Categories
Buying a House

Why Pre-Approval Is a Great Step to Take Today

If you’re in the position to buy a home this year, pre-approval is something you can still do right now to get ahead in the homebuying process. Let’s connect to talk about your goals for 2020.

Contact us:
PHP Houses
142 W Lakeview Ave
Unit 1030
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Ph: (407) 519-0719
Fax: (407) 205-1951
email: info@phphouses.com

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THE INFORMATION PRESENTED IN THIS ARTICLE IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED LEGAL, FINANCIAL, OR AS ANY OTHER TYPE OF ADVICE.
Categories
Real Estate Market

The Economic Impact of Buying a Home

The Economic Impact of Buying a Home

We’re in a changing real estate market, and life, in general, is changing too – from how we grocery shop and meal prep to the ways we can interact with our friends and neighbors. Even practices for engaging with agents, lenders, and all of the players involved in a real estate transaction are changing to a virtual format. What isn’t changing, however, is one key thing that can drive the local economy: buying a home.

We’re all being impacted in different ways by the effects of the coronavirus. If you’re in a position to buy a home today, know that you’re a major economic force in your neighborhood. And while we all wait patiently for the current pandemic to pass, there are a lot of things you can do in the meantime to keep your home search on track.

Every year the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shares a report that notes the full economic impact of home sales. This report summarizes:

“The total economic impact of real estate related industries on the state economy, as well as the expenditures that result from a single home sale, including aspects like home construction costs, real estate brokerage, mortgage lending and title insurance.”

Here’s the breakdown of how the average home sale boosts the economy:

Average Economic Impact of One Home Sale in the U.S.

When you buy a home, you’re making an impact. You’re fulfilling your need for shelter and a place to live, and you’re also generating jobs and income for the appraiser, the loan officer, the title company, the real estate agent, and many more contributors to the process. For every person or business that you work with throughout the transaction, there’s also likely a team behind the scenes making it all happen, so the effort multiplies substantially. As noted above in the circle on the right, the impact is almost double when you purchase new construction, given the extra labor it requires to build the home.

The report also breaks down the average economic impact by state:

Average Economic Impact of One House by State

As a buyer, you have an essential need for a home – and you can make an essential impact with homeownership, too. That need for shelter, comfort, and a safe place to live will always be alive and well. And whenever you’re able to act on that need, whether now or later, you’ll truly be creating gains for you, your family, local business professionals, and the overall economy.

Bottom Line

Whenever you purchase a home, you’re an economic driver. Even if you’re not ready or able to make a move now, there are things you can do to keep your own process moving forward so you’re set when the time is right for you. Let’s connect to keep your home search – and your local contributions – on track.

Contact us:
PHP Houses
142 W Lakeview Ave
Unit 1030
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Ph: (407) 519-0719
Fax: (407) 205-1951
email: info@phphouses.com

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THE INFORMATION PRESENTED IN THIS ARTICLE IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED LEGAL, FINANCIAL, OR AS ANY OTHER TYPE OF ADVICE.
Categories
Real Estate Market

The Best Advice Does Not Mean Perfect Advice

The Best Advice Does Not Mean Perfect Advice

The angst caused by the coronavirus has most people on edge regarding both their health and financial situations. It’s at times like these when we want exact information about anything we’re doing – even the correct protocol for grocery shopping. That information brings knowledge, and this gives us a sense of relief and comfort.

If you’re thinking about buying or selling a home today, the same need for information is very real. But, because it’s such a big step in our lives, that desire for clear information is even greater in the homebuying or selling process. Given the current level of overall anxiety, we want that advice to be truly perfect. The challenge is, no one can give you “perfect” advice. Experts can, however, give you the best advice possible.

Let’s say you need an attorney, so you seek out an expert in the type of law required for your case. When you go to her office, she won’t immediately tell you how the case is going to end or how the judge or jury will rule. If she could, that would be perfect advice. What a good attorney can do, however, is discuss with you the most effective strategies you can take. She may recommend one or two approaches she believes will be best for your case.

