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Manatee County Utilities

LOCATED ON FLORIDA’S GULF COAST Manatee County comprises the southern rim of Tampa Bay. The county’s land area is predominantly unincorporated and under the unincorporated county government’s jurisdiction and management.

Six incorporated jurisdictions lie with-in Manatee County. The cities of Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, and Holmes Beach and the town of Longboat Key are all located on the Gulf of Mexico’s barrier island. Other incorporated areas include the city of Palmetto and the city of Bradenton, the county seat and largest municipality.

Manatee County’s total area is 893 square miles, which includes 150 square miles of gulf, bays, streams, rivers, and lakes. Unincorporated Manatee County comprises just over 741 square miles of land area and had a population of approximately 247,309 (out of a total 327,900 population for the entire county) in 2010. Natural resources have long served as important drivers of population growth.

Manatee county has four geographic sectorsSouthwest/Bradenton, Port Manatee/Palmetto, Parrish, and Lakewood Ranch.

Growing areas include Parrish, Lakewood Ranch, and the area around Port Manatee. 

  • IMG Academy’s international reputation should be lever- aged to “brand” Manatee County as the sports training capital of America.
  • The sports brand should be extended to medicine by attracting specialized sports injury treatment, rehabilitation, and performance enhancement medical practices and facilities.
  • Infrastructure investment should be focused in the Southwest/Bradenton sector.

Tampa MSA Economic Base: 

Manatee County is part of the six-county Tampa Bay MSA, which consists of Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando, Manatee, and Sarasota counties. The MSA has a population of approximately 3.5 million living in 1.4 million households. The Tampa region has grown by approximately 54,700 people and 21,800 households annually since 1990, and by 68,700 people and 26,680 households annually since 2000. Seasonal housing units represent approximately 6.7 percent of the total housing stock in the Tampa MSA.

In regard to employment, the Tampa MSA has an employment base of 1.9 million people, and major employers include education, military (MacDill Air Force Base), bank- ing, and health care. Since 1980, the area has added roughly 31,512 jobs annually and since 2002 has added just over 10,000 jobs annually.

Manatee County Utilities

Utilities Account Management

Manatee County Utilities is pleased to offer the ability to manage your account online!

Utilities Account Management

Features include:

  • Make Payments
  • View Statements
  • Request Paperless Billing
  • View Your Residential Garbage Collection Days
  • View Billing and Consumption History
  • Order Residential Recycling Bins

Residential Requirements

In order to establish a residential account for water, sewer and garbage, Manatee County Utilities Customer Service may require the following documentation:

  • Driver’s License or Florida State identification
  • Last 4 digits of Social Security number
  • Rental lease or notarized letter from landlord (if tenant)

Residential Deposit Requirements 

Manatee County Utilities Customer Service Department requires a $150.00 deposit for a single family home. Deposits on individually metered single family homes will be applied to the customer’s account after two (2) years of continuous payment history.

Transfer of Deposits – if the account is current, deposits are transferable from one address to another address within the unincorporated portion of Manatee County.

All deposits (if not transferred or previously applied to the account) are applied to the final balance.

You may contact customer service at 941-792-8811 ext. 4999 for assistance in establishing service or you may visit our office at 4410 66th St. W. Bradenton 34210. Lobby hours are 8:00 am until 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

Backflow Requirements

Backflow prevention assemblies are required for properties with any of the following:

  • An in ground irrigation system; 
  • A secondary source of water, such as reclaimed water or well; 
  • A swimming pool; 
  • A fountain with a dedicated fill pipe;
  • A fire sprinkler system; 
  • A flood zone designation;
  • Property that abuts or includes a body of water, including river, bay, lake or pond; 
  • A solar water heating system;
  • A commercial, industrial, multistory or multifamily residential facility;
  • A cross connection found.

Link to additional Backflow information

Backflow devices were installed at houses built after 1987 (when Manatee County Cross Connection and Backflow Prevention Resolution R87-125 became effective). For homes permitted before 1987, compliance with the current standards will be required through the permitting process when modifications to the home occur.

 Required to test your backflow preventer every year

All testing must be done by a contractor that is registered with the Cross Connection Control office and possesses a valid, up-to-date plumbing license/Fire Marshal certificate, current insurance and backflow test/repair certification. 

Access your backflow preventer information online

You can access your Manatee County Utilities account online. Visit to register! You will be able to find out when your backflow was last tested, the result of your test and the certified tester responsible via your passport account.

Residential Solid Waste Garbage Only Requirements

In order to establish a residential garbage only account, Manatee County Utilities Customer Service requires Driver’s license or Florida State identification as well as the last 4 digits of your Social Security number.

NOTE:  Garbage Only accounts must stay in the owner’s name.

Residential Deposit Requirements

Manatee County Utilities requires a $30.00 deposit for a residential garbage only single family home. When the account is closed, the deposit is applied to the final balance.

Transfer of Deposits — if the account is current, deposits are transferable from one address to another address within the unincorporated portion of Manatee County.

New Construction Requirements

County residents can apply for a new water meter installation by calling Manatee County Utilities Customer Service at 941-792-8811, Ext. 4976. Connection to the Manatee County Utility System requires a deposit, payment of facility investment fees, connection fees, and line fees. The deposit, facility investment, and connection fees for single family residential and commercial structures are based upon the meter size. Master metered multi-residential structures are based upon the meter size or the number of units, whichever is greater. 

Current Water and Sewer Rates (Manatee County)

Your monthly water and sewer bill is composed of two parts:  The Base Charge and the Quantity Charge.

The Base Charge for water and wastewater is a fixed charge and is determined by meter size and/or number of units.  It covers the cost of services that must be provided regardless of usage, such as Meter Reading, Billing and Customer Service, as well as fixed costs at the Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants.

 2016 Manatee County Water and Wastewater Monthly Base Charge by Meter Size

 Meter Size  Water  Wastewater  Private Fire Service 
5/8” x ¾”  $8.73  $20.84  $N/A 
¾”  11.82  29.86  N/A 
1”  17.98  47.83  3.30 
 Service  Water  Wastewater 
Detached Single Family  $ 6.57  $ 18.81 

The Potable Water Quantity Charge applies to the amount of water used per month and is expressed in thousands of gallons (kgal).   This charge covers the cost of operating the potable water distribution system and variable costs at the Water Treatment Plant, such as chemicals and electricity.

The Wastewater (Sewer) Quantity Charge is based on 100% of water usage, and the maximum monthly wastewater charge for residential individually metered customers is capped at 10,000 gallons of potable water consumption.  This charge covers the cost of operating the wastewater collection system and variable costs at the three Wastewater Treatment Plants, such as chemicals and electricity. 

Wastewater treatment plants are designed to do one thing – clean dirty water. Manatee County treatment plants rank among the best in the state.


Typical residential water meter:
Most homes require the smallest meter available, which is 5/8 x 3/4 inches. Some residences may require a larger meter because of added volume and pressure requirements, such as for lawn irrigation.

Meters are sized properly at the time of installation. The typical 5/8 x 3/4-inch residential meter is designed to handle household flows. Typical flow problems occur from improperly sized service lines or fixture problems. You may request a change of meter size. The installation of a larger meter will require additional availability fees, tapping fees, and actual cost of parts and installation.

Meters that meet American Water Works Association (AWWA) standards and state regulatory requirements cost between $40 (residential size) to $2,000+ (industrial size).   The cost to install a meter where none exists can range between $180 to $800+ per meter, depending on the location of the service line and affected hardscapes.  It is more costly to install meter boxes and meters in established areas where street, sidewalks and landscape must be excavated and replaced. Many agencies implementing metering, have learned to schedule meter installations prior to regularly schedule street repairs and Resurfacing. Water agencies should be prepared for reductions in water consumption after metered billing is implemented. 

Improper meter selection for the customer usage pattern can cause the meter to not register the full amount of water consumed.

Single-family homes typically use a 5/8” meter (1.59 cm), though 3/4” (1.91 cm) or 1” meters (2.54 cm) are also used for larger  homes. These meters are usually the “positive-displacement” design.  This design of meter is reasonably accurate at the normal flows of a home or small business. In general, the larger the meter, the less sensitive the meter is to small volumes of water passing through the mechanism. A typical residential meter (5/8” or 3/4” (1.59 cm or 1.91 cm)) will only record usage when the flow rate is greater than one pint of water per minute.   Meter sensitivity decreases with age; a ten year old meter might be only record flows greater than two or three pints per minute.  

Current Solid Waste (Garbage) Rates

Waste Management and Waste Pro provide solid waste and recycling services to unincorporated Manatee County.   Their franchise agreement covers the pickup and removal of solid waste, yard waste and recyclable materials. 

Current rates for Residential curbside and non-curbside collection, Multi-Family, White Goods and Commercial services may be viewed by clicking the following link:

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Nolan Middle School – Good To Know


Nolan Middle School 

941-751-8200 PHONE
941-751-8210 FAX

  • Nolan Middle School Facebook Page (Get the most updated information on school sports, clubs, events, changes in early release dates, school closing etc.)
    • Nolan Middle School Website 
      • Tip: Look at the Parent & Student Tabs – filled with tons of useful information on college, clubs, etc. 
      • Calendar link: find government meeting information, club meetings etc. 
      • What is Hot At Nolan: 
        • Contains the link for Office 365 download for personal use
      • Nutrition Services – Lunch information, upload money to student account (you need their student ID number). There also is an Application. 
  • Nolan Middle School PTO Facebook Page (Get even more information about school dances, PTO meetings, social parent gatherings etc) 
    • Nolan Middle School PTO Website (order Nolan Spirit Ware, PTO meeting information, download forms, Contact information for board members)
    • PTO President (2016-2017): Beth Grogan  –
    • Order Form for Nolan Spirit Ware ($15 boxers, $12 T-shirts, $20 PJ pants, $5 Car Magnets)
  • Breakfast is FREE
  • Picture Day is at the beginning of the school year – August 16th, 2016 through Lifetouch (


Staff Websites

  • OnCourse Systems (official link):
    • Teachers build lesson plans each week.
    • Each Teacher has a homepage
    • Calendar/events link:
      • You will be able to see current day assignments + any past assignments
      • You CANNOT see future assignments. 
      • Absent Student message for students who miss class
    • Contact information and brief profile on each teacher
    • Resources each teacher provides
    • Class syllabus posted here containing information on grading, late assignment policy, make-up work, extra credit etc. 
  • Tip: Bookmark each Class Calendar/Event link on your computer for easy access. 


  • Like Facebook but for academic use only. – Link
  • Not all teacher utilize.
  • 6th grade language arts teacher uses it to post additional information that is relevant to topic covered in class that day or for EXTRA clarification on complex projects/assignments.
  • Each class has a class CODE or group CODE which is different for each class
  • Parents can have access to Edmodo with a Parent Code (your child needs to sign on to their edmodo account and you will be able to see the Parent Code displayed)

Class messenger & Remind

  • Application which allows protected texting to communicate via texting.
  • Students and teachers can text back and forth.
  • Teachers can send group messages (for example “Chapter 4 math test tomorrow”)
  • There is no need to exchange individual phone numbers. 
  • Teacher controlled: kids cannot send text messages to each other, only to the teacher. 
  • Not all teachers use this application. 


  • For Parents and Students to Use – Link
  • From Nolan Middle School homepage – access via parental portal.
  • Online Gradebook! 
  • You can see daily how your student is doing and what grades they are getting.
  • Have your child pull up their grades daily and ask them to come up with reasons of why their grade went up or down.
  • Progress Report Stays Static (unchanged) until the next report card comes out
  • If You click on a class you can see points/grades for each individual assignment (breaking down your student’s grade for that class)

  • Student Webnet Login Page Here
  • Link for Instructions on downloading Office 365 for personal use & how to sign onto Webnet
  • Students are expected to email their teachers with questions – via office 365 they can type in their teacher’s name and the teacher’s email will pop up 
  • Each student has their own profile/homepage
    • if they click on their profile icon it will tell them their (the students) email address
    • There are icons INSIDE the Webnet browser that students can click on to access Word, Powerpoint, OneNote etc. 
    • Students can do the same things they would do on Microsoft Word on their computer hard drive that they can do INSIDE Microsoft Word via the Webnet
    • If Students work on Microsoft Word from their computer hard drive — they need to click SHARE and then type in the teachers name. This then goes into the teacher’s inbox. 


  • For Students to Use (requirement for eSteam Students)
  • A File Sharing Program: Similar to GoogleDrive
  • Students can create presentations within the program and share them OR students an upload documents to share with their teacher
  • For example if your student is working on a Microsoft paper while in the car (lacking internet access) they can later upload the Microsoft document to OneDrive. 


  • An interactive notebook set up by teachers – it is interactive
  • OneNote substitutes the paper notebook with a digital notebook. 
  • Microsoft word, Powerpoint etc. Can be accessed either via the Febnet (student login required) OR via the students computer. 
  • Teachers set up different tabs according to class content
  • Teachers assign assignments through OneNote – students can work on their assignments via OneNote. No Need to SHARE – the teacher can see the progress on the work. There is no NEED to turn it in! 

Content Library

  • For Students via Webnet (requires student login) 
  • Content Library is like a file cabinet 
  • It is for student references or notes – it cannot be edited – it is only there for students to look at — things that can be edited are instead placed into each student’s personal notebook. 

