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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 498

Pre-Qualification vs Pre-Approval…Which is Better?

by Maureen Cool

If buying a home is in your future, it is important that you sit down with a lender and talk about the process you will have to go through to get a mortgage to pay for your home. There are many steps between finding your dream home and owning it and obtaining a mortgage is probably the most important on the list.  

Many people assume pre-qualifications and pre-approvals are the same thing and don’t take the time to learn the differences. There is a significant difference and if you are purchasing a home and want the seller of the property to take you seriously, you should take the time to get a pre-approval and just skip the pre-qualification.  

A pre-qualification will suggest a price range that you might qualify for but relies on information you provide regarding your income and credit history. The lender will not analyze the information you provide and takes no action to verify the information you provide. If you provide inaccurate information about yourself, the price range the lender suggests will be incorrect and you likely won’t qualify for the mortgage you want.  

A pre-approval is much more involved than a pre-qualification and requires a lot more information from you so the lender can accurately understand your financial situation. During the pre-approval process, you will be expected to provide employment history, which the lender will verify, and provide documentation of your financial assets so the lender can accurately determine how large a mortgage you can afford. They will perform a thorough examination of your credit history that will carry significant weight regarding the size of the mortgage you can obtain and the interest rate you will pay.  

Now that you understand the difference in pre-qualifications and pre-approvals, which one do you think is best? Pre-approval is the clear winner here, and if you were selling your home, is definitely what you would want the buyer of your home to have. It shows the seller of the property you are interested in that you are serious and will give them confidence in your ability to purchase their home. If you wind up in a multiple offer situation with other buyers that have pre-qualifications or nothing from a lender, your offer will look much stronger than the others.  

When you are ready to take the next step toward owning a home or purchasing  a new home, call me and I can connect you with a mortgage lender that will work with us to help you achieve that goal.  

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may, help you determine the value of your home or help you find your dream home.
 

Maureen Cool, CRS
RE/MAX Realty Plus


www.TheCoolTeam.com
Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

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Maureen Cool is your ultimate real estate resource for Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of qimono/pixabay.com 

Just Listed - 2414 Sunrise Dr., Sebring

by Maureen Cool

Beautiful Home on Deer Run Golf Course

Welcome to 2414 Sunrise Drive in Manor Hill of Sun ‘n Lake. This home is located on the Fairway of Hole 15 on the Deer Run Course. The offers approximately 2,500 Living square feet under with 4 bedrooms and 2 ½ bathrooms along with a living room, dining room and family room. You will love the size of the three-car garage. Enter the home with a tiled entry and the living room straight ahead and the dining room to the right. Glass sliders open to the lanai and offer a beautiful golf course view. Passage from the dining room leads to the large kitchen with white cabinetry, Corian countertops and lots of counter space when entertaining. In addition, there is a large walk-in pantry. A breakfast counter separates the family room with more great views of the course. The breakfast nook has sliders opening to the lanai. You will love the Plantation Shutters throughout. The master suite is a generous 19x15 with a tray ceiling and sliders to the lanai. A hallway with two large walk-in closets on each side lead to the master bath which includes a dual sink vanity, glass enclosed shower, soak tub and water closet for privacy. Just off the foyer is an office/fourth bedroom. The split floor plan offers two more secondary bedrooms, a hall/guest bathroom, and spacious laundry room with storage. The washer and dryer are included. The lanai is 35x13 and with three sets of glass sliding doors extends the living space when entertaining. A lot of new was added in 2017 including the roof, counter tops, microwave and stove. The exterior was painted and new carpet installed. The AC is approximately two years old per the owner. A furniture package is available outside of closing. If you are looking for a spacious home in a great location, call and schedule appointment to see the beautiful, well maintained home.

Contact Maureen Cool of A Cool Realtor for more information or to schedule a showing.  Visit www.ACoolRealtor.com or email Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

Just Listed - 2628 Pinewood Blvd., Sebring

by Maureen Cool

Charming Home in Pine and Lake Neighborhood

If you want to live the lake life-style without the high taxes, this home is the perfect opportunity. It is located in Pine and Lake with a Lakeview Dr. entrance. Pine and Lake is a small HOA with a private Lake Jackson beach, pier and picnic area which is just a short walk away from your home. This well maintained home is offered by the original owner. Situated on a nicely landscaped lot, the home has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a two-car garage. The split floor plan includes a spacious living room, galley kitchen and dining room which flows nicely to the family. Step outside the family room door to a patio for grilling and sitting. The kitchen has white cabinetry, large walk in pantry and a pass-through to the family room. The master suite has a walk-in closet, vanity dressing area which connects to the shower and toilet room. The step-in shower has a glass enclosure. The flower beds have curbing for easy maintenance. Come take a look today.

