Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!


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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

May 21, 2020

The Effects Of The Coronavirus On Real Estate Investing

Currently the coronavirus pandemic is on top of everybody’s mind. Like you, we are all concerned and watching closely for what will happen next. Another thing on the top of many people’s minds is what will be the effects of the coronavirus on real estate investing?

The impact on real estate

Man in suit pointing at property investment sign to illustrate, "The Effects Of The Coronavirus On Real Estate Investing"It may be too soon to determine what the total coronavirus impact on real estate investors will be. This is a new and fast-moving issue and it’s very difficult to assess. That’s one reason why there’s so much uncertainty in the stock market.

But, and this is a big but, in the long run the economy is certain to rebound, especially in Florida. The fundamentals of the Central Florida economy and its future prospects are still very good and nothing has been reported in the news to cause us to think otherwise.

If you agree with that as an investor then you will view this pandemic as a short to mid-term market condition. So the logical thing to do is focus on protecting your finances and be ready to take advantage of any opportunities that you find.

Protecting your finances

The primary concern of an investor is that their business depends on buyers and renters earning salaries at their jobs. So when people aren’t able to go to work or get paid our ability to collect rent is affected.

Since most people don’t have much of a savings account, when they lose their income they will also lose their ability to pay their bills in just a matter of weeks, maybe months at the most.

Even though those shortfalls of cash might be short-lived, it could possibly lead to a recession.  A recession is not a prediction, simply a possibility.

So how does a real estate investor protect their finances?

  • Cash reserves - Do what you can to increase your cash on hand and reevaluate your cash backup plans such as your credit lines.
  • Be proactive - Talk to your renters if they get in a cash pinch. Don’t evict them if there’s a reasonable chance that they will be able to catch up over time. There’s no point in evicting a good tenant just to have a vacancy that might cost you even more.
  • Education and adaptability - Don’t be an ostrich, stay aware of the current crisis, and adapt the changes as they unfold.

Take advantage of opportunities

Whenever there is an unexpected economic shakeup there will be people who don’t have enough cash to get through it unscathed.  That cash shortage can lead to buying opportunities for investors.

How to prepare for those opportunities:

  • Arrange your financing - Touch base with your banking, private lenders, and other sources of credit. Ensure they are all ready to move quickly on an opportunity.
  • Continue to search out deals - You never really know when a great opportunity will come along, so continue your lead generating activities.
  • Submit conservative offers - Don’t be timid about submitting offers that are below the asking price. Make offers that are going to be profitable to you in the long run.  Continue to follow up if your offer is rejected.
  • Be patient - Keep an eye on the latest developments and be ready to act on opportunities when you find them. 

Keep in mind that if this all blows over quickly you won’t be any worse off, but if an opportunity presents itself you'll be ready for it!


Are you ready to begin the search for your next investment property? Call us at EP Realtors® and ask to speak with one of our Realtors® who specializes in investment and vacation home properties, (407) 704-8030.

Here are some recent articles you may have missed:

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Posted in Investing
May 19, 2020

All About Home Buying With Student Loan Debt

Photograph of a tip jar with the words "we've got cats to feed and lots and lots of student debt" to illustrate the article, "All About Home Buying With Student Loan Debt"

Student loan debt is currently a hot topic in the United States.  Student loans are seen as a monetary monster. They are also among the most often cited reasons for postponing homeownership and continue renting, 43% of the time according to one study.

First-time buyers worry about making the down payment and are anxious about taking on more debt.  Their student loan debt is something to consider as well.  But the thing is, student loans are very far down the list when it comes to disqualifying the would-be homebuyer. This article is about how buying a house when you have student loan debt.

Things to know about debt

Whether you’re thinking about buying a house or not, you first want to get to know your debt. It’s important to understand all that owe, who you owe it to, your payment schedule, and the interest rate. Then you will be able to make informed plans for your financial future and you will be able to speak factually with your financial planners, lenders, and others.  It’s important!

Your debt-to-income ratio (DTI) is one of the key factors your lender will look at when your applying for a mortgage.  Most lenders want to see less than 29% your gross income going towards all of your housing expenses, and no more than 36% of your gross income going towards servicing your debts - this includes the mortgage payment you’re thinking about adding.

So having a high DTI by itself is not a gating factor qualifying for financing. But it is something you need to understand and lower if possible before applying for a loan.

There a number of other considerations to look at before making your application. Your payment history for all your debts including your student loan.  Your lender wants to see a history of on-time, full payments, for all of your debts.  A good payment history is an indicator of financial responsibility and gives the lender confidence that you will make your mortgage payments prescribed in your mortgage contract.

Check your credit report which you can get for free once a year from the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). Ensure that there isn’t anything inaccurate on your reports and decide if there’s anything you can do to increase your scores. If you do find inaccuracies, talk to the reporting bureau about making corrections before you begin your loan application.

Your mortgage options can be impacted by your payment plan

Your student loan repayment plan is something to consider as well. The initial repayment plan is a 10-year plan. Many student loan recipients have refinanced their loans or opted for a different repayment plan.

Although changing the repayment plan can be helpful for budgeting, especially for recent graduates who may not be able to keep up with the 10-year plan.  However, this can impact your mortgage options. It’s worth talking more about income-driven plans and refinancing.

Refinancing

Refinancing can be a great option for either a government-backed loan or a private loan. Refinancing lets you consolidate multiple loans from different financial aid sources into a single lower monthly payment. Lowering your monthly payment is helpful because it also lowers your DTI (debt to income ration).

But…. refinanced loans are reported as new debt on your credit report and that can impact your credit score.  How it impacts your credit score varies and is dependant on your situation.  It still may be worth doing in order to get a more favorable DTI.  But talk about the pros and cons of doing this before you commit to it.

One more thing, NEVER, EVER, refinance your student loan while you are in the process of buying a home.  You can refi before or after, but NEVER while you’re in the process of buying a home. Your lender will check your credit report one last time before settling at closing and you want to avoid changes until after the transaction is closed and recorded.

Related article: What To Expect At Your Closing

Income-driven repayment plans

These plans allow for making lower loan payments based on their income, based on the borrower’s annual income.  There are three plans (income-based repayment, pay as you earn, and revised pay as you earn). These plans make the borrower report their financial situation every year, thus having their monthly payment recalculated annually.

These are popular plans and offer the borrower more affordable options and still retain federal protection. The borrower is also offered debt forgiveness if they remain in good standing are the end of their plan’s set timeframe. Even though these plans are very helpful at managing your loans, the complicate the mortgage process.

These plans revert to the original 10-year plan if the borrower fails to recertify each year. Also, since the payment is recalculated annually, the actual payment isn’t what the lender sees on your credit report. The lender sees the original 10-plan’s payment schedule on your credit report which is likely much higher than the actual payment.

It’s not impossible to qualify for a mortgage while you’re on an income-driven plan, but it adds a degree of complication.  Therefore, it’s vital that you explain your situation to your lender and provide supporting documentation as early as possible. 


Call us at EP Realtors® and ask to speak with one of our Realtors® about any of your real estate needs, (407) 704-8030.

Here are some recent articles you may have missed: 

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Posted in Home Buying
April 30, 2020

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Of Section 8 Rentals

Being a Section 8 landlord has its good, bad, and ugly sides. Some landlords love being part of the section 8 housing program, others have tried it and have decided it’s too much for them to take on.

Graphic of rental home and money to illustrate, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Of Section 8 Rentals"The “Housing Act of 1937” created a rental assistance program which is referred to as “Section 8 Housing”.  This program covers the rent of more than three million low-income households. There are many programs under the Section 8 umbrella that are available to low-income renters.  The most popular is the “Housing Choice Voucher Program” which pays for all or a portion of the recipient’s rent depending on their financial situation.

The renters usually pay +/- 30% of their adjusted take-home pay to Section 8 housing. Their income is adjusted based on dependents, medical expenses, disabilities, etc. The renter may be eligible for 100% of their rent being paid by the program.


The good, the bad, and the ugly of Section 8 rentals

What’s good about Section 8 rentals

As we said in the beginning, landlords love or hate being participating in the Section 8 program. Landlords love not having to worry about collecting their full rent on time every month.  There’s also no reason to be concerned about checks getting lost in the mail or any other excuse their renters have for not paying the rent time monthly. They also love being able to charge a lot of rent.

