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Nov. 11, 2016

Latest Mortgage Updates 11/2016

No Surprises from Fed

Joe Manglardi
Loan Officer
Prospect Mortgage 

Joe Manglardi

Headlines about the U.S. election caused some volatility for mortgage rates over the past week. The Fed meeting and U.S. economic data had little impact. Mortgage rates ended the week a little higher.

Investors have been reacting to fresh news about the two presidential candidates. For the most part, news that favors a Clinton victory has been good for stocks and bad for bonds. News that favors a Trump victory has had the opposite effect. Investors are not comfortable with uncertainty, so volatility related to the election is likely to continue.

As was widely expected, the U.S. Fed made no policy changes on Wednesday. The Fed statement suggested that Fed officials are closer to raising the federal funds rate than they were at the last meeting on September 21. According to the statement, Fed officials are waiting for "some further evidence" of continued improvement in the economy. According to futures markets, investors think there is over a 70% chance for a rate hike at the December meeting, nearly unchanged from before the release of the Fed statement.

The statement also noted that inflation has increased "somewhat" since earlier in the year. The recently released core PCE price index, the inflation indicator favored by the Fed, was 1.7% higher than a year ago, matching expectations. Core PCE has been climbing at a very slow pace in recent months. According to the Fed statement, Fed officials expect that inflation will rise to their target level of 2% "over the medium term."

Source: MBS Quoteline

Single-Family Home Sales Rise to Highest Level in Almost 9 Years
Dwindling supply opens door for new construction growth

The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced that sales of new single-family houses in July 2016 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 659,000 — the highest level since October 2007. This is 14 percent above the revised June rate of 579,000 and 32.3 percent above the July 2015 estimate of 498,000. 

While the industry revels in this recent spike, home supply continues to dwindle. According to Reuters, at July’s sales pace it would take 4.3 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, the fewest since June 2013, and down from 4.9 months in June. It is commonly held that a 6-month supply shows a market to be in equilibrium.

Enter new construction
While the sales of new single-family homes shows excellent growth, Mike Kelly, SVP, Construction Lending at Prospect Mortgage, points out that “as much as we’ve had great growth and momentum over the last three years, we still aren’t even back to the 20-year historical norm. We’ve been at a consistent 12 percent to 16 percent increase over the last several years and we are at 654,000. Yet, the average is somewhere between 780,000 and 1 million per year over the last 20 years. Everyone is excited about new construction housing doing well; yet, we are not even back to historical normal levels, which speaks to high probability and the need for continued growth in the new construction market over the next three to five years.”

In a recent NAR article, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “Severely restrained inventory and the tightening grip it’s putting on affordability is the primary culprit for the considerable sales slump throughout much of the country last month. Realtors® are reporting diminished buyer traffic because of the scarce number of affordable homes on the market, and the lack of supply is stifling the efforts of many prospective buyers attempting to purchase while mortgage rates hover at historical lows.”

“If there are already too few homes in America for the numbers of people who want to buy, how do you fix that?” said Kelly. “You build more homes.”

Prospect Mortgage’s New Construction Division
“New construction is a huge opportunity to build our way out of this inventory issue over the next three to five years,” said Kelly. “So if you haven’t yet, you should jump aboard and learn more about Prospect’s new construction platform and all the capabilities we have to help our Real Estate Agent partners sell more homes.”

For more information about the New Construction market or Prospect’s New Construction platform, please contact me today.

Informational materials for Builder and Real Estate Professionals Only. Materials are not intended for use by or distribution to consumers as defined by Section 1026.2 of Regulation Z, which implements the Truth-In-Lending Act.” LR 2016-816C

Nov. 11, 2016

Orlando Market Report: October 2016

Here's the numbers for October 2016

Median Price

*The median price of all existing homes combined sold in September 2016 — $205,000 — is a 12.33 percent increase from the $182,500 median price recorded in September 2015, and was unchanged from the August 2016 median price of $205,000.

*The median price for “normal” existing homes sold in September is $215,000, an increase of 5.39 percent from the median price of “normal” existing homes in September 2015.

*The year-over-year median price for bank-owned sales increased by 4.85 percent in September while the median price for short sales increased by 15.56 percent.

*The year-over-year median price for single-family homes increased by 12.50 percent, and the year-over-year median price for condos increased 6.57 percent.


