Chase Bank Debunks Home Buying Myths
Brittany specializes in working with first-time home-buyers, individuals looking to downsize and those seeking luxury real estate or investment property.
Born and raised in Ocala, Brittany Tony is a Florida native. Graduating from Rollings College in Winter Park, Florida, with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, Brittany launched a diverse career centered around community and civic involvement. Brittany first started as a public relations professional, working with institutions and companies to increase brand awareness before transitioning into business marketing where she assisted local businesses in exploring niche markets and expanding their client base. Brittany has worked on several presidential and congressional campaigns as a staff worker, speech writer and campaign manager. While serving as the Press Secretary for a member of the 113th Congress, Brittany reconnected with an old high school friend. Nine months later, he proposed on a chilly DC night in front of the U.S. Capitol, and they decided to return home to the sandy beaches of the Sunshine State. In February 2014, Brittany and her husband, Jonathan, moved to Jacksonville and began integrating in Northeast Florida’s growing community. Brittany is a proud member of Beaches Rotaract, Northeast Florida Association of Realtors’ Sales & Marketing Council, Women’s Federated of Duval County and Womenade Jax. Brittany and her husband now reside in Neptune Beach with their two dogs: Sofie (a maltese) and a Jacksonville sheep dog rescue named Walter. With a background in customer satisfaction, Brittany can make the frustrating aspects of home buying pleasant. You find the home of your dreams. She’ll do the rest. From setting up property tours to drafting purchase contracts, Brittany simplifies the process so you can focus on the things that matter most in your life. For sellers looking to list their property on the market, Brittany’s unparalleled marketing experience will guarantee you a comprehensive marketing plan that will attract buyers and make the home listing process simple. Whether you are searching for your first home or looking to sell, Brittany Tony is the agent for all of your real estate needs.
Chase Bank Debunks Home Buying Myths
It's almost tax season! Could your home have some hidden tax breaks?
NEW YORK – Feb. 21, 2017 – Owning a property can unlock some of the biggest potential tax breaks most families have access to.
It's not just the home-related tax breaks you get access to, either, says Lisa Greene-Lewis, a CPA and tax expert for TurboTax. "Getting enough qualified expenses can top the standard deduction and push you over into itemizing and allow you to deduct so many other expenses you wouldn't be able to otherwise," she said.
Here are five valuable deductions that you may be able to claim:
The interest paid on a home loan is typically the largest potential deduction for middle-class Americans, Greene-Lewis said. For instance, a 30-year mortgage on a $300,000 loan at current rates will run you more than $12,000 in interest payments your first year. If you own a second home, you can also deduct the mortgage interest on that, as long as it isn't a rental property.
Read more here: http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=3&id=348690
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Products and appliances have a lifetime. Be prepared and start a replacement fund or consider a home warranty!
Single women: A growing force in the real estate market
CHICAGO – Sept. 9, 2016 – Single women are statistically better at paying their mortgages than men – they default less, according to researchers at the Housing Finance Policy Center of the Urban Institute. On average, they have lower incomes than single men, but tend to make larger downpayments.
Still, studies have shown that single females are charged more for loans and are denied credit more often. They are now the second largest group of buyers in the marketplace, accounting for anywhere from 15 percent to more than 20 percent of all home purchases in recent years.
Right Trac Financial Group, a lender with operations in eight states, views single women as a rapidly expanding part of its business. Joe Petrowsky, a mortgage consultant with the firm, says 26 percent of his business is now with single women.
Real estate agents say buying a condo or house may have a stronger and deeper emotional connection for single women than other demographic groups.
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) (09/06/16) Harney, Kenneth R.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Sept. 9, 2016 – Last August, about 35 percent of homebuyers identified themselves as first-time buyers. Flash-forward one year later, the share of buyers identifying themselves as first-timers has soared to 51 percent, according to research by realtor.com®.