Student Clubs

  1. FCA = Fellowship of Christian Athletes (official website)
    • Faith + Sport = FCA
    • Meet on Monday mornings starting at 8:15am
  2. Colts Coding Club
    • Meet Tuesday morning before school: 8am-9am in Room 208
    • Students will learn Scratch developed by MIT, website design skills using HTML and CSS and website scripting using JavaScript. Students will learn programing skills and concepts. No prior experience needed. 
    • Students need to bring a Windows, Linux or Mac Laptop. The only recommended software is Google Chrome web browser and Komodo Edit. Komodo is a FREE code editor which can be downloaded from 
    • Contact: Andrew Wilford,, cell: 941-322-9089


Colts Band (official website)

  • Students participate in band, choir & orchestra for the first two weeks of school. After having a chance to experience all three – students choose which they would like to continue for the remaining of the year. 
  • Instrument Rental is a requirement for Band
  • If your child pick the alto saxophone you will need: 3 Vandoren Reeds (2 1/2)

Local Music Stores: 

  1. J.A.S. Music is a delivery instrument repair and rental service run by Mr. Mike Sellers. Mike is a skilled technician and serves many middle and high schools in Manatee and Pinellas counties. He visits Manatee schools every Friday to retrieve/deliver instruments for rental and repair. (727) 452-9442,
    • Alto Saxophone Rental: $42 per month – the breakdown $34 rental + $5.25 Maintenance & Repair + $2.75 tax. 
    • All instruments are delivered to the school ready to play. Every Friday Mike is in the band room for any available repairs. 
    • First payment for October. You can return it anytime if student wants to change the instrument. 
    • Send check every month to: make check out to J.A.S music with student’s name on the check. 
    • Conn Alto Sax brand they carry – made by Selmar 
    • Need to go to music store for stand, book, Reeds and cleaning kit. 
    • J.A.S. music contract for instrument rental – Link (prices for all instruments are listed on the contract)
  2. Fogt’s Music 4209 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota Fl. 34231, (941) 929-1595 ** Rented out for 2016-2017 school year — $35 per month, reids box of 10 $24.99, cleaning kit $14, Book $10 – rental is month to month – on auto payment until instrument is returned – full repair shop is taken care  – adjustments – if lost have to repair average $500 — if you decide to buy the instrument you can apply some of your rental payments towards the purchase price. 
  3. Sam Ash Music Store: 7606 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243
    (941) 351-7793 ** Ian is the person in charge of orchestra & band instrument rentals —  alto saxaphone  — new horns 1 year warranty comes standard – offer extended/repair plan (depends on instrument price tier) – also offer if you purchase 2-3 year extended warranty then you also get 1 year guarantee re-purchase (like a pawn shop they buy and sell gear all the time – pay you half what you paid). 

    • M-F: 11am – 8pm. Sat: 10am – 7pmSun: 12pm – 6pm. Ian off of Sundays and Wednesdays 
    • Selmar brand best saxophone created since the 60’s in the 80’s first to move to china for over seas production: Rental $530 one time payment – 10 months total – $400 is rental price – if you want to purchase you can use $200 – the $100 is deposit that you get back – $30 is insurance for repairs and adjustments. New Purchase Price: $819 for the horn, $88 2 year extension warranty. Expensive Brand.
      • $53/month rental ($100 is deposit) = $43 per month
    • John Baptist store brand – mass produced in china as well: Rental $380 – same deposit & insurance – $250 rental price – if you purchase half towards instrument purchase. New Purchase Price: $650 for the horn $85 for 2 yr extension warranty. Inexpensive brand. 
      • $38 per month rental ($100 is deposit) = $28 per month 
    • Benjamin Adams 100 brand – Cheap instruments. $350 new purchase $50 extended warranty strongly recommend to buy warranty with this brand!! No rental offered. 
    • ** 24 months no interest financing store card available 
    • 1 year guarantee buy back for 1/2 the price you paid if you purchase new instrument with extended guarantee. 
    • Cleaning supply kit $17 — Pad savers $20 one for body and one for neck – box of reeds (vandoran brand), Essential Elements $10. 
    • You need to pick up instrument. 
  4. Bertrand’s Music (formerly Keyboard’s and More): 3611 1st Street, Suite 520
    Bradenton FL 34208, (941) 746-1414 – 

    • alto saxophone: Rental- $61.20 initial then $44.20 per month (mouth piece, strap, 1 free reed). Breakdown first month $33.50 is rent, “peace of mind agreement or maintenance plan” $8.52 (maintenance if something goes wacky or if it is stolen – police report needed and then they are able to replace the instrument) + Upfront Cleaning Fee $17 = $61.20 for the first month. ** You screw rent credit up to 36 months which you can use to purchase a new instrument. 
    • Essential element book $10 
    • Cleaning kit $25 
    • Reeds (#2) $3.50 to 4.50 per reed 
    • Purchase new instrument: $1,900
    • Mon-Fri 10-7pm and Saturday 10-4pm. Closed Sunday. 
    • You need to pick up instrument. 

Athletic Department – After School Sports 

  • Official Website 
  • Cross Country – September/October
    • Begins Aug – 2 weeks of practice before TRYOUT day
    • Tues & Thur After School – 3:45pm-4:45pm
  • Soccer- October/December
    • Begins Oct 4th – Boys
    • Try Out Date – Oct 18th
  • Basketball- January/February
  • Flag Football/Volleyball- February/April
  • contact: 941-751-8200 ext. 2069 or
  • Check Website for Updates/details
  • Pre participation Physical Form to be filled out by pediatrician/MD/primary care provider – Form

6th Grade Class Information 

6th Grade Math Online Texbook Access Information: 

  • The online textbook provides a host of useful tools.  Among them are online tutoring, virtual manipulatives, interactive lessons and additional practice problems.  See below for information on accesssing the online textbook.
  •  Website:
    • User Name:  10 digit ID  (Note:  Both student and school are plural – don’t miss the “s”.)
    • Password:  mcgrawhi11 (The last two digits are ones.)
  • FSA Practice Test
    • Practice Test Link
      • Sign on as a guest
      • Select grade level 6 and click yes.
    • Answer Key Link

Online science textbook

World History


  • Sound Clips – Link
  • Colts 2016-2017 Band Calendar – Link
  • Helpful Links:
    • Smart Music Link ($40 per year – music practice software)
    • The Web Metronome is a free, online metronome. Adjust the tempo, number of beats, and accent beats. You can also download a higher-quality app for iPhone, Windows, or Mac. – Link
    • J.W. Pepper Sheet Music – Link (Shop by instrument, music, books, events etc)
    •  Music Theory – Note identification and many more exercises. Ear Training. Exercise Customizer for teachers to create a permanent site for customized exercises. Also available as an App on iOs. – Link
  • Apps For Smart Phone Devices:
  • Major Scales 
    • Alto Sax printable Link


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Breaking it Down – USDA, FHA or Conventional Mortgage

Comparing different Mortgages – advantages & disadvantages 

Let’s start by looking at an example that compares “apples to apples”

We are going to assume a family of 4 is looking for a home. They have 2 kids. Mother stays at home. The father works out of the home, annual income of $49,000. They have a car loan $675 monthly expense. Let’s say they have $70,000 Cash in a savings account. The loan would be under the working spouse’s name. We will assume a typical scenario today: the Father had a foreclosure that happened less than 7 years ago and a credit score of 669. The father has been trying to increase his credit score. 

Ask Yourself: Is it worth it to increase your credit score? What kind of a difference does your credit score make? What affect does a foreclosure have on your lending options? Should you use your CASH to purchase your home? If so How much? 

The example should answer a lot of these questions…. 

Finance Amount: $180,000 for USDA; $$173,700 for FHA &  $144,000 for Conventional —- Credit Score: 669

Loan Program/Interest Rate:

  • USDA: 4%
  • FHA: 3.25%
  • Conventional: 4.125% (669) OR 3.75% (with a credit score of 680)

** You can see the difference in interest rate it would make if the credit score increased from 669 to 680 with a Conventional Loan. If the loan is USDA or FHA increasing your credit score makes NO difference in your interest rate!! 

Down Payment Required with each Loan Program:

  • USDA: 0% no downpayment required (finance loan amount would be 100% financing $180,000)
  • FHA: 3. 5% minimum downpayment required – $6,300 (finance loan amount would then be $173,700 after downpayment)
    • 5% downpayment would be $9,000 – (Finance loan amount would then be $171,000 after downpayment) *Larger downpayment decreases PMI from 0.85% to 0.8%
  • Conventional: 20% minimum to avoid private mortgage insurance  – $36,000 (finance loan amount would then be $144,000 after downpayment)

Private Mortgage Insurance Requirement:

  • USDA: 0.35% ($630 per year) $52.50 monthly – Based on finance loan: $180,000
  • FHA: 0.85% ($1,476.45 per year) $123.03 monthly – Based on finance loan: $173,700
    • 0.8% ($1,368 per year) $114.00 monthly – Based on finance loan: $171,000 
    • Savings of $9.03 per month ($108.36 yearly) but with a COST of $2,700 more  CASH in downpayment ($3,250.80 savings over 30 years)
  • Conventional: n/a with 20% downpayment

Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium Fees:

  • USDA: 1% (effective October 1, 2016) – $1,800 – Based on finance loan: $180,000
    • 2% (current rate) – $3,600 – Based on finance loan: $180,000
  • FHA: 1.75% – $3,040 – Based on finance loan: $173,700
    • If you increased downpayment to get a lower PMI rate – the upfront fee would also be lower to reflect the lower financed loan amount: $2,993 – Based on finance loan: $171,000 
    • Savings of $47 one time upfront Fee but with a COST of $2,700 more  CASH in downpayment
  • Conventional: n/a

Closing Costs:

The Same no matter what Loan program you choose. Good estimate would be about $7,500. 

Monthly Payments:

  • USDA: $859.35 (Principal & Interest) + $52.50 (PMI) + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA) – with Downpayment of:$0 and Upfront Fee of: $1,800 – Based on finance loan: $180,000
  • FHA: $769.18 (Principal & Interest) + $123.04 (PMI) + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA) – with Downpayment of: $6,300 and Upfront Fee of: $3,040 – Based on finance loan: $173,700
    • $757.23 (Principal & Interest) + $114 (PMI) +  (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA) – with Downpayment of: $9,000 and Upfront Fee of: $2,993 Based on finance loan: $171,000
  • Conventional 4.125% interest rate (based on credit score 669) Purchase Price $180,000 (Finance Price $144,000) 20% downpayment ($36,000), NO PMI, NO Upfront Fee
    • $697.90 (Principal & Interest) + $0 (PMI) + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA) – with Downpayment of: $36,000 and Upfront Fee of: $0– Based on finance loan: $144,000
  • Conventional 3.75% interest rate (based on credit score 680) Purchase Price $180,000 (Finance Price $144,000) 20% downpayment ($36,000), NO PMI, NO Upfront Fee
    • $666.89 (Principal & Interest) + $0 (PMI) + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA) – with Downpayment of: $36,000 and Upfront Fee of: $0– Based on finance loan: $144,000
    • ** By improving credit score from 669 to 680 you get a better interest rate 3.75% instead of 4.125% which gives you a cheaper principal & interest payment by $31.01 less monthly payment 

Total Payments: 

  • USDA Financed Loan Amount $180,000 (Home Purchase Price $180,000)
    • $911.85 monthly + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA)
      • $859.35 is going towards principle & interest (4%)
      • $52.50 is going to the TRASH (0.35% annual fee)
    • $0 Downpayment CASH (100% financing) + Closing costs CASH (unless seller pays)
    • $1,800 Upfront fee (1%) can be either rolled into loan or paid CASH (if rolled into loan it would change all the numbers)
    • CASH needed: $1,800 (includes upfront fee & downpayment) + Closing Costs
      • $0 is going towards equity in your home
      • $1,800 goes into TRASH
      • Closing costs go to TRASH
  • FHA Financed Loan Amount $173,700 (Home Purchase Price $180,000)
    • $892.22 monthly + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA)
      • $769.18 is going towards principle & interest (3.25%)
      • $123.04 is going to the TRASH (0.85% annual PMI)
    • $6,300 Downpayment (3.5% downpayment) CASH + Closing costs CASH (unless seller pays)
    • $3,040 Upfront fee (1.75%) can be either rolled into loan or paid CASH (if rolled into loan it would change all the numbers)
    • CASH needed: $9,340 (includes upfront fee & downpayment) + Closing Costs
      • $6,300 goes to equity in your home
      • $3,040 goes to TRASH
      • Closing costs go to TRASH
  • FHA Financed Loan Amount $171,000 (Home Purchase Price $180,000)
    • $871.23 monthly + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA)
      • $757.23 is going towards principle & interest (3.25%)
      • $114 is going into the TRASH (0.8% annual PMI)
    • $9,000 Downpayment (5% downpayment) CASH + Closing costs CASH (unless seller pays)
    • $2,993 Upfront fee (1.75%) can be either rolled into loan or paid CASH  (if rolled into loan it would change all the numbers)
    • CASH needed: $11,993  (includes upfront fee & downpayment) + Closing Costs
      • $9,000 goes towards equity in your home
      • $2,993 goes into TRASH
      • Closing costs go to TRASH
  • Conventional 4.125% interest rate (based on credit score 669) Purchase Price $180,000 (Finance Price $144,000) 20% downpayment ($36,000), NO PMI, NO Upfront Fee
    • $697.90 monthly + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA)
      • $697.90 is going towards principle & interest (4.125%)
      • $0 is going into the TRASH
    • $36,000 downpayment (20% downpayment) CASH + Closing costs CASH (unless seller pays)
    • $0 in upfront Fees
    • CASH needed: $36,000 + Closing Costs
      • $36,000 goes not equity in your home
      • Closing costs go to TRASH
  • Conventional 3.75% interest rate (based on credit score 680) Purchase Price $180,000 (Finance Price $144,000) 20% downpayment ($36,000), NO PMI, NO Upfront Fee 
    • $666.89 monthly + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA)
      • $666.89 is going towards principle & interest (3.75%)
      • $0 is going into the TRASH
    • $36,000 downpayment (20% downpayment) CASH + Closing costs CASH (unless seller pays)
    • $0 in upfront Fees
    • CASH needed: $36,000 + Closing Costs
      • $36,000 goes not equity in your home
      • Closing costs go to TRASH

Long Term Thinking:

  • USDA Loan $180,000 (purchase price=finance price)
    • Annual Fee (0.35%) $52.50 monthly = $630 yearly = $18,900 over the life of the 30 year loan
    • Upfront Fee (1%) $1,800 ONE TIME FEE
    • 4% interest rate – the interest paid over the life of the 30yr loan = $129,365.11
    • Total of ALL principal & interest payments over the life of the 30 yr loan = $309,365
    • Total of All payments over the 30yr life of the loan (principal & interest + Annual Fee + Upfront Fee) = $330,065
      • This means you are paying the bank $150,065 to borrow $180,000 
  • FHA Loan $180,000 purchase price ($173,700 finance price)
    • Annual Fee (0.85%) $123.04 monthly = $1,476.48 yearly = $44,294.40 over the life of the 30 year loan
    • Upfront Fee (1.75%) $3,040 ONE TIME FEE
    • 3.25% interest rate – the interest paid over the life of the 30yr loan = $98,443.22
    • Total of ALL principal & interest payment over the life of the 30 yr loan = $272,143.22 (+$6,300 downpayment = $278,443.22)
    • Total of All payments over the 30yr life of the loan (principal & interest + Annual Fee + Upfront Fee) = $319,587.62 (+$6,300 downpayment = $325,887.62)
      • This means you are paying the bank $145,887.62 to borrow $173,700
  • FHA Loan $180,000 Purchase price ($171,000 finance price)
    • Annual Fee (0.8%) $114 monthly = $1,368 yearly = $41,040 over the life of the 30yr loan
    • Upfront Fee (1.75%) $2,993 ONE TIME FEE
    • 3.25% interest rate – the interest paid over the life of the 30 year loan = $96,913.01
    • Total of ALL principal & interest payment over the life of the 30 yr loan = $267,913.01 (+$9,000 downpayment = $276,913.01)
    • Total of ALL payments over the 30 year life of the loan (principal & interest + Annual Fee + Upfront Fee) = $311,946 (+$9,000 downpayment = $320,946)
      • This means you are paying the bank $140,946 to borrow $171,000
  • Conventional 4.125% interest rate (based on credit score 669) Purchase Price $180,000 (Finance Price $144,000) 
    • NO Annual Fee
    • NO Upfront Fee
    • 4.125% interest rate – the interest paid over the life of the 30 year loan = $107,242.42
    • Total principal & interest payment over the life of the 30 year loan = $251,242.42 (+$36,000 downpayment= $287,242.42)
      • This means you pay the bank $107,242.42 to borrow $144,000
  • Conventional 3.75% interest rate (based on credit score 680) Purchase Price $180,000 (Finance Price $144,000) 
    • NO Annual Fee
    • NO Upfront Fee
    • 3.75% interest rate – the interest paid over the life of the 30 year loan = $96,079.12
    • Total principal & interest payment over the life of the 30 year loan = $240,079.12
      • This means you pay the bank $96,079.12 to borrow $144,000
      • ** By improving your credit score from 669 to 680 you save yourself during the life of the loan $11,163.30 to borrow the same amount from the bank! 

