Southwest Florida Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Oct. 21, 2019

Pssst....Don't Forget About Closing Costs

Its going to cost WHAT?! 

According to a survey by ClosingCorp over half of all homebuyers are surprised by the closing costs required to obtain their mortgage. 

Here's a (very) basic run down of what those closing costs are for. Keep in mind that each transaction is unique. 

Lender Fees:

  • Origination Points
  • Commitment Fee
  • Document Preparation
  • Broker, Originator or Lender
  • Processing
  • Tax Service
  • Underwriting

Third Party Fees:

  • Appraisal
  • Attorney, Closing or Settlement
  • Credit Report
  • Flood Certification
  • Postage
  • Survey

Taxes: 

  • Borrower's share of state and local taxes and fees
  • Mortgage tax

Sounds scary, right? It's not so bad. Closing costs are typically between 2 and 5% of the purchase price of the home. You can also have your agent negotiate that the seller help pay for some of the costs. And as I stated last week, some lenders now offer their own low down payment mortgages, and there are government and local programs to look into a well. 

 

My advice? Stay informed throughout your homebuying process. Get prepared by talking to your lender early on to see what costs you will be responsible for and get yourself an agent!! 

 

Join me on Wednesday when we talk about strategies to lower your closing costs. 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Post
Oct. 18, 2019

Don't Sit on the Couch this Weekend

 

Check out these great things to do around SWFL

 

 

Music Walk - Boo Bash

October 18 6p-9p

Fort Myers River District, Downtown Fort Myers

Over a dozen participating venues feature music by local and regional talent.

Restaurants, bars, art galleries, and shops showcase a wide range of music during Music Walk. From jazz and blues to rock, drums and much more.

 

Annual Quilt show 

October 19 10am-2pm

Edison Ford Estates 2350 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers

Dozens of quilts from the Quilters’ Guild will be on display, suspended from clotheslines between trees and select antique quilts from the 1880s to 1940s will be on display inside the Thomas Edison house, Henry Ford house and the Edison guest house.

 

ZOOMtacular Halloween

October 19th 4p-10p

Zoomers

17455 Summerlin Rd, Fort Myers

Packed with fun, prizes, costumes, candy and more, $15 wristbands all day – Costume Contests – Scavenger Hunt  & more. 239-481-9666

 

Italian Fest

October 20 11a-5p

Lee County Alliance for the Arts

10091 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers

Entertainment, raffles, games for the kids and adults and, of course, plenty of food and drink. Spaghetti-eating contest for both kids & adults

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Local Events
Oct. 16, 2019

How Quickly Can You Save Your Down Payment?

Are you ready to buy your first home?

 

Saving for a down payment is often the biggest and scariest hurdle for a first time home buyer. Using data from HUD, Census and Apartment List, a study was done to determine how long it would take to save for a down payment in each state. The study used the "rule" that a home shouldn't cost more than 28% of total income. It was calculated by determining the percentage of income spent on rent and the amount needed for a 10% down payment. Below is a map with the data collected. 

 

But what if you only need a 3% down payment?? 

You may have been able to take advantage of the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae's 3% down payment program. That means instead of 3 to 5 years, you have your down payment in less than a year in most states. 

 

 

Saving for your down payment may take less time then you think! 

What would YOU sacrifice for a new home? 

Here's some fun facts, from a report conducted by Nerd Wallet.

The report uses the differences between Millennial and Gen X'ers, (I linked it above if you want to give it a read) but I'll just list the things they're willing to sacrifice in general. Which ones would YOU give up for your first home? Leave me a comment!!! 

 

  • Forgo a vacation
  • Make coffee at home
  • Delay having children
  • Delay marriage
  • Delay having a honeymoon
  • Get a part-time job

 

 

No matter how you go about it, it really won't take as long as you might think to save that money! 

 

Stop by next week when we talk about closing costs! 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Post
Oct. 15, 2019

201 SW 38th Ter Cape Coral

Posted in Videos
Oct. 14, 2019

Do You Know How Much Down Payment You Need?

More than 62% of Americans believe they need at least 20% down to purchase a home. - according to the 2019 Home Buyer Report. 

