Graceville, FL Real Estate News

By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Is the Cost of Hurricane Insurance Worth It? Hurricane deductibles usually apply only when your home is damaged in a named storm. The Atlantic coast hurricane season lasts from June through November, with the likelihood of storms peaking from August to October. The East Coast and Gulf Coast are most at risk, though damage from wind and rain can extend well inland. Homeowners should assess insurance needs long before a hurricane makes landfall. Most insurers won't issue policies when a storm is imminent. The cost of hurricane insurance depends on a number of factors including where you live, what your house is worth, and how high a deductible you're willing to pay.   What's covered by insurance? Hurricane coverage varies by state. In general, homeowners insurance will cover damage from w...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Create a Home Emergency Preparedness Kit   Garage doors are particularly susceptible to storm damage. Learn how to reinforce garage doors before a storm hits. Additional home improvement videos can be found at DannyLipford.com.  Preparing a home emergency preparedness kit you hope never to use may seem like a waste of time and money. But when disasters happen that are beyond your control, you can take charge of how you respond. "What became clear in Hurricane Katrina is that in big events, the government isn't going to come to your aid right away. You have to be prepared to take care of yourself," says Rick Bissell, PhD, a professor of emergency health services at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. According to a 2008 FEMA survey, more than half of all U.S. households have some sort...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
7 Tips for Improving Your Credit Boost your credit score by paying the balance on your credit cards in full, and on time, every month. Getting the loan that suits your situation at the best possible price and terms makes homebuying easier and more affordable. Here are seven ways to boost your credit score so you can do just that.  1. Know your credit score Credit scores range from 300 to 850, and the higher, the better. They're based on whether you've paid personal loans, car loans, credit cards, and other debt in full and on time in the past. You'll need a score of at least 620 to qualify for a home loan and 740 to get the best interest rates and terms.  You're entitled to a free copy of your credit report annually from each of the major credit-reporting bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Keep Your Home Purchase on Track If a contract requires you to have a home inspection, schedule an appointment immediately. A home purchase isn't complete until you make it to the closing. Until then, the transaction can fall apart for many reasons. Here are five tips for avoiding mistakes that cause a home sale to crater.  1. Be truthful on your mortgage application You may think fudging your income a little or omitting debts when applying for a mortgage will go unnoticed. Not true. Lenders have become more diligent in verifying information on mortgage applications. If you fib, expect to be found out and denied the loan you need to fund your home purchase. Plus, intentionally lying on a mortgage application is a crime. 2. Hold off on big purchases Lenders double-check buyers' credit ri...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Understanding Real Estate Representation When it comes to representation in a real estate transaction, there are several options available. You have choices when selecting representation in a real estate transaction. Here are five tips for understanding which type of legal relationship with a real estate professional, called an agency relationship, will best protect you when you buy or sell a home.  1. Buyer's agency When you're buying a home, you can hire an agent who represents only you, called an exclusive buyer's representative or agent. A buyer's agent works in your best interest and owes you a fiduciary duty. You can pay your buyer's agent yourself, or ask the seller, or the seller's agent, to pay your agent a share of their sales commission. If you're selling your home and hiring...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
4 Tips to Determine How Much Mortgage You Can Afford Here are six surefire ways you can get your finances in order before you buy a home.  Homeownership should make you feel safe and secure, and that includes financially. Be sure you can afford your home by calculating how much of a mortgage you can safely fit into your budget.Instead of just taking out the biggest mortgage a lender qualifies you to borrow, consider how much you want to pay each month for housing based on your financial and personal goals.Think ahead to major life events and consider how those might influence your budget. Do you want to return to school for an advanced degree? Will a new child add day care to your monthly expenses? Does a relative plan to eventually live with you and contribute to the mortgage?Still not...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
