Combating a Number One Cause of the Great Resignation

The „Great Resignation“ has been a buzz word we have all talked about now for the past several months and it doesn’t seem to be going away. Just recently reported by the BLS, the Great Resignation reached an all-time high in September with 4.4 million workers quitting their jobs.

What is the cause of the Great Resignation though? Is it workers wanting more flexibility in their work/life balance that their current employer doesn’t offer? Is it wanting to work at home permanently, but not having the option available anymore? Was it being cooped up at home that made workers realize they want a change in their careers when the job market is better? It’s all of this and more.

The fall 2021 Hiring Report released by Monster though indicates that burnout is the #1 reason employees are quitting their jobs. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health has become a growing concern. Many employees feel like they are „always on“ and work longer hours when at home. There is also a sense of isolation. There is less comradery and social interaction with co-workers, so more workers are feeling lonely and disconnected. All of this, but not limited to, can contribute to feeling burned out. A survey conducted by Indeed in the springtime even showed that more than half of workers reported they were burned out.

What is employee burnout exactly though? Verywell Mind defines burnout as a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterized by three main dimensions: exhaustion, cynicism (less identification with the job), and feelings of reduced professional ability.

Signs and symptoms of employee burnout that Verywell Mind reports include:

  • Alienation from work-related activities: Individuals view their jobs as stressful and frustrating. They also may become cynical about their work and the people they work with.
  • Physical symptoms: This can include headaches, stomachaches, or intestinal issues.
  • Emotional exhaustion: Individuals feel drained and tired. They have a lack of energy to complete their work.
  • Reduced performance: It can affect everyday tasks both at work and at home. They feel negative about tasks and have difficulty in concentrating. They also have a lack of creativity.
  • Depression: Employee burnout can share similar traits to depression and include feelings of hopelessness and cognitive and physical symptoms.

As we can see, employee burnout is important to combat not only for job resignation purposes, but for the mental well-being of employees. Some may even say that the Great Resignation is causing more employees to burnout due to hiring needs because of the Great Resignation. In some cases, this trickled down effect is probably very true. So, how do we stop the Great Resignation? How can we keep our employees from leaving? One place to start is by investing time and money into your employees to avoid burnout. In this blog, we will take a look at (8) ways to keep employees happy and employed at your company.

  1. Check-In with Employees

Frequent check-in meetings with employees are important to see how they are doing. It’s an opportunity for managers to see how their team members are feeling and if they are stressed out with tasks they have at hand. These meetings are probably one of the best ways to detect employee burnout. It also gives employers an opportunity to consult individually with those employees who are beginning to feel burned out and to discuss ways you can help.

Check-in meetings are also an opportunity to discuss employees‘ goals at your company. Harvard Business Review suggests asking employees, „if they could shape their dream job at your company, what would it be?“ This gives employees the floor to share the direction they would like to head into and allows you to begin thinking about shaping this role for them. It also encourages employees to know you are thinking about long-term growth opportunities for them at your company.

Employees also like to know they are valued and are making an impact at the company they work for. During your check-in meetings, be sure to spend time acknowledging their work and the value they are providing. Employees want to know they have a purpose at your company.

Things to consider:

  • Some of your check-in meetings you may want to hold off-site, such as at a coffee shop. Depending on how often you meet, you may not do this every time, but meeting outside the office to have some of these conversations is a way to talk in a casual, open environment. It is also a relatively inexpensive way to take an employee out.
  • Managers should consider holding weekly 15-minute meetings. Jennifer Moss, author of the new book, „The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It,“ suggests holding short 15-minute weekly meetings. These meetings can be used to discuss the highs and lows of the week and what managers can do to make things easier the next week. It’s a simple task that can pay off in terms of mental wellness and productivity. Jennifer also noted that specific questions should be asked to best assess how an employee is doing. Her research found that an average person says they are „fine“ 14 times a week when they are asked how they are doing; 19% of the time they are lying.
  1. Monitor Workloads

Managers should monitor workloads and ensure no one has an unreasonable amount. Workloads may spike at certain times of the year; however, managers will want to make sure employees don’t sustain heavy workloads throughout the entire year. Evaluate employees that have demanding workloads and try to find ways to alleviate that workload from their schedule. Also monitor expectations and goals. Be sure you are setting attainable goals so no one is overstretched and works tirelessly to achieve them. Goals need to be reachable.

