Getting a mortgage can be quite the challenge.  Lenders are very strict on their requirements and they look at many different financial aspects to determine if you are eligible for a loan.  But, being prepared before you apply for that loan, and knowing what to do in advance will help make the process smoother,
and potentially help you secure that loan.

Here’s some helpful advice:

  • Don’t change or quit your job
  • Don’t be late on any credit card or loan payments.
  • Don’t incur any new debt
  • Don’t apply, inquire, or accept any new credit, or apply for a new loan
  • Don’t cosign for a loan
  • Don’t pay off your debts or consolidate your debt – just reduce your debt
  • Don’t file for bankruptcy, or do a shortsale or foreclosure
  • Don’t throw away pay stubs or bank statements
  • Don’t close any of your credit cards
  • Don’t lie on your mortgage application (they will catch you)

  • Do Keep your money in the bank, not your mattress
  • Do establish some good credit. If you have no credit, It can take several months –up to a year for it to show on all the credit reports.  ·
  • Do check your credit score in advance.  This will let you know if your credit score needs some help before applying for that loan
  • Do have your paystubs, bank statements and tax returns ready for your lender
  • Do as much as possible to reduce your debt.  This will free up credit and can help your credit score.  Reducing your debt can also increase the amount you can borrow.
  • Do save your money for a down payment before you apply for a mortgage?  The amount you save will determine the type of loan you qualify for, and the amount you can borrow.
  • Do your homework with your finances and create a budget.  You need to make sure buying a house makes financial sense, and does not jeopardize you or your family.
  • Do have what I call a Foreclosure fund.  Have enough additional money in the bank to carry your home and its expenses for a year in the event your income is interrupted.  You don’t want to lose your home.  Life happens, so be prepared.

Some of the largest U.S. mortgage lenders are preparing to further ease standards for borrowers after the release of new guidelines this month from mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac .

The new guidelines, to take full effect Dec. 1, resulted from an agreement in October meant to clarify when lenders would be penalized for making mistakes on mortgages they sell to Fannie and Freddie. Lenders have blamed the lack of clarity for tight credit conditions that have made it difficult for many consumers to qualify for a mortgage.

Relaxing the lending standards potentially could make it possible for hundreds of thousands of additional consumers to get mortgages.

Laurie Goodman, director of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute, said the moves are “going to be big,” but she added that “it’s going to take time” to see the full impact of the changes.

The Urban Institute, a Washington think tank, earlier this year estimated that as many as 1.2 million additional home loans would be made annually if mortgage availability were at “normal” levels.

Some lenders, including Wells Fargo & Co. and SunTrust Banks Inc., said borrowers should begin to see initial changes in a few weeks, including faster turnaround times for mortgage applications to be processed.


This was from an Interesting article I found on the WALL STREET JOURNAL 11/29/14

Heres the link:


there’s a 55+ community called Palm Shores in Boynton Beach, Florida that’s situated on the corner of Military Trail and Gateway Blvd. The town is located between West Palm Beach and Boca Raton, was built by the developer Oriole in 1989-1991 and it took approximately 2 years to complete. The development was being built to accommodate 222 single family 2 and 3 bedroom homes with garages, and these amazing huge Patios (out here they call them Florida Rooms). The clubhouse filled with activities such as card games, arts and crafts, billiards, shows, shuffleboard, tennis courts, water aerobics, etc., and a large beautiful Pool and Jacuzzi area overlooking the lake. In no time, the homes sold out and this little community called Palm Shores in Boynton Beach was on its way to becoming a charming neighborhood.

Many home buyers flocked to Palm Shores in Boynton Beach back then as it was a reasonably priced, brand new development being built in southeast Florida, built specifically to cater to the needs and lifestyle of Seniors. It most certainly attracted my mother who was a New Yorker at the time, as she was one of the residents to flock here as well, and it’s been our family home for over 23 years now. Back then, Boynton Beach was not as populated as it is now, and it was very common to see plots of surrounding farm areas where you could drive on any of the main roads and see pastures of land and farm animals, mostly horses and cows. Living in the New York City area, I remember my very first visit to Palm Shores back in 1990 thinking, “Mom-what were you thinking – there’s nothing here but land and cows.” I laugh now when I think back on that statement to how the area has been built up over time.

Today that little community called Palm Shores in Boynton Beach is still just as beautiful and quaint as it was back in 1990. The owners take pride in their neighborhood, and the adorable little winding streets, beautiful landscaping, and a no zero lot line community enhances its’ appeal even further. It’s definitely not a cookie cutter development that’s for sure. Of course the surrounding area has been built up since then, and any type of food, restaurant or shopping are only minutes away now. The location is great as it’s close to I-95, the Florida Tpke, minutes to mall and the ocean, and only a 15 minute drive to the West Palm Beach airport. What more could you ask for, and it’s still… a reasonably priced development in Boynton Beach with all of its features.

