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With its perfect mix of historic architecture and modern landmarks, Cuban and Spanish culture-infused flavor, vibrant business districts, beautiful waterways and beaches, Tampa is a wonderful place to work, play and unwind.Land Home Financial Tampa

Its downtown has come alive in recent years with more urban parks, including the gorgeous Tampa Riverwalk, more hip bars and innovative restaurants and amazing restorations to turn-of-the-century buildings

Tampa is known for being a great city for all ages and tastes, offering hotel accommodations that fit any budget and catering to everyone from the families to outdoor adventure seekers to foodies and wine connoisseurs. Once known as a melting pot for all cultures and settlers, Tampa remains a welcoming place for those seeking fun, opportunity and a chance to try new things.

New Homes TampaFor its 2018 Housing Forecast, realtor.com rated the top 100 markets according to factors including employment growth, household growth and unemployment. In all categories, Tampa Bay fares considerably better than the national average. The biggest demand will continue to be for “moderately priced homes” under $300,000.00.

The one category in which the bay area especially shines is new-home starts, predicted to soar by more than 20 percent next year.

That would ease one of the biggest constraints on the local real estate market — a shortage of homes for sale.

This will help increase inventory because it creates new homes for existing homeowners to trade up to and frees up existing homes. Tampa is not expected to have brisk sales growth but 1.3 percent is a pretty healthy market from the sales side.


6 Tips for Getting Approved for a Home Mortgage

Some people don’t know the first thing about getting a mortgage loan. Applicants who don’t recognize key differences in the application process from anything they’ve applied for are often disappointed when a lender denies their mortgage loan application. Here’s six tips to help you get approved.

Educating yourself is key, and there are a number of ways to avoid this heartache and disappointment when applying for a mortgage loan.

Getting Your Mortgage Loan Approved

Buying a house is already stressful and being ill-prepared heightens the anxiety. Why put yourself through this? Learn how to think like a lender and educate yourself on the best ways to get your mortgage loan approved:

1. Know Your Credit Score

It literally takes a few minutes to pull your credit report and order your credit score. But surprisingly, some future home buyers never review their scores and credit history before submitting a home loan application, assuming that their scores are high enough to qualify. And many never consider the possibility of identity theft. However, a low credit score and credit fraud can stop a mortgage application dead in its tracks.

Land Home Financial Mortgage Approval TipsCredit scores and credit activity have a major impact on mortgage approvals. In addition to higher credit score requirements, several missed payments, frequent lateness, and other derogatory credit information can stop mortgage approvals. Pay your bills on time, lower your debts, and stay on top of your credit report. Cleaning up your credit history beforehand and correcting errors on your report are key to keeping up a good credit score.

2. Save Your Cash

Requirements for getting a mortgage loan often change, and if you are considering applying for a home loan in the near future, be ready to cough up the cash. Walking into a lender’s office with zero cash is a quick way to get your home loan application rejected. Mortgage lenders are cautious: Whereas they once approved zero-down mortgage loans, they now require a down payment.

Down payment minimums vary and depend on various factors, such as the type of loan and the lender. Each lender establishes its own criteria for down payments but aim for a higher down payment if you have the means. Lenders attach this extra insurance to properties without 20% equity, and paying PMI increases the monthly mortgage payment. Get rid of PMI payments and you can enjoy lower, more affordable mortgage payments.

Saving Tips from Land Home FinancialAdditionally, down payments aren’t the only expense you must worry about. Getting a mortgage also involves closing costs, home inspections, home appraisals, title searches, credit report fees, application fees, and other expenses. Closing costs are roughly 3% to 5% of the mortgage balance – paid to your lender before you can seal the deal. Not to mention, the new furnishings that you will be eager to buy to fill empty spaces. Be careful and wait for at least three months until you settle in and understand the full picture.

3. Stay at Your Job

Sticking with your employer while going through the home buying process is crucial. Any changes to your employment or income status can stop or greatly delay the mortgage process.

Lenders approve your home loan based on the information provided in your application. Taking a lower-paying job or quitting your job to become self-employed throws a wrench in the plans, and lenders must reevaluate your finances to see if you still qualify for the loan.

