Construction Loans: What You Need to Know

What happens when you hear the words “construction loan?” Do you feel your chest tightening while visions of endless paperwork come to mind? Construction loans can be an intimidating process when you are looking to purchase a brand new home, but it’s an important process to thoroughly understand before diving in. This week we sat down with Pete Klironomos, President and CEO of Friends Bank here in New Smyrna Beach to talk about what you need to know when it comes to construction loans.

Simply put, a construction loan start off like a line of credit, said Pete.

“You’re just being charged interest throughout the construction phase on what you use on a daily basis, and that’s how the interest is assessed,” he said.

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Unlike a traditional mortgage loan, new construction loans are dispersed in increments that coincide with the stages of construction. However, before the money is dispersed the lender must verify the job’s progress.

For Pete, verifying progress on construction is one of the things he enjoys doing for his clients.

“I go and do all of the inspections myself,” said Pete. That means if a builder calls Friday morning at 9 a.m. asking for the lender to come verify the progress, Pete goes out to the construction site at lunchtime and then comes back to the office and gets them the money that same day.

“Normally that process takes a week at a bigger bank,” said Pete, which is part of what makes Friends Bank in New Smyrna Beach so unique.

“We watch over them, we keep an eye on them and let our them (the customer) know what’s going on,” said Pete.

Even though Pete and his team will take care of you during the construction process, Pete always advises clients to spend some time doing research on their builder before committing to a construction loan.

“The biggest thing I would say is to do your research on the builder. What kind of references do they have, how they pay their bills- that’s all very important. How do they pay their subs? If they pay their subs well, what kind of work do the subs do? They will do good work and they will always show up,” said Pete.

Even if you find the best builder, you should still plan on a few unexpected delays in the constructuion process. Rain delays or storm delays are common, so go in to the construction process knowing that minor delays are almost always inevitable.

Once you do get past the construction process and the day comes for the last coat of paint to be applied and the certificate of occupancy to be issued, the loan will typically converted in to a traditional mortgage, according to Bankrate.com, with the borrower ideally only paying for one closing called construction- to-permanent financing.

No matter what type of loan you are looking to get, be sure to always do your research on your builder and bank before beginning any process. As always, if you are looking to make New Smyrna Beach your home please contact us and we will help you make your Florida life a reality!

 

Happy house hunting!

 

Sarah

 

sarah@sarahcaudill.com

sarahcaudill.com

 

Why is Real Estate a Good Investment?

 

What makes real estate “the best investment on Earth” according to Louis Glickman? There are dozens of ways to invest, from the stock market to bonds and mutual fund, even gold. While everyone’s investment situation is unique, real estate is one investment that has stood the test of time and is what many agree to be a wise investment for your money. Here are just a few reasons why real estate is such a smart investment.

 

  • Consistency is key

A smart real estate purchase provides consistent, steady growth and increases in value over time. According to Investopedia, real estate provided an average return of 8.6% from 1978-2004. Not only that, you can do things to increase your return by adding value to your property. Buy an empty lot and build a beautiful home or renovate a run-down home on a great piece of land and watch your money multiply. There are so many ways to increase the value of your property; it’s just up to you. Like fortunebuilders.com points out, your own actions generally control your net earnings in real estate. The same can’t be said about the stock market.

 

  • Tangible vs. Intangible

With real estate you have a certain amount of control over your investment. You can physically go to the property, see the house and pick up the dirt in your own two hands. With other investments, such as the stock market, you never see anything tangible, nor do you have very much control over it. If your stock is doing poorly, what can you do? Nothing, except cross your fingers and hope it rebounds. With real estate you not only have the tangible asset right there in front of you, you have control over it. If your property isn’t selling you can put some money in to it, finally install those granite countertops buyers are asking for, and put it back on the market. If dealing with tenants is eating up too much of your time, you can find a reputable property manager to handle tenants and any issues that arise, sparing your valuable time. Real estate allows you to be in the driver’s seat, unlike many other investments where you are a passive observer.

FL life real estate

  • Make your money work for you

The saying goes that landlords make money in their sleep. It’s not just a nice thought, its true! While there are expenses when it comes to owning and renting out a property, when done right the rewards can far outweigh the negatives. Just look at the tax benefits. According to Turbo Tax, if you rent out your second home for 14 days or less over one year, your rental income is tax-free! That’s money right in your pocket just for giving up two weeks or less at your second home. And there are no limits. If you rent out your Daytona Beach condo during the Daytona 500 and make triple what a normal week would bring it, you still get to keep all that money, tax-free. Not to mention you get to enjoy your beach condo the rest of the year!

