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Wilmington Branch

From the downtown river district and Riverwalk that skirts the storied Cape Fear River to the new and modern facilities that are remaking the riverfront’s skyline, Wilmington, NC is a must-see southern destination. Rivaling Charleston and Savannah in its charm and history and voted America’s Best Riverfront, Wilmington serves as the portal to all this area has to offer.

You’ll love Wilmington’s riverfront, historic neighborhoods and everything in between. Enjoy a relaxed coastal lifestyle for the perfect getaway filled with unlimited vacation choices.


5 Things to know about Single-Family Home Investing

Single-Family Home Investing

1. Know your investing criteria first

With any investment, be it stocks, bonds or real estate, you need to know what your objectives are and it is no different with single-family home investing. If you’re focused on safety and security, consider exploring low-risk investment homes that generate steady, reliable yield. An example of this may be a more expensive investment property in a good school district. You’re going to get a lower yield, but you may see better downside protection and less volatility. If you have a longer-term horizon or you’re seeking higher returns, you may want to take on a little more risk. Often, lower-priced homes will be more risky, but you may get higher yields and potentially higher long-term returns.

2. Don’t limit your investment property search to where you live

If your primary residence, income property, and job are all located in the same area, you have a lot of concentrated risks and are more vulnerable to the swings of the local economy. An online marketplace for buying and selling leased single-family rental homes, spread risk by investing in markets outside of where they live. (Hiring a local property manager or a “local community lender” like Land Home Financial is key here.)

Diversification is just one reason to expand your investment property search. You won’t be able to find a great income property for $100,000 in Seattle, Denver, or Oakland, Calif.; but you can if focus on the Midwest, South and Southeast, including Florida.

3. Separate investing from operations

One of the appeals of investing in single-family rental homes is you can hire strong local property management firms to handle day-to-day management tasks of rent collection, repairs and maintenance, and leasing. Over the past several years, property managers have adopted new technologies and business processes to manage homes more effectively for owners.

While some people do choose to self-manage, hiring a property manager can save you a lot of time and potentially money in the long run. While property management companies typically charge between 7% and 8% of the rent, they manage properties for a living and can work to ensure the property is leased, in good condition, and the tenants are happy. Additionally, using a local property manager effectively allows you to buy properties outside of where you live, as self-managing is difficult if the property is not nearby.

4. Real estate investing is a marathon, not a sprint

You might be familiar with the house-flipping reality TV shows in which a person buys a home, fixes it up, and sells quickly for a profit. While that can be an effective way to make a one-time profit, it’s the exact opposite of how you should approach single-family rental home investing, which is about building long-term wealth. Instead, treat it like a nest egg.

In addition, don’t be overly influenced or reactive to short-term fluctuations in your rental property portfolio. You may own a home for a few months and have to deal with a tenant moving out unexpectedly, but the next tenant might reside there for several years before you have another vacancy. Look at this investment over a multi-year horizon and consider your overall outlays and inflows over that long timespan. If you buy a decent house in a decent area, the returns tend to be quite attractive over time and can add a nice counterbalance to other types of investments.

5. Take advantage of the tools and resources available to you

New developments in technology and data access are making real estate ownership more broadly accessible to the everyday investor.

Single-family rental homes currently is a $3 trillion industry, with 1 million homes trading hands among investors every year. The investment opportunities are ripe, and never has it been less complicated for investors to buy and own homes outside their geographic location.

*Whether you are buying or selling, Land Home Financial can assist. We have developed Partner Relationship all over Florida to accommodate our customers*


Builder Confidence Climbs to 70 in May

Builder Confidence in the Market

Builder confidence in the market for newly built single-family homes rose two points to 70 in May after a downwardly revised April reading on the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI). This is the fourth time the HMI has reached 70 or higher this year.

“The solid May report shows that builders are buoyed by growing consumer demand for single-family homes,” said NAHB Chairman Randy Noel. “However, the record high cost of lumber is hurting builders’ bottom lines and making it more difficult to produce competitively priced houses for newcomers to the market.”

“Tight housing inventory, employment gains and demographic tailwinds should continue to boost demand for newly built single-family homes,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “With these fundamentals in place, the housing market should improve at a steady, gradual pace in the months ahead.”