4. Pay Down Debt and Avoid New Debt

You don’t need a zero balance on your credit cards to qualify for a mortgage loan. However, the less you owe your creditors, the better. Your debts determine if you can get a mortgage, as well as how much you can acquire from a lender. Lenders evaluate your debt-to-income ratio when approving the mortgage. If you have a high debt ratio because you’re carrying a lot of credit card debt, the lender can turn down your request or offer a lower mortgage.

Paying down your consumer debt before completing an application lowers your debt-to-income ratio and can help you acquire a better mortgage rate. But even if you’re approved for a mortgage with consumer debt, it’s important to avoid new debt while going through the mortgage process.

As a rule, avoid any major purchases until after you’ve closed on the mortgage loan. This can include financing a new car, purchasing home appliances with your credit card, or cosigning someone’s loan.

5. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan before looking at houses is emotionally and financially responsible. On one hand, you know what you can spend before bidding on properties. And on the other hand, you avoid falling in love with a house that you can’t afford.

The pre-approval process is fairly simple: Contact a mortgage lender, submit your financial and personal information, and wait for a response. Pre-approvals include everything from how much you can afford, to the interest rate you’ll pay on the loan. The lender prints a pre-approval letter for your records, and funds are available as soon as a seller accepts your bid. Though it’s not always that simple, it can be.

6. Know What You Can Afford

I know from personal experience that lenders do pre-approve applicants for more than they can afford. After receiving a pre-approval letter from our lender, my husband and I wondered whether they had read the right tax returns. We appreciated the lender’s generosity, but ultimately decided on a home that fit comfortably within our budget.

Don’t let lenders dictate how much you should spend on a mortgage loan. Lenders determine pre-approval amounts based on your income and credit report; however, they don’t factor in how much you spend on daycare, insurance, groceries, or fuel. Rather than purchase a more expensive house because the lender says you can, be smart and keep your housing expense within your means.

Final Thought

If you don’t meet the qualifications for a mortgage loan, don’t get discouraged. Instead, let it be motivation to improve your credit and finances. Many people have risen above credit problems, bankruptcy, foreclosure, and repossession specifically in order to purchase their first house. Just be sure to implement a realistic plan and stick to it.


We Hire the Best

Do You Have What it Takes?

Land Home Financial Services, Inc has been helping individuals, couples and families get pre-approved for a home mortgage, offering the “right” mortgage for their situation and expediting the mortgage process as efficient as possible. We deliver from “pre-approval to close” with unmatched service by providing the right product and “Hiring the Best” in the industry! Our Loan Originators and Support Staff are focused on getting the mortgage closed properly as quick as possible!

Work for Land Home Financial Florida

LinkedIn_Recruiting_invest   And Here’s Why:

  • We service our own loans & bonus our LO’s year over year from the servicing
  • Company paid assistances to support each branch
  • Coaching & Training available for experienced Originators
  • We have our own Appraisal Desk – no AMC
  • Little to no Over-Lays (we go by AUS)
  • Originators can submit TBD files for Underwriting
  • LO’s submits directly to Underwriter to expedite Loan Commitments
  • We support our Originators offering DPA Loans
  • Our Underwriters actually call you to avoid suspending a file
  • Our processors chase conditions, not our Originators

 

If you live in Florida, have originated a minimum of 24 loans or more for at least 2 years – then WE Need to Talk!

Contact me ANYTIME including after hours or weekends!

 

Vincent Ortiz, Loan Officer

Direct 407.625.9093 Land Home Financial Loan Officer

Vincent.Ortiz@lhfs.com

 


6 New Years Resolutions for Homeowners

For-Keeps New Years Resolutions for Homeowners

We all make New Year’s resolutions, but let’s be honest, most are wishful thinking. By February, that “lose 20 pounds” or “learn Spanish” resolution has gone right out the window.

But not for you, new homeowner. This year is different.

Your first 12 months of homeownership set the tone for the entire journey. With just a few smart decisions, you can save money now and get more out of your investment later.

So make room on that list between “run a 5K” and “travel more.” Here are essential New Year’s resolutions for new homeowners.

