Navigating Home Financing with Rate Buy Downs

In the ever-evolving landscape of South Florida real estate, understanding your financing options is crucial. A mortgage interest rate buy down, especially in a market with higher rates, can provide significant financial benefits.

How Does A Rate Buy Down Work?

This strategy involves temporarily reducing the mortgage interest rate, resulting in lower initial monthly payments. For a 3/2/1 buy down, the rate decreases by 3% in the first year, 2% in the second, and 1% in the third, before reverting to the standard rate.

Applying It to a $750,000 Home Purchase

With the current standard rate at roughly 6.9% as of early December 2023, let's see how this impacts a 30-year fixed mortgage:


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Understanding mortgage payments can be overwhelming, especially if you're having trouble paying your mortgage. In the dynamic South Florida real estate market, many homeowners find themselves in this challenging situation. Understanding that while this can be a stressful experience, there are viable strategies and solutions available is important. This guide helps you deal with late mortgage payments by giving understanding advice and useful tips.

Understanding Your Mortgage and Late Payments

It's important to know your mortgage contract, especially your monthly payment and what happens if you pay late. Typically, lenders notify credit bureaus after 30 days of a missed payment, which can adversely affect your credit.

Many mortgages have a grace…

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The State of the Housing Cycle: Insights from Experts

For prospective homebuyers in South Florida, the current market dynamics present a challenging yet stable landscape. Ken H. Johnson, a noted real estate economist at Florida Atlantic University, observes that while we're possibly at the apex of the housing cycle, with sales moderating and prices leveling, this doesn't necessarily foretell a market crash. According to Johnson, the equilibrium we're seeing is characteristic of a market at its cycle's zenith. The consensus among housing economists is that a significant downturn is unlikely, primarily due to the imbalance between the limited housing inventory and the high demand in Southeast Florida.

This imbalance, where demand continuously…

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These HUGE updates in the real estate market could significantly impact your home buying or selling plans. And they’re not just interesting – they're potentially game-changing!

Increased Loan Limits

Let's dive into the big news first: the increase in loan limits. The conventional loan limit has now been increased to $765,550, and the FHA loan limit has risen to $621,000.

What does that mean?

Any mortgage amount above these new loan limits is considered a Jumbo loan which usually has stricter requirements to qualify such as higher credit scores, higher down payments, and lower debt-to-income ratios.

You can now buy a home for up to $805,000 with only 5% down using a conventional loan. If you’re getting an FHA loan, you can now buy a home for…

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Just when we thought mortgage rates were on a one-way trip to the sky, they've thrown us a curveball. Last week, we were looking at a pretty steep 7.92% for the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate. Fast forward to today, and it's like we're in a whole new world – and a much better one for anyone thinking about buying or selling a home!

We saw something similar last November when rates had shot up to new highs before some unexpectedly good economic news came along and gave them a nudge back down.

Last year, it was a surprisingly low inflation report that got everyone's hopes up. But that turned out to be a bit of a tease, and rates didn't really start to come down until February 2023. Since then, it's been mostly uphill.

This week, though,…

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While the prospect of mortgage rates exceeding 8% has garnered attention, it's unlikely to bring about a seismic shift in the housing landscape.

Affordability Concerns

In today's market in South Florida, a household income of approximately $159,000 is needed to afford an average home with 8% interest rates assuming a 10% down payment. This is particularly relevant for South Florida, where the cost of living can be higher than other regions and the "average home" starts at a much higher price than many parts of the country.

The Real Solution: More Homes

The ultimate remedy for enhancing housing affordability lies in increasing the supply of homes. This is especially pertinent for Broward and Palm Beach Counties, where the demand for…

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Hello, I'm Andy with the Mandel Team at REMAX. Today, I bring you the October 2023 housing market update. We'll focus on single-family homes in Boca, Parkland, and Coral Springs, where our team does the majority of our business. Let's dive in.

The Stats That Matter

We aim to give you leading indicators to show where the housing market is headed, not where it's been. Media often talks about closed sales prices, which reflect the market 30, 60, or even 90 days ago. We want you to know what's happening now.

New Listings: The Supply

  • Boca: Up 6% compared to September 2022
  • Parkland: 20% fewer listings
  • Coral Springs: 17% fewer listings

Pending Sales: The Demand

  • Boca: Up 16.4% compared to last year

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There are many national headlines about the real estate market that may make you feel uneasy and like a major issue is brewing. It’s important to look at not only the national housing market but specifically the hyper-local South Florida market to really get an understanding of what’s happening.

National Housing Market Stats

Nationally in August 2023, the number of pending home sales dropped 7.1% compared to July and plummeted 18.7% compared to August 2022. These figures represent homes that have entered into a contract but have not yet closed, serving as a leading indicator for existing-home sales in the coming 1 to 2 months.

South Florida Housing Market Stats

But while those numbers do sound bad, lets look at the local South Florida housing…

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I wanted to bring to your attention some critical changes happening in Florida's homeowners insurance landscape that could affect you.

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a state-run insurance company, has initiated a "depopulation program" aimed at reducing its number of policyholders. More than 300,000 homeowners have received an offer letter from private insurance companies as part of this initiative. The deadline to respond to these offers has been extended to October 10th due to a vendor's mailing delay.

Here's what you need to know:

Increased Rates

Some homeowners have reported a significant increase in their insurance rates—up to 61% in some cases—when switching from Citizens to a private insurer.

Mandatory Response

If you've…

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If you’re considering a move to the vibrant and sun-soaked city of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, you’ve come to the right place. As real estate agents, we’re here to give you the inside scoop on what it’s like to live in this beautiful coastal paradise. From the sparkling beaches to the bustling downtown scene, we’ll cover the pros and cons of Fort Lauderdale and everything you need to know before making this sunny city your new home.

Pros of Living in Fort Lauderdale

Picture yourself basking in the golden Florida sun, toes in the warm sand, and a gentle sea breeze brushing against your skin. Fort Lauderdale is a coastal gem that offers residents a unique blend of tropical paradise and urban allure. In this section, we’ll take a look at the advantages…

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