7 Steps to Take Before You Buy a Home By: G. M. Filisko Published 2010-02-10 11:24:53 Follow these steps to ensure your home search is fun and productive. Most potential homebuyers are a smidge daunted by the fact that they're about to agree to a hefty mortgage that they'll be paying for the next few decades. The best way to relieve that anxiety is to be confident you're purchasing the best home at a price you can afford with the most favorable financing. These seven steps will help you make smart decisions about your biggest purchase.  1. Decide how much home you can afford Generally, you can afford a home priced 2 to 3 times your gross income. Remember to consider costs every homeowner must cover: property taxes, insurance, maintenance, utilities, and community association fees, if ap...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Pending home sales on an upswing WASHINGTON - May 4, 2010 - Pending home sales increased again in March, affirming that a surge of home sales is unfolding for the spring homebuying season, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). NAR's Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in March, rose 5.3 percent to 102.9 from 97.7 in February, and is 21.1 percent above March 2009 when it was 85.0; this follows an 8.3 percent increase in February. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which usually occur with a lag time of one or two months. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says favorable affordability conditions have been working with the tax credit. "Clearly the home buyer tax credit has helped stabilize the market. In the m...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
How do delinquencies impair credit scores? CHICAGO - April 23, 2010 - Fair Isaac, which developed FICO scores, used a comparison between two people to explain how mortgage delinquencies affect credit scores.Fair Isaac derived these numbers from a theoretical calculation based on hypothetical borrowers - one with an initial score of 680 and one with an initial score of 780. FICO scores range from 300 to 850.The hypothetical person behind the 680 score had six credit accounts, while the person with the 780 score had 10. The consumer with the 780 score had no missed payments other than the mortgage; the 680 example had two late payments before they failed to pay the mortgage.After a mortgage payment problem, the two scores would look like this: After a 30-day delinquency, the 680 score dro...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Home-mortgage rates fell this week, returning to levels seen two weeks ago, according to Freddie Mac's weekly survey of conforming rates, released on Thursday. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.07% for the week ended April 15, down from 5.21% last week. A year ago, the mortgage averaged 4.82%. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.40%, down from 4.52% last week and 4.48% a year ago. The five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.08%, down from 4.25% last week and 4.88% a year ago. And the one-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 4.13%, down from 4.14% last week and 4.91% a year ago. "After rising for four consecutive weeks, mortgage rates eased back to where they were two weeks ago and still remain historically low," said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Bills introduced to extend ‘zero down' home loans
 WASHINGTON - April 16, 2010 - A pair of U.S. House legislators are rallying support on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program, one of only a few remaining residential finance options that do not require a downpayment.Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) have filed separate bills that would generate new funding for the mortgage program - which is on track to deplete its appropriation for the fiscal year in the approaching weeks - by increasing fees on the loans.The lawmakers hope to move the measures through committee and to the House floor with due urgency, since the busy spring selling season for real estate is already underway. Standing behind ...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Health coverage scams spread WASHINGTON - April 13, 2010 - Bogus health plans that advertise comprehensive coverage at bargain prices are on the rise, luring desperate consumers to pay for policies that won't cover their medical bills, state regulators say.In recent weeks, Missouri has cracked down on 13 companies. California has ordered firms to stop selling misleading health discount cards. Tennessee regulators have seized a company they allege collected more than $14 million from people across the country - then stranded them with unpaid bills."I've never seen anything like this," said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland, who said the bad economy has fueled the uptick in scams.James Quiggle of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, which represents consumers and insurers, sai...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
WASHINGTON (AP) - April 9, 2010 - Rates for 30-year home loans surged last week, rising to the highest level in eight months due to the improving economy and the end of a government push to keep rates low.The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 5.21 percent this week, up from 5.08 percent a week earlier, Freddie Mac said Thursday. That's the highest since mid-August, when the average rate was 5.29 percent.Rates had dropped to a record low of 4.71 percent in December, pushed down by a campaign by the Federal Reserve to reduce borrowing costs for consumers. The program ended last week, but the Fed left the door open to reviving the program if the economy weakens.Freddie Mac collects mortgage rates on Monday through Wednesday of each week from lenders around the country. Rate...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