1. Start an emergency fund

Homeownership has a funny way of costing more than you think. An emergency savings fund provides a financial safety net, and your new home is the perfect reason to start one.

Remember, if the furnace quits on a cold night, there’s no landlord to call. Laid off unexpectedly or surprised by major car repairs? Mortgage payments are still expected on time and in full. Without an emergency fund, these expenses could force you into credit card debt or worse.

Ideally, your emergency fund should cover several months of expenses, but it’s OK to start small. Set aside a portion of every paycheck with the goal of saving $500 as quickly as possible, and then contribute as much as you can moving forward.

2. Take a closer look at your homeowners insurance

Just because a standard homeowners insurance policy satisfied your lender, it doesn’t mean you’re adequately covered.

“Homeowners insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all. There are unique coverage options and, more importantly, ‘exclusions’ that homeowners need to be aware of,” says Ryan Andrew, president of The Andrew Agency, an independent insurance agency in Richmond, Virginia.

Does your policy cover the full cost of your jewelry or other valuables? Are disasters like earthquakes and floods excluded? Will the policy pay if your dog bites the new mailman?

“Your home is usually your biggest asset,” Andrew says. “Spend a few minutes reviewing your coverage and exclusions, and ask questions so you understand your policy.”

3. Get an energy efficiency audit

Heating, cooling and powering a home isn’t cheap. Why be uncomfortable or spend more because your house wastes energy?

After the dust settles, you may notice more about your home, particularly if you bought new construction, says Jessie Ferguson, director of operations at Renewable, a home energy consulting company. Maybe the air smells funny or one bedroom is colder than the others. She recommends getting an energy-efficiency audit rather than guessing at the problem.

Using blower door tests and infrared cameras, energy audits measure air leaks and detect air infiltration or missing insulation. Audits are performed by utility companies, city governments and some contractors.

“An energy audit is an inexpensive way to get real information about your house. They’ll tell you which fixes will deliver the best bang for your buck,” Ferguson says.

In addition to lowering your utility bills and making you more comfortable, a more efficient home may end up putting free money in your pocket, thanks to local, state and federal rebates.

4. Consider a home warranty

If the appliances in your new home are near the end of their life cycles, a home warranty may help shield you from the cost of replacement.

Also called home service contracts, home warranties are annual agreements that offset the repair or replacement cost of major home components and appliances.

Approach home warranty companies with caution, however. Read customer reviews and avoid gimmicks that seem too good to be true. Like insurance policies, home warranties are full of fine print, and homeowners often fail to realize what’s excluded until they try to make a claim.

“They can be helpful in the first year of homeownership, when you have so many other things to think about and pay for,” Ferguson says of home warranties. “Just make sure you know exactly what you’re getting.”

5. Create a disaster kit with a home inventory

Your new home is your castle, but it’s not indestructible. A disaster kit that includes financial documents and a home inventory will speed up recovery if the unthinkable happens.

A home inventory can be as simple as snapping pictures of big-ticket items in your home, or you could record items, brands, original prices, ages and condition in a spreadsheet.

No matter which method you choose, a home inventory is the best way to make sure you have enough insurance coverage to replace your valuables, Andrew says.

Store the inventory, along with copies of your personal identification, credit card information, vehicle records and other important documents, in a fireproof safe or another place that’s easily accessible if you have to evacuate.

6. Make a plan to build equity

Unless you bought your home with cash, it will be many years until you own it outright. Make plans now to build equity faster, you can unlock more benefits of homeownership even sooner.

Equity is a fancy word for “how much of your house is paid off.” Home equity is a valuable asset; accrue enough and you can use it to finance major renovations or pay off student loans.

You can build equity slowly just by making your monthly mortgage payments, or you can find ways to speed up the process. For example, take on smart home improvements or switch to biweekly payments to get “equity rich” even faster.

We’re here to help and answer any questions – Click Here to get Connected


6 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving

Host Like a Champ!

FB_Thanksgiving_leaves_2018Whether it is your first time hosting or you are a Turkey-serving veteran, Land Home Tampa realizes hosting a Thanksgiving dinner can be a lot of work. However, if you keep organized, hosting Thanksgiving in your home can be a wonderful experience, full of happy memories.

