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!

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
March 19, 2018

New Jumbo Loan Program with Premier Home Funding

In Orlando real estate, Premier Home Funding, one of our preferred vendors, has rolled out a new Jumbo Loan program. Jumbo loans are typically for buyers in the $500,000 - $600,000 range. In the past, if a buyer needed a jumbo loan to buy a home, the interest rate was a bit higher then that of someone getting a loan in the $250,000 - $300,000 range. This new loan program will allow potential buyers within the Orlando real estate market to borrow up to $679,000 and still qualify for a good interest rate. Getting a lower interest rate will prevent homeowners from paying private mortgage insurance (PMI), allow them to put more cash down, and possibly get more house for their money. With this new and improved programs, Orlando realtors, buyers, and vendors can work together to successfully buy or sell your house!

If you have any questions about the Jumbo Loans or buying and selling a home, 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 Buyer Video Blogs
March 5, 2018

What is Opendoor?

There is a new real estate venture coming to the Orlando region called Opendoor. Much like Zillow's Instant Offer and OfferPad, this service facilitates the ease of moving and choosing a home, both for realtors and buyers. This real estate service is a bit like the others out there: the potential seller enters the home information on the site, and within 24 hours, the seller will get a cash offer on the property. The benefits of using Opendoor are: 1) the seller does not have to list their home and get it ready to sell, 2) there will not be potential buyers coming through the home, and 3) the seller can choose a closing date between 14 and 60 days.  

When the offer is provided, Opendoor will come back with the cash offer and a list of their fees. In David's test of Opendoor, the offer that was given did come in a market value, unlike the offer David was given by Offerpad. Since Opendoor does not claim to save the seller money, the list of fees will show right away, making the transaction as transparent as possible. One of the fees listed on the offer is the customer experience and risk-free fee. This is a fee that can range from 6%-8% of the buyer's purchase price. Another fee they give is 2% seller concession, which they say is about average in a typical Orlando real estate transaction. To compare, the traditional commission the seller pays to the real estate agents is 6%, and any real estate agent knowledgeable on the Orlando market can negotiate the seller concession. 

Opendoor states that by using their service, there will not be a mortgage overlap when selling and then buying a property. This means that if the seller cannot sell their home and they buy another, they will have two mortgages. Often times, people get nervous about the chance they will either have to pay two mortgages or they could be homeless if their home sells quickly and they cannot find another one. By working with an experienced real estate agent the seller can avoid these situations. For example, The Miller Realty Group has helped over 40 Orlando clients in the past two years that are buying and selling homes at the same time, and mortgage overlap has not happened in a single case. 

Additionally, Opendoor only provides one offer. An experienced real estate agent can provide the proper exposure for the property and create urgency to increase the chances of receiving multiple offers on the Orlando property. The seller then has the leverage to choose the offer that will be the best option for them. Moreover, while Opendoor has the option of inspections, which are critical tools for selling or buying a house in the real estate market, any experienced real estate agent could provide these too, saving their clients thousands of dollars.

While Opendoor, Offerpad, and Zillow's Instant offer all sound hassle-free in the commercials, they do have their downsides. For an Orlando seller looking for a convenient way to sell their property, this may be the way to go. However, by going the "quick and easy" route and not choosing to use an experienced real estate agent, the seller will most likely not net the money they could have if they had used an Orlando real estate agent to sell their 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 Seller Video Blogs
Feb. 19, 2018

The Relationship Between Buyers and Sellers Regarding Inspection Reports

In the Orlando real estate market, if a seller has an inspection report, are they required to give the report to the buyer?  The quick answer is no, they are not required to give the inspection report to the buyer. A seller can decide to do an inspection beforehand, and they are not required to give the report to the homebuyer. However, if there are items on the inspection report that are not visible to the buyer and those items affect the value of the property, then the seller is required to disclose those items.

For example, if you were selling your home and you found that there was a leak in the roof or there was termite damage, those items would need to be disclosed to the homebuyer. The Florida State Law reads: "Seller must disclose all facts which materially affect the value of the property that are not readily observable and not known to the buyer." Anything the buyer cannot see and affects the value of the property needs to be disclosed, but the seller does not have to provide a copy of the report. A buyer may ask for a copy of an inspection report if a buyer knows one has already been done. The seller may or may not provide it, but it does not hurt to ask.

Whether you're selling your home or buying a home in the Orlando market, it's always good to know the logistics of an inspection report!

For more information on this or if you need trusted realtors to represent you, feel free to Contact Us, and we would be more than happy to assist you. "Get Real Estate Smart" with The Millers!

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.

Jan. 28, 2018

2017 Florida Real Estate Statistics

Every year in November, the National Association of Realtors surveys buyers and sellers about their real estate experiences. These stats are compiled and then passed out to the states. Here are some stats about Florida buyers and sellers that David and Anne-Marie Miller thought were important and relevant to anyone pursuing real estate ventures.

First, in Florida, 22% of all buyers are first-time homebuyers, compared to 34% nationally. When you consider the average age of a Florida homebuyer to be 54, with a median income of $82,000, that makes sense. Florida is known for having a high population of retirees, so many people that move to Florida to retire have already owned homes in the past. They are now looking to downsize and enjoy their retirement in some of the amazing areas that Florida has to offer.

Another interesting statistic about Florida homebuyers is that 15% of buyers purchase a multi-generational home -- which means a home with an in-law suite that senior parents can move into with their adult children. Along the same lines, 21% of homebuyers bought senior-related homes, which are homes within senior communities. Florida has a lot of great living areas all around the state that are geared for senior living, making this option very appealing for retirees. 

Additionally, buyers and sellers were surveyed about whether or not they used a realtor when selling or buying a home. Surprisingly, only 83% of homebuyers used a realtor to purchase their home. This number seems a bit low considering the fact that using a realtor when buying a home is a seller charge and does not cost the buyer anything. For this reason, it is recommended that a buyer consult a buyer specialist when purchasing a home to make sure they are getting the most for their money, especially in the Orlando real estate market.

On the other hand, 90% of homeowners selling their house used a realtor. This is not surprising since statistics show that when a seller uses a realtor to sell their home, they typically net more money then if they were to sell their home on their own. 

Hopefully, this information has made you a more informed homeowner, whether you're seeking to buy or sell your home!

For more information on this or if you need trusted realtors to represent you, feel free to Contact Us, and we would be more than happy to assist you. "Get Real Estate Smart" with The Millers!

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.