First Time Buyers - Are There Opportunities?

Absolutely! Mortgage rates are at historic lows, holding steady at under 4% which makes a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage produce an affordable monthly payment even with mortgage insurance.

But, aren’t lending guidelines stricter than ever and down payments higher? In late 2013 and early 2014 that was certainly the case. But lending guidelines have eased as banks have seen housing prices rebound and employment rates return to higher levels. And that’s not all the good news.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced that they are officially rolling out programs for mortgages with a down payment of only 3%. In 2013, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac stopped buying loans with a 3% down payment due to the housing slump but in 2015 that will change for the better.

The difference is that there will be better criteria on who can get these loans. The mortgages are available to first-time homebuyers and existing homeowners who want to refinance. Borrowers will have to have a credit score of over 620, buy private mortgage insurance, receive home ownership counseling and thoroughly document source of income and stability. That’s not unreasonable.

Clear lending guidelines are an important part of keeping the mortgage loan industry stable and the housing prices strong.

So look to 2015 to be the year that millennials leave their parents and purchase their very first home. We think that’s great news and there are plenty of starter homes in Palm Coast that are just perfect for a young couple or professional person to move into an ownership position.

At RE/MAX Flagstaff we have agents just waiting to work with buyers and guide them through the process of buying their new home. Whether they are looking for a single-family 3 bedroom 2 bath in a suburban neighborhood, or a maintenance-free condominium, we have plenty of listings to show them and information that can make the journey less frustrating. Let’s get started! Call 386-246-8585 when you are ready!



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Winter Forecast: Cool with Flurries of Sales

There are states where cooler weather signals a slowdown of all activity. Boats are stored for the winter, golf clubs are cleaned and put away. Some businesses close or get ready for slower sales. Florida is not like that especially in the Real Estate profession. The statistics explain it all.

According to a Gallup poll done at the end of December 2013, an astonishing seven northern states reported that more than 40% of their population wanted to move away. It should come as no surprise that those feelings intensify during cold weather.

Illinois, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York reported that over 40% of their population wished they were somewhere else. Throughout the happy months of summer, people are more or less comfortable where they are. But with the first snowfall the discontent grows. Throw in some sleet, icy rain, a blizzard or two and hazardous driving and now you have mounting dissatisfaction. Florida looks pretty attractive about that time.

RE/MAX nationwide advertising gives a RE/MAX broker an edge here. Since RE/MAX is a familiar name in their home state, many people looking to relocate think of a RE/MAX agency first. Additionally, if RE/MAX is helping them sell their home up north, that broker will refer them to someone they can trust in Florida.

Here in Palm Coast, Winter is not a season where real estate slows down. And if you want to be part of the first flurries of sales, RE/MAX Flagstaff is the team you want to be on. Give us a call at 386-246-8585 and let’s get ready for Winter!


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Do I Really Need a Real Estate Agent?

When buying your Florida dream home - do you really need a Realtor®? Many people move from other areas to Florida after vacationing here for many years. When they are anticipating the move they search a real estate listings website and look at many homes on the Internet. They’ve done a lot of homework before they even get in front of an agent.

At that point, what’s the agent’s job? There’s a lot more to it than you might think! For one thing, the agent is an expert in this market and knows things the prospective home buyer does not. These may include:

  • · Proposed improvements to the area or,
  • · Proposed development that might negatively impact the value,
  • · Other similar homes that have just come on the market,
  • · Economic conditions in the community,
  • · How local lenders view that type of property,
  • · The State of Florida real estate laws

Most important, the agent can negotiate for you without becoming emotional. Buyers and sellers can get caught up in the moment of the sale and let their emotions rule their actions. A seller may insist on overpricing a much-loved home. A buyer may be too quick to put a big offer down on a house they’ve fallen in love with. The art of negotiation is something your agent is trained in thoroughly and the agent knows that you want the house, but you want it at a fair price. If that agent is looking to earn your repeat business they will do their best for you on this deal.

When you’re ready to buy trust your licensed Realtor®. With a RE/MAX agent you know you have the best training and professionalism. If you choose RE/MAX Flagstaff you know you’ll have the best team in Flagler County helping you! Call 386-246-8585 and get ready to buy your Florida dream home.



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FLAGSTAFF Each Office independently Owned and Operated

Flagstaff Office: 386-246-8585
One Hargrove GradeFax: 389-246-1667
Palm Coast, FL 32137Email: