Have a Question? Ask & I'll Answer It With A Video


Your question has been submitted and will be answered shortly.

Low Down Payment Options for Tampa Bay Buyers


Today I’m here with Mike Yates from Atlantic Bay Mortgage to discuss loan programs with low down payment options. Money.com recently had an article about lower down payment options for conventional loans, but there are a lot of other options out there. 

For example, Atlantic Bay Mortgage offers a conventional loan program through Fannie Mae that only requires 3% down. Although this program is mostly for first-time home buyers, you can go with an option that is open to other buyers. There is also an income-restricted option. 

VA loans are some of the best loans available on the market. Active duty military and veterans can purchase a home for no money down. Closing costs are covered as well. These loans also have low monthly mortgage payments because you don’t have to pay private mortgage insurance. 

VA loans are the best loans available on the market.

Another loan program that does not require a down payment is the USDA loan. USDA loans are used for purchasing property in rural areas and there are income restrictions you have to meet in order to qualify. Although you cannot buy a property in Tampa, you can get a property in one of the outlying areas. 

Last but not least, consider the FHA mortgage. This is a longstanding mortgage program used by a lot of first-time home buyers that only requires 3.5% down up to a certain loan amount. In our area, that loan cap is $271,050. 

If these programs aren’t quite the right fit for you, there are also down payment assistance programs available for first-time home buyers. You can use this money for your down payment, closing costs, or a combination of the two. In Hillsborough County, you can get $15,000 for your down payment and closing costs, and in Pinellas County, you can get $7,500 in down payment assistance. 

If you have any specific mortgage questions for Mike, you can reach him at 813-343-8551 or send him an email at MikeYates@AtlanticBay.com. If you have any other real estate questions, you can always give me a call or send me an email. We would be happy to help you!

Renovating vs Buying a New Home


There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.
Andrew Duncan, Tampa's #1 Realtor and David Diaz from Waterstone Mortgage talk about consumers that are thinking about remodeling or upgrading their home vs buying a new home and the pros and cons of each.

Based on personal experience, Andrew shares how living in the home during the renovations could be a nuisance. Another con is that most of the time, doing renovations would mean cash out of your pocket. David mentions one of the programs being offered by Waterstone Mortgage where the buyer has the option to add the cost of the renovations to the mortgage so that instead of paying a mortgage and paying cash for the renovations, everything will be built in. You have to be flexible with your budget because some things may come up that need more attention while they are doing the work on the house. One also needs to consider the time it will take to finish the renovations. You would need to allow a little bit of allowance to how much time will be needed.

Some of the benefits of buying a new home is the lower insurance, the upgrades that are already existing in the new home and there are less anticipated problems. The only issue may be that there are not as many new homes available in certain areas.

So whether you decide to buy a new home or renovate an existing one, make sure you weigh the pros and cons so you can make the best decision depending on your situation.

To get more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice from Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sunday at 10 am.

Is Tampa Bay’s Luxury Real Estate Market starting to show signs of a slow down?


There are many Tampa Bay area homes for sale. Click here to perform a full home search, or if you're thinking of selling your home, click here to learn about our “Your Home Sold Guaranteed in 29 Days” program or for a free property valuation so you know what your home can sell for in today’s market. You may also call me at (813) 359-8990 for a FREE home buying or selling consultation to answer any of your real estate questions.


Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor, Andrew Duncan, talks about Tampa's Luxury market based on an article in New York that says the top end market is the tipping point from the seller's to a buyer's market. This is usually the first step of a Real Estate transition from a seller's to a buyer's market when you start to see the changes in the upper end then it trickle downs to the lower price points.

There is an increase in the inventory of Luxury homes which means there are more sellers putting their homes on the market but not as many buyers for those homes. With an ageing population, it is normal to see home owners put their homes on the market because the kids are off to college and they think they do not need the big house anymore. It is not really selling because of a need but more due to a lifestyle change. The question now is if there's enough of the younger population who are getting older and getting an income increase to start to pick up those home being sold.

To get more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice from Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sunday at 10 am.