30 Mar 2018

Gift Money: Everything You Need to Know

Gift Money: Everything You Need to Know

We get this question more often than most… “ Can my family member help me with my closing costs or down payment?” The answer is yes, but if you are getting gift money to help finance your new home there are a few things you need to remember…

The “Donor” of the gift must be a family member, fiancé or domestic partner. They must prove they have the ability to provide you with the gift by providing a copy of their bank statement, a copy of the canceled gift check and/or a signed letter from their bank saying the funds are available.

The “Gift Letter” is a form we will provide. The donor will need to complete it with basic information and a signed statement that the funds are a gift with no expectation of repayment.

The “Transfer” must be documented carefully. Make a copy of the gift check and deposit slip or of confirmation of the wire transfer. Deposit the gift in the account you’re already using for verification of funds to close. DO NOT combine this deposit with any other incidental deposits. Provide either an online update or the next account statement to show that the deposit cleared into the account.

Some programs allow for the entire down payment to be in the form of a gift. Others may require that you have at least 5% of the purchase price from your own funds. As these rules can vary or change at any time, never hesitate to consult with us for the specifics as they relate to your transaction.

While the documentation requirements may seem excessive at times, please remember that the underwriters are simply following the rules to assure that your down payment is not borrowed and that any allowable gift funds are coming from acceptable sources.

And remember, if you have any questions about the mortgage process, just ask me!

21 Mar 2018

Meet Captain John Conway, The Man Behind the Beard

Meet Captain John Conway, The Man Behind the Beard

When Captain John Conway got laid off more than nine years ago from his job teaching clients how to effectively invest in real estate, he wasn’t sure what he would do next. One day, while having a beer with a couple of his buddies, someone came up with an idea. “Hey John,” they said, “ why don’t you become a fishing guide?” Though John certainly had intimate knowledge of the surrounding waters and a passion for fishing, he thought it sounded a little too much like a pipe dream.

But the idea was planted. After a little research, John realized that if he combined the thousands of hours he’d spent fishing in the Caloosahatchee and the Gulf of Mexico with a small initial investment, he might have a viable project on his hands after all.

Fast- forward almost a decade, and his business, Conway Charters, is one of the very best boat chartering companies in all of Southwest Florida. As a frequent passenger on Johns’ boat, I can tell you “not only does Captain John boast an expert knowledge of Florida waters, but he brings his enthusiastic, funny personality to every trip.”

John’s main goal is to show a good time to anyone who ends up on his boat. “I just like to take people fishing!” he says. “For me, it’s all about keeping the rods bent. Guiding is 10 percent fishing skill and 90 percent personality.”

“Other guides may go out and only ever hint for the big monsters,” Captain John says. “But instead of ending up with one or two bites in four  hours, I’d rather help my passangers catch 80 fish in the same amount of time! Every single one might not be a huge trophy fish, but for most people, it’s a lot more fun.”

No matter what the conditions, John always manages to deliver, and he never tries to sell or over-promise anything to a customer. Hes a great guy and a master fisherman. Ifyour looking for the fishing trip of your life, give him a call at 239-410-0067 or visit him online at www.conwaycharters.com – we highly recommend it!