Congratulations to the little community called Palm Shores in Boynton Beach at Gables End for keeping the development more than just a community, but a neighborhood we call home.

If you would like any information on the development, or would like to know what homes might be available for sale in Palm Shores, you can contact me directly at 561-254-9749

View Palm Shores Homes for Sale, community information and  Real Estate Newsletters.

If I want to finance a home, should I get preapproved  for a loan first?  The answer is ABSOLUTELY YES…. If you’re looking to purchase Real Estate through some form of financing, it’s very important to speak with a lender-broker to make sure you’re qualified to buy and how much you can really afford. Not only will this give you an idea of how much the banks are willing to lend you, but it will also give you a complete breakdown (if you ask for one) of your monthly costs for the home, as well as your closing costs. If finances are tight, you want to make sure that regardless of what the bank is willing to lend you, you are able to afford those monthly bills, as well as have enough money to come to the closing table. You want no surprises, so it’s important to get preapproved for a loan first  from a lender, and don’t forget to ask for the breakdown of the charges to see if it fits into your budget.
It’s a good idea when asking for a preapproval to give the lender some details regarding the purchase so they can give you a more accurate breakdown of your charges. You can get a random pre-qualification letter, but if you want a more accurate breakdown of charges it’s a good idea to know some basics about the potential property you want to buy. An example would be the purchase price, the taxes,  homeowners insurance, and any monthly maintenance fees associated with that home, such as HOA fees or dues. It doesn’t have to be exact, but as accurate as possible. Those figures can be incorporated into your pre-approval and will help you and your lender see if this particular home or area fits your budget.

Now on another note, most experienced Real Estate Agents won’t even bother to take a buyer in their car unless they have proof of funds. Why?????? Because this is their job, and one of their requirements is to make sure they bring qualified buyers to the table. If you don’t have proof of funds, there is no proof that you’re actually serious about buying anything. An active Real Estate agent is normally quite busy, and they are not professional door openers. If you’re ready to make that purchase and want your agent to take you seriously, have that proof of funds in hand so they know you are serious and ready to proceed when they find you your place. They most certainly will work harder knowing you’re committed to the process……

Now go get that preapproval letter and good luck on your search………….

If you would like to know How to get a FREE CREDIT REPORT that’s actually Free you can go to    We all know that keeping our credit score high is a big advantage today as everything seems to rely on our credit. Well, everything that has to do with money that is. A long time ago my sister who’s an attorney let me know about a site where you can actually get your FREE CREDIT REPORT without all the gimmicks of signing up, entering in your credit card number, or the pay as you go deals. Sorry, but if you advertise it as a free credit report, then it should BE a free credit report.  Many people, myself included don’t have hours to search online for their credit report, only to find out 15 minutes into the process, that free report is going to cost you, if you actually want to see it. As a Real Estate Agent in both Florida and New York I tell my customers all the time to go take a free peak to see what’s going on. will give you a free credit file disclosure, commonly known as a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and Transunion AT NO CHARGE. Finally, a Free Credit Report.

Now you know how to get a free credit report that’s actually free.  But, if you want to see your actual scores, that will cost you. But knowing what’s actually being filed on your report is even more important in my eyes. It’s your file, Feel FREE to read it and print it out, courtesy of Thanks guys for that FREE report

I’ve been telling my clients this for the last 6 months, if you want to buy a home in Palm Beach County, “there’s no better time than now”.   The market is changing drastically and we’re losing our inventory.  In Palm Beach county home prices and sales are up, so buyers need to take action if they want to get in on some of those remaining deals. This is great news if you already own a home here, but if you’re a buyer looking to buy a home, it’s time to step on the gas pedal and secure your purchase.  Here in Palm Beach County, home prices and sales volume were up in June with a 14% surge in purchases of single family homes as opposed to last year at this time, as well as a 7% spike in the median sales price. We also have about a 5 month supply of inventory left, as opposed to last year at this time when our inventory was12 months.  Of course we’re still going to see the foreclosures and shortsales continue for a while, but due to the lack of inventory, the regular sales prices are starting to move up again.. The buyers who have been out there looking for months and have not secured anything yet are already getting frustrated, because there was so much more to choose from 6 months ago.    What does all this really mean?  If you seriously want to buy a home in Palm Beach County, it’s time to make you move…….. I always say, if you’re going to buy anything, BUY IT ON SALE.!

Prices are not going down in this area, and in Palm Beach county home prices and sales are up.  (finally)

The Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – you never know when that potential buyer is going to walk through the door, so the best way to sell you home is to always be show ready.
It may be a little inconvenient, but until you accept an offer, you need to continue to market your product. Sometimes you might only get a few minutes’ notice before a buyer shows up. Your home needs to be show ready whenever they want to come, and it has to be in top shape. Remember, you’re selling a product and its only short term. Don’t leave dishes in the sink; make sure the dishwasher is emptied, the bathrooms are sparkling, the beds are made, and the house smells good. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will get your house sold.

