Bigger homes – bigger mortgages

Bigger homes – bigger mortgages

House size is on the rise. In 2013 the average new home size in the U.S. hit a record 2,679 square feet. “That’s about 150 square feet larger than it was in 2012,” said Rose Quint, a researcher with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). “It’s been rising four years in a row – it’s the largest it has ever been.” Almost half of the new single-family houses that builders across the U.S. constructed in 2013 had four bedrooms or more, Quint told builders meeting in Las Vegas last week. “That’s up from 34 percent in 2009,” she said. Sixty percent of houses constructed last year had two or more stories, too. Average new home sales prices in the U.S. hit $318,000 last year, Quint said. That’s because of the shift in the housing industry to more affluent buyers. “It’s not surprising to see what’s been happening to the average price,” she said. “Why are homes getting so big? It takes very high credit scores and very nice income to be able to qualify for a mortgage.” The average household income of new homebuyers now tops $108,000. No wonder that the share of young, first time homebuyers has plunged. “In normal circumstances the first-time homebuyer is 30 percent of the market – it’s 20 percent now,” according to NAHB.

Taking a look back at my parents or grandparents and their families, most of the families back in the old days had households with 6 to 8 kids. Today we have 1 to 3 kids per household.  So now let’s look at the possible answers for the question above “why are homes getting so big?” Continue reading


 What a great start for the new year. Mortgage applications are up and Real Estate contracts are off to a quick start too.

I do not know many people who own their own business that wouldn’t be happy to have their children follow in the footsteps and for one day to turn over that business to them.

My two eldest sons have been working in and out of my offices since their early teen years. Now my oldest son has just graduated from FSU with his degree in Real Estate and my middle son has worked in my mortgage office over the last three years but both are now  full time realtors.

 “QM” day

On January 10th 2014, “QM” day (qualified mortgage) kicked in along with all the rules and regulations that are part of this great change in the lending industry.

Was it really a good change? Continue reading

No Fee

The No Fee, New Office

Growing up before video games as we know them today, back in the day the most we had was Atari. So for many of us we all listened to music, more so than the kids of today. As many of you have had that experience where an old song gets stuck in your head, for me it has been that Journey song “Don’t Stop Believin” the part of “Working hard to get my fill,  Everybody wants a thrill,  Payin’ anything to roll the dice just one more time”

It’s seems so fitting since this was the second week that our new offices have been open. I am the Owner / Broker of Solutions First Mortgage Inc and a co-owner (1/3) RE/MAX Superior Properties in Sarasota. One of my partners is also a building contractor adding his company to the mix solidifies a core group of well rounded real estate professionals. Our focus is to bring complete ethics and quality service back the consumer. Please do not take the comment as all real estate professionals are unethical. Continue reading

New Year 2014

Happy New Year to everyone.

Here we go again, changing the date on our paperwork. You know that most of us by the 5th of January will have written ‘2013’ on a check or some other important document where we just can’t scratch out that date forcing us to just have to start over.

Starting over is not anything new, but this New Year it’s going to be very different. The housing market has been slowly increasing with many investors buying up the lower price housing market.

These investors are looking to cash in on the Continue reading

Jumping through hoops

Mortgage Paperwork

Back in fourth grade this kid sitting two desks away from me seemed to be always getting picked on by the teacher. I remember he had the messiest desk and never completed all his class room work. I did not understand why he could never get it done, after all it did seem pretty easy for me. Ten spelling words, twenty maths problems and then do some major crayon work for an hour or so before recess. I mean really why make life tough for yourself. Continue reading

Low advertised rates

Low advertised rates

How many times do we see those annoying TV commercials with this guy screaming about no closing cost, no down payment, and no interest for five years! Buy now pay later! Come on man! Really are we that desperate or are we that foolish to fall for those old lines?

We have heard it so many times

“Rates as low as 2.75% apply now!”,

“Unbelievable lowest rates refinance now”,

“Purchasing a home? We have the lowest rates come in now!”

Then if you don’t blink, right there at the end you see that tiny print that you can’t read and it’s gone in a flash.  I can hear my kid laughing now saying “Dad, just pause the TV and read it”.

Well I did and I have read those and all the other garbage Continue reading

Taxes and Debt to income

Good news from a CPA turns bad news from your Mortgage Broker

Taxes and Debt to Income. Urgh…Tax season! That was half a year ago. Really! Why would I think about this now? So many things happen along the way in a fiscal year. But if we plan now and line up our future finances we can be better prepared for a home purchase and even improve our financial picture for our ultimate goal, retirement!

Come April 15th we all want that good news from our CPA that he or she found many items for us to write off or another to place to put these items on our tax return to get a larger refund from the Internal Revenue Service.  There is no doubt that this is a great feeling! But how will this impact our future purchasing power once we have submitted our returns?  Continue reading