*Orlando home sales (all home types and all sales types combined) in September 2016 were up 2.59 percent when compared to September of 2015 and down 10.43 percent compared to August 2016.

*Single-family sales increased 1.43 percent year over year, while condo sales increased by 6.51 percent.

*Of the 3,091 sales in September, 2,766 normal sales accounted for 89.49 percent of all sales, while 240 bank-owned and 85 short sales respectively made up 7.76 percent and 2.75 percent.

*The number of normal sales in September increased by 20.52 percent compared to September 2015, while foreclosures decreased 60.33 percent and short-sales decreased 24.78 percent.

*The 4,594 pendings in September of this year are a decrease of 14.15 percent compared to the 5,351 pendings in September of last year (and a 7.29 percent decrease compared to the 4,955 pendings last month).

*Short sales made up 15.59 percent of pendings in September, a decline of 41.22 percent from September of last year. Normal properties accounted for 73.38 percent (an increase of 10.16 percent) of sales, and bank-owned properties accounted for 11.04 percent (a decrease of 52.75 percent).

*Sales of existing homes within the entire Orlando MSA (Lake, Orange, Osceola, and Seminole counties) in September (3,706) were up by 1.17 percent when compared to September of 2015 (3,663). To date, sales in the MSA are down 0.17 percent.

Each individual county’s monthly sales comparisons are as follows: 
• Lake: 2.92 percent above September 2015; 
• Orange: 1.11 percent above September 2015; 
• Osceola: 4.66 percent below September 2015; and 
• Seminole: 4.73 percent above September 2015.


*There are currently 10,362 homes available for purchase through the MLS. The September 2016 overall inventory level is 10.15 percent lower than it was in September 2015; inventory is down 1.36 percent compared to August 2016.

*The inventory of normal sales increased 0.07 percent compared to September 2015, while foreclosure inventory is down 65.66 percent and short sale inventory is down 46.08 percent.

*Year-over-year single-family home inventory is down 9.16 percent; condo inventory is down 18.75 percent.
*The current pace of sales (all home types and all home types) translates into 3.35 months of inventory supply.


*New contracts are down 8.79 percent compared to September of 2015. New listings are down 0.19 percent.

*The Orlando affordability index decreased to 161.74 percent in September. First-time homebuyer affordability in September decreased to 115.02 percent. 

*Homes of all types spent an average of 60 days on the market (up from 56 the month prior) before coming under contract in September 2016, and the average home sold for 97.06 percent of its listing price down from 97.31) percent the month prior

Aug. 19, 2016

How To Appeal Your Property Taxes



The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) says that up to 60% of homeowners may be paying too much in property tax. Typically fewer than 5 percent of taxpayers challenge their assessments, even though the majority who do so win at least a partial victory when properly prepared. NTU also offers a Homeowner’s Checklist of helpful tips for appealing your assessment.

Here are some steps to take if you think you’re overpaying:

  • Visit your tax office’s website or local office to obtain a copy of your property’s assessment (called a property card) and the instructions and forms you need to appeal. The appeal process can vary depending on where you live, so follow your tax office’s instructions carefully.
  • Scrutinize the assessor’s description of your property. Look for errors that inflate the value of your home, such as incorrect square footage, nonexistent amenities or an improper lot size. Any assessment error will help your appeal.
  • Compare the assessment of your property with recent sale prices of similar homes in your neighborhood. Try to find five homes that are similar but valued lower than yours. If necessary, have a Real Estate Agent pull comparable sales data (comps) for you. If it’s difficult to find comps that help your case, consider hiring an appraiser.
  • Build your case by collecting photos and documents that back up your claim, fill out your tax office’s required forms and submit by the deadline.
  • Pay your property bill on time. An appeal does not change your due date.

Finally, if you don’t want to do the legwork necessary to appeal, find a property-tax expert who will help you for a fee or on a contingency basis. 

Always consult a tax advisor for tax information and advice.

Joe Maglardi


Aug. 9, 2016

Mortgage Rates Remain Low



Over the past week, there were offsetting influences on mortgage rates. A relatively bond-friendly Fed statement and weaker-than-expected U.S. economic data were positive for mortgage rates. Comments from the Bank of Japan (BOJ) had the opposite effect.