Derived from a monthly survey that NAHB has been conducting for 30 years, the HMI gauges builder perceptions of current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months as “good,” “fair” or “poor.” The survey also asks builders to rate traffic of prospective buyers as “high to very high,” “average” or “low to very low.” Scores for each component are then used to calculate a seasonally adjusted index where any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor.Builder Confidence in Land Home Financial

The HMI chart gauging current sales conditions increased two points to 76 in May while the indexes measuring buyer traffic and expectations in the next six months remained unchanged at 51 and 77, respectively.

Looking at the three-month moving averages for regional HMI scores, the West and Northeast held steady at 76 and 55, respectively. Meanwhile, the South and Midwest each edged down one point to respective levels of 72 and 65.

See detailed tables at nahb.org/hmi. More information on housing statistics is also available at housingeconomics.com.


Buying or Selling in Florida

If I was Going to Buy or Sell in Florida I Would…

If I was thinking of selling in Florida, I would sell now before this strong seller’s market comes to an end, which may happen much quicker than many realize.

If I living in Florida and was thinking of buying now, I would still move forward and consider buying. On the flip side, if I was thinking of moving to Florida but didn’t have to move right now, I might wait until after the current Florida real estate homes pricing settles just a little and lots of homes come on the market to choose from.land home financial buyer and sellers market

Caveats

    • The Fed has lowered interest rates to the lowest point ever and kept them there for longer than ever before. We are in uncharted territory as they raise rates.
    • The US has a downturn or recession every 7 years on average. It’s been longer that that since the last one. So the odds are, normally, …but he stock market hit a new high right after the 2016 presidential election. If a recession develops in 2018-2019, Florida real estate prices could drop substantially causing a fantastic buying opportunity of up to 50% or more off current home prices.
    • I’m hearing “you should buy now because if you don’t, prices will just be higher next week” and “It’s different this time because there’s a wave of babyboomers coming that will cause prices to just keep going up and Florida is the new California, etc.” This is exactly what they were saying right up to the last day before the Florida real estate bubble popped and home prices proceeded to drop 60% on average.
    • When this current bubble pops, prices will likely drop the most in neighborhoods where homes are occupied mainly by people who bought to live in Florida full-time.
    • Prices usually drop less in areas where homes and condos are mostly owned by wealthier folks who mainly only occupy them during the winter months such as in Palm Beach (Note: Not Palm Beach County in general, not West Palm Beach, etc., but the town of Palm Beach on the key) and Naples proper.

So Where Are Florida Home Prices Now?

  • People who moved to Florida during the 10 year “hurricane drought” only to be forced out of their homes for the first time in their lives during the “return to normal” 2017 hurricane season, will decide that where they moved from, wasn’t so bad after all and want to sell. This will increase supply and lead to lower prices.
  • People that were forced out of their homes and have not been able to return to them because hurricane damage, have already move and established life elsewhere. A high percentage of these homes will go up for sale, increasing supply and lowering prices.
  • The 2017 hurricane season which devastated parts of Texas, then Florida and finally Puerto Rico was heavily reported nationwide, slowing demand as people think twice about moving to Florida. This is reducing demand.
  • The “normal” 30,000 or so who move out of Florida for monthly now for reasons other than hurricanes, continues.
  • This has worsened throughout the year as the 2017 hurricane damage money is spent and all the those additional workers and jobs leave the state, reducing housing demand and leading to lower prices.

Where Are They Heading?

Bottom Line: What will Happen to Florida Real Estate Prices in 2018 and 2019

  • Look for growing inventory, homes sitting on the market longer and price reductions this year in 2018. This will gain steam as the year progresses and interest rates increase.
  • If the annual 6 month hurricane season in Florida in 2018 is another “normal” one like 2017 with evacuations and damage, look for Florida real estate prices to tank in 2019, fingers crossed that won’t be the case.
  • If the country experiences a downturn or recession (historically we are overdue for one) look for Florida real estate prices to drop like a rock in 2019.
  • If both of those things happen, look for Florida real estate prices to collapse and rapidly drop up to 50% or more in 2019 as the floodgates of sellers opens up and the pipeline of buyers slows to a trickle.

