Best Wishes for a Happy New Year in Your Cape Coral Home!

Happy New Year! Now that the champagne corks have been popped and Auld Lang Syne sung, the clean slate of a fresh year may have you busily writing up resolution lists of 2012 goals. 

Top of the list for my goals is to continue providing exceptional customer service to my clients! Whether you’re a long-standing client I’ve seen through several purchases or a first-time home buyer considering taking the plunge, I want to make sure you’re as happy as you can be with your Cape Coral home.  I always welcome suggestions on how I may be of more help, so please connect with me and share your thoughts.  

If you’re like many Americans, your resolutions probably involve ways to become healthier and happier. Buying your first Cape Coral home or moving to a home that better fits your needs could certainly add to a happier 2012.  

Maybe your family is growing and you need more room. Or maybe the kids have grown and gone, and you’d like to downsize to a more manageable space. Perhaps you’re considering investing in a second home; now that prices are low, buying a second home makes sense as a long-term investment.   

I believe in envisioning the future you want. So make a plan today that includes the Cape Coral – Fort Myers home of your dreams; a place where family and friends gather in friendship and good will.  

May 2012 bring you fresh opportunities to realize your dreams. And again, Happy New Year!
If I can help with your Cape Coral  Real Estate Questions please call me at 239-699-0142 and please visit the best Cape Coral Real Estate Site at:

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How to Avoid Paying Private Mortgage Insurance on Your Cape Coral Real Estate

If you get a mortgage for more than 80% of your Cape Coral real estate’s fair market value, your lender will require that you pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI payments are expensive at about 0.5% to 1% of the entire loan amount on an annual basis.

Obviously, it would be a good thing if you didn’t have to pay PMI. To help you achieve that goal, here are several tips to avoid paying PMI on your Cape Coral real estate:

• Save for a big down payment: The easiest way to avoid PMI is to have a down payment of at least 20% of the value of the home you want to purchase.
• Borrow to get 20% down: Check with friends and family for down payment assistance. You can offer repayment with interest and still never pay as much as you would have to for PMI.
• Get a Second Mortgage: Getting a second mortgage to cover the difference between your down payment on your first mortgage and the 20% threshold for your PMI can make a substantial difference in your monthly payments. Talk to a qualified mortgage professional to discuss your options.
• Pay More Interest: Some lenders will waive PMI if you agree to a higher interest rate. Again, discuss your options with a mortgage professional.
• Consider a Less Expensive Home: This goes back to being able to hit that 20% threshold. As we’ve all seen in this tough economy, stretching beyond your means can have dire consequences if your circumstances change. Consider if you really need that extra bedroom and extra expense. If you haven’t saved enough to afford an expensive home, downsize your expectations and buy within your means.

If you’d like a referral to an outstanding mortgage professional or need help finding Cape Coral real estate that fits your budget, give me a call today at 239-699-0142 or email me at
Please visit my Website at

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Disadvantages of Selling Your Home without a Real Estate Agent

Is it really that difficult to sell your home by yourself?  It depends.  Do you like to market, negotiate and fill out legal documents?  If yes, you may prefer to sell your home without the help of a real estate agent.
Before you make your decision, consider these three disadvantages of selling your home as a For Sale By Owner (FSBO):

1. You may under-price or over-price your home.  If you’ve overpriced your home, you won’t get many interested buyers.  When you drop the price of your home a few weeks later, you’ll have missed the “new on the market” window of opportunity that brings in a lot of potential buyers.  If you under-price your home, buyers will wonder what’s wrong with it, and if it sells, you’ll be leaving money on the table.

2. You have to pay to market and advertise your home.  When you sell your own house, you’ll spend money on marketing and advertising costs including for sale signs, online ads, print ads in newspapers and real estate magazines, as well as the cost to be included in the MLS.  When you hire a Cape Coral real estate agent, they pay to market and advertise your home.

3. You are responsible for all the legal paperwork needed to sell your home.  This means you must know what paperwork is required by the state and how to fill it out correctly.  If you fail to do this properly, it can delay the sale or even leave you open for a lawsuit down the line if something is wrong or missing.

If you determine that listing your home as a FSBO is not right for you right now, hire a Cape Coral real estate agent to sell your home for you.  Although you’ll have to pay commission, it will save you time and effort (and maybe even money) in the long run. 

If you’ve decided to hire a Cape Coral real estate agent, I’d be honored to be interviewed for the job.  Please give me a call me at 239-699-0142 or by email at to schedule an interview. Please visit my websites at:

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Buying Cape Coral Real Estate: What if the Appraised Value is Lower than the Purchase Price?

Buying Cape Coral Real Estate:  What if the Appraised Value is Lower than the Purchase Price?

