Author Archives: Don Norris

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norris real estate brevard county

How To Negotiate Multiple Offers

Category : Need to Know , Sales

As a Realtor, working with both Buyers and Sellers in the rebounding Real Estate market can be challenging at times. Selling your home or buying a property can be one of the most important decisions and transactions in your life. As a licensed Real Estate Agent, I take my responsibilities very seriously by studying negotiation strategies that will put my Buyers or Sellers in the best possible situation to complete a transaction on a deal.

space coast real estate tips and strategies

I have outlined 12 Simple Tips for handling multiple offers at once.

1. Contingencies Should Be Your Last Option
Do not automatically go to or consider a contingency. Only consider a contingency offer for the sale or lease of your property unless it is absolutely necessary. A financing contingency may be a prudent idea when you have another piece of property to sell.

2. Go In Strong!
When you find a home or piece of property that you really want, you have to be assertive and go in strong sometimes. If a property is receiving multiple offers, go in strong with your best offer! It is your objective to get that house and close on that transaction! Going in strong and to the point with your best offer, lets the person on the other end of the transaction know you are serious and if it is a strong enough offer, they will accept it. They too want to get this transaction to the closing table as quickly as possible!

3. Understand, There Will Likely Be A Counter-Offer
Be aware, that even going in with a strong offer on a property, if the seller’s agent is doing their due diligence, almost all offers will include a counter-offer. Knowing this ahead of time should save you any surprises and frustrations with a strong first offer.

4. Find Out Where the Seller Is and What They Really Want
Knowing the situation of the seller and what they are genuinely after in regards to an offer can save you and the seller a lot of time and head aches with offers and counter-offers. Sometimes this information is easily obtained, even through the seller’s agent.

5. Show Your Buyer’s Funds Credentials
If you want to make a solid impression with your offer, send in a verification of funds letter with a cash offer. If financing, send in a strong pre-approval letter or an underwriting approval letter which carries a good bit more weight than just a pre-approval letter.

6. Make a Strong Impression with Earnest Money
Let the seller know how serious you are about purchasing the property by putting down a considerable amount of earnest money along with an underwriting or pre-approved financing letter. By putting up $10,000 or more for earnest money where others are putting up $5,000 or less will certainly set you apart from the rest of the multiple offers being considered. All of that earnest money goes towards your down payment, so if you have the cash to put up, always put your best foot forward and set yourself apart from the rest.

7. Don’t Ask For Part of Your Closing Costs To Be Paid By the Seller
In a hot market with multiple offers, the sweeter you make it for the seller, the better chances your offer is going to be the one accepted. The seller is going to be looking at his bottom line just like you are. The more money in the sellers pocket at the end of the transaction, the better your chances are of getting your dream home! Do not ever let closing costs be the reason you lost your perfect home to another buyer!

8. Don’t Ask For Everything!
One of the surest ways of losing out on a contract with that perfect home you have been looking for is by getting greedy when it comes to the contract. Unnecessary things like personal property requests (flat screen televisions, refrigerators, washer and dryers and furniture in general) termite bonds, home warranties, etc…, will kill a contract before it even gets started. The more simple and attractive to the seller, the more likely your offer will be the one accepted over the other complicated offers.

9. Give the Sellers a Chance to Move
By allowing the seller a few extra days after the closing to pack up and move is a good way to show the seller you are going to be someone easy to work through the closing process. As anxious as you are to get into your new house, give the previous owners a little breathing room to move out. Little things like this can go a long way in weighing whose offer to chose and whose to put at the bottom of the pile.

10. Communicate Clearly and Quickly
There is a reason I saved this tip as the last. Probably one of the single most important tips anyone who is going into a home purchase can have. Communication is key is not just a cliche. Good, clear and prompt communication can save a transaction from disaster most times than not. If there is a counter offer, be clear and expedient to your reply. Again, this could be lone factor on whether or not your offer is pushed through or not. If the seller is waiting around for you to respond, he is going to quickly start to think of the other multiple offers being presented to them on a daily basis. Be smart and prompt!

No single transaction is identical to another. Each person involved in any kind of real estate deal has their own personalities and working with different types of people require different types of approaches. Being able to be flexible and compliant to the needs of the seller is key to making any real estate purchase a smooth one!

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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Homeowner Danger Zones

Category : Need to Know

Homeowner Danger Zones

Homeownership has many perks and may responsibilities. Owning your home means you are solely responsible. Keeping yourself, your family and your guests safe as well as protecting your investment is of the utmost importance.

There are potential dangers in and around your home. It is your responsibility to be diligent and eliminating and reducing those dangers. Some of the most common dangers for a homeowner has to do with common household appliances and items in and around your home.

How many of the following common items are a potential threat for your home?

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Stoves, Ovens and Cooktops

40% of all home fires start in the kitchen according to a study completed by Red Cross. A high percentage of these kitchen fires are a direct result of the cooktop or stovetop being unattended or left on. This percentage of fires is exaggerated when dealing with gas stoves and cooktops. Be sure to turn off all burners completing before leaving the kitchen. Keeping any and all combustibles away from the cooking area is another great way to eliminate these dangers.

