Archive for October 2015

Looking to purchase a luxury investment property? Here are a few tips…

Terry Riffe | October 28, 2015

1With the economy bouncing back, both here in the US and the UK, more investors are turning to luxury property as an investment.  If you are considering investing in the luxury home market, here are a few tips to keep in mind…

Work with a local expert. It’s important to have a Buyer’s Agent that is familiar with the area you want to buy in, especially in the Luxury market. A local Agent will be aware of what is on the market that suits your criteria and will be readily available for appointments.

Look beyond the photos. Many larger homes do not photograph well. Don’t dismiss a property based on the photos.  Google Earth is a great resource for seeing properties and communities from another point of view.

Have your financing in order. If you plan on financing your luxury investment property, understand that the process usually takes longer than smaller mortgages. Because the seller of a luxury property is normally only interested in showing to qualified buyers, it is important that you have all of your financial documentation in order ahead of time.

Bottom line is, knowing your priorities in a Luxury Investment property and working with a local agent that specializes in these properties will ensure that you have a pleasant and prosperous experience. If you are in the market to purchase an Investment property in the Orlando/Disney area, I’m here to help. Send me an email or give me a call 1 (407) 800-0888.





Fall is a Great Time to Buy a House

Terry Riffe | October 26, 2015

NOW TIME TO BUYIf you have been thinking about buying a home, there is no time like the Fall; Fall is a great time to buy a house. Here are just a few of the reasons why Fall is great for home buyers…

Sellers are motivated, wanting to close before the end of the year. A home seller would probably like to take advantage of a gain or loss during the tax year. You may find homeowners looking to make deals so they can close before December 31.

You have fewer buyers to compete with. You will likely notice fewer buyers at open houses, as many families have taken themselves out of the search market since school started. This means less competition and translates into more opportunities.

Price reductions on the leftover Spring inventory.  Sellers that listed their home in the Spring and are still holding on to it are reducing their prices. Whether they listed too high to start with or are ready to let it go below market value, either way, it creates a great situation for those looking to buy.

Are you ready to purchase a home? I’d be happy to assist you. Email me or give me a call 1 (407) 800-0888.

HOA Fees – a necessity if you are buying an investment property in the Disney/Orlando area

Terry Riffe | October 22, 2015

HOA FEES 2If you plan on buying an investment property in the Disney/Orlando area, you should be aware that you will be required to pay Homeowner Association (HOA) fees.

The HOA is a community’s governing body that sets/ enforces rules and carries out common area maintenance and upkeep.

A planned development’s HOA can make and enforce rules like what type and size of pets are allowed to possess, what color you can paint your home, the types of decorations you may have displayed outside or even what types of vehicles you can park in your driveway. And, it can enforce these rules with penalties, fines and even foreclosure. For this reason, many are not happy about having to pay these annual dues.

But, there are also many ways that the HOA benefits those living in these communities, many that you may not be able to see or are aware of.

Some of the more generally known benefits of an HOA are the visual ones. Benefits such as upkeep and maintenance of the community pool, gym and any community play grounds or dog parks.

But there are benefits of an HOA that you can not see. Your HOA carries property insurance and liability insurance on all of those common areas that I spoke of earlier. Property insurance on common areas such as the community pool covers any physical damage that may happen, much like homeowners insurance. this coverage will help when there is damage from wind, hail, fire or other covered hazards. Without this property insurance, residents could be responsible for the cost of repairs and this cost could easily add up to a higher amount than their annual dues.

Liability insurance is just as, if not more important as property insurance. If someone is hurt or injured in one of the community’s common areas, the cost could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the HOA didn’t carry this liability insurance, the cost could be levied against the community’s residence and you would have no other alternative but to pay. Otherwise, you could be at risk of losing your home.

Just remember that your dues perform a favorable function. Make sure your HOA is allocating your dues carefully. Don’t despise the fact you have to pay. HOA dues go to performing very important necessities and could in fact save you money in the long run.

If you have any questions about HOA dues, or if you are looking for and investment property in the Disney/Orlando area, email me or give me a call 1 (407)800-0888 – I look forward to hearing from you.

There’s never been a better time to buy a home.

Terry Riffe | October 19, 2015

black houseThe current demand for rental properties has created a deficit in the number of properties available, sending the costs of rent higher and higher. When you buy a home, you lock in today’s low interest rates for you mortgage. In buying a home and locking in your fixed interest rate, your house payment never changes.

While renting a home, you have no guaranteed monthly payment except for your rental agreement, which you will have to renew. This gives the landlord every opportunity to raise your rent. When you own your own home, you have guaranteed monthly payments for the entire time you own the home. This not only brings you stability, it also gives you piece of mind.

