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Gary and Nikki Ubaldini


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4 Reasons to Buy BEFORE Winter Hits

by Gary and Nikki Ubaldini

It's that time of year; the seasons are changing and with them bring thoughts of the upcoming holidays, family get-togethers, and planning for a new year. Those who are on the fence about whether now is the right time to buy don't have to look much farther to find four great reasons to consider buying a home now, instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

The Home Price Expectation Survey polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts. Their most recent report released recently projects appreciation in home values over the next five years to be between 10.5% (most pessimistic) and 25.5% (most optimistic).

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Although Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have softened recently, most experts predict that they will begin to rise later this year. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will be up almost a full percentage point by the end of next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3. Either Way You are Paying a Mortgage

As a recent paper from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return. That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

Bottom Line

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings. Call The Gary & Nikki Team and put one of our Buyer Specialists to work today - it doesn't cost you anything!

Don’t Wait To Buy Your Dream Home

by Gary and Nikki Ubaldini

As a seller, you will be most concerned about ‘short term price’ – where home values are headed over the next six months. As either a first-time or repeat buyer, you must not be concerned only about price but also about the ‘long term cost’ of the home.

Let us explain.

There are many factors that influence the ‘cost’ of a home. Two of the major ones are the home’s appreciation over time, and the interest rate at which a buyer can borrow the funds necessary to purchase their home. The rate at which these two factors can change is often referred to as “The Cost of Waiting”.

What will happen over the next 12 months?

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, prices are expected to rise by 4.7% by this time next year.

Additionally, Freddie Mac’s most recent Economic Commentary & Projections Table predicts that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will appreciate to 4.7% in that same time.

What Does This Mean to a Buyer?

Here is a simple demonstration of what impact these projected changes would have on the mortgage payment of a home selling for approximately $250,000 today:

Cost of Waiting | Simplifying The Market

If you're thinking of buying, or selling - call The Team with 30 years of experience in Tampa Bay Real Estate - 727-787-6995

How Much Must You Trust Your Listing Agent?

by Gary and Nikki Ubaldini


You and your family have decided to sell your house. It is now time to choose a real estate professional to help with the process. One of the major attributes this agent must possess is trustworthiness. To what degree do you need to trust them?

You must have enough trust in them that you feel comfortable they will accomplish all four things below:

1. Sell possibly the largest asset your family owns

In many cases, a home is the largest asset a family has. Studies have shown that the equity many families have in their home is the largest percentage of that family’s overall wealth.

2. Set the correct market value on that asset

Pricing is crucial even in the best of markets. You want to get the best price for your home without putting your house at a value that buyers will have little interest.

3. Set the time schedule for the liquidation of that asset

Your family probably has a certain timetable for the sale of your house and the move into your next home. Coordinating the home selling process to meet certain schedules can be tricky.

4. Set a fair fee for the services required to liquidate that asset

You will need to pay a commission to an agent for selling the home and coordinating all elements of the selling transaction including possible future negotiations (ex. with a home inspector or appraiser).

That’s a lot of trust. Make sure you pick a true professional to help with the sale of your home.

If you're thinking of selling your home, contact the real estate Team with 30 years of experience selling homes in Tampa Bay. Call 727-787-6995 today.


The Cost of Waiting to Buy a Home

by Gary and Nikki Ubaldini

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their July edition of the Housing Affordability Index. The index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national level based on the most recent price and income data.

NAR looks at the monthly mortgage payment (principal & interest) which is determined by the median sales price and mortgage interest rate at the time. With that information, NAR calculates the income necessary for a family to qualify for that mortgage amount (based on a 25% qualifying ratio for monthly housing expense to gross monthly income and a 20% down payment).

Here is a graph of the income needed to buy a median priced home in the country over the last several years:

Qualifying Income | Simplifying The Market

And the income requirement has accelerated even more dramatically this year as prices have risen:

Qualifications | Simplifying The Market

Bottom Line

Some buyers may be waiting to save up a larger down payment. Others may be waiting for a promotion and more money. Just realize that, while you are waiting, the requirements are also changing.

If you're interested in buying a home in the Tampa Bay area, contact The Gary & Nikki Team and put one of our Buyer Specialists to work for you. That's all they do - find your next dream home.