 

While everyone should do their own research before jumping into any investment, real estate is a clearly an option that shouldn’t be overlooked. If I can assist you with finding a Florida investment property or vacation home, please contact me at sarah@sarahcaudill.com.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Venetian Bay

Located just 8 miles from the heart of New Smyrna, you will find a majestic fountain paired with grand arches marking the entrance to Venetian Bay, one of the premier neighborhood communities of New Smyrna Beach. Venetian Bay offers miles of charming homes and townhouses, a quaint town center and amenities that make Florida life so attractive. This week we are taking a closer look at Venetian Bay, and why it could be a good fit for you and your family.

 

1) What does home look like to you?

When you think about your ideal neighborhood, what comes to mind? Do miles of biking trails, lush landscaping, charming homes, golf courses and pools sound about right? Venetian Bay offers all of these amenities and more, making it an inviting place to call home.

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Venetian Bay Town Center

The town center of Venetian Bay provides a fitness center, Venetian Bay Methodist Church and local restaurants for residents to enjoy without leaving the neighborhood. When residents do feel like venturing out, one of the best beaches in Florida is waiting just a couple of miles away, complete with dolphin sightings and some of the best waves and wide sandy beaches around.

If school zones are a big factor in your decision, Venetian Bay is zoned for Chisholm Elementary, Samsula Academy, Sacred Heart School, New Smyrna Middle School, New Smyrna High School and St. Barnabas Episcopal Private School. In addition, Volusia County has plans to build a new elementary school in Venetian Bay on 20 acres recently purchased.

 

2) Dust off those golf clubs

Venetian Bay’s golf course is the stuff legends are made of. The 18-hole Championship  course was designed by Clifton, Ezell and Clifton and is specifically designed to accommodate the newest of golfers to the pro golfers looking for a challenge. Venetian Bay Golf Club also offers golf lessons for those looking to develop their talents or golfers looking to refine their technique. After a long day of golf, be sure to stop by Champions Grill and enjoy one of their classic burgers followed by a slice of traditional key lime pie.

 

3) Completed communities

Venetian Bay offers 6 completed communities, all slightly different enough to satisfy an array of preferences. Parkside Townhomes offer the luxury of maintence-free living with exterior, landscape and irrigation maintenance provided and its own community pool and recreation area.

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Parkside pool

Marisol and Maribella feature 3 and 4 bedroom estate style homes, perfect for growing families. Tuscany Reserve homes give residents extra peace of mind as every home, built by The Johnson Group, has a safe room included designed to meet, or exceed, FEMA requirements.

Tuscany Reserve homes feature lakefront and preserve locations, while offering the security of a gated entrance. St. Regis offers French country design with slate tile roofs while Venetian Villas feature one and two-story floor plans. Tuscany Square condominiums are located in the town center of Venetian Bay and exude a Mediterranean atmosphere, complete with fountains and barrel tile roofs.

 

4) New homes

Venetian Bay is home to 8 new communities, so if a brand new home is on your wish list, look no further. Portofino Club Homes range from 1,800 to 2,400 sq ft and feature amenities such as solid wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances and granites counter tops. Portofino Reserve homes offer stunning golf course views and top of the line amenities, such as paver driveways, to match.

Portofino Reserve

Portofino Reserve model home

Portofino Estates homes boast above code construction with a 10-year structural warranty in a gated community complete with water and golf course views. Lakes and preserves surround Arbor Lakes, making it a tranquil escape but still within walking distance to the town center. Savannah Pointe offers one and two-story homes from 1,500 to 3,000 sq ft located with preserve and waterfront views.

Savannah Pointe includes the luxury of maintenance-free living and walking distance to the town center. Lakes of Verano homes include 2-3 bedroom floor plans, with many energy smart features, gourmet kitchens and a two-year warranty of Holiday Builders Coverage. The Estates at Verano is a 191 lot community featuring quaint cottage homes and coach homes with 7 models to choose from. Savona North and South is a community of KB homes close enough to walk to the town center and in the mid 200’s.

 

Please visit my website, sarahcaudill.com, to view homes currently available in Venetian Bay. If I can answer any question you have about Venetian Bay or other neighborhoods don’t hesitate to contact me at sarah@sarahcaudill.com.