She’ll then leave you to make the decision on which option you want to pursue. Once you decide, she can help you put a plan together based on the facts at hand. She’ll help you achieve the best possible resolution and make whatever modifications in the strategy are necessary to guarantee that outcome. That’s an example of the best advice possible.

The role of a real estate professional is just like the role of the lawyer. An agent can’t give you perfect advice because it’s impossible to know exactly what’s going to happen throughout the transaction – especially in this market.

An agent can, however, give you the best advice possible based on the information and situation at hand, guiding you through the process to help you make the necessary adjustments and best decisions along the way. An agent will get you the best offer available. That’s exactly what you want and deserve.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of buying or selling, contact a local real estate professional to make sure you get the best advice possible.

Contact us:
PHP Houses
142 W Lakeview Ave
Unit 1030
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Ph: (407) 519-0719
Fax: (407) 205-1951
email: info@phphouses.com

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THE INFORMATION PRESENTED IN THIS ARTICLE IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED LEGAL, FINANCIAL, OR AS ANY OTHER TYPE OF ADVICE.
Categories
Real Estate Market

What You Can Do to Keep Your Dream of Homeownership Moving Forward

What You Can Do to Keep Your Dream of Homeownership Moving Forward

Some Highlights:

  • Don’t put your homeownership plans on hold just because you’re stuck inside.
  • There are several things you can do right now to keep your home search moving forward.
  • Connect with an agent, learn about resource programs for things like down payments, and get pre-approved today.

Contact us:
PHP Houses
142 W Lakeview Ave
Unit 1030
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Ph: (407) 519-0719
Fax: (407) 205-1951
email: info@phphouses.com

Let’s Connect:
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THE INFORMATION PRESENTED IN THIS ARTICLE IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED LEGAL, FINANCIAL, OR AS ANY OTHER TYPE OF ADVICE.
Categories
Avoiding Foreclosure

Where Can I Get Foreclosure Help in Central Florida, FL

Homeowners can have a tough time trying to avoid foreclosure. Late fees, exorbitant monthly payments, and other bills can make affording your current home a nightmare. Tackle on unexpected financial hardships and you’ll almost certainly experience the foreclosure process. But homeowners aren’t alone when needing foreclosure help in Central Florida, FL. There are many programs and methods to avoid foreclosure when trying to save your home.

Government Foreclosure Help

foreclosure help money back

There are several places to find foreclosure help in Central Florida, FL. Seeking foreclosure help from the government is one of the most common methods. Before contacting your lender about general loan modification, familiarizing yourself with the current initiatives enacted by the federal government can give homeowners the much-needed edge to avoid foreclosure.

One of the most common programs used by homeowners in foreclosure trouble is the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

Specifically, HAMP is used to lower a borrower’s monthly mortgage payments to make them both affordable and sustainable. The program achieves this by adjusting interest rates, extending payment terms, and reducing – or even forbearing – the loan’s principal for qualified homeowners. HAMP boasts that homeowners save approximately $500 per month on average. Half a grand can be home-saving for homeowners seeking foreclosure help.

Another loan modification plan went into effect 2013 to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. Created by Federal Housing and Finance Administration (FHFA), the Streamlined Modification Initiative (SMI) is similar to HAMP by offering homeowners the opportunity to redefine their mortgage payment plan.

Unlike HAMP, however, SMI allows borrowers to qualify for mortgage relief without gathering mountains of paperwork and applying. The mortgage company must mandatorily offer SMI after a borrower misses payment deadlines before initiating foreclosure, typically between 3 and 24 months.