Call The Gary & Nikki Team Today: 727-787-6995

What You Do Not Need To Hear From Your Listing Agent!

by Gary and Nikki Ubaldini

You’ve decided to sell your house. You begin to interview potential real estate agents to help you through the process. You need someone you trust enough to:

  • Set the market value on possibly the largest asset your family owns (your home)
  • Set the time schedule for the successful liquidation of that asset
  • Set the fee for the services required to liquidate that asset

An agent must be concerned first and foremost about you and your family in order to garner that degree of trust. Make sure this is the case.

Be careful if the agent you are interviewing begins the interview by:

  • Bragging about their success
  • Bragging about their company’s success

An agent’s success and the success of their company can be important considerations when deciding on the right real estate professional to represent you in the sale of the house. However, you first need to know they care about what you need and what you expect from the sale. If the agent is not interested in first establishing your needs, how successful they may seem is much less important.

Look for someone with the ‘heart of a teacher’ who comes in prepared well enough to explain the current real estate market and patient enough to take the time to show how it may impact the sale of your home.

Not someone only interested in trying to sell you on how great they are.

You have many agents from which to choose. Pick someone who truly cares. Contact The Gary & Nikki Team today and discuss your real estate goals with our Listing Specialist. 727-787-6995 or by email.

Home Prices Up in 93% of Measurable Markets - Infographic

by Gary and Nikki Ubaldini


  • The national median home price for Q2 is up 8.2% to $229,400
  • The income needed to afford the median home in each region is directly impacted by the amount of the down payment. The larger the down payment the lower the income needed to pay the monthly mortgage payment.
  • The West led the way with the highest median home price at $325,200.

The Main Reason You Should Not Wait to Buy…

by Gary and Nikki Ubaldini

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released their 2015 State of the Nation’s Housing report. The report concentrated on the challenges renters in this country are facing because of the diminishing supply of quality rental units and dramatically escalating rents. However, there was also information buried within the report that revealed that now is definitely the time to buy your first home or move-up to the home of your family’s dreams. With home prices still below peak values and mortgage rates still near historic lows, the monthly mortgage payment on a median priced home is less than at almost any time in the last 25 years. Here is a graph which helps visualize the data from the report: 

With home prices increasing and mortgage rates projected to increase, now is the time to buy. 

Infographic - Mortage Rates Over The Last 40 Years

by Gary and Nikki Ubaldini


  • 30-year mortgage rates are projected to increase by a full percentage point in 2016
  • Rates are still well below the past four decade averages
  • The interest rate at which you borrow the funds to purchase your dream home makes a huge difference on your monthly payment

Freddie Mac’s New 3% Down Program

by Gary and Nikki Ubaldini

Freddie Mac is scheduled to start buying mortgages with down payments of only three percent – the first time down payments have been this low on Freddie Mac loans in nearly five years. The program is called Freddie Mac Home Possible AdvantageSM. In a recent Executive Perspectives, Dave Lowman EVP, Single-Family Business Freddie Mac, explained the potential impact this program will have on the housing market:

“There's a new reason Realtors and lenders may expect more qualified borrowers at the closing table during this spring's home buying season. In addition to low mortgage rates and rising job growth, the down payment hurdle is starting to shrink for creditworthy borrowers, including first-time homebuyers.”

And the mortgage industry agrees with Mr. Lowman. In a recent survey of mortgage originators by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), it was revealed that most loan officers believe the move to a lower down payment will increase access to mortgage credit. Here are that survey’s findings: Down Payment Survey | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Many potential buyers are “ready and willing” to buy a home but have been afraid they may not be “able” because of a lack of adequate savings for a down payment. Check with a local real estate or mortgage professional to understand what the new rules may mean to you. 

Tremendous Opportunity In Tampa Bay Real Estate Market

by GaryUbaldini

What an amazing time in our history where mortgage rates and affordability remain at near historic lows. Mortgage rates are under 4%. In 2014, it only took 15% of a typical family's income to pay their monthly principal and interest payment. What an incredible opportunity to invest in real estate. What an incredible time to buy that first home, sell your current home and move up to your dream home or to simply build your wealth by building your real estate portfolio.

2015 has gotten off to a quick start in the Tampa Bay area. Sales are up by over 20% in Pinellas and Pasco Counties compared to 2014. Active listing inventory is down by 7.5% year over year. Properly priced inventory is creating bidding wars and multiple offers in some price positions. There is demand for inventory as we approach the peak selling months of the year. If you have thoughts of selling your home, now could be a great time for you. 

Click here for an INSTANT home valuation.

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Gary and Nikki Ubaldini
Keller Williams
30522 US 19 N., Suite 107
Palm Harbor FL 34684
(727) 787-6995