  1. Provide Mental Health Support

There are a number of ways employers can provide mental health support to employees. Providing mental health days is one way to do so. It allows employees to take time off for self-care and needed time off for themselves. Mental health days may be something to consider implementing in 2022 if it is not already offered at your company.

Employee Assistance Programs that offer wellness counseling is also something to consider looking into as an addition to your benefits package. Some healthcare providers already offer counseling and wellness programs with their health insurance so it’s something to look into if you are unsure if your health insurance provides it. If it is included with your insurance, share this information with employees so they know it is available to them.

You may also think about bringing in a wellness coach a few times a year where they can offer best practices to employees on mental health. This is a nice opportunity for a group lunch and learn. You can even consider doing wellness group activities during the lunch hour, such as yoga, painting, bringing in a masseuse, etc.

Lastly, encourage employees to take a break if they are feeling overwhelmed or stuck with a project. A simple walk or snack break can help them decompress and come back with a fresh mind!

  1. Survey Employees About Working at Home vs. in the Office

There are pros and cons to working at home versus coming into the office. A recent survey by Bankrate, showed that 56% of workers preferred remote work or adjustable hours. Having the ability to work from home has been another factor contributing to the Great Resignation. At the same time though, the disconnect from co-workers and lack of socialization problems are real. According to the Buffer 2021 State of Remote Work survey, 16% of respondents reported difficulties with collaboration and 16% also reported loneliness while working at home. Is hybrid the magic fix? From personal experience, it seems like many enjoy the hybrid work schedule because you get the best of both worlds. To see what is best for your organization, consider sending out a survey to your employees to gauge what majority of employees would prefer. The survey will share insight in what schedule would make your employees most happy.

  1. Promote Office Camaraderie and Connection

Making time to connect and build relationships among team members is also important. This can go hand in hand with the above topic of working at home. Whether you have employees working at home, in the office, or a hybrid schedule, it is important to promote an environment where people can get to know one another. According to Harvard Business Review, their COVID-Era survey data showed that both blue and white collar workers around the world place a higher priority on having a „good relationship with co-workers“ than on many other job attributes.

If you are not able to hold in-person events, virtual events can be held, such as virtual happy hours or team trivia. You can even have virtual cooking or cocktail making classes. Anything that can help bring the team together for a good time is beneficial for office camaraderie. In-person social events are definitely a better way for employees to get to know one another, however, virtual events are a good alternative if in-person is not possible.

  1. Encourage Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance has probably always been important for most workers; however, it’s becoming a greater factor now when deciding to work or stay at a company. As a best practice, encourage employees to take vacation time, especially as you near the end of the year and employees still have vacation time left. This allows employees to know that you care about their well-being and that you want them to be able to enjoy time off.

Another good practice is to shut down the office early for holidays, if possible. This helps enforce the importance of spending time with family, especially over the holidays. It’s also important to offer flexible schedules to accommodate for family or religious events. If someone has a personal obligation, welcome an environment that allows them to tend to important personal events during the work day.

Lastly, some companies even offer a more flexible schedule by allowing workers to start and end work at any time as long as they get in 8 hours a day. If someone is more productive starting earlier or working later, why not allow them if they get in the same hours of work?

  1. Upskill Employees

Upskilling employees is a practice that can offer great benefit for employers. It can help employees increase job satisfaction (avoiding burnout) and in return help retain employees. It also has financial benefits for the company.

What is upskilling exactly though? According to AG5, it is the process of taking skills and knowledge in a certain area to a new level. It’s also an opportunity to promote employees and help them grow instead of hiring new individuals.

Monster’s Fall 2021 Hiring Report, showed that 45% of workers would be more likely to stay with their employer if they were offered skills training. It offers a new exciting experience for employees, especially for those that have had the same role for a few years. Instead of finding a different job, this gives them the opportunity for a new role at your company. Financially, a Gallup survey reports that the cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one and a half to two times the employee’s annual salary. This is probably very true when you think about spending money advertising the position, onboarding someone new, and all of the other expenses that goes into recruiting a new employee. Starting salary for that person may even be higher then if you were to promote someone from within.

  1. Provide Management Training

Management training may be something to consider offering to new managers as well. Managers play a crucial role in employee engagement and retention. A study performed by Randstad showed that 60% of respondents said they had left a job or would leave over a bad boss, with 58% indicating that they would stay at a job with a lower salary if that meant working for a great boss.

