Top Florida Real Estate Stories of 2018

SETCO stays on top of real estate stories and wants our clients to stay in the know as well. Florida Realtors website chose to cover some of the top stories of 2018. Being about anything from Hurricane Michael to cuts in business rent tax, these stories are ones to read.

Property Insurers Drop 87,000 Florida Homeowners in Q3

With hurricanes damage and other water issues aplenty during this recent stretch of months, more than 87,000 homeowners have been dropped in the third quarter alone.

Reduce Your Tax Burden Before the End of 2018

SETCO likes to educate our real estate community so that they are aware of what to do before closing on a house. With a new tax law in place, people are doing some things differently this year when it comes to money.

Mortgage Rates Had A Record Drop As of November

Long-term mortgage rates in the U.S. had the biggest recorded drop in nearly four years in the month of November. Although they have hit a record drop, they still remain much higher than they were a year ago. Either way, SETCO is ready to help our clients with their closings whether they mortgage rates be high or low.

Who Needs Black Friday When You Have December 26th?

Everyone knows about Black Friday, but not everyone knows about December 26th. If you are like us and do not want to battle the crowds and craziness that comes with Black Friday, then December 26th is the day for you. According to researchers, home buyers who are looking for a great deal should wait until the day after Christmas.

SETCO Helps Clients Prepare to Buy Their Homes

Here at SETCO we are prepared to help our clients buy their dream home whether it be for the experienced or beginner homebuyer. A great way to prepare yourself to buy a house is lowering your 2018 tax bill. The tax overhaul law, which was signed into law late last year, created $1.5 trillion in tax cuts but did not help with making the filing process simpler.

Checking your withholding and updating your W-4 can be used to help avoid large balances. Knowing whether you have the right amount of tax held back from your paycheck can be beneficial when knowing whether you have enough money to buy a house. It is also said that taxpayers should focus on the “use-it-or-lose-it” type planning opportunities. Taxpayers should aim to maximize contributions to their available retirement plans. Additional contributions to your retirement plan can be made if you are of age 50 or older. Retirement plans can include buying a house or condo, which is why it is crucial never to pass over an opportunity to maximize your revenue to that. Any funds that are not used by the end of the year will be lost, so it is essential to make sure that you are taking advantage of these leftover funds.

The new tax law also doubled the standard deduction to $12,000 for single taxpayers and $24,000 for those who are married and file jointly. This means that starting in 2019, more than 90 percent of taxpayers will claim the standard deduction. These deductions are crucial to take into account when deciding whether you want to buy a home or not, even if it is not your first time around.

If you are looking to reduce your estate tax exposure, you can give up to $15,000 to an unlimited number of beneficiaries a year without decreasing their lifetime estate tax exclusion amount or paying a gift tax. If your tax rate is high, consider boosting your and your spouse's 401(k) contributions and/or IRA contributions. On the other hand, if you are in a loss position, consider converting IRA or 401(k) assets to a Roth IRA.

Each of these things is valuable to take into consideration when buying a new home. With the end of the year coming up and taxes being filed, these things are heavy on everyone’s mind. SETCO helps our clients with these things while also helping them with their closing on a new home.

SETCO is Ready to Help Clients of All Ages With Closings

Most people believe their first home should be bought when they are young and new to the adult world. In reality, it is very common for people to purchase their first home later in life when they are more financially stable, or ready to make the move from renting to owning. Whatever the reason may be, SETCO’s Title Professionals are more than prepared to help our clients of all ages navigate their first closing.

Important Things to Know About Title Insurance in Florida

SETCO wants to help our clients learn more about title insurance in Florida so that they do not feel like they are in the dark when closing on a home. In the course of a closing, real estate title is transferred from the buyer to the seller. The next step is a Closing Disclosure Form, which turns into a legal document once signed and should not be signed unless you understand and agree to all terms of it.

According to Florida law, a licensed title agent may conduct a closing in any preferred location as long as a notary is there. A typical closing for buyers includes singing a mortgage pledge if they are taking out a loan, being given warranty and inspection reports for their home, and receiving a commitment for the issue of a title policy.

Having title insurance is crucial when buying a home. The title is the ownership basis of real estate and represents your legal rights in the property’s use, control, possession, and dispossession. Defects in the title to your property can result in a partial or complete loss to your investment, something no buyer should have to go through. Purchasing owner’s title insurance ensures that defects will not affect your homeownership. Title insurance offers protection to you from previous claims or prior rights that another party may have to that property. On the rare occasion that someone challenges your title, your title insurance underwriter will defend your title and pay any costs that occur up until your title insurance policy limit.

Lender and owner policy are the two main types of title insurance in Florida. The lender’s policy title insurance protects the interest of the lender in the title of your home, while an owner’s policy provides coverage for the owner of the property against certain types of claims, which can usually be found listed in the policy. The owner’s policy also protects the new owner of the property from any of the previous owner’s liabilities. In Florida, both the buyer and seller can invest in lender and owner policies.

Selecting a title agent is an important decision, and should be well researched before making any final choices. Speaking with any people you know that have recently purchased a home can be beneficial to understanding their experience with their title agent. The purpose of a title agent are things such as to get and prepare title searches, to respect and review the property title, preparation of the closing documents, administer the closing, and so much more. A good title agent has a lot of experience and will be able to answer any questions you may have in the process of closing. SETCO’s title agents are well trained and know how to help our clients have the best closing possible.

For Homebuyers: A Guide to Title Insurance

What is Title Insurance? That depends on who you are.

Seven Reasons Why Every Homebuyer Needs Owner's Title Insurance

Buying a home is an exciting and emotional time for many people. To help you buy your home with more confidence, make sure you get owner's title insurance.