Tami Carr

NMLS# 367705

Phone: 239-839-1123

Email: tami@swflmortgages.com

Certified Military Housing Specialist (CMHS)

Helping People Find Their Way Home

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By Tami Carr, Loan Originator at Mortgage 1 Inc., Jan 7 2016 07:03PM

You are renting, you have good credit, low monthly debt, and you are tired of paying rent. You would rather own your own home and build equity for yourself instead of your landlord. But you don't have a lot of money in savings. Can you still purchase a home? The answer is a resounding Yes!

There are several types of low or no down payment loans still available. There are also community down payment assistance programs available for first time home buyers. It's important that you work with a mortgage professional that is well versed on and offers all the different types of loans and assistance programs.

Some examples of low or no down payment loans include VA (loans for Veterans or Active Military Members), USDA (loans for rural development in rural areas), FHA and even Conventional loans. Your mortgage loan originator will consider all the different types of loans and give you your options when pre-qualifying you for a home loan.

Don't let your bank account be the reason you don't try to buy a home. Talk to a mortgage professional and find out what options you have. The sooner you can build equity for yourself - the better.

Any questions, call Tami Carr at 239-839-1123 or email at Tami@swflmortgages.com.

Any questions, call Tami Carr 239-839-1123 or tami@swflmortgages.com

By Tami Carr, Loan Originator at Mortgage 1 Inc., May 11 2015 10:51PM

Spring home buying in Florida can be a very busy time to purchase a home. But with these tips, it is possible to purchase a home during the busy time so that you can be settled in by the time vacations and back to school roll around.

When you find a home you like - be decisive. It's like Costco - if you see it - buy it, because it will be gone the next time you go back.

1) Make sure you are pre-approved by a local lender. Sellers will react more positively to a local lender who is familiar with the market and area than an online or out of state lender that issues a pre-approval.

2) Focus on what you want - location, features etc. Don't worry about whether the house is a short sale, foreclosure or a traditional sale. Let your realtor do the heavy lifting on checking the price to make sure it is a competitive sale.

3) Make sure your realtor is familiar with the neighborhood you are looking in. If they specialize in that neighborhood or area, they will be a wealth of information for you.

4) Don't try to submit a lowball offer. In a competitive market, you should be prepared to pay list price if your realtor determines with a CMA that the home is priced right. Sometimes the price will be driven above list if there are multiple offers. Determine with your realtor what your maximum price will be and be prepared to negotiate.

5) Offer the seller something that other buyers won't. In South Florida, the seller pays for the owner's title insurance. Offering to pay this fee for the seller may be the extra incentive that the seller needs to accept your offer above the others.

Purchasing a home in the Spring can be challenging due to the increased competitiion, but if you play your cards right, you can come out on top and have a beautiful summer project.

By Tami Carr, Loan Originator at Mortgage 1 Inc., Feb 16 2015 06:00AM

Wondering how to improve your credit score? Read these myths below and see if you know the right answers.

#1 Paying bills on time will improve my credit score - While it is definitely a good start, it is not the only thing that needs to be done. Since 35% of your score is based on your payments being on time, it is essential but it will only continue to raise your credit score slowly over time. Remember that if payment history only accounts for 35%, there is still 65% of your score that has nothing to do with missing payments.

#2 Canceling credit cards that you haven't used in a while will increase your credit score - Canceling unused credit cards can actually hurt your credit score. Since 10% of your score is based on the length of your credit history, it is a good idea to keep the oldest credit cards open.

#3 When you get a divorce, your accounts automatically divorce with you - This couldn't be further from the truth. If you have a joint account and one of the parties on the account is late, you are both late. With some types of loans, such as a mortgage or a car loan, the lender may not accept a letter asking you to be removed from the account after a divorce even if that property is going to your ex-spouse. They will need to qualify for the loan on their own before you will be removed from the account. Take this into consideration because if they don't refinance, and then have late payments you may find yourself with some credit issues. When possible, close all joint accounts and refinance any debt separately. If it is not possible, maintain some type of control, whether it is an escrow account or at least access to information to make sure the accounts are paid on time. Don't assume.

#4 You have to make a huge financial mistake for your credit score to be negatively affected - You don't have to be fielding collection calls at all hours for your score to suffer. In fact, one late payment can be detrimental, sometimes upwards of 110 points off your credit score. For one late payment! Also, something as simple as opening up a few store credit cards for the promotional discount can make you look like a credit risk.