As more first-time buyers re-emerge, new challenges – mostly financial – are becoming more paramount for the market, notes Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com's chief economist, in his latest column.
For example, about 9 percent of buyers are now reporting having difficulty qualifying for a mortgage, up from 5.6 percent a year ago. The number of buyers saying they need to improve their credit score has since doubled, increasing from 9.7 percent of all buyers in 2015 to 19.5 percent this August. What's more, the percentage of buyers who say they don't have enough funds for a downpayment has increased from 16 percent a year ago to 25 percent this year.
"The market has seen growth despite higher prices in part because of pent-up demand from very qualified buyers who were able to meet the challenging mortgage qualifications that are the norm these days," Smoke says. "A key question for the months ahead is whether a higher share of first-time buyers is ready or capable of qualifying for a loan and closing on a home."
Smoke offers the following financial tips for first-time buyers who want to make a move sooner rather than later:
Get your finances in order:Know your FICO score and take efforts to get it above 700 to improve your chances of qualifying for financing and securing a better interest rate. Also, start collecting financial records, like recent bank and financial statements, the past two years of income tax filings and pay stubs.
Know your down payment: The average downpayment for 2016 is 11 percent nationwide. That can vary dramatically, however. Several downpayment assistance programs also are available to help.
Get pre-approved: Getting pre-approved will prove you do have the finances in place to qualify for a mortgage and purchase a home. "A pre-approval letter as part of an offer will communicate to the seller that you have the ability to close," Smoke notes.
Source: "First-Time Home Buyers Come Out in Force – But Face New Challenges," realtor.com® (Sept. 8, 2016)
5 uncommon ways to come up with a downpayment
Ask the sellers for help
The home seller may be willing to help buyers with closing costs, via seller concessions. However, lenders many times limit concessions, depending on the mortgage type. For example, FHA mortgages have a cap of 6 percent of the sales price; Fannie Mae-backed loans have caps between 3 percent and 9 percent.
Explore government options
Some homebuyers may find downpayment help from state, local or national programs. For example, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has several programs, such as assistance with downpayment and closing costs. Most HUD programs are geared to individuals who meet certain income or location requirements. HUD also offers assistance through its Good Neighbor Next Door Sales Program for law enforcement officers, firefighters, teachers and EMTs. For veterans, the VA offers loans that often require zero downpayment or private mortgage insurance. In Florida, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation can sometimes help.
See if an employer will help
Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) programs can assist low- to moderate-income employees with a down payment through their employer. Ask the human resources or benefits personnel at your employer if your company participates in an EAH program.
Look into special lender programs
A few lenders offer specialized programs to help too. With FHA mortgages, borrowers may need just 3.5 percent for a downpayment, though mortgage insurance could make monthly payments higher. Some lenders, such as TD Bank, offer a 3 percent downpayment with no mortgage insurance program. Check with regional banks for possible downpayment assistance or first-time buyer programs.
Source: "5 Ways You Didn't Know You Could Save for a Down Payment," HouseLogic (Oct. 26, 2015)
Mortgage rates in free fall since Brexit vote
NEW YORK – June 29, 2016 – Ever since Britain's surprise vote to leave the European Union, U.S. homebuyers and homeowners have been reaping an expected benefit – quickly dropping mortgage rates. The cost of the average fixed-rate mortgage is hitting its lowest point in more than three years – and economists expect them to head even lower.
On Monday, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.46 percent, near the lowest average since late 2012, realtor.com reports.
"Lower rates produce lower monthly payments and greater buying power – those who are well qualified can afford a home that's 8 percent more expensive than at the beginning of the year," says Jonathan Smoke, realtor.com's chief economist. "That's more than enough to offset the rise in prices during that time."
That said, low mortgage rates could prompt lenders to get stricter with underwriting standards, Smoke adds.
"As mortgage rates declined this year, we've seen that credit access has gone down too," he notes. "That's because lenders have become more risk-averse as their profit margins have been whittled down by the double whammy of lower rates and higher origination and servicing costs."
