Sarasota Realtors Robert and Valerie Orr
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Should I Refinance To Stop Paying PMI

You probably don't like having to pay more out on a monthly basis than you absolutely have to but, it's a reality you've come to accept -- to a point. As your home gains more equity, it comes closer to be worth enough to let you out of paying for private mortgage insurance or PMI. You might know that it's not insurance for your benefit, but for the lender, particularly because it does provide protection in the event you are unable to pay your mortgage.
What you might believe, due to a lot of misconceptions which float out in the nether, is that your PMI doesn't magically go away. Many people think that once their principal balance falls to 80 percent, private mortgage insurance detaches itself from their monthly obligation, but that's not the case. Most lenders require you go through a process in order to cancel PMI.
There are different ways to get into a position that allows you to cancel private mortgage insurance. One, of course, is to pay more into the principal to accelerate your equity position. Another way is to use savings or other... read article

Bradenton-Sarasota Ranked #1 For Well-Being In U.S.

Siesta_key_beachThe Bradenton-Sarasota-North Port earned the honor of being named the number 1 region for well-being in the country, according to research by the Gallup organization. Its well-being index scores 64.1, the highest among the 100 most populous metropolitan areas in the United States. Bradenton-Sarasota outranked Honolulu, Hawaii, Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Raleigh, North Carolina and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. What's more, Bradenton-Sarasota is the only metro area in the state of Florida to rank in the top 10.

Gallup Research: Bradenton-Sarasota Well-Being Rating Highest in United States
The Bradenton-Sarasota area scored high in all five essential elements of the study. The elements include residents being happy with their work; enjoying supportive relationships; managing the finances responsibly for less stress; liking their location; feeling safe and possessing good health, as well as reporting high energy levels. This means residents of the Bradenton-Sarasota are content and feel secure in their finances, community and purpose.

"Improving and sustaining high well-being is vital to any population's overall health and economy. State, local and business leaders should consider specific well-being interventions that make the healthy choice the easy choice for their population. A comprehensive long-term environmental strategy creates... read article


Gorgeous bay views from every room! Enjoy the best of Longboat Key living from this STUNNING penthouse 4th floor unit completely renovated in 2014!
Come visit us on Sunday, January 29 from 1-4 p.m. 4800 Gulf of Mexico Dr. #PH2, Longboat Key.
Click here for more information about the property:
... read article

Sarasota Florida History

Known for its beautiful, sprawling, white sand beaches, its wonderfully mild winters and balmy summers, Sarasota, is home to much history. With its many challenging and gorgeous golf courses, great marinas, museums, shopping districts, and more, Sarasota is a terrific place to live.
Strolling along the beaches and touring downtown, as well as inland, it’s difficult to believe Sarasota was so different in the early to mid-nineteenth century. Once known as Zara Zote, eventually, it became Sara Sota, until the name morphed into its modern carnation.
Sarasota Florida History
Sarasota saw its first real visitors with the arrival of the Spanish in the early 1500’s. In 1539, Spanish Conquistador Hernando de Soto arrived in “ZaraSota,” a name meaning "Radiance of Soto." The peninsula became a territory of the United States in 1819 and later earned its statehood in 1845. Fort Armistead became the first Army military installation. For many years, Spanish, European, Cuban, Mexican, South American, and eventually, Americans traded in the area. The arrival of William H. Whitaker of Savannah, became one the very first settlers, establishing a residence on Whitaker Bayou in the 1840's.
Sarasota,... read article

Smart Home Money-Saving Energy Tips

We all like to save money when and where possible. It's why we plan and budget spending to maximize savings, investments, and to enjoy various activities. But there are more steps homeowners can take to save every month. It's not often we think about energy efficiency, that is, until we are able to open the windows and give the air conditioner a much-needed break. The fact of the matter is, energy hogs live in your house. But, you don't have to pay for their rent free lifestyle if you know some smart home money-saving energy tips.

Biggest Home Energy Wasters
A few years ago, the Digital Power Group grabbed headlines when it asserted a smartphone uses more energy than a medium-sized, Energy Star refrigerator. Combining battery charging, with data use, and WiFi connectivity, the company claimed this rivals a refrigerator in energy use. Of course, that's a big contention but these pocket-sized technological wonders do consume a lot of energy.

An energy-efficient home will keep your family comfortable while saving you money. Whether you take simple steps or make larger investments to make your home more efficient, you’ll see... read article

Sarasota Real Estate Market Healthier With Fewer Distressed Sales

August distressed property sales, composed of foreclosures and short sales, continued to fall across both Sarasota County and Manatee County. By comparison, distressed property sales fell an astounding 53.9 percent from August of last year. As a result, the total number of distressed property sales decreased to just 5.8 percent of all completed residential real estate transactions. In August 2015, sales of distressed properties accounted for 12.8 of all residential property sales.