Contact Maureen Cool of A Cool Realtor for more information or to schedule a showing.  Visit www.ACoolRealtor.com or email Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

Just Listed - 2344 CROYDON RD

by Maureen Cool

Spacious Home in Lake Sebring Area

Welcome to 2344 Croydon Rd., in the Lake Sebring area. This spacious home (larger than it looks) boasts approximately 2,200 LSF under air. The well maintained has some updates including the kitchen with wood cabinets, flooring, and appliances. Enter into a foyer which flows to the living room, dining room, and family room. The large family room (30x18) has a wood burning brick fireplace. Two sets of French doors open from master bedroom and dining room to family room. A bonus room is adjacent to the kitchen - perfect for breakfast room, office or many other uses. A hall door opens to secondary bedrooms & guest bathroom. The master suite has a spacious walk-in closet with custom organizer. The master bathroom is remodeled and includes a step-in shower. The family room opens to a screened lanai and overlooks the large backyard with shade trees and workshop/shed. The deep two car garage includes a skeeter beater screen enclosure. The home has crown molding throughout. Other updates include a new drain field 2015, roof 2014 and 10KW generator so you are never without electric. The home is nicely landscaped with flower bed curbing. This home is conveniently located close to virtually everything via the Sebring Parkway. The home is sold As Is with inspections welcomed. This home is clean, neat] and move in ready with the exception of your personal taste!

Contact Maureen Cool of A Cool Realtor for more information or to schedule a showing.  Visit www.ACoolRealtor.com or email Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

Just Listed - 5045 BIRKDALE DR

by Maureen Cool

Beautiful Home in Golfing Community of Highlands Ridge

Welcome to 5045 Birkdale Drive located in the 55+ golfing community of Highlands Ridge. This home comes beautifully furnished. This home was built in 2009 with custom detail by the original owners and has a very open and spacious floor plan. Walking up to the double tall leaded glass front doors you immediately notice the welcoming front porch and enter into a large foyer with the living room straight ahead. Beyond the living room is a bonus area with flexible space. This is currently used as the dining room but would make an ideal family room. A glass door open from the dining room to the brick paver screened lanai. Step on the lanai to a brick paver patio. This is an excellent feature to extend your living space when entertaining. The kitchen is to the right of the living room and includes a large breakfast area and pantry. The white cabinetry is stacked and has beadboard doors. A center island is great for food prep. To the left of the foyer is the laundry room with additional white cabinets. Step out of the laundry room into the two-car garage. The split floor plan has a spacious master suite. The large master bathroom has dual sink vanities, step-in shower, linen closet and a compartment for the toilet. The guest bedroom and hall bathroom are direct to the right of the foyer upon entering and have a pocket door closing off the hall from the foyer for your guest's privacy. There is an office/den adjacent to the living room. This space will make a third bedroom if need with a sleeper sofa. The home is loaded with upgrades including hardwood floor, plantation shutters, and crown molding. Surround sound throughout was recently installed. The villa section has a private pool separate from the community. Highlands Ridge has lots to offer with two championship golf courses, tennis, clubhouse, community pools and a boat dock at the lake. Some say this is Highlands County's version of The Villages! Come take a look today!

Contact Maureen Cool of A Cool Realtor for more information or to schedule a showing.  Visit www.ACoolRealtor.com or email Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

Just Listed - 102 Whatley Blvd., Sebring

by Maureen Cool

Spacious 4 Bedroom 2 Bathroom Home

This home has lots of space for the price. The home is freshly painted inside and out. The kitchen has a stainless refrigerator, stove and new countertops and tiled backsplash. Both bathrooms have updates, and the home is newly tiled throughout. Enter into a spacious living room that flows to the dining area and kitchen. Dining area opens to family room with sliding glass doors to the screened porch. The master bedroom has two closets and a master bathroom room with step-in shower. The original carport has been converted to a fourth bedroom or bonus room. Large in-house laundry room. Per owner, the AC is three years old, roof approximately seven years., Appliances approximately  3-4 years old. Backyard has a barn-style shed.

Contact Maureen Cool of A Cool Realtor for more information or to schedule a showing.  Visit www.ACoolRealtor.com or email Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

How Large Should the Down Payment on Your Home Be?

by Maureen Cool

If you are planning to buy a house, there is so much you will need to figure out before you start looking at homes and ultimately make an offer, sign a contract and close on your new home. Just one thing to consider is the amount of down payment you will make on the home you buy. Many people will tell you that you need a minimum of 20% of the purchase price of the home to put down before you even consider buying a home. While a 20% down payment is common, there are low down payment mortgages available meaning you may be able to put as little as 3 or 5% down and still qualify for a mortgage.  