1. Never turn down help.

Land Home can help you with home buyingThe beauty of Thanksgiving is friends and family coming together. There is no reason for you to be in the kitchen by yourself! Divide and conquer. Don’t be afraid to delegate those side dishes. It will make the day all the more memorable having everyone be a part of the process.

2. Prep!

Avoid those “When will the food be ready?” questions by planning your menu ahead of time. There may even be a few dishes you could make the night before. If not, look for ways to cut down on prep time early like peeling the potatoes, chopping the vegetables, or toasting the nuts.

And don’t forget the place settings! You can also prep the non-food tasks beforehand. Set your table the night before to eliminate one more task the day of.

3. Stick to what works.

Land Home First Time home buyer helpThanksgiving is all about the classics so it may not be the best time to experiment with a new recipe. If you want to spice up the menu, try a practice round a week or two before to work out the kinks.

4. Don’t stress over appetizers.

Fancy appetizers can be overkill—you don’t want your guests getting full before dinner!  Some crudités or store-bought cheese and crackers are perfect for your guests to nibble on before the main event.

5. Store bought is okay!

Making everything from scratch is a wonderful gesture but it is usually too much work for one person. If you haven’t delegated a few things to some guests, don’t be afraid to buy freshly baked rolls or a pie from your favorite bakery.

6. Enjoy the company of your family and friends!

Land Home Financial Helping families celebrateAt the end of the day, Thanksgiving is about being thankful. Be sure to take a moment to relax and enjoy sharing a meal with those you love. Down the road, your guests will remember the laughs and the stories much more than they will remember the meal.

We hope that our tips on hosting a memorable Thanksgiving in your home have helped you, Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Land Home Financial Services, Inc.


Choose Land Home Financial as Your Preferred Builder

Preferred Lender for All Builders

What we found working with many other builders is that they usually have their own lender and then a list of three preferred builder lenders to choose from if their in-house lender cannot approve them they select from the Alternative List.

preferred builder lender

As a builder you can’t afford to NOT have us as one of your Preferred Lenders and here’s why…

  • We’re a Direct Lender – servicing our own loans
  • 4% Grant for primary home buyers up to $454,100.00
  • We offer both state and local bond assistance programs
  • Our “Power Purchase” program with 1% down for frst time home buyers
  • USDA, FHA & Conventional Loans
  • VA loans with no lender fees
  • We have a Builder Processing Center specialized for builders providing status updates
  • We offer extended rate lock for 6-months during the building process

We Help with “Turn Downs”

Additionally, we have an 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.


2019 Current Real Estate Trends

Okay, 2018 was quite the tease in the housing market. The year started out hot, only to taper off halfway through. But plenty of Americans still traded their For Sale signs for Sold ones, and they’ll usher in the new year from the comfort of their new homes. So will 2019 bring more of the same results? How will the housing market shake out in the current economic climate?

Whether you’re selling your home, buying or staying at your current home, here are the 2019 home real estate trends you need to know!

#1: Home Prices Are Rising Slowly

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that during the course of 2017 and early 2018, home prices made a giant 10% jump. Wow! This year, however, may be a different story. Home prices are estimated to rise in 2019, but at a much slower pace, and the number of homes for sale is expected to increase by a mere 1%.

What’s the reason? Well, part of the slowdown is due to increased mortgage interest rates and another part is because of overall economic uncertainty. That combination is enough to discourage many buyers who are on the fence about purchasing a home.

Find expert agents to help you buy your home.

But there are still eager buyers in the market, and many of them are looking for newly built homes. In fact, new home construction is projected to increase by 8% in 2019. That’s the good news. Here’s the bad news: There just aren’t enough new homes to go around in some areas. Plus, construction companies also don’t have the manpower to keep up with demand.

What’s the bottom line? Expect the new construction that is available to go for a higher price.

What Higher Prices Mean for Sellers

A nice profit may be on the horizon! The number of homes sold next year is still expected to rise, even if it’s at a slow pace. That’s great news for sellers! But keep in mind that a lot of buyers are being priced out of the market, which could lead to fewer offers for your home.

So what should you do about this? Be aware of your competition. With less offers to go around, you want your home to really stand out from similar ones in your area. Prepare your home for potential home buyers and work with a real estate agent to help you list your home at the right price.

And be sure to wait for the right offer. Some buyers may try to gut punch you with a low number. If you aren’t in a hurry to move, wait for an offer that gives you the most profit. Remember, the less desperate person always has the upper hand when negotiating!

What Higher Prices Mean for Buyers

If you’re going to buy a home in this expensive market, you absolutely must find out how much house you can really afford.

Commit to staying within that budget amount. Don’t rush into a home purchase that doesn’t make financial sense for you no matter how much pressure you feel watching competitors pluck good homes off the market. You could screw up your finances!

A down payment that’s less than 10% could strangle your budget with massive monthly mortgage payments. But if you want to get prepared to buy and you’re committed to your budget, here are some options to consider:

  • Keep saving. If you stay patient and motivated, you can save for a 5-figure down payment by next year.
  • Sacrifice some wants. If you can’t afford to buy the house you want, be willing to give up some “nice-to-haves” for your “must-haves.” Find the least expensive home in the best neighborhood you can afford and you can upgrade as your income and savings increase over time.
  • Expand your search. What if the location where you’re planning to buy is what’s busting your budget? You might be surprised at the gem you can find in a less popular neighborhood.

Buying a home can be stressful, there are many “homebuyer guides” that can help you streamline the process! It’ll help you think through all the important parts so you can rest easy when your dream home is officially yours.

#2: Mortgage Interest Rates Are on the Rise

Mortgage interest rates are on the rise after years of being at a standstill. Interest rates are projected to increase to an average of 5% for a 30-year mortgage and 4.4% for a 15-year mortgage.

It’s been seven years since mortgage rates were this high. But despite grumblings, that doesn’t mean the economy is in trouble. It actually means the opposite! To help stabilize the strong economy and rising inflation during the past few years, the Federal Reserve increased short-term interest rates. It’s somewhat natural to see a trickle-down effect to the bank level like what we’re seeing now with mortgage interest rates.

The increase basically means more people are willing to spend and borrow. Still, expect things to be a little different next year as buyers and sellers adjust to these changes.

What Higher Mortgage Interest Rates Mean for Sellers

In a nutshell, plan for your house to be on the market a little longer and prepare to possibly receive fewer offers. A mortgage is a big commitment, and adding higher interest rates to the mix will make many buyers pause. Partner with a relator who understands the current market. They’ll help you set expectations for how much you can make, and how long you’ll have to wait for the right offer.

What Higher Mortgage Interest Rates Mean for Buyers

Even though mortgage interest rates are the highest they’ve been in a while, they’re still relatively low. If you’re not buying with cash, be smart and go for a conventional 15-year fixed-rate mortgage. That way, you know exactly what your payment will be over the life of the loan.

#3: The Majority of Home Buyers Are Millennials

Move aside, baby boomers and Gen Xers! Guess who’s taking the over the homeowner leaderboard? Yep, you better believe it. Millennials are busting out all over. They’re getting older and finding stable careers. Their household income has increased to $88,200, and they’re looking to buy their first homes in middle and upper-middle class neighborhoods.

This works out perfectly for them as more baby boomers are retiring and downsizing. Next year, millennials will lead the way in number of mortgages, accounting for 45% of the market. They’ll be followed by Gen Xers at 37% and baby boomers at 17%.

In 2019, millennials will lead the way in number of mortgages, accounting for 45% of the market. They’ll be followed by Gen Xers at 37% and baby boomers at 17%.

What More Millennial Home Buyers Means for Sellers

Here are three important words: Know your buyer. Millennials are internet savvy and do their research before house shopping. They look for:

  • Easy online shopping. The home search starts online for millennials, so you need to make the best possible impression on the internet. Make sure you invest in high quality photos, and, for extra measure, consider using a drone to take aerial video footage.
  • Quality over size. Yes, square footage matters. But millennials are more concerned about how sustainable and usable each space is. Get rid of your junk so they can visualize a bright future in your home without your stuff there.
  • Location. A lot of millennials are looking for homes that offer big city life at a more affordable cost of living. If your home is in a walkable area with access to public transit, expect millennials to come knocking at your door.
  • Low-maintenance lifestyle. Millennials are used to living in the age of high-tech advances and Amazon Prime. They’re looking for energy-efficient homes with smart appliances. If you don’t have them, they’ll look elsewhere or lower their offer so they can upgrade after they buy.