Poor managers can induce stress on employees and drive them out the door. Management training can help managers learn best practices for managing employees. They need to be equipped with skills to provide appropriate feedback, to communicate effectively and clearly, to have the ability to set reasonable expectations, recognize employees for achievements, and be able to delegate tasks. Great managers can make a huge impact on company culture and employee morale!

The Beginning of the End of the Great Resignation

We just took a deep dive into 8 ways to combat employee burnout. Employee burnout is very real and has become an even more prominent problem during the pandemic. It is one area though that employers can try to get under control in order to avoid further resignations. It might not be the only answer to end the Great Resignation, but keeping employees happy and healthy is certainly a good place to start.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

More About Paige Texas

Tucked up in the north east corner of Bastrop County almost to the Lee County line is the sleepy little „burb“ of Paige. The elevation is approx. 535′, the weather is moderate year round. The school system is Bastrop ISD and depending on where you live kids might attend Lost Pines Elementary, Bastrop Middle School or Bastrop High school. Paige proper is not much bigger than a total of 18 blocks and as is typical of small Texas towns there are still some beautiful old vintage/historic homes and buildings still standing or still in use. The area surrounding Paige is a mix of rural residential properties and farm and ranch land. Horse enthusiasts covet the sandy loam soil that can be found in parts of Paige such as out Old Potato Road, or Old Pin Oak, or Antiock and Cardinal Roads.

Paige was established in 1872 along the Houston and Texas Central Rail. The old abandoned rail line is still there which runs along side parts of Old Highway 20 and would make a great section of „Rails for Trails“ as it is not in use at all now. Paige was named after one of the civil engineers that worked on the railway. There was a rail station in Paige up until 1876 and then it was moved to its present location approximately 3 miles to the east. There is a volunteer fire department which was established in 1982 along with the Paige Community Center, and Paige has had a Post Office in town since1874. In those days the majority of the population was of German heritage as was much of the Central Texas area. The population of Paige has fluctuated over the years. In the late 1880’s the town was said to have had a population of 500. Back then the Paige rail station was a shipping point for livestock such as cattle and hogs. Local industry included a pickle, creamery, and broom factory. Today some of the local businesses include The Old Frontier Store which is on Highway 290 and has a little bit of everything to offer from groceries to a meat counter to a small deli/diner, and Yarnorama a yarn and fiber shop.

Paige is approx. 40 miles outside of Austin on Highway 290. Bastrop is 14 miles away on Highway 21, and has just about everything anyone could want or need with coffee shops, two feed stores, box stores such as Home Depot and Lowes on the way, great restaurants, a movie house and bowling alley. About half way to Bastrop from Paige on Highway 21 is Lake Bastrop which offers campgrounds, swim beaches, boat rental and boat launch on both the north and south shores. If you decide to head to Smithville, the town where the movie Hope Floats was filmed is just less than 13 miles on FM 2104. Just before you get to Smithville on the west side of the road you will find Buecher State Park and Lake. If it is the coast you crave you can get to the Gulf in just under two hours from Paige. Circle D, Pioneer Pines Farms, Pine Valley and Pine Tree Cattle Ranch are just a few of the subdivisions that fall in the Paige area that offer rural residential living in the ‚lost pines“ of Bastrop County. The Paige area is also full of wonderful ranches and recreational properties (great for hunting) and periodically they do come on the market.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

8 Ways Quality Real Estate Agents Prove Their Value!

Although, there are over 1.3 million, real estate agents, in the United States, only, a small – minority, of them, are responsible, for the vast majority of the transactions, which occur! Since, for most of us, the value of their house, represents, their single – biggest, financial asset, wouldn’t it make sense, to very carefully, choose the individual, to hire, to represent you, and your best – interests? How should quality agents, demonstrate, and prove, their value? Doing so, demands a variety of skills, assets, attitude, persistence, discipline, integrity, etc, and, there is no such thing, as one – size – fits – all! Before, hiring the right person, to serve and represent, one’s interests, it is essential to, clearly, prove, he is worthy of their respect, etc! With, that, in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 8 ways, quality agents consistently, prove their worth/ value!

1. Effectively listen to prospective clients: Observe, when interviewing agents to represent you, whether, the individual, effectively, listens, to you, and your personal needs, concerns, priorities, etc. How can anyone, represent your best interests, unless/ until, he commits to doing so?