Before SMI modifies the loan permanently, eligible borrowers will be required to make 3 on-time trial payments. The exact terms for those trial payments will differ among homeowners, but will be based on a fixed interest rate and sent through a letter in the mail. Once the trial is completed successfully, the loan changes are permanent. The SMI may also require principal forbearance and extended payment terms for some underwater borrowers.
court foreclosure help. the problems that can come up with foreclosing

“This new option gives delinquent borrowers another path to avoid foreclosure.” FHFA acting director Edward DeMarco said in a press release when SMI was initially proposed. “We will still encourage such borrowers to provide documentation to support other modification options that would likely result in additional borrower savings.”

SMI was enacted to minimize losses and help financially troubled homeowners avoid foreclosure. The program specifically targets government-sponsored agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two of the leading insurers in the nation. Currently, the program works in tangent with a new government initiative enacted this year called the Principal Reduction Modification Program (PRMP).

PRMP is a one-time program for underwater borrowers that need assistance meeting monthly mortgage payments. This new program builds on the pre-existing SMI. If the homeowners can meet the lower payments and accept the lender’s final modification, the principal forbearance amount instituted by SMI will be forgiven. This means that homeowners who qualify for a PRMP will not have to pay back portions of their loans ever. It’s a greatly limited program for borrowers that need foreclosure help in San Antonio, TX.

If homeowners can’t qualify for any of the multitudes of loan modification programs or seek general consultation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers free housing counseling services. By contacting an HUD-approved foreclosure avoidance counselor, homeowners can receive information and assistance necessary to avoid foreclosure. This option can be found conveniently on HUD’s website and is no-cost foreclosure help from the government.

Foreclosure Help for Veterans

veterans dealing with foreclosure help

Seeking foreclosure help in Central Florida, FL can be especially easy for veterans. In addition to the government programs offered above, veterans can seek help from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). VA not only offers ample benefits, news, and careers for active and retired servicemen and women, it provides a plethora of resources designed to keep veterans in their homes.

One of VA’s more helpful resources is the Home Loan Guaranty Service (HLGS). This program offers the assistance of more than 150 trained loan technicians situated throughout the country.

Much like HUD’s housing counselors, the service helps veterans understand how to retain their homes and avoid foreclosure with knowledge and assistance. They have some of the lowest rates in the industry while specifically targeting veterans that need government foreclosure help. Impressively, HLGS has helped nearly 300,000 veterans who were delinquent in their mortgage find a solution to avoid foreclosure.

Many veterans struggling to make monthly mortgage payments find relief in a VA streamline refinance loan. They’re similar to SMI but are restricted to homeowners that are also veterans.  Officially known as an Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan (IRRRL), an IRRRL is a VA-guaranteed loan that lowers your interest rate. Consequently, it decreases the monthly principal and interest payments and offers veterans a better chance at making payments. Veterans are eligible for these refinance loans if their home loan is one of the special VA-guaranteed loans.

Receiving an IRRRL does not require an appraisal, credit information, or underwriting. This allows veterans to apply without restrictions, saving precious time and money during the high-stress situation of a foreclosure. Veterans are allowed to use an IRRRL to refinance an underwater home though. (Remember, being underwater means owing more to your lender than your home is worth.) The basis for an IRRRL is the existing VA loan that cannot be paid, instead of the current market value of your home. Therefore, veterans can receive a greater refinance to pay off any financial hardships keeping them from making those mortgage payments.

Foreclosure Help to Save Your Home

getting foreclosure help

If the loan modification process seems too time-consuming or a homeowner isn’t eligible for the government foreclosure help, there is yet another option. Many homeowners at risk for foreclosure seek foreclosure help by contacting a company that buys houses directly. This option is not only less stressful, it’s also extremely effective when trying to avoid foreclosure.

Many homeowners assume that house buyers are solely interested in buying properties.

However, many house buying investment companies would rather offer free foreclosure help to homeowners in need than make a sale.

House buying companies know the emotional and financial stress caused by foreclosing and all sympathetic to those experiencing financial issues. They’re also unbiased; unlike your lender, house buyers have no financial stake in your loan defaulting. Before making a call to your mortgage lender, contact a house buying company to see what your options are from an unbiased point of view. Unsolicited and sympathetic foreclosure help in Central Florida, FL is always the best option.

