Just Listed! Home for Sale in Hunters Creek

Open House this Saturday 4/17/21 from 11 am-3 pm
4503 Shanewood Ct. Orlando FL 32837

If you have been looking for a Single-Family Home in Hunters Creek with all the bells and whistles… look no further!

This better-than-new home offers a perfect layout, unique features, and tons of space for you, family, and friends to spread out. You won’t find your typical features in this home!

Even before you walk inside, you will want to take the time to appreciate how much you’ll be able to enjoy this spectacular backyard paradise. The rear outdoor living area is close to 1200 sq feet of Florida pleasure. The area boasts a paver deck, screen enclosure, saltwater pool with solar panels.

Paddle fans and LED soffit lighting with a 2-zone outdoor entertainment system. A fenced-in yard overlooking the pond and the preserve at Shingle Creek. There is a custom outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill/ refrigerator and more. The low-voltage lighting system adds charm to warm summer nights.

There’s no shortage of space here whether you simply want to have a small family gathering or invite others for a large party…this home has the great spaces you want to accommodate all!

The moment you enter the home through the Custom glass and stained front doors, you’ll instantly appreciate the warm and open layout. It starts with beautiful plank tile floors leading you into the formal areas of the home, featuring Key West shutters, custom paint, and trim work throughout the entire home.

This special home has a newer kitchen with tons of storage and deep cabinet pull-outs, granite countertops, tile backsplash in the 20’ x 14’ eat-in kitchen. You won’t ever have to worry about finding cabinet space here. Also Included are all stainless-steel kitchen plus washer and dryer appliances and touch 2o faucets.

The spaciousness of this home doesn’t stop when it comes to the bedroom sizes. The 14’ x 21’ master’s retreat is large and inviting, you may never want to leave it! Complete with a custom closet with a barn door, this room is built with both privacy and comfort in mind.

The master bathroom has two separate vanities each with its own cabinet space, a separate shower, and a soaking tub for those long days where you just want to unwind.

Three nicely sized additional bedrooms along with two fully remodeled baths tie this home altogether. A sunlit fifth room can be used as a bedroom/ nursery or as a home office for those days when you want to work quietly and privately from home.

Every aspect of this home contains a unique feature that you simply won’t find anywhere else. A newer roof, completely re-plumbed, and small features like a Lutron CASETA lighting technology, USB ports strategically located throughout. Loads of small details that take years to achieve and time to appreciate are all right here waiting for you.

A spacious family room complete with a linear gas fireplace, space for a 75” TV, or use the drop-down 110” movie screen. A state-of-the-art built-in Onkyo 3 receiver home AV system is included in this stunning property.

Combine all these features together and it creates a home that easily surpasses anything in the stripped-down new homes you’ll find anywhere on the market.

Hunters Creek has all the amenities you want in a community. Hiking and biking trails, tennis, and basketball courts. Soccer fields and playgrounds and of course dog parks for us pet lovers.

If you’re looking for a unique home with tons of features in a very desirable and convenient location, then this home is the perfect fit for you!

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PMI and How to Get Rid of It: Private Mortgage Insurance

How to Eliminate  Private Mortgage Insurance

What’s PMI and why am I paying for it? So many new homeowners, especially 1st time home buyers have no idea what PMI even is. We’ll break down what PMI is and even more importantly… how to get rid of it!

So many homeowners want to know how to eliminate their PMI aka private mortgage insurance.

If you’ve recently bought a home without giving a down payment of at least 20 percent, then you were probably required to get private mortgage insurance. Some new homeowners tend to get so caught up in the excitement of buying their new home, they didn’t even notice their insurance payment was a little high.

In the beginning, you don’t even care… but as the months go by and you check out your mortgage bill you say wow!… my PMI is expensive!

Of course, your first thought is “how do I get rid of this PMI?” This is actually one of the questions I get asked most often as an Orlando real estate agent.

The truth is, getting rid of private mortgage insurance isn’t that hard when you follow a few steps.

What is PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance?

My first-time homebuyers will ask me what is private insurance and why do I need it? Private mortgage insurance is in place to benefit the lender. It ensures the lender will be covered in case you stop making payments on your loan. If the home becomes a foreclosure, then the lender is covered against non-payment.