Property rentals are set by the local agency that administers the housing vouchers. Fortunately, rents are typically set a little higher than what the rental would be if it wasn’t a Section 8 property.

What’s bad about Section 8 rentals 

Some landlords don’t like Section 8 due to the government regulations involved with participating. The Section 8 regulations include safety inspections prior to occupancy and a minimum of ongoing annual inspections.

The landlords are required to fix everything on the inspector's list prior to the renter moving in. These inspections are more rigorous than most owners expect and can be more costly than anticipated.

The process can be rather slow going since this is a government program. Also, Section 8 work centers are always understaffed and overworked. Consequently, they cannot provide the level of service a property owner would like to have, resulting in a slowness of having the inspections performed, contracts completed, move-in delays, and getting that first check delivered.

What’s ugly about Section 8 rentals

Another big concern with landlords is the quality of the renters. The fear is that Section 8 recipients will be hard on the property, they won’t change HVAC filters, won’t call to have minor repairs taken care of before they’re major repairs, and generally won’t take care of the property.

The renters may have large families or let others move in with them to split uncovered expenses, or even sublet a room.  Having extra people living on-site can lead to extra wear and tear on the property.

These concerns can be minimized by fully screening Section 8 renters just as you would anybody else, including a background check, contacting past landlords, and references.

Conclusion

Some landlords think Section 8 is the best thing ever and only rent their properties through the Section 8 program.  Others despise it due to the many challenges and regulations that are part of the program. What about you? Do you have any experience with the Section 8 program?  Share your story in the comments!


Are you ready to begin the search for your next investment property? Call us at EP Realtors® and ask to speak with one of our Realtors® who specializes in investment and vacation home properties, (407) 704-8030.

Here are some recent articles you may have missed:

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Posted in Investing
April 28, 2020

13 Easy Ways To Get Your Home Ready For Your Best Summer Ever!

Summer will be here before you know it, and you know what that means: Heat, hornets, and yard work. Take care of your home's hot-weather needs now, and you'll have more time for fun in the sun.

"Hello Summer" graphic to illustrate, "13 Easy Ways To Get Your Home Ready For Your Best Summer Ever!".

Here are 13 quick and easy projects to make your home and garden more comfortable and cost-effective this summer.

13 Easy Ways To Get Your Home Ready For Your Best Summer Ever!

Inside the house

  1. Service your air conditioner - Nothing can ruin your day like a broken air-conditioning unit on a summer day, so keep it running smoothly by servicing it every spring. Every three months, change the filter, flush out drain lines with a cup of bleach, and ensure that the outdoor unit has room to breathe by keeping vegetation about an arm’s length away.
  2. Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors - You’d be surprised at how much peace of mind you’ll get after knocking out this one little chore. Change all the batteries on the same day and remind yourself to do it again in six months. If your smoke alarms were manufactured 10 or more years ago, replace them entirely.
  3. Rotate and balance your ceiling fan blades - Your ceiling fan may have a switch that changes the direction in which the blades turn. If so, make sure that the blades are spinning counterclockwise and pushing air down, rather than up. Now is also the ideal time to balance any of your fans that wobble.
  4. Clean behind the appliances - You’ve been putting it off for far too long. You’re terrified of the horrors that await in the shadows of your kitchen, but it’s time to put on some gloves, arm yourself with disinfectant cleaner, and roll out the oven with a brave face.
  5. Clean your dryer's vent - If your clothes come out of the dryer damp and musty lately, it’s probably because the vent is clogged with lint — not only wasting energy but posing a significant fire risk. To do it right the first time, purchase a vent-cleaning kit. Its flexible rod and brush attaches to your drill and will extract a puppy-sized mass of lint in no time.
  6. Replace your basic thermostat - Replacing your existing thermostat with a ‘smart’ model does more than save you money. They respond to your voice, divert cool air to occupied rooms, can be operated from your phone, and might even give you a weather forecast at a glance before work.
  7. Repot your houseplants - Give houseplants fresh potting mix in spring when they’re actively growing. Slip the mass of roots and potting mix out of the pot, gently tease apart the roots, remove rotted pieces, and replace it with fresh and fertile potting mix. If the leaves are turning pale from too much direct summer sun, move them to a slightly shadier place.

