Resources

 

Some of the resources that are specific to Jessica and her knowledge and experiences through connections and bonds made of her lifetime. These include military consultants and personnel, first time homebuyer programs that offer incentives, and benefits for being a Florida resident. Jessica has a multitude of people on her team and in her corner who are as willing as she is to help get you on the easy track and to the best deals and steals.

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VA Home Loan Guaranty
www.benefits.va.gov/homeloans

VA helps Service Members, Veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. VA provides a home loan guaranty benefit and other housing related programs to help you buy, build, repair, retain, or adapt a home for your own personal occupancy. This is a lifetime benefit that can be used more than once. Process to obtain a VA home Loan Guaranty is not difficult, see 6 steps below.

  1. Apply on line for a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) at www.ebenefits.va.gov

  2. Select a lender. Ensure Lender has your COE and complete the loan application

  3. Get with me (a REALTOR and Veteran) to help you find a home you love and want to buy.

  4. The lender will ask VA to assign a licensed appraiser to determine the reasonable value for the property you want to buy. A Notice of Value will be issued.

  5. Lender will provide a decision on the loan. If the property meets VA’s minimum property requirements the established value, your credit rating, and income are acceptable you will be approved.

  6. Attend loan closing. Payments, and all relevant documents will be discussed, move in!

 

Contact me for Lenders who have partnered with Century 21 to offer special programs for those who are serving or have served in our Armed Forces. It’s time to serve you! I.e: Navy Federal Credit Union, Realogy Military Rewards, etc…

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Military/Veteran Tax Exemptions
Military Deployed/ Active Duty Tax Exemption

 

This exemption became effective for the 2011 tax year. The exemption provides an additional tax exemption for active duty military members, reserves, the US Coast Guard and its reserves, and the Florida National Guard, who have a homestead exemption and who were deployed outside the US, Alaska or Hawaii in support of certain military operations. The exemption is based on the number of days the member was deployed the previous calendar year. This exemption does not renew and must be applied for annually as the approved operations may change every year.

Fallen Heroes Family Tax Relief Act
Provides for a 100% exemption on the homestead property for the surviving spouse of:
  • A military veteran who died from service-connected causes while on active duty as a member of the US armed forces.
  • A first responder (which includes a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or paramedic employed by the state or any political subdivision of the state) who died in the line of duty.
     
The benefit is available for the un-remarried surviving spouse of a first responder or veteran whose death occurred prior to the January 1st effective date, as long as the surviving spouse qualifies for homestead exemption as of January 1st. The first responder and surviving spouse must have been permanent residents of Florida on January 1st of the year in which the first responder died. The spouse must provide a letter from the first responder’s employer (the state, or subdivision of the state) indicating that the first responder died in the line of duty. If the spouse moves he or she may “port” a portion of the exemption. If the spouse remarries the exemption is removed.
$5000 Veteran Disability
Available to any service connected disability of less than 100%. A widow of a disabled veteran may qualify, if they had been married at least 5 years. This exemption is automatically renewed. A current letter from US Government or Veteran's Affairs with percent of disability and award date is required.
Service Connected Total and Permanent

Extended to all service connected disabled veterans with a total and permanent disability. The exemption is inherited by the surviving spouse so long as she/he had been married to the veteran for at least 5 years at the time of the ex-service member's death and remains widowed. This exemption is automatically renewed. A current letter from US Government or Veteran's Affairs with percent of disability and award date is required.

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First-Time Home Buyer
 
Five solid things a first-time home buyer needs to know

What every first-time home buyer needs to know to dive into house hunting with confidence—and with as few curveballs as possible. Whether it's getting a mortgage, choosing a real estate agent, shopping for a home, or making a down payment, the must-knows of buying for the first time are below:

 

1. HOW MUCH HOME YOU CAN AFFORD AS A FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER

Homes cost a bundle, so odds are yoU'll need a home loan, aka mortgage, to foot the bill, along with a hefty down payment. Still, the question remains: What price home can you really afford? That depends on your income and other variables, so punch your info into a home affordability calculator to get a ballpark figure of the type of loan you can manage.

 

In general, experts recommend that your house payment (which will include your mortgage, maintenance, taxes) should not exceed 28% of your gross monthly income. So, for example, if your monthly (before-tax) income is $6,000, multiply that by 0.28 and you'll see that you shouldn't pay more than $1,680 a month on your home mortgage.

 

2. PICK THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT 

You buy most things yourself—at most, sifting through a few online reviews before hitting the Buy button and making a payment. But a home? It's not quite so easy. Buying a home requires transfer of a deed, title search, and plenty of other paperwork. Plus there's the home itself—it may look great to you, but what if there's a termite problem inside those walls or a nuclear waste plant being built down the block? There's also a whole lot of money involved. (You know, a down payment, loan, etc.)

 

All of which is to say, before you make a massive payment, you will want to have a trusted real estate agent by your side to explain the ins and outs of the process. Make sure to call a realtor like me. A REALTOR can familiarize you with the area you're planning on purchasing in and can assist you in having realistic expectations for property and prices. You will want a Realtor best suited for your purchase of your new home.

 

You can search on line to find agents in your area. Interview at least a couple of agents, because once you commit, typically you will sign a contract for the realtor to represent you.