The lender considers you to be high risk because you didn’t have enough to cover 20% of the contract price. They want to be sure that if you can no longer make your payments, they are still covered. PMI unfortunately can substantially increase your mortgage payment.

For example, if you buy a house for 300k and your PMI is .5%, then you’re paying an extra $1,500.00 per year. That comes to $125 per month. That’s money you could’ve used towards other bills. The kicker is that PMI is of no benefit to you and only benefits your lender… even though YOU pay for it!

How much is private mortgage insurance?

The cost of your PMI will depend on a few different variables like the size of your down payment and your credit score. PMI payments can range from 0.3% all the way to 1.5%.

Generally, a loan with a smaller down payment will carry a much higher interest rate. If trying to decide between a loan with PMI and one without, you need to calculate the overall monthly cost of both loans before deciding.

When you understand these costs, it will help you determine what the best option is for you and your current financial situation. You should also consider other popular loan programs like an FHA mortgage.

No one wants to overpay on a mortgage because that’s just throwing money away! That’s why knowing exactly how to cancel your private mortgage insurance is of extreme importance to you.

How is PMI paid?

If you have to pay PMI, you should know how it will be paid. Ask your lender if you have a choice on how to pay for your PMI.

The 3 most common ways you can pay PMI:

  • A monthly payment which is rolled into your mortgage payment.
  • A 1 time fee when you close AKA single premium mortgage insurance.
  • Combination of monthly payments with a partial payment at closing.

Eliminating PMI Early

How can you stop paying PMI altogether? It’s pretty simple, all you have to do is pay down your mortgage to 80% or less.

Easier said than done for a lot of folks. Most homeowners in Orlando will take some time in getting to that point. Although this is the only sure-fire way to get rid of PMI early, you may want to consider these options:

Refinance to stop paying private mortgage insurance

You may be able to refinance your home if you believe your home has gone up in value. If you can qualify for a loan for less than eighty percent of the home’s worth, then you may be able to get rid of your PMI.

A few things to consider here… You need to decide if your loan rate makes sense financially. If your payment ends up being the same because of the higher interest rate, then it probably doesn’t make sense to refinance.

Get an appraisal to end PMI early

If you believe your home has truly gone up in value, you might be able to convince your lender to drop the PMI. By having a new appraisal done, if your house has gone up in value enough, there’s a chance you might be able to convince your lender to drop the PMI altogether.

The appraisal will need to prove that your home’s current value will hit the 80 percent threshold. Before ordering an appraisal, you need to make sure your lender is on board. If not then you’ll just be wasting your money on an appraisal you don’t need.

Upgrades may help you stop paying PMI

Another way to increase your home’s value so that it reaches the 80% mark is to do some remodeling. Keep in mind that not every upgrade will add value so you have to know what to upgrade. An experienced Realtor can give you some great advice when it comes to this.

At this point, you should go over the numbers to see if it makes financial sense to spend the extra money.

Increase your mortgage payment amount to end PMI

I have always believed this is a great thing to do regardless of PMI because it takes years off your mortgage. Even making small increases of $50 or $100 to your monthly mortgage payment can have a dramatic effect on your bottom line.

Obviously, the more you can pay at a time, the faster you will be to the point of getting rid of your PMI.

The best part is that you have the extra benefit of paying your house off much faster. Be sure to let your lender know that the extra payments are towards the principal only. Out of all the ways of ending PMI early, making extra mortgage payments towards principle gives you the most benefit.

Ending PMI early when you hit 80% equity

If you are in a position where you owe the bank 80 percent or less of your loan amount, then call your lender and ask for the insurance to be canceled. If you are in good standing with the lender, it shouldn’t be a problem. They will require you to submit your request in writing.

Requirements to cancel PMI

These are the requirements to cancel your PMI according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

  • Request to cancel PMI must be written.
  • Your payment history must be in good standing.
  • You may be required to show proof of other debts such as lines of credit
  • A recent appraisal proving the home reaches the 80% threshold

Read the fine print on your mortgage

It’s smart to look over your mortgage docs with a fine-tooth comb so you are clear on terms and you should read every document your lender sends you. Track your payments to check how much you’ve paid off so far so you know where you stand.