2. Thoroughly, discuss, and discover, what prospective client, seeks, and needs: While some proceed, by trying to, merely, tell someone, what he believes, they want to hear, I strongly believe, in my service – mark, I’ll always tell you what you need to know, not, just, what you want to hear! It is wise, for client and agent, to know, trust, and believe, in – each other, throughout the process!

3. Discuss/ explain suggested marketing plan: What makes one’s marketing plan, different, in a meaningful way, from others? Since, one’s house, is so financially (and, other ways) relevant, it’s essential/ important, for both sides, to work together, on the same – page!

4. Explain concept/ teamwork/ strategy: Real estate agents, owe it, to their clients, to thoroughly, explain their concept, strategy, reasoning, action plans, and, the importance of well – considered, teamwork!

5. Commitment/ discipline/ efforts: Agents can’t, and should never, go – through – the – motions, and proceed, forward, with the level of consistent, true commitment, and the discipline, to maximize their efforts, for the client’s best – interests!

6. Regular updates: Communication, and providing regular reviews, and updates, must be an obligation, for agents! An essential component of representing someone, during stressful times/ periods, is holding – their – hands, throughout the entire period/ process/ transaction! From the onset, it’s important to pre – plan, for, regular, periodic updates, to thorough discuss, all relevant components, and/ or, necessary adjustments, during the period!

7. Quality negotiating: It takes quality negotiating, and an understanding of market, and economic conditions, in terms of supply – and – demand, etc, to make a significant difference, for the better!

8. Close the best deal: Meaningful representatives listen to potential deals, and help, bring them, forward, and, then, have the skills, and self – confidence, etc, to close the deal, with the best combination of minimizing the amount of time needed, enhancing the price offered, and addressing, any, and all conditions, etc.

Hire an agent, who will strive, to clearly, demonstrate, and prove his value, consistently, by a combination of skills, efforts, and a positive, can – do, attitude. Before you, buy, or sell a house/ home, doesn’t it make sense, to hire, the right agent?

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Use Instagram to Market a Real Estate Listing

Instagram’s simple platform and focus on photos makes it the perfect app for real estate agents to share their listings. However, agents who aren’t familiar with the platform may not know what kinds of pictures to post. Simply posting a photo of your listing with the address and a description isn’t going to get much attention. You need to create a story around the listing and share multiple photos to tell that story.

The easiest way to start „Instagramming“ your listings is to use Instagram during an open house. Below are 7 different pictures you can take to create and share your open house story.

Start with a selfie

A „selfie“ is a photo that you take of yourself. Take a selfie in your car, in front of the sign or by the front door. Caption it with something like „Excited to host an open house at 12345 Main Street.“

Your favorite room

Take a photo of your favorite room in the house. In the caption, get your followers to imagine life in that room. For example, if your favorite room is the bathroom with the huge soaking tub, say something like „Can you imagine coming home from a hard day’s work and getting to soak in this tub? Glorious!“

Your favorite outdoor feature

Photograph your favorite outside space. Again, get your followers to imagine themselves living there. „Check out this built in BBQ. Would you love to host summer BBQs at this home?“

Give a shoutout to other agents

A shoutout is a social media referral. If a real estate agent you know comes by the house with clients, snap a picture with them and give them a shoutout in the caption (be sure to use their Instagram handle if they have one.) Your caption could read something like this „Look who stopped by my open house today! Thanks for bringing your buyers @realestateagent.“

Share your „to-do list.“

Write or type a list of things you need to do to prepare for the open house then post a picture. This gives people an idea of the services you provide when hosting an open house. You can also share the owners to do list to educate people on how they should prepare for an open house.

Tools of the Trade

Do you always bring a specific water bottle to open houses? Do you often bake cookies or bring a vase of flowers? Lay out your items and snap a photo. The caption can read something like „Here’s my open house survival kit!“

Get the owners in on the fun

If the homeowners are around, take a photo with them. Tag them and ask them to share the photo on their Instagram and to tag you!

Instagram is easy to use and the perfect platform for real estate agents who are unfamiliar with social media but want to use it to market their listings. With a few clicks of your smartphone camera and some witty captions, you’re next buyer could be one of your Instagram followers.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

5 Tips for the First Time Home Buyer

Buying a home is a big step in your life and should be a very exciting time. Unfortunately, many individuals rush into buying a home with out considering the implications is has on their future. If you’re considering making the move to own it’s important you weigh all the options, and consider what if anything will affect the feasibility of you’re purchase. If this is you’re first time in the housing market consider the following before you make your big move.