Finance Amount: $180,000 for ALL loan programs — Credit Score: 669

Loan Program/Interest Rate:

  • USDA: 4%
  • FHA: 3.25%
  • Conventional: 4.125% (669) OR 3.75% (with a credit score of 680)

** You can see the difference in interest rate it would make if the credit score increased from 669 to 680 with a Conventional Loan. If the loan is USDA or FHA increasing your credit score makes NO difference in your interest rate!! 

Down Payment Required with each Loan Program:

  • USDA: 0% no downpayment required (finance loan amount would be 100% financing $180,000)
    • Home Value $180,000 = Loan value $180,000
  • FHA: 3. 5% minimum downpayment required 
    • Home Value of $186,528.50 ($187,000 for calculator purposes)  would have a downpayment of: $6,528.50 ($6,545 for calculator purposes)
    • Resulting in Finance amount of: $180,000 ($180,455 for calculator purposes)
    • 5% downpayment: $9,400 to qualify for lower annual PMI – resulting in finance amount of $177,600
  • Conventional: 20% minimum to avoid private mortgage insurance
    • Home Value of $225,000 would have a downpayment of: $45,000
    • Resulting in Finance amount of: $180,000

Question: Is Downpayment dependent on Home Value or Loan Value (amount financed)??? 

Private Mortgage Insurance Requirement:

  • USDA: 0.35% ($630 per year) $52.50 monthly – Based on finance loan: $180,000
  • FHA: 0.85% ($1,530 per year) $127.50 monthly – Based on finance loan: $180,000
    • 0.8% ($1,420.80 per year) $118.40 monthly – require 5% downpayment $9,400 – Based on finance loan: $177,600
    • Savings of $9.10 per month ($109.2 yearly) but with a cost of increased downpayment in CASH of $2,855 ** Savings of $3,276 over the life of the loan but at the cost of increasing downpayment by $2,855 in CASH
  • Conventional: n/a with 20% downpayment

Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium Fees:

  • USDA: 1% (effective October 1, 2016) – $1,800– Based on finance loan: $180,000
    • 2% (current rate) – $3,600 – Based on finance loan: $180,000
  • FHA: 1.75% – $3,158 – Based on finance loan: $180,000
    •  If you increased downpayment to get a lower PMI rate – the upfront fee would also be lower to reflect the lower financed loan amount: $3,108– Based on finance loan: $177,600
    • Savings of $50 one time upfront Fee but with a COST of $2,855 more  CASH in downpayment
  • Conventional: n/a

Closing Costs:

The Same no matter what Loan program you choose. Good estimate would be about $7,500. 

Monthly Payments:

  • USDA: $859.35 (Principal & Interest) + $52.50 (PMI) + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA) – with Downpayment of:$0 and Upfront Fee of: $1,800 – Based on finance loan: $180,000
  • FHA: $799.10 (Principal & Interest) + $127.82 (PMI) + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA) – with Downpayment of: $6,545 and Upfront Fee of: $3,158 – Based on finance loan: $180,455 (calculator used would only allow whole numbers)
    • $786.45 (Principal & Interest) + $118.40 (PMI) +  (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA) – with Downpayment of: $9,400 and Upfront Fee of: $3,108 Based on finance loan: $177,600
  • Conventional 4.125% interest rate (based on credit score 669) Purchase Price $225,000 (Finance Price $180,000) 
    • $872.37 (Principal & Interest) + $0 (PMI) + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA) – with Downpayment of: $45,000 and Upfront Fee of: $0– Based on finance loan: $180,000
  • Conventional 3.75% interest rate (based on credit score 680) Purchase Price $225,000 (Finance Price $180,000)
    • $833.61 (Principal & Interest) + $0 (PMI) + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA) – with Downpayment of: $45,000 and Upfront Fee of: $0– Based on finance loan: $180,000
    • ** By improving credit score from 669 to 680 you get a better interest rate and save $38.76 monthly in principle & interest payments. 

Total Payments:

  • USDA Financed Loan Amount $180,000 (Home Purchase Price $180,000)
    • $911.85 monthly + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA)
      • $859.35 is going towards principle & interest (4% interest)
      • $52.50 is going to the TRASH 
    • $0 Downpayment CASH + Closing costs CASH (unless seller pays)
    • $1,800 Upfront fee (1%) can be either rolled into loan or paid CASH (if rolled into loan it would change all the numbers)
    • CASH needed: $1,800 (includes upfront fee & downpayment) + Closing Costs
      • $0 is going towards equity in your home
      • $1,800 goes into TRASH
      • Closing costs go to TRASH
  • FHA Financed Loan Amount – $180,455 (Purchase Price $187,000)
    • $926.92 monthly + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA)
      • $799.10 is going towards principle & interest (3.25% interest)
      • $127.82 is going to the TRASH (0.85% annual PMI)
    • $6,545 Downpayment CASH (3.5% downpayment) + Closing Costs CASH (unless seller pays)
    • $3,158 Upfront fee (1.75%) can be either rolled into loan or paid CASH (if rolled into loan it would change all the numbers)
    • CASH needed: $9,703 (includes upfront fee & downpayment) + Closing Costs
      • $6,545 goes to equity in your home
      • $3,158 goes to TRASH
      • Closing costs go to TRASH
  • FHA Financed Loan Amount – $177,600 (Purchase Price $187,000)
    • $904.85 monthly + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA)
      • $786.45 is going towards principle & interest (3.25% interest)
      • $118.40 is going to the TRASH (0.8% annual PMI)
    • $9,400 Downpayment CASH (5% downpayment) + Closing costs CASH (unless seller pays)
    • $3,108 Upfront fee (1.75%) can be either rolled into loan or paid CASH (if rolled into loan it would change all the numbers)
    • CASH needed: $12,508 (includes upfront fee & downpayment) + Closing Costs
      • $9,400 goes to equity in your home
      • $3,108 Upfront fee goes to TRASH
      • Closing costs go to TRASH
  • Conventional 4.125% interest rate (based on credit score 669) Purchase Price $225,000 (Finance Price $180,000) 
    • $872.37 Monthly + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA)
      • $872.37 is going towards principle & interest (4.125%)
      • $0 is going to TRASH
    • $45,000 Downpayment CASH (20% downpayment) + Closing costs CASH (unless seller pays)
      • $45,000 goes into home equity
      • Closing costs go to TRASH
  • Conventional 3.75% interest rate (based on credit score 680) Purchase Price $225,000 (Finance Price $180,000)
    • $833.61 Monthly + (Taxes, Insurance, Flood Insurance, HOA)
      • $833.61 is going towards principle & interest (3.75%)
      • $0 is going to TRASH 
    • $45,000 Downpayment CASH (20% downpayment) + Closing costs CASH (unless seller pays)
      • $45,000 goes into home equity
      • Closing costs go to TRASH

Long Term Thinking:

  • USDA Loan $180,000 (purchase price=finance price)
    • Annual Fee (0.35%) $52.50 monthly = $630 yearly = $18,900 over the life of the 30 year loan
    • Upfront Fee (1%) $1,800 ONE TIME FEE
    • 4% interest rate – the interest paid over the life of the 30yr loan = $129,365.11
    • Total of ALL principal & interest payments over the life of the 30 yr loan = $309,365
    • Total of All payments over the 30yr life of the loan (principal & interest + Annual Fee + Upfront Fee) = $330,065
      • This means you are paying the bank $150,065 to borrow $180,000 
  • FHA Loan $187,000 purchase price ($180,455 finance price)
    • Annual fee (0.85%) $127.82 monthly = $1,533.84 yearly = $46,015.20 over the life of the 30 year loan
    • Upfront Fee (1.75%) $3,158 ONE TIME FEE
    • 3.25% interest rate –– the interest paid over the life of the 30 year loan = $102,271.56
    • Total Principal & Interest paid over the life of the loan = $282,726.56
    • Total of all payments over 30 year life of the loan (principal & interest + annual fee + upfront fee) = $331,899.76
      • This means you are paying the bank $151,444.76 to borrow $180,455
  • FHA Loan $187,000 purchase price ($177,600 finance price) 
    • Annual fee (0.8%) $118.40 monthly = $1,420.80 yearly = $42,624 over the life of the 30 year loan
    • Upfront Fee (1.75%) $3,108 ONE TIME FEE
    • 3.25% interest rate — the interest paid over the life of the 30 year loan = $100,681.85
    • Total Principal & Interest paid over the life of the loan = $278,281.85
    • Total of all payments over 30 year life of the loan (principal & interest + annual fee + upfront fee) = $324,013.85
      • This means you are paying the bank $146,413.85 to borrow $177,600
  • Conventional 4.125% interest rate (based on credit score 669) Purchase Price $225,000 (Finance Price $180,000) 
    • NO Annual fee
    • NO Upfront fee
    • 4.125% interest rate — the interest paid over the life of the 30 year loan = $134,053.03
    • Total Principal & Interest paid over the life of the loan = $314,053.03
      • This means you are paying the bank $134,053.03 to borrow $180,000
  • Conventional 3.75% interest rate (based on credit score 680) Purchase Price $225,000 (Finance Price $180,000) 
    • NO Annual fee
    • NO Upfront fee
    • 3.75% interest rate — the interest paid over the life of the 30 year loan = $120,098.90
    • Total Principal & Interest paid over the love of the loan = $300,098.90
      • This means you are paying the bank $120,098.90 to borrow $180,000
      • **By improving credit score from 669 to 680 you get a better interest rate and save $13,954.13 in interest over the life of the loan to borrow the same amount from the bank! 

Breaking it DOWN – what each Loan Program will COST to borrow $180,000 

  • Conventional 3.75% (credit score 680) You will pay the bank $120,098.90 to borrow $180,000
    • No Upfront Fee
    • No Annual Fee 
    •  Principle & Interest: $833.61 per month
    • PMI: $0 
    • 20% downpayment required to eliminate PMI: $45,000
  • Conventional 4.125% (credit score 669) You will pay the bank $134,053.03 to borrow $180,000 
    • No Upfront Fee
    • No Annual Fee 
    • Principle & Interest: $872.37 per month 
    • PMI: $0
    • 20% downpayment required to eliminate PMI: $45,000
  • FHA 3.25% with minimum 3.5% downpayment & therefore PMI rate of 0.85% (credit score 669 or 680) You will pay the bank $151,444.76 to borrow $180,455
    • You are paying more to the bank in the long run because of two additional fees:
      • Annual Fee (0.85%) = $46,015.20
      • Upfront Fee (1.75%) = $3,158
    • Principle & Interest: $799.10 per month
    • PMI: $127.82 per month
    • Total Per month Payment: $926.92 per month
    • 3.5% minimum downpayment required: $6,545
  • FHA 3.25% with 5% downpayment & therefore PMI rate of 0.8% (credit score 669 or 680) You will pay the bank $148,775.82 to borrow $180,500 
    • You are paying more to the bank in the long run because of two additional fees:
      • Annual Fee (0.8%) = $43,320.00
      • Upfront Fee (1.75%) = $3,158.75
    • Principle & Interest: $785.55 per month
    • PMI: $120.33 per month
    • Total Per month Payment: $905.88 per month
    • 5% downpayment to get lower PMI rate: $9,500
  • USDA 4% (credit score 669 or 680) You will pay the bank $150,065 to borrow $180,000 
    • You are paying more to the bank in the long run because of two additional fees:
      • Annual Fee (0.35%) = $18,900 
      • Upfront Fee (1%) = $1,800 
    • Principle & Interest: $859.35 per month 
    • PMI: $52.50 per month 
    • Total Per Month Payment: $911.85 per month
    • Downpayment: $0 (100% financing)

Click Here to Use the BEST online mortgage calculator for both convention and/or FHA mortgages – it is FREE. 

  • The Cheapest Monthly Payment –> $833.61 with a Conventional Loan 
    • Requires:
      • $45,000 CASH downpayment
      • credit score 680 or better and
      • NO foreclosures within the last 7 years! 
  • The Most Expensive Monthly Payment –> $926.92 with a FHA Loan
    • Requires:
      • Total Cash Needed: $9,703 from:
        • $6,545 CASH downpayment
        • $3,158 CASH upfront Fee

In order from the Cheapest to the Most Expensive Monthly Payment (Principle, Interest & PMI):

  1. $833.61 Conventional Loan (3.75% rate)
  2. $872.37 Conventional Loan (4.125% rate)
  3. $905.88 FHA (with 5% downpayment)
  4. $911.85 USODA
  5. $926.92 FHA (with 3.5% downpayment)

*** The difference between the MOST expensive and the CHEAPEST per month payment is $93.31 per month = $1,119.72 Yearly Difference ** Depending on which loan you choose you will either have $1,119.72 MORE or LESS at the end of each year for the next 30 Years (over the 30 year life of the loan if you choose the cheapest monthly payment you would save $33,591.60!) 