There are some advantages to making a larger down payment on a home. When you have less than 20% equity in the home you purchase, you will be required to carry PMI (private mortgage insurance) and this can cut into your housing budget. This insurance will protect your lender should you default on your mortgage and offers no protection to you. It is paid as part of your mortgage payment so there isn’t a way to get around having it. The lender will remove this from your payment once you build a certain amount of equity in your home but that may take time and you can spend a good bit of money on PMI for years before you are able to stop paying it.  

A larger down payment will also look good to the lender if you have had credit problems in the past. Even if your credit issues were years in the past, lenders may be hesitant about approving you for a loan. A larger down payment can help that since you are committing a larger amount of money toward building equity in your home, which means you are less likely to miss a payment on your mortgage. If your home goes into foreclosure, the mortgage holder would receive any equity left in the home after it was sold meaning you would lose the money you made as a down payment plus any additional equity you built up making monthly mortgage payments. A 20% down payment just might be the difference you need to get the loan approval you want.  

Interest rates can vary and the lender might be willing to give you a slightly lower interest rate with a larger down payment. While the interest rate difference may only be as much as an eighth or quarter of a percent, when you are borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars, this can still provide significant savings over the life of your mortgage. The instant equity you have in your home with a larger down payment might also be beneficial if you were to need to borrow money in case of any emergency.  

What if you decide not to make a 20% down payment or you don’t have the savings for a down payment that large. Should you wait and save money for possibly years to be able to purchase a home? In today’s market, home prices are appreciating in almost all areas meaning a couple years of delay could cost you tens of thousands on the purchase price of a home if you have to wait several years to buy. Depending on where you live and the size of your family, you may also throw away thousands upon thousands of dollars on rent until you are able to save up enough money for a 20% down payment.  

There is not a right or wrong answer to this question. The best thing to do when deciding what is best for your situation is to talk with a mortgage professional or financial advisor to determine the best solution for you and how they can help you reach your goals.  

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may, help you determine the value of your home or help you find your dream home.
 

Maureen Cool, CRS
RE/MAX Realty Plus


www.TheCoolTeam.com
Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

Let’s Connect!

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Maureen Cool is your ultimate real estate resource for Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of klhh/pixabay.com 

3 Things to Do if You Plan to Purchase a Home Soon

by Maureen Cool

If buying a home is part of your plan for 2018, there are some simple things you can do before you really start home shopping. These items are not part of the formal home buying process but will ensure you are prepared when the time comes. 

1. Check your credit score. Even if you always pay everything on time, there may be something on your credit score you don’t know about. Don’t leave this to chance because it is a very important piece of the process if you will be getting a mortgage. When you check your credit report, review it for any errors or accounts you were unaware of. If you will be getting a joint mortgage with another person, make sure you check both of your credit reports. There may be something you forgot about from the past or even mistakes that you can get corrected if you know about them before the last minute. 

2. Find a professional real estate agent to look out for your best interests and guide you through the home buying process. People work with real estate agents for a variety of reasons. Maybe you drove by a house you liked and called the person on the sign, found someone when you were browsing online or have a friend that sells real estate. While none of these are the wrong way to find a real estate agent, they may not provide you with the best agent for you. Think about it this way, if you needed a cardiologist, would you just call the person on the sign or would you research your options and pick the one with the best experience and knowledge to help you with your condition? Real estate is no different. All agents aren’t created equal. A good way to find an agent is to talk with friends or coworkers and ask who they have used. If they were happy with their experience, call that agent and talk to them about your needs. Make sure they know the area you are interested in well and have the experience you need to help you should any problems arise. This is not a one size fits all business so make sure the agent you choose has the best approach for you. 

3. Start cleaning out stuff. If you are buying a new home, you will be moving soon and do you really need to move boxes of things that you will never use. If you are holding on to things that you don’t use anymore, now is the time to purge. This doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything but if you are holding onto things you haven’t touched in years, let them go. 

Once you are ready to officially start your home search, there will be many more things you need to accomplish. The agent you select will guide you through this process so you can achieve your goal of purchasing a home in 2018.  

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may, help you determine the value of your home or help you find your dream home.
 

Maureen Cool, CRS
RE/MAX Realty Plus


www.TheCoolTeam.com
Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

Let’s Connect!

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Maureen Cool is your ultimate real estate resource for Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of cafecredit.com/flickr 

Just Listed - 3240 Lakeview Drive, Sebring

by Maureen Cool

Carefree Living at Lake Jackson!

Welcome to 3240 Lakeview Dr.  This lake home overlooks Lake Jackson and has a private dock with electric boat lift built by Burke Marine Builders in 2014.  Lake Jackson is Sebring’s premier lake with a clean, clear sand bottom with over 3,200 acres of lake-life fun.Enter the home into the living room from the large screened porch.  The home is clean neat and move in ready.  The home is completely tiled throughout for carefree lakefront living. The open concept consist of the living room flowing to a dining area to the left and family room connecting to the living room.  A breakfast bar separates the dining area from the kitchen. The cabinets are original wood and match the built in dining area buffet.  The master bedroom has a private hall bathroom.  The secondary bedrooms offer lots of space for guest and are separated by a hall/guest bathroom.The large screened porch is great when entertaining and offer great views of the lake.  The carport is adjacent and can be easily enclosed for additional living space.You will enjoy the continuous 10 mile side walk around Lake Jackson for biking, walking, a quick run. This home is convenient to downtown Sebring and US 27 and the Parkway.

Contact Maureen Cool of A Cool Realtor for more information or to schedule a showing.  Visit www.ACoolRealtor.com or email Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

It Is a Beauty Contest: Preparing Your Home for the Market

by Maureen Cool

There is a lot to consider when selling your home and one of the things to put at the top of your list is the photos of your home. In 2017, the largest segment of home buyers were millennials and according to the National Association of Realtors, 99% of millennials search for homes online. The pictures of your home will show up on websites across the world and are the greatest factor in determining if buyers will schedule an appointment to see your home in person. I seriously mean the biggest factor. It doesn’t matter what the price of your home is if the pictures are awful when someone looks at them, they are unlikely to want to see it in person.

I am sure you have heard that you never get a second chance to make a first impression and selling your home is no different. Your photos need to say everything about your home and entice buyers to want to see your home in person right away. Now that we have explained the importance of your photographs, here are some tips to get your home ready for its close up. Clean and not a quick cleaning job. If you aren’t up for the task, hire a cleaning crew for a deep clean. Floors, windows, fixtures, baseboards, appliances, bathrooms and everything in between.

  • Have your carpets professionally cleaned as well. It really does make a difference.
  • Declutter and depersonalize all the rooms in your home. Countertops and table tops should be empty minus a single statement piece. · Clean out your closets. Nothing says not enough storage space like an overflowing closet. Don’t run buyers away because your walk-in won’t hold all of their shoes.
  •  Don’t skip the garage. How many people park cars in their driveway instead of the garage because the garage has turned into a storage space? Buyers want to see a spacious garage with room for their car plus storage of outdoor tools and sporting equipment.
  • Enhance your curb appeal with paint touch ups, power washing, fresh pine needles or mulch, a new welcome mat, bright flowers, a nicely manicured lawn and trimmed bushes, empty gutters and a functioning door bell.
  • Enlist an honest friend to walk through your home with you and point out the areas that need to be repaired. It’s easy to overlook things when you see them every day but a buyer will scrutinize every detail so you want to get ahead of them.

Once your home looks like it belongs on an HGTV special, have your agent send a professional photographer to capture its beauty. These photographs will be everywhere in a matter of hours so they need to showcase your home like a fine piece of art. The extra attention you put into preparing your home for the market will be noticed so have a plan for where to go when it’s time for your first showing so the buyer of your home can enjoy looking at your home in private.

Happy Selling!

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may, help you determine the value of your home or help you find your dream home.
 

Maureen Cool, CRS
RE/MAX Realty Plus


www.TheCoolTeam.com
Maureen@ACoolRealtor.com

Let’s Connect!

Facebook
Google+
Pinterest

Maureen Cool is your ultimate real estate resource for Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of erikawittlieb/pixabay.com

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 498

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Photo of Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS Real Estate
Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS
RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South
Sebring FL 33870
863-873-7243
Toll Free: 1 888 243-COOL (2665)
Fax: 863-385-5897

Maureen Cool * RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South, Sebring, Florida 33870
Toll Free:  1-888-243-COOL (2665)
Office: 863-385-0077 X215
Direct: 863-873-7243
Fax: 863-385-5897

 
           


 

Maureen Cool of RE/MAX Realty Plus offers real estate services to buyers, sellers, relocation's in the Highlands County real estate area.

Including Polk County, Hardee County, Okeechobee County, Desota County and Glades County.


Whether you are looking for luxury, investment, second home, commercial, bank owned, foreclosures properties Maureen Cool and The Cool Team are your real estate professionals for the entire Central Florida area.
 

Maureen Cool is your Luxury Home Expert in Highlands County. 
She can assist you with your Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid real estate needs. 

 

 

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Kim Hughes Real Estate Virtual Assistant

 

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Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on these pages are copyrighted by Maureen Cool. All rights reserved. No part of these pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission.