Frequently Asked Questions

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question1. What is an escrow?
Very simply defined, an escrow is a contractual arrangement in which a third party receives and disburses money with the disbursement of funds dependent on conditions agreed to and met by the transacting parties.

2. How does assessed value differ from appraised value?
Assessed Value is a value placed on a property by a public tax assessor for the purposes of taxation. Your property taxes will be based on this value.

Appraised Value is the value placed on a property by an appraiser, recognized for experience in a particular field. Lenders, such as banks and mortgage companies use this value for lending.
3. What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?
Private Mortgage Insurance is an insurance policy used as a protection for lenders against borrower default. It is paid for by the borrower and usually required when the down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price. Most lenders will make this part of the monthly payment.

4. Does American Housing work with Realtors?
Absolutely. We are very Realtor friendly and have an ongoing Realtor program that many Realtors appreciate. Realtors should register their clients on their first visit to our Model, Office or Design Center.
5. Do I need a Realtor?
You do not need a Realtor to purchase an American Housing home.
6. How are my property taxes figured and how much will I have to pay?
Taxes are usually based on assessed value of the home and the millage rate of the municipality that the property is located in. A title company can usually give you an estimate on that.

7. What insurances will I need and how much will I have to pay?
You will need homeowner’s insurance. You can usually get a quote from any reputable insurance company.

8. What is Homestead Exemption and how does it work?
Florida’s Homestead Exemption is one of the most protective property provisions in the country. This provision applies automatically upon purchasing a primary residence in the State of Florida, but to reap the tax assessment benefits it must be claimed by a filing with the state. When someone owns property and makes it his or her permanent residence, the property owner may be eligible to receive a homestead exemption of the first $25,000 of the assessed value, which applies to all property taxes. However, this exemption can be lost if the homeowner abandons use of the homestead as a primary residence. For more detailed information, contact your local Property Appraiser’s office.

9. What is the advantage of investing in a new home rather than an existing home?
There are many advantages when you invest in a new home; these are just a couple;

• American Housing new homes come with a limited 10 year structural warranty!
• You can usually save money on you home owners insurance!
• Ease of maintenance can save you lots of money!
• American Housing new homes are much more energy efficient!
• Healthier materials are now being used in all American Housing new homes!
• American Housing homes are built with stronger protection against storms.
• American Housing new homes are built for more comfort with better insulation.
• Remember, in a New American Housing Home, everything is new from the Foundation to the Roof, to the Landscaping!

 

Feng Shui and your Home

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Feng Shui is an old Chinese practice that helps you to harmonize your energy with your home’s energy.

feng-shui-rocks-bambooThe quality of Feng Shui energy in your home mainly depends on the strength of the feng shui energy that is allowed to enter through the front door of your home to the energy within your bedroom, your kitchen and your bathroom of your home. All of these areas should have a strong Feng Shui foundation. The way to do that is to arrange your rooms and to color your rooms in the proper way so you can maintain your home’s energy. Feng Shui helps guide that energy so it can flow freely throughout your home.
For example, the front door of your home is called “the mouth of Chi” in Feng Shui, and this is how your home absorbs its “Chi”, or energy. When a home has good “Chi” or energy, the people living in the home will experience heightened levels of well-being. A good Feng Shui house has the main entry designed to welcome, strengthen and channel the incoming Feng Shui energy throughout the entire home.
Colors are very important when it comes to Feng Shui. The right Feng Shui use of colors can do wonders for your home. We all respond to color in predictable ways. Feng Shui takes the use of color to the next level, where each color brings the desired Feng Shui energies to your home in order to create harmony and balance.
For example, the color red carries the energy of fire into your home. Fire has always been a symbol of divine energy and can be both destructive and creative. Fire represents the energy of sun and life. A balanced Feng Shui fire element in your home will bring joy, excitement and strong sexual desire.
On the other hand, the color blue is considered the color that brings the energy of calm, peace and healing into your home. Light blue is considered the Feng Shui color of harmonious expansion and gentle growth, while darker blue evokes the Feng Shui energy of deep calm, wisdom and serenity. DFeng.Shui.Candlesepending on your Feng Shui priorities, you might want to introduce some deep blue elements into your bedroom to promote better sleep or introduce some gentle playful aqua into the living room, especially if you have a big and busy family.
Then there is green and green is the Feng Shui color of renewal, fresh energy and new beginnings. The color green is very nourishing to your health, as it will help calm your nerves and balance your whole body by bringing healing Feng Shui vibrations from Mother Nature. Different shades of green will help create a good Feng Shui house with its healing effects. From fresh spring color green of a newly opened leaf to the strong green color of a mighty oak tree, green will refresh and rejuvenate your energy, as well as the energy of your home.
Then there is the color yellow. The color yellow will wake up any room like the rising sun. The Feng Shui color of sunlight will always lighten and brighten a home and make it feel very welcoming. Yellow is a great Feng Shui color for a child’s room.

