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Every day except holidays

Wildwood FL 34785-9998

(352) 234-6175

contact@lovingthevillages.com

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Select one of the frequently asked questions below to learn more about buying, selling, and renting real estate. Also, begin to think about important things to consider when diving into your real estate search.

Question about selling or buying

Is an older home as good a value as a new home?

This is really just a matter of preference, but both newer and older homes offer distinct advantages, depending upon your unique taste and lifestyle.

Older homes can generally cost less than new homes, however, there are many cases where new homes can also cost less then older homes. Most new homes will not have any backyard landscaping and some don”t include any front landscaping either. With an older home, the landscaping is normally already completed and could have 10”s of thousands of dollars in landscaping done, which is included in the purchase price.

Taxes on some older homes may also be lower. Some people are charmed by the elegance of an older home but shy away because they”re concerned about potential maintenance costs. Consider a home warranty to get the peace of mind you deserve. A good Home Warranty plan protects you against unexpected repairs on many home systems and appliances for a full year or more after you move in.

In a new house, you can pick your own color schemes, flooring, kitchen cabinets, appliances, custom wiring for TV”s, electrical, computers, phones and speakers, etc., as well as have more upgrade options. Modern features like media rooms, extra-large closets and extra-large bathrooms and tubs are also more attainable in ground-up construction. In a used home, you rely largely on the previous resident”s tastes and technological whims, unless you plan to farm thousands into a remodeling and rewiring.

New-home designers can use new building materials such as glazed Energy Star windows, thicker insulation and other technology that will lower future energy costs for the owner. Most states now have minimum energy-efficiency requirements for new construction. Kitchens and laundry areas in new homes are designed to house more efficient energy-saving appliances. Older homes, unless they have undergone an energy retrofit, usually cost much more per square foot to air-condition and heat.

Builders have to follow very strict guidelines in new-homes and additions, especially in the West and Northwest, where earthquake safety standards must be observed. In general, new homes are usually more fire-safe and better accommodating of new security and garage-door systems.

Older homes can be better judged for their quality and timeless beauty. New homes that now possess a smooth veneer might reveal the use of substandard building materials or shoddy workmanship over time.

As you can see there are advantages and dis-advantages to each, but it really comes down to what fits you and what you are looking for in a home.  At the end of the day only you can make this decision.

What is a broker?

An agent who is authorized to open and run his/her own agency. All real estate offices have one principal broker.

What is the difference between being prequalified and preapproved for a loan?

If you’re prequalified it means that you POTENTIALLY could get a loan for the amount stated to you, assuming that all of the information you provide to the bank is accurate and true. This is not as strong as a preapproval.

If you’re preapproved, it means that you have undergone the extensive financial background check, which includes looking at your credit history, previous tax returns and verifying your employment – and the lender is willing to give you a loan, basically meaning you’re approved!

You will usually be provided an accurate figure which shows the maximum amount that you are approved for.  Most sellers prefer buyers that have been preapproved because they know that there will not be any problems with the purchase of their home.

What is title insurance?

Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender and buyer against any losses incurred from disputes over the title of a property.

Can I pay my own taxes and insurance?

When a loan is originated, the mortgage documents specify the escrow conditions. This has become a standard practice for all mortgages, including FHA, VA and conventional mortgages.  Occasionally on conventional loans, FRFCU waives the collection of escrow requirement at closing if the member has a minimum 20% equity position in the property.

How can I avoid private mortgage insurance?

The easiest way to avoid PMI is by putting 20% down payment.  Note that this only applies to the first year and after that it is based on the equity of the home.  After the purchase the required equity can change.  Consult a professional.

How is interest calculated on a mortgage loan?

Most mortgages originated today calculate interest in arrears, unlike consumer loans which calculate interest to the date of payment receipt. As an example, when borrowers pay their February mortgage payments, they are paying the January interest. This method of calculating interest is based on a 360 day year in which each month has 30 days.

Is there a minimum credit score?

This depends on the type of mortgage you are seeking and the bank or mortgage company.  This will vary.

What benefits do I receive from private mortgage insurance?

Title insurance is insurance that protects the lender and buyer against any losses incurred from disputes over the title of a property.

What do I do if I receive a tax statement?

Many tax authorities will mail an informational copy of the real estate tax statement to the homeowner in addition to the Credit Union.  However, there are some statements tax authorities do not forward to the credit union, and in special cases we will need your assistance in obtaining the bill. If you receive a statement for any of the following, please forward it to our office by mail or fax.

  • delinquent real estate taxes
  • supplemental or additional real estate taxes
  • special assessments
  • if the tax authority will not honor a bill request from another party.

How long does the loan process take?

The time to secure a loan depends on many factors such as your mortgage company, your credit score, and many other factors.  We suggest you speak to your bank or mortgage company for this information

What is the fee to use a broker

This depends on the agent and their firm.  It will vary so shop around.  Typically it is paid by the seller and is a % of the sale price.

Question about renting

Why rent verse buy?

This is a personal preference.  We suggest you determine how long you will be there and to make a budget.  There are pros and cons to each path.

What types of fees are involved in renting?

This depends on the person renting the home.  Before you sign an agreement make sure you have asked so that you can make a good budget.  Questions like utilities, amenities and landscaping are some of the common questions but certainly not all.

Should I have a detailed rental agreement?

The answer to this is YES.  Read this multiple times to make sure that you are comfortable and can accept the terms.  Remember this is their house and they make the rules.  If there are compromises make sure they are documented and signed by both parties!

What should I expect for a down payment?

This will depend on the person renting their home and should be listed in the rental agreement.

Should I rent from an individual or use a firm?

This is a personal choice.  There have been many stories about people losing their security deposit from a “fake” person so make sure you do your homework and get to know the person you are about to rent from.

If you use a company, understand all fees and additional requirements.

Who is responsible for repairs to the home if I rent?

This will be defined in the rental agreement.  Normally general maintenance is the obligation of the owner but if you damage the home you are responsible.

 

Again – know your agreement