I have to admit, I was one of those 62%. This came from not speaking to a real estate specialist, and relying on hearsay and old beliefs of that's what was needed. The belief that 20% down is needed has made potential homebuyers think they need to wait several years to come up with the necessary funds to buy that dream home. The same report also says, that 32% of U.S. current homeowners put 5% or less down on their home. 

Many banks and online lenders now offer their own low-down-payment mortgages. Several state and local governments also offer down payment assistance programs. 

 

The lack of knowledge about the home buying process is keeping many motivated buyers on the sidelines. 

 

Don't let that lack of knowledge keep you and your family out of the housing market. 

 

Give the Terry and Laurie Carlson Team a call and discuss your options today. 239-770-6955

 

 

Posted in Weekly Post
Oct. 11, 2019

Don't Sit on the Couch this Weekend

 

Check out these great things to do around SWFL

 

Lakes Park Fall Festival and Halloween Express

October 11-27 during normal park operating hours

7330 Gladiolus Dr, Fort Myers

Scarecrow Competition, pumpkin patch, and ride the Halloween Express through the park. 

 

Free Movie in the Park  –  Disney’s Aladdin

Sat., Oct 12 • Movie starts at Dusk 

Jaycee Park, 4125 SE 20th Pl, Cape Coral

The City of Cape Coral Parks and Recreation department is proud to bring you a FREE “Movie in the Park” on our giant inflatable screen. Enjoy the movie and a free family night out under the stars! Bring a blanket and chairs. The movie begins at dusk. Sunset is approximately 6:50pm, but get there early for a good spot, activities and our giveaways. 239-573-3128

 

Punkin Palooza

October 11-20, Friday's, Saturday's and Sunday's

Fleamaster's Fleamarket, 4135 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Fort Myers

Pick out a pumpkin from the Great Pumpkin Patch to decorate and take home, enjoy a special performance by the Hafenkapella German Festival Band

 

Trunk Or Treat with the Family

October 12 7pm

Millennial Brewing Company

1811 Royal Palm Ave, Fort Myers

Tons of decorated Jeeps, candy for the kids, live music and fun for the whole family. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Local Events
Oct. 9, 2019

Why You Should Use a Real Estate Specialist

So why should you use a Real Estate agent anyway? I mean, you have Google right? Here are some of the reasons that using a Real Estate specialist can benefit you, whether you're buying or selling. 

 

1. A phenomenal guide. Buying and selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and many times, other documents. The basic purchase agreement is up to 10 pages in 2019. Mistakes or omissions could cost you a lot of money. A real estate agent has so much attention to detail and has your back. They are familiar with all of the paperwork needed. Wouldn't you feel better having a professional on your side that can speak the language? 

2. Peace of mind with confidentiality. Think about this. You decided you wanted to buy a home that's a For Sale By Owner. Unlike a real estate professional, that owner is under no legal obligation to keep your financial information confidential. When you choose to use a licensed real estate agent you are protected and have outlets for recourse should your information be disclosed. 

3. They know what to look for. You took the time to make your list of wishes for your new home. You know how many bedrooms and bathrooms, and what type of neighborhood. Your agent listened to that and is showing you the homes on your list. But you have those dreamy stars in your eyes. Your agent is looking for things that you might not be thinking of. They're skilled in recognizing the tell tale signs of issues like leaks, roofing concerns, or mold or insect problems. On a seller's side, you know exactly how much you want for your home, but is that price reasonable? An agent is familiar with comparable market sales and some can do comparative market analyses in their sleep. This experience and knowledge can end up saving you thousands and get that home sold fast. 

4. Negotiations. Real estate agents are trained in negotiations. They can remain objective and make sure you get the best possible deal. You may consider offering $10,000 more for the home you want, when an agent knows that's not necessary because they're aware of bargaining chips that you may have. Maybe you're selling your home, an agent can help you choose a buyer that can bring you more money in the long run. 

 

The bottom line: going into a new transaction with a real estate agent can clear the fog, save you a ton of headaches and a lot of money. 

 

Are you listing or buying? Give us a call today! Or head on over to Contact Us at the top of this page. 