PHP Houses is one such house buying company in Central Florida. Give us a call at (407) 519-0719 so we can help you with options to avoid foreclosure.

Contact us:
PHP Houses
142 W Lakeview Ave
Unit 1030
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Ph: (407) 519-0719
Fax: (407) 205-1951
email: info@phphouses.com

Let’s Connect:
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The information presented in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered legal, financial, or as any other type of advice.
Categories
Real Estate Market

Home Equity Gain Growing in Nearly Every State

Home Equity Gain Growing in Nearly Every State

Rising home prices have been in the news a lot lately, and much of the focus is on whether they’re accelerating too quickly and how sustainable the growth in prices really is. One of the often-overlooked benefits of rising prices, however, is the impact they have on a homeowner’s equity position.

Home equity is defined as the difference between a home’s fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property. While homeowners pay down their mortgages, the amount of equity they have in their homes climbs each time the value increases.

Today, the number of homeowners that currently have significant equity in their homes is growing. According to the Census Bureau, 38% of all homes in the country are mortgage-free.  In a home equity studyATTOM Data Solutions revealed that of the 54.5 million homes with a mortgage, 26.7% of them have at least 50% equity. That number has been increasing over the last eight years.

CoreLogic also notes:

“…the average homeowner gained approximately $5,300 in equity during the past year.”

The map below shows a breakdown of the increasing equity gain across the country, painting a clear picture that home equity is growing in nearly every state.

Breakdown of the Increasing Home Equity Gain across the US

Bottom Line

This may be the year to take advantage of your home equity by applying it forward, either as you downsize or as you move up to a new home.

Contact us:
PHP Houses
142 W Lakeview Ave
Unit 1030
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Ph: (407) 519-0719
Fax: (407) 205-1951
email: info@phphouses.com

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Selling a House Fast

Thinking of Selling? Now May Be the Time.

Residential buildings and easel with a positive growth trend chart. Market growth, attracting investment. Raising taxes and house maintenance. Real estate price increases. High demand and value

The housing market has started off much stronger this year than it did last year. Lower mortgage interest rates have been a driving factor in that change. The average 30-year rate in 2019, according to Freddie Mac, was 3.94%. Today that rate is closer to 3.5%.

The Census Bureau also just reported the highest homeownership rate since 2014 for people under 35. This is evidence that owning their own home is becoming more important to Millennials as they reach the age where marriage and children are part of their lives.

According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer demand across the country is strong. That’s not the case, however, with seller demand, which remains weak throughout most of the nation. Here’s a breakdown by state:

Demand for housing is high, but supply is extremely low. NAR also just reported that the actual number of homes currently for sale stands at 1.42 million, which is one of the lowest totals in almost three decades. Additionally, the ratio of homes for sale to the number purchased currently stands at 3.1 months of inventory. In a normal market, that number would be nearly double that at 6.0 months of inventory.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

Buyers need to remain patient in the search process. At the same time, buyers must be ready to act immediately once they find the right home.

Sellers may not want to wait until spring to put their houses on the market. With demand so high and supply so low, now is the perfect time to sell your house for the greatest dollar value and the least hassle.

Bottom Line

The real estate market is entering the year like a lion. There’s no indication it will lose that roar, assuming inventory continues to come to market.

Contact us:
PHP Houses
142 W Lakeview Ave
Unit 1030
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Ph: (407) 519-0719
Fax: (407) 205-1951
email: info@phphouses.com

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Categories
Buying a House

Great News for Renters Who Want to Buy a Home

Single mother having fun with young daughter on the backyard.

Rents in the United States have been skyrocketing since 2012. This has caused many renters to face a tremendous burden when juggling their housing expenses and the desire to save for a down payment at the same time. The recent stabilization of rental prices provides a great opportunity for renters to save more of their current income to put toward the purchase of a home.

