Florida Home Buyer Programs for 2015

Florida currently has 3 home buyer programs available;

  1. FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER Program -Florida’s First-Time Homebuyer Program offers 30-year fixed rate loans through participating lenders and lending institutions. As with most first-time homebuyer programs, income and purchase price limits do apply. A borrower must have a minimum FICO credit score of 640 to qualify.
  2. Local SHIP Program – Low-to-moderate income borrowers across the state can inquire with their local county as to what down payment and closing cost assistance is available in their given area.
  3. Florida Housing Mortgage Credit Program – The Florida Housing Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program allows first-time homeowners to claim up to $2,000 each year as a tax credit on the mortgage interest paid. The MCC program cannot be combined with the first-time homebuyer program. Similarly to the first-time homebuyer program, income and purchase price limits will apply.
For more details on Florida Housing Finance Corporation details >>>>> CLICK HERE

3 Tips For Landing a Mortgage

What is happening with todays current mortgages and how did we get there?

I can tell you one of my most challenging obstacles is financing. The banks/ lenders went from the “fog the mirror” loans to overly strict lending requirements. What is a “fog the mirror loan? Back in the good old days if you could breath and fog a mirror the bank would just ask how much you earned(which you did not have to verify, by the way) and the lender would qualify the loan based on no income verification or documentation. Simply qualify for the 0% first year months payments and it was yours. Now we have good people, with good jobs, money saved and finding it difficult to get a mortgage. I have even had buyers with enough cash to pay for a property outright to be told by the bank they could make the loan. If you are an entreprenur or private business owner good luck getting a decent mortgage.

What can you do to get a mortgage today?

Hope, Pray, Beg….. No not really but be prepared and shop around.

1.) High Credit Scores Count- surprise the lowest interest rates go to the ones with the highest credit scores of 760 or higher. Make sure you don’t open lines of credit or loans for at least 3 months prior to shopping for a loan. Also, try to pay off loan balances — “One large balance — even if it’s paid off at the end of the month — can ding your score by 20 points or more,” according to the article at Money Magazine.

2.) Gather plenty of quotes. Shop around, it can pay off big! Gather at least 6 quotes from lenders on rates because they can vary between lenders. Request quotes from local, regional and even online vendors like www.quikenloans.com or www.rpfunding.com. MOST IMPORTANTLY! Ask about the closing cost, they can vary from 2-3% of the loan amount.

3.) Lock in the Rate. When you chose the lender make sure to lock in the rate. During this period the lender agrees to not raise the rate within a certain time period. Make sure you check with your REALTOR and lender to verify how long the loan will take to close so you know how long to set the lock in rate for.

Lastly, ask for referrals to local professionals that can help. Ask ME! I have several preferred mortgage folks with different banks to serve your needs.

“Until Next Time”

Source: “For Your Customers:…” REALTOR Mag May 2, 2012 http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2012/04/30/for-your-customers-3-tips-for-landing-mortgage

Mortgage Applications Soar / December 2011

12.8 % Increase in Mortgage Applications

There is large jump for 2 reasons. The first is consumers are taking advantage of historically low interest rates hovering in the 4% range. Second is the affordability of residential homes in Ocala, Belleview, Dunnellon, Salt Spring, Fort McCoy, Sparr, Anthony, Citra and several other areas.  Mortgage application can be a future gauge of home buying reported by Mortgage Bankers Association report for the week ending Dec. 2. Applications jumped 8. % from a week earlier while refinance soared to 15.3 %.

The reports  states 85.5 % were for fixed-rate 30 year loans.

“Coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday, applications increased significantly as mortgage rates dropped to their lowest levels in about two months,” Michael Fratantoni, MBA vice president of research and economics, said in a statement. “In particular, refinance applications increased sharply, with some lenders seeing refinance volume double. Despite this surge, aggregate refinance activity is still below levels reported two weeks ago. Some lenders indicated they are beginning to see an increase in HARP loans, but that increase is still a small portion of the move this week.”

