Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Jan. 24, 2022

Buyer Guide in South Florida



             An overview of what to expect during the buying process


Buyer brokerage fees are typically paid by the seller as agreed in the listing agreement. My services are free to you. I don’t get paid until I get you to the closing table!


CONDO-Every condominium has rules regarding pets and rental restrictions which you should be aware of before entering into a contract if these are a consideration. Also, we will want to be aware of any current or proposed assessments which would be added to the current monthly/quarterly HOA fee for a period of time to fix or repair common elements of the condominium.


HOME [fee simple ownership which includes single family and town homes]-Some home owners associations (HOAs) are more restrictive than others, especially regarding types of vehicles permitted and fencing. A review of the Rules and Regulations will be important if the community is governed by an HOA.


After you find the perfect home for your needs, we discuss the terms of the offer to the seller.



The terms will include the following, and are the conditions that the buyer proposes to the seller.


Sales price being offered to the seller ***


Escrow deposit amount Typically a minimum of 1% of the sales price offer indicating you are serious about buying the home. The higher the deposit, the more serious the seller feels that the buyer is about the offer. This amount is held in an escrow account by an escrow agent [attorney or title company] until closing and then applied to the buyer’s side as a credit towards the closing costs/sales price. These funds are to be presented at contract signing.


Name of escrow agent In Palm Beach county the escrow agent is chosen by the seller, and in Broward county the escrow agent is chosen by the buyer.


Financing terms (cash, conventional, FHA, VA). If a loan is to be secured, the buyer must get pre-qualified through a mortgage lender and obtain a pre-qualification letter to be submitted with the contract to the seller. The buyer can shop lenders for best rates and terms, but a

lender decision should be made by contract signing. It is important to realize that a pre-qualification needs to factor in the HOA fees, property tax, and home owner’s insurance, not just a principal and interest payment. Property taxes are subject to reassessment after change of ownership. Florida law provides a cap on annual assessments of local Homestead properties [primary residence] to 3% or the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index, whichever is less. Local Property Accessors Office can provide more information.


It is important to have your lender secured by ‘contract signing’. Loan application must be completed within 5 days or the contract is considered cash.  Buyers must comply with their lender requests for information and documentation in a very timely manner. In Florida, the financing period includes the home appraisal. During a sellers’ market, home values are typically not an issue for appraisals coming in at sales price. However, in a buyers’ market, appraisals can be an issue and often require the contract to be renegotiated or terminated if the seller will not reduce the sales price to the appraised value.


If the home purchase is CASH, the buyer must obtain a letter of Proof of Funds from their banking or other financial institution to be submitted with the contract to the seller as evidence of their ability to close. The letter or document must include the banking institution letterhead, name on account, amount of funds to cover the purchase including closing costs, and dated within 30 days of closing.


Property inspection/right to cancel days- in a sellers’ market the days are usually 5-7 but in a buyers’ market they can be 10-15. The inspection must be completed, inspection report received, reviewed, and either accepted or concerns addressed and negotiated with the seller within this period of time. For a 5-7 day window, this means the inspection must be competed on day 1 or 2 after the contract is signed. *In a sellers’ market, sellers are generally not inclined to offer any concession for repairs. The sale is typically ‘as-is’.


Closing date  typically 30 days for cash and 40 for financing, though a quicker closing is possible with cash. The closing date can change if both parties agree in writing.


Addenda to the contract.

Condominium Rider- Condominium Declaration, Articles of Incorporation of the Association, Bylaws and Rules of the Association, most recent year-end financial information, Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, copy of the minutes for the last 4 meetings, copy of H06 insurance policy, and a copy of most recent budget.

Comprehensive Rider Homeowners Association/Community Disclosure. This document outlines the amount due and when, whether an approval is required by the HOA and the deadline prior to closing, payment of fees, assessments, and association charges, management company and contact information.


We will request a Seller’s Property Disclosure (if available) which is where the seller would indicate any repairs/replacements/improvements/damage during the sellers’ ownership. Otherwise, we rely on the inspection report.


Once the contract terms have been agreed upon by both parties, we are UNDER CONTRACT, and numerous time-lines as outlined in the contract begin counting down. This is more significant for a financing purchase, however, the inspection period is a big hurdle for all parties.




Schedule the Inspection I will provide names of a few inspection companies for you to contact (if needed), to complete a home inspection. This is an out-of-pocket expense that is anywhere from $350 up depending on size of property. This needs to be scheduled for day 1 or 2 after the contract is fully executed. Some inspectors provide a very intensive inspection service, but you may call a specialty inspector for pool, roof, mold, lead based paint, foundation, etc. as needed. We will request the ‘40 year’ building inspection from the condo association for mid and high rise condos.


Application for Approval - Every condo, and many HOAs have an Application for Approval process. The documents will need to be completed by the buyer for board approval within a specific period of time before closing, per the contract.


Docs Review of all of the requested documents in the Addenda. 3 day deadline to review upon receipt of documents.


Loans – reach out to the lender upon being UNDER CONTRACT. I will forward a fully executed contract to your lender. They will disclose all lender closing costs to you. At this time, carefully following their instructions and requests is imperative to stay in the financing time-line for closing.


Contact the Title Company to discuss owner’s title insurance. It is not required in the state of Florida, but the owner's policy helps protect the new property owner from a previous owner's debts, such as being required to pay a lien placed against the property due to the actions or inactions of a prior owner. If financing, lenders require a lender’s policy to protect their interest in the home and that will be part of the lender package.

Wire transfers for down payment or cash sale. All wiring instructions are to come from the escrow agent only. This is very serious due to the rise in fraud around wiring instructions. Every precaution should be taken to ensure security. This can’t be emphasized enough.

They will only give wiring instructions to you, the buyer. Wire fraud is a serious issue and all communication regarding wiring funds is handled securely with the escrow agent only. (see Wire Fraud Prevention).


Typical title closing costs [not lender related] – (See attached). All legal matters must be discussed with a licensed attorney only.


Contact an insurance company to secure a condominium insurance policy – H06 or a homeowners insurance policy. [I can refer options] If financing, a lender will assist with this service.


Buyer walk through this takes place 24-48 hours prior to closing. I will arrange a walk-through of the home to make sure that it is in the same condition it was when you signed the contract to purchase. (see attached)


Closing  As a result of pandemic conditions, closings are taking place more and more either by mail away signings with a notary, or with a closing agent meeting the buyer or seller remotely. We can discuss what works best for your situation.


Brokerage Relationship   Broker will act as a transaction broker. Broker will deal honestly and fairly; will account for all funds; will use skill, care, and diligence in the transaction; will disclose all known facts that materially affect the value of the residential property which are not readily observable to buyer; will represent all offers and counteroffers in a timely manner unless directed otherwise in writing; and will have limited confidentiality with buyer unless waived in writing.



***Due to current market conditions providing very limited inventory of homes to purchase, sellers are typically getting their homes under contract quickly, at list price, and with few if any seller concessions. It is a sellers’ market, but values are expected to continue to increase for the next hand full of years, which will allow home buyers to realize an increase in equity on their new home purchase. Interest rates are still very low, so it is an ideal time for buyers to purchase as well. For more information on Florida real estate in 2022 Click Here


I’m here to walk you through each step until we get to closing. I am always available by phone for any questions or concerns. View videos, blogs, resources, and homes searches on my website below.


Cheryl Hazel

754-207-4504 |                          Updated 2022


(all referenced 'see attached' documents available with client representation)





Dec. 31, 2021

2nd Home Shared Ownership

                          South Florida 2nd Home Shared Ownership

For example: Own 1/8 share of a $3.3M dollar south Florida home for 44 nights per year. With a monthly payment as low as $2784 with 30% down for a 1/8 share at $498,000. Financing available. Numerous homes available in different price ranges with a minimum of 1/8 share purchase. Call/text me for more pictures and specifics on availability. Cheryl 754-207-4504 or More about Second Home Ownership


