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Achieving multiple professional certifications and surpassing customer expectations has propelled Keyes Company Sunset Office Vice President Carlos Garcia to become Dade County's top producing real estate leader within The Keyes organization. Garcia's cumulative sales volume is more than $575 Million since he launched his Real Estate career in 1995. In recognition of his exceptional success, Garcia was appointed to The Keyes Company's prestigious President's Council. Garcia is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), a graduate of the Realtor Institute (GRI), a Certified Relocation Specialist and Luxury Homes Member. In 2010, Carlos Garcia was named Vice-Chairman and Communication Chair for the Master Brokers Forum (MBF) representing the top 250 agents in Miami-Dade County. To better serve his customers with Short Sales and Foreclosure guidance, Garcia obtained his Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation. Prior to launching his career in Real Estate, Garcia served as Vice President of Operations for a major electrical Company in Miami. Carlos has achieved the Number ONE position again in Sales for Miami-Dade County and was awarded the President's Council Award in January 2014 for the 15th consecutive year at the Keyes Annual Awards and has always been ranked amongst the top FIVE sales associates in The Keyes Company which employs over 2,500 sales associates.(press release 2014)

The information on this web site has been obtained from the public record or the property owner and has not been verified. The information, documents and related graphics, may include inaccuracies or typographical errors and should be independently verified. The Keyes Company and/or Carlos Garcia (Associate) is not responsible or liable for the inaccuracy of the information.

Copyright ® 2007 Carlos Garcia, LLC.

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Updated: Thursday, October 30, 2014


Understand Your Credit Scores

Lenders want to give you a mortgage, but they also want to minimize their own risk. The easiest way to retard risk is for them to use your credit scores to make their lending decisions.

Credit scores are compiled separately by three consumer reporting agencies -- Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. These credit reporting bureaus calculate scores differently, based on formulas and criterias of their own devices.

Equifax Beacon 5.0 Facta: scores range from 334 to 818.
Experian Fair Isaac V2: scores range from 320 to 844.
Trans Union FICO Risk score >

Your credit score is a number that reflects the information in your credit report based on whether you pay your bills on time, how much you owe creditors, accounts youve paid off, and derogatory information such as unpaid bills, late payments, judgments and liens. It also includes inquiries into your accounts from lenders, landlords, and employers.

When you apply for a home loan, your application includes giving your lender permission to "pull your credit" and decide whether to lend to you and the rate of interest on the information contained in your credit scores. The higher the score, the better terms youll receive from the lender.

Once your credit scores are reviewed by your mortgage lender, youll receive a computer-generated report of the findings, but it wont have a copy of your entire credit report. It may include key factors that adversely affected your scores. Some examples might include:

Too many inquiries in the last 12 months
Time since most recent account opening is too short
Proportion of loan balances to loan amounts is too high
Too many accounts with balances
Amount owed on revolving accounts is too high

What if youre declined for the loan, or your lender wants to charge a higher interest rate than you were expecting? Is there anything you can do?

Yes, talk to your lender and ask for help repairing or correcting your scores. For example, you may have innocently done something that resulted in a negative score, such as closing a line of credit. Or, you may not have realized that a late payment would bring your score down as much as it has. The lender will tell you exactly what you need to do to raise your scores.

Under federal law, you have the right to obtain a free copy of your credit report from each of the national consumer credit reporting agencies. Go to FreeAnnualReport.com.

If you find an error -- derogatory data that doesnt belong to you, or an account that shows the wrong balance, simply show the lender your canceled check, >

Youll also have to correct the information yourself separately and in writing with each agency. It may take a few weeks for the agencies to record the updated information.

In the meantime, work with your lender and do what he/she tells you to do to get the best rate, including paying more than the minimums, paying on time, and making sure that your debt-to-income ratios are well within your ability to repay all your loans.


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Tapping Your Retirement To Help Your Kids

Question: My wife and I want to buy a condominium now, especially since interest rates are so low. We need approximately 40,000 for the earnest money deposit, which is ten percent of the purchase price. My parents are prepared to lend us this money, but they will have to take it out of their Individual Retirement Account. Mom is 54 and Dad is 56. Can they do this?

Answer: Yes, with a large number of restrictions. The general rule is that if you have not reached the age of 59 , you must pay a ten percent penalty on any distribution from your IRA. This is in addition to the regular income tax you have to pay on that amount. This is referred to as "early distributions".

However, there are a number of exceptions, such as if you are disabled, you have unreimbursed medical expenses that are more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income, or the distribution is used to buy, build or rebuild a first home.

