Vero Beach home sales have fallen to their slowest pace in nine months, with sales of existing homes tumbling 4.9 percent last month.

Relatively low mortgage rates and steady job growth have not yet spurred the kind of activity from buyers or sellers, raising the possibility of either a spring rush, or another year of slack Vero Beach home sales.

Vero Beach home sales have not picked up so far in 2015 like they were expected to

Nationwide, few properties are being listed for sale, would-be-buyers are holding off, and the harsh winter weather is taking its toll on attempts to hold open houses.

Vero Beach Home Sales Expectations Not Happening

Weaker Vero Beach home sales in 2014 had set up expectations of a strong rebound in 2015, but so far, that resurgence has yet to appear. Even the addition of more new jobs over the past three months has failed to make much of an impact on overall Vero Beach home sales.

Builders haven't started ramping up any new construction either. Confidence among builders in the market for single-family homes in February fell two points to a level of 55 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) released recently. Any number over 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as good rather than poor.

Average mortgage rates have held well below 4 percent for weeks, which you would think bodes well for a rejuvenated housing market in the spring. But only time will tell.

Vero Beach home sales are not the only area where numbers are down. Sales slid in all four major geographical regions of the country last month: dropping 6 percent in the Northeast, 2.7 percent in the Midwest, 4.6 percent in the South and 7.1 percent in the West.

In the meantime, you can get more information about news that may affect the Vero Beach home sales market in our section on Vero Beach Real Estate to your right under Vero Beach Real Estate Categories.

Remember, we post tips daily to Twitter, and also on our Facebook Page. We'd love you to check us out there too.

Many Vero Beach homebuyers could get down payment assistance without winning a jackpot or the lottery

A study to make Vero Beach homebuyers realize they could qualify for a free down payment without hitting the jackpot and winning the lottery found that 87 percent of all U.S. homes qualify for down payment help.

Vero Beach Homebuyers Need to Investigate Options

Many Vero Beach homebuyers, especially Millennials, have not fully investigated their home financing options because they are pessimistic about qualifying for a mortgage. The Homeownership Program Index highlights the wide range and availability of down payment programs available to today's Vero Beach homebuyers. 91 percent of the 2,290 programs in the registry have funds available to lend to eligible homebuyers. Income limits vary depending on the market and programs extend beyond just first-time Vero Beach homebuyers. It's important for buyers to research down payment programs as part of their loan shopping process.

Historically low homeownership rates across nearly every age demographic have led to a public policy push to lower the barrier to homeownership through down payments as low as 3 percent, but the fact is, the barrier to homeownership is often much lower than even that 3 percent for borrowers who take advantage of one of the myriad down payment help programs available across the country.

RealtyTrac looked at 2,290 down payment programs from Down Payment Resource's Homeownership Program Index and found that out of more than 78 million U.S. single family homes and condos in 1,792 counties with sufficient home value data, more than 68 million (87 percent) would qualify for a down payment program available in the county where they are located based on the maximum price requirements for those programs and the estimated value of the properties.

Vero Beach Homebuyers May Be Missing the Boat

You could be REALLY missing the boat if you don't at least look into one of the free down payment plans available across the country.

We have seen a dramatic increase in financing options available and loosening of credit scores with conventional 3 percent down payments readily available for qualified Vero Beach homebuyers. This is great news for the millennials and Vero Beach homebuyers re-entering the market.

Get more information about how first time Vero Beach homebuyers, whether Millennials or not, can get started in the home buying process in our section on Vero Beach Home Buyer Tips to your right under Vero Beach Real Estate Categories.

We post daily to Twitter, and also on our Facebook Page. We'd love you to find us there too.

There are lots of reasons for selling a Vero Beach home, but there are many reasons why getting the home inspected first can be a key selling feature to buyers.

Why Get An Inspection Before Selling a Vero Beach Home?

Selling a Vero Beach home? Here are some reasons why you should get it inspected before putting it on the market.

One of the biggest reasons for getting your home inspected before you even put it on the market is, it helps your buyers see you as an honest seller. This makes the process more amicable as fears of being swindled are reduced and a certain trust factor is established right up front.