Land Home as You Preferred Builder Lender

Land Home – Your “Preferred Builder Lender”

  • What we found working with many other builders is that they usually have their own lender and then a list of three preferred lenders to choose from if their in-house lender cannot approve them they select from the Alternative List. The problem we see is that list of three alternative lenders all do the same thing and in most cases the same the in house lender? That’s where we come in – we’re different and unique as you see below from most lenders!
  • Our company is a “Direct Seller Servicer” with Fanny, Freddy and Ginny and we service 90% of all our loans which means the customer stays with us and submits their payments to us directly. This allows us to make approvals on “make sense loans” instead or corresponding to another lender and following their guidelines because the loan is being sold to another lender.
  • We have no Overlays – when we pre-approve a Borrower, we follow the agency guidelines exactly to what the Automated Underwriting System approves and tells us.
  • Because we are a direct lender, our pricing is the top 4% of all lenders in our market.
  • We are a true Community Based Lender – which means we offer all the Down Payment Assistance programs for buyers that need them and we even offer own in House DPA program which gives 5% of the sale towards down payment and closing cost as a true gift no lien and no payback on purchase price up to $417,000.00 with a minimum 620 credit score.

Review the Comparisons and You’ll See Just “WHY” we are Better for You as a Builder

  • (LHFS) No minimum credit scores on Conventional – (MOST LENDERS) Do not go below 640 some 620
  • (LHFS) Minimum credit score on FHA 580 – (MOST LENDERS) Minimum credit score of 620 – some 640
  • (LHFS) Income ratios up to 57% with AUS approval – (MOST LENDERS) Income ratios up to 50% – some 55%
  • (LHFS) We do not require Tax returns on W2 Borrower – (MOST LENDERS) Require Tax returns regardless
  • (LHFS) We allow Commission, Overtime & Bonus Income after 1 full year of client receiving them – (MOST LENDERS) Want 2 years of history to be qualified and allowed
  • (LHFS) We do not deduct 2106 Expenses on W2 Borrowers that do not receive Commission or Bonuses – (MOST LENDERS) Deduct the 2106 Business expenses against the Borrowers income
  • (LHFS) We allow part-time Job after 1 full year – (MOST LENDERS) Want 2 years of history
  • (LHFS) Conventional Loans: if the Borrower has 10 payments or less on revolving accounts and Installment accounts we do not count the debt – (MOST LENDERS) Only allow installment debt – not revolving
  • (LHFS) We allow revolving accounts to be paid down to zero and not close the account – (MOST LENDERS) Require the account to be closed
  • (LHFS) We do not require disputed accounts to be removed from the credit report; which will lower the credit score (MOST LENDERS) Require the disputed accounts  to be removed

Additionally, we have a about a 70% conversion rate on “turn downs” from already built homes from the following builders: Lennar, Pulti, Park Square, KB Homes, DR Horton, Snow Construction, Meritage, Minto & Toll Brothers and am very confident we can do the same with your organization.

*Please note all percentages and statements are subject to change based on regulations that may arise. The use of hypothetical, predictive, and current statements, by Land Home Financial Services, are meant to illustrate current operation standards.


Real Estate and Housing Forecast 2018

The Housing Picture for 2018

National Association of Realtors

NAR reported existing home sales rose 3% in February. Nationally, 5.54 million units sold ending 2 months of declining sales. Housing inventory rose last month but is still down 8.1% from 12 months ago.

Housing inventory remains the most influential and persistent factor affecting prices although media and politicians blame speculation, building costs, interest rates, cost of living, and mortgage rules. When the economy is good people want homes. Construction is strong but can’t keep up. Simple rule of supply vs demand is driving home prices.

Ready to Choose a Realtor and Buy?

A perfect storm of demand, supply and economic factors are making Florida an excellent a great place to buy real estate. See the price projections for the major cities below.

The housing market in Tampa, Orlando, Panama City, Sarasota, Naples, Fort Lauderdale, and even Boca Raton are compelling real estate investment value propositions for snowbirds and other buyers in North America. As you’ll see, sunny and warm Florida home prices are quite reasonable.