Mortgage rates ended the week with little change.Mortgage rates benefited from a very disappointing report on economic growth. Gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic growth, grew at a rate of just 1.2% in the second quarter, far below the consensus of 2.6%. Two other major recent economic reports, the ISM manufacturing and services indexes, fell a little short of expectations.


Since slower growth reduces the outlook for future inflation, these reports were good for mortgage rates.Recently released inflation data also was good news for mortgage rates.


The most recent reading for the core PCE price index, the Fed's favorite inflation indicator, showed that core inflation was just 1.6% higher than a year ago. Core PCE has held steady and remained close to this level all year. The Fed's target level for inflation is 2%.


On Tuesday, the minutes from the July 16 BOJ meeting were released, and they revealed that some BOJ officials are beginning to question the effectiveness of Japan's massive stimulus programs. Bond purchase programs by the BOJ and other major global central banks have helped keep U.S. bond yields and mortgage rates low. Since the BOJ appears to be less willing to add significant additional stimulus, the minutes had a negative effect on mortgage rates. Source: MBS Quoteline 


Joe Manglardi
NMLS# 1128287
Loan Officer
Prospect Mortgage 

280 West Canton Ave., Suite 400
Winter Park, FL 32789
Branch ID: 37395

Office: (407) 618-0322 6
Cell: (407) 963-0451
Fax: (877) 622-2135


May 31, 2016

Sellerus Dilusionalus Overpricitosis: The Struggle is Real!

The Orlando home inventory has declined 11% percent in April 2016 when compared to April 2015*. The cause and effect of this? Well, the demand for Orlando homes for sale has risen causing for shorter days on market thus causing the overall median price for homes for sale to rise from $175,000 in April, 2015 to $191,900 this April*. Bank Owned and Short Sale values have risen almost 12% from the previous year. Traditional homes sales have risen 7% and condos over 11%. That’s great news right? BUT, there is a “toxic” side-effect to this. The (not-so) scientific term is Sellerus Dillusionus Overpricitosis. It is the condition brought on by the misconception that a low-inventory market will support any price that a seller chooses to list their home for, regardless of the sale history and comparable  properties in the area.
Symptoms of this affliction can be:
  • A disorientation that causes the seller to misunderstand that Active property values (current homes for sale) in the area do NOT directly translate to the Fair Market Value (FMV) for properties in the area.
  • A decreased attention to detail when listing their home (such as curb appeal, indoor space presentation, etc)
  • The misconception that a Realtor isn’t needed to list, market and negotiate the sale of their home with a buyer or buyer’s agent. (I call this the "brining a rubber band to a gunfight” approach)
  • The insistence to list their home at least 25% higher than the closest comparable that just sold last week because that somehow makes sense.
  • Refusal to negotiate with a buyer at any level such as; steam-cleaning the carpets, providing a home warranty, changing locks, etc.
  • And Finally that Zillow and the DIY and HGTV channels know more about the current local market than their Realtor does. They have to right? I mean those guys are twins man! (sigh)

