One World Realty in Jacksonville Florida
Charles Gaulden
904-859-1778904-859-1778

New Home Community Lakeside At Merrill

 

If you are Looking for a New Home Community in Arlington Lakeside A Merrill in the Mid 100’s
http://www.drhorton.com/Florida/North-Florida/Jacksonville/Lakeside-At-Merrill.aspx

 

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 745046 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

Call Me to Set up Appointment to See these Beautiful New Homes in the Mid 100’s

 

How to Choose Stock Kitchen Cabinets

Buying stock cabinets for your kitchen remodel can definitely save you money. Here are some tips to help you make the right buying decision.

Stock cabinets save you time because you don’t have to wait for them to be built. And they save you money because you aren’t paying for customizations.
But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. You just need to know what to look for.

What to Look For

  • Solid wood and plywood cabinets. They’ll give you better longevity and crisper details than pressed wood.
  • Walls at least ½-inch thick. They’re more sturdy.
  • Consistency of finish. Lesser quality cabinets often have irregular finishes and colors from one cabinet box to the next.
  • Full-extension hardware. It allows you to open drawers all the way and open doors almost 180 degrees to make access easier.
  • Dovetail joinery. Or a metal box. Drawer sides and backs that are stapled together won’t last as long.

Cost and Installation

The cost of quality stock cabinets for an average-sized kitchen generally runs $8,000 to $10,000. Semi-custom cabinets would cost about twice that. And full custom cabinets would cost even more.

There are some lower-cost stock alternatives, such as IKEA (as low as $2,500), but you’ll offset your savings with the hassle of difficult assembly — fine if you have the patience and skill.

But unless you’ve got professional building experience, actually installing kitchen cabinets isn’t a typical DIY job.

So carve out $100 to $300 per cabinet (depending on labor rates in your area) to have them professionally installed.

The Drawbacks of Stock Cabinets

  • Finish and color choices are limited. The most likely options are painted white, natural wood, or stained maple and cherry.
  • Stock cabinets are only 36 inches tall. If you want taller cabinets, you’ll have to go semi-custom, which can take you up to 42 inches.
  • You could lose potential storage space. Filler strips are used to cover gaps created when the stock sizes don’t quite fill the space — whereas custom cabinets can be measured to take advantage of all space.
  • Extra details such as crown molding aren’t included. Mitered corners and furniture-style sides aren’t included either. However, you can add crown molding yourself later if you choose.
  • Warranties are limited. The industry standard is about 5 years, and they only cover product failure, not wear and tear.

Note: You’ll also need to choose hardware. But that can be a fun project to really personalize your kitchen.
Get more tips on planning a kitchen remodel.
Read more:  http://members.houselogic.com/articles/how-choose-stock-kitchen-cabinets/preview/#ixzz2vThiq6Ih Follow us: @houselogic on Twitter | houselogic on Facebook

The Best Choices for Kitchen Flooring. Kitchen Renovations

Kitchen Renovations

With so many options to choose from, it’s hard to know what’s best for kitchens. So we’ve narrowed down the choices for you.

We’ve taken out the guesswork and chosen four flooring types that make the most sense for kitchens, and we explain why they are ideal.
Hardwood Flooring is Ideal When:

  • You don’t want your kitchen to look dated over time.
  • You have an open floor plan.
  • You seek durability.

Hardwood flooring, with its unmatched warmth and visual appeal, is a great choice if you want to create a look that never really goes out of style, giving you a good return on investment if you ever sell your home.
Also, if you have an open floor plan, hardwood works well in both kitchens and living areas. It creates a warm and unified look.
Hardwood is also:

  • Highly durable. It can withstand decades of use.
  • Low-maintenance.
  • Moisture-resistant if you choose a prefinished type.

Hardwood flooring is made in two ways: solid wood strips or engineered wood planks.

Engineered wood is the better choice for kitchens. It has a veneer of real wood backed by layers of less expensive plywood. This construction provides dimensional stability that makes the flooring less susceptible to movement caused by changes in humidity and temperature — common in kitchens.