Outside the house

  1. Repair your lawn - If you wait too long to plant new grass seeds or sod, aggressive weeds will happily fill the gaps for you. Luckily, grass will quickly establish if you remove all existing weeds beforehand, amend with topsoil and keep the area irrigated for the first week or two.
  2. Inspect the gutters - Fall isn’t the only time to clean out the gutters, especially if you have messy trees nearby. Make sure that the gutters are soundly attached to your roof, seal any gaps with silicone caulk, and remove any obstructions at the base of the downspout.
  3. Inspect your sprinkler system - If you notice any clogged or broken sprinkler heads, shut off the water, and dig a 2-inch diameter hole around the head. Unscrew the head from its riser and replace it with a new one. If the head is merely clogged, remove the basket and rinse both it and the head in clean water. Reassemble the head and screw it onto the riser.
  4. Service your lawn tools -Get your mower up and running - Give your mower, string trimmer, and other lawn equipment some TLC before the summer mowing season begins. After removing the spark plug, replace the air filters, change the oil, sharpen blades and give your equipment a good cleaning.
  5. Remove hornet and unwanted bird nests - If you have hornets, yellow jackets, and paper wasps around your home, take steps to remove them now before they form a large, aggressive colony. You can play it safe by calling a professional, or spray nests at night when they’re less active. Just be sure to wear protective eyewear, a mask, pants, and long sleeves.
  6. Clean your grill - Prevent flare-ups and cooking fires by giving your grill a good cleaning. Ideally, you’d clean after every use, but you can start fresh with a grill brush, nozzle, and wet rag. Now is also a good time to stock up on charcoal and make sure your tools are ready for grilling season.

 

Call us at EP Realtors® and ask to speak with one of our Realtors® about any of your real estate needs, (407) 704-8030.

Here are some recent articles you may have missed: 

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Posted in Homeowners
April 23, 2020

5 Good Reasons For Investing In Short Sales

Photograph of a real estate "short sale" sign used to illustrate, "5 Good Reasons For Investing In Short Sale".The term “short sale” is used in the real estate industry when a lender allows a homeowner that is in arrears on their payments to sell their property for less than they owe on their mortgage. The home is sold for less than the balance due, but the lender is saved from having to go through the foreclosure process and all the expenses involved.

Short sales can be very attractive to real estate investors that are looking for a bargain. Here is our list of 5 good reasons for investing in short sales.

5 Good Reasons For Investing In Short Sales

1 - Short sales typically happen because the homeowner in arrears by several payments, so the lender isn’t making any money since mortgage payments aren’t being made. For this reason, the lender will likely offer better terms to investors in order to sweeten the deal.

2 - Because lenders don’t want to pay for repairs the prices for short sales are often lower than foreclosed properties or new homes. If a real estate investor can do the work or pay to have it done they might get a better deal with a short sale.

3 - Properties being sold as a short sale are typically in better condition than those properties that are in foreclosure. That’s because there’s usually somebody living in the property while it’s on the market. Contrast that with the vandalism and squatters you can find with foreclosure sales. Also, since the property transfer is more or less amicable, the homeowner is less likely to destroy the property to “get back at the lender”. A property sold short still may need a few repairs, but that’s most likely due to the homeowner’s financial problems and not from mal intent. 

4 - With a short sale you will be able to talk to the sellers and their Realtor® about the property.  This will let you ask about any repairs that they know about, discuss the neighborhood, and what the house’s utility bills are. These conversations will help you decide if the property and sale are right for you. The owner in a foreclosure sale is the lender and this is information most likely isn’t available.

5 - The homeowners will be more cooperative because they would much rather sell the property as a short sale than being foreclosed on. A foreclosure will be on their credit report and eviction will make it difficult and costly to rent in the future. For these reasons, the homeowners should be more cooperative in transferring the property.


 

Are you ready to begin the search for your next investment property? Call us at EP Realtors® and ask to speak with one of our Realtors® who specializes in investment and vacation home properties, (407) 704-8030.

Here are some recent articles you may have missed:

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Posted in Investing
April 21, 2020

All About Easements and Rights of Way

Photograph of a real estate plat showing an easement to illustrate,  "At some point, you might come across the terms “easement” and “right of way.” These terms both imply another person or entity may have use of your property. As a homeowner or buyer in the market for a home, you’ll want to thoroughly understand both of these terms and how they can potentially affect you.