Typical Short and Long term affects of this affliction can be (but not limited to) the following:
  • Limited or No showings of the property in the first two weeks (the most critical stage of marketing by the way).
  • An inability to fully absorb what their listing agent is telling them about the risks of overpricing their home.
  • A slowing of local market sales due to overpricing (this can spread quickly in a community)
  • A false perception from buyers and buyers agents that something is “wrong” with the property if it is on the market for an extended amount of time.
  • A feeling of panic from the seller, causing them to:
    • Overreact and “over-compensate” by reducing their property to below market value, thus losing money on their sale.
    • Miss the Summer market completely and potentially reduce their leverage to sell dramatically.
    • Blame their Realtor for not being able to sell their property at the above suggested price.
Yes, this is written in “cheeky” fashion but it doesn’t make it any less true. Yes, the Orlando and Tampa Real Estate Markets both have a low inventory of homes for sale and a high demand from buyers looking to purchase. Yes, this is considered a “Sellers market” but that does not translate in to “I can price it as high as I want and someone will buy it.” Maybe someone will make an offer but if its financed, IT STILL HAS TO APPRAISE. The idea that a cash buyer will see your home and have an epiphany and trumpets will blast and they will offer you whatever price you wish (appraisal be damned!) because they must have your home is…ummm...well say that out loud to yourself three times as you look in a mirror and see if it still sounds realistic? I have these cash buyer dreams all the time and then my alarm goes off. 
OK, in all seriousness, it’s an awesome time to list your home and you definitely can maximize your gains this summer but this is how you do I think you should do it:
  • Research the market yourself and speak to (interview) multiple Realtors that are familiar with your market about listing your home. Have them do a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) or a Brokers Price Opinion (BPO) so you get an understanding of local values. PS: All Realtors are not the same, so make sure you interview them thoroughly and select the one MOST LIKELY TO SELL YOUR HOME (pss: call me).
  • Know your competition and price and stage your home to make it stand above them. Trust me, curb appeal and staging are HUGE with buyers and perceived value but that’s for another BLOG
  • Listen to your listing agent and let them do what you’ve hired them to do; SELL YOUR HOME. They have a vested interest in getting you the most value for your home. Trust me, if you’ve selectively chosen your Realtor, you’ll have no need for concern here. (FYI: cheaper and bigger are not better. Its all about the agent and their skill set and you get what you pay for.)
  • Understand the strategy of pricing in your particular market. This is something your listing agent should go over with you.
  • Don’t major in minor details in the 11th hour. If you have an offer that has met your expectations but you’re balking on a $900 credit to the buyer on principle, get over it! Look at what your gaining vs. what your “giving up” from a bottom line financial perspective. The worst thing you can do, in my opinion, is to get emotionally involved in the final negotiations of a sales contract. Again, let your Realtor guide you and handle the heavy lifting. 
If you follow this suggested regimen, you too can avoid Sellerus Dilusionalus Overpricitosis and enjoy the rewards of selling your home at a great price in a great market! 
Simplicity A Real Estate Brokerage Company is a boutique brokerage specializing in the Orlando and Tampa Bay area markets. Rob Sassos is a licensed Real Estate Broker. For more information or questions, you can e-mail him at and visit us @ Like and Follow us on Facebook,Tumblr, Google+ and YouTube. You can also follow Rob on Twitter or Pinterest.
(*Orlando Regional Realtors Association - Market Pulse Report for April, 2016)
Oct. 22, 2015

Would Your Home Pass a Job Interview?

What Does Your Home Say About You?

So it's time to move and you're going to list your home for sale. You want it to sell quickly and maximize your selling price. Well let me ask you this, if your home was applying for a job, what would be the first impression it gave off? Would it be a torn t-shirt, dirty jeans and smelly shoes or would your house be dressed in a crisp business suit looking sharp and dapper?  

Not only are first impressions critical in your professional life, they are just as vital when selling your home. In fact, the first 5 minutes can make or break the sale of your home. A buyer's sight and smell are the first senses used to determine if your home is right for them. Unattractive landscaping, clutter, pet smell, poor ventilation and lighting can doom your home in the first 5-10 minutes that a potential buyer views your home. Here are some simple staging tips when listing your home:


1. Less is more when it comes to decorations.

It's important to keep decor simple and only accentuating the home's best features to create an inviting setting. Try displaying fall foliage or festive bouquets throughout the home.


2. Warm up the walls. 

A fresh coat of paint will always help revive the home's interiors. It's a great idea to keep the walls neutral yet warm and inviting. For the autumn season, pops of color with accessories in oranges, deep reds and yellows add a festive touch. 


3. Keep rooms well lit.

Open blinds and plenty of tasteful lamps through the home add additional illumination and highlights the home's best features.


4. Make it cozy.

As the weather cools down, encourage home buyers to stick around during showings by providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Accentuate the sofas and chairs with plush throw pillows and cuddly throws.  

5. Play up the seasonal scents.

Add to the welcoming atmosphere by burning seasonal scented candles throughout the home. Or, even better, simmer hot apple cider on the stove and offer it to potential home buyers.


6. Accentuate gathering areas.

Especially fireplaces if the home has one. A cozy fireplace is a fantastic feature to highlight during the crisp fall months. Arrange the furniture to make a focal point and set the scene for home buyers to imagine gathering with their own friends and family for the holidays and cold seasons.


7. Add a touch of luxury.

Layering the bedding with sumptuous fabrics and adding dimension with throw pillows will enhance the bedroom's comfort appeal. You can also display plush towels in the bathroom or drape a silky table cloth over the dining room table to give the home a more luxurious feel.


8. Curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal.

No matter how beautiful and inviting a home's interior, buyers won't make it inside if the exterior isn't welcoming as well.Especially during the fall season when the weather is turning colder and home buyers will want to move in and stay indoors. Sprucing up the lawn by raking up leaves and patching up brown spots in the grass will give home buyers the sense of a more turn-key purchase. They'll be able to imagine themselves hosting holiday parties and dinners instead of making a mental to-do list to rush through before the seasonal events begin.


For more information like this or questions about how we can effectively and successfully list your home, please e-mail Rob Sassos at

Sept. 24, 2014

Central Florida: Home Sales Down; Home Values Up & why YOU NEED ME

ORRA ( the Orlando Regional Realtors Association) released the August #RealEstate marketing numbers for #CentralFlorida. Though I don't find the data particularly alarming or surprising, I do find them enlightening or at least what they mean for those listing or potentially listing their #HomesForSale in #Orlando and for buyers looking for a little leverage in a rising market as well.
According to ORRA, the median price for in the #Orlando market for all homes was $165,000.  Conventional sale homes (excluding short sales and bank owned) median price was $190,000. This was a 6.45% and 5.56% increase respectively from August 2013. Bank Owned inventory increased 86.39% from last year. Possibly due to somewhat recent legislature speeding up the foreclosure process in #Florida and banks releasing more inventory due to increased market values.
Even with the increased bank owned inventory, #ShortSales and #BankOwned properties continue to have their 'bargain' factor diminished as short sale values rose 25.98% and bank owned properties increased 9% from the same time last year.
These numbers by themselves seem promising for sellers and for market stabilization but there are some not so exciting numbers as well. Available conventional sale inventory increased 56.81% and #OrlandoHomeSales as a whole are down 15.55% from the same time last year. Short Sales lead the way with a 64.93% drop, Conventional Sales fell 14.25% but bank owned property sales increased 30.10%! The good news for conventional sales is that they still made up 67.09% of all #OrlandoHomeSales. However, not all down ticks were bad. The average timeframe for homes on the market was 68 days; down from 73 days in July.
If you follow simple supply and demand methodology for a recovering market over time and year over year real estate market patterns for the Greater Orlando market, these numbers are not out of the norm. OK, Rob Sassos,if that's the case, what's the big deal about needing you? I'm so glad you asked! First, these numbers are great but the key is reading between the numbers. 
Rising property values and an increased inventory of #OrlandoHomesForSale means buyers have more conventional options than they've had for a long time. This in turn means there is stiffer competition for those of you wanting to sell your home. A yard sign  with flyers and a Zestimate from Zillow as a listing price isn't going to cut it. You need someone who understands your local market and current buyer trends. Someone who knows how to properly value your home and effectively combine Point of Sale, Social Media and Internet marketing with what your goals and objectives are for the property. But that's not all! You also need someone who understands the paperwork involved, someone who can effectively and seamlessly provide and communicate with any additional vendors you need such as; a staging company, title company, handyman, etc. (That goes for those buying real estate as well.) Finally, and in my opinion most importantly, you need someone who understands the real estate business and knows how to effectively negotiate a contract with you and for you.  So what I'm saying in a nutshell is: YOU NEED ME! You need a Realtor who understands your market and can effectively value your home. A Realtor who can create and execute a marketing strategy that places your home in front of the largest number of potential buyers qualified and interested in buying a property like yours at an agreeable price. A Realtor who puts your interests first and communicates and educates you every step of the way. Trust me, the easier your Realtor makes it look and feel, the harder they are working for you!
So in conclusion, Orlando property values are up and so are the number of properties listed. Now more than ever, whether listing or buying a home, you need the assistance of a trained and seasoned professional who is educated and skilled in the fields marketing, sales and communication and has a firm understanding of the #OrlandoRealEstate market. You need a me. :)


Thanks for reading! Stop by my website: and say hi or hit me up on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Active Rain, Word Press, Swarm, Google Plus, Instagram or LinkedIn. Wow! I need to get out more. :)
Aug. 21, 2014

OMG! The End is Nigh?! Are July Real Estate Numbers the beginning of the End???

The Florida Association of Realtors posted July's performance numbers last week. Here are my thoughts,opinions and observations about them.


Now before I freak you out with my headline, here is what Daren Blomquist, VP with RealtyTrac, said about the Orlando real estate market in a recent article:

"There's not bad news there for Orlando," Blomquist said. "The affordability levels are still below their historical average, and that indicates there's still room for price growth, even if interest rates go up a point."-Daren Blomquist, VP of RealtyTrac


That's right! The Orlando area is still one of the most affordable areas in the country to purchase a home (yeah!) BUT one of the LEAST affordable areas for renters (boo!).


Now not everyone seems to be paying attention: (Name is withheld to protect the guilty) in a local news article in June: "I think in the next 12 months, we're going to be pretty much flat," said real-estate agent. "With some good things happening in the Orlando area, we could see prices increase 3 percent, but we will likely see the median price soften at the end of the summer."


Now July posted numbers tied for the highest median price ($171,000) for the year, almost a 13% increase from this past January and the highest average price ($214,000) for the year which is an 8% increase from January. Interest rates were at 4.17%. Twelve months earlier they were 4.51%.


Another article I read said that sales are sliding too. Hmmm, if my math is right, which a teller at my bank is smirking right now, 1,889 sales in January to 2,431 in July is a 22% increase. Now did sales slide from this time last year? Yes, of course. It's called market recovery.  The big boy cash buyers like Blackstone, Colony Capital and Waypoint are slowing their (cash)roll due to pricing themselves out of their ROI and meeting their saturation levels. Did they shut out mom and pop investors and first time home buyers during this spend? Yes...BUT...they also helped increase market value. Sellers, you're welcome!


So to answer my article title, no, the end is not nigh or tomorrow nigh or next month. Will the big investors be missed? Sort of. Are lending restrictions too tight right now? Please, I'm a real estate broker! That's like asking Willy Wonka if the world needs more candy? Seriously though, maybe they could lighten up a little, but programs are there for first time home buyers and qualified home buyers. And another thing, don't think doom and gloom if you did a short sale on your last home or had a bankruptcy discharged. There are recovery programs and lending options that you will be qualified for quicker than you think AND you may even qualify for them now. E-mail me if you'd like to discuss this more.


So what's my predictions for Orlando real estate? Continued recovery through the "slow and steady wins the race" method. Hiccups here and there but Orlando, in my humble but biased opinion, is the place to be. Just look around at all the new and future building plans and community projects. 


Buyers just need to understand that the $50,000 almost new homes have gone the way of the Yugo (remember those?). Communities are stabilizing, new construction can be seen in once abandoned shell communities. Home values are rising but the quality of life and community is improving as well. More conventional sellers with well cared for homes are listing their homes for sale now. Which, in turn, creates a larger pool of qualified buyers. So getting a 'deal' is more of a change in paradigm than it is a thing of the past me thinks! Now finding a deal, making a deal and closing a deal...well...those are the things that require trained,proven and experienced professional on your side. They're called Realtors and I happen to be one. Just sayin'.


But enough about my opinion. What do you think?


Thanks for reading! Stop by my website: and say hi or hit me up on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Active Rain, Word Press, Swarm, Google Plus, Instagram or LinkedIn. Wow! I need to get out more. :)




Aug. 13, 2014

Orange County Tops Most Expensive Homes List But Will Anyone Sell?


Kudos to Orange County for having the largest percentage of residential properties valued at $500,000 and above. 14 of the top 20 zip codes reside in Orange County. CLICK HERE for the list of zip code rankings. The report also has Seminole County and Osceola County with three and two zip codes in the top twenty respectively.


The report, done by Esri and reported by the Orlando Business Journal, also breaks down the zip codes by demographics. Here is the chart of demographic definitions as used and defined by Esri: CLICK HERE


Now this report is all fine and dandy but recently I was chatting with another broker over coffee and the question was posed about the inventory of #HomesForSaleInOrlando now and in the immediate future: If a seller has an attractive mortgage rate on their current home (say, obtained in the Great Recession), why would they want to sell and finance the purchase of another home at a higher interest rate? A fair question for sure and one that got me to do some thinking and research.


Recent studies by NAR (National Association of Realtors) suggests that only a small fraction of people who sell their home (approx. 10%) factor in the gain or loss of financing rates in the process of selling their home and buying another. I also found out that a third of all home owners do not have a mortgage at all!


The primary reasons why people move have everything to do with family, job and quality of life. Upsizing or downsizing because of family, a change of job location or status or just looking for a change in community and/or neighborhood, climate, etc. are the primary factors for buying a new home.