Cost: $3 to $12 per sq. ft. Installation: $5 to $12 per sq. ft., depending on the complexity of the job.

Vinyl Flooring is Ideal When:

  • You cook a lot.
  • You want the easiest-to-maintain floor.
  • You are on a tight budget.

Sheet vinyl belongs to a group of flooring products called resilient flooring, which is the softest flooring option. If you cook a lot, this cushiness makes it easier on your feet while easing muscle fatigue.
Also, sheet vinyl is much more forgiving if you (or someone in your family) is a bit of klutz who tends to drop things. You’ll have less breakage.
Plus, sheet vinyl flooring is a snap to clean up; it’s completely waterproof and stain-proof.
However, depending on the size and layout of your kitchen, you may have seams. Standard width for vinyl flooring is 12 feet. If your kitchen is wider than that, you’ll definitely have seams, which can let moisture into the subfloor and trap dirt if they aren’t tightly bonded.
On the upside, sheet vinyl requires no ongoing maintenance beyond sweeping and mopping.

 If the softness of vinyl flooring appeals to you most, you might opt for cushioned vinyl flooring, which is backed with a layer of foam (standard sheet vinyl uses felt backing).
Sounds good, but that extra cushiness makes it hard to create seams that stay tightly bonded over time. You may end up with seams that come apart, letting in moisture and trapping dirt.

Sheet vinyl comes in many colors and patterns. Thicker vinyl can feature a textured surface, and some types do an excellent job of mimicking the appearance of ceramic tile and real stone. Textured vinyl is a wise choice because it provides traction. Vinyl can be dangerously slippery when wet.

Vinyl flooring also has a wear layer that helps resist scratches and scuff marks. But it does eventually wear off. The best brands offer guarantees on the wear layer of 10 to15 years, and good quality vinyl should last 20 years.

Cost: $1 to $5 per sq. ft. Installation: $1 to $2 per sq. ft.

Don’t confuse vinyl with linoleum. While linoleum is a similar product, it is not as durable, nor as soft. Its upside is its eco-friendliness.
Porcelain Tile is Ideal When:

  • You want the toughest flooring.
  • You like the look of stone.
  • You want low maintenance.

Porcelain flooring tile, a version of common ceramic tile, is the durability champ. It’s fired at high temperatures that produce an extremely hard, durable, stain-resistant tile that is impervious to moisture.
In fact, it’s so tough it can be used outdoors in virtually any climate. 

Like common ceramic tile, porcelain tile comes either unglazed or glazed. The unglazed versions take on the color of their clay mixture, so they have naturally earthy tones.

Glazed tiles have a glass-like coating that can be made in virtually any color, and can mimic the look and texture of real stone at a much lower cost than stone.

Make sure you choose porcelain tiles certified as slip-resistant by the Americans with Disabilities Act — the designation should be visible on product literature or packing materials.

Cost: $1 to $20 per sq. ft. Installation: $5 to $10 per sq. ft.

Cork Flooring is Ideal When:

  • You want an eco-friendly choice.
  • You want a softer floor than wood or tile.
  • You want slip-resistance.

Cork is made from tree bark that’s harvested every eight to 10 years; it’s a sustainable material, meaning the bark grows back and can be harvested repeatedly.
Countries that produce cork are careful to regulate harvesting to ensure future supplies.

Cork has a unique cellular structure that’s waterproof and compressible, which makes it a comfortable, moisture-resistant choice. It comes in 12-inch-by-12-inch tiles and 1-foot-by-3-foot planks, each with a unique grain pattern of swirls and speckles.
The surface is naturally textured, which makes it slip-resistant.

But unlike other flooring options mentioned, cork floors need to be resealed every three to four years to help guard against scratches and prevent moisture from entering the seams between tiles.

Both natural wax and polyurethane are good sealers for cork. Choose water-based polyurethane that’s non-toxic or has low volatile organic compound content to keep it green.