  • The Cheapest Loan to Borrow $180,000 from the bank –> $120,098.90 with a Conventional Loan
    • Requires:
      • $45,000 CASH downpayment
      • Credit score 680 or better
      • NO foreclosures within the last 7 years! 
  • The Most Expensive Loan to Borrow $180,000 from the bank –> $151,444.76 with a FHA Loan
    • Requires:
      • Total Cash Needed: $9,703 from: 
        • $6,545 CASH downpayment 
        • $3,158 CASH upfront Fee

In order from Cheapest Loan to Borrow $180,000 from the bank to Most Expensive –  the interest you pay the bank is: 

  1. $120,098.90 Conventional Loan (3.75% rate)
  2. $134,053.03 Conventional Loan (4.125% rate)
  3. $148,775.82 FHA Loan (with 5% downpayment)
  4. $150,065 USDA Loan 
  5. $151,444.76 FHA Loan (with 3.5% downpayment)

*** The Difference between the most expensive and the cheapest loan to borrow $180,000 from the bank is: $ 31,345.86. So if you choose the cheapest loan to borrow $180,000 from the bank you would pay the bank $31,345.86 for borrowing the SAME amount! 

Which Loan Requires the Least amount of Upfront CASH –> $0 USDA Loan

Which Loan Requires the Most Upfront CASH –> Conventional Loan (either 3.75% or 4.125% rate) $45,000 

In order from the Least amount of CASH required to the MOST:

  1. $1,800 USDA Loan
  2. $9,703 FHA (3.5% downpayment)
  3. $12,658.75 FHA (5% downpayment)
  4. $45,000 Conventional (either 3.75% or 4.125% rate)

Remember in the example the family has $70,000 in their savings account. This is considered CASH on hand. Unfortunately the family only qualifies for a maximum finance amount of $180,000 because of the LOW income ($49,000 annual) and remember that they also have a car loan with a debt load of $675 per month. 

In looking for houses the family realizes that there are not many single family homes in their approved price range ($180,000) – they do find some townhouse and condos but these have HOAs which would increase their monthly payments by $100-$500 per month! On top of the extra fees FHA Loans will not finance Condos or Townhouse. USDA loans will finance Townhouse in eligible areas as long as their legal description includes a “LOT #”

** Legal Descriptions that include a “UNIT #” are Condos

The best option for this family might be to choose a loan that allows them to borrow $180,000 from the bank with a low upfront CASH requirement — allowing the family to use their cash to purchase a single family home that fits their needs/lifestyle. 


Single family homes start around $220-250,000+ 

We know that $180,000 will be financed through the bank. So we know the monthly principle & interest payments. 

  • If the family uses ALL of their cash $70,000 towards a home with a USDA loan that offers 100% financing. They would only need another $1,800 CASH to cover the upfront fee to keep their principle & interest payment at $911.85 per month. It would be higher considering Taxes, Insurance, Utilities etc. This option would leave the family with NO buffer for emergencies! Kinda SCARY! But it would get them into a $250,000 single family home. 

Let’s Look at All the Options using the full $70,000 Cash:

  • USDA Loan $180,000 + $70,000 = $250,000 Purchase Price
    • Require $1,800 additional CASH for upfront Fee + Closing Costs $7,500 (unless seller pays or you roll them into loan, which would change monthly payment)
    • Monthly Payment USDA Loan: $911.85 per month + Taxes & Insurance 
  • FHA Loan with 5% downpayment $190,000 + $57,341.25 = $247,341.25 Purchase Price
    • Requires the use of $12,658.75 CASH to get this loan + Closing Costs $7,500 (unless seller pays or you roll them into loan, which would change monthly payment)
    • Monthly Payment: $905.88 + Taxes & Insurance
  • FHA Loan with 3.5% downpayment $187,000 + $60,297 = $247,292 Purchase Price
    • Requires the use of $9,703 CASH to get this loan + Closing Costs $7,500 (unless seller pays or you roll them into loan, which would change monthly payment)
    • Monthly Payment: $926.92 + Taxes & Insurance
  • Conventional Loan with 4.125% or 3.75% rate $225,00 + $25,000 = $250,000
    • Requires the use of $45,000 CASH to get this loan + Closing Costs $7,500 (unless seller pays, CANNOT be rolled into loan)
    • Monthly payment: $872.37 + Taxes & Insurance (with 4.125% rate)
    • Monthly payment: $833.61 + Taxes & Insurance (with 3.75% rate)

convention: home purchase price – 230,000 – loan purchase price – 225,000 = 5,000 + downpayment to finance 180,000 – 45,000= 50,000

USDA: 230,000 —- loan finance 180,000 — no downpayment – 50,000 


Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium Fees with FHA  loans:

With FHA loans, you’re required to pay an Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) along with annual mortgage insurance (which is paid monthly). The Upfront MIP is currently 1.75% percent of the loan amount (this is the amount you are financing after subtracting your downpayment)

To calculate this, multiply the loan amount by 0.0175

Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium Fees with USDA loans:

To calculate this, multiply the loan amount by 0.01

Annual Mortgage Insurance for FHA loans:

Take your base loan amount  (the purchase price minus the down payment) and multiply by 0.85 percent, or 0.0085, this will give you your annual amount. Mortgage insurance is paid monthly,  to calculate the monthly payment divide the annual amount by 12. **If you put down more money you can lower your annual mortgage insurance to 0.8%. 

To calculate this, multiply the loan amount by 0.0085 then divide by 12

On terms > 15 years and loan amounts <=$625,500 – If the loan to value is <= 95%, the new Annual Premium is reduced from 130 basis points (bps) to 80 basis points (bps). If the loan to value is >95%, the new Annual Premium is reduced from 135 basis points (bps) to 85 basis points (bps).

A down payment below 10% is what triggers this “lifetime” premium requirement. The annual MIP, on the other hand, is paid monthly throughout the life of the loan (you can, however, refinance the loan to get rid of mortgage insurance).

Annual Fee for USDA Loans: 

USDA’s form of PMI is called an annual fee.  It is called an annual fee because it is based on the mortgage balance at each annual anniversary.   First it is calculated by multiplying the Annual Fee Factor  (which is currently 0.5% – but will decrease to 0.35% on October 1, 2016) times the current balance.  Then, it is divided by 12 to come up with the monthly figure. 

To calculate this, multiply the loan amount by 0.0035 then divide by 12










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  • headache, body aches, and pain alone
  • upset stomach with headache from overindulgence in food or drink
  • heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour stomach when accompanied with headache or body aches and pains

Dissolve 2 tablets in 4oz of water. 12 years & older. Each tablet contains: sodium 567 mg


Rene syndrome

(linked to Aspirin in Pediatric Patients)

A rare but serious condition that causes confusion, swelling in the brain, and liver damage. 

Children recovering from a viral infection such as chickenpox or flu or who have a metabolic disorder are most at risk, especially if they’ve been taking aspirin.
Early symptoms include diarrhea, rapid breathing, vomiting, and severe fatigue. Symptoms such as confusion, seizures, and loss of consciousness need emergency treatment.
There’s no specific treatment for Reye’s syndrome beyond supportive care and aggressive monitoring for complications.
It’s still not well understood, but studies have linked it to the use of aspirin (salicylates) or aspirin products during viral disease.

The number of cases has dropped dramatically since this link was discovered and doctors started advising against giving aspirin to kids and teens, especially during viral illnesses.

Symptoms can be so mild that they go unnoticed. In rare cases, though, Reye syndrome can cause death within hours. Because it is a potentially life-threatening disorder, Reye syndrome should be treated as a medical emergency.

Early detection and treatment are critical — the chances for a successful recovery are greater when Reye syndrome is treated in its earliest stages.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of Reye syndrome almost always follow the start of a viral illness, such as an upper respiratory tract infection (a cold, the flu, etc.), a diarrheal illness, or chickenpox. Many cases are mild and may even go undetected; others can be severe and need aggressive care.

Reye syndrome can start from 1 day to 2 weeks after a viral infection. The viral illnesses that lead to it are contagious, but the syndrome itself is not.

Symptoms include:

  • frequent vomiting
  • tiredness or sleepiness
  • in babies, diarrhea and rapid breathing
  • irritability or aggressive behavior

Other symptoms include changes in vision, difficulty hearing, and abnormal speech. In the later stages, a child may behave irrationally; be confused; or have severe muscle weakness, seizures, and loss of consciousness. There usually is no fever.

Reye syndrome is now very rare, and only a few cases a year are reported in the United States. It should be considered, though, if a child is vomiting a lot or shows a change in mental status or behavior, particularly after a recent viral illness.





Pediatric Over The Counter Products

450.jpg Children’s Sudafed PE

Uses: Temporarily relieves nasal congestion due to the common cold, hay fever or other upper respiratory allergies. Active Ingredients: In Each 5 ml = 1 Teaspoon. 

Dextromethorphan HBr 5 mg Cough suppressant
Phenylephrine HCl 2.5 mg Nasal decongestant
  • 4 to 5 years: 5 mL (1 tsp)
  • 6 to 11 years: 10 mL (2 tsp)

04-jr-strength-tablets_half_1.png Children’s Advil

Uses: reduces fever, relieves minor aches and pains due to the common cold, flu, headaches and toothaches. use weight to dose. Comes in tablet, chewable or solution form. In each Tablet: Ibuprofen 100 mg (NSAID) **Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (Fever reducer/Pain reliever). Tablet dosing: 

48-71 lb 6 – 10 yr 2 tablets
72 – 95 lb 11 yr 3 tablets
  • Repeat dose every 6-8 hours, if needed
  • Do not use more than 4 times a day

childrens-cough-cf_1Children’s Robitussin Cough & Cold CF Uses: helps loosen phlegm (mucus) and thin bronchial secretions to drain bronchial tubes  temporarily relieves these symptoms occurring with a cold: nasal congestion,  cough due to minor throat and bronchial irritation. Active ingredients (in each 10 ml): 

Dextromethorphan HBr, USP 10 mg ………………………………….. Cough suppressant Guaifenesin, USP 100 mg……………………………………………………………. Expectorant Phenylephrine HCl, USP 5 mg ………………………………………….. Nasal decongestant

Product Labeling – Link



children under 6 years

do not use

children 6 to under 12 years

10 ml every 4 hours

adults and children 12 years and over

20 ml every 4 hours


Posted in Uncategorized

House Hunting Manatee County Family Friendly Neighborhoods

Palmer Ranch

Palmer Ranch, a spacious master planned community, offers a myriad of different lifestyle options to suit any taste. Convenient to cultural attractions, the vibrant downtown and the beaches of Sarasota, the communities in Palmer Ranch have something for everyone.
The Country Club of Sarasota is deal for golf enthusiasts as well as anyone who wants easy access to fine dining, shopping and cultural activities. This community is primarily composed of single family homes on sprawling home sites.
The Hamptons is an outstanding residential area that is divided into three unique areas; North, West and South. In the West Hamptons is ideal for privacy, with its gated community and spacious homes. For beautiful landscaping, look to the South Hamptons while the North Hamptons offer stunning homes.
Huntington Pointe is the ideal blend of architecture and nature. Stunning wooded and lakefront home sites are available here. This is Florida living at its best.
Marbella is considered to be one of the most charming neighborhoods in Palmer Ranch. Centrally located, the PR Palmer Ranch condos and homes here offer convenience and comfort.
Prestencia is considered to be one of the most coveted addresses in Sarasota. Choose from low-rise PR Palmer Ranch condos, villas and single family homes in this prestigious neighborhood.
Young professionals are often attracted to Stoneybrook along with active retirees and growing families. This warm neighborhood features spacious homes, PR Palmer Ranch condos will full amenities and fantastic panoramas that are sure to charm.
Turtle Rock is the ideal choice for young families and active adults who are looking for a country club style setting with privacy. Conveniently located near the golf courses, the amenities here include tennis courts, swimming pool, walking paths, canoeing and a recreation building. Choose from single family homes, spacious villas and estate homes.

Palmer Ranch is a planned community of about 10,000 acres with approximately 9000 residences in the form of condos, villas, town homes and single family homes.
Wellington Chase is one of the most reasonably priced for single family homes. It is not gated, nor does it have a community pool – that’s why HOA fees are about $800/year. Most of the neighborhoods were built in the 1990’s. Some of those have had issues with pin hole leaks in the plumbing that required re-plumbing of the entire home.

  • The Isles is the newest construction in Palmer Ranch, with both villas and single family, maintenance free homes. Prices for homes start at around $300k with HOA fees of about $842/quarter for homes, $807/quarter for villas. The Isles offers a clubhouse, lagoon style pool, tennis, fitness, basketball & boccee ball courts, a playground and full time activity director.
  • Village Walk is one of the most popular neighborhoods in Palmer Ranch for newer construction as it offers villas, townhomes and single family homes. Townhomes start at around $200k with HOA fees of about $864/quarter. Villas start at around $225k with HOA fees of about $852/quarter and maintenance free homes start at around $250k. Once in awhile you will see a short sale on a townhome priced at around $175 – $185,000. Village Walk has resort style amenities, including a gorgeous clubhouse, fitness center, lagoon style pool, tennis courts and walking trails.
  • Turtle Rock is another gated community within Palmer Ranch. Turtle Rock has about 750 single family homes and villas. Prices start at round $260k for homes with HOA fees of about $400/quarter. Somerset in Turtle Rock has carriage homes built in the late 90’s. HOA fees in Turtle Rock include lawn maintenance, pressure washing roofs annually, clubhouse, pool, tennis courts and solar street lights.

Palmer Ranch in south Sarasota is next door to a shopping mall and close driving distance to the south end of Siesta Key & it’s fabulous beaches. It has a wide range of prices from around $60,000 for a condo in one of the 3 apartments converted to condo communities of Vintage Grand, Bella Villino or Serenade to large estate homes. Village Walk is a popular, newer townhome community in Palmer Ranch. Most of the neighborhoods are gated, some are not. You’ll find the properties will have HOA fees and a master Palmer Ranch HOA fee. Costs per year will vary from neighborhood to neighborhood.
University Place is also a gated community of about 400 homes set in 6 neighborhoods. The homes in Carriage Run are maintenance free (monthly fees cover lawn service).  University Place has it’s own community web site at: University Place Florida Prices start just under $200,000 for distress sales, around $225k – $240k for regular sales. Most of HOA fee of $100/month. Carriage Run will cost about $218/mo in HOA fees because of the extra maintenance included. University Place has 2 pools (lagoon style and lap), 2 rec centers, tennis courts, playground and walking trails.