Pacaso makes second home dreams a reality. If you’ve dreamed of owning a second home, you’re not alone — interest in second homes has been on the rise for some time, and demand spiked in 2020. Still, the cost and responsibility of maintaining a second home puts ownership beyond the reach of most would-be buyers. Now, an innovative real estate service is looking to change all that. Pacaso owners fully managed co-ownership of second homes. Simply put, Pacaso purchases a luxury home and sells ownership in one-eighth shares, which translates to about six weeks of use per year. Pacaso manages the property on behalf of the owners, handling the maintenance, bill payments and more. Owners share the home’s operating expenses (such as utilities and repairs), and Pacaso charges a monthly fee for its services. Because Pacaso sells “shares,” one of the most common questions buyers ask is, “How is this different from a timeshare?” At first glance, Pacaso’s model might seem similar to a timeshare. After all, the home is shared, so owners can’t just show up anytime. But that’s where the similarities end. First, each Pacaso is a one-of-kind, single-family home, not a hotel or condo unit. Pacaso homes receive an interior design makeover, including high-end furnishings and artwork, and owner the convenience, comfort and privacy of a real home. Second, the home is shared by a small owner group. A timeshare, which sells weekly blocks of use, may have 52 owners. Pacaso limits the number of shares to eight, and rentals aren’t permitted. Owners agree to a Code of Conduct to ensure they will treat the home as their own. Third, Pacaso buyers purchase a real estate asset. Each share is real property, and its value moves with the local market. Because a timeshare is not true real estate — it’s “right to use” time — buyers are likely to see the value depreciate quickly. Fourth, owners can use their homes throughout the year. Pacaso’s scheduling app is equitable and flexible, allowing owners to plan stays up to 24 months in advance or book a short-notice stay just two days in advance. Timeshares typically limit bookings to specific weeks, and if they owner an exchange system, owners can expect to pay extra for more desirable dates or locations. Finally, resale is streamlined. Pacaso owners set their price, and a local real estate agent markets and lists the home like any other. Pacaso owners enjoy true second home ownership with fewer hassles. The company has homes in popular destinations throughout the country, with plans to expand internationally.


To learn more about local inventory in south Florida, reach out to me at 754-207-4504 or 
Dec. 14, 2021

2022 Outlook

What Will 2022 Real Estate Look Like in S. Fla.?

December 14, 2021 By Amber Randall

Experts weigh in, saying prices will keep moving higher – but not as fast – as demand from foreign and out-of-state buyers continues to drive the market.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – After a year of record price growth in South Florida housing, what does 2022 hold? We asked experts to weigh in on a range of topics, from affordability to mortgage rates to migration and supply and demand.

Home prices will grow, but slower than the past year

Experts predict that prices for homes should increase, but not at the record pace they did over the past year and a half.

“We don’t expect to see the same price appreciation we had last year, though we don’t expect to see a decline in pricing,” said Eli Beracha, director of the Hollo School of Real Estate at Florida International University.

A forecast predicts that South Florida housing prices may rise almost 6% over the next year, while a Zillow forecast predicts that home price appreciation could shoot up by 15%.

A few factors are going to cause slower price growth: more inventory as sellers try to capitalize on the hot market, new developments hitting the market and an increase in mortgage interest rates.

Demand from foreign and out-of-state buyers will continue to drive South Florida’s housing market, but experts also expect new inventory to alleviate some of the pressure that has been fueling the pandemic-era housing boom.

“I see a pretty hot market, with a little extra inventory coming into the marketplace. That may affect the balance a bit, but I don’t foresee a huge relief for buyers,” said Patty Da Silva, broker at Green Realty Properties in Cooper City.

On a national level, home prices could grow about 3%, according to Experts say the market will still favor sellers, as demand and limited inventory will keep the balance in their favor. Bidding wars and multiple offers on homes will probably still be a common.

Another factor in pricing? The supply chain issues and lack of labor. Both will continue to lead to increased construction costs and thus higher prices for buyers, said Brett Forman, executive managing director, eastern U.S. at Trez Capital.

“It is more expensive and the labor, as well as the supplies, are more expensive, so naturally this will lead to price increases from top to bottom making it far more difficult to deliver affordable product,” said Forman.

Rents will rise, tightening the rental market

Rents won’t stop growing in the new year. Factors include dwindling inventory, demand from people who have been priced out of the housing market and newcomers to the region renting before they purchase a home.

“We have such a finite amount of supply to begin with that it’s going to be a strong market through 2022,” said Nathan Zeder of the Jills Zeder Group said.