You should also be watching your local real estate market to be aware of your home’s current value. In certain conditions, the value of your home can increase a lot faster than you would expect.

Consult with your Orlando Realtor to find out what your home’s current value is. You might be ready to eliminate your PMI faster than you think!

Be sure to use a Real Estate agent who knows how to value a home accurately. Unfortunately, many Realtors in Orlando fall short when it comes to determining a home’s value accurately. This is a skill that takes years of practice and experience.

My final thoughts on ending PMI early

You should now have a much better understanding of what PMI is and what a waste of money it is that you’re paying to your lender month after month. You should make a plan using the information in

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Buying A Lake House In Orlando? Here’s What You Should Know

One of the great things about living in Orlando, FL is the abundance of lake communities that can be found throughout the area. Do you dream of living on the water in your very own lake house?… many people do.

Living in a lakefront home is a lifestyle choice that can be very exciting for certain people. However, like with buying any home, you should try and leave your emotions out of it and try to think rationally.

You should be aware of the considerations that go into buying a lake house in Orlando before making such an important decision.

Buying a house on a lake can be very different compared to a traditional purchase. That’s why you must understand the difference before jumping into lakefront living.

Generally speaking, lakefront homes are worth more than homes that aren’t on the lake. Even if it’s located just across the street, sometimes the value can be close to double in some areas. You’re paying extra to wake up to a beautiful lake view every day… sometimes a lot extra. But for some folks it is so worth it… myself included.

Even when the Orlando real estate market takes a dip, lakefront homes tend to keep more of their value compared to homes that are not on the lake. When considering a lake house, however, you should know going in that there’s a lot more involved than with your typical home.

There are so many things to consider before buying a lake house. That’s why I’ve put together some questions you should be asking before purchasing a lake house in Orlando or anywhere else for that matter.

It doesn’t matter whether your dealing directly with the seller or if you have an Orlando Realtor helping you out, the following questions should be answered to make sure you will be happy with the purchase of your new lakefront home.

What’s the current condition of the home?

Living in a house with a lake in your backyard can be lots of fun, but like anything else in life, it has its drawbacks. Moisture in the air, bad weather on the lake, and fluctuating water levels will all add up to a lot more maintenance than with a home that’s not on the lake… especially if you have a dock that extends into the lake itself.

Most all construction materials can be negatively affected by being close to the water like wood, stone, and even metals. It’s important to stay on top of the maintenance to avoid costly repairs down the line. It’s much cheaper to maintain as you go than replace every few years.

Like with any property you buy, you should go through it top to bottom, inside and out with a fine-tooth comb. Be sure to hire a quality home inspector that will reveal any issues before making any decisions. Bug infestations and wood rot are more common among lakefront homes than other homes.

Where does the sun set?

It may not seem like a big deal at first, but remember, you’re likely to live out the rest of your life in your lake house so be sure you know where the sun rises and sets. What part of the house gets morning sun? Can you see the sunset? How windy does it typically get in the backyard?

When buying a lake house in Orlando, this should be the top consideration.

Get the exact details about the lake

Lake communities in Orlando can vary quite a bit when it comes to the lake itself. For example, the community of Hunter’s Creek has some gorgeous lakes throughout the community. However, if you like boating and wakeboarding then Hunter’s Creek isn’t for you because the lakes are protected and they do not allow gasoline engines on the water.

If you’re into water sports like our family is, then you would want to be on a lake where you can use your powerboat like homes on Lake Conway. The last thing you want is to find out the lake where your house is located isn’t what you expected.

Spend some time and find out as much information as you can about the lake community you’ve chosen. These are some great questions to ask your Orlando Realtor when you’re considering a lakefront home:

  • What kind of bottom is it? Sandy? Rocky? Muddy?
  • Is it a private lake or is there a public boat ramp? [lakes with public boat ramps are a lot busier]
  • How busy is the lake normally?
  • Is there a sand bar where you can drop the anchor and swim?
  • Is there a lot of alligators? Does the HOA come and fish out the big ones? This is can be a big issue on some lakes, especially if you have little kids.
  • What kind of recreational activities are available? Boating, skiing, kayaking, fishing, jet skiing?
  • What’s the bug situation? Are there mosquitoes or no-see-ums? Nothing brings the backyard BBQ to an end like being viciously attacked by tiny flying insects.
  • Besides alligators, what other kind of wildlife is there on the lake? Otters? Ducks? Geese? Are they a nuisance? 
  • How’s the shoreline? Is it sandy? Muddy? Can you access it from your home? Does it have a private dock?
  • Does the county stock the lake with fish?
  • Does the lake flood in rainy season? How far up on the yard does the water come?
  • Are you required to have flood insurance?
  • Can you keep a boat in the back or is there a community boat ramp? Are you allowed to have a dock in the back?

These questions may not all pertain to your lake but they are all things that need to be considered.

Is there a separate association for the lake?

Some Orlando communities have more than one association. It’s a good idea to find out how your lake community works… who maintains the lake? Is there a separate cost? Do some research and find out the nature of any organizations you’ll need to join. Ask other residents in the community if they’re happy with the association and how they handle issues that may arise.

 It’s a good idea to ask your Orlando real estate agent about any questions you may have about the association in charge of your lake.

Be sure you can do the things you were planning on doing when thinking about a lake house. The last thing you want is to not be allowed to do something you had on your mind when dreaming of a living on the lake.

Generally speaking, having a lake association is a good thing for the community. Associations are made to protect the lake and resolve any issues that would threaten the overall health of the lake. Usually, there is a board of directors that meets regularly to discuss any problems with the lake and how to handle them.

Residents are usually invited to attend these meetings so they can ask any questions or voice any concerns they have about the lake.

Will the lake house be used as a vacation home or your primary residence?

If you’re buying the lake house to be used as a vacation home, you’ll have different needs than someone buying it as their primary residence. You may not be as concerned about where the sun sets or what kind of bottom it is because you may only be there for a few weeks or days at a time.

However, if you’re looking to move into the lake house as your primary residence, then you should pay very close attention to the things mentioned in this article.

How far are you from civilization?

If the lake house you want to buy is in the Orlando area, then this won’t be a concern. But if you’re buying in a more secluded area, then you’ll want to find out how far you are from modern conveniences like supermarkets, restaurants, hospitals, police stations. Not everyone enjoys feeling isolated on a year-round basis.

Cell service may also be important to you, you’ll want to check how many bars you have on your phone in and around the home you are wanting to purchase.

How far and how easy is it to get on major roads from the lake? Will you have a potential problem accessing your home if the road floods?

Size matters

Based on what your usage will be for the home, size should be a major factor. If you’re someone who gets a lot of visitors or likes to throw big backyard BBQs, then you’ll want to have a guest bedroom or maybe even a separate guest house in the back.

However, if you’re more of a private person and it’s just you and the family, a smaller home might be better for you.

Are you allowed to expand?

Consider if you want to expand your square footage or make some other major changes to the home one day… can you? This is another great question for your real estate agent.

Many times, local zoning laws can be more strict on a lake… it’s important to find out what you’re allowed and not allowed to do before buying.

Is the lake house on a septic system or serviced by public sewer system?

Another important consideration when buying a lake house is to find out if the home is on a public sewer system or if it has its independent septic system… which can be very costly to replace because they are in such proximity to a lake.

If the lake home you’re interested in has a septic system, be sure to get it professionally inspected. If it needs repairs or replacing, you may be able to negotiate the price.

What about zoning restrictions?

When you live in a lake community, there may be some additional restrictions you should be aware of. Lakes are wetlands or conservation areas which means they are protected by Orange county environment protection. More than likely, the lake association will need to approve any major work or changes you plan on doing to the property.

Some lake communities in Orlando have rules that apply to an area directly bordering the entire lake. It’s usually a space from 15 feet to 25 feet depending on the particular lake and may be referred to as an easement or common area. It restricts you from planting clearing out or building anything within this area.

If you live on a private lake, then you will probably own the property down to the waterline.

When you are house-hunting with your Realtor, you’ll see some listings that will be advertised as having “lake access”. This doesn’t always mean that you are allowed to keep a boat in your backyard… It could mean that there is a public boat ramp. Again, this is where your Orlando Realtor earns their commission.

Lake houses located in some older communities may have outdated zoning laws that may allow for some unusual things. It will be worth your time to find out about any such laws.

Lake homes can have outdated zoning rules that allow for unusual things. Highly recommend researching before purchasing. You will have no option but to follow these guidelines after you buy.

Make sure your view is sufficient


Looking out over the water every morning is one of the best parts of living on the lake. Sadly, not every home on the lake offered has this kind of wonderful view. This might not be your main priority; it will all depend on your needs and budget.

You should also find out if they will continue to develop the lake or if they have completed the building. If the community is still in the developmental stages, then the view you have today may not be the view you will have when they finish building.

As an Orlando Realtor, I have worked with several homeowners that have had their lakefront or conservation view change almost overnight with no warning. Needless to say, they were not happy about it.

Find out about lake access.

Although lakefront homes are on the lake “technically”, some lake houses can be up on a hill or maybe the shoreline is covered with bushes or trees making it difficult to get to the water.

This is important, especially If you plan on living out the rest of your life at the lake house. You don’t want to be climbing up and down hills every day to access the water.

How much privacy do you want?

The lakefront homes in Orlando Fl are fantastic for boating, fishing, wakeboarding, kayaking, and unfortunately… jets skis. Deciding how much privacy you want is important, especially in the long term. The closer your home is to the water, the less privacy you will have. If you’re on a lake with a public boat ramp, then you will have even less privacy.

Some lots will have more distance between the home and the shoreline. Typically, homes with a clear line of sight to the water are more expensive. But sitting on your back porch in your underwear watching the sunrise on the lake… priceless.

Work with an experienced Orlando Realtor

It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying or selling a house on the lake, you should hire a Realtor that has experience with lake houses. Lake houses come with their own set of complexities and your agent must understand them. Research local agents in the area you plan on buying in. Find out how active they are and check their online reviews to see what their clients are saying about them.

Ideally, you want an agent that understands what your needs are and how much your budget is. Lakefront homes present more challenges than other homes especially when it comes to finding a good deal. The demand for lake homes is always higher and so are the prices. With a skilled Orlando real estate agent on your side, the search is easier and your chances of finding the right home at the right price are much better.  

When you are buying a lake house, you should understand there’s a certain premium over a home that’s not on the lake. The dollar amount of that premium is something that a qualified Realtor can help you with. Several factors can come into play such as the zip code, the lake, lot size, amenities, water quality, and public access to boat ramps.

If you’re selling a lakefront home, you should know that marketing it to the right people is crucial. Choose a Realtor with a good reputation and even better marketing skills. Top-notch photography, drone videos showing the lake & home, and detailed descriptions are a vital part of getting top dollar for your lakefront home.

Finding lake houses for sale

In addition to finding a Top Orlando Realtor who has tons of experience with lakefront homes, you can also do some searching of your own. Just Google “lake homes for sale” in whatever area you’re looking for and you should get some results.

Your Realtor should also set you up with some email alerts so you’ll know exactly when a lakefront property meeting your needs hits the market.

FAQS about lake homes

Are lake houses a good financial investment? Yes, generally speaking. Houses located on lakes tend to have a higher appreciation rate than homes not on the water. Of course, it depends on how much you paid for it.

Are lake houses more expensive? Yes, lake houses will always be more expensive than an identical home that’s not on the lake. Just check the homes across the street from a lakefront home, you may be shocked at the price difference.

Are lake houses with a dock better? Definitely…With a dock, you can have your boat or kayak ready at a moment’s notice. Your lake house will be worth more if you have a dock.

Is it worth the extra money to live on a lake? This answer depends on you…If you enjoy water sports and relaxing lake views, then I would say yes. However, if you don’t care either way, then you can get a lot more bang for your buck by buying a home that is a non-lake front.

My final thoughts on buying a lake house

For most people, myself included, being close to the water gives you a relaxing feeling that is unmatched by anything else. Whether you’re enjoying a sunset or learning to wake surf, doing it from your own lake house is priceless. If you feel the same way and can afford to buy one, I say go for it!

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Pros & Cons of Paying Off your Mortgage Early

“Is it a good idea to pay off my mortgage early?” … Many homeowners ask themselves every day. The thought of eliminating your monthly mortgage payment can be appealing to most anyone.

No one in their right mind enjoys writing that fat check to the mortgage lender month after month if they don’t have to. However, like with all major financial decisions, it’s important to consider every angle before you decide to pay off your mortgage early.

Although paying your house off early will save you a ton of money on interest, you should also be aware of the risks involved and make sure the benefits outweigh the risks.

Once you are fully aware of the pros & cons, you can then make an educated decision on whether or not it’s a good idea for you to pay your mortgage off early.

The idea of paying off your mortgage early is a no-brainer at first glance. But when you’re talking about retirement planning financial management overall should be carefully planned.

Consider what your goals are personally and financially before making decisions that are in your best interest. If you have a low-interest rate on your mortgage loan, it could make more sense to hold on to your money or invest it elsewhere if you can make more interest on it like investing in real estate.

Since this is a major financial decision, it’s a good idea to consult with a financial advisor before deciding anything. Financial advisors are trained to identify potential risks and rewards depending on your situation.

More and more we’re seeing lenders offer homeowners more flexible loan terms because they know that it benefits them tremendously. This is why homeowners now more than ever are customizing their home loans.

This information will help you to understand the most common benefits as well as the disadvantages of paying off your mortgage early.

Paying off your mortgage early: the PROS

These are the most common reasons why a homeowner would want to pay their mortgage off early.

Eliminate a huge financial burden from your life

Do you ever think of how great it would be to be mortgage-free? Of course, you do… every homeowner does. The truth is that most homeowners have a mortgage on their homes.

Paying your mortgage off in full is extremely liberating and will probably help you sleep better at night. Even for people who don’t have financial worries, it’s still a great feeling to say you own your home free and clear.

Making additional payments towards your principal doesn’t always make financial sense. This is something you need to determine if it makes sense for you.

Many homeowners think about paying their mortgage in full as they head into their retirement years. The last thing a retiree wants is to make monthly payments when they no longer have a steady income.

Ridding yourself of that mortgage payment can make sense if you wish to eliminate that financial burden.

You don’t have to factor in the cost of your Mortgage when considering other Investments.

Investing your hard-earned money is like a balancing act that demands careful planning. A mortgage is usually the biggest loan you’ve ever taken out and when you add up the interest you’ve paid out over the years and even decades, you’ll probably be surprised…. not in a good way.

Whether you have a mortgage or not, you should invest in a 401k or IRA investment account. Look at it this way… If you’re making more money on interest on a particular investment, it should exceed the interest that you’re paying on your mortgage to make sense… Make sense?

If not, then you’re probably better off paying off your mortgage early. However, if your home was paid in full then you would no longer need to weigh your investments against your mortgage- because you are no longer paying interest on the mortgage.

If loans are cheap like they are right now with extremely low-interest rates, then it probably makes more sense to just keep your current mortgage. However, if you’re stuck in a high-interest rate mortgage, then paying off your loan early probably makes more sense.

If you have a high-interest rate on your mortgage right now and still wish to keep your loan, then you should consider refinancing.

You can make less risky investments with your money

Once your mortgage has been paid off, you will be able to use the money you were paying on your mortgage to invest in safer investments.

I’m not saying your home is a high-risk investment because it usually isn’t. But, let’s not forget what happened when the market crashed back in 2007- 2008 when home values dropped and many homes were worth less than half of their original value. Chances are this won’t happen again for a long time… hopefully never, but there’s always that chance.

You can make higher-risk investments

Bank-insured certificates of deposits and treasury securities are low-risk, low-yield investments. You can choose to diversify your investment portfolio by investing in stocks that are at higher risk but also have higher rewards.

If this is something that you’re interested in, speak to a financial advisor about long-term investment strategies once you’ve paid off your mortgage. The stock market can be a great place to invest your money wisely.

You can free up some extra cash-flow

Once you don’t have a mortgage payment to make each month, it will free up some extra cash for you and your family each month. By having more cash left over every month, your stress level will decrease substantially and you can handle any unexpected costs that come your way.