3. KNOW THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PERFECT HOME

It's your first home—we all dream about the ideal house and don't want to settle for anything less. But understand real estate is about compromise. As a general rule, most buyers prioritize three main things: price, size, and location. The goal is to find all three, realistically, you may only achieve only two of those three things. So find something you can live with, grow into, and renovate to your taste.

4. DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Once you find a home you love and make an offer that's accepted, you may be eager to move in. But don't be hasty. Don't purchase a home or make any payments without doing your due diligence, and add some contingencies to your contract—which basically means you have the right to back out of the deal if something goes horribly wrong.

 

The most common contract contingency is the home inspection, which allows you to request a resolution for issues (e.g., a weak foundation or leaky roof) found by a professional.

 

Another important first-time home buyer addition: a financing contingency, which gives you the right to back out if the bank doesn't approve your loan. If they believe you'll have trouble making a payment, a mortgage lender will not approve your loan. A pre-approval makes the possibility of having your loan application rejected much less likely, but a pre approval is also not a guarantee it'll go through.

 

You also might want to consider an appraisal contingency, which lets you bail if the entity who is giving you a loan values the home at less than what you offered. This will mean you will have to come up with money from your own pocket to make up the difference—a tough gamble if cash is already tight.

5. KNOW YOUR TAX CREDIT OPTIONS

The first-time home buyer tax credit may be no more, but there are a number of tax breaks new homeowners may not be aware of. The biggie: Mortgage interest deduction is a bone for brand-new mortgages, which are typically interest-heavy. If you purchased discount points for your mortgage, essentially pre-paying your interest, these are also deductible. Some states and municipalities may offer mortgage credit certification, which allows first time home buyers to claim a tax credit for some of the mortgage interest paid. Check with your Realtor and local government to see if this credit applies to you.

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Relocation
Contact me to enroll in our C21 relocation program

WORLDWIDE EXPOSURE to A CENTURY 21® relocation Realtor can maximize the satisfaction of relocating clients while helping minimize client’s costs. CENTURY 21 relocation realtors have access to innovative tools allowing for a faster and smoother relocation process to help relocating clients concentrate on their family needs and the job awaiting them in their new location.


ON THE GROUND A buyer could come from anywhere in the world. One of the most important words for a seller in today’s real estate market is exposure. With a global network of over 118,000 real estate professionals in more than 8,000 offices in 80 countries, the exposure of your transferee’s home is one of the widest in the industry. This broad exposure can lead to a higher probability of a transferring employee selling their home at the maximum possible price.

 

ACROSS THE WEB CENTURY 21 listings are pushed to more than 200 of the Internet’s most visited real estate sites in addition to our own century21.com, uniquely designed and targeted to today’s home buyer and home seller, and century21global.com exclusively introducing C21® listings to a global audience.

Credit Assessment
Reverse Mortgage Loans

Reverse mortgage loans are like traditional mortgages that permits homeowners to borrow money using their home as collateral while retaining title to the property. Reverse mortgage loans don't require monthly payments.

 

The loan is due and payable when the borrower no longer lives in the home or dies, whichever comes first. Since no payments are made, interest and fees earned are added to the loan balance each month causing an increasing unpaid balance. Homeowners are required to pay property taxes, insurance and maintain the home, as their principal residence, in good condition.

Reverse mortgages provide older Americans including Baby Boomers access to their home's equity. Borrowers can use their equity to renovate their homes, eliminate personal debt, pay medical expenses or supplement their income with reverse mortgage funds.

 

Homeowners are required to be 62 years and older and meet the following requirements:

  • Own the home free and clear or owe very little on the current mortgage that can be paid off with the proceeds

  • Live in the home as their primary residence

  • Be current on all taxes, insurance, and association dues and all federal debt

  • Prove they can keep up with the home's maintenance and repairs

 

Payouts are based on the age of the youngest spouse. The younger the age, the less money can be borrowed. Reverse mortgages offer two terms ... a fixed rate or variable rate. Fixed rate HECMs have one interest rate and one lump sum payment. Variable rate loans offer multiple payout options:

  • Equal monthly payouts

  • A line of credit with access until the funds are gone

  • Combined line of credit and fixed monthly payments for a specified term

  • Combined line of credit and fixed monthly payments for the life of the loan

Traditional reverse mortgages, also called Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, HECM, are insured by FHA. There are no income limitations or requirements and the loan funds may be used for any purpose. The borrower must attend a counseling session about the HECM, its risk, benefits, and how much can be borrowed. The final loan amount is based on borrower's age and home value. FHA HECMs require upfront and annual mortgage insurance premiums but can be wrapped into the loan.

 

Proprietary HECM loans are not federally insured. Lenders create their own terms, including allowing loan amounts higher than the FHA maximum. Proprietary HECMs don't require mortgage insurance (upfront or monthly), which may result in more funds available. Proprietary reverse mortgages typically have higher interest rates than FHA HECMs.

 

Advantages

  • Create a steady stream of income during retirement

  • The proceeds aren't taxed or risk borrower's Social Security payments

  • Title and rights to the home are retained by the homeowner

  • Monthly payments are not required

 

Disadvantages

  • The loan balance increases over time rather than decreases as with an amortizing loan

  • The loan balance may exceed the property value eliminating inheritance

  • The fees may be higher than traditional mortgage loans

 

Any absence of the home for longer than 6 months for non-medical or 12 months for medical reasons makes the loan due and payable. More information is available about reverse mortgages from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau or Federal Trade Commission or HUD.gov.