Source: "Thanks, Brexit! Well-Qualified U.S. Buyers Reap a Windfall," realtor.com® (June 28, 2016)
Get 'em while they're low! Mortgage rates have DROPPED!
WASHINGTON (AP) – May 12, 2016 – Long-term U.S. mortgage rates fell this week for a third straight week, posting new lows for the year. The benchmark 30-year rate reached a three-year low.
The low rates come amid the spring home buying season, luring prospective purchasers.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 3.57 percent from 3.61 percent last week. It's far below its level a year ago of 3.85 percent.
Contact me today to be connected to a mortgage officer. 904-307-0225
Fannie Mae's new policy makes it easier for you to obtain financing for your new home
Did you know that millennials make up one-third of homebuyers?
WINTER PARK, Fla. – Young adults bought as many homes as boomers did last year, notes Logan, who is also a professor of real estate economics at Rollins College.
Young people are delaying noteworthy life decisions that usually precede homeownership, such as getting married or having children because of student debt and the Great Recession. However, most surveys indicate that if the financial situation changes, so will preferences.
For example, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Survey of Consumer Expectations found that 44 percent of renters believe they will buy when they move within the next three years.
"An improving economy, greater access to credit, and the sheer size of this generation of young consumers" means the turnaround is just a matter of time, says Logan.
New schools announced for the Nocatee Community! Curious about the Nocatee lifestyle? Let's schedule a time to check out some of the wonderful newly built homes. Warning: You may feel tempted to buy a golf cart!
A new St. Johns County K-8 school is coming to the Nocatee community. Construction will begin this spring and the school will open for the 2017-18 Year.
10 Best-Kept Secrets for Buying a Home
Get the most out of your money with these handy home-buying tips.
Considering a home in Nocatee, but uncertain about the school districts?
The planning process for new St. Johns County schools is now underway.Recently, the St. Johns County School Board confirmed plans for three new schools in northern part of the County, including a K-8 school in the Nocatee community [to open for 2017-18 school year]. The school site in Nocatee has not been finalized, but is expected to be identified early 2016.
School zoning is reviewed every fall, before the school year begins, and many Nocatee students are expected to attend the new school. This school is the second K-8 school to join the community in recent years. To learn more about the schools current residents attend, stop by the Nocatee Welcome Center or call 1-800-NOCATEE.
Six more reasons to love Jacksonville!
Downtown Jacksonville is in the midst of a culinary boom. Here's six impressive restaurants that will be opening over the next few months.
Ready to make the big jump? Read this article for some helpful tips!
Ready to buy your first home? Here are some tips to help you navigate the process.
Don't make this first-time home buyer mistake:
Making a big purchase after signing a contract for a home, but before reaching the closing table.
According to an Bankrate.com, when borrowers prequalify for a loan, they need to avoid big-ticket purchases until the loan closes. Lenders pull credit reports before the closing to make sure the borrower's financial situation has not changed since the loan was approved. Any new loans on their credit report could cause a closing delay.
You may feel tempted to buy new furniture for your new home or even a new boat for your sweet beachfront property, but you had better wait until after closing, or it could delay the process and your move-in date. If you have any questions regarding the home buying process or timeline, give me a call or shoot me a text today 904-307-0225!
Selling your home? Follow these great tips compiled by Houselogic.com to make sure your house stays presentable at all times!
1. Get the humidity right to help banish dust. Too much air moisture is an ideal environment for dust mites, while an overly dry space causes static electricity that attracts dust and makes it harder to remove. The sweet spot is a humidity level between 40 and 50 percent.
2. Keep soap scum off glass surfaces using rain repellant. After cleaning the bathroom, coat glass shower doors and walls with a rain-repellant product made for car windshields. It creates an invisible barrier that causes water, oils and soap suds to bead and roll off.
