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Orlando Branch

Orlando is the fourth largest city in the state of Florida and the 73rd largest city in the United States. Located in Florida’s “sun belt” region, this city is known for its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and even more so for its world famous amusement parks, entertainment, and attractions.

With a combined population of 3.3 million residents, Orlando’s real estate market is fueled by job seekers, baby boomer retirees, and students who want to live in a “cheap and cheerful” area that offers a high quality of living at a reasonable cost. For investors looking to invest in real estate, these are good signs.

This area has produced some impressive results for real estate investors already and this trend is likely to continue into 2018. To date, property prices are up, appreciation rates are increasing steadily, and the cost of living remains below the national average.

More Reasons To Love Orlando:

  • Forbes reports that 60 million people visited the Orlando area in 2015, making it the most visited tourist destination in the country.
  • The population in Orlando has grown 41% since the year 2000. To date, Metro Orlando houses over 2.3 million residents.
  • Rents grew by 3.4% in the last 12 months, which is higher than the national and state levels. Employment is likely to grow 4.2% a year through 2017, according to Moody’s. Foreclosure laws have helped keep home prices significantly below their last peak but rates are rising.
  • Orlando’s employment growth is among the best in the U.S. with 173,900 jobs created since the recession and a growth rate of 4% per year.
  • Orlando’s population has grown 41% since the year 2000 and is expected to grow an additional 1.5% in 2017, which means the demand for housing is likely to increase. Orlando Medical City boasts a $7.6 billion economic impact and will create 30,000 jobs.
  • Amazon Fulfillment recently opened, bringing 4,000 jobs to Central Florida, the current leader in job and population growth in the state.
  • Orlando was recently named the “hottest” single-family real estate market among the 50 largest US metro areas (Ten-X Research’s quarterly report). According to the report, Orlando has been elevated to the nation’s top market position due to limited supply, rising home values, ample jobs and income growth, especially in the leisure/hospitality sector.

Orlando’s Current Real Estate Market Overview in 2018

Orlando’s Real Estate 2018 Overview

This area has produced some impressive results for real estate investors already and this trend is likely to continue into 2018. To date, property prices are up, appreciation rates are increasing steadily, and the cost of living remains below the national average.

Orlando is the fourth largest city in the state of Florida and the 73rd largest city in the United States. Located in Florida’s “sun belt” region, this city is known for its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and even more so for its world famous amusement parks, entertainment, and attractions.Orlando Walt Disney

With a combined population of 3.3 million residents, Orlando’s real estate market is fueled by job seekers, baby boomer retirees, and students who want to live in a “cheap and cheerful” area that offers a high quality of living at a reasonable cost. For investors looking to invest in real estate, these are good signs.

Orlando’s employment growth is among the best in the U.S. with 173,900 jobs created since the recession and a growth rate of 4% per year.

Why Invest in Orlando?

Orlando offers great opportunities for buy and hold real estate investments today. This is especially true for investors looking to invest in one of the most quickly growing economies in the nation while prices are still below their pre-recession peaks.

Today the median price of three bedroom single family homes in the Orlando metro area is $188,000. This is just slightly higher than the national average of $187,000.

This shows us that while property values in Metro Orlando are more expensive than other U.S. markets today, it’s still possible to purchase single family homes below the national average.


3 Most Common Real Estate Markets

1) A Balanced Florida Real Estate Market

A balanced real estate market is where both the supply and demand for homes and condos in a particular area is roughly equal. In a balanced real estate market there is about a six month supply of homes on the market.

A balanced real estate market is not something that usually happens for a long period of time in Florida. But that’s okay really, it’s usually just a threshold that is passed as Florida is transitioning from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market or vice-versa. The odds are that you will not likely move to Florida when it’s a balanced market.

2) A Florida Buyer’s Market

A buyers market in Florida happens when there are more people who what to sell (often to leave the state) than there are people who want to buy. During a buyer’s market in Florida there will be more than a six month supply of homes for sale. This means there will usually be a lot of homes to chose from in your price range.

florida buyer's market and seller's marketBecause the supply of homes exceeds the demand for them in a Florida buyer’s market, buyers can take their time when shopping for a home because homes will sit on the market for many months, possibly a year or longer without selling. Buyers may not want to be too eager to make an offer because sellers will often reduce their prices. Even if they don’t drop the price, more sellers are willing to entertain low offers because they have no idea how long it may be until the next offer comes along, if at all. And that offer may even be lower.

In a strong buyers market, you will notice more for sale signs appearing on more homes every week. Those new listings may also be priced lower than existing for-sale homes in the area thereby pressuring those older sellers to reduce their price in order to compete. Buyer’s markets can be lots of fun for buyers but not much for sellers and real estate brokers.