Open the blinds, turn on those particular lights that enhance the home, open all interior doors (except closets) to make the home appear larger. Make sure to remove the kids and the pets. I know it’s inconvenient, but a potential buyer wants to view your home, not your pride and joy. If you do have pets, make sure the litter box is clean, the house smells good, and there are no offensive odors. Purchase an air-neutralizing spray that will help remove odors without creating an overwhelming masking odor. Otherwise they will think you are trying to cover something up.  It can also give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. Clean homes sell!

So once you home is on the market and you’re ready to go, the Best way to sell your home is always be show ready.

     The answer is YES!  Pictures are one of the key factors to getting a property noticed, other than price. The objective of a good picture is to get the buyers to view the home. I know it’s not realistic, but most buyers look at the furniture, the decorating, the color scheme and the placement of those items and judge the house. They have a hard time seeing the home and its actual size with all the sellers’ personal items distracting their eye. You need them to visualize fitting all their personal belongings into this home and the pictures are the first step. So yes, Pictures really help get your property noticed.

     When I take a listing, I diplomatically try to explain to my clients how important the pictures are, and how we can create great pictures with the staging of their home. That’s right; once again the STAGING word comes in to play. The fewer items in a room, the bigger the room appears. For example, the kitchen counters should be cleared off. The objective is to let the buyer see how much counter space you have, not to admire all the appliances and gadgets. Open and clean is the key.

     Re-arranging, reducing clutter and sometimes actually removing items from the room PRIOR to taking pictures is very important. If I’m showing a listing to a potential buyer, I find it very difficult to show pictures of a home with towels draped over chairs, beds unmade, garbage on the floor, boxes stacked up and kitchen counters cluttered up. It makes the home look dirty and unappealing. My goal when selling a home is to showcase the property to the best of my ability, After all, my objective is to sell that home. I want as much attention and interest focused on the home, not necessarily all the contents.

     You really have to be careful on your approach to your seller with the idea of depersonalizing their home for pictures. You don’t want them to feel uncomfortable in any way. I usually offer my help in doing this for free so they don’t feel so overwhelmed. Not cleaning, but a little bit of staging. Make sure you let them know what you’re trying to accomplish, and that is to get the buyers INTO the home. Give them a date when you would like to come over and take pictures. This will give them time to clean up. When I go to the home, I’m usually dressed ready to work.

     Ok, now I’m ready to take a lot of pictures, and I do mean a lot. I may go a little over board, but I want to make sure I get the best views of the ROOMS. I emphasize rooms. Remember, you’re selling the rooms and the space, not the furniture or the lamp. Try not to focus on specific items like furniture. They won’t be buying that. Try to imagine if you were the buyer, what would you be looking for in a home? What would get your attention and make you want to go view that home? Remember, your time is important. If you put a little extra time in from the beginning, it will pay off in the end. First impression counts. You want a potential buyer to feel the need to rush and view that home, before someone else buys the house of their dreams.

     So in my opinion, pictures ARE very important.and they really do help get your property noticed.  Every house has a great feature so emphasize it with your pictures. Some of your clients will not understand how important this really is. But your job as their agent is to take your time with them, and to help them understand how important the first impression really is, and that starts with the pictures.

     Remember, your time is valuable, and so is your reputation. Make the most of it. The objective is Sell the House, and in order to do that, you need to get the buyers motivated to view it.

    “A picture is worth a thousand words”, so clean up a bit, get a good camera, take a lot of great pictures, and go SELL THAT HOUSE.

Selling your home is stressful.  Here’s are a great tip from Real Estate Roni which will help get your home ready to show, and then get it sold.

The first thing to remember when selling your home,
“It’s Not Personal”.

While you home is your pride and joy, and probably filled with a lifetime of memories and keepsakes, putting your house on the market for sale is a whole different story.
It’s a business transaction.
Your home is going on the market and needs to become a product for sale.

It’s really no different than going to the mall to shop for that product you’ve wanted to buy. You’ll do your research, you’ll shop around, you’ll look for the best price and the best quality, and you’ll eventually find what you’re looking for because a lot of stores are trying to sell it.   So how do you choose?

In order to sell your home successfully, it needs to become a product in the marketplace where buyers can shop and compare. So of course you want to do everything you possibly can to have the edge over your competition. It’s not easy, but remember, it’s a short term marketing strategy so the buyers will pick your product.

The end goal is the sale.


Staging simply means arranging your furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

Evaluate the layout of your home and the condition of the space. Potential buyers cannot always define the space in their minds; you need to clearly define the space for them. Again, less is best. Make sure your furniture placement allows for easy traffic flow and shows the purpose of each room. If you have a family room, make it a family room. Don’t pile a couch, a TV, a computer, a dining room table and a library all into the same room. Keep it simple, keep it clean, Keep it open and clearly define the space. You don’t want to confuse the potential buyer, not even for a second.