Clothes Dryer

Your clothes dryer is a sneaky appliance that has potential for disaster to your home. Your lint trap filter is a common item and everyone who has ever operated a dryer knows to swipe the lint form the filter screen between uses. However, many people are not aware that lint gets past the filter screen and into the exhaust tube and into the dryer where the heating element is located. This can ignite the lint like tinder and start a potential deadly fire.

Regular dryer maintenance and cleaning is essential to keep your family and property safe from an accidental fire.

Washing Machines

Your washing machine is a great and convenient asset to your life. Just like any appliance or machine, it requires routine maintenance and upkeep to ensure it operates efficiently and safely. It is common for the hoses to become dry and brittle. When this happens, the risk of water leaking and damaging your home increases.


For those homes with indoor plumbing, your pipes can become a hazard under certain conditions. Homes that are subject to freezing weather conditions must take extra precaution during the winter months. Cracked water pipes have been wreaking havoc on homeowners since indoor plumbing was invented. A small 1/8 inch crack in a plumbing pipe can expel 250 gallons of water in a day.
Be sure to keep your pipes properly insulated both inside of our home and outside of your home as well. In some instances, it is advised to keep your pipes open allowing a trickle of water to continuously run to avoid the freezing of trapped water in the pipes, thus leading to swelling and breaking.

Electrical Wiring

Homes wired with aluminum wiring instead of copper wiring are more prone to electrical fires. Faulty connections, out dated outlets and overloading a circuit are potential disasters as well. If you notice flickering lights, frequent blown fuses or circuit breakers then you should consult with a licensed professional electrician. Also, if you experience a tingling sensation when turing on or off light switches or appliances, you should call a licensed professional.


Here in Brevard County Florida, we get lots and lots of rain between the months of June and November. A clean and well maintained gutter system around the eaves of your home will route that rain water away from your homes foundation and properly disperse it into your yard and or garden. Keeping the gutters free and clear of debris will prevent water from backing up into the soffit of your home and creating water damage. If you have overhangin trees around your house, be sure your gutters are free and clear of debris.


Even though we live here on Florida’s Space Coast, there are many homes with wood burning fireplaces. Keeping your fireplace and chimney clean and clear of debris and creosote will reduce the potential of a chimney fire or allowing sparks and embers to enter the living space and catch rugs or wood floors on fire. Keep the screen or glass doors closed when using your fireplace and remember to open the chimney flue before igniting a fire to prevent smoke damage to the inside of your home.

Smoke Detectors

The smoke detectors in your home can be the most annoying and aggravating device in your home. Especially when they decide to notify you of a “low battery” warning at 3:00am in the morning.
Do not eliminate this aggravation by removing the fire detector or removing the battery to stop the “chirping”. Simply, replace the battery and allow this life and property saving device to properly do it job.


Your roof is often overlooked for it’s importance and functionality. While we do not need to worry too much about snow and ice build up on our roofs here in Central Florida, we do want to ensure that the sun does not damage your roof beyond it’s functionality.

Along that line, be sure to keep proper insulation in your attic space to keep the heat and power bills down.
Roofs are known for providing excellent space for snow and ice buildup. A roof that is too warm will cause snow to melt. When this happens, runoff freezes in gutters, which forms into ice, creating a dam that forces water below the shingles. To help prevent issues, make sure your roof is properly insulated by adding attic insulation and vents, which will help keep the roof cool and prevent snow melt.

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Brevard County Real Estate

Why You Need to Use a Real Estate Agent

Category : Need to Know

Why You Need to Use a Real Estate Agent

I’ve heard people say that purchasing a home is not only one of the most important and critical purchases of a life time, but it can be one of the most stressful process as well. For many people, thinking they can handle the process of selling their home or buying a home on their own, quickly realize, there is much more to purchasing or selling a home than going down to the local store to purchase a few items. There are those that are able to accomplish this on their own, but for most, it is a life saver to have a licensed Realtor working for them to ensure their best interests.

The process of selling or purchasing a home, or any kind of real estate, can be very daunting and intricate with all of the legalese, market trends, escrow, inspections, appraisals, property surveys and contracts.

Here are some solid and smart reasons why a licensed Realtor is good to have in your corner.

Licensed and Educated Experts

While it is true, that not all Realtor’s are created and made equally. Some are much better and responsive than others. That is the nature of any industry. When you find a good Realtor, you can be assured to know that this individual has passed a state and national background check, has taken the higher education classes required by your state department of Real Estate and has passed a state exam exhibiting competence in knowing the laws, ethics and procedures in the purchasing and selling of real estate.

Local Expert

I grew up in Brevard County. My wife and I have raised our children here. Many of my friends in various businesses I have known either all of my life or for many many years. In addition to knowing my community in a very personal way, I know the Real Estate market on Florida’s Space Coast as well. I have watched and studied real estate trends for many years. I know what areas are selling for a higher price and what areas have yet to hit their peak. Find a Realtor who is local and knows the areas you are interested in buying or selling in.