Mote Ranch area, just west and north of University Place has several nice neighborhoods of newer built homes with reasonable annual HOA fees (and no CDD fees) but most are not gated. These would include Copper Ridge, Grand Point, Longpond at Mote Ranch, River Park at Mote Ranch, Mote Ranch and Chaparral. You’ll find home prices starting in the low to mid $200’s, depending on neighborhoods.

Lakewood Ranch, situated on the West Coast of Florida, is a master planned community that offers residents the chance to enjoy the stunning array of activities and beauty of Florida while forming lasting friendships in a community setting. From beautiful homes to world class shops to job opportunities to places to have fun and play with friends and neighbors, Lakewood Ranch has it all.
There are seven distinct and unique villages that comprise Lakewood Ranch, Florida. They are the Country Club, Country Club East, RiverwalkVillage, EdgewaterVillage, SummerfieldVillage, GreenbookVillage, The Lake Club and the new Central ParkVillage.

Lakewood Ranch Country Club is a beautiful gated community that was built around three stunning Arnold Palmer designed golf courses. Buyers here can choose from full-maintenance LWR Lakewood Ranch condos, single-family residences or custom estate homes.
Lakewood Ranch Country Club East provides a private gated community with select single family as well as multi-family homes. This village features the Rick Robbins-designed 18-hole golf course.
Lakewood Ranch Edgewater is a beautiful lake community set amongst custom single family homes as well as luxury LWR Lakewood Ranch condos. At the heart of it all is the 160 acre LakeUihlein. Residents can enjoy fishing, boating and gorgeous sunsets.
RiverwalkVillage is situated near the parks, providing a cozy hometown feeling. A wide selection of single family homes is available in this natural setting.
GreenbrookVillage offers everything you could want; preserves, parks and lakes. Families of all ages will feel comfortable here. Amenities include a playground, dog park, skating/hockey rink, sports fields, pavilion and more.
SummerfieldVillage is situated near the BradenRiver, providing two community parks and nature trails. Single family homes, some of which offer maintenance free lawn service, are available here in a wide array of price ranges.
The LakeClub is the newest addition to the villages of Lakewood Ranch. This unique village offers both style and sophistication to discerning buyers. Travel along the beautifully landscaped entry and you will not see any visible homes, but rest assured there are plenty of options available for complete seclusion.
Central Park offers single-family homes along with amenities such as a playground, tennis courts, ballpark, dog parks and other features. If you love nature, you will feel right at home amongst the preserved habitats and wetlands of this village.

The newest Villages of Lakewood Ranch, Greenbrook and Central Park are probably the most family friendly in that both communities include play areas. Greenbrook has an Adventure Park with a play area, obstacle course and in-line skate rink as well as a dog park. Central Park has a playground, splash park, baseball fields, dog park and tennis courts. Central Park’s neighborhoods are all built around the central 10 acre park. Prices in Greenbrook start in the mid $230’s.Lakewood Ranch is known for it’s excellent school districts.

Most homes (but not all) in Lakewood Ranch are in a Community Development District (CDD) which assesses a CDD tax on the annual property tax bills.

Greyhawk Landing

Is a delightful, upscale, family friendly neighborhood. This guard-gated community offers exceptional home designs surrounded by pristine lakes, natural preserves, and beautiful wildlife. Estate-sized home sites range from about ¼ – ¾ acres with no rear neighbors! Extraordinary recreational features abound at Greyhawk Landing such as their enormous lagoon-style pool with water slides, waterfalls and spa. Your kids will love the playground and it’s many activities. Get your daily workouts in at the fitness center or on the tennis and basketball courts. Enjoy peaceful, walks; runs or bike rides along nearly 2 miles of nature trails. The fishing pier, soccer and baseball fields complete the family experience.
Your kids can attend some of the best schools in the state! Brand new GullettElementary School, “A” rated CarlosE.HaileMiddle School, or the extremely popular “A” rated LakewoodRanchHigh School.
Located close to schools, restaurants, entertainment and the Interstate, this beautiful, private, gated-community provides exciting living in a natural environment. Greyhawk Landing is the natural place to call home.

Greyhawk Landing  great amenities for the family – large community pool with a lap lane & splash features, the clubhouse has a fitness room, there’s tennis courts, basketball courts and a playground as well as a fishing pier. It is a little further east, it definitely seems child friendly and you’ll notice bicycles scattered throughout the neighborhoods. Greyhawk Landings has a nice pool and playground but does not offer as many amenities as can be found in a golf and country club community such as Heritage Harbour, Lakewood Ranch Country Club or University Park.

Greyhawk Landing on SR64 is a beautiful gated, upscale community but is about 9 miles from Sarasota, so is less centrally located. It also is a CDD (Community Development District) which assesses additional taxes on your property tax bill to fund certain expenses. You can read about the CDD’s at Greyhawk Landing CDD

If you’re considering Greyhawk Landing you might also want to check out Heritage Harbour, which is just off I75 at the same SR64 exit.

There are many other fantastic schools in Sarasota and Manatee county’s Here’s a website where you can see how the schools are rated:
School Accountability Report…

Here are the school districts by zone:…lrp/zones.aspx
Sarasota ranks as one of the top districts in the state by a number of measures, including test scores, graduation rates and teacher compensation.

It offers distinctive programs tailored to different student needs, including Florida’s only school for the gifted, the state’s largest special needs school and one of a handful of career-focused high schools.

Please use this website when searching for properties: It’s the most up to date website.

Southside services most of the downtown area south of Main St. North of Main would be mostly Booker school district. The Palmer Ranch area is mostly Ashton school district. There are other schools in the area but these are ones that I have either had personal experience with or I have friends that have kids in the schools.

Schools Listed in order of Top Ranking:

Sarasota County Schools

For Elementary
Southside Elementary (34228, 34236, 34239, 34242)
Most of the downtown Sarasota condos, the condos/homes on the south end of Longboat Key, Bay Isles, Bird Key, Bungalow Hill, Cherokee Park, County Club Shores, Granada, Harbor Acres, Lido Key, McClellan Park, Poinsettia Park, St Armand’s, some of Southgate.

Venice Elementary (34285, 34292, 34293)
The island of Venice, Bellagio on Venice Island, Lakes of Jacaranda, Pinebrook, South Venice, Venice Acres

Ashton Elementary (34233, 34238)-The Palmer Ranch communities(Arielle, Botanica, The Hamptons, Turtle Rock, Serenade, Stonebridge, Village Walk, Wellington Chase), Center Gate Estates, Colonial Oaks, Emerald Gardens, Grove Point, Three Oaks

Cranberry Elementary (North Port)
-(34286, a certain section)

Taylor Ranch (southern Sarasota county)-(34292, 34293)-Governors Green, Gulf View Estates, Blue Heron Pond, Lakes of Jacaranda, Myakka River Trails, Park Estates, Pelican Pointe Golf & County Club, The Plantation, Pennington Place, South Venice, Stoneybrook at Venice, Venice Golf & County Club, Southwood, Woodmere Lakes

Lakeview Elementary (34241)-Bent Tree, Country Creek, East Lake, Forest at Hi Hat Ranch, Founders Club, Foxfire, Gator Creek, Heritage Oaks Golf & Country Club, Lake Sarasota, Misty Creek, Myakka Valley Ranches, Preserve at Heron Lake, Red Hawk Reserve, Saddle Creek, Secluded Oaks, Serenoa, Trillium, Tuscana

Gulf Gate Elementary (34231, 34238)-Palmer Ranch communities-(Country Club of Sarasota, Deer Creek, Prestancia,
Marabella, Mira Lago, Palisades), Beneva Oaks, Coral Cove, Gulf Gate, Southpointe Shores,

Laurel Nokomis Elementary (mid Sarasota county)-(34229, 34275)-Bay Point, Calusa Lakes, Casey Key, Huntington Pointe, Isles of Sarasota, Laurel Pines, Laurel Woodlands, Mission Valley Estates, The Oaks, Park Trace Estates, Rivendell, Sawgrass, Shakett Creek, Silver Oak, Sorrento East, Sorrento Shores, Sorrento South, Sorrento Woods, South Creek, Southbay Yacht & Racquet Club, Stoneybrook at Palmer Ranch, Venetian Golf & River Club, Waterfront Estates, Willow Chase, Willowbend, Willowbrook

Tatum Ridge Elementary (34240)
-Barton Farms, Colonial Oaks, Deer Hammock, Founders Club, The Hammocks, Laurel Lakes, Laurel Meadows, Laurel Oak Estates, Oak Ford Golf Club, The Paddocks, Palmer Farms, Palmer Glen, Sarasota Golf Club, Sarasota Polo Club, Shadow Oaks, Summerwood, Tatum Ridge, Villages at Pine Tree-(Marsh, Ponderosa, Spruce Pine)
Garden Elementary(34285, 34292, 34293)

Phillipi Shores(34231, 34242)-Aqualane Estates, Bay Island, Florence, Hansens, Harmony, Hidden Harbor, The Landings, Mira Mar, much of Siesta Key, Oyster Bay Estates, Phillipi Cove, Philipi Gardens, Pine Shores, Point Crisp, Princess Gate, Ridge Wood, Sanderling Club, Sandy Hook, Sarasota Beach, Siesta Cove, Siesta Estates, Siesta Isles, Siesta Bayside, Tortoise Estates

Fruitville Elementary(34232)-Hidden Oaks, Nottingham, Sherwood Estates, Sherwood Forest, Woodland Park

Englewood Elementary (southern Sarasota county)(34223)-Artist Acres, Bay Vista, Boca Royale, Deer Creek, Eden Harbor, Englewood Farm Acres, Englewood Gardens, Englewood Isles, Englewood Pines, Manasota Gardens, Manasota Key, Overbrook Gardens, Stillwater

For Middle
Sarasota Middle (34231-34242)

High School

Manatee county Schools

Elementary Schools
Robert Willis Elementary(34201, 34202)-Carlyle at the Villages of Palm Aire, Country Club East at Lakewood Ranch, Edgewater Village, Lake Club, Lakewood Ranch, Lakewood Ranch Country Club, Long Pond at Mote Ranch, Mote Ranch, Panther Ridge, Preserve at Panther Ridge, River Park at Mote Ranch, Riverwalk Ridge Cypress Banks, University Park

Gene Witt Elementary(34212)-Country Creek, Country Meadows, Foxbrook, Greyhawk Landing, Hidden Oaks, Mill Creek, Rye Wilderness,

Gilbert W McNeal Elementary(34202)-Concession, Greenbrook Village, Lakewood Ranch, Summerfield Village

Braden River Elementary(34202, 34211)-Braden Pines, Braden Woods, Oakbrooke at River Club, River Club North & South, Rosedale, Summerfield Village

BD Gullett Elementary(34211, 34212)-Central Park at Lakewood Ranch, Greyhawk Landing, Panther Ridge

Ida M Stewart Elementary(34209)-Perico Isles, Pinehurst, Riverview Landings, Shaws Point, Wisteria Park, Woodlands Park on Palma Sola Bay

Anna Maria Elementary(34216, 34217, 34228)-Anna Maria Island, Bay Palms, Bimini Bay Estates, Cortez, Emerald Harbor, Holmes Beach, Ilexhurst, Key Royale, Long Beach, Longboat Key, Shore Acres, Sleepy Lagoon, Wells Bay Harbor

Virgil Mills Elementary(34219, 34221, 34222)-Ancient Oaks, Copperstone, Covered Bridge, Fairways at Imperial Lakewoods, Fosters Creek, Heather Glen, Kingsfield Lakes, Lexington, Waterford, Whitney Meadows, Woodlawn Lakes

Kinnan Elementary(34243)-Carlyle at the Villages of Palm Aire, Country Oaks, Desoto Lakes Country Club, Glenbrooke, Mote Ranch, Palm Aire, Palm Lakes, Quail Run, University Groves, Rio Mar, Trails, Treymore at Village of Palm Aire, Vintage Creek

Freedom Elementary(34212)-Gates Creek, Greenfield Plantation, Heritage Harbour, Lighthouse Cove at Heritage Harbor, Old Grove at Greenfield, Planters Manor at Greenfield, River Strand, Stoneybrook at Heritage Harbor, Waterlefe Golf & River Club

Tara Elementary(34212)-Barrington Ridge, Braden Crossing, Creekwood, Manatee Oaks, Mandalay, River Landings Bluffs, River Place, Rivers Edge, Silver Lake, Tailfeather Way at Tara, Tara, Tara Preserve, Wallingford, Water Oak

Middle School
Carlos E Halie Middle(34208-34212)

Braden River Middle(32401-34243)

Nolan Middle(34202, 34211, 34251)

King Middle(34209, 34216, 34217, 34228)

High School
Lakewood Ranch High(34202, 34211, 34212, 34251)

Manatee High(34205-34209, 34216, 34217, 34228)

Alternative School
Manatee School for Arts and Sciences

Reviews by people with person experience:

Greyhawk Landing is horrible. DO NOT MOVE THERE! It is infested with renters and I am not talking about nice little families. I am talking about red neck types with loud trucks racing up and down the street and druggie types. I personally have witnessed renters using the bathroom in the driveway, vomiting in the drive, not taking care of their yards,etc. The HOA is so weak there. They ignore the fact that there are criminals in the area (pedophiles, meth kitchen, stabbing,etc) but they are busy writing tickets for kids on electric cars.

Because of the renters, the prices of the homes will not go up. They have have the sheriff helicopter’s flying overhead looking for criminals all the time. Not long ago there was a stabbing and there was also a break during the same week from a druggie.

Palmer Ranch is more of a retiree community.
I have family that lived in Kensington Park for 35+ years so know quite a lot about the community. It is not the neighborhood it was about 10 years ago, there are a lot more rentals then there used to be. The neighborhood does not have deed restrictions but does have a voluntary HOA. Some parts of the 1200 home subdivision are better than others. If you want the rest of the skinny on Kensington Park, you can send me a direct message.