No more paying PMI

The majority of major lenders will require you to have private mortgage insurance [PMI] until you have at least 20% equity in your property. By paying PMI you’re not only throwing away a substantial of money every year, but it offers no benefits to the homeowner.

The sole purpose of private mortgage insurance is to protect the lender from default and nothing else.

Convert your equity into cash

The larger the amount you pay towards your mortgage, the more equity you will have in your home. This put you in a position to leverage that equity if you want or need to for some reason. You can also get a HELOC [home equity line of credit]. It’s not like taking out another mortgage or else what would be the point of paying it off in the first place. A home equity line of credit is just that… a line of credit, when you need it, you use it, then pay it back.

Paying off your mortgage early: the CONS

Here are some reasons why you may not want to pay your mortgage early

When we talk about liquidity, it refers to how easy it is to access the money you have. The more cash you have into our home, the less liquidity you have.

Just think if an emergency popped up when you least expect it and you needed cash… fast! You’d have to either access some cash from another account if you had one, or you could get a home equity line of credit or “equity loan” on your home.

I believe it’s a great idea for any homeowner with a free and clear house to get a home equity line of credit. It doesn’t cost anything to have a home equity line of credit until you use some of the money, then you have to make interest payments. Once you’ve paid it back, you’re back to no payments… and it’s there whenever you need it. I’ve bought and continue to buy homes in Orlando using my HELOC because I can access the cash quickly and I can close on an investment home within a few days. It’s much cheaper than using a hard money lender and so much more convenient.

It comes down to you and what your needs are… you need to decide if it’s more important to have access to extra cash quickly when you need it or… would you rather be mortgage-free.

Generally, people who pay their mortgage off early don’t have any worries about having extra cash because they already have plenty.

Losing tax deductions on interest- If you’re currently paying on a mortgage you can deduct the interest payments on your home loan when you file your taxes.

This means you get more money back every year solely because of the money you pay towards interest on your loan. The moment your home is paid off, you will lose those deductions. Recently the amount of interest you can deduct is less than what it used to be.

Now when you own a homestead property, you can only claim a deduction for the interest on a mortgage loan for up to $750,000 if you’re married and $375,000 if you’re married filing with separate status. These new guidelines are in place until 2025. It used to be the debt limits were $1,000,000 and $500,000 under the old tax laws.

Also under the old tax code, you were able to deduct up to $100,000 to $50,000 of your HELOC loan. No mas…

Depending on when this article was published, you should see what the latest tax laws are and factor them into your decision.

Carrying a mortgage these days has become less and less appealing when it comes to the new tax laws. There are a lot fewer tax breaks for homeowners.

You might ding your credit score- Your “credit mix” is one of the factors taken into consideration when credit companies determine your credit score. It comes down to the different loans you have at the time and having several loans and credit lines in good standing will help your credit score.

When you no longer have a mortgage payment, your credit score may take a small hit.

Your particular credit mix contributes 10% of your overall credit score. When other creditors see you paying on a mortgage every month, it’s a good thing. This is how they determine your viability as a borrower, it’s great when they see you making all your payments on time month after month.

You can’t make other investments Paying off a mortgage in full will probably use up the majority if not all of our liquid cash. That means you’ve made a huge investment in your home when you may have been able to get a higher return on some other investment… like buying an investment home for example.

FAQ’S ON PAYING A MORTGAGE OFF EARLY

What’s the average age someone should pay their mortgage off? Financial experts recommend you have your mortgage paid off in your 50’s.

What’s the most substantial downside to paying your mortgage loan off early? The biggest downside of paying your mortgage off early is the reduction in liquidity. It’s a good idea to apply for a home equity line of credit so you can have access to quick cash when you need it.

What if I only pay an extra $100 per month? Will it make a difference? It will make a difference! By paying that extra hundred bucks a month towards the principal you’ll cut off at least a couple of years on the life of your loan.

Will extra payments automatically go towards my principal? Not necessarily… make sure to let your lender know the extra funds should be applied to the principal balance of your loan. You should also put it in the memo section of the check or online payment.

If I pay off my mortgage early, what happens next? After you’ve paid off your mortgage, your lender should send you the original promissory note with those beautiful words stamped on it… PAID IN FULL.

By paying off my mortgage, will it affect the amount of income tax I pay? Unfortunately, yes. Once you’ve paid off your mortgage, you won’t qualify for a tax deduction. This was one of the arguments listed in the con section above.

What is the best way to pay off my mortgage early? You have a couple of options on how to pay your mortgage off early. You can either pay it off in one lump sum for the entire amount or you can make extra payments every month towards the principal balance of your loan. Make sure your lender knows what that extra money is for.

What’s better… a 15-year mortgage? OR, make extra payments on a 30-year mortgage? This depends on how much you can afford to pay each month. For example, a fifteen-year mortgage loan will come with a lower interest rate and if you can afford that, then do it. However, if you know you have some big bills headed your way like putting your kids through college, then you may want to stick with the lower payment instead.

Final thoughts on paying off a mortgage early

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to deciding to pay off your mortgage early. It comes down to your financial situation and what you see happening in your future.

Don’t rush into anything before deciding as important as this one. Consulting with a financial advisor is highly recommended in addition to doing some research on your own.

I hope this article helped you to have a better understanding of the pros and cons of paying off your mortgage early.

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Californians Moving to Orlando at an Unbelievable Rate

Californians are Central Florida Dreaming

Almost 165,000 people vacated Los Angeles according to a report from Redfin. A large percentage of which moved to Orlando and other parts of Central Florida. This added about 60,000 new residents which fueled the housing market in Orlando. The Orlando real estate market continues to attract home buyers from the Northeast United States, which is pretty typical for Central Florida. The flood of west Coast buyers, however, is something new to us and it’s because of the dramatic rise in people working remotely, said Jenny Zamora Broker/Owner at Orlando Realty Consultants, based in Hunters Creek, FL.

Now there is no need to attend corporate meetings or conventions for people in the corporate world. I believe there will be an increased number of Californians throughout 2021.

Since April of 2020, Realtors in Orlando say they have seen the largest influx of out-of-state residents coming to buy homes ever. The cheaper home prices together with the rising concerns of COVID-19 are also major factors for so many people moving clear across the country.

While Orlando home prices are steadily climbing, they still don’t compare with the housing costs in Los Angeles. The median home price in Orlando is $275,000 while in Los Angeles it’s at $830,000, according to Realtor.com. The cost of living between these two US cities is another huge motivator for Californians to head East. Los Angeles residents are realizing that by moving to Central Florida, they can afford to live on a much lower income because their mortgage was just cut in half.

The City Beautiful is more attractive to Californians than other major US cities like Phoenix, Austin, or Dallas, Texas. most real estate agents in Orlando will agree there’s a steady flow of new residents from the Northeast, New York, and Chicago. Although we can expect to see a rise in new residents coming from the Midwest and the West.

The sudden increase of out-of-state buyers caused home sales to jump 22% from December 2019 to December 2020 according to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association. The housing market in a certain area can also be a reflection of the health of the local economy.

Orlando Real Estate Agents Scrambling To keep up with Demand

The influx of out-of-state buyers overall can create a home buyers frenzy… especially in neighborhoods that are in high demand like Hunters Creek, FL.  “For some Realtors in Orlando, they are the busiest they’ve been in a long time” claims Jenny Zamora Orlando Real Estate Broker at ORC. We just don’t know when [or if] this stream of new residents will slow down, or how this will affect the future housing market in Orlando. While this current seller’s wave continues to crest, Orlando homeowners are continuing to cash in on the buyers’ frenzy.

The Perfect Storm for Buyers and Sellers

Right now is a great time to sell your house in Orlando, claims Zamora, the homeowner gets top dollar for their home and the buyer can take advantage of historically low mortgage rates… It’s a win-win for everyone… including local real estate agents. Out-of-state buyers can benefit tremendously by working with an experienced buyer’s agent. Many times an out-of-state buyer will buy a home site-unseen which means they never actually see the house in person before purchase. For these buyers especially, having an experienced Orlando buyer’s agent in their corner is crucial.

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