Closed sales of single family homes and condos combined went up in August by 1.8 percent over August of last year. Traditional sales, however, which include only non-distressed properties, shows an improvement of 9.9 percent over August 2015. Clearly, as sales of distressed properties decrease and account for a smaller market share, prices of non-distressed properties will experience positive gain. Although there were fewer distressed property sales, which drives down the total number of all closed transactions, this is good news for the health of the market across both counties.
Sarasota and Manatee County Median Home Prices
In addition to falling distressed property sales, both Sarasota and Manatee counties experienced a rise in median home prices. Residential real estate median prices continue to increase from 2015 to 2016. During August, the... read article

Most Important Factors When Buying A Home

The most important factors when buying a home have a lot to do with location and function. The former is a fact explains the existence of the old adage, "real estate is all about location, location, location." The latter, however, is almost exclusively about the need to think ahead and consider the future. This is why it is so important to get a professional home inspection to avoid potential risks. The bottom line is, this is a huge investment and you need it to be the best possible choice because it will heavily impact your life in many ways.

Most Important Factors when Buying a Home
Every buyer wants to find his or her dream home. But the reality is there are very few perfect properties and this is why a little compromise is often part of the process. Sure, there are compromises you won't have to make but by being flexible, you'll discover a whole lot more choices. Thinking long-term is essential when it comes to buying a home because life changes over time. While you might need this or that today, there's simply... read article

Difference Between Grandfathered And Unpermitted Work

The difference between “grandfathered” and “unpermitted” work is the former is considered legal but the latter is out of code compliance. In some instances, even work deemed to be grandfathered runs afoul of new building codes. Unpermitted work, however, is just that and the situation needs to be rectified or the home cannot be insured, causing a home loan to be denied. In either case, there’s at least some cause for concern, because of possible safety issues.
<h2>Difference between Grandfathered and Unpermitted Work</h2>
Whether you're relocating to the area or are <a href="">convinced it's time to buy a bigger home</a>, such circumstances could spell trouble. The term "grandfathered" simply means the work is acceptable, done to previous code standards and no further action is needed. But "unpermitted" work has nothing to do with the quality. Rather, being done without proper inspection and permitting. Even if the work is high quality, if done without a permit, it's not code compliant.
<blockquote>a home inspector will not tear into walls and ceilings to inspect wiring and other work, even if the house was never properly inspected after apparent illegal additions were built. That's not what inspectors... read article

Biggest Risks Of Not Getting A Home Inspection

IMG_6338The biggest risks of not getting a home inspection should frighten buyers enough to reconsider. Unfortunately, in hot real estate markets, fear of losing a home to another qualified buyer is too much anxiety to overcome. That's a huge mistake and in more than just one way. You might be in the market to buy a bigger home, are relocating from out-of-town, or even wanting to downsize to reduce maintenance work. Whatever the case may be, skipping a home inspection is typically not a smart decision because there's too much at stake.

Most Common Home Inspection Myths
Home inspections are conducted by experienced, licensed professionals to uncover what's known as "material defects." These are problems with a home's components and systems, such as the roof, foundation, electrical wiring, HVAC, plumbing, and the like. Material defects are issues which negatively affect a home's value and/or pose safety and/or health hazards. However, there are certain home inspection myths most buyers believe, such as the seller must make all repairs and other inspections and the appraisal will suffice.

For buyers, waiving the option to have a professional inspection contingent on their... read article

Home Closing Mistakes That Cost Final Loan Approval

Home closing mistakes that cost final approval are real and these unwitting blunders surprise would-be home buyers more often than you might think. After all, you took the time to order and go through all your three credit reports, successfully disputing all the errors; made it through the long house hunt; the purchase offer is accepted by the seller; and, the closing date is set. Unfortunately, you're not across the home buying finishing line yet and if you commit just one of a few mistakes, you'll be disappointed with a loan denial.

Home Closing Mistakes that Cost Final Loan Approval
The majority of missteps taken by mortgage borrowers are financial but all are completely avoidable. Lenders often run a second, soft credit check just before closing occurs to ensure the borrower's finances and professional situations have not changed since mortgage pre-approval. That's why it's referred to as "final loan approval," because that's precisely what it is and it's done to avoid risk. Though home loan institutions lend money, these entities do what they can to minimize chance of default.

Obtaining a new mortgage is often a... read article