However, a new phenomena that is having somewhat of a factor on homeowners retaining their current homes is the dramatic increase in rental income. Homeowners are finding that it may be more financially beneficial to retain their old home and rent it out than it would be to sell the property out right.  It should be noted that if this is an option for you, that you have an understanding of landlord/tenant responsibilities and obligations in the state of Florida or have a qualified property management company assist you. CLICK HERE for more information.


So it's a sunny day in #OrlandoRealEstate in terms of overall home values, renting properties and buying homes. Especially if you're buying new construction! Yes, we specialize in that!


If you have questions about  buying or selling a home in Orlando or require property management solutions for your rental properties please CLICK HERE or call us at 866-642-2052.


Simplicity: A Real Estate Brokerage Company is a full service residential and property management company servicing the Greater Orlando Real Estate market.


Professionalism, Integrity: Simplicity


Rob Sassos



July 29, 2014

What if the car salesman was on your side?


Remember your last car purchase? For most of us the response to that question is “Remember?! How can I forget?!  Many times it seems like your playing poker against the house with the cards stacked against you! But what if you had to opportunity to bring into the negotiations your own auto-sales professional who knows what you want and what you can afford and protects your best interests? How much easier and less stressful would that be?! Having an advocate in your corner is a great feeling. More people might actually like to go car shopping if that was the case. Now unfortunately, as far as I know, this is not available in auto-sales but these buyer advocates are available in #RealEstate where, on average, the deals are more complicated and expensive. Yet some people still choose not to use them! Why you ask?  Because for some buyers, they feel they can get a better deal if they don’t have an experienced representative protecting their interests. I know, right?  


Now “ A fox in the hen house” may be too drastic an analogy but keep in mind the first word in listing agent; “listing”. That is what the agent represents as well as the seller behind the listing. Even in a transactional agent situation, where the agent has limited representation to both sides as it pertains to the transaction,  the agent still has a primary familiarity with the seller that may cause some challenging relationship dynamics during the negotiations no matter how professional the agent or broker may be.


Here are some reasons why should have your own agent representing you when buying a home in #Orlando or anywhere for that matter.


  1. When you have your own agent representing you, it eliminates this potentially awkward dynamic of "who is the agent more familiar with?” or the assumption that they may be taking sides even when they are not.
  2. You have a licensed professional real estate agent and/or broker in your corner to educate, direct and advise you. Having your own experienced professional in your corner is priceless when you’re buying a home, townhome or condo.
  3. You have someone who understands your story. A great buyer’s agent doesn’t just show you homes. They first want to hear and understand your story.
    1. Why are you looking for a home?
    2. What is important to you and your family in terms of a home, location, community, timing, etc?
    3. What is your spending power? A great #RealEstateAgent will make sure you are pre-approved first and that you understand what your buying power is before you go look at potential homes. This may save you much frustration and aggravation in the future. 
  4. #Purchasing a home can become a very emotional decision and that may put a chink in your negotiating armor. A great real estate agent, in other words a Realtor, will make sure you’re focused and your feet are firmly planted on the ground in terms of making sure you stick to your financial plan while still finding the home that is best for you.
  5. When dealing with Real Estate contracts and jargon, you should always have a polished and effective communicator and negotiator. You need someone who is organized and understands the state and local requirements, regulations and paperwork. For this reason alone, having a Realtor represent you as the buyer and your interests seems like a no-brainer to me.
This also should be the rule when dealing with new construction homes as well. Yes, I said new construction too! The person speaking with you represents the builder not you. Yes, there are many perks available with new construction and the process can seem very easy but did you know that the same benefits and in some cases better benefits and terms are available when you have buyer representation? Remember, even with new construction, you want someone who has your interests in mind first. Especially when you are inspecting the home (yes, again, even with new construction) and negotiating price and seller concessions.
So in conclusion, maybe the analogy here is: “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.” You should really have professional representation available to you ensure your best interests are represented in one of (if not the) largest purchase of your life. Use it!Take the time to interview some agents, look up their credentials, see if your personalities are a good match and choose a quality Realtor to represent you the next time you purchase a home.


If you would like more information on buying a home in the Orlando area, please visit us at or call us at 866.642.2052.
Rob Sassos