Video Blogs to help you get

"Real Estate Smart"

Here at The Miller Realty Group, we like to provide current and future homeowners the information they need to help them make the right decisions when they are buying, selling or investing in real estate. This is why we continue to share our expertise via Video Blogs on our website for everyone to see. We firmly believe that in the real estate market that "Knowledge is Power!"  Let our expertise empower you with your real estate needs.

Always feel free to Contact Us if you need our help!

Nov. 7, 2018

Are International Buyers Buying Property in Central Florida?

Today's topic is international buyers, which have been exponentially increasing in activity in Florida real estate. In fact, international buyers spent $22.9 billion in Florida last year alone. This number is actually a little lower than last years because of decreasing inventory and higher competition between buyers. Additionally, the exchange rate for South America isn't as advantageous as it used to be, making it more expensive to buy a home in the US.

When you are selling your home, it's very beneficial to know information about international buyers in order to make your home more appealing. In the state of Florida, the aforementioned number represented about 52,000 sales in this state alone. 54% of these sales were made in South Florida, but Orlando is at #2 with 9%.

So what are they buying? On average, international buyers are leaning toward townhomes and condos, which represent 54% of what they tend to buy. An additional 42% are single-family homes. The average price they're spending in Florida $286,500. About 63% use this as a second home.

It also might be useful to know where these international buyers are from. 36% of them come from Latin America and the Caribbean, 22% come from Canada, and 19% come from Europe. It's important to know this information when you're selling your home so your REALTOR can market it effectively.

As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us, and I hope that I have helped you get real estate smart.

 

The Miller Realty Group is a successful real estate team who provides real estate solutions for residential homeowners in the metro Orlando real estate market, including Lake Mary, Longwood, Heathrow, Sanford, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, and surrounding cities. Founded in 2006, The Miller Realty Group has transformed itself into one of the top real estate teams in Central Florida.

Posted in Seller Video Blogs
Oct. 16, 2018

Will the agent with the lowest commission net you more money?

Deciding to sell your home is a big decision.  The next big decision a seller makes is deciding which real estate agent to use to help them sell their home.  Do they go with the real estate agent who will charge the lowest commission to net more money on the sale of their house? Many people feel that if they are paying a lower commission that will mean more money in their pocket. That is not always the case.  There are many different commission formats with the standard commision being 6%.  Of that 6%, half will go to the listing agent and half will go to the buyer's agent.  Every agent is different and will be able to sell a home at a different price point. 

When choosing an agent, the seller should look at the stats of the agent they are interviewing.  The Miller Realty Group, for example, has listed and sold over 38 homes so far this year and their average sold to list price is 100%.  The average sold to list price in Orlando is 97%.  That means The Miller Realty Group is averaging 3% more for their sellers than the Orlando average.  If The Miller Realty Group charges 6% and another agent is charging 5%, it would appear the seller is saving 1% in commission, but according to the stats, the seller could actually net the 3% more by using The Miller Realty Group. According to the stats for Orlando, the same seller would lose 2% by going with another agent.  Most of the time a seller will say that netting the most money is more important than the commission percentage.  So it is important to partner with the right real estate agent who has the right systems in place to get their home sold for top dollar and net them the most money. 

As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us, and I hope that I have helped you get real estate smart.

The Miller Realty Group is a successful real estate team who provides real estate solutions for residential homeowners in the metro Orlando real estate market, including Lake Mary, Longwood, Heathrow, Sanford, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, and surrounding cities. Founded in 2006, The Miller Realty Group has transformed themselves into one of the top real estate teams in Central Florida.

 

Posted in Seller Video Blogs
Oct. 16, 2018

Seller Closing Costs Explained

When selling a home in Orlando, it's important for the seller to understand the closing costs that are associated with selling a home. When purchasing residential real estate in Florida, there are costs that are incurred by the seller and closing costs that are incurred by the buyer. In this post, we'll be going over the seller fees so you feel comfortable with them when selling your home. 