-Sarah

sarah@sarahcaudill.com

How to Pick the Right Real Estate Agent

Scott and Sue decided to move to the tropical warmth of the Florida coast after years of living in Massachusetts. They decided to purchase a home before making the move, so they knew they had to find just the right real estate agent to help them with the process. After a few failed meetings with different agents, Scott and Sue contacted Sarah and Tim Caudill, a husband and wife real estate team in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Sarah and Tim helped them secure their dream home and today Scott and Sue are happily settled and living the Florida life in their dream home. Here are some of Scott and Sue’s top tips for picking a real estate agent!

  • Finding the right agent doesn’t just happen.

There are hundreds of real estate agents vying for your business, so how do you pick one? Scott and Sue thoroughly researched agents and read dozens of reviews on Zillow to find the agent that best fit them. While reading reviews, don’t just skim the page and tally up how many stars they have- really read through each review to get a good idea of what that agent is like to work with. Do they have multiple reviews highlighting how responsive and available they were? Finding an agent who is readily available and responds quickly is imperative in a home search.

“We called some agents and they wouldn’t even return our call,” Scott explained. One of the things that made Tim and Sarah stand out was their responsiveness, said Scott.

While looking at an agent’s Zillow reviews and profile, don’t be mesmerized by dozens of listings. Do you want to hire an agent who has 30 listings and multiple buyers all vying for their time and attention? Pick an agent with listings, but not so many listings that you will get lost in the crowd.

Finish your research by calling them up try to get to know them. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions, especially about their knowledge of the area or if they have sold many homes like the one you are looking for.

Finally, after talking with an agent but before declaring that you have found the one, check their license. Real estate agents must participate in continuing education in order to keep their license current and active. Check out your local Department of Business and Professional Regulation website and search under real estate licensees. Make sure their license says current and active. If their license is current and inactive or null and void, slowly step away!

Pro tip: Residents of Florida can download the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s app to look up licensees. Search DBPR Florida in the app store and download it to keep it at your fingertips!

  •  You don’t get what you don’t ask for.

Negotiating one of the largest investments you probably ever make isn’t for the faint of heart and shouldn’t be left to an amateur. A good agent has hundreds of negotiations under their belt and understands the best approach to take. Talk to your potential agent and ask them how they handle negotiations. Getting an agent skilled in negotiations can often mean the difference between purchasing the home of your dreams or watching the deal fall apart.

In addition to negotiation, a good agent will be your ally and help you navigate through the sea of paperwork that will be waiting for you once your offer is accepted. Questions will undoubtedly arise, so make sure you find a agent who is skilled in follow-up and thorough communication.

“Tim and Sarah always had the answers or got back to us right away about the paperwork,” said Scott. They really knew how to handle the paperwork and that just made the process easy, said Sue.

sarahcauill blog

  • It’s not just about the money.

Are you a client or a commission? An agent who loves their job will stand out- their energy, enthusiasm, dedication and integrity will make it crystal clear that it is not just about a commission for them. Additionally, a good agent will be honest with you and tell you the truth- even when you don’t want to hear it or when it could cost them a sale. The right agent will never push you to make an offer on a home you aren’t sure about or push you too far out of your budget.

“Tim and Sarah never pressured us to buy. You could tell that a sale didn’t matter to them- they just wanted to make sure we were happy. We even went to a few houses and they would say no, this isn’t a good deal for you and we wouldn’t even go in.,” said Scott, who appreciated their honesty.

There is a lot to consider when picking an agent. Follow these tips and don’t let the process intimidate you- the right agent will be with you every step of the way!

Happy house hunting!

 

 

2015 Sales $6.537 Million

I am very honored to have helped so many families buy and sell property in Volusia County during 2015! Thank you for putting your trust in me!  I am looking forward to a great 2016!!

About Sarah Caudill, MBA

 www.SarahCaudill.com – Sarah Caudill epitomizes professionalism, commitment, and integrity in every detail of your real estate transaction.  Sarah is a Florida native who understands our unique market.  When selecting a real estate agent in New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach, Edgewater, Ponce Inlet, and Port Orange, strong knowledge of the community, strong negotiation skills, and a commitment to providing excellent service are all crucial elements.  Sarah helps both buyers and sellers meet their real estate objectives. Sarah will work tirelessly on your behalf to make your next home buying or home selling experience a pleasant and successful one.