  1. Get Your Finances in Order

    Have a lot of debt racked up? If thats the case, you may want to play catch up before you even think about buying a home. Bad credit is bad news for those who want a buy a new home. In most cases you will need to get a mortgage before you buy and this means your credit will be under scrutiny. Start getting acquainted with your credit score and begin fix the problems well before you apply for a mortgage.

  2. Think about the Future

    If you have a job or other obligation that may require you to move or travel for extended periods of time you want to think twice about rushing into the housing market. Buying a house is a commitment that will tie you down to a particular location for at least a few years. It’s not easy or economically feasible to pack up and sell your home at the drop of a hat.

  3. Educate Your Self

    As a first time home buyer one of the worst thing you can do is go into the market unprepared. Familiarizing your self with words and phrases that are used will allow you to better comprehend the market. A better understanding of the home buying process will enable you to make a well educated decision when it comes to you’re final purchase. Entering the market blindly can turn you’re home buying dreams into a nightmare.

  4. Be Rational

    We all want to live in the home of our dreams. Unfortunately, like most things in life, the housing market must be approached from the bottom up? Renting is the start of the home owners journey. With your dream home serving as the final destination you will most likely need to take a few stops on the way there. The logical step is to buy a house you can afford not one that lands you in economic turmoil. Consider your first home an investment that you can improve upon over time. Once the home is improved you can sell it and bring yourself one step closer to your dream home. Buying out of your league can be a huge problem so set a budget and find a home within your means.

  5. Ask For Help

    Don’t be determined to have a go at it alone. Buying a home is a complicated process and sometimes it really helps to have someone walk you through it step by step. Agents are more than willing to help you look through home listing, find what your looking for, and ultimately take you from start to finish.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

First Time Homebuyers and Down Payment Assistance Programs

May 27, 2010 Down Payment Assistance Programs (DPA’s) for First Time Home Buyers By: Michael A. Foote, CMB

There is money available for first time homebuyers today. In a much needed addition to financing products available today, down payment assistance programs are available once again. Down Payment Assistance Programs are generally a local, state or federal grant or bond program designed to assist certain persons with certain income levels in certain areas, with money that can be used for down payment and closing costs on many purchase loans.

These tax free grants or loans are generally forgivable provided the buyer stays in the home for a designated amount of time. And these dollars can dramatically change the amount of money required for closing when these first time homebuyers buy a home. For example, a typically FHA borrower may have to come up with over 4-7% total of the sales price whereas a borrower with a WISH down payment assistance program may only need to bring in 2-3% total. That’s a huge amount of money on a several hundred thousand dollar transaction. If you amortize out that difference the savings are literally tens of thousands of dollars since most closing costs are financed in the new mortgage.

So what does the process with „DPA“ look like when compared to the regular loan process. Quite frankly, it’s seem less to the user insofar that the lender will generally have to deal with the additional hoops during the process. For the borrower/buyer they probably wouldn’t know the difference. The only real difference is a potential for a slightly longer loan processing time. So is DPA a good idea? Well, lately it has been a challenge for Realtors to get clients using FHA let alone FHA WITH Down Payment Assistance so an argument could be made that using DPA on an Offer to Purchase could be a determining factor for the seller’s side when these choose the offer to open escrow with. The only cure for this pitfall will need to be more product on the market for properties up to the $400,000 range as DPA generally have no purpose and no qualifying borrowers as the sales price rises and/or in areas of high per capita income. Undoubtedly, DPA has a place in today’s financing landscape and those of in the industry are happy to have it, it is one more additional tool to increase homeownership for low to mid income families. And this product will help sell the forecasted shadow inventory rumored to be lurking around the corner.

Only time will tell if that come to fruition or not. These programs are not free from abuse, there have been in the past scams related to DPA and officials, lenders, and large institutions have really scaled back what is allowable as DPA. Also economics play into the availability of these from all the time. There are many DPA’s completely drained of funds.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Purchase A Home With Free Downpayment Assistance Grants

First-Time Home Buyers Assistance

Florida Housing is a State Financing Corporation created over 20 years ago to help Floridians obtain safe, decent housing that might otherwise be unavailable to them. Their „First-Time“ Homebuyer Program provides low interest mortgage loans and financial incentives throughout the year, for eligible homebuyers who haven’t owned a home as a primary residence within the past 3 years.

