Leugers Group - Brokered by eXp Realty

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"To raise the bar in our society by rendering life-changing high value service that saves the people we serve time, money and frustration."

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Title Expert Beverly Onson Explains Important Topics Related to Closing

Navigating the closing process is much easier if you’re equipped with the right knowledge, and we’d like to offer you that information today.

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Today’s guest, Beverly Onson, has worked with Fidelity Title for some time and knows all the ins and outs of the closing process as a result. And it’s for exactly this reason that we brought her in for this message—so that she can offer insight into some of the questions people typically ask about taxes, home loans, and the financial side of the closing process.

To kick off the conversation, Beverly first explained how taxes work here in the state of Florida. In short, Florida residents pay their taxes in arrears—meaning that taxes are paid out through a single bill toward the end of the year. Speaking of taxes, the subject of Homestead Exemption is another area of confusion for some in our area.

Essentially, Homestead Exemptions, available in Florida only to homeowners whose primary residence is in our state, offers property tax exemptions on some (or all) of their home’s taxable value. New homeowners can apply for this exemption anytime after closing. Generally, doing so shortly after receiving your recorded deed in the mail is a good idea.

Better still, applying is simple. All you need to do is visit www.leepa.org and fill out the relevant form under the “Exemption Information” tab on the sidebar. You can find plenty of information on other applicable tax exemptions on this website, as well, including those for seniors, veterans, and widows, to name a few.

Inquire before you wire.

Another critical subject Beverly touched on during our discussion was wire fraud. This increasingly common scam has become a hot topic in our market as of late—and for good reason. Wire fraud scammers target innocent buyers by tricking them into sending their closing funds to the wrong account. To achieve this, scammers pose as someone legitimately involved in the transaction, typically the buyer’s agent or someone from the buyer’s title company, and then send out fraudulent wiring instructions as the buyer approaches closing.

It's precisely for this reason that Beverly Onson and her teammates at Fidelity Title provide verbal wiring instructions to each and every buyer they work with. They do also send email instructions, but these are only accessible to buyers if they are able to enter the secret code provided to them during the previous verbal discussion.

Beverly also notes that wiring instructions for a given buyer will never change. So if they receive an email claiming this is the case, they can be certain it’s a scam. If a buyer is ever uncertain, though, Beverly says they can always call for confirmation before sending any funds.
Ultimately, there are a number of ways to protect yourself against wire fraud. It’s all about knowing what to look out for. Inquire before you wire.

If you have any other questions for Beverly, feel free to give her a call at (239) 954-6790 or email her at bonson@fnf.com.

And, as always, if you have any other questions or would like more information about anything related to real estate, please reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Video Tour of Esplanade Properties

Join us as we tour three luxury model homes.

Buying a Southwest Florida Home? Search all Homes for Sale 
Selling a Southwest Florida Home? Click here for a Home Value Report

Today we’ll be giving you a video tour of three Esplanade model homes.

For your convenience, we’ve provided timestamps to help you navigate to the section(s) you’re interested in viewing:

(00:23) — This 2,275-square-foot home features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a den. This model has an open floor plan and is one of the most popular options that Esplanade builds. These homes cost anywhere from $600,000 to $700,000 and include a pool, spa, summer kitchen, outdoor fireplace, wood floors, and much more.

(03:48) — This model home is around 2,900-square feet with three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, a dining room, and a den. It includes a beautiful outdoor living space and shows off two guest rooms.

(08:14) — Today’s final tour is of a 3,800-square foot home, which includes a media room, two-car garage, dining room, den, and much more.

If you’d like more information about these properties or have any questions, reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Many Benefits of Using a VA Loan

Veterans can take advantage of the VA loan, which includes 100% financing and no mortgage insurance.

Buying a Southwest Florida Home? Search all Homes for Sale 
Selling a Southwest Florida Home? Click here for a Home Value Report

One of the benefits our veterans receive is the opportunity to take out a VA loan for a home purchase. I’m here with Whitney Hall of Acopia Home Loans to talk about this type of loan and how it benefits veterans out there who want to buy or sell a home.

The biggest benefit with a VA loan is that it’s 100% financing, meaning no down payment or mortgage insurance is needed. The loans typically have a better interest rate than conventional loans, as well.

Veterans also receive some leniency on any credit issues they may have. If a veteran has had a foreclosure or a bankruptcy, they’d need to wait two years to be eligible for a VA loan; it’s a very forgiving program. These loans aren’t difficult for veterans and their real estate agents to obtain or use, so it’s unlikely that buying a home would become a complicated process because of using one. Whitney’s average closing time is around 19 days using VA loans.

Acopia Home Loans waives fees for veterans and provides them 25% toward closing costs, which can add up to thousands saved. Many mortgage lenders offer some sort of incentive to veterans looking to buy a home. 

These loans aren’t difficult for veterans and their real estate agents to obtain or use.

As VA loans don’t require home insurance, veterans are often able to qualify for more when buying a home.

There is a myth that veterans pay more fees in closing costs, but it simply isn’t true; the contract is negotiated in the same way as any other loan. Another myth is that veterans can only have one VA loan at a time, but there are ways to get up to two loans (as long as the veteran is eligible).

If you have any questions about VA loans or would like to learn more, give Whitney a call at 239-471-9829.

We’ve created the “Homes for Heroes” program, which helps minimize closing cost fees for first responders, veterans, medical staff, and similar occupations. If you’d like to learn more, are looking to buy or sell a home, or have any questions, feel free to call me at 239-791-7514. I look forward to hearing from you.