases over the repayment period of a traditional mortgage.  However, the interest portion comprises the majority of the payment at the beginning of the loan and decreases during the term of a traditional mortgage.  While the majority of the payment is principal at the end of the term.

cropped-cropped-cropped-img_3917_thumb.jpgIf you have equity in your home, you could use a home equity line of credit (HELOC) instead of a traditional mortgage to pay off your house.  HELOC stands for “home equity line.” It is a loan set up as a line of credit for some maximum draw, rather than for a fixed dollar amount.  This differs from a home equity loan, which you receive the money you are borrowing in a lump sum payment and you usually have a fixed interest rate. Both a traditional mortgage and a HELOC are secured by your home.  Some advantages of HELOCs are as follows:

  • Unlike the traditional mortgage, a HELOC Mortgage-debt_thumb.jpgoffers flexibility because you can access it right away. It essentially becomes a credit card.
  • HELOCs often have lower interest rates than a traditional mortgage.
  • Some HELOCs offer the option of paying interest only.

Some of the disadvantages of a HELOC are as follows:

  • There might be a term limit (draw period) with the balance of any remaining debt required to be refinanced.
  • There might be a limit on the draw periods (typically 5 to 25 years). Repayment is of the amount drawn plus interest.
  • The variable interest rate might increase then than a fixed interest rate offered with a traditional mortgage.
  • Might be too complicated for most people to keep control of the process.

An Example

moneyhands_217w_gifSay you have a $200,000 mortgage, and your net paycheck is $5,000 per month. One month, you apply your whole paycheck to the mortgage. This immediately lowers the mortgage balance to $195,000. That month, you pay your non-housing living expenses, say $2,000, using your credit card.

Then, you pay your mortgage payment, say $1,000, using your HELOC. You also pay your credit card balance with your HELOC.  At the end of the month, you owe $3,000 on the HELOC and $195,000 on the mortgage, but your credit card has a zero balance.

The next month, your $5,000 paycheck goes to paying $1,000 for the mortgage payment and $2,000 for living expenses. The remaining $2,000 reducing the HELOC to $1,000.

In the third month, your $5,000 paycheck goes to paying $1,000 for the mortgage payment, $2,000 for living expenses, and $1,000 to zero-out the HELOC.

That leaves you with an extra $1,000, which you carry over to the fourth month. And in the fourth month, you repeat the original cycle of paying your entire $5,000 paycheck toward the mortgage, lowering it to $190,000.

If you are successful in managing this strategy, you should be able to manage four $5,000 payments toward your mortgage each year, above and beyond your regular monthly mortgage payments. That means paying an extra $20,000 of mortgage principal each year.

At that rate, your mortgage will be paid in full after substantially less than 10 years (remembering that the regular mortgage payments that you are continuing to make will also reduce the mortgage balance in increasing increments).

SOURCE: DoughRoller

In the Real Estate Market?

KW1784102f20KW.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  I could save you money especially with new home builders and it does not cost you anything.  So why not? Let me save you money!!!  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Signature Realty Associates at 2234 Lithia Center Lane, Valrico, Florida).  

As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Orlando or as far south as Sarasota.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link.

Saving on Your Mortgage

loan_application_clip_art_24699Why pay more than you have to on your mortgage?  Your monthly mortgage payments will include two components: principal and interest. The principal balance is the loan amount, which decreases over the repayment period of your mortgage.  Paying your mortgage off early is as easy as paying an additionally 10% in your payment.  Not only will this reduce the term of your mortgage, but it will also give you control of the process with the amount of .  You can make extra payments either higher or lower, depending upon your financial situation at the time.  In this example, you pay off your mortgage in about 23 years instead of 30 years.  I will prove it to you with the following spreadsheet:

Early Mortgage Payment

 

Definitions

Loan Amount – Original or expected balance for your mortgage.
Annual Interest Rate – Annual interest rate for this mortgage.
Term in Years – The number of years over which you will repay this loan.
Monthly Payment – Monthly principal and interest payment (PI). The monthly payment is calculated using a 30 year term.
Total Payments – Total of all monthly payments over the term of the balloon mortgage. This total payment amount assumes that there are no prepayments of principal.
Total Interest – Total of all interest paid over the term of the balloon mortgage. This total interest amount assumes that there are no prepayments of principal.
Payment Type – The frequency of payment. The options are none, monthly, yearly and one-time payment.
Payment Amount – Amount that will be paid on your mortgage. This amount will be applied to the mortgage principal balance, based on the prepayment type.
Start With Payment – This is the payment number that your payments will begin with. For a one-time payment, this is the payment number that the single payment will be included in. All prepayments of principal are assumed to be received by your lender in time to be included in the following month’s interest calculation.
Savings – Total amount of interest you will save by paying your mortgage.
Credit Score – The following article from Investopedia demonstrates how your credit score helps determine your interest rate and your loan amount. A higher credit score indicates that you use credit responsibly, generally pay your bills on time, and aren’t using all of your available credit. It also means you’re more likely to repay your debts than someone who consistently struggles to pay bills on time or maxes out their credit lines.
Here’s a look at how your loan pricing and monthly payments can fluctuate based on your FICO score range. FICO is the credit scoring model that most lenders use to evaluate borrowers.

The below calculation is a national average based on a $300,000 loan amount for a 30-year fixed loan as of March 12, 2018.