A licensed Realtor has the access and ability to do things the average citizen does not. A Realtor has access to the MLS system that has relevant and critical information about properties. They have access to software to run comparable properties for accurate and current prices on homes that have recently sold and currently for sale. Most home owners are only willing to grant access to their homes to a licensed Realtor, which means that most buyers are only going to be able to access a home with a Realtor.

Best Interests

An agent working for you, will always have your best interest at hand. A Buyer’s agent is trying to get the Buyer the best price possible and as much included in the sale as possible. A Seller’s agent on the other hand, is trying to get the most amount possible for the Seller. A Seller’s agent is only going to provide the minimal amount of information about the home and property as possible. Not knowing the right questions could cost a buyer thousands of dollars at closing or down the road.


One of the things I learned while growing up playing sports and learning to play the trumpet was this. The more you did it, and the more you enjoy something, the better and better you become at it. That same life lesson can be applied to real estate. For those who are not used to selling and buying a lot of property, it can be a daunting and intimidating experience. It is a huge decision not only financially, but for your family as well. Schools, neighborhoods, neighbors, livability factors. There is so much more to consider when buying a home than the pool, square footage and upgrades. You want a Real Estate Agent who is very familiar with not just the process of buying a home, but the little things that may seem insignificant, but could end up costing you thousands of dollars and possibly even cost the Buyer from losing the house. Choose a Realtor who has a proven track record. Find out what their sales transaction history for the current year. A busy Realtor is likely going to be a competent Realtor.


Buying or Selling a home is not just as simple as buying a car or a new wardrobe. There are many facets and hands that get into the process. There is the lender, the home inspector, the appraiser, a contractor or handyman for repairs during the process, HVAC and pool specialists, WDO/Pest Control professionals. I could go on and on, but my point is there are a lot of people who are involved in the selling and purchase of a home. You want a Realtor who is well connected professionally within the area who knows top notch quality businesses to team up with in order to make your sale or purchase a smooth one.

For Buyers, It’s Free

For those who are looking to buy a home, this is some of the best news for you! Your Realtor doesn’t cost you anything! If your Buyer’s Agent is charging you a fee for their services, you should consider finding another Realtor.

The Buyer’s Agent is paid for by the Seller. That’s right! The Seller pays for the Buying Agent’s commission out of the sale of the house. Don’t sell yourself short, thinking you are going to save money by not using a Realtor. The commissions for the sale of a house is pre-negotiated before the sale of the house occurs. So, if you do not use a Realtor, the Selling agent gets all of the commission. Your Realtor not only doesn’t cost you anything, they could very well save you thousands of dollars when purchasing your next home!

There are lots of Real Estate Agents here in Florida and Brevard County. Not all Real Estate Agents are Realtors. Almost anyone can take the classes, pass the state exam and become a Real Estate Agent, but a Realtor is a professional designation to only those who qualify.

When looking to buy your next home, or sell your home, do yourself a favor and consider working with a licensed profession Realtor. `

Brevard County Realty

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Don and Natalie Norris are always available to assist you with your purchase or sale of property.

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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Mortgage Do’s and Don’ts

Mortgage Do’s and Don’ts

Things You Must Do

You have made the decision to purchase a new property. You don’t have the capitol to pay cash, so you have decided to move forward with a mortgage loan. Before you go any further, here are a few tips for Mortgage Do’s and Don’ts.

Do Keep All Financial Records In Order:

Understand that times have changed! Underwriting is a different game than it was 20 years ago. Underwriters are requiring more documentation than they did in the past. Just keep in mind, if it wasn’t important and they didn’t need it, they would not be asking for it!

If you are receiving any gift monies from relatives, they will need to document and sign a “gift letter” and an account statement evidencing the source of that gift which must be “seasoned funds”.

Current Residence:
If you are currently renting, be sure to continue paying your rent on time while saving your proof of payment. If you are already a homeowner and a selling your current home, be sure to save your HUD-1 or more recently, your Closing Disclosure. If you have decided to keep your current home, but intend on renting it out, you may need to show sufficient equity, a lease and first month’s rent along with a security deposit.

Your Financial Records:
Keep all of your financial records organized and close at hand in the event underwriting requests more information from you.

Underwriters typically verify your income and tax documents with your current employer, CPA or IRS tax transcripts. Be sure to have saved at least 6-12 months of your current jobs pay stubs.

Save and organize any and all account statements from all of your accounts. Be sure they are numbered for each page saved. (i.e. page 7 of 7)

Your Credit:
Be sure to keep making all of your payments on time! DO NOT make any credit purchase with a new line of credit or on your current credit accounts while going through the underwriting process! The underwriters WILL pull your credit the day of or just prior to your closing. A new line of credit or significant purchase could cause underwriting to deny your mortgage at the last minute, thus causing you to lose the home.

Things You Must Not Do

Apply For New Credit:
I can not emphasize this enough. Therefore, it warrants being mentioned again! Changes in your credit can and most always causes a delay in the loan process, change the terms and interest of your financing and may even prevent you from closing and purchasing the home all together.
If there is a situation where you must open a new line of credit (or even borrow against your IRA, 401k or retirement funds) consult with your Loan Originator first

Wait to Liquidate Funds From Stock or Retirement:
If you must sell some investments, do it as soon as possible and document the transaction. Don’t take the risk that the market could move against you leaving you short of funds to close. As always, consult with your Loan Originator before making any financial transactions.