When you rent a home, you receive no tax benefits. Once you purchase your own home, the interest you pay on your home loan each month is tax deductible.

Once you own your own home, you are able to do any modification, changes and upgrades – all of which will benefit you personally. Whether in simple satisfaction of making your home exactly how you want it, or buy adding value to your home if you plan to sell it in the future. There are no long term benefits for you if you do any improvements to a rental property. As a renter, it may not even be possible for you to do any remodeling.

Are you ready to move out of your rental and into a home of your own? I’ll be with you every step of the way! Send me an email or give me a call 1(407)800-0888.

Selling your Home? Here are some Buyers’ Favorite Features to know…

Terry Riffe | October 9, 2015

SELLERS TOP DOLLARA survey released by REALTOR® Mag focuses on the current preferences of home Buyers. In knowing what Buyer’s are  looking for, Seller’s can now focus on improving these features before putting their houses on the market.

The single home feature that Buyers say they want most in a new home is Central air conditioning. Staying cool is important to buyers in all regions of the country. Central air conditioning came in ahead of walk-in closets in the master bedroom, backyard and fully finished basement.

Within three months of buying a home, nearly half of all Buyers remodeled or made improvements to their kitchens. More Buyers made improvements or remodeled their kitchen than their master bathroom, backyard or home office combined.

The three features that Buyers said they’d be most willing to pay extra for in a home were; Central air conditioning, walk-in closets, and hardwood floors. Buyers aren’t afraid to spend more on extras they really want.

Which home feature took the biggest jump in Buyer popularity in recent years? It is the desire for an oversized garage! 56% of Buyers who purchased a home without an oversized garage said they would have paid extra for one. Other features growing in popularity are hardwood floors, and granite countertops.

When you are planning to put your home on the market, it is important that you are aware of what Buyers are looking for. Making a few changes to your home before putting it on the market can ensure that your home moves quickly and for top dollar.

For more information on current Buyer trends, or if you are ready to put your home on the market – email me or give me a call 1 (407) 800-0888.

8548 Sunrise Key, Emerald Island, Kissimmee, Fl

Terry Riffe | October 8, 2015

Beautiful Emerald Island Resort home with private pool & Spa fully furnished!!!! Great as investment or vacation home, ready to start. Emerald Island is one of the premier Vacation Communities in the area very close to the Parks and shopping Gated and Guarded with a luxurious community Clubhouse House which has recently been repainted inside and brand new carpeting throughout! Home comes fully furnished and equipped for your private use or Vacation Rentals. Master Bedroom Downstairs with adjoining bathroom and 5 bedrooms are on the second floor including a second Master with a connected bathroom. Has a landing bonus area on the second floor with a Flat Screen TV and seating. Every room has Flat Screen TV’s including a larger screen in the Family Room. Kitchen comes with all appliances and has a large Island with 5 stools . The Garage has been converted to a Game Room. All wet areas are tiled. Large Screened Pool and Heated Spa outside. Great Corner lot location!

8548 Sunrise Key Dr 

Florida Home Buying Tip for UK Investors

Terry Riffe | October 7, 2015

Here are importanat home buying tips for UK Investors. While the US and the UK are similar in many ways, if you are from the UK and plan on purchasing investment property in the US, there are differences you need to be aware of. The following are some of the differences and how to work your way through them…

In the UK, Buyers are normally on their own and ‘Estate Agents’ represent the Seller’s interests. The Buyer is responsible for finding the property they want and then coordinating experts to represent them through the purchasing process. This can often become a very lengthy, drawn out process.

In the US, Buyers and Sellers are represented by ‘Real Estate Agents’ equally. The Seller will have a licensed REALTOR® working for them and the Buyer will also choose a licensed REALTOR® working with and representing them through the process. In the US, REALTORS® take a much more collaborative approach.  This is a very valuable service for the Buyer, especially one that is conducting business from overseas.

Tip: Choose your REALTOR® wisely. For an overseas (UK) Buyer, the local expertise and guidance of a Buyer’s Agent is especially valuable. It would be nearly impossible for someone new to a culture, it’s business practices and legal requirements to fully understand the risks they may be taking and any recourse in a potentially expensive and complicated transaction.

When choosing your Buyer’s Agent, be sure to use a licensed REALTOR®, one who lives close to the area you plan to buy in. Your Real Estate Agent will be able to show you all of the listed properties that fit your criteria. Their knowledge of the area and the process is invaluable.

If you are interested in investing in the Orlando/Disney Real Estate market and would like more information, email me or give me a call 1 (407) 800-0888. I look forward to hearing from you.