What More Millennial Home Buyers Means for Buyers

Okay, if you’re looking for a three-bedroom, single-family home in the suburbs, expect to have a lot of competition. You may have to reprioritize what you want in a dream home. Follow these tips:

  • Know what you want. Decide what you absolutely need in a home. If you’re married and house hunting, you and your spouse need to agree on must-haves. Compare your individual lists and combine them for your real estate agent to use as the foundation of your home search.
  • Write a letter. Sending a personal story to your seller might be just the thing that makes you stand out from similar offers.
  • Hire an experienced pro. Last year, 90% of millennial home buyers used real estate agents to purchase their homes. Think they’re onto something? You bet! Don’t try to buy on your own.

What If I’m Not Buying or Selling a Home This Year?

You may be thinking, All this is great, but I’m not going anywhere anytime soon. We hear you, and here’s what you should know for now:

1. Equity will likely continue to increase by 2–6% each year until 2020.

With most housing markets at low risk for a downturn, last years Housing and Mortgage Market Review estimated home prices will continue to rise for the next couple of years, with annual increases of 2–6%. Who-hoo for sellers! If you sell your house before 2020, you’ll likely still make a great profit.

2. From what we can see, the real estate market is not going to crash.

With such fast-rising mortgage interest rates, some are wondering if the housing market could collapse again. Well, it’s impossible to know for sure, but a number of factors indicate a housing crash is not in the foreseeable future and the economy is still strong. Here are some indicators:

  • People are spending money.
  • There’s a low unemployment rate and new career opportunities..
  • Millennials want to buy.
  • Taxes are lower.

3. Regardless of your neighborhood, buyers are interested.

Even though buyers in 2019 may be more selective, determined ones might be willing to consider neighborhoods that don’t have easy access to highways or aren’t in close proximity to a big city. If you think you live in an unpopular neighborhood or believe your home isn’t what buyers are looking for, think again. Now may be your perfect time to sell.


Annual New Home Sales Update

Slight Gain in 2018

Sales of newly built, single-family homes posted a yearly gain of 1.5% in 2018, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The sales numbers rose 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 units after a downwardly revised November report.

“The slight gain for 2018 new home sales reflects solid underlying demand for homeownership,”

“Housing affordability remains a challenge across the country, but conditions have improved in early 2019, as illustrated by the recent uptick in builder confidence.”

“Despite a period of weakness in the fall, new home sales ended the year with a small gain,” said NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz. “While the December sales pace improved on a monthly basis, the current rate of sales remains off the post-Great Recession trend due to housing affordability concerns made worse by the rise in mortgage interest rates at the end of the year. We expect lower mortgage rates in the early months of 2019 will lead to additional new home demand.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed.

Weathering Seasonal Times

In addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the December reading of 621,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

The inventory of new homes for sale continued to rise in December to 344,000 homes available for sale. A year prior, new single-family home inventory stood at 294,000. The median sales price increased in December to $318,600, although it is lower than a year ago when the median sales price was $343,300. This is primarily due to the rising use of price incentives and a slow change toward additional entry-level inventory.

Regionally, on a total year basis for 2018, new home sales declined 16% in the Northeast and 1% in the West. Sales rose 4% in the South and 6% in the Midwest.

Land Home Tampa

At Land Home Financial Services, Inc, we understand the needs of each family and situation; ultimately matching the “right” mortgage product and handle it from “Pre-Approval to Close.” We’d love to hear from you!


New Homes Sales Update

Land Home Financial Florida New HomesSales of newly built, single-family homes posted a yearly gain of 1.5% in 2018, according to newly released data by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Census Bureau. The sales numbers rose 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 units after a downwardly revised November report.

 

“The slight gain for 2018 new home sales reflects solid underlying demand for homeownership,”

“Housing affordability remains a challenge across the country, but conditions have improved in early 2019, as illustrated by the recent uptick in builder confidence.”

“Despite a period of weakness in the fall, new home sales ended the year with a small gain,”

“While the December sales pace improved on a monthly basis, the current rate of sales remains off the post-Great Recession trend due to housing affordability concerns made worse by the rise in mortgage interest rates at the end of the year. We expect lower mortgage rates in the early months of 2019 will lead to additional new home demand.”

A new home sale occurs when a sales contract is signed or a deposit is accepted. The home can be in any stage of construction: not yet started, under construction or completed.

New Home Lumber PricesIn addition to adjusting for seasonal effects, the December reading of 621,000 units is the number of homes that would sell if this pace continued for the next 12 months.

The inventory of new homes for sale continued to rise in December to 344,000 homes available for sale. A year prior, new single-family home inventory stood at 294,000. The median sales price increased in December to $318,600, although it is lower than a year ago when the median sales price was $343,300. This is primarily due to the rising use of price incentives and a slow change toward additional entry-level inventory.

Regionally, on a total year basis for 2018, new home sales declined 16% in the Northeast and 1% in the West. Sales rose 4% in the South and 6% in the Midwest.

At Land Home Financial Services, Inc, we understand the needs of each family and situation; ultimately matching the “right” mortgage product and handle it from “Pre-Approval to Close.” We’d love to hear from you!


Florida Real Estate 2019 Snapshot

Housing Forecast for 2019

In its U.S. economic and housing market outlook for 2019, CoreLogic economists forecast growth in home prices to drop by one percentage point as higher interest rates impact the mortgage market, homeowners have an incentive to retain their current low-rate mortgages and new listings. But Florida’s housing market is projected to do very well next year.

Digging into Design in South Florida

In the last cycle, the Miami-Fort Lauderdale real estate market has given rise to audacious and groundbreaking architecture. Looking to outdo their peers and competitors, some local developers have enlisted the services of global A-list building designers. Even mundane commercial projects such as parking garages and train depots are now getting artistic treatments, making them signature structures in South Florida.

8th Highest Home Vacancy in the Nation

The number of vacant homes in Florida was more than 144,000 in the third quarter of the year, a 3 percent decrease over what it was a year ago, according to new real estate numbers reported by ATTOM Data Solutions. Florida had the eighth highest home vacancy rate among the 50 states and District of Columbia in the analysis.

Let’s Talk Central Florida

In Central Florida the “mixed message” of South Florida is echoed. On the one hand, commercial projects and residential housing starts are reacting to the $10 billion-plus in infrastructure projects underway in this region. In
downtown Orlando alone, there is more than 1 million additional square feet of construction underway. As for single-family and multifamily housing developments, the third-quarter of 2018 saw an increase of housing starts of 15% over third-quarter 2017. But, this may end in a pricing fiasco like the Miami luxury market suffers from in 2019 if oversupply becomes an issue.

Across other areas of Florida we find more ups than downs. For instance, in Escambia County in the panhandle prices in 2018 went up as low inventory peaked demand and a pricing war. Santa Rosa County saw a similar situation accentuated by sluggish housing starts. This HUD report reveals the situation for Pensacola and surrounds. In Tampa a downtown rejuvenation project promises to lift the city, and an overall lack of residential inventory, the wider region a bright spot for the overall Florida market.

The Verdict for Florida 2019

The verdict for Florida in 2019 seems to be stagnant growth, all aspects considered. Fears of recession and the sluggish stock market further hamper luxury and upscale residential sectors, and oversupply in an already crowded state do nothing but worsen the situation. Pending housing sales in places like Sarasota are key indicators for me. Northeast Florida seems like a bright spot in the overall outlook as new property comes on the market that was previously locked up, and since eCommerce has created a demand for distribution projects.

Overall, Florida will follow the blueprint predicted by Mansion Global, succumbing to the reality of the “vanishing home buyer.” The state won’t see a great house buying recession exactly, but the state will become a massive buyer’s market. There was just too much speculation from 2016 onwards. Losses for so many projects are going to hit a lot of people, this is the bottom line.


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