Tag Archives: buying in fort lauderdale

Top 5 Weekly Best Buys | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate

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via Top 5 Weekly Best Buys | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate.

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‘Boomerang’ buyers get another chance at homeownership

Just 10 days before Christmas 2009, Ganel Appolon found an envelope taped to his front door. He and his family were being evicted from their Tamarac home. Appolon had fallen behind on his mortgage payments, and the lender repossessed the property under terms of his bankruptcy filing.

Despite the financial setback, Appolon vowed to own again.

He spent the next four years saving money and rebuilding his credit. Last fall, he qualified for another mortgage and in December bought a three-bedroom home in Fort Lauderdale for $177,500.

“I feel free,” said Appolon, a 46-year-old electrician. “My kids are really, really happy. They kept saying, ‘Thank you, Daddy. Thank you, Daddy.’ “

Appolon’s experience may give hope to tens of thousands of people snared in the housing collapse. Many of those people thought they’d never own again — or at least have to wait a decade or longer to even think about it. Instead, lenders and real estate agents say many former homeowners are recapturing the American Dream, as “boomerang buyers.”

“Time will heal everything, and that’s what’s happening here,” said Jim Flood, regional manager for

Supreme Lending in Plantation. “I think it’s great that people are getting a second chance. Don’t we all want that in life?”

How many are getting that chance? No one knows. The government and housing industry don’t track it. But lending titans such as Bank of America, as well as community banks and credit unions, typically follow the guidelines from government-run mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which together insure about half of the nation’s home loans.

Fannie and Freddie require someone with a previous foreclosure to wait seven years before qualifying for a new mortgage. But if the foreclosure was included in the bankruptcy, as it was for Appolon, the borrower has to wait only four years.

A person who unloaded a home before the bank foreclosed — such as through a short sale — must wait two years to get another Fannie or Freddie loan.

A consumer seeking a Federal Housing Administration-backed loan can qualify three years after a foreclosure or short sale.

Former owners who lost a home because of at least a 20 percent cut in pay may be able to qualify for another mortgage after only a year through FHA’s Back to Work program.

Catherine Perez used that program to buy a four-bedroom home in Pembroke Pines in November. Three years ago, she lost a Davie  townhome in foreclosure after her adjustable-rate mortgage payment jumped $400 a month to $2,200. Both cities are near Fort Lauderdale.

Perez, 32, lived with her mother for a year to save money and then rented. She signed up for a credit restoration program through the nonprofit agency United Financial Counselors, raising her credit score by more than 100 points to 672 — enough to get a mortgage. The highest score is 850.

Perez and her fiance ended up qualifying for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage at 4.375 percent. They put down about $18,000 on the $335,000 purchase.

“I’m so relieved,” she said. “I wanted to have a home for my future kids.”

Homeowners who lost their properties make up a pool of potential buyers could help bolster demand just as last year’s frenzy cools, analysts say.

“We’re about three years past the peak of the foreclosures, and that’s about the time when most people would qualify for another loan,” said Daren Blomquist, spokesman for RealtyTrac in Irvine, Calif. “The market really needs boomerang buyers to maintain the current recovery.”

Some boomerang buyers are required to make down payments of at least 20 percent, while others can put down as little as 3.5 percent or 5 percent — much the same as people without credit problems.

In Appolon’s case, he ended up qualifying for favorable loan terms: a 5 percent down payment (about $13,000, with closing costs) and a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a 4.5 percent interest rate, according to his lender, Stephen B. McWilliam, head of Florida State Mortgage Group in Fort Lauderdale.

When Appolon applied for a mortgage last fall, his credit score was 700. He is not sure what his score was at the time of the bankruptcy, but a person in similar circumstances probably would have had a score of 550 or less, McWilliam said.

Kevin Maher, community outreach coordinator with DebtHelper.com, a West Palm Beach-based counseling agency, said the best way to rebuild credit is to pay credit cards and other bills on time and not add new debt. People who take those steps can see their scores rise significantly within a year, he said.

“It’s very easy to rebuild your score up to what you need to get back into homeownership,” he said. “You just have to stop the bleeding and start something positive.”

Ryan Paton, head of Capitol Lending Group in Fort Lauderdale, said he frequently hears criticism about giving mortgages to people who have short sales or foreclosures in the recent past.

But lenders are willing because they realize a large group of otherwise responsible borrowers were trapped in an extraordinary housing debacle not likely to be seen again, he said.

“As long as they’ve saved money and re-established their credit, they’re fantastic buyers,” he said.           


Las Olas Art Fair Comes to Lauderdale, 3/1

WHAT: 26th Annual Las Olas Art Fair Part II

WHEN: March 1 – 2, Saturday & Sunday, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

WHERE: Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, between SE 6th Avenue and SE 11th Avenue Navigational address: 600 East Las Olas Boulevard, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl 33301

WHY: To Support the Arts, the Las Olas Association and the Local Community

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public

WEBSITE: www.artfestival.com

CONTACT INFORMATION: info@artfestival.com or 561-746-6615

Las Olas Art Fair Part II returns March 1 – 2, 2014 with another eclectic display of vibrant, colorful and whimsical art, handcrafted by the finest artists in the country. This event allows art enthusiasts and fans of this wildly popular show to enjoy the new work of their favorite artists while exploring the work of new and emerging talent. Partial proceeds from the festival benefit the Las Olas Association. Admission is free and open to the public.

Festival patrons will have the opportunity to engage the artists and learn about the creative process. In addition, there will be a free art giveaway featuring the work of participating artist Igor Menaker. This fine art photographer travels the world capturing the vibrant and colorful landscapes he encounters, turning them into exquisite works of art. The giveaway prize, a 24″x36″ photographic print on canvas titled “Towels and Umbrellas” taken while in Burano in Venice, Italy, and valued at $425 will be on display in his booth. There will be no purchase or fee required to participate in this giveaway and the winner will be announced during the final hour of the art show.

An original painting by participating artist Sharon Kusha inspired the show’s 26th edition poster with a unique depiction of Las Olas Boulevard. It will be on display and available for purchase at the festival along with t-shirts and previous editions of festival posters. As always, the booth will be located across from the Cheesecake Factory.

For additional information on the 26th Annual Las Olas Art Fair Part II and other Howard Alan Events art and craft shows across the country, visit www.artfestival.com or call 561-746-6615.

Read more at http://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwart/article/Las-Olas-Art-Fair-Comes-to-Lauderdale-31-20140225#3Hc7bYfXQkVSVAyT.99

Victoria Park | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate

fort lauderdale beach condos

via Victoria Park | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate.


Just listed in Victoria Park!

Don’t miss this opportunity to live in the heart of Victoria Park. Complex is walking distance to Las Olas, Downtown and the Beaches! This interior/corner unit overlooks the pool and beautiful courtyard. Unit offers brand new stainless steel appliances, new electric hot box (water heater), granite countertops, tile and wood laminate flooring. Building offers bike storage, additional storage for each unit, and a  large laundry room with new washer/dryers.The building is PET FRIENDLY and has no assessments!

Contact me for more information

Chris Berthelson




Townhome in Coral Ridge Just Listed!

Casa Bella is a quaint seven unit complex in East Coral Ridge.  Immaculate town home in the Bayview School district.  This three bedroom three and a half bath town home has many great features: gourmet kitchen w/SS appliances, granite counters and 42″ cabinets, huge bright living area, extra loft space on second floor, family room and rooftop terrace.  Private splash pool and much more.

Contact me for more information

Chris Berthelson