 

Join me next week when we talk about down payments and first time home buyers! 

 

Posted in Weekly Post
Oct. 7, 2019

How to Rock as a Real Estate Client

Here's How You Can ROCK as a Real Estate Client

 

So, why should you care whether or not your realtor considers you a good client or not? Because the better client you are, the better your results will be. You don't have to be a match made in heaven, but effort on your part can go a long way to making sure you both have a positive transaction and the best results possible.

 

1. Be open to learn.

Yes, your friends, family and all the websites you've been to have tons of good information. But no one has more "boots-on-the-ground" perspective and experience about trends and your neighborhood than your realtor. Ask questions and try to absorb as much information as you can. I know, it's a lot to learn, but you'll be surprised how fast you become educated and think of more questions. Keep asking them! Most realtors are teachers at heart and want to share what they know. 

 

2. Be easy to communicate with.

Ask your realtor for communication expectations and let them know whether you prefer phone calls, text messages or, emails. Be sure to let them know your "no-contact" time. They know you have a life going on throughout this. Keep in mind that if you say text is the best way, be sure to respond to them. They don't want to text you five times before getting a response. This will just frustrate everyone involved. This goes both ways, if your realtor is constantly hard to reach, you may want to consider switching to someone else. 

3. Be as available as possible.

I mean, let's be real, you won't be expected to take off of work to see or show a home, but see what accommodations you can make to your schedule. And touching back on that communication thing, make sure you let your realtor know up front what days and times are a "no-show" for you. Having said that, it is critical in a hot market keep a flexible mindset to view homes at a moment's notice. If you're selling a home, keep in mind that after-work and weekend showings are highly likely, but hey, the more people that see your home, the better and higher price offers you'll get.

4. Be loyal

House purchases and sales don't just take your time and energy, they take your realtor's time and energy too. They want this to be successful just as much as you do. Before you start working with another realtor, set a meeting up and talk about your concerns. Give some feedback, and be open to theirs, as to why the process isn't going the way you wish. 

 

If you keep all those things in mind when you start your new transaction, you'll be a client rock star in no time! 

 

 

Posted in Weekly Post
Oct. 4, 2019

Don't Sit on the Couch this Weekend

Check out these great things to do around SWFL

 

Fall Festival 

Southern Fresh Farms

8500 Penzance Blvd, Fort Myers

Every weekend in October 9am to 4pm Pumpkins | Hayrides | Farmers Market | Vendors | Food Trucks | Shaved Ice | Kettle Corn | Barnyard Petting Zoo | Fish, Ducks & Turtle Feeding Pond

Barnyard animals will be on a feeding schedule. Times are 9am- 12pm then 1pm-4pm. Feeding times are subject to change

 

Calusa Haunted Walk 2019

Calusa Nature Center and Planetitarium

3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers

35th Annual Haunted Walk, every weekend in October through November 2. Come find out what's lurking on our pitch black trails... their 1/3 mile Pine Loop Trail is sure to make even the bravest scream. 

 

Reptiday Fort Myers Reptile & Exotic Animal Show 

October 5th

Crowne Plaza at Bell Tower Shops

13051 Bell Tower Dr, Fort Myers

A one‑day reptile event featuring vendors offering reptile pets, supplies, feeders, cages, and merchandise as well as live animal seminars and frequent free raffles for prizes.

 

Wicked Dolphin Distillery Tour

October 10th

131 SW 3rd Pl, Cape Coral

Walk through the steps of how their rum is unique and then enjoy the tasting room! 

 

Cape Bike Night

October 12th

SE 47th Ter (from Coronado Pkwy to Vincennes Blvd)

A night of great entertainment, food, vendors, and motorcycles in the South Cape! The City of Cape Coral has been hosting Bike Night for over a decade! Whether you're a hardcore biker or not, you'll have a blast! 

 

2019 Trunk or Treat

October 12th 11am-1pm

Palm City Brewing

7887 Drew Cir Suite 130, Fort Myers

Get an early start to your kids Halloween with this family friendly and FREE event!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Posted in Local Events
Oct. 2, 2019

Hello October!

 

 

 

   

 

 

Posted in Weekly Post