In fact, experts predict that rents will rise an additional 8% in the South Florida area after seeing year-over-year increases of more than 20%.

“Miami is going to be looking at a lot of affordability challenges,” said Zillow Economist Nicole Bachaud. Her research indicates that South Florida will become the most unaffordable region in the country for renters, relative to income in the new year.

More buildings will come to the market in 2022, as compared to the past few years, but it may not be until 2023 or 2024 that inventory levels catch up with demand and rents start to level off, explained Ryan Shear, managing partner at PMG.

“I don’t think rents will go down next year. There is a time coming, but there isn’t enough supply right now to hamper rent growth,” he added.

Those looking for a rental should be prepared for a competitive market, and should expect to be less picky and expand their search criteria, Zeder added.

Dr. Edward Murray, associate director of the Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center at Florida International University, noted that “there is a severe shortage which is driving up prices. Adding to the pressure is the fact that most South Florida households can’t afford to buy, so they have no choice but to rent, thus adding to the demand.”

Mortgages rates to inch higher

Low interest rates of 2.8% and lower have drawn buyers to the market, but interest rates are projected to rise to about 3.6% and possibly higher by the end of 2022. Most experts say it’s unlikely that the rise will dampen the market – there is such huge demand for housing in South Florida that a slight uptick won’t have a significant effect.

Many of those flocking to South Florida are coming from states where home prices are substantially more expensive, so they’re less affected by an uptick in mortgage rates.

In fact, news of higher interest rates could cause buyers to swarm the market in the beginning of the year, as they try to beat the increases, said Stuart Rohatiner, CPA with Gerson Preston.

“Even with the rate increases we anticipate; we won’t see them jump significantly in the next 12 months,” said Heather Zatik, Centennial Bank’s senior vice president of commercial lending.

However, rising interest rates can have a negative effect on first-time buyers, causing them to have less purchasing power and pricing them out of the market, Rohatiner added.

“For the average homebuyer, it will be less affordable, and many are likely to be priced out of the market,” said Zatik.

Yes, inventory is coming back, but it’s not enough

A lack of inventory will be one of the biggest issues facing homebuyers this year.

“Inventory is our biggest worry,” said Tony Rodriguez-Tellaheche, owner & managing broker of Prestige Realty Group. “There is a lot of development advertised,” said Ignacio Diaz, co-owner and managing partner of developers Group P6, “but the question is, is there going to be enough supply to meet that demand?”

After years of under-building, it will take a few years before South Florida can catch up to how much housing is needed, experts say.


The affordability crisis won’t be solved anytime in the near future, and affordable housing is crucial to making sure workers stay in South Florida’s economy.

“The housing that we have now and that price of that housing is already out of reach for the average worker,” said Skip Miller, on the board of directors with the Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach County. “Any increase in housing prices will just make that problem worse.”

Existing home prices are already unaffordable to over 90% of South Florida’s households, and the further rise in prices could have the greatest effect on workers in lower wage service sector jobs, explained Dr. Edward Murray, associate director of the Jorge M. Perez Metropolitan Center at Florida International University.

In terms of affordable housing, Broward County can expect to see five to 10 low-income tax credit housing projects announced, but nothing that will help fully address the dire need for affordable housing, Murray added.

© 2021 South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Florida Realtor Association Article

Watch to learn more!

Nov. 23, 2021

Forbearance Exit Plan

Lenders are handling forbearance repayment in different ways, so you need to know your options. Do you have a Forbearance Exit Plan? Hi, I’m Cheryl Hazel with the Cheryl Hazel Team and at Realty 100. If you are not in a position to take on a larger payment each month to pay back the forbearance amount, you may want to consider selling your home, to benefit from the equity and be able to get into something more affordable. Most homeowners in South Florida have realized an approximate increase in home equity of about 24% in the last year or so.

The ideal position would be to have the ability to refinance into a lower rate and cash out on some of that equity. Unfortunately, lenders are not refinancing homeowners out of forbearance. Unless you are lucky enough to have a lender who will defer your forbearance to the end of your loan term, you are likely in a position to have to make repayments or in a position to have to sell your home. There are several ‘good’ pieces of news for you: you probably have amassed enough equity that will more than cover your forbearance amount and then some, we are in a Seller’s market so there is a lot of Buyer demand which raises the value of homes, interest rates are very low, and best of all - the forbearance has not adversely affect your credit.