Interest in buying Florida properties from buyers seems to grow and wane through the weeks and months. Although January and February are a lull in demand, the Florida economy is too strong to see that continue. The recent tax changes may discourage speculative investment for a while but buyers are now back.

The Florida housing market in 2017 was characterized by a lack of new construction, big price reductions on new condos, a disappearance of South American property buyers, softened house and condo prices, and of course, low taxation rates. If the glut of condo building in Miami is now complete, then we may see upward pressure on condo prices.

Choosing Your Florida Home StyleOrlando downtown skyline panorama over Lake Eola at night with urban skyscrapers. RM

The variety of homes in Florida is astonishing.  From modern 3 bedroom bungalows to condos in towering buildings to quaint beach houses to spacious multi-million dollar mansions, you can have your dream life, walk the beaches, shop for hours, and never have to shovel snow.  For a lot of buyers, that’s a compelling value proposition.

With more baby boomers hoping to retire somewhere nice, and who have been holding onto their old home because they have nowhere to go, will find Florida a compelling value proposition in real estate investment.


8 Things to Consider Before you Buy a Home

When Buying a Home in Florida

Whether you’re buying a second home/vacation home or you’re considering moving to warm, sunny Florida, consider a few matter beforehand:

  1. Can you afford to live in the region or neighborhoods you have targeted?
  2. Which cities and neighborhoods are safe and pleasant to live in?
  3. Summers are hot and humid. Can you take the heat and the indoor life?
  4. Do you like golf, fishing, walking the beach, boating, and water sports?
  5. How well can you run your business from Florida and how much back and forth travel will you need to do?
  6. What is the actual cost of living?
  7. How much will your mortgage payments be for the next 10 years?
  8. Is there a true demand for your area of work/profession?

Some people love Florida and some don’t like it at all. If you could live there during the winter only, as many snowbirds from New York, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington do, it’s might be a no brainer. All you’d have to focus on is finding a home and getting it at a bearable price.

With the Florida economy rolling along nicely, there’s no reason to believe there is a downside to buying property in the Sunshine State. And sunshine is a key benefit for most buyers here.

Interest in Orlando and Tampa real estate has been particularly strong and that’s likely due to the lower prices. Even homes in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale are half the price as those in Miami.

However the economies in Tampa and Orlando are holding their own and drawing in new residents due to lower than expected prices on condos and homes.

 


2018 Conforming Loan Limits Rise

2018 Loan Limits Rise Mortgage Rates Rise

The FHFA Raises Conforming Loan Limits from $424,100 to $453,100

U.S. home values expand and contract. Every year around the Thanksgiving holiday, the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) publishes their third quarter House Price Index (HPI) report. This report includes estimates for the increase to the U.S. median home value over the last four quarters (usually Q3 to Q3). Essentially, the FHFA measures the amount U.S. homes have appreciated over the past 12-month period.

Based on the HPI report, the FHFA will use the results, whether up, down or no change, to recommend an adjustment to the conforming loan limits. This is a corrective measure to ensure conforming loan amounts keep pace with home appreciation.

According to the FHFA’s 2018 seasonally adjusted expanded-data HPI report, home prices in the U.S. increased on average by 6.8% from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017. As a result, the baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2018 will increase 6.8% from $424,100 to $453,100.

Why This Matters to Potential Home Buyers…

The 2018 loan limit increase provides an expansion to your conforming loan amount potential. In other words, the 2018 loan limit increase allows Lenders to lend more money to qualified buyers within the conforming classification.

So…

If you were home shopping this past summer and everything was too expensive for you to qualify for using a conforming loan – contact your local Land Home Mortgage Representative and ask them to take a second look at your loan application. The loan limit change may potentially increase the amount you can borrow and turn that “No” into “Yes-Approved!”.

And for folks still trying to decide if homeownership is the right move; now is a great time to schedule a no-cost, hassle-free homeownership check-in with a local Land Home Mortgage Representative.

Say “Yes!” to homeownership!


First Time Home Buyer Tips

1 Minute to Win it for the 1st Time Buyer

Start prepping as a first time home buyer immediately. Start saving money for upcoming expenses, you’ll need it. Find a community lender to help get you pre-approved. Be sure to pay close attention to the home inspection and bring another close friend or family member for a second opinion. Offer to help people move so when it’s your time to move you’ll have help. It’s also important to not buy furniture right away. Know what you can change and what you can’t, remember that you buy a neighborhood when you buy a home. Here at Land Home Financial Orlando, we are excited to help you fulfill your new home dreams.