Bayshore Gardens is a mixed bag, some streets are nice and other streets have a lot of rental homes. You have a mix of retirees, younger families and investors (rentals) who all like the affordable price range. Bayshore Gardens homeowners also have access to a community boat ramp and boat slips (which have a waiting list).

You’re not going to find much in the Whitfield area for under $100,000. Of the 3 neighborhoods you mentioned, that would be my first choice.

There are some neighborhoods in south and eastern Sarasota that have homes in your targeted price range that you may like, unless you want to stay further north for work. There are some cute little neighborhoods in west and NW Bradenton too.

One of the higher costs associated with buying an older home in FL is the cost of hazard insurance. Many of the private insurance companies do not want to insure homes built in the 1950’s & 1960’s, so you would have to get insurance thru Citizens. The 4 things insurance companies are most concerned with are: roof, AC/heat, electrical and plumbing. A new or newer roof on an older home can save you money on your insurance. Be sure to get a couple of tentative insurance quotes before you write an offer on a home so you have an idea as to what you will be paying for insurance on an annual basis.

Another issue you may come across with older homes in our area is lack of permits for remodeling or enclosing of lanais, porches or garages for additional living space. If a home is advertised as having 3 bedrooms 2 baths and 1500 sq ft living space but the county tax info shows 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and 1250 sq ft, odds are somebody did some creative remodeling without proper permits. Nowadays lenders are telling appraisers to go by tax roll sq ft living space, not homeowner supplied sq ft. The work may not be to code, and insurance companies are getting more particular about extensive work that was done without permits if/when required.

Older homes may have electrical issues such as aluminum wiring or fuse boxes instead of circuit breakers. I actually have seen a few homes in both Kensington Park and Bayshore Gardens over the years with fuse boxes. Some older homes have had plumbing issues and possibly have been repiped at some point.

Be sure to check the flood zone information on any home you’re interested in. There are a lot of homes (including a portion of Bayshore Gardens) that are in flood zones even though they don’t sit on a lake or creek.

Your agent should be able to research flood zones, tax info and permits on homes you’re interested in and suggest names of insurance agents for getting quotes. I would also recommend having a home inspection done on the home you purchase, contracts used by agents in our area call for an inspection time period and you can specifiy if the seller is to make repair of found defects (including a dollar amount for repairs) in your offer.

Tax rates in Manatee county are slightly lower than Sarasota, but not significantly. When a home is sold the value for tax purposes will be reassessed as of January 1 of the following year, so the current property taxes on the home will not necessarily be what you will see in following years. If you are going to make the home your permanent residence you can apply for a homestead exemption, which exempts a portion of the home’s value from taxes: Manatee County

Manatee county residents get trash pickup 2 days a week vs 1 day a week in Sarasota. County water rates in Manatee county are slightly less than Sarasota, but again, not significantly.

Read more:


Posted in Uncategorized

Investment Advisor Thoughts

Mortgage versus Using Cash (if you have) versus Investing

  • Consider what is your investment strategy – if it is conservative then you are LOSING money. If moderate investment: “what is the average 10 year return AFTER fees?” (if you are thinking about college for kids, if not ask “20 year average return AFTER fees?”) 
  • If you keep your money in a LOW risk investment for the next 10 years you will get a return rate of between 4-6% MINUS a 2% FEE (from financial advisor) the ONLY reason you would want to take this option is IF you are planning on using the CASH for something BEFORE this timeframe –> College for kids, Business, emergency. It gives you FLEXIBILITY but at a COST. —-> You may be better off using the money for a mortgage (if not planning to use the money, or have any plans to use the money on a investment that has a return that is HIGHER than the mortgage interest rate you will be paying (about 4.5% as of September 2016 with a USODA loan)). 
  • IRA can own part of a building! but you need a lawyer and an accountant to set this up. 


  • Mutual Funds there are two companies that are LOW cost one is Vanguard and Fidelity. You go onto their website and find for example a S&P 500 index fund. This is liquid BUT with RESTRICTIONS if you sell outside of the selling windows they charge you a fee OR if you sell before a certain amount of time has passed they charge you a FEE. So basically there is a FEE if you want to sell outside of their selling period fees.
  • All account BUT separate would go into this account – including IRAs. 

Cash or Mortgage????? Food for Thought —> 

The best advice when considering which option makes the most sense is to opt for the choice that gives you the bigger bang for your buck. Also ask yourself which will provide the greater return on your investment.

“Paying cash for the full purchase price of a house is similar to investing in a bond that pays the same interest rate you’d pay with a mortgage,” says James Bregenzer, owner of Bregenzer Group LLC, a private equity and capital management company in Indianapolis, Ind. For example, opting to not pay a 30-year mortgage with a 5.5% interest rate is essentially the same as realizing a 5.5% return on the investment price.

If you decide to purchase a house with a loan, make sure you can easily afford the principal, interest, property taxes, homeowners insurance, homeowner association and other fees each month. And no matter how you pay for a house, make sure to have an emergency savings account equal to 6 to 12 months of expenses in case your personal economy declines and you need a financial buffer. 

Paying cash also has tax implications. “In most cases, mortgage interest payments are tax deductible,” says Semrad. The reduced tax obligation may be an advantageous way to finance the house.

Depending on the state of the stock market, Semrad also notes that saving on mortgage interest by paying cash might not be financially prudent. You could be making less than that money might have earned had you taken out a mortgage and invested the cash you didn’t spend on your house in the market.
Obtaining financing also has significant benefits. “Even if a buyer has the ability to pay cash for a home, it might make sense to not tie up a lot of cash to purchase real estate,” says Grabel. Doing so could tie your hands down the road.

Paying cash for a home eliminates the need to pay interest on the loan and many closing costs. “When buying a house with cash, there are no mortgage origination fees, appraisal fees or other fees charged by lenders to assess buyers,” says Robert Semrad, JD, senior partner and founder of DebtStoppers Bankruptcy Law Firm of Robert J. Semrad & Associates, LLC, headquartered in Chicago.

Posted in Uncategorized

Tax Considerations for Families

Mortgage Interest Deduction

The mortgage interest deduction, a.k.a. the biggest deduction most homeowners will have on their tax returns.

At the end of the year, mortgage companies will send homeowners a form 1098 that details all of mortgage interest paid out of each monthly mortgage payment. From that total, taxpayers will be able to deduct from their owed federal taxes.

For homeowners, mortgage interest is any interest you pay on a loan secured by your primary or secondary home. These loans include a mortgage to buy your home (first mortgage), a second mortgage, a line of credit, or a home equity loan.

You cannot deduct interest on your tax returns on a mortgage loan for a third home, fourth home etc.

How much mortgage interest can I deduct on my tax returns?
If your situation falls within one of these three categories, then you can deduct all of the mortgage interest you paid in the last calendar year, potentially saving you a lot of money on your taxes:

Mortgages (taken after October 13, 1987) that totaled $1 million or less throughout the year ($500,000 if you’re married and filing separately from your spouse) that was used to buy, build, or improve your primary or your secondary home.
Mortgages (taken before October 13, 1987) that were used to buy, build, or improve your primary or your secondary home.
Home equity debt (taken after October 13, 1987) that totaled $100,000 or less ($50,000 if you’re married and filing separately from your spouse) that was taken out on your primary or secondary home.

Is Congress going to eliminate the mortgage interest deduction for future tax years?
This topic is being debated almost every day in our nation’s capital and around the country. Congress is discussing a major tax overhaul and almost all tax deductions, including the mortgage interest deductions, have been put on the discussion table.

Supporters of the mortgage interest deduction say it promotes homeownership and gives the middle class a better shot at financial security.

The deduction helps middle income families build equity in their homes and makes mortgage payments more affordable.

Critics of the mortgage interest rate deduction say that it actually helps higher income families more than middle/lower income families who nowadays are mostly renters and not homeowners. In other words, that the intended purpose of the deduction is not really being met.

They also say that in the tough economic times, any extra tax revenue will help the country move forward.

But don’t be scared, most of the discussion about the mortgage interest deduction has centered around lowering the limits on mortgages that qualify for the deduction from the current $1 million in principal to $500,000.

It doesn’t seem that the mortgage interest deduction will be eliminated completely.

 Important Facts about Dependents and Exemptions

Exemptions reduce your taxable income. There are two types of exemptions: personal exemptions and exemptions for dependents.

Your spouse is never considered your dependent. On a joint return, you may claim one exemption for yourself and one for your spouse. If you’re filing a separate return, you may claim the exemption for your spouse only if they had no gross income, are not filing a joint return, and were not the dependent of another taxpayer.

Exemptions for dependents. You generally can take an exemption for each of your dependents. A dependent is your qualifying child or qualifying relative. You must list the social security number of any dependent for whom you claim an exemption.

Some people cannot be claimed as your dependent. Generally, you may not claim a married person as a dependent if they file a joint return with their spouse. Also, to claim someone as a dependent, that person must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. resident alien, U.S. national or resident of Canada or Mexico for some part of the year.

How many Allowances do you claim on your W-4?

Most importantly, the number of allowances you claim on a W-4 determines the following;

  1. how much tax will be taken from your pay (withholding)
  2. the size of your tax refund

If you Claim ZERO The maximum amount of taxes is withheld. Claiming zero allowances means less take home pay, but a bigger tax refund during tax season. The number you report on a W-4 will ultimately determine your take home pay and your tax refund.

  • If you are claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, you should claim zero allowances.
  • If you are married, you should claim two allowances
  • If you are married and have one child, you should claim three allowances.

Additional Allowances

  • If you file as head of household you can claim additional allowances
  • If you had at least $1,900 of child or dependent care expenses that you plan on claiming credit
  • If you are eligible to claim the Child Tax Credit
Posted in House Hunting, Manatee County Florida, Taxes

Buying a Home – Should you apply for joint credit? Should your spouse be a co-borrower on the loan?

Many of borrowers believe that their spouse needs to be on the mortgage loan.

This is NOT a requirement.

Did you know that even if you’re married, you can qualify for a mortgage loan on your own?  If you and your spouse both want to be on the title, then that’s a separate issue, but sharing the title does not require both of you to also be on the mortgage loan.

Although it’s not a requirement, there are times when it makes sense to add a co-borrower to a mortgage application.

 main question you need to ask yourself to determine whether adding a co-borrower makes sense is: what does that person bring to the table? As far as mortgages go, there are only two positive things a co-borrower can bring to the table: income and assets.

Many people mistakenly believe that credit score is also something a co-borrower can bring to the table, but this, unfortunately, is not the case.

Lenders typically use the lower scoring borrower’s credit to underwrite the loan; so even if your co-borrower has stellar credit, but you have poor credit, this co-borrower won’t help at all from a credit perspective.

The ideal scenario for adding a co-borrower is when that person has a credit score no more than 20 points lower than yours and he/she has solid financials to strengthen your mortgage application.

Reasons for NOT having your spouse be on the mortgage loan application:

Leaves Room For Future Mortgage
After you buy the house, one of you won’t have a mortgage on your credit report. Supposedly having a mortgage helps your credit score, but there are other ways you can build up your individual credit score. However, if later on you apply for a mortgage yourself (investment property?), then you will be able to use your full income to qualify since you will have no other visible liabilities. Hopefully this will result in a better rate later on down the road as well.

Projecting A Better Credit Score
Sometimes one spouse has bad credit, so you want to keep their name off the mortgage in order to get a better rate.

Saves Time and Hassle
If you want the best mortgage rate possible, you are going to be doing a full-documentation loan to prove your financial worthiness.

Helps Prevent Overspending On A House
A beneficial goal for a family to have is to be able to live on the equivalent of one income so that you can both work less and enjoy your lives. In order to do so, obviously you will need to maintain a reasonable housing payment. Although it’s clear now that lenders aren’t always the best judges of what is “affordable”, if you cannot qualify using only one of you, that would surely be a bad sign.

Worst-Case Scenario
Although you never plan on taking advantage of this, if your home does get foreclosed upon, ideally only one of your credit scores would be hurt as there is only one of you responsible for the loan. Of course, you would also lose your interest in the house.

Both Spouses Can Still Own The House
You can still put both your names on the title of the house with rights of survivorship. You can do this no matter who is on the mortgage.

Posted in Uncategorized

How to Hold Title to Real Estate Property? Florida Considerations

Unlike personal property, real property – such as real estate or automobiles – is titled to convey ownership. This title must be transferred when assets are sold and must be cleared (free of liens or encumbrances) in order for transfer to take place. Unlike other real property assets, real estate ownership can take several forms, each of which has implications on how ownership can be transferred and can affect how they can be financed, improved or used as collateral.

Each of the types of title methods has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on an individual’s particular situation and how one wants ownership to pass in the event of such things as death, divorce or sale. Here are the Most common:

Florida Considerations.. 

Joint ownership

If a person is purchasing the Florida property with other persons, they can take title to the property as Tenants in Common. As Tenants in Common each joint owner of the property has the right to sell, lease or bequeath their interest in the property to his or her legal heirs. In Tenancy in Common, any number of individuals can hold title to their respective share of the property, depending on their contributions.

A person purchasing the Florida property with other persons can also take title to the property as Joint Tenants with the right of survivorship. Under Joint Tenancy all joint tenants have equal possession rights to their respective share in the property. In addition, due to the right of survivorship which is not present in Tenancies in Common, when a joint tenant dies, by operation of law his or her share is automatically distributed among the remaining joint tenants. There are no restrictions on the number of persons that can be joint tenants under a Joint Tenancy.

Similar to Joint Tenancies is the Tenancy by the Entirety, which is for married couples who wish to hold a joint title in the name of both spouse. Under a Tenancy by the Entirety the property is equally held in the name of both the husband and wife. This title is applicable and available for married couples only. Both the husband and wife have equal possession rights to the property and similar to a Joint Tenancy, when one spouse dies, his or her share is automatically distributed to the surviving spouse.

Joint Tenancy
Joint tenancy occurs when two or more people hold title to real estate jointly, with equal rights to enjoy the property during their lives; in the event of the death of one of the partners, their rights of ownership pass to the surviving tenant(s).

The advantage of this method is that the parties in the ownership need not be married or related.  

The downside is that any financing or use of the property for financial gain must be approved by all parties and cannot be transferred by will after one passes. If the parties are not married, in order to get out of the title, they must petition the court to divide the property or order its sale.

Another large disadvantage is that a creditor that has a legal judgment to collect a debt from one of the owners can also petition the court to divide the property and force a sale in order to collect on its judgment. In this method, each of the owners takes a risk in the other’s financial choices.