3. Use a countertop sealer to repel stains. Liquids such as red wine, juice or soy sauce can easily stain porous materials, but spills on well-sealed granite and marble will bead instead of getting absorbed. Most natural stone countertops are sealed when installed, but re-applying sealer twice a year can make them easier to clean. To see if you need a fresh coat, pour a tiny bit of water on the stone countertop. If the water doesn't bead or doesn't stay beaded for two to three minutes, it's time to reseal.
4. Create a spot-cleaning kit for quick touch-ups before showing appointments. Many people have different products stored throughout the home, making chores more of an all-day production than a quick touch-up job.
Jacksonville Real Estate News: FSCJ Plans to Expand Downtown Campus
Florida State College at Jacksonville is looking to expand its footprint in Downtown – and have a hand in its revitalization in the process.
Realtor.com empowers buyers to test out neighborhoods
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Realtor.com – an ad site for real estate listings owned by the National Association of Realtors and operated by News Corp.'s Move Inc. – announced that it teamed up with Airbnb. The agreement will allow potential homebuyers to "live like a local" by experiencing a specific neighborhood before purchasing.
Visitors to realtor.com will be able to book accommodations nationwide on Airbnb, from single-family homes to condos, lofts and other properties located near their desired neighborhood.
"Our relationship with Airbnb … allows us to reduce some of the unknown factors associated with relocating to a new community," says Ryan O'Hara, chief executive officer of Move.
Consumers who visit realtor.com to look at homes can select the option to "Airbnb before buying," which will appear on the homepage and for-sale listing detail pages. The pages will then display Airbnb accommodations that consumers have the option to book.
The Jacksonville marketplace is heating up! Who will snatch up this fantastic commercial property in Riverside?
Much of the land where the Yates Family YMCA now sits on Riverside Avenue is for sale. Of course, the buyer will have to wait until the new Y is finished before he can do anything with it.
It looks like Neptune Beach has a new City Manager!
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Building our community, one pet adoption at a time! come out to support this great event!
Adoption fees are only $20 and include microchip, spay/neuter, vaccines and come with a city license. You'll also receive a free exam from our veterinary clinic when you adopt.
Date: Saturday- Sunday, June 27-28, 2015
Time: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Location: PetSmart Southside, 8801 Southside Blvd, Jacksonville 32256
It's finally Friday! Now, it's time to decide what to do this weekend. Theme parks are fun, but the Florida heat is oppressive. Movies are great, but who wants to be stuck indoors?
How fantastic would it be to just grab a glass of lemonade and a good book and walk onto the beach? For a perfect summer filled with sunshine, ice cold drinks and sun-kissed skin, consider a beach rental.
To book your ideal summer home, give me a call today!
$$ Money, Money, Money $$ Who doesn't love having extra cash on hand? Here's a property insurance change that can save you money!
NEW YORK – June 1, 2015 – What's bigger in Florida than in Texas or Hawaii? Don't say the lines at early-bird specials, wise guy.
It's the savings from raising your home insurance deductible, according to a new report.
Florida homeowners can enjoy the nation's third-biggest savings by raising their insurance deductible from $500 to $2,000, research shows – an average of $255.
Floridians can save an average of 23 percent on their insurance with such a move, according to research published by InsuranceQuotes.com, affiliated with Bankrate.com of North Palm Beach.
It is true you pay more out of pocket if you do have a claim. But that happens less often than you might think: only 4.8 percent of U.S. homeowners file a claim in any given year, researchers say.
"If Florida residents are willing to bite the bullet and increase that deductible, they can save money," said senior analyst Laura Adams.
Of course, be sure to check what deductibles your insurer allows and confirm it makes sense financially in your case. But if you have the discipline to bank the savings from lower premiums – as a reserve fund for deductibles or to fix smaller issues yourself – you can come out ahead over time.
1236 3rd St S
Jacksonville Beach, FL
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