The best time to buy in Florida is during one of the many frequent buyer’s market’s, when homes and condos are selling at steep discounts of 30% or more and there’s more homes coming on the market every day.

3) A Florida Sellers Market

A seller’s market is when there are more buyers looking for homes and condos in an area than there are properties for sale. When this happens, sellers can expect to sell their home in less that six months. In a strong seller’s market a nice home may sell within weeks, days or even hours.

When there are more buyers than available homes, prices go up. In Florida, it’s not uncommon for demand to far outstrip the supply of homes for sale and push list prices skyward. During a strong seller’s market you may notice fewer for sale signs in the front yard of homes every week.

Seller’s markets are not fun for buyers. Prices are high. There is less inventory to chose from. Buyers may feel pressured to buy now because if they don’t prices may even be higher next month. During strong seller’s markets, many buyers may end up paying far more than they want for a home they really don’t like very much, simply because they believe it will be even worse if they don’t act now.

Strong Seller’s markets are fun for sellers, real estate agents that can still successfully compete for listings as inventory gets scarce, flippers (investors that buy homes, do no or minimal improvements, then jack up price and put it right back on the market) and new construction builders.

Regardless of “where” the market is, becoming a home can be the rewarding feeling knowing that you are stabilizing your family’s future and creating a legacy of building wealth and living the American Dream. We are standing by ready to help you achieve your home dreams!


Buying or Selling in Florida

If I was Going to Buy or Sell in Florida I Would…

If I was thinking of selling in Florida, I would sell now before this strong seller’s market comes to an end, which may happen much quicker than many realize.

If I living in Florida and was thinking of buying now, I would still move forward and consider buying. On the flip side, if I was thinking of moving to Florida but didn’t have to move right now, I might wait until after the current Florida real estate homes pricing settles just a little and lots of homes come on the market to choose from.land home financial buyer and sellers market

Caveats

    • The Fed has lowered interest rates to the lowest point ever and kept them there for longer than ever before. We are in uncharted territory as they raise rates.
    • The US has a downturn or recession every 7 years on average. It’s been longer that that since the last one. So the odds are, normally, …but he stock market hit a new high right after the 2016 presidential election. If a recession develops in 2018-2019, Florida real estate prices could drop substantially causing a fantastic buying opportunity of up to 50% or more off current home prices.
    • I’m hearing “you should buy now because if you don’t, prices will just be higher next week” and “It’s different this time because there’s a wave of babyboomers coming that will cause prices to just keep going up and Florida is the new California, etc.” This is exactly what they were saying right up to the last day before the Florida real estate bubble popped and home prices proceeded to drop 60% on average.
    • When this current bubble pops, prices will likely drop the most in neighborhoods where homes are occupied mainly by people who bought to live in Florida full-time.
    • Prices usually drop less in areas where homes and condos are mostly owned by wealthier folks who mainly only occupy them during the winter months such as in Palm Beach (Note: Not Palm Beach County in general, not West Palm Beach, etc., but the town of Palm Beach on the key) and Naples proper.

So Where Are Florida Home Prices Now?

  • People who moved to Florida during the 10 year “hurricane drought” only to be forced out of their homes for the first time in their lives during the “return to normal” 2017 hurricane season, will decide that where they moved from, wasn’t so bad after all and want to sell. This will increase supply and lead to lower prices.
  • People that were forced out of their homes and have not been able to return to them because hurricane damage, have already move and established life elsewhere. A high percentage of these homes will go up for sale, increasing supply and lowering prices.
  • The 2017 hurricane season which devastated parts of Texas, then Florida and finally Puerto Rico was heavily reported nationwide, slowing demand as people think twice about moving to Florida. This is reducing demand.
  • The “normal” 30,000 or so who move out of Florida for monthly now for reasons other than hurricanes, continues.
  • This has worsened throughout the year as the 2017 hurricane damage money is spent and all the those additional workers and jobs leave the state, reducing housing demand and leading to lower prices.

Where Are They Heading?

Bottom Line: What will Happen to Florida Real Estate Prices in 2018 and 2019

  • Look for growing inventory, homes sitting on the market longer and price reductions this year in 2018. This will gain steam as the year progresses and interest rates increase.
  • If the annual 6 month hurricane season in Florida in 2018 is another “normal” one like 2017 with evacuations and damage, look for Florida real estate prices to tank in 2019, fingers crossed that won’t be the case.
  • If the country experiences a downturn or recession (historically we are overdue for one) look for Florida real estate prices to drop like a rock in 2019.
  • If both of those things happen, look for Florida real estate prices to collapse and rapidly drop up to 50% or more in 2019 as the floodgates of sellers opens up and the pipeline of buyers slows to a trickle.