Cost: $2 to $6 per sq. ft. Installation: $5 to $10 per sq. ft.

Related:

Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You’ll Never Regret

White: Your Kitchen’s Best Friend (And Yours)

Funky Floors slideshow

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 693153 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.


Read more:  http://members.houselogic.com/articles/smart-options-kitchen-flooring/preview/#ixzz2vTcytcED Follow us: @houselogic on Twitter | houselogic on Facebook

Downpayment Assistant Funds Available on New Homes for First Time Homebuyer

Downpayment Assistant Funds Available on New Homes for First Time Homebuyers from New Home Builder FHA, VA, Conventional and USDA Loans.

Jacksonville, FL , Orange Park and other Areas.. Call Me Today to secure Your Funds…904-859-1778

FHA Changes on FHA 203k Renovations

FHA Changes – January 1, 2014 – Perhaps the most notable FHA change we have seen in years will occur Jan. 1, 2014. The maximum loan limit for FHA loans in Jacksonville, FL (and surrounding counties) will be lowered to $304,500. The counties include Duval, Clay, Saint Johns, Nassau and Baker. NOTE – This goes into effect with FHA case numbers assigned after Dec. 31, 2013 so anyone on the fence needs to make a decision in the next week.

When is the appraisal ordered on a FHA 203k or Fannie Mae Renovation loan? We do not order the appraisal until the detailed Scope of Work is completed and signed by the buyer and the contractor. The appraisal is performed Subject-To the After-Improved value. On FHA 203k you get up to 110% of the After-Improved value which means a 10% buffer. All repairs are done AFTER CLOSING.

How is the down payment calculated on a FHA 203k loan? The minimum 3.5% down payment is calculated off the sales price of the house plus the cost of rehabilitation or repairs. Example: $100,000 sales price + $15,000 repairs = $115,000 x 3.5% = $4,025. A buyer can certainly choose to have a larger down payment but these are the minimums.

While every renovation loan can present a different scenario for inspections, process etc. we receive many questions for the basic premise of the product. Here is a short, generic summary of a renovation loan on an “As-Is” property:

Home goes under contract “As-Is”

Buyer has home inspection, WDO inspection, etc.

Items are identified that MUST be addressed for the home to meet minimum property standards AND the buyer decides what improvements he/she WANTS to make on the home.

A general contractor provides a detailed Scope of Work with line items breaking out labor and materials for each item.

The appraisal is ordered – The Scope of Work is uploaded for the appraiser who includes it in the appraisal and assigns value based on the work being done. THE WORK IS NOT DONE UNTIL AFTER CLOSING.

  • The loan closes. The renovation monies are put in escrow with our draw center. Some FHA loans pay 50% of the costs right at closing.
  • When the work is complete, an inspection is ordered to ensure the work was done in workmanlike manner. In addition, a final title update is done to ensure there are no liens on the property before the contractor is paid the remaining funds.
  • Will Fannie Mae make repairs one of its REO HomePath properties?
    Yes and No. Typically, listings by Fannie Mae are As-Is properties which is why most often we use either a FHA 203K, Conventional renovation loan or a HomePath Renovation loan to address the property issues. However, there are isolated instances when Fannie Mae will address some major concerns that affect the health/safety/liveability of the home. The challenge is two fold: Fannie Mae must get at least 3 estimates before performing the work which generally leads to significant delays. Also, you are counting on the asset manager to decide who performs the repairs and thus the quality of the work – ie – Cheapest is Best. Solution – write the contract As-Is and let the buyer include ALL of the repairs/updates in his/her renovation loan.

FHA 203k Streamline loan, FHA 203k Standard loan, Fannie Mae HomePath Renovation / Homestyle Renovation loan

    • On FHA 203k or Fannie HomePath Renovation loans, what happens to the money for repairs after closing?
      Depending on the version of the loan there are different scenarios.
      • FHA 203k Streamline loan  – 50% of the repair money is paid at closing with a 2-party check to the contractor and homeowner. The remaining funds are held in escrow by our concierge draw team. When the work is completed, there is a final inspection to ensure the job was completed in workmanlike manner AND there is a final title update to ensure there are NO liens from the contractor before issuing the final 50% check.
      • FHA 203k Standard loan – There are NO upfront monies. After closing, the funds are held by our concierge draw team. The contractor can have up to 5 draws on the repair funds. There is an inspection for each draw and there is also a 10% holdback on each draw until the final title update is clear upon completion of the job.
      • Fannie Mae HomePath Renovation / Homestyle Renovation loan – There are NO upfront monies. After closing, the funds are held by our concierge draw team. The contractor can have up to 5 draws on the repair funds. There is an inspection for each draw and there is also a 10% holdback on each draw until the final title update is clear upon completion of the job.
    • While every renovation loan can present a different scenario for inspections, process etc., we receive many questions for the basic structure of the product. Here is a short, generic summary of a renovation loan on an “As-Is” property:
      1. Home goes under contract “As-Is”
      2. Buyer has home inspection, WDO inspection, feasibility inspection, etc.
      3. Items are identified that MUST be addressed for the home to meet minimum property standards AND the buyer decides what improvements he/she WANTS to make on the home.
      4. A general contractor provides a Detailed Scope of Work with line items breaking out labor and materials for each item.
      5. The appraisal is ordered – The Scope of Work is uploaded for the appraiser who includes it in the appraisal and assigns value based on the work being done.
        NO WORK IS DONE UNTIL AFTER CLOSING.
      6. The loan closes. The renovation monies are put in escrow with our draw center. Some FHA loans pay 50% of the costs right at closing.
      7. When the work is complete, an inspection is ordered to ensure the work was done in workmanlike manner. In addition, a final title update is done to ensure there are no liens on the property before the contractor is paid the remaining funds.
    • How much additional out-of-pocket cost is there on a FHA 203k loan vs. a traditional FHA or conventional loan? Minimal. The “Cost of Renovation” including inspections, title updates, etc. is financed into the loan with the work. Therefore, the only real additional hard costs are – Slightly higher appraisal fee, increased lenders title insurance premiums and transfer tax adjustments per loan amount.
ex: On a $150,000 home the total difference in out-of-pocket cost might be $260.

FHA 203k and Fannie Mae Renovation loans

  • When is the appraisal ordered on a FHA 203k and Fannie Mae Renovation loans? We do not order the appraisal until the detailed Scope of Work is completed and signed by the buyer and the contractor. The appraisal is performed Subject-To the After-Improved value. On FHA 203k you get up to 110% of the After-Improved value which means a 10% buffer. All repairs are done AFTER CLOSING.
  • What happens if the utilities CANNOT be turned on with a property because of leaks, extended vacancy, etc? With the renovation loan we would include the cost of any necessary repairs AND we will always keep at least 15% contingency money in the case there are additional repairs needed. Example – Cost of work = $10,000. Contingency would be at least $1,500. For homes that have been vacant for least 12 months – JEA will require an electrical inspection and city inspection prior to activating the power or water.
  • How is the down payment calculated on a FHA 203k loan? The minimum 3.5% down payment is calculated off the sales price of the house plus the cost of rehabilitation or repairs. Example: $100,000 sales price + $15,000 repairs = $115,000 x 3.5% = $4,025. A buyer can certainly choose to have a larger down payment but these are the minimums.
  • Are Renovation loans – FHA 203k and Fannie Mae Homestlyes – good for Refinances too? Yes. You can Refinance & Renovate which means not only lowering your interest rate, but also including the cost of improvements as well. 3 great advantages:
  • Appraisal is based on After-Improved Value
  • FHA 203k – you get up to 110% of the after-Improved Value.
  • Closing costs can be financed into the loan
  • On FHA 203k and Fannie Mae Renovation loans can the buyers act as their own contractor? While the guidelines on some versions of the loans allow for “Self Help”, both HUD and Fannie Mae discourage the practice because of the level of risk. The guidelines call for the buyers to be licensed/insured contractors AND there are NO upfront monies provided for materials. So, the buyers must prove the ability to perform the job in workmanlike manner AND have sufficient funds for both the loan and repairs. There are other guidelines that restrict the amount of work that can be done in a “Self Help” transaction.

FHA 203k loan or Fannie Mae renovation loans

On FHA 203k loan or Fannie Mae renovation loans, what happens if there are more repairs than expected after completing the inspections? There are several options depending on the seller of the property:
  • If it’s an REO/short sale thus an As-Is property, you can simply back out of the contract based on the inspection contingency.
  • You can also continue with the REO transaction and request the seller reduce the sales price based on the property conditions. However, you must assume the bank will NOT make an changes since the property is being sold As-is. If the repairs affect the health & safety of the property you might see some relief.
  • At times,  you can ask the REO bank to make certain repairs that affect the livability of the home. This can be time consuming since they will require several estimates. In addition, Fannie Mae often has a contractual clause that allows them to raise the sales price to address the repairs. This is NOT needed if you simply use a renovation loan.
  • If the buyer is past the inspection period per contract and still needs to back out of the contract based on property conditions, we can use the Financing Contingency to cancel the transaction and get the Binder Deposit returned.
  • If its a traditional resale then the seller could either make the repairs, reduce the sale price or cancel the transaction based on the proeprty conditions.
  • Why would someone NOT get approved for a HomePath or HomePath Renovation loan? HomePath loans are conventional loans thus much more restrictive when it comes to qualifying. Here are some of the factors that can be restrictive and also require additional monies down:
  • Credit – you must have stronger and deeper credit. at least 660-680 to start (without 20% down).
  • Property type – Condos are much stricter/riskier and thus the automated underwriting  (DU) will often not approve buyers for condos unless they have strong credit and/or larger down payments.
  • Down payment – If the buyer is putting 3-5% down it is going to be much stricter than if they are putting 20% down. It’s a simple layer of risk issue.
  • Debt-to-income ratio – Fannie Mae loans are much stricter than FHA and generally cannot exceed 45% DTI regardless of the buyer’s overall profile.
  • Rates – HomePath loans have numerous additional overlays when it comes to pricing rates which often leads to higher interest rates and a higher costs to even get a rate.
  • Does using a FHA 203k or Fannie Mae renovation loan help with getting lower insurance rates? YES! Not only can it make the difference of even getting insurance on certain properties, it allows the buyer to get better insurance rates based on the after-improved condition of the property. For more details on this please contact me via phone or email.

FHA 203k & Conventional Renovation

  • With FHA 203k or conventional renovation, if a WDO inspection indicates a house has Live Termites does the seller/bank have to treat the house before closing? NO. As long as the treatment is listed on the Scope of Repairs it will be done AFTER CLOSING like everything on a FHA 203k or Conventional renovation loan.
  • If a home is partially rehabbed but still needs wall, plumbing, electrical etc., can that be finished with a FHA 203k or Conventional renovation loan? YES. As long as the home was existing and was originally issued a certificate of occupancy (1 year for FHA) you can complete the work in your loan. However, on Conventional Renovation loans you CAN complete a new home that was never finished or issued a certificate of occupancy (or add a pool).
  • Can someone purchase and renovate a 4-unit property with an FHA 203k loan? YES. You can do up to 4 units as long as you live in one of the units as your primary home. NOTE – The buyer can use projected rental income from the other 3 units to help qualify for the loan.  
  • What is the minimum credit score for a Fannie Mae HomePath or HomePath Renovation loan?
  • HomePath -LTV greater than 80% –  660 and auto approve in desktop underwriting (DU); LTV less than 80% determined by DU but generally 620.
  • HomePath Renovation – LTV greater than 80% –  660 and auto approve in desktop underwriting (DU); LTV less than 80% determined by DU but generally 620.