Within the contract, Section 9 states the fees that the seller will be paying. There are three fees that are based off of the purchase price of the property. The first fee the seller pays is the broker's commission. The average commission amount is 6% of the purchase price. The other two fees are the doc stamps and the title insurance. The docs stamps, which are determined by the purchase price, are taxes paid to the county and are $0.70 per every $100. Additionally, the title insurance ensures to the buyer that the title is good. When the seller sells their home, they provide the owner's title policy for the buyers, ensuring a clean transfer of the property. The owner's title policy is also based on the purchase price: for an Orlando home over $100,000, the cost will be $5.00 per $1,000.

Aside from these three big items, another fee the seller will be responsible for is the property taxes. In the state of Florida, you are responsible for taxes from January 1 until the close date. This creates a credit for the buyers for their future home, which they will eventually pay in full amount.

You also have to pay the title service fee charge, which compensates the title company. This fee is usually around $500. There's also a title search fee and a charge for a municipal lean search, which can uncover unknown information about the house.

These are the most common seller's closing costs you will encounter throughout the process of selling your home! However, before you list your central Florida property, make sure to get a net sheet from your REALTOR. This breaks down all of these fees and determines what your net number will be at the closing fees.

As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us, and I hope that I have helped you get real estate smart.

 

The Miller Realty Group is a successful real estate team who provides real estate solutions for residential homeowners in the metro Orlando real estate market, including Lake Mary, Longwood, Heathrow, Sanford, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, and surrounding cities. Founded in 2006, The Miller Realty Group has transformed themselves into one of the top real estate teams in Central Florida.

Posted in Seller Video Blogs
Oct. 11, 2018

The Ins and Outs of Home Inspections for Buyers

 

Today, David talks about the home inspections that are performed after a purchase contract is signed. It is essential to have a home inspection when buying a home.  A home inspection may uncover items that are not listed in the seller's disclosures.  On a purchase contract, there is a place that states how many days the buyers have to perform the inspections.  A buyer would like as much time as possible to have to get their inspections done, and on the flip side, the seller will like them completed in a shorter amount of time.  The home inspection contingency timeframe is an item that can be negotiated and a real estate agent will work to get a timeframe that is good for their clients. 

There are two main inspections that are typically performed when buying a home.  The first one is a regular home inspection.  The home inspection typically costs between $299-$399 depending on the size of the house.  The home inspector looks for items that might not be visible to the naked eye.  A few examples of items a home inspector is looking for are active roof leaks, past roof leaks, plumbing leaks and making sure electrical sockets are in working condition.  The second inspection that is typically performed is a WDO inspection. WDO stands for Wood Destroying Organisms. The WDO inspector will look for live termites, past termites, and wood rot.  If the buyer is getting a VA or FHA loan a WDO inspection may be required and on a VA loan, the seller may have to pay for it.  The cost for the WDO is around $100-$200.  Another inspection that can be performed is an inspection of the septic tank.  For any property that is not on public sewer and has a septic tank, it is a good idea to get a certification stating that it has been pumped and that it is in good working condition. The cost for a septic tank inspection can range from $300-$400 depending on how big the tank is and how many there are.  

Once the inspections are complete, the buyer will be getting a report of the findings. The report can be very lengthy and will outline everything that was found during the inspection.  The buyer should not be alarmed when receiving a lengthy inspection.  The home inspector is paid to inspect everything and in doing so will find something. Working with an experienced real estate agent is very beneficial to a buyer to help them to understand what is on the report.  The real estate agent will go over the home inspection with the buyer and talk the buyer through the results.  It is always a good idea to take out the seller's disclosures that were signed along with the contract and compare that to any items found on the home inspection.  If the home inspector found an old leak, take a look at the seller disclosure and see if anything was mentioned a leak.  If it was not mentioned, that could be something that the buyer could address with the seller.  Most contracts today are written on "As Is" contracts.  That means the seller is not required to repair or fix anything that comes up in the inspections.  A buyer can always as for items to be fixed and it is up to the seller to decide if they want to make the repairs. If the seller does not want to make any repairs, the buyer can choose to back out of the contract and as long as they are still within in the inspection contingency, they will receive a full refund of their escrow funds.

As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us, and I hope that I have helped you get real estate smart.