What happens if you have a signed contract to purchase a piece of Cape Coral real estate and the appraised value comes in lower than your agreed upon purchase price?   Unfortunately, that’s happening more often these days.

Don’t give up!  It is possible to salvage the deal.  Here are four options to consider, if you find yourself in this position:

#1:  Ask the lender for a review of the appraisal.

If you are aware of comparable sales numbers or any other pertinent data that was not considered by the appraiser, provide that information to your lender and ask for a review of the appraisal.  If problems are found with the first appraisal, ask your lender to order a second appraisal by a qualified real estate appraiser.

#2:  Ask the seller to drop the price to reflect the appraised value. 

The seller is in a difficult situation here.  If you cannot get a loan because the house appraised for less than the agreed upon purchase price, you can walk away from the deal, as long as you have a financing contingency in the contract.  On the other hand, if the seller will not take less money now, most likely, this whole scenario will play out again the next time around.  If the homeowner still needs to sell, he or she may be willing to drop their price to the appraised value.

#3:    Pay the difference between the appraised value and the purchase price.

If you’re willing to pay the difference between the appraised value and the purchase price, your lender will not protest.  Lenders are more than willing to put deals through, as long as the lenders’ interests are protected. Only pay the difference if you are absolutely positive the Cape Coral real estate is worth the asking price, and you’ve exhausted all other options. 

#4:  Walk away from the deal.

You like the home or you would not have made an offer; however, there are times when the best option is to walk away.  Buying Cape Coral real estate is not the time to let your emotions get in the way of sound financial judgment. 

If you’re ready to buy, I can guide you through the process of finding a home, negotiating a contract and getting an appraisal that’ll match or beat the selling price.  Please contact me at 239-69900142 or Toll Free at 800-820-3511, Email today to get started!
I have two great websites with all area Info or

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Atlanta Agents Worried After 2 Recent Violent Incidents |

Atlanta Agents Worried After 2 Recent Violent Incidents |

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Buying Cape Coral/Fort Myers Real Estate: What Type of Mortgage is Right for You?

You’ve been watching the news, reading blogs and you know this is the perfect time for you to buy a piece of Cape Coral/Fort Myers real estate.  You want to do all the right things to get the best deal, and you know one of the first steps is to line up your financing.  

To help you pick a mortgage that matches your goals and financial situation, here’s an overview of three of the most popular mortgages available today.

Fixed Rate Mortgage

If you plan on keeping your new Cape Coral/Fort Myers real estate for more than 10 years and you don’t expect your income to change, this is probably the loan for you.  Although fixed rate loans charge a bit more interest, the rate will never change.  This provides financial stability and the security of knowing what your monthly mortgage payment will be.  By locking in the current low interest rates, you’ll save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.

ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage)

With the ARM loan, the interest rate is usually very low at the beginning but can increase over time.  If you plan on keeping your Cape Coral/Fort Myers real estate for only a few years (up to 7) or you expect your income to increase, then this might be a better choice for you. If you expect your income to increase, an ARM loan can allow you to buy a more expensive home now. The drawback to this type of loan is that you do not know what your mortgage payment is going to be in the future; if the interest rate jumps dramatically, then so does your payment.  A particularly popular ARM is the 5/1 ARM.  The interest rate of a 5/1 ARM is fixed for a period of 5 years.  In the 6th year, the loan becomes a typical Adjustable Rate Mortgage.  So if you plan to own your home for less than 5 years, the 5/1 ARM may be your best choice.

FHA Mortgage

If your credit is a bit shaky, an FHA loan may be a good fit for you.  The qualifying criteria for FHA loans are not as strict as for traditional mortgages.  Also, because these loans are guaranteed by the FHA, lenders often allow you to provide a smaller down payment than they would allow for other types of mortgages.  If you’re in a time crunch, an FHA loan may not be right for you; processing times are typically longer than other types of loans because of the government paperwork involved.

If you have any questions about mortgages or need a referral to a lender, give me a call today at 239-699-0142 or email me at
Please visit my Website at

Posted in Cape Coral, Cape Coral homes for sale, Financing, FL real estate, Foreclosures, Fort Myers Fl Homes, Investors, Real Estate, Short Sales | 1 Comment

Realty Times – Real Estate Outlook: Economic Inclusion

Realty Times – Real Estate Outlook: Economic Inclusion.

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First-Time Home Buyers don’t foresee Payment Problems


First time HomebuyersProspective homebuyers cite worries about future unemployment, concerns about property affordability, and the local economic outlook as issues that hold them back from jumping into the market, according to an industry survey commissioned by Genworth.