First, you need to know how your lender is handling the forbearance repayment. Second,
you need to call your lender and request a payoff so you know exactly what is due. If you make the decision to sell, we can give you an accurate market value of your home so you know what your proceeds will be at closing and how much money you will end up with after the payoff. I know this is a very stressful situation and something that you want to keep private. If you have equity in your home, there is absolutely no reason that anyway needs to know your business. You can get under contract and close without the other party or agent knowing of your forbearance. You will be offered confidential services with my team because we value your privacy as part of the fiduciary responsibilities to our clients. Call me today and let me take some stress out of your life. There are plenty of buyers out there!

Our preferred lender can look at your financial picture to see what you're buying power is for a new home purchase. I’m happy to pass along that contact information to you when you are ready. You can reach me at 754-207-4504 or email me at Helping you get what you want, and moving on to a better situation is my goal. For a copy of this information click on this link.

View the video here


Aug. 31, 2021

12 Tips To Make Moving Easier

Want to reduce the headache of moving into a new home? Hi, I’m Cheryl Hazel with the Cheryl Hazel Team and All Homes in South

Follow these 12 tips to make moving easier



BEFORE you pack;


  1. Plan your move well in advance. This will help you avoid a last-minute frenzy. Check out for a checklist.
  2. Back up your computers. Protect critical files and photos by storing copies on a portable hard drive you carry with you or uploading the files to a free cloud server such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
  3. Photograph your cords. Shoot images of the cords and connections on your television, sound system, modem, and computer so it’s easier to reconnect everything in your new home.
  4. Make plans for pets. Reduce your pets’ moving stress by boarding them at a kennel or leaving them with friends. 
  5. Get a Movers Guide from the U.S. Post Office. The guide will help you notify friends and service providers of your new address. It also includes $750 in coupons for businesses and services you might need.  Get a printed guide at your local post office or complete the digital version.
    While You Pack
  6. Color-code your packing boxes. This will make it easy to match them to the right rooms in your new home. I use a small spiral notebook and number the lines to correspond to a number on each box. In the notebook, I list the contents of the box, not ON the box. This is a security measure I’ve used for cross country and local moves.
  7. Mark essential boxes separately. Anything you’ll need immediately after move-in should be marked with a red color code. And make sure the important boxes get loaded last so they come off the truck first. 
  8. Create the first-night box of essentials. Include medications, toothbrushes, towels, changes of clothing, and anything else you’ll need immediately. During the Move
  9. Don’t box valuables or important documents. Put jewelry, passports, birth certificates, etc. in a special Move File and hand-carry them in your own car.
  10. Pack a first-day cleaning kit. Include a vacuum cleaner and cleaning supplies so can clean cabinets, closets, and counters before you move your possessions in.
  11. Make a furniture map. Plot where all the large furniture pieces will go to simplify set-up in the new home. You can use graph paper or a free layout tool online. Another tip is to use post-it notes to mark furniture locations for your movers so they know the exact location. After the Move
  12. Save all receipts. If your move is associated with a new job or a transfer, you may be able to deduct some of the costs.

For a copy of this information, click on this link or give me a call at 754-207-4504. And have a great day! View the video here

Aug. 12, 2021

Virtually Staged Homes Sell 78%

Virtually staged homes sell 78% faster than vacant homes. Virtual staging is also drastically less expensive than having furniture brought into the home for staging. The goal is to have buyers realize the potential of each room. 




Many buyers struggle with spatial relations and the ability to see their own furniture in a space. Additional benefits are to virtually be able to remove furniture, curtains, curtain rods, or even change wall colors. Obviously, when buyers look at the home in person they will be viewing a vacant space, but having seen the possibilities online is what brought them to the home. When I meet a seller at their home to view it for the first time, I am processing in my mind how I would see it as a buyer. I often make pages of notes of things my sellers should do to make their homes shine online. Sometimes the task is more difficult than others. 




Here are a few pictures of before virtually staging and after, when a home was on the market with the seller’s furniture, and then when it was virtually staged after they moved and the home was vacant. 


