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Margie Casey's Blog

By Margie Casey | Broker in Florida
  • New Closing Cost Calculator - No Rocket Scientist Needed

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Florida, Financing in Florida, How To... in Florida  |  March 12, 2012 10:41 AM  |  1,924 views  |  No comments

    Margie Casey's Blog:

    As you shop for a home or consider refinancing, there are tools available to help you while you shop. Our expert panelist Kevin Tacher developed a free downloadable mobile application and PC version of a Closing Cost Calculator to help you estimate your closing costs in Florida. Closing costs vary from state to state, but for the most part their Closing Cost Calculator mobile and web application will give you a good idea of the monies you will need to bring to the closing.

    Whether you’re paying cash, financing your new home purchase or refinancing your existing home, our Closing Cost Calculator will calculate closing costs for you in both scenarios. Just answer nine basic questions using our Closing Cost Calculator tool:

    1. Purchase or refinance?
    2. Purchase price?
    3. Loan amount?
    4. Real estate commission percentage
    5. Additional recording costs, if any
    6. Is buyer or seller paying for title insurance?
    7. Is the property a condominium or associated with a homeowner’s association?
    8. Is their existing loan to be paid off?
    9. Will you want a boundary survey?

    After you answer these questions, click ‘calculate’ and you will receive an instant response which can be downloaded or emailed. I encourage you to read a story written by expert panelist Kevin Tacher called 7 Title Insurance Tips and Secrets. In this story, you will find ways to save money on your closing costs and important reasons why you should carefully choose your title insurance company. With mortgage rates and real estate prices at an all time low, the real estate market has created smart ways for you to save money.

    Whether you are refinancing your existing home or searching for a new home, Independence Title is available to help you. Download their free Closing Cost Calculator here:

    Closing Cost Calculator

  • Appraisals - Be Prepared for an Overregulation Headache

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Knoxville, Financing in Knoxville, Property Q&A in Knoxville  |  December 14, 2011 7:13 AM  |  1,490 views  |  1 comment

    Margie Casey's Blog:

    After months of research, you're ready to celebrate after signing the purchase contract for the home of your dreams in one of the best master planned communities in the Southeast. Congratulations, but don’t bring out the champagne too soon! It is likely the bank’s appraisal on your new home will throw you a curve ball because of strict appraisal compliance guidelines, even if they don’t make sense. 

    Here are home appraisal tips to help:

    A home appraisal is an Opinion of Value and the appraiser must consider all homes sold whether they are normal arms length transactions or sold at an auction according to the Uniformed Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice nicknamed USPAP. Appraisers are required to consider the proximity of the appraised home to recent sales, the age of the home, property size and physical attributes. Distressed home sales have complicated matters for appraisers and appraiser's are unlikely to stick his/her neck on the chopping block for you, as the industry as a whole is dealing with its own slew of appraisal fraud issues. In a nut shell, a home sold for $150k through a foreclosure on the same street as three other homes sold for $300k would likely...

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  • 40 Year Mortgage the New Unacceptable Affordability

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Orlando, Home Buying in Orlando, Financing in Orlando  |  December 5, 2011 6:35 AM  |  1,689 views  |  2 comments

    Margie Casey's Blog:

    Downsizing, cutbacks and even going without are terms coining the Great Real Estate Depression. Now add a 40 year mortgage to the list. Are we ready to accept adding another 10 years of debt and interest payments in order to make buying a home affordable? I was taught to payoff our mortgage faster, we need to make bi-weekly payments, utilize a 15 year mortgage or pay one extra payment each year. 

    How long will it take for the banks and mortgage brokers to sugar coat 40 year mortgages enticing borrowers to go deeper in debt for them to make a profit? From the bank's point of view, a $250,000 mortgage at 5% simple interest puts another $49,162 in interest in the bank's pocket by alluring you into a 40 year mortgage. Yes, borrowers can reduce their monthly payments by $136.56 per month by taking out a 40 year mortgage instead of a 30 year mortgage, but is it really necessary? I’m not a fan of bank’s greediness as you can probably tell and I know I'm not alone. On November 5th - Bank Transfer Day, people across America protested excessive bank fees moving their checking and savings accounts to local credit unions. 

    Before you get caught in this new 40 year mortgage reality, carefully consider the buying power you have today with the adjusted real estate market prices. A home which would have cost $500,000 in 2006, can be purchased today in the mid $200-300k’s in many master planned communities in the Southeast, new homes and re-sales. Use your buying power today and the skills of a qualified real estate broker to find a undervalued home. Don’t be penny foolish accepting 40 year mortgages sinking you deeper into debt. Better yet, pay cash if you can so you can enjoy a debt free retirement.

    If you're in the market for a home, take the time to review...

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  • Would a Reverse Mortgage Work for Relocation

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Knoxville, Home Selling in Knoxville, Financing in Knoxville  |  September 13, 2011 7:44 AM  |  1,610 views  |  1 comment

    Margie Casey's Blog:

    Many seniors, already own their home free and clear. The lucky ones who hopefully had a ‘burning of the mortgage’ celebration when they paid off their home. Now what? Start the process all over again if we want to relocate? The need for a higher quality of life may demand the change. Keep an open mind and don't rule out selling your home to move elsewhere, with good counsel.

    As we draw closer to retirement, it is natural to become conservative and cautious, because the decisions we make at this stage in our lives are critical to our financial well being. If we make a mistake, we don't have the luxury of time to recover.

    Thankfully, the stock market has recovered nicely from its free fall down to 6,500 points in March 2009. Today, the Dow Jones is almost double, in the 12,000 range. Many of our clients went to ‘cash’ in January 2009 to limit their risk during this period of uncertainty. These folks may have also lost the chance to recover when the stock market began to rise, if they did not re-enter the stock in April 2009. This unsettling time of investing during the Great Real Estate Depression, may have impacted the amount of money retirees have to rely upon, making other retirement income sources - a necessity.

    Well balanced adult children, want their parents to...

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