Tenancy In Common

With tenancy in common, two or more persons hold title to real estate jointly, with equal rights to enjoy the property during their lives. Unlike joint tenancy, tenants in common hold title individually for their respective part of the property and can dispose of or encumber it at will. Ownership can be willed to other parties, and in the event of death, ownership will transfer to that owner’s heirs undivided.  

Tenancy in common allows for one owner to use the wealth created by their portion of the property as collateral for financial transactions, and creditors can place liens only against one owner’s particular portion of the property. 

Any liens on the property must be cleared in order for a total transfer of ownership to take place. 

Tenants By Entirety

Tenants by entirety is ownership in real estate under the fictional assumption that husband and wife are one person for legal purposes. This method conveys ownership to them as one person, with title transferred to the other in entirety if one of them dies. This method can only be used when owners are legally husband and wife. 

The advantage of this method is that no legal action need take place at the death of one’s spouse. There is no need for a will, and probate or other legal action isn’t necessary. 

Conveyance (Conveyance is the act of transferring an ownership interest in real property from one party to another) of the property must be done together and the property cannot be subdivided. In the case of divorce this type of title automatically converts to a tenancy in common, meaning that one owner can transfer ownership of their respective part of the property to whomever they wish.

Florida Considerations… 

Single ownership:

Title to real property can be taken in a person’s own name, which is generally referred to as sole ownership. Unmarried persons, legally divorced persons and married persons who wish to hold the property in their own names may use this form of ownership.

However if a married person takes title in his or her own name, at the time he or she resells the property his or her spouse will have to relinquish his or her rights to the property due to Florida’s homestead laws.

A person can also take title to the property in the name of a living trust, which is commonly known as a revocable inter vivos trust.

Sole Ownership
Sole ownership can be characterized as ownership by an individual or entity legally capable of holding title. The most common sole ownerships are held by single men and women, married men or women who hold property apart from their spouse, and businesses with corporate structure allowing it to invest in or hold interest in real estate.

In the situation of married persons wishing to own real estate apart from their spouse, title insurance companies will typically require the spouse to specifically disclaim or relinquish their right to ownership in the property.

The main advantage to holding title as a sole owner is the ease with which transactions can be accomplished because no other party need be consulted to authorize the transaction.

The obvious disadvantage is the potential for legal issues regarding the transfer of ownership should the sole owner die or become incapacitated. Unless specific legal documentation such as a will exists, the transfer of ownership upon death can become very problematic.

Community Property
Community property is a form of ownership by husband and wife during their marriage that they intend to own together. Under community property, either spouse has the right to dispose of one half of the property or will it to another party. Outside of real estate, property acquired during one’s marriage is usually deemed community property. 

Real estate that is acquired during a common-law marriage will also be considered to be held as community property. Anyone who has lived with another person as a common-law spouse and doesn’t specifically change title to the property as sole ownership (which is legally transacted with approval by the significant other) takes the risk of having to share ownership of the property in the absence of having a legal marriage.

Community Property With The Right Of Survivorship
Community property with the right of survivorship is a way for married couples to hold title to property, although it is only available in the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin. It allows one spouse’s interest in community-property assets to pass probate-free to the surviving spouse in the event of death.

Florida Considerations… 

Other forms of ownership
Title to Florida property may also be held in the name of a separate legal entity organized under Florida state law such as a corporation or a limited liability company. Corporations and limited liability companies can have any number of shareholders or members, respectively, but the rights to the property of individual shareholders or members will be limited to the face value of shares or membership interests held by them.

Additionally, title to the Florida property may be held in the name of a partnership of two or more persons. If the title is taken in the name of a partnership it will be held in the name of the partnership, with the partners having equal right to possession of their respective share in the property.

Finally, the title may also be held in the name of a Florida Land Trust, in which the legal title of the property is transferred to a trustee for the benefit of the named beneficiaries. Some people prefer to take title in the name of a Florida Land Trust because it offers privacy with no one knowing the beneficial owner of the property or the amount of the purchase price paid for the property.


Your Estate Plan Should CHANGE as often as LAWS change!

As the rules related to estate taxes change, so should your estate plan. 

The federal estate tax — the tax levied on an heir’s inherited portion of an estate if its valuation exceeds an exclusion limit set by law — was started in 1916 to help pay for World War I. The tax is levied on everything you own or everything you have interests in at death. 

What is Probate?

A probate is the legal process in which a will is reviewed to determine whether it is valid and authentic. Probate also refers to the general administering of a deceased person’s will or the estate of a deceased person without a will. The court appoints either an executor named in the will (or an administrator if there is no will) to administer the process of collecting the assets of the deceased person, paying any liabilities remaining on the person’s estate and finally distributing the assets of the estate to beneficiaries named in the will or determined as such by the executor.

What is ‘Encumbrance’
An encumbrance is a claim against a property by a party that is not the owner. An encumbrance can impact the transferability of the property and restrict its free use until the encumbrance is lifted. The most common types of encumbrance apply to real estate; these include mortgages, easements and property tax liens. Not all forms of encumbrance are financial, easements being an example of non-financial encumbrances. An encumbrance can also apply to personal – as opposed to real – property.

The term is used in accounting to refer to restricted funds inside an account that are reserved for a specific liability.

What is Title Insurance?

Title insurance is an insurance policy that covers the loss of ownership interest in a property due to legal defects and is required if the property is under mortgage. The most common type of title insurance is a lender’s title insurance, which is paid for by the borrower but protects only the lender. However, owner’s title insurance can be taken out as a separate policy and is paid for by the seller to protect the buyer’s equity in the property.

Title insurance protects both real estate owners and lenders against loss or damage that can occur due to liens, encumbrances or defects in the title to a property. This differs from normal insurance in that title insurance protects the insured against the potential event that someone else from the PAST has a legal claim on the property. Common insurance policies, such as car insurance or health insurance, only protect the insured against FUTURE events. Title insurance is meant to protect policyholders against claims. These claims can be another person trying to claim ownership on a piece of property, fraud or forgery of title documents, easements and other items outlined in the insurance policy.

Taking out Title Insurance
An escrow or closing agent initiates the insurance process after a property purchase agreement is signed. There are five major U.S. title insurance underwriters, and the agent or a lawyer normally recommends a title insurer.

There are two types of title insurance: lenders’ insurance and owners’ insurance. Almost all lenders require the borrower purchase a lender’s title insurance policy to protect the lender in a situation where the seller was not legally able to transfer the title of ownership rights. A lender’s policy only protects the lender against loss, but an issued policy means a title search has taken place, which can give some assurance to the buyer. However, title searches are not 100% infallible, hence the need for insurance. Owner’s title insurance, therefore, is optional and is often taken out by the seller at the buyer’s request to protect the buyer against the same issue of ownership rights.

Sometimes a lender’s policy and an owner’s policy are required to be bundled and purchased together. This ensures everyone involved is adequately protected.

Lack of Title Insurance
There are some cases where a property was originally purchased by two or more people and one of those people has lost contact with the other owner. The estranged owner can come back and claim his right on the property even after it has been sold. A lack of title insurance means the new owner has to take the full brunt of the potential damages in these situations.

What is an Easement?

Easement is a real estate concept that defines a scenario in which one party uses the property of another party, where a fee is paid to the owner of the property in return for the right of easement. Easements are often purchased by public utility companies for the right to erect telephone poles or run pipes either above or beneath private property. However, while fees are paid to the property owner, easements can negatively affect property values in that unsightly power lines, for example, can lower the visual appeal of a piece of land.

What is ‘Escrow’
Escrow is a legal concept in which a financial instrument (Financial instruments are assets that can be traded. They can also be seen as packages of capital that may be traded) or an asset is held by a third party on behalf of two other parties that are in the process of completing a transaction. The funds or assets are held by the escrow agent until it receives the appropriate instructions or until predetermined contractual obligations have been fulfilled. Money, securities, funds and other assets can all be held in escrow.

When parties are in the process of completing a transaction, there may come a time when it is only interesting to move forward for one party if it knows with absolute certainty that the other party will be able to fulfill its obligations. This is where the use of escrow comes into play. 

For example, a company selling goods internationally wants to be certain that it will get paid when the goods reach their destination. Conversely, the buyer wants to pay for the goods only if they arrive in good condition. The buyer can place the funds in escrow with an agent and give irrevocable instructions to disburse them to the seller once the goods arrive. This way, both parties are safe and the transaction can proceed.

Escrow transactions are also frequent in the real estate market and the stock market.

Escrow and Real Estate
Escrow accounts are used in real estate transactions so that the buyer can perform due diligence on his potential acquisition while assuring the seller of its capacity to close on the purchase. For example, an escrow account can be used in the sale of a house. If there are conditions to the sale, such as the passing of an inspection, the buyer and seller may agree to use escrow. In this case, the buyer of the property deposits the payment amount for the house in an escrow account held by a third party. This assures the seller – in the process of allowing the house to be inspected – that the buyer is capable of making payment. Once all of the conditions to the sale are satisfied, the escrow transfers the payment to the seller, and title is transferred to the buyer.

Escrow and the Stock Market
Stocks, especially those of public companies, are often issued in escrow. This means that while the shareholder is the real owner of the stock, he is limited in his rights to dispose of it. For example, executives who receive stock as a bonus to their compensation often have to wait for an escrow period to pass before they can sell the stock. This is used as a tactic to retain top executives and protects the stock’s market price.

What is a ‘Third Party’
A third party is an individual or entity that is involved in a transaction but is not one of the principals and has a lesser interest. An example of a third party would be the escrow company in a real estate transaction that acts as a neutral agent collecting the documents and money that the buyer and seller exchange when completing the transaction. As another example, if a debtor owes a creditor a sum of money and hasn’t been making the scheduled payments, the creditor is likely to hire a third party, a collection agency, to ensure that the debtor honors his agreement.

What is a ‘Security’
A security is a financial instrument that represents an ownership position in a publicly-traded corporation (stock), a creditor relationship with governmental body or a corporation (bond), or rights to ownership as represented by an option. A security is a fungible, negotiable financial instrument that represents some type of financial value. The company or entity that issues the security is known as the issuer.

Title to real estate is the method in which ownership is conveyed and transferred during real estate purchases and sales. The methods of owning real estate are determined by state law, so individuals trying to determine the best method to acquire and hold real-property titles should conduct local research to determine the unique differences for each method as set out by the state.  

For those considering owning real estate through a business entity, such as corporation, trust or partnership, it is advisable to consult real estate, legal and tax professionals to determine which ownership structure is the most beneficial for their particular situation. 

In the event of sole and joint ownership by individuals, prospective owners should consider how their titles should or could be transferred, either by sale or in the event of death, before one method is chosen over another.

Florida Estate Law —


Tenants by the Entireties vs. Joint Tenants with Rights of Survivorship

Tenants by the Entireties (we use T-by-E as a short cut in the business) is a “unity” of ownership that is only available for a married couple. T-by-E is a form of joint tenancy (like JTROS) but it has some very unique characteristics and benefits. Both JTROS and T-by-E are an efficient way to pass assets to a spouse and avoid probate on the death of the first spouse. The title to the property immediately is vested (owned) by the survivor upon the death of the spouse by operation of law (very little legal paperwork is necessary to clear title property upon this event). Both JTROS and T-by-E require both joint tenants (spouses) to sign the deed if the entire property is to be sold to the third party.

T-by-E is the more common form of ownership by a married couple unless there are extenuating circumstances or if you are in a state that does NOT recognize this special form of ownership.

T-by-E was established hundreds of years ago under the old English common law based on the fact that a husband and a wife were considered a “Unity” of One. It is considered a special tenancy or bond that cannot be broken without two signatures.

Benefits of T-by-E

  1. Asset Protection – The first key benefit of T-by-E ownership is the protection from creditors if only one of the owners (spouses) is deemed liable for damages in a lawsuit. You see, like chocolate and vanilla swirl ice cream, you cannot determine who owns T-by-E property because it is considered owned 100% by both parties. So, in a lawsuit environment, you cannot take assets from a spouse if the spouse is not liable as well.
  2. Control of Disposition – Unlike JTROS, T-by-E requires both parties to sign any deed transferring ANY interest in the property. One spouse cannot sell or dispose of that spouse’s one-half interest without the other spouse’s consent/signature as they could with JTROS. Therefore, this provides an innocent spouse protection from losing the house for financial actions taken unilaterally by the other spouse. Example, one spouse cannot mortgage the house for a business deal without the other spouse’s consent.
  3. Lifetime Gifting and Disposition at Death – T-by-E will pass to the surviving spouse by operation of law at the death of the first spouse to die (same as JTROS). But, unlike JTROS, one spouse cannot gift away their respective interest in the real estate without the consent/signature of the other spouse. This protects the other spouse from losing an interest in the property without their knowledge. Example, one spouse wishes to gift their interest to their children from a prior marriage. This may be a great idea, but it is impossible with T-by-E without consent.

Florida Title Insurance Companies:

Federal Title & Escrow Company

Posted in Uncategorized

USDA Mortgage Lenders Manatee County Florida

*** BeAWARE that USDA Loans take a MINIMUM of 60 days to close. So if your real estate writes a contract for a home you want to buy in October you will NOT be closing until December. This is because USDA Loans go through TWO checks – one with the originator and another by the USDA. Most other loans take 30-45 days to close. ***  This can be AGAINST you when trying to buy a home. The seller is going to look at their overall NET when looking over home offers on their property. 

A Bonus to the USDA Loans is that if you are buying a home for $200,000 and your home appraisal comes in at $205,000 — You can USE that extra money ($5,000) to pay for your Closing Costs! Finance All Closing Costs up to the Appraised Value *** Keep in mind that USDA homes CAN have a POOL! (This is NEW, before the USDA would NOT allow homes to have an in dwelling Pool). Homes are supposed to be MODEST and  COMPARABLE to other homes in the area. So if you are wanting to purchase a home situated on 10 acres yet the homes nearby are on 2-5 acres – you will have a PROBLEM. The USDA will only give you value for 2-5 acres versus the full 10 acres. Keep this in mind when house hunting. Another scenario that may complicate obtaining approval from the USDA are second structures on your property (like a barn that has concrete flooring, electrical, plumbing etc) – this is not considered MODEST. 

There are a LIMITED number of Banks that will offer a USDA Product (loan). For example CHASE will purchase a USDA loan from a mortgage lender/broker after the loan has been underwritten & approved BUT they (CHASE) will NOT originate a USDA loan. 

