Archive for November, 2013

6360 Old Dixie Drive, St. Augustine, FL 32095: Our Gingerbread House!

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

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

We just listed what we are calling the Gingerbread House. Located at 6360 Old Dixie Drive in St. Augustine (near the British Pub just south of Palencia), it is so pretty, and so well done.

Here’s a quick description of the home:

Charming 2 story cottage-style, 4-bedroom home with oversized porches front & back. Well maintained throughout with tile floors downstairs & wood laminate up. Updated kitchen, bathrooms & fixtures. Fireplace in living room gives a welcoming touch. Bonus loft great for game room, entertainment center, or office. Sit up in the trees on the 2nd floor porch & watch the world go by. Very useful large, semi-finished attic in attached garage has endless possibilities as a den, craft room, storage – you name it. Great location for access to Jax & St Augustine. No HoA or CDD fees.

I won’t try to describe it further, but instead watch the short video below to see it for yourself. Or just click here for more info on 6360 Old Dixie Drive.

Want to see 6360 Old Dixie Drive? Just email Kate Stevens, Broker Associate. She’s my partner at St. Augustine Team Realty, (904-377-2276). Serious inquiries only please.

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Closing Cost Time Bomb: Escrows

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

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

Acme Instant Closing Cost Time Bomb (Just Add Water)

Acme Instant Closing Cost Time Bomb (Just Add Water)

Escrows? What the Hell Are Those!

Tax and insurance escrows are the time bombs of closing costs.

They are easy to miss.

Why?

While your lender will include escrows on your monthly payment estimate, they are often forgotten or overlooked for the closing costs estimate.

This can lead to sticker shock on the day of closing.

I’ll explain.

Your monthly mortgage payment will have one month’s worth of your property taxes and one month of your insurance payment tacked on.

The money for taxes is put into one escrow account. The money for insurance is put into another escrow account.

An escrow account is basically a holding account. It has one purpose: to hold enough money to pay your taxes or insurance when they are due.

At tax time, or when your insurance bill is due, these escrow accounts will have enough money to pay the bill. You don’t have to remember to pay it. You don’t have to write a separate check. It happens automatically.

Here’s where the time bomb comes in.

At closing they will charge you three months worth of taxes, and three months worth of insurance, to “build up” these accounts for the first time.

If the taxes are $4000 a year, three months worth of taxes would be $1000. If you weren’t preparing to pay that extra thousand, or if you weren’t aware of it, you are going to freak out a bit. Many people do.

So if you are heading into a real estate closing, take a good look at your closing costs estimates. Find the tax and insurance escrow estimate. If you don’t see it, call your lender.

Need a great Realtor to get you through closing? Just email Kate Stevens, Broker Associate. She’s my partner at St. Augustine Team Realty, (904-377-2276), or just email me, my info is at the top.

All images, video and audio not in the public domain are used in accordance with the Fair Use Law (Per Title 17–United States Code–Section 107) and remain the property of the film or photo copyright owners. Wile E., as usual, missed the Road Runner. RR knew about the escrows and did not blow up.

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515 Federal Point Road: A Small Cottage With Room for Big Family Gatherings!

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

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

We just listed a great new home on the St. Johns River. It’s a beautiful, classic old cottage with a porch that goes on forever. Here’s the skinny on it:

Enjoy serene views of the St Johns River from this adorable cottage nestled amongst 1.34 acres of majestic old oaks. A St Johns riverfront cottage with 56 feet of frontage on the St. Johns. Long (over 200 feet) dock with newer pilings and recycled cypress overlay. One bedroom cottage is 798 square feet and roomier than it looks, with living and dining area, galley kitchen, office, and giant (504 square foot, 14 x 36) screened hardwood porch overlooking the river. The cottage features charming wooden floors & an enclosed porch as well as metal roof & carport. Property is platted as 4 lots with easement access along the north property line. A must see!

Click to find out more about 515 Federal Point Road, and watch the short video of it below!

Want to find out more about 515 Federal Point or any other home? Just email Kate Stevens, Broker Associate. She’s my partner at St. Augustine Team Realty, (904-377-2276).

Find Sean on Google+.

Getting Around Closing Costs When Buying a House

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

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

Getting around closing costs can be tricky.

Getting around closing costs can be tricky.

Getting Around Closing Costs

You may have enough to make the down payment on a house, and based on your income you may qualify for a loan. But once you factor in the closing costs it might put you in a position where you can’t afford the house.

Or let’s say you have enough for a down payment and closing costs, but it wipes out your entire savings.*

If you find yourself in that situation you may be able to ask for the seller to pay for your closing costs.

“Is this really possible,” you gasp, “someone else pay for my closing costs?”

Of course it’s possible, you just have to ask.

Let’s say you want to buy a house for $140,000, but in order not to wipe out your savings you need $5000 in closing costs.

So you make an offer of $145,000, and in the terms of the offer you put in something like “Seller agrees to pay $5000 in buyer closing costs and prepaid closing costs.”

It’s as simple as that, but there are a few caveats.

The first is that you are going to pay really close to list price or even over list price to get the seller to do this.

The seller has you over a barrel, you see. If you want to buy a house, you need him to pay the closing costs. He’s not going to give you a low price and closing costs.

The second thing to consider is that the home has to appraise.

In order for the seller to give you back the closing costs, the house has to appraise for the higher amount. In the example above the house would have to appraise for $145,000.

If it doesn’t appraise then you go back to the drawing table.

Let’s say the home appraises for $143,000. The seller might accept the $143,000, but in order to preserve his bottom line he may only agree to pay for $3000 in closing costs (meaning you have to come up with the extra $2000).

In theory the seller could still give you the full $5000 (it’s his decision), but typically sellers tend to overvalue their home no matter where it sells at.

In the above example it would be normal for the seller to start thinking that he could have sold his house for $145,000 without paying the closing costs (even if it was only priced at $140,000 to begin with). He would start thinking that he’s getting ripped off somehow by paying the closing costs.

He would think this even if the home had been on the market for six months, and even if you were the only person who viewed it during that whole time, and even if you were the only person who made an offer on it. This is typical seller behavior.

Whatever the decision, it will take you and the seller working together to make it happen.

And that’s why you need we Realtors: it’s our core role to help you negotiate these things out.

*You want at least six months of mortgage payments saved up as a safety net in case something happens. You do not want to move into a new home with an empty bank account.

Need to buy a home with the seller paying your closing costs? Just email Kate Stevens, Broker Associate. She’s my partner at St. Augustine Team Realty, (904-377-2276), or just email me, my info is at the top.

All images, video and audio not in the public domain are used in accordance with the Fair Use Law (Per Title 17–United States Code–Section 107) and remain the property of the film or photo copyright owners. If you need a bigger dose of Snidely Whiplash check out the Dudley Doright water ride at Universal Oralndo…it’s awesome!

Find Sean on Google+.