Change Job During the Process:
If, during the loan process, you believe your job could possibly change due to a promotion, probationary period, careers or even status changes ( such as salaried to commission, leave of absence, new salary or bonus structure) consult with your Loan Originator immediately.

Make Undocumented Deposits:
Typically large, but even small undocumented deposits must be sourced unless they are already identified. Make and keep copies of checks and deposit slips. Avoid depositing cash and keep all deposits as small as possible.

Ever Be Afraid To Ask Questions:
If you are unclear or uncertain about anything you need or should be doing to ensure the loan process runs smoothly, ask your Loan Originator. They are the best person equipped to guide you through the process with little or no hiccups along the way.

If you are thinking about purchasing a home and need to take a mortgage out, but do not know who to talk to. Let me or Natalie know. We work with several Mortgage Lenders that are local and would love to assist you by getting you into contact with a trusted professional Loan Originator.


Brevard County Realty

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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Real Estate Agent, Realtor and Broker, What Is the Difference?

Category : Need to Know

What is the difference between a Real Estate Agent, a Realtor and a Broker? I get asked this question quite often. The average person, myself included before I became licensed, doesn’t realize there is a significant different between a Realtor and a Real Estate Agent.

There are several real estate titles floating around out there. It’s not all in just the name. There are some significant reasons for the different titles and the roles they play.

Each state is governed by it’s own rules and regulations when it comes to practicing real estate and the titles in which you can call yourself. I will go through the most common ones here.

norris real estate brevard county

REALTOR® – You should always see this title followed by the registered trademark symbol. A Realtor is a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors®. A Realtor® is someone who is held to a higher standard of business practice and ethics. Everyone who is a Realtor® is a real estate agent, but not all real estate agents are Realtors®.

Real Estate Agent – A real estate agent is anyone who has taken and passed the required coursework regulated by their state and have passed a state real estate exam. This title covers anyone who practices real estate whether they are a sales associate, an associate broker or a broker.

Real Estate Sales Associate – This is simply another name for a real estate agent.

Real Estate Associate Broker – This title is for someone who is a real estate agent, but has also completed the state required coursework and passed a state exam to become a broker. While this person typically does not hold any of the brokerage responsibilities, they may take on a more active leadership role within the brokerage.
Real Estate Broker – This person has taken the required education classes to become a broker/owner as well as passed the state regulated exam. A broker typically owns their own real estate company and has Realtors®, real estate agents and possibly associate brokers working for them within that office.

Remember, not all Realtors® or Real Estate Agents were created equal. Choose someone whom you feel will act on your very best interests and has the knowledge and experience to make your real estate transaction a smooth and enjoyable experience.

norris real estate brevard county

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norris real estate brevard county

5 Reasons Home Sales Fall Through

Category : Sales

I’ve seen it time and time again, you get your home under contract and for one reason or another, the contract fails, and you are forced to put your home back on the market. It can happen right after you go into contract, and it can happen at the closing table. The reasons vary from underwriting not giving final approval, poor inspection, the buyers simply changing their minds to the survey coming back with surprises.

My best advice to anyone selling your home is to be prepared for anything and be willing and flexible to work around any issues that arise.

I have always believed that knowledge is power! If you are educated then you are better prepared for what may lie ahead. The easy part is finding someone interested enough in your home to make an offer on it. Then, negotiating a fair price everyone is happy with and the details of how the sale will play out with the details of the contract. Like I said, that is the easy part. The hard part is keeping the deal together and getting everyone to the finish line when the title and deed legally exchange hands.

There are so many little to big things that can kill a deal. I am going to go over 5 of the most common reasons a home sale falls apart.

1. Buyer Financing

If a buyer’s credit score and income to debt ratio numbers look good, they are in the ball game when it comes to obtaining financing for a mortgage on your home. Try to focus on Buyers who have been pre-qualified, or even better, pre-approved for a mortgage by a lender. There is always the chance that the underwriting will reject it during the process, but these Buyers have a higher chance of getting through the process and making it to closing.

Another good tip for Sellers, is to keep in touch with the buyers agent and make sure the process is moving along smoothly to avoid any last minute surprises.

2. Low Appraisal

If your home does not appraise for the selling price you and the Buyer have agreed on, then this could be a deal killer. For those buyers who are getting financing to purchase your home, their lender will only lend up to the maximum of the appraised value of your home. So, if the home appraises lower than what your have sold it for, the buyer would be forced to come up with cash to make up the difference at closing.

If the buyer can not afford to or be able to come up with the cash for closing then one of two things will happen. One, the deal will be killed and you will be forced to find another buyer and rethink your asking price for the home. The better alternative is to simply lower the selling and agreed upon price of the home so that the buyer will be able to get lending approval for the sales price of the home.

