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Brenda Cole's Advice

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  • 22 Contributions
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  • 4 Helpful

Brenda Cole wrote:

What would a good outskirts area of Orlando that has a county feel and is family friendly?

Answer
I would look at the east Orlando area, past Avalon. Possible zip codes are 32820 and 32766. Not sure if you want land or not, but these zip codes offer some properties with acreage, but also have some newer subdivisions as we continue to sprawl to the east.
December 26 2012
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WOULD IT BE HARD TO GET APPROVED FOR A SECOND HOME.

Answer
All of the information below is good, and I particularly agree with having your ex refinance the house to get you out of the mortgage, whether or not you buy again or not. Right now you are liable to pay for a home you do not live in. I would also speak to a lender to get some clarity on what you would qualify for once you no longer have a mortgage on this house. Good luck.
March 11 2011
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first time buyer ,,where do I START?

Answer
You are fortunate to be buying a home in this market, as there are many opportunities available to you. Whether or not you contact a lender first, or a realtor (who can perhaps give you some advice on lenders), your first step is to see what you qualify for. No point in beginning a home search until you know how much home you qualify for, as well as what kind of monthly payment you are comfortable with. And believe me those are two completely different things! A good realtor and/or lender will advise you not to go outside of your comfort level as far as your monthly payment is concerned.  Once you start looking, be sure to ask a lot of questions when it comes to dealing with foreclosures and short sales, as many of the homes you will look at will be distressed properties. A good realtor will need to know how to handle both of these types of transactions and know what questions to ask the listing agent. You also want to pay attention to you HOA payments as they can be very high if you are considering a townhome or condo. By the way, since you are a first time homebuyer, be sure to ask your realtor about down payment assistance funds that may be available to you from the County in which you are buying. These funds have to be re-paid if the house is sold, and your income has to be at a certain level for you to qualify, but it is worth mentioning that this is available to certain buyers.If you are looking in the Boggy Creek area, you will find many very nice properties. Have fun in the process, as it is a great time to be buying a home.
January 08 2011
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Who pays fees buyer or seller?

Answer
As a realtor, I can only address typical closing fees, and not any fees the attorney may have charged to negotiate the sale between the siblings. Whereas there are fees that are typically paid by one side or the other, all fees are negotiable. Doc stamps on the deed are usually paid by the seller, and would be $490 on a $70K sale (70 cents per $100). Title insurance is also usually paid by the seller, and they should be $402.50. The attorney will also charge a settlement fee, and that varies between title companies, but can be anywhere from $350 on up - and double the amount, as it will be on both the buyers and seller side of the transaction. There are other miscellaneous fees, but those are the big ones. Good luck! 
December 13 2010
(1)

Is Woodland Lakes Preserve a good place to buy in east Orlando?

Answer
By inquiring as to whether a neighborhood is "good" or not, you might be asking if the neighborhood is safe. While we are prohibited, as realtors, from commenting on the crime stats for a particular area, you may obtain that information by calling the local police department. Best of luck in your search.  
November 18 2010
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Best plan to sell home sans realtor commissions?

Answer
If you are careful to price your property right and you use all that marketing at your disposal, you may be able to successfully sell your property yourself. You can utilize Craigslist, Postlets, and other online marketing sites. However, remember that the MLS is the best way to get exposure for your home, and the only way to do that is via a realtor. When you do put your sign up, make sure that you indicate 3% co-broke. If not, realtors will not want to show your home. Do remember that the entire real estate transaction is laden with unforeseen hurdles these days, especially when it comes to the financing side. A realtor can help to keep you apprised of any potential issues that can arise. But by all means, give it a try! Good luck to you.
November 01 2010
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Heard Obama admin. considering abolishing our ability write off our mortgage interest...so why buy?

Answer
First of all, don't listen to the rumor mills. If what you are saying were true, we, as realtors, would be hearing about it, and we are simply not. Secondly, I did not buy my house for a tax write off, but, as mentioned by a colleague below, my husband and I wanted stability for our family, and to establish ourselves in the area in which we live. Additionally, real estate is still one of the best long term investments out there, and I emphasize the word "long term." If you pay rent, you are paying off someone elses mortgage!
October 25 2010
(1)

how can i find comps for my home?

Answer
Don't be afraid to ask an agent for the value of your home. Real estate agents are really the best qualified to give you a valuation of your property, and most would be happy to provide that information without any strings attached. Contact an agent you know has been in the business for a number of years, and let them know that you are not ready to sell, but would like to get a CMA of your home. If they go the extra mile to do this for you, then this is a good indicator that you may want to hire them when you are ready to work with an agent! Good luck.
October 22 2010
(1)

How should I charge for rent?

Answer
Regarding the rent, pick a number and then bring it down incrementally if you do not find any takers. The market will tell you what is a reasonable rent amount. I would also highly advise you to do background checks on all prospective tenants, and then execute lease agreement with them. If you go to evict.com, you can learn a lot about property management, and the attorneys there can provide you with a good lease at a reasonable price. Remember that your home is your investment, and you need to protect it at all costs. If you do not have a lease in place, then you have no legal standing if you have any issues. By the way, the tenant should pay the fee for the tenant screening fee.
October 07 2010
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Fannie Mae offers new closing incentive
I am sure many have heard about the new Fannie Mae program, but thought I would pass this on just in case. Read on.....Fannie Mae today announced a new seller-assistance incentive for Fannie Mae-owned properties that are listed on the company's REO website, http://www.homepath.com/ – and it offers an incentive to real estate agents and brokers.Agents representing owner-occupants will receive a $1,500 bonus. Homebuyers can receive up to 3.5 percent of the sales price towards closing costs, and that would include a home warranty. Offers must be submitted on or after Sept. 23rd of this year, and must close by Dec. 31st. The sale must also close within 60 days of acceptance.I found a great Fannie Mae property - in great condition, I might add -  this past summer for buyers who had limited financing choices. Since Fannie Mae only requires 3% down, it worked out great. If your buyer is  similarly limited, you might point them toward the above site to search for property. They even have homes there prior to their being listed with a realtor, so the buyer can be ahead of the game. In the interest of full disclosure, you might want to mention the realtor incentive.
September 24 2010
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