How long will it take to sell my home in New Smyrna Beach FL?

Views from Ebb Tide - www.sarahcaudill.com

Views from Ebb Tide – http://www.sarahcaudill.com

New Smyrna Beach Realtor

One of the first questions that sellers typically ask me is “How long will it take for my home to sell?”  This is not a simple question to answer.  There are many factors that go into selling your property.  Homes can sell the week they are listed and others take longer for that right buyer to come along.  Consider the following elements below when estimating how long it will take to sell your New Smyrna Beach home.

1. The Market –  

The most significant factor impacting the length of time it will take for your home to sell is the current condition of the housing market.  If the housing market is strong, your home will sell more quickly than when the housing market is performing poorly.  The good news is, the housing market in New Smyrna Beach is performing well as our inventory is low and demand is high in our city.

2. Interest Rates – 

Interest rates fluctuate daily.  When interest rates are high, buyers will be more hesitant to apply for a new loan.  When they are low, buyers are more likely to shop for a new house and apply for a mortgage.  Buyers can spend more on a home when interest rates are low.  This may bring additional buyers into the price range of your home.

3. Competition – 

Your home may take longer to sell if there is lots of competition in your neighborhood.  For example, if a buyer has made up their mind to buy a home under $275,000 in Venetian Bay and your home is one of three listed in that price range in Venetian Bay, buyers will more than likely consider your home.  However, if there are many homes in the same price range with similar features and amenities, buyers may not be as interested in your home.

4. Marketing – 

If buyers are not aware that your home is on the market, they will not come look at your home.  To sell your home quickly, it must be marketed effectively.  To be sure that your home has the best exposure, you need to find a New Smyrna Beach Realtor that is an expert on this area and who will invest their own money to advertise your property to the right buyers.

Visit my website at http://www.sarahcaudill.com to learn more about me and read my testimonials from buyers and sellers who have worked with me.  Contact me today to learn more about listing your home for sale.

Have you ever thought about buying New Smyrna Beach golf course real estate?

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Have you ever considered purchasing golf course real estate in New Smyrna Beach? There are so many advantages to investing and living in a home on the golf course in a place named one of the best cities to live in the United States. 

New Smyrna Beach, located in Central Florida, is a great city that has been called “Paradise” by Coastal Living Magazine and named the 9th best place in the US to live and surf by Surfer Magazine.  If you are looking for a place of peacefulness surrounded by water and filled with things to do?  Then you should consider New Smyrna Beach’s golf course homes for sale.  
Consider some of the many advantages of living in a New Smyrna Beach home on a golf course:

A Wise Investment for the Future

New Smyrna Beach golf course real estate is truly a great investment. The demand for golf course homes in New Smyrna Beach is currently high and should only increase as more baby boomers retire and relocate to the most desirable parts of Florida.

To achieve the most value out of your investment, be sure to talk to an experienced New Smyrna Beach Realtor, who is familiar with our local real estate values.

A Healthy Lifestyle

Owning New Smyrna Beach golf course real estate makes it extremely easy to play a round of golf any time the mood strikes. Just about every day is a great day for golf in New Smyrna Beach’s year-round sunny weather. Spending time outdoors and getting regular exercise are both the best ways to enhance your health and vitality — and ultimately increase your enjoyment of life!

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Venetian Bay – New Smyrna Beach’s Premier Golf Course Community!

Venetian Bay Portofino | Johnson Group Built | www.sarahcaudill.com

Venetian Bay Portofino | Johnson Group Built | http://www.sarahcaudill.com

Venetian Bay is New Smyrna Beach’s most preferred golf course community.  This community is located fifteen minutes from our sandy beaches and close to Daytona Beach and Orlando. Venetian Bay offers walking and biking trails, an onsite fitness center, onsite dining, swim and beach club, and an 18 hole golf course.  With brand new single family homes being constructed daily to condo, town home, and single family home resales, there is truly a place for everyone.  Prices range from upper $100’s to mid-$800’s.