FICO Score APR Monthly Payment Total Interest Paid
760-850 4.117 % $1,453 $236,937
700-759 4.339 % $1,491 $236,937
680-699 4.516 % $1,523 $248,247
660-679 4.73 % $1,561 $262,078
640-659 5.16 % $1,640 $290,374
620-639 5.706 % $1,742 $327,243

Source: myfico

As you can see, the lower a borrower’s credit score, the higher the APR, increasing both the monthly payment and the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan.

In the Real Estate Market?

KW1784102f20KW.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  I could save you money especially with new home builders and it does not cost you anything.  So why not? Let me save you money!!!  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Signature Realty Associates at 2234 Lithia Center Lane, Valrico, Florida).  

As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Orlando or as far south as Sarasota.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link.

Current Home Buyer and Seller Statistics

cropped-image1.pngHome Buyer Statistics

  • First-Time vs. Repeat Buyers:
    • First-time buyers: 34%
    • Median age of first-time buyers: 32
    • Median age of repeat buyers: 54
    • Median household income of first-time buyers: $75,000
    • Median household income of repeat buyers: $97,000
  • The typical home purchased was 1,870 square feet in size, was built in 1991, and had three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
  • Among those who financed their home purchase, buyers typically financed 90% of the home price.
  • 87% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker—a share that has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.
  • Buyers who would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others: 89%
  • Where buyers found the home they purchased:
    • Internet: 51%
    • Real estate agent: 30%
    • Yard sign/open house sign: 7%
    • Friend, relative or neighbor: 6%
    • Home builder or their agent: 5%
    • Directly from sellers/Knew the sellers: 2%
    • Print newspaper advertisement: Less than 1%

Source: 2017 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

  • 78% of home buyers surveyed in NAR’s 2013 Community Preference Survey responded that neighborhood quality is more important than the size of the home.  57% would forego a home with a larger yard in favor of a shorter commute.
  • NAR’s 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences found that the feature that had the highest dollar value buyers were willing to pay more for was a waterfront property.  53% of home buyers undertook a home improvement project within 3 months of buying, typically spending $4,550 in improvement projects.

Home Seller Statistics

  • The typical home seller in 2016 was 55 years of age, had a median household income of $103,300, and lived in their home for 10 years.
  • 89% of sellers were assisted by a real estate agent when selling their home.
  • Recent sellers typically sold their homes for 99% of the listing price, and 22% reported reducing the asking price at least once.
  • The typical home sold was on the market for 3 weeks.
  • 41% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 23% used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home.
  • Sellers who definitely would use same agent again: 67%

Source: 2017 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 

In the Real Estate Market?

KW1784102f20KW.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  I could save you money especially with new home builders and it does not cost you anything.  So why not? Let me save you money!!!  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Signature Realty Associates at 2234 Lithia Center Lane, Valrico, Florida).  As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Orlando or as far south as Sarasota.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link.

Envoy’s Jumbo EXPANDED Program

Here is a new program from one of my preferred lenders:

LOOKING FOR A NON-QM JUMBO PRODUCT?

Take a look at Envoy’s Jumbo EXPANDED Program – 24 Months Banks Statement Program

24 Months Bank Statement Program:

  • Self-employed borrowers only
  • All borrowers listed on account must be borrowers on the loan
  • 24 months consecutive bank statements
  • Minimum FICO 700
  • 80% LTV up to $750,000
  • 75% LTV up to $1,000,000
  • DTI up to 50% with compensating factors (ask for details)

Please contact Bobby Lipfird with Envoy Mortgage for more information.  You can email him at blipfird@envoymortgage.com, or call him at 813.732.7755.

In the Real Estate Market?

KW1784102f20KW.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  I could save you money especially with new home builders and it does not cost you anything.  So why not? Let me save you money!!!  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Signature Realty Associates at 2234 Lithia Center Lane, Valrico, Florida).  As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Orlando or as far south as Sarasota.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link

Is a VA Loan a good option for you?

water ocean boat usa

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For the vast majority of military borrowers, VA loans represent the most powerful lending program on the market and one of the best benefits provided for their service to our country. These flexible, no-down payment loans have helped more than 20 million service members become homeowners since its inception. The VA loan is a $0 down payment mortgage option available to Veterans, Service Members and select military spouses. VA loans are issued by private lenders and guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). They don’t have mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance is a monthly fee you pay with other programs when you’re not putting at least 20 percent down. The VA’s guaranty eliminates the need for any mortgage insurance or mortgage insurance premium, helping borrowers save even more money each month.

A VA loan offers Veterans benefits that other loan products do not.

  • No down payment is required
  • No private mortgage is required
  • Easier qualifications

Some things that you should know about the limits and exception of the intent of VA loans: 

  • They’re only for certain types of homes. If you’re planning to buy a  fixer-upper, the VA loan may not be for you. It’s mainly designed for properties in “move-in ready” condition, including single-family homes, condos, modular housing, some multi-unit properties and more.
  • They’re for primary residences only. Don’t bother trying to use your VA loan benefits to buy an investment property or a vacation home . VA loans are for primary residences, although you can use this benefit to buy a duplex or another multiunit property, provided you live in one of the units. The VA does offer exceptions, though lenders also have their own standards that might affect occupancy requirements

VA loans allow Veterans to use their benefits to gain the financial stability that home ownership provides. Let’s work together to make more Veterans homeowners.

In the Real Estate Market?

KW1784102f20KW.jpgYou should consider using a realtor.  I could save you money especially with new home builders and it does not cost you anything.  So why not? Let me save you money!!!  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Signature Realty Associates at 2234 Lithia Center Lane, Valrico, Florida).  As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Orlando or as far south as Sarasota.  My email address is alanlane66@gmail.com, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link