The Miller Realty Group is a successful real estate team who provides real estate solutions for residential homeowners in the metro Orlando real estate market, including Lake Mary, Longwood, Heathrow, Sanford, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, and surrounding cities. Founded in 2006, The Miller Realty Group has transformed themselves into one of the top real estate teams in Central Florida.

Posted in Buyer Video Blogs
Sept. 5, 2018

Millions of consumers get a Credit Boost

 

Today, David is talking about how over the past year some 8 million consumers saw a boost in their credit score.  The credit agencies reached a settlement with the Federal Government and had to change how they reported certain items. They can no longer report on non-loan related items such as gym memberships, library fines, traffic fines, and insurance paid medical expenses.  This is very important for a consumer who is looking to purchase a home. In the real estate industry, a consumer's credit score is used to determine their interest rate when getting a mortgage loan. The better the interest rate a consumer can get means the less money they will have to pay over the life of a mortgage loan. 

As an example, if a consumer is trying to get a 30 year fixed mortgage and can improve their score from a Fair score (580-669) to a Good score (740-799), they can save around $30,000 over the life of the loan.  The other benefit to having a good interest rate is you have better affordability. You able to purchase more of a house then you could before. Are you wanting to buy a house and want to see if your credit received a boost? Contact us, and we can refer you to one of our Preferred Lenders.

As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us, and I hope that I have helped you get real estate smart.

The Miller Realty Group is a successful real estate team who provides real estate solutions for residential homeowners in the metro Orlando real estate market, including Lake Mary, Longwood, Heathrow, Sanford, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, and surrounding cities. Founded in 2006, The Miller Realty Group has transformed themselves into one of the top real estate teams in Central Florida.

Posted in Buyer Video Blogs
Sept. 5, 2018

Should you wait until the tenant moves out to sell your investment property?

Today, David is talking about putting investment properties on the market while the tenants are still living in the home. Is this a good idea or should they wait until the tenant is moved out?  With the home values increasing investors are looking to take advantage of the market and sell their properties. 

It is usually best to wait until the tenants move out of the property before putting the property on the market.  If the tenants are in a month to month lease then definitely wait until they are moved out.  It is essential to know what kind of lease the tenant signed.  There will be language in the lease addressing the issue of the property being sold. If the lease does not state that it can be broken upon the sale of the property,  then a large percentage of buyers are eliminated. Most buyers are looking to move into a primary residence and will not want to wait for the tenant to move out.  Now the pool of buyers is limited to only investment buyers. 

Another reason to wait for a month-to-month tenant to move out is to eliminate the need to ask them for their assistance. The landlord will have to rely on the tenant to get the home in top showing condition and to keep it that way for the showings.  This can be a burden on a tenant with a busy schedule or children.  The landlord and the tenant do not have the same goals and the tenant might not be concerned with helping the landlord sell the property for top dollar.  A great way investors can get tenants to work with them is to offer incentives.  They might offer discounted rent during the showing period or something else along that line to get the tenant to work with them.  Selling an investment property with a tenant can be a challenge but it can be done.

As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us, and I hope that I have helped you get real estate smart.

The Miller Realty Group is a successful real estate team who provides real estate solutions for residential homeowners in the metro Orlando real estate market, including Lake Mary, Longwood, Heathrow, Sanford, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, and surrounding cities. Founded in 2006, The Miller Realty Group has transformed themselves into one of the top real estate teams in Central Florida.

Posted in Seller Video Blogs
Aug. 9, 2018

Understanding the two common sales contingencies

Today, David talks about the 2 most common contingencies that are in a real estate sales contract and how they affect the seller.  What is a sales contingency?  A sales contingency in a real estate sales contract gives the buyer an opportunity to cancel the contract and receive their escrow money back. 

The first contingency in a real estate sales contract is the inspection period and is typically 7-10 days. On a Florida As-Is contract, the buyer has the right to inspect the property and is able to back out of the contract for any reason before the end of the contingency.  The buyer would then receive a full refund of their escrow deposit.  The buyer is able to perform as many inspections as needed to feel comfortable moving forward with the transaction.  The typical inspections are the home inspection and the wood destroying organism inspection. 