You can always request a second appraisal, but this typically will come out of your pocket and there is no gauranty that the second appraisal will come in at a higher price. In fact, the second appraisal could come in at a lower price.

3. Home Inspection Surprises

The main purpose of the home inspection is to protect the buyer from purchasing a property with major flaws that need replacement of repairs. The main areas of concern are the roof, electrical, plumbing and WDO (wood destroying organisms).

As a seller, it is a good idea to always know the condition of your home. Once you have decided to put your hoise on the market, it may not be a bad idea to invest in a home inspection. You can identify and issues before putting it on the market, and then use that as an added bonus to potential buyers as a courtesy.

4. Buyer’s Remorse

This is one situation where, as a seller, you really do not have much control over at all. For the buyer, purchasing a home can be a very stressful process. The deed of searching for the one perfect home alone is enough to stress out a buyer. Then factor in the process of getting approved for a mortgage, paying a large amount of money for a home and knowing they are tied down for up to 30 years. It is more common than most would think for people to simply, “back out” of a sale due to buyers remorse.

My bedt advice for a seller to avoid buyer’s remorse, is to as best as you can vet your buyers. Try to accept offers from those who seem confident and enthusiastic about purchasing your home. One way of doing this is by the amount of the escrow deposit they offer. If they are offering less than 1% of the sales price as escrow, request a higher amount to ensure they are “bought in” and more obligated to carry through to closing.

5. Buyer Must Sell Their Home First

It is very common for a buyer to make an offer to purchase your home, with the contingency that they must sell their home first. In these situations, the buyer needs the equity out of their own home sell in order to afford to purchase your home.

This is especially risky to the Seller, because, once you have accepted the buyer’s terms and gone into contract, your house essentially comes off the market to other potential buyers. If the buyer’s house sale falls through for any reason, this will delay the closing of your home for that much longer.

There are a couple of easy ways to avoid this. The first, and most simple is to not accept offers form buyers who require a contingency to sale their home first. Focus only on those buyers who are ready to purchase your home now.

The second way to avoid this situation is, if you have a buyer that does need to sale their home first, and you accept their terms, be sure to add a “kick out clause” addendum to the contract. The “kick out clause” gives you, the seller, the option of accepting a more qualified and ready buyer would one come along. You then tell the original buyer, they have “X” amount of time to either sale their home, release their original contingency for their home sale, or their contract is null and void. This allows you to go into contract with a buyer who is ready and willing to close on a specific date.

Talk to your licensed Realtor about these things before putting your home on the market to avoid those last minute surprises that could kill the deal and put you back at square one when selling.

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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Stay Sane While House Shopping – Quotes to Live By

Category : Sales

It can be the most exciting of times and it can be the most frustrating of times. Keep these quotes in mind when the shopping gets tough.

Searching for that perfect property that is to become your next home. For some, it is the very first home purchase. This makes it a little extra special. For others, it may be their retirement home, the last home they will ever live in. Again, it is special. Even for those who may be purchasing a second vacation home, or their third or fourth property purchase. It’s always special.

It can however, come with it’s frustrations. Misleading listing from an un ethical listing agent. House prices getting too high. Going through the financing and mortgage process of being exposed for every bad financial decision you have ever made. Poor inspections and losing that dream home to a higher bidder.

While you are riding the emotional and sometimes exhaustive roller coaster of purchasing a new property, here are a few quotes that will help keep you in the right frame of mind and sane through the end.

“Home is the nicest word there is.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder

Home is where the heart is. This goes far beyond just words. You want to be happy, safe and secure where you lay your head at night.

“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.” — David Allan Coe

Beauty truly lies in the eyes of the beholder. While updated floors, granite counter tops and upgraded fixtures and appliances are nice to look at, it is the “bones” and basics of the home that matter the most!

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

There is always that one couple or person who tells everyone about how he found his perfect dream house on the first weekend out with his Realtor. The very first house they looked at and it was like fate, the perfect home.

Let me tell you now, that would be a magical moment, because it never happens like that. Purchasing a home is as much an emotional decision as well as a fiscal one. It is a lot like falling in love. You have to “know” it when you see it and walk through it. You have to look at several homes before you “meet” the one that you know is meant for you.

“The root of suffering is attachment.” — The Buddha

When purchasing a new home, you must go into the process of knowing the home is not yours until the closing is complete. There are so many things that could go awry during the process. You have to remain somewhat detached until the ink is on the paper

“We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”Winston Churchill

Your home is your castle and it should reflect your personality and style. The colors you choose, the layout and flow of your furniture will effect the mood and energy in your home. Is your home dark or does it have lots of natural light? Only you can answer what is best for you, but it will help shape you.

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” — Mark Twain

Remember, this will be your home, but right now it is someone else’s. Look past the white walls, the cluttered kitchen counters and the outdated mismatched furniture. Imagine your style, furniture and personality in the rooms. You’ll be surprised at how much better the home looks in your mind.

“Home is wherever I’m with you.” — Edwin Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Remember what I said earlier? Home is where the heart is. The house, when it comes down to it, is really just a living structure. The HOME is what you put into it with those who matters most in your life. Even if you live alone, a home is made up of friends and family who spend time there.