Stay Within Budget When Buying a House

5 Budgeting Tips

A house is likely to be the most expensive purchase you’ll ever make. And if you’ve waited a long time for this day to come, you’ve undoubtedly thought about the features you desire – maybe you’re craving a huge master bedroom with walk-in closets, or perhaps a gourmet kitchen. We’ve listed five budgeting tips for you to follow that will help you out.

While you don’t want to skimp on the amenities you love, adding too many can drive up the cost and destroy your budget. By thinking about your long-term financial goals and assessing your budget before you buy, you can score the home you want without experiencing buyer’s remorse.

1. Establish a Firm Price Limit and a List of “Must Haves”

When you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, your bank determines how much they think you can afford to spend on a house. But don’t assume the number they provide is the amount you should spend.

Go online and use a mortgage calculator – after you enter a sale price, a loan term, and interest rate, the calculator estimates your monthly payment, including home-owners insurance, property taxes, and private mortgage insurance. Also, research whether there are other expenses you’ll need to work into your budget after buying a home.

5 Home Buying Budgeting Tips with Land Home FinancialFor instance, association dues, a lawn or pest service or possible higher utilities; these costs can really add up and eat into your monthly budget. If you decide in advance which amenities are “must-haves” and which would simply be nice to have, you’ll be in a better position to stay within budget when you start looking at homes.

 2. Keep Tabs on Your Real Estate Agent

Land Home Financial Realtor PartnersI’ve had only positive experiences with my real estate agents, but not everyone is as lucky. Good agents respect your finances and only show you homes you can afford.

That being said, some agents may try to push the envelope and recommend properties outside your price point. Be firm and stick to your guns.

3. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

It’s very easy to fall into the cycle of “compare and despair.” This is a nasty cycle to fall into, especially when it comes to buying a home. A house isn’t a pair of shoes or an expensive handbag – if you overspend when buying a house, it isn’t easy to recover from the mistake.

Rather than obsessing over the fact that your friend bought a house with an outdoor kitchen, offer your congratulations, and then get excited about what your budget can do for you. Maybe you’ll have four bedrooms instead of two, or you’ll have a gas oven instead of an electric one. Then, think about the ways you’ll benefit from staying within your budget, such as maintaining a healthy vacation or a retirement fund or starting a college fund for your kids.

4. Avoid Bidding Wars

Competing with other buyers is no picnic, and to win a bidding war, you often have to increase your offer. This isn’t necessarily bad, as long as you’re able to stay within budget – however, bidding wars can get out of hand quickly.

If you get caught in a bidding frenzy, you could end up spending more than you want. Decide how much you’re willing to pay for a particular house in advance, and resist the urge to exceed that limit. In other words, be willing to walk away.

5. Bid on Houses That Aren’t Selling

Some buyers shy away from homes that have been on the market for a long time, assuming that there must be some hidden defect. But sometimes, a home’s inability to sell is much more simple. For instance, maybe it just has bad curb appeal, or there’s too much inventory in a particular market.

Therefore, it is important that you do not automatically rule out a house just because it has been sitting for a long time. If anything, seek out these houses. The seller is probably motivated and willing to drop the asking price to move the property.

Even if the seller isn’t willing to drop the price, there are still more opportunities for negotiation when a home has been on the market for months. If you can identify the reason the property hasn’t sold, then you can ask the seller to reduce the home’s asking price or provide a cash allowance for the fix.

If you’re still concerned about possible hidden defects, state in your bid that the offer is subject to a satisfactory home inspection – which is a good idea no matter what.

Final Word

Staying within budget when buying a house takes discipline, so you must approach the buying process with care. Know what you’re willing to spend, and refuse to look at homes listed above your budget. If you’re unable to find a suitable property after a few weeks or months, revisit your budget to see if you have any wiggle room. If not, hold out – it’s only a matter of time before the right house comes along.

 

 


5 Tips to Home Buying in 2018

Want Some Home Buying Tips from the Experts?

Buying a home is like competing in a mud run, naked while planning a wedding at the same time. It’s taxing, it will make you feel vulnerable, it has its ups-and-downs, and it isn’t always fair. But – for those willing to take the plunge, bare their financial assets, and compete for their own backyard – home ownership is one of the most rewarding financial achievements of a lifetime.

When buying a home: Tip 1  – Select a qualified, knowledgeable loan officer and develop a down payment savings plan.

*Myth 1 – Only low-income individuals can qualify for down payment assistance programs. Down payment assistance programs are for a variety of individuals who meet various qualifying standards. These programs are designed to make homeownership possible for all who meet the qualifications and are able and willing to try. 

Credit Scores – What should my credit score be to buy a home?

When applying for a home loan, your credit score has a direct effect on the interest rate of your loan. Generally, the lower your credit score the higher your interest rate; the higher your credit score the lower your interest rate.

While you don’t need a high credit score to purchase a home, generally a higher score will help keeps your mortgage costs lower than if you were to have a lower score.

Buying a Home: Tip 2 – Check your credit report monthly and look for any errors or possible enhancement opportunities.

Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved – What’s the difference and which is better?

Most mortgage lenders offer prospective homebuyers two different options when it comes to their commitment to lend – a Pre-Qualification letter and a Pre-Approval letter.

A Pre-Qualification letter is simply a document stating you have submitted the necessary financial documentation (usually the last two years of W2s/Tax Returns, recent Bank Statements, and your Driver’s License) for review and you “qualify” for the requested loan amount.

The pre-qualified amount is based on the customer’s perceived debt-to-income ratio (DTI), their financial assets, and credit score.

In a competitive home buying market, as we are in today, home sellers want to see a Pre-Approval letter before accepting an offer on their home. The reason is that a lender’s Pre-Approval letter is basically one step away from a full fledge loan commitment and usually translates into a quick and straightforward closing process.

Buying a Home: Tip 3 – Get Pre-Approved!

 A qualified, knowledgeable Loan Officer assisting you to select the best loan package for your situation. Many factors go into the cost of your loan and poor choices up front can cost you a lot in the long run.

Real Estate Agents – Do I really need one to buy a home?

A qualified, experienced and reliable Real Estate Agent can often be the difference between getting your dream home or not. However, we will be the first to tell you – not all Real Estate Agents are created equal. Do your homework, and interview at least three different Real Estate Agents before selecting one.

Often, Loan Officers will have plenty of Real Estate Agent references they can share with you.

 Buying a Home: Tip 4 – Select your desired neighborhood and hire a qualified Realtor/Real Estate Agent.  

A Realtor has the full backing of the National Association of Realtors. and working with a Realtor provides the customer the security of knowing the agent they have chosen, answers to a National Association in terms of ethics, educational standards, and legal backing.

Mortgage Interest Rates – Will rates go up in 2018?

“What’s the rate today?” is every lender’s favorite question – NOT! Why? Well… there’s no simple, straight-forward answer to the question. As mentioned before, many different factors affect mortgage interest rates.

For informational purposes, most experts are predicting an increase in the base rate for a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage. This isn’t surprising given the historic lows mortgage rates experienced in 2015 and 2016. Again, while many factors affect mortgage interest rates, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the baseline rate for a 30-year fixed conventional mortgage is expected to increase to 4.6 percent in 2018, 5.0 percent in 2019 and 5.3 percent in 2020.

Buying a House: Tip 5 – Develop a sense of urgency to achieve your home ownership goals. 

2018 is a Fantastic Year for the First-Time Home Buyer to Purchase a Home

It is getting easier than ever to qualify for a mortgage which is due to several factors: Mortgage Lenders have begun accepting lower down payments, the debt-to-income ratios (also known as DTI) used to qualify for most mortgages became more forgiving last year and future home prices are expected to level off.

first time home buying, mortgages

Best of luck and happy house hunting!

*Please note all pricing, percentages, and fees are subject to change and are based on personal circumstances. The use of hypothetical, predictive, and forecast statements, by Land Home Financial Services and noted third parties, is meant to illustrate possible outcomes and is not intended to be a statement of facts nor an endorsement of validity.