Getting a home inspection done if you're selling a Vero Beach home also protects your interests. Many people fear getting a home inspection because it may reveal detrimental things about the house that need to be fixed. On the other hand, it may uncover advantages in your home that enhance its value that no one knew about before. This gives you more power at the bargaining table. Imagine being able to increase your asking price because your home inspector discovered something new about the building. The home inspector can also offer tips on improvements that need to be made. Often time these improvements may enable you to increase your asking price for a lot less than having a buyer find the problem and request that you reduce the price when they make an offer.

On the flip side, getting a home inspection can serve as a heads up. If there are major issues, such as a damp basement, these are highlighted so you can get them taken care of before putting the property on the market or reduce your asking price to compensate for the flaw. Failure to do this could lead to you wasting your time and efforts. Buyer after buyer may turn down your property after getting the place inspected themselves. They may decide that for the asking price there are simply too many flaws and things to be fixed. You are also protected from asking for an unrealistic price and having the unit avoided like the plague because of an asking price that is just too high.

You're also protected from unfounded claims by a home inspection after an offer is made. This means if a defect emerges after the sale and your home inspection report does not support this flaw then you have your inspection to fall back on supporting your side of the deal. No need to be forced to use the proceeds of the sale of your home to effect renovation to a home that is no longer yours.

If you're thinking of selling a Vero Beach home, call a home inspector to check out the property first. Protect yourself and your family from unnecessary problems.

Find more news articles as they relate to selling a Vero Beach home in the Vero Beach Home Selling Tips section under Vero Beach Real Estate Categories to your right. And find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for daily updates we post there as well.

When it comes to filing your income taxes this year, you've probably already received all of your income tax forms in the mail, like your W-2's, 1099's and 1098's (for deductible mortgage interest), and any others you might need for filing. You may have even filed your 2014 income taxes already. But what many filers who haven't filed yet may not be ready for this year is, just how Obamacare, aka – The Affordable Care Act – may affect their income taxes.

.
We have more income tax tips and articles in the Taxes section under the Vero Beach Real Estate Categories to your right. .
.
And don't forget, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook, sometimes pertaining to Taxes and the Vero Beach economy, or the economy in general. Find us there as well..

.

Since the mortgage crisis when loans became almost impossible to obtain, Vero Beach mortgage lenders have begun to loosen standards again. This begs to ask the question, will lenders ever learn their lesson from loose lending practices?

Recently, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced changes they hope will encourage banks to give more home loans to worthy but weaker borrowers.

Vero Beach mortgage requirements tightened during the mortgage crisis are now showing signs of being loosened again

The government has extracted billions of dollars in penalties from lenders that made mistakes on loans to borrowers who later defaulted. The errors ranged from small mistakes to ones that affected the riskiness of the Vero Beach mortgage they chose to underwrite in the first place.

Some banks, believing the penalties are too harsh relative to the errors made, have pulled back from originating a Vero Beach mortgage backed by the FHA and argue that the broad "certification" they must make when originating a Vero Beach mortgage should be limited to significant errors.

Will FHA Changes Help Those Trying to Get a Vero Beach Mortgage?

The FHA’s attempt to change the provision shows the tightrope policy makers and regulators are trying to walk. While they want to hold lenders accountable for crisis-era mistakes and retain recourse should the Vero Beach mortgage go bad, they also want the banks to extend loans to some consumers who have been largely shut out of the Vero Beach mortgage market since the crisis.

Lenders typically have pulled back on FHA lending by having more stringent requirements than what the FHA would allow. For example, even though the FHA will guarantee loans to borrowers with credit scores of as little as 580, on a scale of 300 to 850, a bank might not give a Vero Beach mortgage to borrowers with a score below 640.

Meanwhile, Vero Beach mortgage rates remain near a two-year low, even though rates inched up slightly in the past few days. Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is now around 3.69 percent, that's up just a fraction from 3.59 percent a week ago. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.28 percent.

We'll continue to monitor the FHA decisions and how they may affect (negatively or positively) getting a Vero Beach mortgage as we continue moving through the housing recovery in 2015.

In the meantime, you can get more information about news that may affect the Vero Beach mortgage market in our section on Vero Beach Mortgage Info to your right under Vero Beach Real Estate Categories.

Remember, we post tips daily to Twitter, and also on our Facebook Page. We'd love you to check us out there too.