Lets look at this last exception carefully. First, the buyers must be "first-time" homebuyers. According to the IRS, you cannot have a "present interest in a main home during the 2-year period ending on the date of acquisition of the home which the distribution is being used to buy, build or rebuild." Since your son is married, his wife must also meet this no-ownership requirement. And the home to be purchased cannot be for investment purposes; it must be the principal home -- which the IRS calls "the main home".

When is the "date of acquisition"? It is either the date of which you enter into a legally binding real estate contract to buy the property or the date on which the building or rebuilding begins.

You can use your parents money for the deposit on the contract, or for any usual and reasonable settlement, financing or other closing costs. However, any moneys your parents take out above 10,000 will be taxed twice -- first as ordinary income and second with the 10 percent penalty.

There are more restrictions: the moneys must be used by you no more than 120 days after the funds are withdrawn from the IRA. Your parents can agree to lend you these funds at any time, but once the funds are withdrawn, you must sign that sales contract and use the funds within the 120-day time limit.

And if you have brothers or sisters, they should understand that once your parents have used up the 10,000, any additional funds withdrawn from the IRA will generate the 10 percent tax. This is a lifetime cap. However, if both of your parents have separate IRAs, they can each give you up to 10,000 without having the pay the penalty. They will, however, have to pay ordinary income tax on these withdrawals.

What if your parents have a ROTH IRA? If that IRA has been in existence for at least five years, and meets the requirements spelled out above for regular IRAs, there will be no 10 percent penalty and no income tax due on the first 10,000. Above that, there is a complicated "Ordering Rules", and you should consult your own pension plan trustee or advisor for specifics.

This discussion involved parents assisting their children. But the law is not limited exclusively to parents. According to the IRS, to qualify for treatment as a first-time homebuyer distribution, the funds can be used to pay the costs for a main home for any of the following: "yourself, your spouse, your or your spouses child, your or your spouses grandchild, your or your spouses parents or other ancestor."

For additional information, the IRS has Publication 590, "Individual Retirement Arrangements IRAs", available on the web by Clicking Here.

But before you pursue the IRA route, you should discuss this with your mortgage lender. In todays economy, even though interest rates are at an all-time low, it is very difficult to get loan approval. Your lender may want your parents to gift you the deposit moneys, instead of lending it to you. Your lender may also want to make sure that some of your own money is being used for the purchase.

According to Craig Strent, CEO of Apex Home Loans in Rockville, Maryland, "at 90 with none of the buyers own money into the transaction, FHA would be the best option for the kids. If they were getting an 80 percent loan to value, with all funds gifted, they could go conventional."

"Its important for the kids to document where the earnest money deposit came from," Strent added. "The parents will have to show a copy of their bank statement along with proof of the funds leaving their account and going into the buyers account. Many people find this intrusive, but it is a required step to verify that the funds were indeed a gift, and not some internal arrangement to circumvent the underwriting requirements."


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Hosting an Open House: 3 Reasons to Bring Your Tablet

From marketing the event to staging the home, hosting a successful open house can be tricky. Be too specific like targeting only first-time home buyers and you risk missing a whole slew of potential leads. But be too broad like not doing anything to set the property or yourself apart might prove disastrous as well. One thing thats a safe bet is making the entire experience as smooth and simple for each guest as possible. If being tech savvy is part of your selling strategy and it should be, use these tips to integrate an iPad into your property showing:

Streamline the Sign-in Process

Having guests sign in at an open house not only makes follow up easier, but its also a great way to collect leads. Even if buyers arent interested in the property youre showing, they might be interested in something else nearby. But just setting out a paper and pen near the front door wont do. Guests may either only include ir>

Limit Equipment

Instead of lugging around a camera and juggling it with your smartphone in one hand and a folder full of pamphlets in the other, leave it all behind. You can upgrade your photography skills while downsizing on equipment. Before the open house, use an app like Camera to control the exposure, digitally zoom and experiment with effects in order to improve your listing photos. While showing the home, snap a few shots to post to social media and create some buzz around the event. This works especially well if youre hosting a two-part open house as you can use photos to advertise for your next showing.

Have Resources at Your Fingertips

It may be easy enough to whip out your phone and do a quick Google search when guests have a specific questions, but why not up your game and plan ahead? At the open house, prospective buyers will likely want to know more about the neighborhood, nearby schools, crime stats and more. With a bit of planning, you can have this information pulled up and easy to access with just the touch of the screen. Consider using a map app to highlight noteworthy areas of the neighborhood. Use Pinterest to display information about specific homes. Not only will this help you connect with tech-savvy buyers, but itll make your listings more interactive. Consider gathering websites and resources visitors asked about and including them in the listing follow-up or an upcoming newsletter. Or, with the photos and videos youve taken and resources youve gathered, you could centralize the information and use it to host a virtual open house for prospects who are out of state or otherwise unable to attend.


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