Category Archive: FL Realtors

Florida’s Housing Market is Improving

In terms of stable and affordable housing markets, Florida’s recovering pretty well, according to Freddie Mac’s Multi-Indicator Market Index® (MiMi®). The MiMi® uses current housing data to measure the stability of housing markets in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the top 100 metro areas, and the nation as a whole.

The report released on July 22, 2015, shows that the US housing market is continuing to stabilize. The data is derived from measuring four metrics:

  • purchase applications
  • homeowner payment-to-income
  • number of homeowners current on their mortgages
  • percentage of the labor force that’s employed

The four indicators are combined to create a composite MiMi score for each market, and the monthly totals show how each market is trending. Florida mortgage provider, Embrace Home Loans, explains.

  • How We Ranked: Overall, Florida’s housing market is classified as weak, but improving. Significantly, though, three Florida metro areas are ranked in the top five most improved metros month-over-month, with Cape Coral at number one, Orlando at number three, and Miami at number five. On a year-over-year improvement basis, four Florida metro areas are in the top five, with Orlando at number one, followed by Palm Bay, Cape Coral, and Miami.
  • Also on a year-over-year basis, Florida is the second most improved state, following Oregon. Nationally, 43 of the 50 states and 95 of the 100 metro areas are showing an improving three-month trend.
  • Talk to the Experts: The improving real estate market stability in Florida is a positive sign if you’re thinking of buying a home. Low mortgage rates, programs to reduce down payments, and affordable pricing can combine to provide you with a great opportunity to buy a home.

If you’re thinking of buying or refinancing a home and want to find out more about ways to obtain a Florida mortgage, browse the rest of the Embrace Home Loan’s website, or call 407-733-6425.

Florida mortgage and private mortgage insurance options

With the current mortgage insurance longevity associated with a FL FHA loan (FHA requires mortgage insurance for the life of the loan when putting the lowest allowed down payment and seeking a 30 year fixed rate mortgage), and many home buyers are requesting better options.  Now that more and more FL home buyers are seeking conventional Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac backed mortgages, I want to share the available private mortgage insurance, or PMI, opportunities.

Private mortgage insurance is required when a buyer is putting less than 20% towards down payment on their new home purchase.  And the less towards down payment, the higher the monthly PMI requirement and overall mortgage payment.  Mortgage insurance is generally calculated based on down payment and credit scores.  A 5% down payment will have a higher monthly PMI payment than say a 10% or 15% down payment.

The best part, no matter how much you are using for down payment, is that there are several ways to pay the mortgage insurance.  You can simply pay monthly (everyone knows that).  You can also elect to pay part upfront at closing.  This will reduce the monthly amount.  For example, you can pay 1% or more of the loan amount at closing to reduce your monthly payment.  In fact, you could choose to pay the PMI upfront all at once.  This option removes the monthly payment entirely which reduces your mortgage payment and may help in qualifying for your FL mortgage.  In fact, we closed on a new construction home loan with Viera Builders last month, and the buyers chose to pay their PMI upfront.  This saved them over $230 monthly and kept their qualifying debt ratios from exceeding guideline requirements.

The bottom line is making sure you are speaking with an experienced Loan Officer and one who will share more options to help you or your buyers make the best decision with their new home purchase.  If you or someone you know is buying their first or next home, and needs sound FL mortgage solutions with options and answers, please have them contact me at 800-333-3004 ext. 3560.  Thanks

Stephen Thaggard, NMLS 356309,  Sr Loan Officer, licensed in Florida,

Embrace Home Loans, NMLS 2184,  5500 Murrell Road Suite 201, Viera, FL 32940

Brevard County mortgage communication, service and experience

Realtors working with our local Brevard County mortgage team have an advantage which puts them and their home buyers in a better position with respect to the home financing position.  Our Brevard County mortgage team excels at 3 basics requirements of any financing team; Communication, Service, and Experience.

Communication – This is a touchy subject when talking to many Brevard County Realtors and Builders who are usually left in the dark with progress of their very important buyer.  Embrace Home loans offers immediate online updates for buyers, and followed up correspondence to all parties involved in the transaction, all the way to the closing day.  We also provide upfront estimates, review scenarios to predetermine if your buyer is approvable.  In fact, ask us about our “Approved To Move” program , where we can provide an actual underwriting Loan Commitment, prior to starting construction or writing a contract!  You’ll be informed every step of the way.

Service – We believe service comes down to teamwork.  We are 2 local loan officers who live and work in Brevard County, Stephen and Karen Thaggard, and have our own loan office assistant, Ryan; who is backed up with 4 processors here in Florida who are led by Paul, our own Processing Team Leader.  We underwrite our own loans, and can ask upfront for any special considerations on questionable mortgage loans, through our underwriting support team.  Service at Embrace Home Loans is unsurpassed.

Experience – Their are 2 types of Brevard County or FL mortgage professionals; those with experience and the others.  Karen and I bring 19 years of FL mortgage experience; and our processing team has even more; and Embrace Home Loans has been providing mortgage loans for 31 years and counting!  Staying informed with current mortgage programs and sharing FL mortgage loan options ensures your buyer has the best of opportunities to purchase their first or next Brevard County home.

If you have a question regarding Brevard County home mortgage financing, please contact us at 407.733.6425 (Stephen) or 321.987.9876 (Karen).  We would love the opportunity to assist and share how we can help your team close more homes.

