Sarasota Realtors Robert and Valerie Orr
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How Much Of A Downpayment Will I Need If I'm Self-Employed?

The mortgage lending game has changed quite a bit over the past few years, which should come as no surprise in the 20/20 hindsight after the housing bubble burst. In the run-up to the Great Recession, banks and other lenders were approving home loans on "stated income" and offering products like interest only loans. Those days are gone, at least for the foreseeable future, and now, qualifying for a mortgage is more difficult.

For the self employed, the dynamics haven't changed all that much. Even during the period of loose lending standards, those who owned their own business had a tough go of getting a home loan. The reason is simple: lenders always seek to minimize risk and self employed individuals present more risk because they are not salaried. Though this might seem unfair, as salaried workers can easily find themselves without a job--little or no income--lenders don't see it the same way.

However, this certainly isn't to say that just because a person runs their own business does not mean they have no business applying for a home loan. The fact of the matter is the process will present more challenges. Because lenders will verify as much as possible, they seek... read article

How Do I Negotiate A Home Seller's Asking Price Down?

Buying a home is an exciting time, but it can be a stressful one, too. There’s a lot to take care of first, like getting your credit report in order, because more than 40 million credit files contain errors, according to a 60 Minutes investigation. That certainly isn’t all, you should have a down payment; and, the bigger, the better, because that will lower your monthly mortgage obligation.

When it comes time to actually start looking after you’ve been pre-approved and pre-qualified for a home loan, know that the asking price is not the same as the selling price. Sellers, by definition, are homeowners and have an emotional attachment to their property. Many believe that the improvements they have made justify a higher asking price; that too, is a helpful bit of information.

What's more, if a homeowner has built-up substantial equity, they might be less than sure about selling and essentially starting all over. Though the proceeds will pay off their existing mortgage and the difference will likely be a source for a large down payment, it creates uncertainty. For a potential buyer, this can be a problem. Having an experienced real estate team will be the key to finding the... read article

June Sales Exceed 1,000 Again In Sarasota County

June represents the fourth consecutive month of real estate sales topping 1,000 transactions. This demonstrates an undeniable hot streak which began early in 2014 and is predicted to continue through July. The local real estate market is building momentum, capitalizing on strengthening gains.

"So far, we've had an amazing first half of 2014. The statistics appear to indicate that we will once again wind up at near record sales levels for the year, and median sale prices have also rebounded significantly," said Sarasota Association of Realtors President Peter Crowley.

During the month of June, closed sales totaled 1,048, which is an increase of 5.1 percent from June 2013, which recorded 997 closings. June's combined closed transactions include 727 single family properties and 321 condo unit. However, closings were down slightly from 1,100 in May of this year.

Thus far, the first six months of 2014 bests record sales of 2013, which set a near historic high in Sarasota County with the second largest number of closed transactions in the county's 91 year history. According to the latest statistics, this year is estimated to set new sales records, while median prices rebound substantially.
Median Prices Remain at a Hot Pace in Sarasota County
Median sales... read article

Sarasota Happenings August, 2014

Sarasota offers its visitors and residents a variety of recreational and cultural opportunities. The beautiful beaches, like Siesta Key Beach and Longboat Key Beach, the breathtaking sunsets, amazing flora and wildlife are a perfect backdrop to a day or evening of enjoyment. Take in the open air venues such as the downtown market and informal concerts. Enjoy a volleyball competition on the beach, or cheer from courtside at a championship tennis match on Longboat Key. Or perhaps an evening enjoying a concert at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center then strolling downtown to one of the many fine restaurants to top off your night is more your style. The Sarasota Opera House and the Apolo Repertory Theater continuously delight audiences with spectacular performances. World renowned St. Armands Circle is just over the Ringling Bridge and boasts superb indoor and outdoor dining and shopping venues. There is always something going on! There is truly something for everyone in Sarasota!


August 1st, 6-9 p.m. "Live from Downtown-It's Friday Night!" Live music, street performances, dining venues. Main Street at 5 Points Park and Palm Avenue.

August 1st, 6-9 p.m.... read article

Is It Worth It To Pay Points To Get A Mortgage?

When you apply for a mortgage, there are a lot of things lenders consider. It's not only the borrower's credit history, but their DTI or debt-to-income ratio, the difference between their gross monthly income and their monthly expenses; but also, their bank account, their "secondary credit", and other things. Lenders do a lot of due diligence to minimize their risk as much as possible.

Another way to lower risk is to ask for more money down from the borrower and/or requesting the borrower pay points. Depending on how you look at it, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. The thing is, nothing will facilitate approval if you chose not to pony up the dough. Sure, the bank might still approve the loan, but the amount will be decidedly lower than originally estimated.

It's also important to take note of the situation lending institutions are currently experiencing. For many industries, the effects of the Great Recession have worn off significantly but not completely. However, the banking industry is in a very precarious place because it's still dealing with gigantic losses from defaulted mortgages, unpaid business loans, defaulted student and personal loans, missed credit card payments, unpaid home equity credit... read article