The second contingency is the financing contingency.  Unless the transaction is a cash deal, the buyer will be obtaining a mortgage loan on the property.  According to the financing contingency, the buyer will have 30 days on a conventional loan and a little longer on a VA or FHA loan to obtain a loan commitment from their lender.  (unless a different timeframe is negotiated) If a buyer is getting a mortgage loan, it is important to get a pre-qualification letter from their lender.  The pre-qualification letter will state the loan amount the buyer is approved for.  It is important for a seller to know if the buyer can afford their property before accepting a contract.   The advantage of working with a real estate agent as a seller is an agent should get the pre-qualification letter up front. Once they have the pre-qualification letter they should then contact the lender to verify they have documentation to support the loan amount.  If the buyer is not able to get a commitment letter the lender has to provide a written denial of the loan to the seller.  As long as this is done before the end of the financial contingency the buyer will be able to cancel the contract and receive a full refund of their escrow deposit. Choosing to work with a real estate agent who understands these contingencies will make the transaction go a lot smoother. 

As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us, and I hope that I have helped you get real estate smart.

 

The Miller Realty Group is a successful real estate team who provides real estate solutions for residential homeowners in the metro Orlando real estate market, including Lake Mary, Longwood, Heathrow, Sanford, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, and surrounding cities. Founded in 2006, The Miller Realty Group has transformed themselves into one of the top real estate teams in Central Florida.

Posted in Seller Video Blogs
July 24, 2018

Why It's Important to Look at 15 Year Mortgage Rates

Today, we're talking about how important it is to look at fifteen-year mortgages for your home.

The first thing you need to do when buying a house is talk to a lender to find out what you can comfortably afford. "Comfortably" means not putting all your money into your mortgage, leaving you with room in your wallet for living expenses.

Most people only look at a thirty-year mortgage in the Orlando market. However, I recommend that you look at a fifteen-year mortgage as well. You'll find in today's central Florida real estate market, you can get a much better rate on a fifteen-year mortgage than you would on a thirty-year mortgage. Now, over time, that will save you a lot of money on your home.

But how much? Well, for example, if you have a $200,000 mortgage amount, let's compare the 4.5% on a thirty-year plan and the 4% on a fifteen-year plan. For the thirty-year plan, just in interest, you'll be paying $165,000 in order to borrow $200,000. Compare that to the fifteen-year plan, where your interest will be just $66,000. That's almost a $100,000 difference between a thirty-year mortgage and a fifteen-year mortgage.

There is, of course, a difference between the monthly costs. Going back to the $200,000 mortgage, the 4.5% would be around $1,010 a month, while the 4% would be around $1,480 a month. So for around $470 more a month, you could be saving a ton of money, so make sure to check out the fifteen-year mortgage on your home!

As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us, and I hope that I have helped you get real estate smart.

 

The Miller Realty Group is a successful real estate team who provides real estate solutions for residential homeowners in the metro Orlando real estate market, including Lake Mary, Longwood, Heathrow, Sanford, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, and surrounding cities. Founded in 2006, The Miller Realty Group has transformed themselves into one of the top real estate teams in Central Florida.

Posted in Buyer Video Blogs
July 18, 2018

What Challenges Do Millennial Homebuyers Face in Today's Market?

Today, we're going to be talking about the challenges that millennial homebuyers face in the central Florida real estate market. "Millenials" are identified by their age, which is somewhere between 25-35. The rate of home ownership in this group has dropped dramatically over the past decade. Around 2005, 45% of millennials owned a house. But as of 2016, this number has dropped down to 32%.

Why? Despite popular belief, it's not because they still live with their parents. It's mostly because of debt - college debt. In fact, the average graduate leaves college with around $41,000 in student debt. When they get their first job, 50% of their new income goes toward paying off this debt, leaving little to no money to spend on buying a house. 

Another factor in this drop is the increase in home prices, especially in the Orlando area. On average, they have gone up 48% over the past decade, and they will continue to go up. Additionally, wages have only gone up 15%, leaving a huge gap that makes it hard to afford a home.