Clear To Close FL Mortgages in 7 days

I am proud to be a part of the best mortgage company in America, Embrace Home Loans.  For over 30 years this company has consistently out serviced and outperformed the competition and now has launched a new program called Quick Close 7.  That is, your buyer can have a clear-to-close commitment just seven days after receiving an uploaded complete FL mortgage loan application.  Sound crazy?  Here’s an example from my last FL mortgage closing, yesterday.

Although we prefer the speed and ease of electronic signatures, our particular Florida home buyer was not computer savvy.  My wife, Karen and I visited our home buyer in Indian River County on Saturday February 1st.  We gathered all supporting documentation as well as the initial signed application disclosures.  We later February 3rd, turned in a complete mortgage file and had already ordered the appraisal, survey and title work.  On February 5th, we received our underwriting conditional commitment and cleared the minor conditions the following day.  We closed on Valentine’s Day, February 14th on time as scheduled!

It’s an awesome reassuring feeling of confidence knowing, when we have FL Realtors or FL Builders with homebuyers that need quick underwriting approvals cleared of conditions, that Embrace Home Loans not only provides that opportunity but, in our example, can close a FL mortgage loan within 10 business days!

If you or someone you know needs our kind of service with quick approvals or to simply answer any mortgage related questions, please contact us at 800.333.3004 ext. 3560, ask for Stephen Thaggard.  Or feel free to text or call directly on his mobile phone at 407.733.6425 to “get his perspective“.

Stephen Thaggard, NMLS 356309,  Sr Loan Officer, licensed in Florida

Embrace Home Loans, NMLS 2184,,

5500 Murrell Road Suite 201, Viera, FL 32940

Florida First Time Home Buyer down payment options

FL first time home buyers typically seek low fixed rate mortgage loans that require little to no down payment.  Some home buyers haven’t been able to accumulate enough in savings or cannot obtain a gift from a family member to meet the usual 3.5% to 5% down payment requirements.  Others want to explore their options with FL mortgage loan programs that allow them to keep more of their earned savings for other future uses.  Whichever is the case, first time home buyers should consider and ask about some of the following mortgage loan details when speaking with a FL mortgage professional.  Buying your first home may be easier than you thought.

  • VA Home Loan – The first question I ask any first time buyer is whether they are a US Veteran.  If eligible, a fixed rate FL VA home loan provides no down payment, no monthly mortgage insurance, and Sellers can contribute up to 4% of the contract price towards the Veterans closing costs.  
  •  FHA Mortgage Loan – If buyers are not Veterans then the next step is prequalifying for a FL FHA loan.  This allows a low down payment of 3.5% and Sellers can contribute up to 6% of the contract price to cover closing costs and escrows for the first time buyer. 
  •  FL Housing Finance Corp – Whether seeking a VA home loan or an FHA loan as mentioned above, or even a conventional mortgage, many qualified first time buyers can take advantage the FL State Bond down payment and closing costs assistance of up to $10,000.  Check your local FL County program too as it may include up to $2,000 federal tax credit per year.  If you are in Brevard County for example, then ask about qualifying for the Brevard HFA loan program with your Brevard County mortgage professional
  • FL USDA Loan – Also called Rural Housing loan, this program can allow buyers to finance the closing costs and escrows.  Sellers can still contribute up to 6% of the contract to buyers’ costs and escrows, and there is no monthly private mortgage insurance.  Qualified buyers and eligible FL homes are only a phone call away.

    If you or someone you know is looking to purchase their first home here in Florida and neeeds the best in sound mortgage options or solutions; ask them to call us today at 800.333.3004 X3560.  Ask for me, Stephen Thaggard or email me directly.  You’ll be surprised at the options available.

Stephen Thaggard, NMLS 356309,  Sr Loan Officer, licensed in Florida

Embrace Home Loans, NMLS 2184,,  485 N Keller Road, Suite 550, Maitland, FL 32751

A FL mortgage truth upfront, is always better

Ever have a home buyer who was pre-qualified for their FL mortgage loan, then learn only days prior to closing they were denied?  When home buyers are shopping around for a low mortgage rate and request to be pre-qualified for their FL mortgage loan, many forget one of the most important steps is working with an experienced FL mortgage professional.  An experienced FL mortgage professional knows to review all income and asset supporting documents as early in the mortgage loan process as possible to ensure their home buyer is well qualified.   

Yesterday our client, approved for a FL VA home loan, learned that his current home under contract had to be cancelled.  The buyer of his home was pre-qualified over a month ago, and now 3 days prior to closing, was denied because their qualifying debt ratio was too high.  That’s right, only 3 days from a scheduled closing!  This is something the loan officer should have known earlier in the process, yet has now stopped 2 home buyers from closing on their dream homes here in Florida.  Next time, they need to speak with an upfront FL mortgage professional that has experience.  Finding out the FL mortgage truth upfront is always better.

I have always said there are 2 types of mortgage loan officers.  Ones that depend solely on the final underwriting review to determine if their client was ever qualified… they are order takers.  While true FL mortgage professionals work upfront and pre-underwrite clients, understanding specific mortgage product knowledge, income analysis, and overall soundness of their clients’ specific qualifications.  This makes all the difference in the world to home buyers, FL Builders, and FL Realtors. 

If you need an upfront review of your home buyer, please make sure to contact our office, email me directly at or call 800.333.3004 ext 3560 and ask for Stephen Thaggard

Stephen Thaggard, NMLS 356309,  Sr Loan Officer, licensed in Florida

Embrace Home Loans, NMLS 2184,,  485 N 5500 Murrell Road Suite 201, Viera, FL 32940