Program Highlights

The program offers low-interest 30 and 40 year fixed-rate loans, downpayment and closing costs assistance as well as access to credit counseling.

Teachers, firefighters, healthcare workers, police officers, as well as active duty and veteran military personnel could be eligible for lower interest rates.

Eligible applicants include individuals who:

 have never owned a home,

 don’t claim their mobile home as real property,

 haven’t owned a home as their primary residence within the past three years,

 have established credit worthiness,

 have an annual income that does not exceed program limits.

Downpayment Assistance

Florida Housing offers two downpayment and closing cost assistance programs in the form of second mortgage loans, and one in the form of an upfront cash assistance to help eligible homebuyers cover their downpayment and closing costs.

Downpayment Assistance

Programs: Offers Up To:

(Income limits apply)

FLORIDA ASSIST PROGRAM $10,000- Applicants with annual income at or below 80% Area Median Income

ASSISTANCE FOR MODERATE INCOME (HAMI) $5,000-Applicants with moderate income

The City of Orlando offers a Downpayment Assistance Program, available to low and moderate income first-time homebuyers for the purchase of a home within the City limits of Orlando. Depending on the gross household income, assistance may be $10,000, $20,000 or $30,000.

Teachers and public safety personnel, who are moderate income, may qualify for $20,000 of assistance. City of Orlando employees, teachers, and public safety personnel who are purchasing homes within the city limits of Orlando do not have to be first time homebuyers. Purchasers must occupy the property as a principal residence for at least ten (10) years. The downpayment assistance becomes a grant once the period of affordability has been satisfied.

Orange County provides funds to qualified first time homebuyers for down payment and closing costs associated with purchasing a home. The program provides assistance to qualified low and moderate income persons in Orange County on a first come, first ready basis. The program also requires that potential homebuyers complete a pre-purchase and post-purchase education program.

The buyer must:

 Meet the income requirements. Annual household income cannot exceed 120% of the area median income.

 Provide at least $1,000 of their own funds.

 Complete a home buyer’s education seminar.

 Secure first mortgage financing.

The property must:

 Be new or existing and located in Orange County, outside the city limits of Orlando.

 Not exceed a sales price of $219,000.

 Receive competitive fixed rate financing.

 Be fee simple ownership.

The assistance:

 Maximum ranges from $20,000 to $35,000 depending on household income.

 The County’s assistance is provided to the buyer’s closing agent at closing in the form of a soft second mortgage at 0% interest which is forgiven after fifteen (15) years if the home remains owner-occupied.

 In addition, the total first mortgage and Orange County’s second mortgage may not exceed 105% of appraised value.

Home Buyer’s Education Program

All participants requesting down payment assistance must attend a free Homeowners Education workshop. This provides education and technical services to assist eligible low and moderate income families in the process and procedure connected with the purchase of an affordable single family fee-simple housing unit. Homebuyers Education addresses such topics as choosing a realtor, qualifying for a mortgage, inspecting a house, contracts for sale, home maintenance and credit issues.

The Orange County Finance Authority is a government organization that provides mortgage financing with lower interest rates than what is available in the market. Their financing products reduce long-term mortgage costs. Plus, if eligible, you may obtain additional down payment/closing cost assistance from other sources along with this financing!

In order to qualify for home financing, certain eligibility requirements must be met:

 You have not had an ownership interest in a primary residence during the previous three years. (Unless the property is located in a federally designated „Targeted Area“.)

 Property must be owner-occupied for the term of the loan or until the property is sold.

 Have the legal right to permanently reside in the United States

 Meet credit and loan requirements

 Do not exceed the income & purchase price limit

 Veterans can waive First-Time Homebuyer Rule

City of Kissimmee Community Redevelopment Agency offers financial grants to new homeowners within the Community Redevelopment Agency district (CRA), in order to provide economic support to the downtown businesses. It is designed to attract new residents to targeted areas within the Community Redevelopment district. There will be no income limitations placed on the granting of these funds.

Funding will be granted based on establishment of owner occupancy of the subject property. The grants will be given on a first come, first served basis after certain qualifications have been met.

The agency offers financial grants to eligible employees of employers in the CRA Overlay District on a first come, first served basis to be used towards the purchase of a home. Plus, there are incentives for Teachers to be used towards the purchase of a home in the CRA Overlay District on a first come, first served basis.

Osceola County provides funds to qualified first time homebuyers for downpayment, closing costs associated with purchasing a home, and financing with lower interest rates than what is available in the market. The program provides assistance to qualified low and moderate income persons in Osceola County on a first come, first ready basis. The program also requires that potential homebuyers complete an education program.

The buyer must:

 Not have owned a home in the last three years.

 Attend a Home Buyers Orientation Session and complete a Home Buyers Education Program.

 Have a minimum of $1,000 to contribute toward the costs of buying a home.

 Have an annual income that falls within the area median income guidelines as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Additional terms may apply.

The property must:

 Must be located in Osceola County.

 New home or existing homes must not exceed $200,000. If within the City of Kissimmee homes must not exceed $240,000.

 No mobile homes.

 Manufactured homes must have DCA insignia seal.

 Must be a single family home, condominium, town home or villa.

The assistance:

 Maximum ranges from $39,000 to $69,000 depending on household income.

 The Loan is provided to the buyer’s closing agent at closing in the form of a soft second mortgage which is forgiven after ten (10) years if the home remains owner-occupied.

Repayment of the loan becomes due if:

 Borrower defaults on the first mortgage.

 The house is sold refinanced with equity cashed out.

 The house is rented, leased, subleased or ceases to be owner-occupied prior to the end of the loan period.

 No Home Equity Line of Credit borrowed against the property.

Home Buyer’s Education Program

All participants requesting down payment assistance must attend a free Homeowners Education workshop. This provides education and technical services to assist eligible low and moderate income families in the process and procedure connected with the purchase of an affordable single family fee-simple housing unit. Homebuyers Education addresses such topics as choosing a realtor, qualifying for a mortgage, inspecting a house, contracts for sale, home maintenance and credit issues.

SHIP Program (State Housing Initiative Partnership)

The State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) Program provides funds to produce and preserve affordable housing through the creation of a partnership between the public and private sectors. The funds are derived from the collection of documentary stamp tax revenues, which are deposited into the Local Government Housing Trust Fund. Based on a population-based formula, SHIP funds are distributed to local governments each month.

These funds are available to Home Buyers through the Downpayment Assistance programs above.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

How to Protect Yourself As a First-Time Homebuyer

Buying properties in Florida takes more than just contacting the seller or their real estate agent. To get the most value for your money, it helps to know the many ways you can protect yourself as a buyer. To the first-time home buyer, one might get so excited going through the public listings and try to negotiate with the real estate agent or the seller himself. But without professional advice, there are many ways that additional costs can easily add up. These are costs that the new home buyer may not realize until the final transaction or closing.

First of all, it helps to know that there are different agent relationships in Florida. There are transaction brokers who are there to facilitate a transaction with neither loyalty to the seller nor the agent. Then there are those seller’s agents whose main role is to get the highest price for the seller as well as protect the seller’s interests and facilitate a fast sale. The third agent relationship is a buyer’s agent but working in a listing office. This clearly has a conflict of interest because they may have the buyer’s interest in mind but, since he/she is working in a listing office, said buyer’s agent is bound to protect the interests of the listing office as well.

These options do not really have the full buyer’s interests in mind. Yet, for a first-time home buyer, doing it on your own may present you with surprises like hidden costs in terms of repairs or closing costs passed on to the buyer. There are many other surprises that a new buyer may not realize, and your best bet is to have an agent whose interests are fully for the protection of you as the buyer. With having a buyer’s agent, you have peace of mind that you have a professional who knows the right questions to ask the seller or the seller’s agent, who knows how to negotiate, and lastly to determine the correct value for the buyer’s money.

For example, what is the current real estate market trend in the area? Are there repairs needed and what is the best way to negotiate about the repairs? When was the last time the roof was changed? Is there no past repair that still has a record of a violation?

These are just a few of the many other issues that can come up for first-time buyers. It helps to have a real estate professional, an agent whose sole motive is to protect the home buyer.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

4 Benefits of Using a Multiple Listing Service

Today, realtors strive to make selling homes for potential sellers as feasible as possible. They have invested millions of dollars in developing Multiple Listing Services (MLS) and other technologies that facilitate efficient transactions. Through the MLS, brokers are able to share information on their property listings with other brokers who get compensated when they produce a buyer. Even though the real estate market is competitive, this arrangement has allowed competitors to cooperate in order to benefit the sellers.