Source: “Mortgage Applications Jump 12.8% as Refinancing Volume Soars,” HousingWire (Dec. 7, 2011)

“Until Next Time”

Ocala, Florida Area Local Market Report 2011 – 3rd Quarter

TODAYS MARKET…. Median Price and Existing home Sales

All real estate is local and every market is unique. Remember that when you hear reports from the major new networks. We are seeing some positive signs in the Ocala / Marion County Market with the Median Home Price now at $80,900 with 1-year Appreciation at -1.6% and a 3 year Appreciation of a whooping -40.1%. This relatively recent correction in local home prices wiped out most of the equity gained over the last 7 years. State Existing Home Sales(2011 Q3 vs 2010 Q3) is at +10.6% for Florida and Nationally 17%.

FORECLOSURE info by type…

The market share of Foreclosures by type is 88.3% are Prime Loans, 5.1% are Sub-Prime Loans and 6.6% are Alt-A Loans. There has been a decline of both 60 and 90 day delinquency rates over the most recent 6-month period suggests a decline in local foreclosure rates in the near future.


Based on Ratio of Local Mortgage Servicing Cost to Income, Ocala has typically been more affordable than most markets. For example the Monthly Mortgage Payment to Income for Ocala is 6.6% compared to 15.5% in the United States for 2010 and 5.7% locally for 2011 and 13.9% nationally with the historical average at 11.3% locally and 22% nationally. The price to income ratio has fallen as well and is below the historical average.

So what does this all mean?

Well it could mean we are close to reaching the bottom of the housing value slide. But it will take a strong economy and more local jobs for the housing market to continue gaining traction. There is less inventory on the market with an increase in buyer activity, compared to the same time last year. We are a long way from seeing appreciation in our homes but hopefully close to reaching the bottom and no more depreciation of value.

“Until Next Time”

3 Keys to Buying in Ocala Housing Market

3 Keys to Buying in Ocala’s Housing Market

Buying a new or existing home can be a challenge for 1st time homebuyers and even for the experienced homebuyer. However, if you take a few steps and learn the process it can help ease some of the stresses that go along with your home purchase.


Find a good, NO Great REALTOR! First, ask for a referral from a friend or family member. Word of mouth is the best way to find a REALTOR in your area to assist with the process. It can be simple(internet) or difficult(print advertising) to sit at your home, office or restaurant and search for hours looking at property listings. A local REALTOR will have the insight, knowledge and tools to make searching easier.

Example: How can 2 similar homes, one located in Silver Springs Shores(Under $100k) and another in the Magnolia Pointe(Under $200k) have such different price. It could be features, supply or most importantly LOCATION.


This is the first thing they teach you in real estate school. It determines everything! You can have the nicest house in all of Central Florida, but if the location is bad it will have a huge negative effect including lower price and overall salability of the property. Are your interested in certain schools, being close to work or recreation. Many REALTOR programs can be set-up to do auto searches for particular areas, price ranges and any other features you desire.


Interest rates are at an all time low with many 30 year mortgages hovering around 4% for those with great credit history. Here are a few loan products to chose from; USDA, Rural loan allows for up to 102% of appraised value to be financed; FHA is 3.5% Down with approx. another 3% in closing cost which can be paid by seller; VA is 0% down for active or retired military with funding fee paid at closing. There are many more options and loan products and finding a GREAT Mortgage Broker with years of experience can save you lots of time and money.


Finding a team of professionals to help in buying your next home, and finding them early can save you TIME and MONEY! If you need a GREAT REALTOR, please contact me at 352-572-1739 or duke@ocalarealtyonline.com. Looking for a GREAT LENDER? Contact me too.


“Until Next Time”


Mortgage Rates @ All Time LOW!

Question is? Who can qualify for a mortgage? Banks will need to loosen their requirements for borrowers if we are going to get more homeowners and refinances done. The 30 year fixed rate(most popular choice among buyers), averages 4.39% this week and lowest average for 2011, reports Freddie Mac.

What was the factor dropping the rates again? Weakening economy is the major factor! It’s not good news for the economy but great news for buyers who can qualify!

Housing market has still shown modest improvement with another rise in “pending” home sales for the month of June.

Interested in July and August 2011 Market Pulse? Click here:http://realtormag.realtor.org/news-and-commentary/market-pulse/article/2011/07/julyaugust-2011-market-pulse

“Until Next Time” and thank you very much for your time!