Your new home is going to be so much more than just where you hang your hat, it will become a part of who you are and how others see you. Embrace your home and make it yours!

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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

6 Must Have Documents For A Mortgage

Category : Loan Mortgage , Sales

So, you’re in the market to purchase a home. Whether this will be your first home purchase or this is one of many you have purchased, you still have a list of requirements from your lender. Unless of course, you are purchasing with cash.

Lenders are like the cynical grandmother. They want proof for everything. If your credit score is as good as it gets and you have tons of money in the bank, you are still going to be required to provide a plethora of information to your lender.

To make the process much smoother and less stressful for you the buyer, here are a few of the “Must Have” documents you will need to get your financing processed for your new mortgage.

Getting a mortgage without documenting where your income comes from is a thing of the past. History shows that borrowers who do not or can not prove their income sources are those who are most likely to default on their mortgage.

So, if you plan on getting a mortgage for your dream home, then here are 6 documents that you must have and provide to your lender.

1. Last Two Years Tax Returns

Your lender is not going to simply take you at your word that you made a million dollars last year. They want hard, documented proof that you make what you claim you make. This is to ensure that you can afford to pay your mortgage amount every month and avoid going in default for your loan. The longer you can establish a stable and adequate salary history, the more confident your lender is to release funds on your behalf. Thus the reason for at least two years of your Federal Income Tax returns and W2 forms are required.

If your income has recently changed, your lender may require additional documentation to support and justify the change in salary.

2. Pay Check Stubs

In addition to your last two years of income tax returns and W2 forms, your lender is going to require that you provide a history of your pay check stubs to validate your current income. They want to know what your income has been for the last couple of years, but they also want to know what your current income is to show you can afford your mortgage.

3. Other Income

Not everyone works in a job that provides pay stubs. Some people are self employed or have another source of income, then you may be asked to provide documentation to support. Banks statements, letters from the source of income and 1099 forms usually suffice for that type of documentation.

4. Letter from Employers

You may be asked to provide a letter directly from your employer verifying income, hire date and position. This is a normal request form most lenders. The letter must come directly from your employer to the lender. You can not be the “middle man”. So, make sure up front that your company’s HR department is capable and willing to do this for you.

5. Proof of Funds

Once your lender has adequate information from you that not only can you afford to purchase the home and have enough income to maintain that home and the mortgage, they may require a “proof of funds” letter from your banking institution or investment firm to show that you are poised to pay closing costs and your down payment, while still having enough funds to handle a “life emergency”. If you received a “gift” from a family member for closing costs or the down payment, be prepared to ask that family member to write a letter stating that they have “gifted” you the money and do not require you to pay it back.

6. Photo ID

As silly as this may sound, if you are planning on getting a mortgage for a home, be prepared to have a government issued photo identification to provide to your lender.

I realize that not every one drives, and therefore does not own a drivers license. However, a state or government issued id card, passport or military identification will suffice.

You lender wants to verify that the person applying for the mortgage is the person they are lending funds to.

Each lender has their own set of requirements and policies regarding documentation and requirements. These documents and items we have discussed here is very typical of all lenders.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact your Buyer’s Agent to guide you through the process with your lender.  If you do not have an agent to assist you, we are always available to help!

Brevard County Realty

3.5″x2″ Round Corner Template .125″ Radius

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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Which Home Mortgage is Best For You?

Category : Sales

When it comes to purchasing a home, unless you are paying cash or inheriting a long lost relatives estate, you are going to need to get a mortgage for your new dream home.

The next question of course is, which home mortgage is best for you?

Fortunately, for the home buyer who is seeking a loan for their mortgage, there are several products out there that can fit the needs of just about every buyer there is.

I am going to go over the most common products here.


This loan program is ideal for the buyer who has good or excellent credit. Typically, a minimum of 5% down is required and that amount can vary depending on the price of the home.

A conventional mortgage is fairly simple and follow somewhat conservative guidelines regarding a borrowers credit rating, down payments and debt-to-income ratios.
(an individuals debt-to-income ratio is a percentage of their monthly income compared against their monthly revolving expenses such as rent or mortgage, car payments, student loans, credit card payments and child support, as a few examples)

The cost of a conventional mortgage includes closing costs, down payment for the property, mortgage insurance and then the closing costs.

Want to know more about closing costs and how to save money?

The good thing about a conventional mortgage is that there are generally fewer hurdles the buyer has to jump through to get to closing than if they were to choose and FHA or VA mortgage.

The negative about a conventional mortgage is that you will need excellent credit to qualify for the better interest rates.


An FHA mortgage is a home loan that is backed and insured by the Federal Housing Administration. In essence, this is a government loan. An FHA mortgage is designed to protect the lender, not the borrower, in the event the borrower defaults on their mortgage. By using an FHA mortgage, this assurance of a government backed load, or insured loan, enables the lender the options of providing more options and benefits that would not be otherwise available if choosing a conventional loan.


Somewhat similar to an FHA mortgage, an VA mortgage or Veterans Affairs mortgage is a loan program designed and offered to those men and women who have served in the U.S. military. A VA mortgage is also a government loan.

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

To qualify for VA mortgage, a person must:
Served 90 consecutive days of active duty service during wartime.
Served 181 days of active duty service during a time of peace.
Have served more than 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves.
You are the spouse of a service member who has died in the line of duty or as a result of a service related death or disability.


A Jumbo mortgage is also known as a nonconforming loan. A Jumbo mortgage has the advantage that is allows the borrower to receive a loan that would exceed the typical Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan limits. A Jumbo mortgage typically requires a a higher credit score, somewhere in the neighborhood of FICA 720, but the downpayment amount may be a lesser percentage than the typical conventional loan requirements. For a Jumbo mortgage, the buyer should be prepared for and expect additional fees and more restrictions due to the higher loan amount.


A non-conforming loan is a mortgage that would not otherwise be eligible for resale to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac programs due to the nonstandard conditions and features of the loan. Non-conforming mortgage are more than likely and often sold to a secondary market and private investors and sometimes held in the lender’s portfolio as a asset.


A non-prime is a term used to describe and identify those loans that do not typically fit within the standards and policies of a government lending standards commonly referred and know as Prime, Agency or A-Paper Lending and defined as Qualified Mortgages.
A Non-Prime loan are also commonly referred to as temporary or fixer-loans for those borrowers who are not yet able to qualify for a Prime loan. Those borrowers who have credit issues, foreclosure(s), bankruptcy(ies), short sale(s), late payments, slow payments, collections, charge offs and situations similar to those. A Non-prime loan will typically have a higher interest rate and higher or additional costs associated with the loan. A Non-prime loan should only be considered by those who are looking for a temporary solution to their current financial situation.

Fixed Rate Mortgage

A Fixed Rate mortgage is a mortgage loan that has a set, predetermined and fixed interest rate for the entire term of the mortgage loan.

Adjustable Rate Mortgage

An Adjustable Rate mortgage, also commonly referred to as an ARM is a mortgage loan that has an adjustable interest rate. An ARM is also commonly referred to as Variable Rate mortgage. This will create a mortgage payment that will vary periodically during the life and term of the loan. The amount of the interest rate, and the resulting mortgage payment will vary and depends on the fluctuation of an index factor. An Adjustable Rate mortgage will allow a lender to typically charge a lower interest rate at the beginning of the mortgage term, to make the product more attractive to the borrower. There is almost always a rate cap to protect the borrower from exceedingly high interest rates along the term of the loan.

Always consult with your lender for any questions regarding the loan or mortgage process.

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Norris Real Estate Brevard County

Florida Cities Among America’s Fastest Growing

Florida, the Sunshine State.  There is a good reason both people and corporations are moving to Florida like it’s the 49ers gold rush!  Great climate, beautiful beaches and lots of opportunity!  Forbes has come up with it’s list of “America’s Fastest Growing Cities” for 2017, and the Sunshine State has all but stolen the show!  They have focussed on population growth, employment opportunities, average wages, economic output and home prices/value.  Out of the top 25, Florida has garnered 9 of those 25 fastest growing cities in America, with Brevard County’s Melbourne/Palm Bay/Titusville coming in at #15.  Here is the rest of those cities and how they rank.

1. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 3.39% (rank: #1)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 3.61% (1)
  • Job Growth 2016: 3.93% (5)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 3.83% (1)
  • Real Gross Metro Product Growth 2016: 4.42% (4)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 6.82% (1)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 7.08% (4)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 7.75% (4)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 10.66% (6)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 7.56% (7)


2. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 2.95% (2)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 3.14% (2)
  • Job Growth 2016: 4.57% (1)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 3.54% (2)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 3.86% (6)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 6.31% (2)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 6.08% (12)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 8.22% (2)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 9.52% (12)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 8.64% (2)


3. Provo-Orem, UT

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.96% (9)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.94% (11)
  • Job Growth 2016: 4.43% (2)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.86% (6)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 5.11% (1)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 5.84% (3)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 7.50% (1)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 9.45% (1)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 7.91% (18)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 7.68% (6)


4. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 2.41% (6)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 2.57% (6)
  • Job Growth 2016: 4.11% (4)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 3.16% (5)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 3.90% (5)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 5.33% (6)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 5.60% (15)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 6.92% (11)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 9.57% (11)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 7.49% (9)


5. Jacksonville, FL

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.77% (14)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.88% (13)
  • Job Growth 2016: 3.76% (6)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.59% (9)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 3.10% (13)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 5.11% (7)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 6.42% (10)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 7.77% (3)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 9.05% (15)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 7.77% (5)


6. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 2.67% (3)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 2.59% (5)
  • Job Growth 2016: 2.68% (18)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.79% (8)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 2.48% (23)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 5.41% (5)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 5.89% (13)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 7.45% (7)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 11.97% (4)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 8.09% (4)


7. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.56% (18)
  • Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.38% (19)
  • Job Growth 2016: 3.40% (9)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.81% (7)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 2.99% (14)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 4.01% (17)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 7.35% (3)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 7.53% (6)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 11.98% (3)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 7.55% (8)


8. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.65% (17)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.76% (15)
  • Job Growth 2016: 3.03% (12)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.43% (12)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 2.83% (16)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 4.75% (9)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 6.42% (9)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 7.60% (5)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 9.98% (7)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 7.10% (10)


9. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.20% (23)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.11% (24)
  • Job Growth 2016: 2.84% (16)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.29% (14)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 4.54% (2)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 5.45% (4)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 7.44% (2)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 7.05% (10)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 12.18% (2)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 5.99% (17)


10. Salt Lake City, UT

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.24% (22)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.23% (22)
  • Job Growth 2016: 3.02% (13)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 3.28% (3)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 3.73% (9)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 4.43% (12)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 6.76% (8)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 7.21% (8)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 7.85% (19)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 6.78% (12)


11. Boise City, ID

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.83% (10)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.69% (17)
  • Job Growth 2016: 3.37% (10)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.46% (11)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 2.52% (22)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 5.08% (8)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 5.52% (19)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 6.54% (15)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 9.36% (13)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 5.98% (18)


12. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.73% (15)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.85% (14)
  • Job Growth 2016: 2.52% (21)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.37% (13)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 2.57% (21)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 4.64% (10)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 5.57% (16)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 6.67% (13)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 9.83% (9)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 6.36% (13)


13. Ogden-Clearfield, UT

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.34% (20)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.33% (20)
  • Job Growth 2016: 4.32% (3)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 1.89% (22)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 4.43% (3)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 4.20% (15)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 6.38% (11)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 6.20% (17)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 7.68% (20)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 7.03% (11)


14. Raleigh, NC

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 2.43% (5)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 3.09% (3)
  • Job Growth 2016: 2.94% (15)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.04% (20)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 3.72% (10)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 4.41% (13)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 6.78% (7)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 5.83% (22)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 6.56% (25)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 4.55% (23)


15. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.56% (19)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.70% (16)
  • Job Growth 2016: 1.39% (25)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.48% (10)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 2.16% (24)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 4.40% (14)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 5.61% (14)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 6.60% (14)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 13.47% (1)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 8.32% (3)


16. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ (tie)

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 2.35% (7)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 2.32% (7)
  • Job Growth 2016: 2.63% (19)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.05% (19)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 3.50% (11)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 4.57% (11)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 4.83% (22)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 7.19% (9)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 7.47% (23)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 4.19% (25)


16. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (tie)

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 2.43% (4)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 2.60% (4)
  • Job Growth 2016: 2.49% (22)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.27% (16)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 2.64% (20)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 4.12% (16)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 5.26% (20)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 6.03% (18)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 7.93% (17)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 5.01% (21)


18. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.82% (11)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.94% (12)
  • Job Growth 2016: 2.01% (24)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 1.63% (25)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 2.78% (18)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 3.87% (19)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 5.24% (21)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 5.88% (21)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 9.81% (10)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 9.58% (1)


19. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.78% (13)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 2.04% (9)
  • Job Growth 2016: 2.35% (23)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 1.76% (24)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 2.92% (15)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 3.46% (20)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 5.54% (18)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 6.38% (16)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 7.47% (24)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 5.73% (20)


20. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.32% (21)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.32% (21)
  • Job Growth 2016: 3.02% (14)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.03% (21)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 3.42% (12)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 3.92% (18)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 4.09% (23)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 6.68% (12)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 9.14% (14)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 4.55% (24)


21. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.82% (12)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 2.10% (8)
  • Job Growth 2016: 2.84% (17)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.26% (17)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 2.65% (19)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 3.07% (21)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 5.55% (17)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 4.87% (25)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 7.51% (22)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 6.08% (15)


22. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.03% (25)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 0.99% (25)
  • Job Growth 2016: 3.56% (7)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.29% (15)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 3.84% (7)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 2.61% (25)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 6.94% (5)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 5.82% (23)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 8.49% (16)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 4.92% (22)


23. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.69% (16)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.39% (18)
  • Job Growth 2016: 3.13% (11)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 1.86% (23)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 2.82% (17)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 2.99% (23)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 3.95% (24)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 5.96% (19)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 11.50% (5)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 6.07% (16)


24. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 2.04% (8)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 2.02% (10)
  • Job Growth 2016: 3.52% (8)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 3.25% (4)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 0.96% (25)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 3.06% (22)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 3.89% (25)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 5.95% (20)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 9.86% (8)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 5.86% (19)


25. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA

Norris Real Estate Brevard County

  • Population Growth 2016: 1.18% (24)
    Projected Population Growth 2017: 1.12% (23)
  • Job Growth 2016: 2.59% (20)
    Projected Job Growth 2017: 2.06% (18)
  • GMP Growth 2016: 3.77% (8)
    Projected GMP Growth 2017: 2.98% (24)
  • Wage Growth 2016: 6.80% (6)
    Projected Wage Growth 2017: 5.45% (24)
  • Home Price Growth 2016: 7.65% (21)
    Projected Home Price Growth 2017: 6.26% (14)