1. Increased Exposure to Property

With MLS, sellers do not need to struggle to get potential buyers to see their property. Instead, the service lists their property, which is viewable to thousands of home seekers who visit the sites. Brokers cooperate with other brokers to list the property on multiple sites. This allows sellers to use a platform that was created by realtors for realtors to leverage a wide market for their property. In the long run, this helps to reduce unnecessary fees.

2. Sellers Can Relax

In the past, sellers used to work with several brokers and realtors when selling a property. This proved to be daunting, especially when making follow-ups and meeting potential buyers. This is no longer the case. With MLS, you take the photos of the property and upload them to the site. This allows buyers to get a picture of the property before a visit. Most providers allow the listing to remain on the site up to 6 months until the seller gets a buyer.

3. Professional Legal Help

There are legal aspects that are involved in selling a property and it is important to get everything right. Any issue could lead to delaying the sale of the property or not selling it at all. There are agreements to be signed that highlight the estimated price, advertising costs, commissions and agreement duration. A multiple listing service helps sellers to understand and meet some of these requirements to ensure a hassle-free sale. They also can help in unique cases such as where a divorce is involved.

4. Guaranteed Seller’s Privacy

MLS are maintained for real estate professionals to assist their clients with buying or selling a property. The participating brokers provide the data of the listings to the public free-of-charge. In such cases, the data is useful to the sale of the property and the buyer may want to access it. However, there are some cases that sellers may want to limit access to certain information such as personal contact information and the times when the property is vacant for showings. The service ensures that the seller’s information is not shared without permission.

Multiple Listing Services are a true reflection of the competition and innovation that exists in the real estate market. These services have help to ensure sellers can advertise their property to a wider audience. It is safe, easy and convenient for both sellers and buyers. There are different business models, such as full service and limited service, that MLS use, and a seller can choose an option that they deem best.

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

The Lowdown On Selling Your Property

Did you know that just a few improvements on your house could very well improve the value of your home And that first impressions can mean everything?

The number one thing that a possible new buyer recognizes often is the out side of one’s residence. Charm is in all probability the most important variable in selling your house. If a future customer views the exterior and doesn’t feel impressed, they probably will not even care how the inside looks. Therefore, make it appealing.

Landscaping is really a must. Continue to keep the grass mowed, cut the hedges/shrubs, and clear the walkway. If it is summer, shell out a little of dollars and plant some flowers. Flowers make absolutely everyone smile. Does the exterior require a fresh coat of paint? View your house as an outsider. Is there anything you don’t like about it? Start there. You may always take a walk within your neighborhood. See what shines about your neighbors properties and what separates theirs from yours. You can actually learn from them. Ask your buddies for their tips.

The inside is just as significant as the outside. Keep it clutter free. This is a must, even if you have to rent storage space till you sell. Continue to keep the curtains open. Make it as airy as feasible. Open your windows, and don’t forget to clean them! You quite possibly already know that paint is an economical way for you to help make your home appear its very best. Keep the colors easy and fundamental. Soft warm colors will transform a residence. When my mates complain and want new furnishings, I normally inform them to just paint the rooms. It’s like getting new furnishings. It brings life to a home, regardless of how the furnishings looks.

Do you know that the MLS listing service is considered the most dynamic tool for promoting your property? You can list via a Broker or a Discount Broker. When you list your home on the MLS, Your home is listed in your areas local MLS. Realtors scan the MLS several times every day to search for properties for their prospective clients. Your listing entails color photos and all the details about the home together with its amenities. Agents are just as encouraged to sell your home as any other property on the MLS. After your property is listed on the Multiple Listing Service, it quickly syndicates to Realtor.com, which happens to be the most used real-estate web-sites. The internet is tremendous. Your property will likely to be found by 1000’s.

Another effective tool is to make sure you have fantastic online pics of your house. Having quite a few great photos of the home on-line as possible could assist your showings, given that these days most of the people shop via the web just before picking out just what homes to go look at personally. Many times having no pics could get your listing skipped all together. People want to see pictures!

Did you know that another reliable tool is the Yard Sign? Displaying a FOR SALE sign is strongly encouraged for advertising your home. It indicates that you are truly serious about selling your home.

I hope you found this article beneficial. Thank you and good luck with your sale!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

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