The Importance of owning your own home

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“Although the average American household has saved roughly $175,000 in various types of savings accounts, only the top 10 percent to 20 percent of earners will likely have savings levels approaching or exceeding that amount with 29 percent of households have less than $1,000 in savings,” MagnifyMoney reports.  According to http://www.magnifymoney.com, the top 1% of households (as measured by income) have an average of $2,517,270 in these various saving accounts. The bottom 20% have an average of $8,790. with roughly 83% of savings are in located in retirement accounts like IRAs and workplace-sponsored retirement savings plans like 401(k)s.

IMG_8520According to wallethacks.com, if you have a net worth of $194,226 when you hit 65 and expect to spend only 4% a year, that gives you $7,769 a year or less than $650 a month. Even with the average monthly Social Security benefit at $1341 (2016 data), that’s still less than $2,000 a month in retirement income. That’s the median. Half get more, half get less.  As you can see in the below exhibit, it is important to own your own home:

net worth

According to a recent survey by GObankrates, the 2018 Retirement Savings survey found that 42 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved. If they don’t boost their savings, they’ll likely retire broke because that’s not enough to cover a year’s worth of expenses. On average, adults 65 and older spend almost $46,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Included in that 42 percent with less than $10,000 saved is the 14 percent of respondents with absolutely nothing saved for retirement.

As a percentage of total net worth, here’s how home equity stacks up in each age group:

Net Worth as %

In the Real Estate Market?

KW1784102f20KW.jpgBeach NorthYou 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.

 

 

Real Estate Assessment Portability in Florida

IMG_9119[1]Florida has a long history of manipulating the ad valorem taxes for its property owners.  Some of these include the amount of the homestead exemption, save our homes benefit. (limits the increases in assessed value to 3% or Consumer Price Index (CPI) whichever is less), and the latest is portability, also known as the “Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference”, is the ability to transfer the dollar benefit of the Homestead CAP from one Homestead to another. The Homestead CAP is the difference between market or just value and assessed value, often known as the Save Our Homes Benefit. You may only go only one tax year without having a homestead exemption in order to transfer your CAP.

General Information

  • There are time limits that apply – you may transfer your CAP as of January 1 of either of the 2 immediately preceding years.
  • Homestead Exemption Application required, along with the Transfer of Assessment Limitation Application (DR-501T “Transfer of Homestead Assessment Difference” application)
  • The maximum amount of CAP transfer from a single homestead is $500,000.
  • The portability benefit is based on a precentage of the difference between the just value and assessed value of the property.   Thus, the benefit is maximized when a property owner “upsize” (buying a higher valued property), but still benefits from “downsize” (buying a lower valued property) too (although not as much).
  • It can be used an unlimited number of times.
  • The Taxable Value is multiplied by millage, which is determined by local government each year.  This just shifts the tax burden to other property owners.
  • Applies to all Florida counties.

Conclusion

Although most people think that these changes help them to reduce their real estate tax burden, it appears to be more favorable for the richest property owners with not only limits the increases of assessed values (under save our homes) and portability favoring higher priced real estate.  In addition, the property appraiser has to hire more people to oversee the calculation of these changes.

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.

Credit Reporting Can Stop Your Dreams of Home Ownership.

IMG_0331According to Investopedia, “A credit score is a statistical number that evaluates a consumer’s creditworthiness and is based on credit history. Lenders use credit scores to evaluate the probability that an individual will repay his or her debts. A person’s credit score ranges from 300 to 850, and the higher the score, the more financially trustworthy a person is considered to be. The credit score model was created by the Fair Isaac Corporation, also known as FICO, and it is used by financial institutions. While there are other credit-scoring systems, the FICO score is by far the most commonly used.”

Investopedia further states that “A credit score plays a key role in a lender’s decision to offer credit. People with credit scores below 640, for example, are generally considered to be subprime borrowers. Lending institutions often charge interest on subprime mortgages at a rate higher than a conventional mortgage in order to compensate themselves for carrying more risk. They may also require a shorter repayment term or a co-signer for borrowers with a low credit score. Conversely, a credit score of 700 or above is generally considered good and may result in a borrower receiving a lower interest rate, which results in them paying less money in interest over the life of the loan.”

FHA Loan Requirements

With nearly 1 in 5 U.S. buyers using a FHA loan to finance a home purchase, here is how credit effects FHA loans. Applicants are now required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for the low down payment advantage, which is currently at around 3.5 percent.  If your credit score is below 580, however, you aren’t necessarily excluded from FHA loan eligibility. Applicants with lower credit scores will have to put down a 10 percent down payment if they want to qualify for a loan.