So, when it comes to Feng Shui, you have to trust your senses and go at your own pace. After all, it is your home, and it is best to feel empowered and strong when you make any changes in your home. That in itself is good Feng Shui!

For a new home where Feng Shui and other cultures are respected and honored, please contact Jim Pelosi with American Housing Builders II, Inc. at 727-546-6611. American Housing Builders has been building new homes in the Pinellas County and Tampa Bay area for over twenty years and has a reputation for building quality homes at affordable prices.

So Many Things to Do

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KS85426There are so many things to consider when purchasing a new home that you may wonder how the heck you will ever get through it. Well, it does not have to be that complicated.
The first thing you might want to do is to organize your thoughts as to what type of home you want and where you want to live. Do you want a new home built to your specifications or do you want a home already built and ready to move in. Both have benefits that should be considered. Having a new home built allows you to the opportunity to select many of your colors, flooring, cabinets and tile selections, yet an already built home allows you to move in sooner. You will also want to decide on how many bedrooms and bathrooms you will need and whether you will want a one, two or even a three car garage. You may want to ask yourself if it is more important to live closer to shopping or the beaches. Another thing you may want to consider is the school district depending on whether you have, or are planning to have, children.
One way to organize your thoughts is to write out what you and each family member want in order of importance. Maybe you want a large kitchen, or your significant other wants a large master suite with a garden tub bathroom, or maybe your children want a large family room for entertaining or even a media room to watch their favorite movies or sporting events. Maybe you need an office area to work or a hobby room to relax in. Whatever you needs and wants, at the end of the day it might be nice to have a nice closed in covered patio to sit and relax while sipping on a nice cool glass of lemonade.
One other thing to remember when planning out your new home is that your needs are likely to change over time. Maybe you are planning on having children or maybe you have been there and will have children going off to college. Maybe you have an elderly parent that will someday be living with you. The thing is, things change over time and you should keep that in mind when planning on what type and size of home you intend to purchase.
Now, once you have decided on the home you want; the next thing to consider is how much you can afford to spend and how much money you will need to borrow. This can get downright confusing. There are many types of mortgages available out there along with many variations of those mortgages. You have FHA mortgages and VA mortgages. You have Conventional mortgages with fixed rates and you have Conventional mortgages with adjustable rates and unless you are very familiar with the many type mortgage loans that are available, this would be the time to seek assistance regarding your home purchase and mortgage. American Housing Builders can help you with the home and direct you to a competent mortgage professional who will help guide you through the entire home buying process.
Contact American Housing Builders at 727-546-6611 or go to the “Contact Us” page of this website and send a request for more information.