Second Bedroom - Before and After Virtual Staging


Third Bedroom - Before and After Virtual Staging


Deck - Before and After Virtual Staging


Dining/Living Room - Before and After Virtual Staging



Kitchen - Before and After Virtual Staging



Master Bath - Before and After Virtual Staging


Master Bedroom - Before and After Virtual Staging




We live in our homes creating a space that has meaning to us, we paint walls colors that please us, and we fill our spaces with knick-knacks we have collected over the years. However, when we go to sell we need to realize that those things simply look like clutter to a buyer wanting to see the space and how they might use it. A simple rule of thumb is to prepare your home for sale as if you were trying to replicate a model home and how pleasing they are to walk through. Oftentimes this means boxing things up and putting them in storage. The money you will make vs the cost of storage does not even compare. As an agent, I see pictures online every day that make me dislike the home because of the clutter, too much furniture in a small room, and color choices. 




Having 16 years in the industry, I have the ability to see past this, so imagine how most buyers struggle. Every home should have professional photographs, and every vacant home should at least be virtually staged. For a copy of this information click on this link or call me today at 754-207-4504, and have a great day! View video here


Aug. 3, 2021

McNab House & Botanical Gardens


Pompano Beach is the second oldest city in Broward county and dates back to 1908. Countless historic buildings have been demolished over the years. The Pompano Beach Historical Society and the McNab family are working hard to preserve the historical significance of this property to make it an important part of the community. To stay updated on this project, visit the project here.

To view pictures and a video of the projected project, click the link above.

July 30, 2021

Selling Your Home This Year

If you’re thinking of moving, remember that as a homeowner, you may have more equity in your house than you realize. Using it to make a move to a new home while interest rates are still low may be the best decision you could make.


A seller will always negotiate the best deal when demand is high and supply is low. Hello, I’m Cheryl Hazel with The Cheryl Hazel Team and I specialize in Fine Homes and Waterfront homes. 





Purchaser demand is so high, the market is running out of available homes to buy. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at, explains: “For most sellers listing sooner rather than later could really pay off with less competition from other sellers and potentially a higher sales price. 


They’ll also avoid some big unknowns lurking later in the year, namely another possible surge in COVID cases, rising interest rates, and the potential for more sellers to enter the market.”  The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says, “Supply will remain tight given the huge gap between a desired 6 months of inventory of homes on the market compared to the current. 


Freddie Mac says, “We forecast that mortgage rates will continue to rise through the end of next year. We estimate the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will average 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2021.” The dramatic rise in home values happened when the inventory of houses for sale reached historic lows at the same time buyer demand skyrocketed as a result of record-low mortgage rates. 


Home price appreciation will continue to be determined by an imbalance of supply and demand. If supply remains low and demands high, prices will continue to increase, making it a great time to sell your house. 




There are 2 reasons driving speculation that the inventory shortage will ease somewhat as we move through the year: 


1. As the health crisis subsides, more homeowners will be comfortable putting their houses on the market. 


2. Some households impacted financially by the pandemic will be forced to sell. With equity growing so significantly, you’re likely in a strong position to sell this year. 


Your current home equity can be put to work for you to accomplish big goals like affording a larger down payment on your next home. If you purchased a $350,000 home in January of this year, based on projected home price appreciation, you could potentially gain an expected $82,338 in equity over the next 5 years. 


Someone who’s more familiar with the housing market of the past than that of today may think offering more for a home than the listing price is foolish. However, frequent and competitive bidding wars are creating an auction-like atmosphere. 




Let’s connect so you have a trusted real estate professional on your side to provide the best advice on how to make a competitive offer on a home. Home values will continue to appreciate, making this summer a fantastic time to sell your current house.

For a copy of this information click on this link or give me a call and let’s set up a time to talk. You can reach me on my personal cell # 754-207-4504, and Have a great day! View video here

July 19, 2021

Should You Consider New Construction?

Now is clearly a great time to sell, but when you do, how will you find a new home to move into while inventory is so low? Hi, I'm Cheryl Hazel with The Cheryl Hazel Team at Realty 100 and With so few homes for sale and the construction of newly built homes ramping up, you may be wondering if you should consider new construction in your search process.