Land Home as You Preferred Builder Lender

Land Home – Your “Preferred Lender”

  • What we found working with many other builders is that they usually have their own lender and then a list of three preferred lenders to choose from if their in-house lender cannot approve them they select from the Alternative List. The problem we see is that list of three alternative lenders all do the same thing and in most cases the same the in house lender? That’s where we come in – we’re different and unique as you see below from most lenders!
  • Our company is a “Direct Seller Servicer” with Fanny, Freddy and Ginny and we service 90% of all our loans which means the customer stays with us and submits their payments to us directly. This allows us to make approvals on “make sense loans” instead or corresponding to another lender and following their guidelines because the loan is being sold to another lender.
  • We have no Overlays – when we pre-approve a Borrower, we follow the agency guidelines exactly to what the Automated Underwriting System approves and tells us.
  • Because we are a direct lender, our pricing is the top 4% of all lenders in our market.
  • We are a true Community Based Lender – which means we offer all the Down Payment Assistance programs for buyers that need them and we even offer own in House DPA program which gives 5% of the sale towards down payment and closing cost as a true gift no lien and no payback on purchase price up to $417,000.00 with a minimum 620 credit score.

Review the Comparisons and You’ll See Just “WHY” we are Better for You as a Builder

  • (LHFS) No minimum credit scores on Conventional – (MOST LENDERS) Do not go below 640 some 620
  • (LHFS) Minimum credit score on FHA 580 – (MOST LENDERS) Minimum credit score of 620 – some 640
  • (LHFS) Income ratios up to 57% with AUS approval – (MOST LENDERS) Income ratios up to 50% – some 55%
  • (LHFS) We do not require Tax returns on W2 Borrower – (MOST LENDERS) Require Tax returns regardless
  • (LHFS) We allow Commission, Overtime & Bonus Income after 1 full year of client receiving them – (MOST LENDERS) Want 2 years of history to be qualified and allowed
  • (LHFS) We do not deduct 2106 Expenses on W2 Borrowers that do not receive Commission or Bonuses – (MOST LENDERS) Deduct the 2106 Business expenses against the Borrowers income
  • (LHFS) We allow part-time Job after 1 full year – (MOST LENDERS) Want 2 years of history
  • (LHFS) Conventional Loans: if the Borrower has 10 payments or less on revolving accounts and Installment accounts we do not count the debt – (MOST LENDERS) Only allow installment debt – not revolving
  • (LHFS) We allow revolving accounts to be paid down to zero and not close the account – (MOST LENDERS) Require the account to be closed
  • (LHFS) We do not require disputed accounts to be removed from the credit report; which will lower the credit score (MOST LENDERS) Require the disputed accounts  to be removed

Additionally, we have a about a 70% conversion rate on “turn downs” from already built homes from the following builders: Lennar, Pulti, Park Square, KB Homes, DR Horton, Snow Construction, Meritage, Minto & Toll Brothers and am very confident we can do the same with your organization.

*Please note all percentages and statements are subject to change based on regulations that may arise. The use of hypothetical, predictive, and current statements, by Land Home Financial Services are meant to illustrate current operation standards.


Real Estate and Housing Forecast 2018

The Housing Picture for 2018

National Association of Realtors

NAR reported existing home sales rose 3% in February. Nationally, 5.54 million units sold ending 2 months of declining sales. Housing inventory rose last month but is still down 8.1% from 12 months ago.

Housing inventory remains the most influential and persistent factor affecting prices although media and politicians blame speculation, building costs, interest rates, cost of living, and mortgage rules. When the economy is good people want homes. Construction is strong but can’t keep up. Simple rule of supply vs demand is driving home prices.

Ready to Choose a Realtor and Buy?

A perfect storm of demand, supply and economic factors are making Florida an excellent a great place to buy real estate. See the price projections for the major cities below.

The housing market in Tampa, Orlando, Panama City, Sarasota, Naples, Fort Lauderdale, and even Boca Raton are compelling real estate investment value propositions for snowbirds and other buyers in North America. As you’ll see, sunny and warm Florida home prices are quite reasonable.

Interest in buying Florida properties from buyers seems to grow and wane through the weeks and months. Although January and February are a lull in demand, the Florida economy is too strong to see that continue. The recent tax changes may discourage speculative investment for a while but buyers are now back.

The Florida housing market in 2017 was characterized by a lack of new construction, big price reductions on new condos, a disappearance of South American property buyers, softened house and condo prices, and of course, low taxation rates. If the glut of condo building in Miami is now complete, then we may see upward pressure on condo prices.

Choosing Your Florida Home StyleOrlando downtown skyline panorama over Lake Eola at night with urban skyscrapers. RM

The variety of homes in Florida is astonishing.  From modern 3 bedroom bungalows to condos in towering buildings to quaint beach houses to spacious multi-million dollar mansions, you can have your dream life, walk the beaches, shop for hours, and never have to shovel snow.  For a lot of buyers, that’s a compelling value proposition.

With more baby boomers hoping to retire somewhere nice, and who have been holding onto their old home because they have nowhere to go, will find Florida a compelling value proposition in real estate investment.


8 Things to Consider Before you Buy a Home

When Buying a Home in Florida

Whether you’re buying a second home/vacation home or you’re considering moving to warm, sunny Florida, consider a few matter beforehand:

  1. Can you afford to live in the region or neighborhoods you have targeted?
  2. Which cities and neighborhoods are safe and pleasant to live in?
  3. Summers are hot and humid. Can you take the heat and the indoor life?
  4. Do you like golf, fishing, walking the beach, boating, and water sports?
  5. How well can you run your business from Florida and how much back and forth travel will you need to do?
  6. What is the actual cost of living?
  7. How much will your mortgage payments be for the next 10 years?
  8. Is there a true demand for your area of work/profession?

Some people love Florida and some don’t like it at all. If you could live there during the winter only, as many snowbirds from New York, Toronto, Montreal, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Washington do, it’s might be a no brainer. All you’d have to focus on is finding a home and getting it at a bearable price.

With the Florida economy rolling along nicely, there’s no reason to believe there is a downside to buying property in the Sunshine State. And sunshine is a key benefit for most buyers here.

Interest in Orlando and Tampa real estate has been particularly strong and that’s likely due to the lower prices. Even homes in Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale are half the price as those in Miami.

However the economies in Tampa and Orlando are holding their own and drawing in new residents due to lower than expected prices on condos and homes.

 


2018 Conforming Loan Limits Rise

2018 Loan Limits Rise Mortgage Rates Rise

The FHFA Raises Conforming Loan Limits from $424,100 to $453,100

U.S. home values expand and contract. Every year around the Thanksgiving holiday, the Federal Housing Finance Authority (FHFA) publishes their third quarter House Price Index (HPI) report. This report includes estimates for the increase to the U.S. median home value over the last four quarters (usually Q3 to Q3). Essentially, the FHFA measures the amount U.S. homes have appreciated over the past 12-month period.

Based on the HPI report, the FHFA will use the results, whether up, down or no change, to recommend an adjustment to the conforming loan limits. This is a corrective measure to ensure conforming loan amounts keep pace with home appreciation.

According to the FHFA’s 2018 seasonally adjusted expanded-data HPI report, home prices in the U.S. increased on average by 6.8% from the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017. As a result, the baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2018 will increase 6.8% from $424,100 to $453,100.

Why This Matters to Potential Home Buyers…

The 2018 loan limit increase provides an expansion to your conforming loan amount potential. In other words, the 2018 loan limit increase allows Lenders to lend more money to qualified buyers within the conforming classification.

So…

If you were home shopping this past summer and everything was too expensive for you to qualify for using a conforming loan – contact your local Land Home Mortgage Representative and ask them to take a second look at your loan application. The loan limit change may potentially increase the amount you can borrow and turn that “No” into “Yes-Approved!”.

And for folks still trying to decide if homeownership is the right move; now is a great time to schedule a no-cost, hassle-free homeownership check-in with a local Land Home Mortgage Representative.

Say “Yes!” to homeownership!


First Time Home Buyer Tips

1 Minute to Win it for the 1st Time Buyer

Start prepping as a first time home buyer immediately. Start saving money for upcoming expenses, you’ll need it. Find a community lender to help get you pre-approved. Be sure to pay close attention to the home inspection and bring another close friend or family member for a second opinion. Offer to help people move so when it’s your time to move you’ll have help. It’s also important to not buy furniture right away. Know what you can change and what you can’t, remember that you buy a neighborhood when you buy a home. Here at Land Home Financial Orlando, we are excited to help you fulfill your new home dreams.


5 Tips to Home Buying in 2018

Want Some Home Buying Tips from the Experts?

Buying a home is like competing in a mud run, naked while planning a wedding at the same time. It’s taxing, it will make you feel vulnerable, it has its ups-and-downs, and it isn’t always fair. But – for those willing to take the plunge, bare their financial assets, and compete for their own backyard – home ownership is one of the most rewarding financial achievements of a lifetime.

When buying a home: Tip 1  – Select a qualified, knowledgeable loan officer and develop a down payment savings plan.

*Myth 1 – Only low-income individuals can qualify for down payment assistance programs. Down payment assistance programs are for a variety of individuals who meet various qualifying standards. These programs are designed to make homeownership possible for all who meet the qualifications and are able and willing to try. 

Credit Scores – What should my credit score be to buy a home?

When applying for a home loan, your credit score has a direct effect on the interest rate of your loan. Generally, the lower your credit score the higher your interest rate; the higher your credit score the lower your interest rate.

While you don’t need a high credit score to purchase a home, generally a higher score will help keeps your mortgage costs lower than if you were to have a lower score.

Buying a Home: Tip 2 – Check your credit report monthly and look for any errors or possible enhancement opportunities.

Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved – What’s the difference and which is better?

Most mortgage lenders offer prospective homebuyers two different options when it comes to their commitment to lend – a Pre-Qualification letter and a Pre-Approval letter.

A Pre-Qualification letter is simply a document stating you have submitted the necessary financial documentation (usually the last two years of W2s/Tax Returns, recent Bank Statements, and your Driver’s License) for review and you “qualify” for the requested loan amount.

The pre-qualified amount is based on the customer’s perceived debt-to-income ratio (DTI), their financial assets, and credit score.

In a competitive home buying market, as we are in today, home sellers want to see a Pre-Approval letter before accepting an offer on their home. The reason is that a lender’s Pre-Approval letter is basically one step away from a full fledge loan commitment and usually translates into a quick and straightforward closing process.

Buying a Home: Tip 3 – Get Pre-Approved!

 A qualified, knowledgeable Loan Officer assisting you to select the best loan package for your situation. Many factors go into the cost of your loan and poor choices up front can cost you a lot in the long run.

Real Estate Agents – Do I really need one to buy a home?

A qualified, experienced and reliable Real Estate Agent can often be the difference between getting your dream home or not. However, we will be the first to tell you – not all Real Estate Agents are created equal. Do your homework, and interview at least three different Real Estate Agents before selecting one.

Often, Loan Officers will have plenty of Real Estate Agent references they can share with you.

 Buying a Home: Tip 4 – Select your desired neighborhood and hire a qualified Realtor/Real Estate Agent.  

A Realtor has the full backing of the National Association of Realtors. and working with a Realtor provides the customer the security of knowing the agent they have chosen, answers to a National Association in terms of ethics, educational standards, and legal backing.

Mortgage Interest Rates – Will rates go up in 2018?

“What’s the rate today?” is every lender’s favorite question – NOT! Why? Well… there’s no simple, straight-forward answer to the question. As mentioned before, many different factors affect mortgage interest rates.

For informational purposes, most experts are predicting an increase in the base rate for a conventional 30-year fixed mortgage. This isn’t surprising given the historic lows mortgage rates experienced in 2015 and 2016. Again, while many factors affect mortgage interest rates, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), the baseline rate for a 30-year fixed conventional mortgage is expected to increase to 4.6 percent in 2018, 5.0 percent in 2019 and 5.3 percent in 2020.

Buying a House: Tip 5 – Develop a sense of urgency to achieve your home ownership goals. 

2018 is a Fantastic Year for the First-Time Home Buyer to Purchase a Home

It is getting easier than ever to qualify for a mortgage which is due to several factors: Mortgage Lenders have begun accepting lower down payments, the debt-to-income ratios (also known as DTI) used to qualify for most mortgages became more forgiving last year and future home prices are expected to level off.

first time home buying, mortgages

Best of luck and happy house hunting!

*Please note all pricing, percentages, and fees are subject to change and are based on personal circumstances. The use of hypothetical, predictive, and forecast statements, by Land Home Financial Services and noted third parties, is meant to illustrate possible outcomes and is not intended to be a statement of facts nor an endorsement of validity. 


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Our staff gets hands-on with charities, non-profits and organizations to enact positive change and create strong, vibrant communities.

land home financial charity partners Take Care of Our Heroes

Specializing in VA Loans for more than 30 years and a VA Automatic Lender.

We Believe in Maintaining Long-Term Relationships

We retain close to 90% of the loans we originate, currently serving over $5 billion in residential loans so you don’t have to deal with a third-party.

 

Meet with a Real Person When You Need Help or Have Questions

Our Florida loan officers are currently operating within 10 branches located in Orlando, Kissimmee, Tampa, Sarasota, Spring Hill, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Boca Raton, Jupiter and Boynton Beach. We are licensed in 50 states, including the District of Columbia.