But the Virginia-based mortgage insurer says these economic concerns have not translated into excessive mortgage stress among recent U.S. homebuyers. According to the survey, 87 percent of Americans who bought their first home in the past 12 months expect to easily meet their mortgage repayment obligations in the coming year.


Genworth’s new International Mortgage Trends Report, based on a global survey of current and aspiring homebuyers, is aimed at gaining local insight into key world markets. More than 9,000 respondents were interviewed from Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


The company says the U.S. is the most optimistic among all the markets surveyed about buying a home. According to the findings, nearly two-thirds of Americans polled believe now is a good time to buy a home.


Genworth says indebtedness colors how households around the world view their financial situation and how they approach buying a home. Western countries tended to have higher levels of debt, but were alsomore comfortable taking on debt.


Of the many factors that influence the decision to buy a home, consumer confidence is one of the most important. The company’s survey found that homebuyer confidence has eroded due to property market instability and worries about personal finances, leading consumers to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. Still, nearly two-thirds of Americans surveyed believe now is a good time to buy a home for those who can afford it. Source: Carrie Bay,

Looking for a Home in Beautiful Southwest Florida, just call Lilo at 239-699-0142 or email:
You can also visit my Website at


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Go Green in Your Home to Save Green

Go Green in Your Home to Save Green  Is it really possible to go green and save money without spending all your free time recycling?  Yes, if you start small and think sensibly.  You don’t have to singlehandedly save the planet. 
Keep reading for a few simple things you can do in your Cape Coral home this week to help the environment, save money and enjoy still enjoy your free time.

Make It
OK, you may be thinking, there’s no way I’m going to get into making a bunch of stuff.  Hear me out before you throw in the towel.  You can quickly, easily and inexpensively make green household cleaners.  All you need are a few inexpensive ingredients like vinegar, baking soda and lemon.

Buy in Bulk
Do this in a practical way.  Don’t worry about all that time consuming extreme couponing.  Stock up on staples with a long shelf life like canned goods and paper products, when they’re on sale. 

Don’t go crazy trying to figure out how to reuse your aluminum foil or dryer lint.  Instead, get a water filter and a reusable water bottle; then stop buying bottled water.

You’ll save serious money when you tackle a few weekend projects to maintain or upgrade your Cape Coral home.  Consider the cost of heating and cooling.  If you add weather-stripping, install a programmable thermostat or improve your insulation, you’ll save big utility bucks.

Borrow instead of Buying
How many times have you actually reread all of the books on your shelf?  Once or twice? Rediscover your public library.  It’s an amazing place these days that has gone way beyond just books.  They now have audio books, e-books, DVDs and video games.  All for free!

Want to buy a green Cape Coral home?  I can help you find a home that’s already green or that’s easy to convert.  Give me a call today at 239-699-0142 or email me at
My website for more information.

Posted in Cape Coral, Cape Coral homes for sale, FL real estate, Foreclosures, Fort Myers Fl Homes, Investors, Real Estate, Short Sales, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Non-toxic Ways to Control Bugs in Your Home, summer Tips from Lilo

summer tips

cape coral summer tips

Summer time and the livin’ is buggy. But before you run and start spraying pesticides, wait! Do you really want those nasty chemicals in your Cape Coral home, where you live, eat and breathe? Here are some non-toxic alternative methods to control bugs:

  • Keep it clean. Just like your mother said, don’t let dirty dishes pile up, and don’t leave spills and crumbs on kitchen counters. If you do, you’ll be inviting ants and worse into your Cape Coral home.
  • Use boric acid. You can get this odorless powder at any drug store. It can be hard to find though, so just ask the pharmacist where it is. It’s cheap, safe and effective. Just sprinkle it lightly wherever you’ve seen critters, especially along cracks and crevices.
  • Trap them. When it’s fresh fruit and tomato season, it’s fruit fly season. Who knows where they come from, but there they are. Here’s how to make a simple fruit fly trap: Put a dash of beer, wine or sugar water and yeast in a jar. Then cut the very corner off of a plastic bag and poke that corner down into the jar, keeping it above the liquid level. Secure the bag to the jar with a rubber band, and you have a funnel leading fruit flies in, but they can’t find their way back out.
  • Live and let live. They may be hairy, they may be scary, but spiders are doing you a favor. They’re every other bug’s worst nightmare. But ok, you don’t want them inside. Here’s the safest, most nonviolent, good-karma way to get them out: Get a clear glass or jar and place it over the spider. Then use a stiff card like a postcard to slide under it. This acts as a lid on the jar to keep the spider in. Simply take it outside and release the spider to live another day. Show the kids how to do this, and you won’t find any more bugs smashed on your walls.

If you want more handy tips like these to use in your Cape Coral home, subscribe to my blog. It’s free!

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