When buying a new home, you can often choose more energy-efficient options. New appliances, new windows, a new roof, etc. These can all help lower your energy costs, which can add up to significant savings over time. With programs like ENERGY STAR, a new home also helps protect the environment and reduces your carbon footprint. Lower maintenance that comes with a newer home is another great benefit. 


When you have a new home, you likely won’t have as many little repairs to tackle, like leaky faucets, shutters to paint, and other odd jobs around the house. With new construction, you’ll also have warranty options that may cover portions of your investment for the first few years. Another solid benefit to new construction is customization. Do you want a mudroom, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, hardwood floors, an office, or a multi-purpose room? These items can be customized to your specific needs during the design phase. With an existing home, you’re buying something that’s already completed, so if you want to make changes, you may need to hire a contractor to help get your home ready. 




  1. How many years have you been in business, and how many homes have you built in the last year?
  2. Is your company licensed to build in this area?
  3. What types of insurance do you have (general liability, workers comp, etc.), and what are the limits of each?
  4. How will I be protected against subcontractor liens on my home?
  5. Can you supply the names of your most recent buyers so I can check your references? (Also, check with local Realtors who have worked with or may know this builder.)
  6. What sets you apart from the other builders in the area?
  7. How long does it usually take to build a home of this size?
  8. How many other homes are you building now? How do you manage crews across all the projects to finish them on time?
  9. Will our contract provide a completion date and penalties if the home isn't finished on schedule?
  10. Will I have a dedicated project manager?
  11. If something happens to the primary person building my house, who will complete the build?
  12. What energy-saving features do your homes offer?
  13. Do you build only from your floor plans, or can I supply my own?
  14. How and when can I make changes or upgrades before and during construction?
  15. Will our construction agreement include a complete list of detailed specifications and allowances?
  16. Which permits and fees will be required to build this home, and are they included in your price?
  17. Does the community have a homeowner's association? If so, what are its rules and regulations? When will the amenities be complete?
  18. How and when will the final price for my home be determined?
  19. How often and when will I have access to the home during construction?
  20. What's your process for quality inspection during construction and a final walk-through, and to address any identified issues?
  21. Will you allow us to check for defects before we release the final payment?
  22. What type of warranty do you offer?
  23. How will you handle our deposit if we decide to cancel the contract before construction starts?


Sources: National Assoc of Home Builders,,

These questions are available at For a copy of this information click on this link or feel free to contact me on my cell phone at 754-207-4504 if you have any questions and I will help you. Have a great day! View video here

July 15, 2021

16 Questions to Ask When Choosing A Lender

Loan terms, rates, and products can vary significantly from one lending company to the next. Plus, how do you handle closings in the age of COVID-19? Hi, I’m Cheryl Hazel with the Cheryl Hazel Real Estate Team and All Homes in South

Here are 16 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Lender.  


The first 8 are general questions:

  1. What are the most popular mortgages you offer? Why are they so popular?
  2. Are your rates, terms, fees, and closing costs negotiable? Often lenders will meet and compete to gain your business.
  3. Do you offer discounts for appraisals, homeownership classes, or automatic payment setup?
  4. Will I have to buy private mortgage insurance? If so, how much will it cost, how long will it be required, and what steps, if any, do I have to take to remove the PMI?
  5. What escrow requirements do you have?
  6. What kind of bill-pay options do you offer?
  7. Do you do remote closings? This should not be an issue if the title company does remote closings.
  8. Explain the process of closing with social distancing.

The next 8 questions are loan-specific:

  1. What would be included in my mortgage payment (homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, HOA, etc.)?
  2. Which type of mortgage plan would you recommend for my situation?
  3. Who will service this loan, your bank, or another company?
  4. How long will the rate on this loan be locked in? Will I be able to obtain a lower rate if the market rate drops during the lock-in period?
  5. How long will the loan approval process take?
  6. How long will it take to close the loan?
  7. Are there any charges or penalties for prepaying this loan?
  8. How much will I be paying in total over the life of this loan?

Many of these questions will be answered as the process goes forward, but you want to make sure that your lender is going to take the time to help you understand the process, and feel comfortable working with them.

For a copy of this information, click on this link or give me a call at 754-207-4504. 


And have a great day! View video here

Posted in Buying, Lending