Inventory of homes is also very low. In the Orlando real estate market specifically, there is a deficit below the $200,000 mark. If you're looking for a property in this price range, it's extremely hard to find and even harder to buy, since you're competing with multiple buyers and cash offers.

So why should millennials try to buy? Well, rent prices are increasing just as much as home prices are. It would be smarter to use the same amount of money to invest in a long-term home that you can build equity on instead of spending it on a short-term rental property.

Millenials need to make sure they pair with the right Orlando REALTOR so they can find the right property. We recommend working with a Buyer Specialist - someone who only works with buyers. They can find properties before they come on the market, which can give you a leg up on the competition so you can find your perfect dream home!

As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us, and I hope that I have helped you get real estate smart.

 

The Miller Realty Group is a successful real estate team who provides real estate solutions for residential homeowners in the metro Orlando real estate market, including Lake Mary, Longwood, Heathrow, Sanford, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, and surrounding cities. Founded in 2006, The Miller Realty Group has transformed themselves into one of the top real estate teams in Central Florida.

Posted in Miscellaneous
June 1, 2018

OfferPad: Digging through their numbers!

In this follow-up discussion to our previous video about Offerpad, we further analyzed the specific numbers that Offerpad provided for our example house within the Orlando real estate market. We compared these numbers -- the ones that a home seller would get from Offerpad -- with the numbers that a seller would get with a traditional REALTOR in Metro Orlando.  To make sure that everything was even we did the analysis on David's own personal house which recently had an appraisal done on it.

The first and most glaring difference we notice in the numbers is the offer price. From Offerpad, they came in with an offer price of $437,000; in comparison, the appraiser provided a number of $475,000, which is over $30,000 higher. The commission was the same, yet Offerpad charged an additional "experience fee" which was 2.5% of the purchase price.

Furthermore, the average repairs must be factored in for both methods of selling your house. In a strong sellers' market in Orlando, when you are working with a good real estate agent, you would be able to negotiate any inspection repairs to zero. But according to reviews online, Offerpad typically comes back with a much higher number in which they are either asking the seller to make the repairs or for them to provide a credit. So while this number varies for each home, you can be certain that with a good Orlando REALTOR, your repair cost will in most cases be lower compared to Offerpad.

Offerpad does pay for title fees up to $2,000, and they also provide moving cost up to $ 2,500. Yet their quote can be confusing for clients; they instill the F.U.D. factor (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) to make their numbers look comparable to what you would get with an Orlando REALTOR.

The estimated days of home ownership between the two is extremely high compared to the actual numbers. On average, Offerpad states it takes 30 days for them to close on your house. But when going with a real estate agent, they state it takes 90 days until you go under contract and an additional 50 days until you close. The truth of the matter is that in the Orlando real estate market, the average amount of time until you go under contract is only 55-60 days and at The Miller Realty Group our average so far for 2018, with over 18 homes sold throughout the Orlando area, is 30 days. The average days to close with an Orlando REALTOR is an additional 30 days, which totals to 60 days to sell your house.  So this is much lower than the 140 days which they are stating it takes on average to close with a traditional real estate agent.

So if you add it all up, if you were to sell your house to Offerpad, it would cost you and additional $44,000! So you have to ask yourself, the $ 44,000 it's going to cost you. I would venture to say...probably not! 

When it comes down to it, when you use Offerpad, that convenience is costing you probably more money then you would be willing to pay. If you think about it, when you listen to their ads on the Orlando radio and TV, they aren't telling you that you are going to save you money.  They are selling their convenience!  No matter what, before you decide to do anything, always make sure that you speak to an Orlando REALTOR.  This will allow you to compare the two options so you can see which one works best for you. -- we would be happy to assist you!

As always, we are here to help you! Please feel free to Contact Us.

The Miller Realty Group is a successful real estate team who provides real estate solutions for residential homeowners in the metro Orlando real estate market, including Lake Mary, Longwood, Heathrow, Sanford, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Altamonte Springs, Maitland, and surrounding cities. Founded in 2006, The Miller Realty Group has transformed themselves into one of the top real estate teams in Central Florida.

Posted in Seller Video Blogs