Mortgage Terms

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KS85415There are many terms used in the home buying and mortgage industries that many people may not be familiar with. Here are a few that will surely come up in talking to your lender.
An appraisal is an estimate of the fair market value of your home. Appraisals will actually help the builder, the lender and the buyer in determining that the sales price is consistent with the actual value. An appraiser inspects the house, or house plans and specifications, along with the neighborhood, and comes up with an estimated value based on the price of comparable homes in the area. The cost for an appraisal is fairly inexpensive and is usually passed on to the buyer.
A credit report is a report obtained by the lender in order to determine the risk for them in lending money for a mortgage. There will be a fee for the credit report and the buyer usually pays this cost.
Now, the Earnest Money is a deposit paid to the builder that is selling you your home to show that you are a serious buyer. Your receipt for this deposit is called a binder. The earnest money is then applied to your down payment in the purchase of your new home. If for some reason you are not able to obtain financing for your purchase, then the earnest money is returned to you, minus expenses for processing. Be sure that you understand the refund procedures before you make a deposit.
The term Escrow involves a third party, usually a Title Company, that will hold funds until you and the seller complete the sales transaction. During construction, and depending on your loan, of your home, you may be asked to make monthly payments into an escrow account that can be used to pay taxes, insurance, and any other assessments that may become due.
Most of the time, escrow agent and Title Company will handle the closing. Rather than you and the lender meeting to sign all of the documents and transfer money, the agent works with you and the lender separately to ensure that everything is done properly. Once again, a fee is required for this service.
The Loan Origination Fee is a fee charged by the lender for the cost of processing a loan and it is usually a percentage of the loan amount.
The largest cost of your loan may be the “points” your lender requires you to pay at closing. A point is one percent on your loan amount, so if you are borrowing $100,000, you will pay $1000 for every point due. The good thing is that points are tax deductible if they are paid separately and not deducted from the loan amount. For VA loans, you can be charged up to one point, while the number of points charged for an FHA or conventional loan can be higher.
Your lender may also charge you “Points” on your loan although each point you pay will help reduce your interest rate by about 1/8 of one percent. Your Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will be calculated on the basis of the total life of the loan. So, if you get a 30 year loan for your home, your APR will be based on a 30-year composite figure, while a 15 year loan will be based on a 15 year composite figure. Everyone is different and everyone’s circumstances are different, which is why every home buyer has to decide what type of loan suits them best.

Home Plans for Florida Living

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American Housing Builders II, Inc. is constantly designing new floor plans and improving existing floor plans so you can find exactly the right new home for you and your family.
KS85395At AHB II, you will find floor plans with indoor and outdoor living spaces, generous sized master suites, functional bathrooms and open kitchens that offer you, your family and your guests a warm and comfortable place to gather, relax and to cook a large meal.
One of the nicest features we provide is the opportunity for you to meet with our design team and make changes throughout the home to better suit your family’s needs and lifestyle.
We have many different and designs of homes for any size family. So, whether you are retired, just starting out or with school aged children, our homes are designed to reflect all aspects of family life.
Our homes feature stucco exterior walls, hip roofs, a covered entry, vinyl windows, 30 year dimensional shingle roof and fiberglass exterior doors.
Our homes also feature many energy saving “green” features such as low-e thermal windows, “Energy Star” heat pumps, “Energy Star” dishwasher, R-30 ceiling insulation and much, much more.
For more information, you can call us at 727-546-6611 or simply go to the “Contact Us” page of this website.

Open Doors & Missed Opportunities

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During a person’s lifetime, open doors of opportunity are not always readily available. When a door does open, one must be ready to reach out and grab onto that opportunity while it presents itself.
KS85408I think you will agree that each of us has missed at least one golden opportunity in our lifetime because we feared the unknown of what might lie beyond that open door. It is sometimes this fear of the unknown that keeps us from reaching our true potential as individuals regarding our personal growth and our financial growth.
Right now the dream of owning your own home has never been better. Interest rates are truly at historic lows and the housing market is making a great comeback. At American Housing Builders II, Inc., it is our desire to assist you through that “open door of opportunity” so that you and your family can achieve the American dream of owning your own home. American Housing is “Building the American Dream One Home at a Time.”
As you know, when that door of opportunity does open, it does not always remain open for long. At some point, that chance will close and that door will shut for good. Those who have the courage to walk through that open door will reap the benefits, while those who are fearful or skeptical, may regret missing that golden opportunity of owning their own home. The time is always now to buy a new home because homes will continue to rise in construction costs making it more and more difficult to own, while on the other hand, the value after you purchase that new home will also continue to rise.
Well, that dream can still come true and we are here to help you make it happen. American Housing has been building new homes in Pinellas County and the Tampa Bay area for over twenty years and has earned a reputation for quality, innovation and integrity in the community. You can contact us at 727-546-6611, go to the “Contact Us” page of our website, or simply stop in at 7195 66th Street N. in Pinellas Park, Florida 33781.

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