What is an "Easement"?

An easement enables one person to use another’s property for a stated purpose. This could be a public use, such as water, electric or gas utility companies, or for a private one as an agreement between neighbors. There are three primary types of easements:

  1. Gross easements: This type of easement allows for a specific person to use your property.
  2. Appurtenant easements: This type of easement allows a property to be used for adjoining lands—it stays with the property owner, even if the property is sold.
  3. Prescriptive easements: These easements are rights acquired by one person openly using another person’s property without force and without owner permission for a period of time; the amount of time varies by state law.

None of these forms of easements grant any type of ownership to the individuals using the easement rights.

What Does "Right of Way" Mean?

A right of way is a type of easement, but it works a little differently. What this term means is other people are allowed to pass through your property. The right of way may be a public or private option. For instance, if your neighbor’s house is located behind yours and has no way to reach the main road unless they pass through your property, this would be a private right of way. On the other hand, if a road passes through your property to access a beach, park or other public space, this would be considered to be a public right of way. The right of way has no effect on ownership.

Can Easements Be Terminated?

Some types of easements can be terminated after a specified period of time, however, easements attached to a deed often remain that way in perpetuity, even if the property changes hands. Here are two ways easements can be in placed into effect:

  1. A property owner's land borders a lake, but their neighbor’s property doesn’t. Property owner #2 wishes to have access to launch their boat. Property owner #1 could opt to grant their neighbor an easement for as long as they are neighbors with the agreement terminating (i.e. upon death or if the neighbor moves away).
  2. Or, property owner #1 could have an agreement added to their deed and property owner #2 does the same, making this agreement a permanent one that would last between future homeowners of either property.

Both easements and right of way can grant others to rightfully use your property. Whether you are selling or buying a home, it’s always important to know if an easement is attached to the deed. If an easement isn’t found on the home’s deed, it’s a good idea to also check public records. Easement stipulations are a complex topic. An established easement could limit what you can do with your property in the future, so always be sure to check before purchasing any property.


 

Call us at EP Realtors® and ask to speak with one of our Realtors® about any of your real estate needs, (407) 704-8030.

Here are some recent articles you may have missed: 

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March 24, 2020

3 Considerations Before You Buy a Second Home

The decision to purchase a second home may be one of the biggest choices you will make in your lifetime. So it's Photograph of a vacation house to illustrate,"important to consider all of the factors associated with a house purchase before you embark on a quest to acquire a second home.

Now, let's take a look at 3 considerations before you buy a second home as you weigh the pros and cons of purchasing a second home.


3 Considerations Before You Buy a Second Home

1. Your Current House

Consider the state of your current house – you will be happy you did. If you assess your current home, you may be better equipped than ever before to determine if now is a good time to start a search for a second house.

For instance, if your home needs a new roof or requires other repairs, you may want to complete these improvements first. After these house repairs are finished, you then can kick off a search for your second house. Perhaps most importantly, you can launch this home search with the reassurance that your current house is in good shape and likely won't require significant repairs in the near future.

2. Your Finances

If you still have a mortgage on your current house, you may want to focus on paying that off first. Once your mortgage is paid in full, you can conduct a search for a second house without having to worry about paying two mortgages at once.

Of course, if your current house's mortgage is paid in full, you should still evaluate your finances closely. Ensure you have sufficient finances to cover a mortgage for a second house, as well as your everyday expenses. By doing so, you can hone your search for a second property to homes that fall within your price range.

3. Your Immediate and Long-Term Plans

Think about why you want to buy a second home in the first place. Then, you can determine how this decision may impact your immediate and long-term term plans.

For example, if you want to return to college, buying a second home may affect how much money you have at your disposal that you can use to go back to school. On the other hand, if you hope to get a work promotion in the foreseeable future, you soon may have additional funds to help you make your dream of owning a second home come true.

As you decide whether to launch the search for a second house, take some time to consult with a Realtor®. A Realtor® is a homebuying expert, and he or she can provide housing market insights that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere. Plus, a Realtor® will guide you along the homebuying journey and can help you acquire a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price.