List of USDA Mortgage Lenders in Manatee & Sarasota County (or Florida)

  1. Home Bridge Financial Services – (Webiste) Janene McGowan 5260 State Road 64 East Bradenton, Florida 34208 Office: (941) 782-2076 * Apply for Loan Pre-approval Online
  2. NFM Lending (website) – 3403 Magic Oak Lane, Sarasota, FL 34232,, 941-924-0044,  Amy Lee Samsal 
  3. Sunrise Financial Services Inc (website) –, 941-758-6303, Sunrise Financial Services Inc, 1275 Whitfield Ave, Sarasota, FL 34243
  4. The Home Lending Source –  Mark, Email: mark@markmccarthy.com6160 53rd Ave E, Bradenton, FL 34203, (941) 677-8047
  5. Insignia Bank – (websiteDowntown Office: 333 North Orange Ave. Sarasota FL, 941-366-7100, Bradenton Loan Office: 1301 6th Ave West Suite 102, 941-251-3917; Cattleman Office: 5850 Fruitville Road, Sarasota FL, 941-342-5000
  6. Sunbelt Lending – (website) Lakewood Ranch Office: 8334 Market Street Bradenton, FL 34202 P: 941-907-3941 F: 856.917.2607 Joanmarie Bazo
  7. First Federal Community Bank (website) – 6151 Lake Osprey Drive 3rd Floor

    Sarasota, FL 34240, Phone Number: 941-702-9551, Representative: Gregory M. Braun, Email:

  8. Michael Saunders & Company: 110 Nokomis Ave NVeniceFL34285, 941.485.5421
  9. E Loans Mortgage Inc – 4117 Mariner Boulevard Spring Hill, FL 34609, 727-946-0904, Steve Fingerman,
  10. Fairway Funding Group (website) – Southwest Florida 871 Venetia Bay Blvd, Suite 230, Venice, FL 34285, Phone: (941) 773-3456
  11. Home Solution Lenders (website) – 1445 E. Main Street BARTOW, FL 33830 US, +1-863-607-HOME (4663), ** USDA loans, apply online
  12. Joshua McCombs with Enter Mortgage Inc – North Port FL, 941-914-4388
  13. Green Lion Realty (website) –  119 Tamiami Trail, Port Charlotte, FL 33953, (941) 276-8142 ** Serving Sarasota, Charlotte & Manatee Counties Shannon Moore, Broker/Owner, Direct: 941-276-8142, Email:
  14. Florida Capital Bank – 1.386.852.3088 4815 Executive Park Ct., Suite 103 Jacksonville FL (904) 245-7064
  15. First Federal Bank of Florida – 4705 W. US Highway 90 Lake City FL (386) 755-5053
  16. Sunbelt Lending
  17. First Florida Financial Group LLC – NMLS #239318
    “We Think Outside the Box” 877-424-4562 | 8695 College Pkwy Ste 1121 Fort Myers, FL 33919
  18. Capital Bank – N.A. 12195 Metro Pkwy, Suite 2 Fort Myers FL (919) 645-3381
  19. Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union – 6801 East Hillsborough Ave. Tampa FL (800) 999-5887
  20. The Core Mortgage Team (Website) – Corporate Headquarters: 11983 Tamiami Trail North Suite #154, Naples, Florida 34110 — **CFO Click here to view profile on LinkedIn, Phone: (239) 431-5889 | Toll-Free: (855) 554-CORE (2673)
  21. There are lenders in Pasco County Florida that have a lot of experience originating USDA Loans. 
  22. Atlantic Coast Bank – Ken L. Kovach, Cell:


Sunbelt Lending 

Sunbelt Lending only has ONE bank that will buy a USDA product (loan) from them after it has been underwritten & approved. This particular bank currently offers interest rate of 4.0% (determines the principal & interest payment for the life of your loan) with a credit score of 670. They also offer “overage” with this particular bank of 0.2%, which Sunbelt transfers on to the buyer! Sunbelt Lending has a Flat Fee they charge $895 (some of this fee can be returned to the buyer if there is “overage”).  ** Sunbelt Lending has a database system where they input your credit score & loan amount – this populates a screen with SEVERAL Banks and each of their rates offered. This is how they are able to “shop” for the best rate. Of course different lenders work with different banks. Sunbelt Lender then underwrites your loan. Once your loan is approved – you purchase your home using money from Sunbelt Lending. Once the home is purchased. Sunbelt Lending SELLS your loan to the bank with which they locked your rate with (this could be Wells Fargo….) Sunbelt lending Does NOT work with Bank of America due to their terrible customer service. If banks are too difficult to work with a lender will drop them from their database. 

APR versus Actual Loan Rate: When shopping for lenders you want to know the Actual Loan Rate (which will depend on your credit score and the rates being offered by the particular banks at the time of inquiry) AND the APR rate. The difference between these rates will let you know your closing costs – What you are being charged by the lender for Closing FEES. Here is an example: 

Bank A & B offer you an actual rate of 3.0. Bank A gives you an APR of 3.1% and Bank B gives you an APR of 3.8%. This tells you that Bank B is charing you A LOT more for Closing FEES. 

Difference Between a Conventional Loan, FHA Loan and USDA Loan – Explained in SIMPLE TERMS and current actual rates offered (August 2016) with Sunbelt Lending: Flat FEES $895

  • USDA: 4.0 (actual rate) + 0.35 (anual rate effective October 1 2016) + 1% (origination fee/upfront fee effective October 1 2016) ** only ONE Bank with 0.2% overage going back to buyer
  • FHA: 3.25-3.5 (actual rate) + 0.85 (PMI unless you put down >10% then rate drop to 0.8%) + 1.75% (upfront/origination fee) **Minimum downpayment is 3.5%
  • Conventional: 3.6+ (actual rate) ** NO upfront/origination Fee; NO PMI if downpayment is 20%

Before Making A 20% Mortgage Down Payment, Read This Article: Click Here

HomeBridge Financial Services

They are a mortgage bank. They underwrite your loan and close your loan. They eventually will sell your loan (your loan will likely be sold over and over – this is typical – but your payments & loan terms will remain constant).

What are you shopping for when looking for a mortgage lender??

Essentially you are looking for the lowest interest rate on your interest and principal along with the lowest lender fees (APR). Loan officers at a mortgage bank use your credit score to calculate your interest rate. Their computer program allows them to view different rates offered by different financial institutions/banks (investors). Depending on your credit score they add on or subtract points. EACH mortgage bank has their OWN formula based on credit score brackets.

The CALCULATION of the interest rate a mortgage lender offers you based on your credit score is BANK dependent. There are NO regulations for these calculations. Some banks may offer you a lower rate while other banks will offer you a higher interest with the SAME credit score. So SHOP around!

Homebridge Financial Services with a credit score of 670 on a $200,000 home loan – the interest rate offered on September 7th, 2016: (The loan officer stated that they had 3-4 different banks with offers for USDA loans, he also stated that the computer system only allows him to visualize the lowest rate of the day)

  • Credit Score 670- USDA Loan: 4.25% (principal & interest * does not include annual fee, upfront costs etc) * Options to pay down points for lower rate
  • Credit Score 680 – USDA Loan: 3.99% (principal & interest only)
  • Credit score of 670 or 680 FHA Loan: 3.5% (principal & interest only) ** Keep in mind that the PMI (0.85%) NEVER goes away on an FHA loan – the Annual Fee on USDA loan (0.35%) is recalculated every year and depends on loan balance (decreases)

HomeBridge Total Lender Fees added up equal: $1,224 (This does not include 3rd party costs: Title, Appraisals, Taxes, Recording Fees) — All of This is what makes up the APR Rate.

To start looking for a home FRIST get a pre-approval letter from the mortgage bank of your choice. You do NOT need to lock in your rate at this time. With the pre-approval letter you can begin the house hunting process. Once you find the home you want to buy. You can make an offer and lock your rate OR “Float” as long as you want up to 10 days PRIOR to CLOSING. If you LOCK in your rate ahead of time HomeBridge allows you to lower your rate within 10 days of closing for FREE.

HomeBridge can do rate locks daily from 11:30am-6pm. They decide on their rates every day at 11:30am. Every Mortage bank is different and has their own way of deciding daily rates.

Banks and USDA Loans

April 4, 2016 JPMorgan Chase has agreed to sell its U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development mortgage origination business to Freedom Mortgage of Mount Laurel, N.J. In May 2013, JPMorgan Chase stopped purchasing USDA rural development loans originated by mortgage brokers (purchasing Closed USDA loans is known as the wholesale market; originating a USDA loan is known as the retail market). 

Independent mortgage banker 360 Mortgage Group sees the exit of Chase Rural Housing from the wholesale U.S. Department of Agriculture loan purchase channel as an opportunity to grow its own business in this big but underserved market place.

NFM Lending

They are a “mortgage bank” or more like a direct lender. They have many investors. They underwrite, close and then sell your mortgage loan. They have a lot of experience with USDA Loans – in fact they LOVE USDA loans! As of September 2016 a credit score of 670 would get an interest rate of mid to high 3’s for a USDA loan (this of course does not include APR, annual fee or origination fee). 

A Broker acts as a middleman – they have one bank that they worth with for USDA loans (generally). The broker would send your loan application to said bank. Once said bank approves your loan application they would send it to USDA for final underwriting approval.  With NFM Lending the middleman is eliminated. NFM lending underwrites your application and then sends it to USDA themselves (they do not first send your application to a bank for approval). 

NFM Lending charges a flat fee of $995 (this does not include 3rd party fees). They lock rates between 10am & 11am. They have a float down policy which has costs associated with it. But rates have been pretty stable and low – so locking in a rate is not a must. Contact Amy (941) 400-8869 on her cell phone to get started on your USDA loan today!! NFM Lending is VERY well versed on USDA Loans – they have all the up-to-date information on the program! They have an online loan application process. If you are interested Amy will send you the link along with a checklist of paperwork for her to review AHEAD of time and then set up a time to meet. Credit NEEDS to be pulled at this time!! 

“USDA Loans have become more strict with their DTI limits and also require you to have money in the bank to cover your first few mortgage payments.” (September 2016)

USDA Changes coming in October (decreased annual fee & origination fee) will be in effect if you make an offer on a home AFTER October 1st, 2016!! 

The Home Lending Source

*** This company was sold or shut down and is now called Prospect Mortgage. They are a mortgage lender meaning they underwrite, close and fund your loan “in house.” They only offer ONE rate (Their rate). They do offer USDA Loans. Since the USDA adjusted the eligible areas for their loan the rate of USDA loans offered by this company has drastically decreased. The last time Mark was involved in a USDA loan was a “LONG” time ago. Their lender fees are flat rate of $1,300. Mark does not have time to talk with potential clients over the phone – he was quick to end the conversation. 

First Federal Community Bank 

They are both a mortgage broker and mortgage bank. They underwrite & close your loan and then they either sell your loan to investors or they keep your loan on their books. Greg is originally from Ohio but moved to Florida to open a brach in the area. This is small bank based in Ohio – this small bank has been around since 1800’s. They have an office in Lakewood Ranch. In the North USDA Loans is the “bread and butter” for this company but in Florida that is not the case. Greg has previous experience with USDA loans but has not been involved in a USDA loan since his relocation to Florida. Greg made it sound like this was not a problem because he could rely on the expertise of others from his company in obtaining a USDA loan. Greg explained that due to their LOW overhead costs they are able to lend money CHEAP compared to BIG banks that have LARGE overhead costs. With a credit score of 670 as of September 2017 the rate would be in the 3’s for sure. They do NOT have a FLAT lending fee. In order to give me a quote which would include lending fees Greg required information. 

The Core Mortgage Team 

They are direct Lenders. They offer USDA Loans. The last USDA loan the agent from this company was involved in took place 4 months ago. Stated that the debt to income ratios make it difficult to qualify most families for a house that is suitable. Their lender fees are flat rate $990. They offer ONE rate (their rate only). This lender is made up of a “team” within a parent company — Paramount Bank (a commercial bank in Kenya) which is a national lender. It seems that this company does more high end home sale transactions than USDA loans. The agent was knowledgeable in current rates etc. 

Michael Saunders & Company = MSC Mortgage

100 S. Washington Blvd. Sarasota, Florida 34236 Cell 941-730-9118 Office 941-308-2222 x2648, —> Lou Davis. She is the loan They have no lender fees….only the customary 3rd party -appraisal, survey, title, doc stamps, recording, insurance, escrows, etc… A USDA loan today with 0points, credit score of 740+ is running in the 3.75% range. 

MSC mortgage is a joint venture (broker) with Imortgage who is part of one of the largest lenders in the country, Loan Depot. Imortgage processes, underwrites, and closes our loans (conventional, FHA, VA, USDA, jumbo)so the rates quoted are directly from Imortgage.


Manatee county Resources That are Useful When Purchasing a Home:

Professional Bldg. Inspectors

2805 61st Street
Sarasota, FL 34243
Phone Number: 941-761-8503
Representative: Olga Ovchiyah, Email:

Owens Construction & Inspection Services

6212 Rosefinch Court #102
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34203
Phone Number: 941-993-0603
Representative: Clay Owens, Email:

Pillar to Post Home Inspection

2733 Feiffer Circle
Sarasota, FL 34235
Phone Number: 941-448-6514
Representative: Alan Samuels, Email:

Stewart Title

101 Riverfront Blvd. Ste. 180
Bradenton, FL 34205
Phone Number: 941-419-909
Representative: Audrey Bertapelle, Email:

Myron E. Siegel, P.A.

5635 Country Lakes Drive
Sarasota, FL 34243
Phone Number: 941-312-2580
Representative: Peter J Pike, Guaranteed Florida Title’s Sarasota branch. Email:


USDA mortgages (like other loans) will also have all the customary closing costs that come with a Florida mortgage. Appraisal, Survey, Title, Government taxes, lender fees, in addition to all the home insurance and tax reserves for your escrow account. All in all, it’s a good idea to figure about 4% of the purchase price is needed for all closing costs and pre-paid reserves. This figure can sway a few percent either way depending on the loan amount. Higher USDA loan amounts will be much less of a percentage because many of the USDA closing costs ( appraisal, survey,. etc) are fixed costs and don’t change based on the homebuyers purchase price / loan amount.

Very Useful USDA Resource. Calculator to calculate origination fee and annual fee of loan etc.: