Archive for January, 2013

Tips for Buying a Beach Condo in St. Augustine, Florida

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and me on Google+.

Are you going to buy a beach condo in St. Augustine or St. Augustine Beach, Florida?  In the short video below my partner Kate Stevens and I hit some of the high points you need to consider when buying a beach condo here in St. Augustine:

Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell and we can help you sort out the closing costs!  Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.

Summerhouse Condos, St. Augustine, Florida

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and me on Google+.

Want to more about Summerhouse Condos in St. Augustine, Florida?  Here’s a short video on the community my partner Kate and I did:

Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell a Summerhouse Condo!  Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.

Is There Sales Tax When You Buy a Home in Florida?

Friday, January 25th, 2013

by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and me on Google+.

No sales taxes, but there are taxes on the mortgage.

No sales taxes, but there are taxes on the mortgage.

Are you charged sales tax when you buy a home in Florida?  No, Thank God, no.

But there are some taxes you pay at closing when you buy a home in Florida, if you get a mortgage.

In the industry these are called “doc stamps.”  These doc stamps are the “Stamps on the Mortgage” and the “Intangible Tax.”

Let’s say you buy a home for $149,000, and you have a mortgage for $119,000.

Only the mortgage is taxed ($119,000).

To figure out the stamps on mortgage, divide the mortgage by 100 and round up if necessary.  Then times that amount by $0.35.

In this example $119,000 / 100 = 1190.  Then 1190 x $0.35 = $416.50.  That’s your stamps on the mortgage and is paid as part of your closing costs.

To figure out the intangible tax on the mortgage, times the mortgage amount by $.002.

In this example $119,000 x $.002 = $238.

So your doc stamps as a buyer total $654.50.  Which is a heckuva lot better than paying over $9000 in sales tax for the same transaction.

If there is no mortgage, you don’t pay any doc stamps or intangible taxes.

If you are seller you also pay docs stamps, at a different rate, and based on the purchase price.

You take the sales price, divide it by 100, round up any decimals, then times it by $.70.

In this example $149,500 / 100 = 1495, then 1495 x $.70 = $1046.50.

So the seller pays this $1046.50 doc stamp at closing.

Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell and we can help you sort out the closing costs!  Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.

 

Should a Seller Get a Home Inspection?

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and me on Google+.

It goes without saying that a buyer should get a home inspection, but should a seller get a home inspection?

I believe a seller should get a home inspection, and my partner Kate Stevens and I explain why in the short video below.  Enjoy!

Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell…we can help with more simple tips that will save you money!  Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.

Tips for Talking to a Realtor

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and me on Google+.

Have you ever tried to explain your dream home to a Realtor and didn’t feel like the Realtor was “getting it?”  If so, my partner Kate Stevens and I did a quick video on how to talk to a Realtor.  Enjoy!

Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell your dream home…we promise to listen!  Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.

Tips for Buying and Selling Vacant Land

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and me on Google+.

My partner Kate did this quick video on buying vacant land here in St. Augustine and St. Johns County.  Enjoy!

Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell your own vacant land!  Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.

Simple Staging Tips for Your Home

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and me on Google+.

Are you thinking about staging your home? In the video below my partner Kate Stevens and I give you some simple tips for doing it yourself that will save you money!

Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell…we can help with more simple tips that will save you money!  Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.

135 Dory Road 32086, Build Your Home with an Easy Walk to the Water!

Monday, January 21st, 2013

by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and me on Google+.

If you want to live close to the water, but can’t afford to live right on the water, we have a great lot available for you.

Our lot at 135 Dory Road (St. Augustine, FL 32086) is a very nice 120 x 100 lot parcel in St. Augustine South. Located less than 800 feet from the beautiful Shore Drive Park on the Intracoastal Waterway, with public boat ramp. Best of all there are no association or CDD fees, and it’s okay to keep items such as boats, RV, jetskis, etc. on the property.

Want to find out more?  Click on the address link above and watch the short video below!

Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell!  Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.

Should I Paint or Do Repairs Before Selling, Or Just Offer a Credit?

Monday, January 21st, 2013

by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and me on Google+.

Painting isn't that hard or expensive, especially when the house is empty. Better yet, start on the outside. Image by Ken_Mayer

Painting isn't that hard or expensive, especially when the house is empty. Better yet, start on the outside. Image by Ken_Mayer

Should I paint or do repairs before selling or just offer a credit?

That’s an easy one!

Paint and do the repairs before selling and your sales price will go up, and your time on the market will go down.

Seriously.

Unfortunately, in my experience, most sellers have done it the opposite way.  Which meant the home generally sat on the market longer and in some rare instances, didn’t sell at all.

If your home is full or furniture I can understand, it can be hard to do the painting, but you can at least get the minor repairs.

And if the home is empty there is no excuse.

Here’s a plan of action:

1) Do the exterior repairs and painting first.

2) Do the interior repairs like plumbing, electrical and fixtures…these repairs generally don’t require furniture to be moved.

3)  After the furniture is moved out do any interior painting, loose ceiling repair (i.e. loose popcorn repair), garage touch ups or drywall tape replacement and repair.

Voila, your done!  And your home will sell for a whole lot more and at a better price.

Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell!  Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.

Image kind courtesy of Ken_Mayer

Do They Make Repairs on a Short Sale?

Monday, January 14th, 2013

by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and me on Google+.

Do seller’s make repairs on short sales?

If your bidet is busted in a short sale, the buyer will probably have to fix it. Image by JMazzolaa.

If your bidet is busted in a short sale, the buyer will probably have to fix it. Image by JMazzolaa.

Typically, no.

In most short sale situations, the home is being sold because the owner can no longer make the payments.

It stands to reason that if the owner can’t make the payments, they don’t have the money to make repairs either.

In some cases all the utilities are shut off as well.  In most cases I’ve dealt with the seller has had the funds available to turn on the water and electric for a few days for a home inspection.

However, in one or two cases the buyer had to pay to turn on the utilities.

There are certain cases where a seller may have money, but is no longer willing or able to pay the house payment…but they still, technically, have the money to make repairs if they wanted to.  My experience with these seller is that once they stop paying the payments, they stop making repairs as well.  They take the mindset that there will be “zero dollars spent, period” on the house.

The upshot to all this is that short sales are in most cases true “as-is” sales.  Be prepared to do your inspections with a fine tooth comb.

Still not sure what a “short sale” is.  You can read  an earlier post on What Is A Short Sale?

Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell a short sale and we’ll give you expert help as you navigate repairs and inspections.  Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.

Image kind courtesy of JMazzolaa.