Find a Home Today!

Find a Home Today!

First-time Homebuyer Program (FTHB)

What is a FTHB program?  A first-time homebuyer program can consist of grants, financing and other services provided to individuals purchasing a home for the first time.

Homebuyer Grants

Grant money may take on the form of a second mortgage, direct payment or a forgivable loan to the first-time homebuyer.  The education portion consists primarily of homebuyer education counseling, which is often offered by non-profits, of by the city in which the grant monies are being used.  First-time homebuyer programs can also include services such as grant monies for the repair of the home or reduced costs for repairs or upgrades made to primary homes.

What is a Short Sale?

A short sale is when a seller is “upside down” on their mortgage, or the seller owes more on the mortgage than the property is worth.  In this case an offer to purchase the property at a discount is presented to the bank or lender that owns the mortgage, in which the bank or lender reserves the right to “accept” or “decline”.

Is a short sale right for you?

1. Short sale properties are great properties for buyers that want to purchase property where the home is in good and decent condition versus foreclosed or distressed properties.  More often than not the seller is still living in the home and maintaining the property, even though it may be the bare minimum in maintenance.

2. Short sale properties (for the most part) have a history.  The seller is still accessible to the buyer to answer questions about the property’s history, the neighborhood and etc.

3. If your financing is in order then you’re a good candidate for a short sale.  Lenders like cash offers, especially for short sale, foreclosure and distress properties; but if you can’t buy cash then you should have a mortgage approval from a bank or lending institution prior to shopping for a home.

Foreclosures / REO / Bank Owned Properties:

Is now a good time to buy a foreclosure?  Foreclosed properties are often (not always) a good deal or a bargain buy.  For this reason, we’ve seen the frenzied investor buyer’s market taking over in some local area of South Florida.  But, for the true homeowner or homestead owner, the benefits of a foreclosed property hang on the local market and more so on what you the homestead owner desires in a home.

Quick tips for buying a foreclosure or distressed property:

1. Financing - The first thing you should understand about purchasing a foreclosed/REO property is that the bank wants to sell the property quickly, which is why Cash and Investor buyers often end up with these properties.  Having said that, it’s important that you are financially qualified to purchase and close on a foreclosed property.

2. Property Condition – Isn’t this where the kitchen is supposed to be?  More often than not, a foreclosed property will be missing items (or even an entire kitchen) or have hidden defects.  Most REO properties are offer in its “AS-IS” condition, but allow the buyer to inspect the property and make a decision as to whether they want to proceed with the sale, so it’s important that you hire a professional to perform a property inspection.

3. Budget Carefully – You should anticipate the need for a repair or renovation budget when considering purchasing a foreclosed/REO property, as many of his homes are distressed, damaged, not upgraded or some combination of thereof.  You’re budget should be realistic and take into consideration your monthly mortgage payment (that is if you are financing the purchase).

4. Use Professionals – Expertise is an important characteristic when buying property.  You want to use professional inspectors, attorneys, closing agents and Realtors because expertise makes the difference between a job well done and a job overrun.

See the house for yourself – You can search all listed properties and neighborhoods in South Florida on our website “Search MLS”.

5. Put your best “Offer” forward – REO sellers want the highest and best offer and you should be prepared to put your best “offer” forward.  It maybe a feeding frenzy right now for distressed properties, but don’t be rattled when making your offer, just make sure it’s you’re highest and best offer.