Conclusion

Thus, It is important to understand that a better credit score can really pay off not only the payment for a new home, but also in the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan. You got to ask yourself “Why would I want to pay more for the same home because I did not manage my credit score,”

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.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans

The following is excerpts from Attorneys’ Real Estate Councils of Florida and loan_application_clip_art_24699quoted verbatim:

 Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loans, which are used to make certain qualifying energy efficiency and hurricane hardening improvements to commercial and residential properties, are increasing in popularity but unfortunately many buyers and sellers do not understand how they work and how they can complicate the real estate closing process.  Here is what you, as a real estate professional, need to know about this increasingly popular financial product.

moneyhands_217w_gifGetting a PACE loan is easy.  Qualifying requirements for PACE financing agreements are relatively simple and are based on the home’s equity and tax payment history. The approval process typically takes less than an hour.  In May 2018, President Trump signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act which directed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to create federal oversight of, and rules for, the program so new requirements may be added, requiring residential consumers to pass an “ability-to-pay” analysis before they are approved. Florida, California, and Missouri are the only three states with PACE programs.

Seller Disclosure of the PACE Lien and Non-Ad Valorem Assessment

Sec. 163.08(14), F.S., requires sellers to disclose, in the contract or by a separate writing, the existence of the PACE assessment prior to the execution of the contract by the buyer. The disclosure must be as set forth in the statute:

  • Qualifying Improvements for Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Or Wind Resistance.
  • The property being purchased is located within the jurisdiction of a local government that has placed an assessment on the property pursuant to s. 163.08, Florida Statutes. The assessment is for a qualifying improvement to the property relating to energy efficiency, renewable energy, or wind resistance, and is not based on the value of property. You are encouraged to contact the county property appraiser’s office to learn more about this and other assessments that may be provided by law.

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.

Year End 2018 Hillsborough County Market Update

The following is the state of the Hillsborough County Single family markert:

National and Regional Single Family Market

According to NAR, existing single family home sales have decreased with projected annual sales of 4,940,000 units in January 2019 versus 5,400,000 units in January 2018.  Statistics in the South have also decreased with annual sales in January 2019 of 2,080,000 versus 2,270,000 in January 2018.

2018 NAR Sales Volume Figures

As of January 2019 there was a 3.9 month supply of inventory available, which was up 5.4% from the previous year, nationwide.

As illustrated on the following table, the median nationwide existing single family home price was $247,500 in January 2019, which is up 2.8% from a year ago.  The median price in the South was $214,800, which was up 2.5% from the previous year.

The average nationwide existing single family home price was $286,800 in January 2019, reflecting a 1.5% increase from a year ago.  The average price in the South was up 1.3% from the previous year.

STATE OF FLORIDA HISTORICAL CLOSED SALES FIGURES

2018 NAR Sales Price Figures

Florida Single Family Market

The following data was prepared by the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR).

As can be seen in the following charts, sales of single family homes increased in 2018, compared with 2017 numbers.  Sales volumes have increased over the same previous year quarter every quarter since 2014.

2018 FAR Sales Valume Figures

STATE OF FLORIDA HISTORICAL CLOSED SALES FIGURES

2018 FAR Sales Valume Figures 2

Along with increases in the number of sales, pricing has also increased in 2018 with fourth quarter figures up 6.3% from fourth quarter 2017 figures.

STATE OF FLORIDA MEDIAN SALES PRICE FIGURES

2018 FAR Median Sales Price Figures

2018 FAR Median Sales Price Figures 2

Hillsborough County Single Family Market

The following data was prepared by the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors (GTAR).  As can be seen in the following charts, sales of single family homes have generally increased in 2018 over 2017.

2018 Hillsborough County Sales Volume Figures

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY CLOSED SALES FIGURES

2018 Hillsborough County Sales Volume Figures 2

Along with increases in the number of sales, pricing has also increased in 2018 with fourth quarter figures up 5.4% from fourth quarter 2017 figures.

2018 Hillsborough County Sales Price Figures

 TAMPA AREA MEDIAN SALES PRICE FIGURES

 2018 Hillsborough County Sales Price Figures 2

CONCLUSION

The Tampa Bay MSA area experienced large growth in residential housing during the residential “boom” period of the early to mid 2000’s. Since the beginning of 2014, the market has shown increases in both pricing and sales figures.  Hillsborough County is slowly becoming more built out with less vacant land available for development.

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.

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.

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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

    Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

  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.

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.