To see the current homes on the market in Venetian Bay – Click Here

Venetian Bay offers a Par 72 Championship Golf Course with an open layout that appeals to everyone from the beginner to the pro golfer.  They offer a chipping green with a practice bunker, a generous practice putting green, driving range and multiple target greens, fully stocked pro shop, and a fabulous clubhouse restaurant.  Visit www.venetianbaygolf.com

Portofino Estates | www.sarahcaudill.com

Portofino Estates | http://www.sarahcaudill.com

The gated community of Portofino within Venetian Bay offers brand new custom built homes constructed by the Johnson Group and by Platinum Home Builders.  The Johnson group has been building quality homes for over 30 years and offer safe rooms, tile roofs, 10 year structural warranty, amazing customer service, and water or conservation views available for new homes built in this gated golf course community.

Venetian Bay Portofino | Johnson Group Built | www.sarahcaudill.com

Venetian Bay Portofino | Johnson Group Built | http://www.sarahcaudill.com

Venetian Bay Condos

Venetian Bay Condos | http://www.sarahcaudill.com

To see the current homes on the market in Venetian Bay – Click Here

Why New Smyrna Beach FL is a Great Place to Retire

Retire in New Smyrna Beach | www.sarahcaudill.com

Retire in New Smyrna Beach | http://www.sarahcaudill.com

New Smyrna Beach FL is a great place to live and it is also a good place to retire!

PROS:

  • We have a strong small town economy here in Central Florida.
  • The average home price is $185,000
  • Population of about 23,000 people
  • Warm winters
  • High number of doctors per capita
  • Good ratings for bicycling, walkability
  • Average tax climate
  • Big outdoor recreation scene with boating, golfing, fishing, paddle boarding, and bicycling
  • Low serious crime rate

ABOUT NEW SMYNRA BEACH:

New Smyrna Beach is 50 miles East of Orlando, FL and 89 miles south of Jacksonville, FL.  The white sand runs for 13 miles along our coast with driving permitted on portions of the beach.  New Smyrna’s beachside is a barrier island with the Atlantic Ocean bordering the East side and the Intra-coastal waterway bordering the West side.   The elevation is on average 9 feet.  Tides change every 6 hours and average 3 feet.

Year around temperatures in New Smyrna Beach, FL are very mild and pleasant.  The average annual temperature is 71 degrees Fahrenheit with highs averaging in the 80’s in the summer and lows averaging in the 60’s in the winter.  Afternoon showers are common throughout the summer months.

Find a home in New Smyrna Beach:

Real Estate in New Smyrna Beach FL

To learn more about New Smyrna Beach, check out my other related blog posts:

7 Ways to Have the Best Weekend in New Smyrna

Where to Eat? 

Visit New Smyrna Beach

Prestigous New Smyrna Beach Condos

How to Create the Perfect Pro-Style Kitchen

Pro-Style Kitchen | New Smyrna Beach | www.sarahcaudill.com

Pro-Style Kitchen | New Smyrna Beach | http://www.sarahcaudill.com

All homeowners who cook need a beautiful kitchen that provides them with the tools to efficiently and effectively prepare meals.  Having top level appliances, the correct layout, the right counter surfaces, deep sinks, and plenty of storage is essential.  In the real estate world we use terms like “gourmet kitchen” to describe a kitchen that has easy to maintain surfaces and an abundant amount of storage that a “chef” would incorporate in their kitchen.  These professional tools will make your kitchen a realm of “culinary magic”.

1.  Lighting – Having the right lighting in your kitchen is important.  The best kitchens have adequate lighting in the food prep areas and modern pendent lighting over the kitchen eating areas.  Recessed lighting is popular as it effectively brightens your entire kitchen.

2.  Kitchen Layout – Homeowners that enjoy cooking and being involved with friends and family prefer open kitchen layouts.  Kitchen layouts that flow into family and entertainment areas are chosen.  Having multiple food prep areas allow for multiple “chefs” in the house.  Consider a kitchen island or dual sinks.

3.  Counter Surfaces – If you plan on spending time in the kitchen, it is essential to invest in surfaces that will not scratch if cut on, not be stained easily, and not be burned if a hot pan or bowl of hot food is placed on them.  Durable surfaces such as granite and quartz that will withstand the normal wear of cooking are typically chosen for kitchen counter surfaces.

4.  Appliances – Professional level appliances provide added features that make it worth the extra money.  For example, professional-grade refrigerators often allow the owner to keep multiple temperatures for separate food storage compartments to keep food the freshest.  Stainless steel appliances and appliances that are hidden with matching cabinet doors are still popular.

To receive information about how much your kitchen contributes to the overall value of your home please contact me HERE.