Think about these 3 considerations before you buy a second home, that way you can make an informed decision about whether now is the ideal time to pursue a second home.


REALTOR and MLS logoNow is a great time to invest in real estate whether you're interested in buying an income-producing property, a new home for yourself, or a second home for your family.  Call EP Realtors® and arrange a free consultation with one of our Realtors®(407) 704-8030.

Related reading:

Posted in Home Buying, Investing
March 5, 2020

3 Reasons Why You’re Not Ready To Invest In Real Estate

Are you wondering if investing in real estate is the right thing for you to do? If so then you already worked out that generating passive income in real estate is possible. Which is great!

Illustration of a man sitting in a red chair with money raining down used to illustrate, "3 Reasons Why You’re Not Ready To Invest In Real Estate".It’s more likely that you know that investing in real estate works but you’re not sure if it will work in your particular situation or if you have what it takes to be a successful investor. I am here to tell you that you most certainly do have what it takes to succeed with real estate investing and to encourage you to take the necessary steps to move toward completing your first deal. With that in mind, your particular circumstances don’t matter since everybody has steps to take based on their own circumstances. Even those individuals with excellent credit reports and large amounts of cash on hand have to take their own next step that is just as unnerving to them as your next step will be to you. Maybe more unnerving because they have could have more to lose than we mere mortals do. 

3 Reasons Why You’re Not Ready To Invest In Real Estate

1 - You don’t care about other people

Honest businesses are centered on helping and serving other people effectively. For your real estate investment business to thrive, you have to focus on the idea of helping and serving others.

In the book “Big Bucks”, by Ken Blanchard, the author talks about the joy factor. It’s the joy of the work that will keep your ambition going.  You can find joy by figuring out how you make a difference.  By investing in real estate you provide affordable housing for hard-working families, isn’t that a joyful endeavor?

2 - You’re indecisive

This doesn’t mean you should pursue a real estate portfolio all half-cocked and willy-nilly. Obviously due diligence is in order. Consider this, You’ve negotiated a deal that is $20,000 below market value with a projected 18% return on cash flow alone. Your Realtor was able to get you a 10 day period for due diligence and contingencies for financing, surveys, title work, etc. If you yourself with a deal in hand and you aren’t able to pull the trigger and go, you have no business trying to be a real estate investor.

3 - You think you can do it alone

Even though investing in real estate is not the most complex endeavor, you’ll need help. So you have to start building your team.  The quality of your team is arguably the most important factor of a professional real estate investor’s success. Read about building a real estate investment team in the article linked below.

Related article: Building Your Real Estate Investment Team

I encourage you the read this post again and think about where you stand on these 3 reasons why you’re not ready to invest in real estate for a moment.  You won’t need more than a moment to decide if you do care about others, and that you can be boldly decisive and humble enough to rely on your team at the same time.


Realtor logo and MLS logo.

Are you ready to begin the search for your next income-producing property? Call us at EP Realtors® and ask to speak with one of our Realtors® who specializes in investment and vacation home properties, (407) 704-8030.

Here are some recent articles you may have missed:

Posted in Investing
March 3, 2020

Top 5 Questions To Ask About Every Neighborhood

When your searching for a home, it’s very easy to focus o the house without looking and the neighborhood around it. But finding a location that is right for your lifestyle is just as important. 

Ariel photograph of a suburban neighborhood with an outstretched hand to illustrate, "Top 5 Questions To Ask About Every Neighborhood".In a perfect world, you would be able to find a piece of property that offers a house you would love and a neighborhood that matches your lifestyle and more. But for most of us, home buying is a compromise between finding a house that meets our needs in a reasonably suitable neighborhood.

Then how do you find the perfect combination?  You can begin by answering the top 5 questions to ask about every neighborhood that you’re interested in purchasing a home.

Top 5 Questions To Ask About Every Neighborhood

1 - Is the asking price within your budget

The price and your budget are the first things that you have to think about. Can you afford the style of home you want in this neighborhood? If you’re uncertain you’ll want to consider the other factors in this list to help you decide.  Is living in this neighborhood worth shortening your home’s must-have list? Sometimes it’s worth cutting back if it’s a fantastic location. But you have to consider all of the factors before making that kind of decision.