IRS offers info on tax credits  IRS Tax Tips WASHINGTON - April 13, 2010 - U.S. taxes can be offset by a number of real estate-related credits and deductions, and the IRS offers information on each. Karen Russell, real estate industry liaison for Georgia, and in this instance, Florida as well, compiled a list of educational documents for the real estate industry to share with homebuyers and sellers. "I am sharing the following links regarding credits available to first time homebuyers and long-term homeowners wishing to replace their primary residence," Russell says. "This information can be printed and placed for easy viewing" by interested buyers and sellers. Energy Incentives for Individuals: http://www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=206875,00.html Seven Facts about the Non-business ...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Just as there are physical laws that govern the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws which govern your relationship with God.  1. God LOVES you and offers a wonderful PLAN for your life. God's Love "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16 NIV). God's Plan [Christ speaking] "I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly" [that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10). Why is it that most people are not experiencing the abundant life? Because... 2. Man is SINFUL and SEPARATED from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God's love and plan for his life. Man Is Sinful "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Man was created to h...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Who may apply Community Programs provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population.  Grants are authorized on a graduated scale.  Applicants located in small communities with low populations and low incomes will receive a higher percentage of grants. Grants are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, and special-purpose districts, as well as non-profit corporations and tribal governments. In addition, applicants must have the legal authority necessary for construction, operation, and maintenance of the proposed facility and also be unable to obtain needed funds from commercial sources at reasonable rates and terms. Fund Uses Grant funds may be used to assist in the development of e...
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Agriculture Under Secretary Tonsager Announces Availability of Funds To Achieve Long-Term Economic Growth, Business Development and Sustainability in Rural Areas      WASHINGTON, April 5, 2010 - Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today announced that USDA is accepting applications for business and community development grants to help rural communities create wealth, attract more residents and become economically self-sustaining.      The funding is being provided through USDA Rural Development's Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) program, which provides grants for technical assistance and planning activities to improve economic conditions in rural cities or towns of 50,000 people or fewer.      "As a longtime rural resident, I am optimistic about Pres...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Graceville, Florida, United States is such a wonderful peaceful place, come visit us! Graceville may be the closest thing to a time warp in Jackson County. Many of its residents compare it to the fictional town of Mayberry. The old peanut mill near downtown, once the largest operating mill in the world, is a reminder of the past. This is the same place that became the smallest town to have a professional baseball team in 1952. Graceville became known as the "biggest little town in professional baseball" when the Graceville Oilers played in the Alabama-Florida League for seven seasons. The team disbanded when the league downsized, despite a passionate following in Graceville, including 3,000 fans who showed up for the all star game in 1955. The baseball team and peanut mill may be gone, ...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
The good economic news keeps coming WASHINGTON (AP) - April 6, 2010 - Employers holding out for more evidence that the U.S. economic recovery is finally taking hold got some Monday: America's service sector is growing quickly, and contracts for home sales are up.The big question is whether the latest encouraging signs will help embolden companies to hire at a faster pace and bring down the unemployment rate.Some economists and corporate executives say it could. And they say they no longer fear a double-dip recession - in which the end of government stimulus money would tip the economy back into contraction.Factories are producing more. Americans are willing to spend more. And the economy added 162,000 jobs last month, the most in nearly three years."It's much better news than we would h...
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By Christopher Shearer, MBA, “San Diego Mortgage Man”
(Mortgage Solutions FCS )
Green Acres Is the Place to Be The Recession Is Inspiring More Young Families and Singles to Head Back to the Country By GWENDOLYN BOUNDS In June, 40-year-old Shane Dawley and his 36-year-old wife, Rhonda, uprooted themselves and their four boys from their suburban Atlanta rental home and bought an old five-acre farm in Ogdensburg, Wisc. Their goal: Flee the rat race and adopt a more self-reliant lifestyle amid the troubled economy. View Full Image Rhonda Dawley Shane Dawley and his four sons, who moved from the Atlanta area earlier this year, dig for potatoes on their farm in Ogdensburg, Wisc. While Mr. Dawley, who had worked at a parking garage, hasn't found a full-time job yet, he's been working on nearby farms learning new skills (one person paid him with an old John Deere tractor),...
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