#5 Short sales are better than foreclosures - The assumption is that a short sale is better for your credit score than a foreclosure. But in reality, they have the same effect on your credit score. It is certainly better for the neighborhood housing prices than foreclosure, and sometimes it reduces the waiting time before you can obtain a mortgage, but from a credit score perspective, there is no difference.

How did you do? Hopefully these tips will help you know the steps to increase your credit score and obtain the home of your dreams.

By Tami Carr, Loan Originator at Mortgage 1 Inc., Jan 20 2015 05:49PM

VA helps Servicemembers, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. As part of their mission to serve the military members, VA provides a home loan guaranty benefit to purchase a primary residence.

VA Home Loans are provided by private lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies. VA guarantees a portion of the loan, enabling the lender to provide the servicemember with more favorable terms.

One of the advantages of a VA loan is that it is 100% financing. This means there is not a down payment required to purchase a home. This enables the Veteran to use their existing savings towards cosmetic repairs like carpet and paint, or furniture to set up the household.

Another great feature of the loan is the absence of a monthly mortgage insurance fee. VA does not charge monthly mortgage insurance which keeps the monthly payment lower for the Veteran than other types of financing.

In order to qualify for a VA mortgage, you must meet the eligibility requirements listed below:

To obtain a certificate of eligibility, the servicemember must be active duty or have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. There are requirements regarding minimum times served depending on whether it was during wartime or peacetime.

Sometimes the spouse of a deceased Veteran is eligible to use the Veteran's benefits. A Certified Military Housing Specialist can help answer eligibility questions.

If a Veteran uses his certificate of eligibility to purchase a home, and the home has been sold, the Veteran can get his benefit restored and use it again to purchase another primary residence.

There are many benefits from the VA loan program, and if you are a Veteran or a surviving spouse of a Veteran, it pays to consider this type of loan when purchasing a home.

By Tami Carr, Loan Originator at Mortgage 1 Inc., Nov 1 2014 05:07PM

Are we headed for a second bubble? A new forecast predicts Southwest Florida's single family home prices will continue to inflate over the next three years into "bubble" territory. According to Local Market Monitor, the Naples-Marco Island metro area's predicted total appreciation is 31%, the top in the state and Fort Myers is not far behind at 24%. Rick Brown, of The Brown Realty Group believes that the area's price increases were justified, because prices had fallen so far from their 2006 highs. However, Brown now characterizes the prediction of a 31% price increase as troublesome. Brown says, "It's starting to look like a new bubble may be forming."

Prices in the Naples market are expected to increase 31% (Fort Myers 24%) from the end of the second quarter of 2014 to the end of the second quarter of 2017. Ingo Winzer, the President of Local Market Monitor said, "There is no likelihood of a fall in prices in Naples/Marco Island during this period. Buyers are nowhere near the top of the market," he said. The situation is a bit different in Fort Myers, because there is more supply from foreclosed homes, new home building and fewer cash buyers to run up prices. However, Winzer still thinks that the Cape Coral-Fort Myers market is still undervalued.

Why the concern? Prices rose 15% year-over- year in Naples from 2013-2014. Cape Coral/Fort Myers prices have risen 13% during the same 12 month period. The local economy is doing well, so a recovery in prices has been warranted, but not the sharp increases we're seeing now. The Brown Realty Group cautions that this can easily become a speculative second-home boom. The usual economic drivers of price increases, an imbalance of supply and demand, are not causing the region's run-up in prices, according to Winzer.

Brenda Brown, of The Brown Realty Group, with over 2 decades' experience in the Financial Services Industry, believes that, "Aging baby-boomers aren't getting much return on their cash in their non-real estate investments. Therefore, it's a financial flight to real estate as the returns on stocks, bonds and other investments become increasingly unpredictable."

The Brown Realty Group believes that if you're willing to accept the foregoing analysis on Naples and Fort Myers' escalating prices, and you're a prospective buyer, now seems like a logical time to begin your search. For example, a $500,000 home in today's market would appreciate over $150,000 by 2017; a $1 Million home would appreciate over $300,000 by then and a $3 Million home would appreciate by over $1 Million by 2017. Do you expect your investment portfolio to show the same return on investment?

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