Related article: Know Your Must Have Features Before You Begin Home Shopping

2 - What will your commute be?

People often think of their commute last when they’re searching for a property, but your commute is such an important factor in your quality of life. A round trip commute of 90 minutes may not seem too bad when you’re falling in love with the property you’re viewing. But sitting in traffic twice a day, five days a week, can wear on you and you may begin to regret buying a home where you did. If you’re reliant on public transportation your home’s location is very important and it becomes essential to consider this question.

Seriously consider your commute and how it will affect your lifestyle. Is it really worth spending all that time in traffic, or would you rather be able to spend it with family and friends?

3 - What’s the quality of the schools?

This question is obvious if you already have children. But it’s easy to overlook when you don’t have children. This is a question to ask if you plan to have children in the future.  It’s also something to consider when you think about your property’s resales value in the future when you move.

4 - Is the area a match to your lifestyle?

Be sure the neighborhood you’re considering buying in is going to fit your lifestyle. Just as when you consider the schools, consider both your lifestyle today and what it will be in the future. 

5 - Are the amenities you want in this neighborhood?

Consider the stores you regularly shop and the amenities you most often use currently. Now consider the neighborhood you’re thinking about. Where are the shops and amenities you would use? Will their locations meet your needs?  Is there a shop or amenity not in the area that you just have to have access to?

By working through this list of five questions you will be able to not only love your new home, but you’ll also be happy all around with your new living arrangement. Once you have figured out your must-haves for your next home and its neighborhood, start working with a Realtor® to find a property that best fits both lists.


REALTOR and MLS llogoAre you ready to look for your new home? Call the EP-REALTORS office now and speak to one of our experienced Realtors® about your real estate needs, (407) 704-8030.

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Posted in Home Buying
Feb. 27, 2020

5 Red Flags Indicating A Bad Real Estate Investment

To continue being an effective real estate investor or if your a new investor and want to get a reasonable return on your first real estate investment you have to earn a passive income that meets your needs and investment objectives.

Photograph depicting property investment to illustrate, "5 Red Flags Indicating A Bad Real Estate Investment".Passive income happens by earning money without putting a lot of effort, time, or money into your investment upfront. Such as by investing in a property where you’re earning from a rental income and your tenants are paying off your mortgage, tax obligation, and still providing you with positive cash flow.

In this article, we’re going to talk about 5 red flags indicating a bad real estate investment that comes up quite often. Watch out for the following flags that your subject property isn’t for you.

5 Red Flags Indicating A Bad Real Estate Investment

1 - The numbers don’t add up

In the end, you’re expecting to earn a profit from any property you invest in. So if the property has been on the market for a long time and the seller isn’t open to negotiating the price, it’s a sign to move on and find something better.  The underlining numbers are that a correctly priced property won’t stay on the market for a longer than average time, there may well be something very wrong with this property. Walk away.

2 - There’s a lack of hard numbers

When a seller can’t, or won’t, give you key data such as vacancy rate, neighborhood charm, historical profits, and so on, it may be appropriate for you to assume the real numbers are not good and profits are low. You should never take a deal blindly, search for a better property to invest in. Likewise, if the seller can only produce estimates based on their guesswork. Insist on seeing hard numbers or walk away.

3 - The property is in a bad neighborhood

The overarching idea of real estate investment is to buy in an up and coming neighborhood. So don’t waste your time and money in a declining location. It takes a long time for a neighborhood labeled as bad to turn around and lose that label.  

4 - Too many repairs for the price

There are many properties that look good on paper and online.  But once you lay eyes on them you’ll see an entirely different story. A declining property, or one with a lot of deferred maintenance, may be more trouble than it’s worth in both time and money when you’re expecting to be profitable. 

5 - It’s a lemon

Bad location, too many repairs, encroachments, tax levies or liens, it’s been on the market too long, whatever the reasons. When it’s more trouble than it’s worth, it’s a lemon. Do your due diligence when your subject property has been on the market for an excessive amount of time and find out exactly why it’s a lemon.


Realtor logo and MLS logo.

Are you ready to begin the search for your next income-producing property? Call us at EP Realtors® and ask to speak with one of our Realtors® who specializes in investment and vacation home properties, (407) 704-8030.

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Posted in Investing