Just last week the Joint Center of Housing Studies of Harvard University released the America’s Rental Housing 2020 Report. The results explain the financial challenges renters are experiencing today,

“Despite slowing demand and the continued strength of new construction, rental markets in the U.S. remain extremely tight. Vacancy rates are at decades-long lows, pushing up rents far faster than incomes. Both the number and share of cost-burdened renters are again on the rise, especially among middle-income households.”

According to the most recent Zillow Rent Index, which measures the estimated market-rate rent for all homes and apartments, the typical U.S. rent now stands at $1,600 per month. Here is a graph of how the index’s median rent values have climbed over the last eight years:

Is Good News Coming?

There seems, however, to be some good news on the horizon. Four of the major rent indices are all reporting that rents are finally beginning to stabilize in all rental categories:

1. The Zillow Rent Index, linked above, only rose 2.6% over the last year.

2. RENTCafé’s research team also analyzes rent data across the 260 largest cities in the United States. The data on average rents comes directly from competitively rented, large-scale, multi-family properties (50+ units in size). Their 2019 Year-End Rent Report shows only a 3% increase in rents from last year, the slowest annual rise over the past 17 months.

3. The CoreLogic Single Family Rent Index reports on single-family only rental listing data in the Multiple Listing Service. Their latest index shows how overall year-over-year rent price increases have slowed since February 2016, when they peaked at 4.2%. They have stabilized around 3% since early 2019.

4. The Apartment List National Rent Report uses median rent statistics for recent movers taken from the Census Bureau American Community Survey. The 2020 report reveals that the year-over-year growth rate of 1.6% matches the rate at this time last year; it is just ahead of the 1.5% rate from January 2016. They also explain how “the past five years also saw stretches of notably faster rent growth. Year-over-year rent growth stood at 2.6% in January 2018, and in January 2016 it was 3.3%, more than double the current rate.”

It seems tenants are getting a breather from the rapid rent increases that have plagued them for almost a decade.

Bottom Line

Rental expenses are beginning to moderate, and at the same time, average wages are increasing. That power combination may allow renters who dream of buying a home of their own an opportunity to save more money to put toward a down payment. That’s sensational news!

Contact us:
PHP Houses
142 W Lakeview Ave
Unit 1030
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Ph: (407) 519-0719
Fax: (407) 205-1951
email: info@phphouses.com

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Categories
Buying a House

Does “Aging in Place” Make the Most Sense?

Group of an architect feel stressed after working on architecture model together with shop drawing paper on table in office

A desire among many seniors is to “age in place.” According to the Senior Resource Guide, the term means,

“…that you will be remaining in your own home for the later years of your life; not moving into a smaller home, assisted living, or a retirement community etcetera.”

There is no doubt about it – there’s a comfort in staying in a home you’ve lived in for many years instead of moving to a totally new or unfamiliar environment. There is, however, new information that suggests this might not be the best option for everyone. The familiarity of your current home is the pro of aging in place, but the potential financial drawbacks to remodeling or renovating might actually be more costly than the long-term benefits.

A recent report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (JCHS) titled Housing America’s Older Adults explained,

“Given their high homeownership rates, most older adults live in single-family homes. Of the 24 million homeowners age 65 and over, fully 80 percent lived in detached single-family units…The majority of these homes are now at least 40 years old and therefore may present maintenance challenges for their owners.”

If you’re in this spot, 40 years ago you may have had a growing family. For that reason, you probably purchased a 4-bedroom Colonial on a large piece of property in a child-friendly neighborhood. It was a great choice for your family, and you still love that home.

Today, your kids are likely grown and moved out, so you don’t need all of those bedrooms. Yard upkeep is probably very time consuming, too. You might be thinking about taking some equity out of your house and converting one of your bedrooms into a massive master bathroom, and maybe another room into an open-space reading nook. You might also be thinking about cutting back on lawn maintenance by installing a pool surrounded by beautiful paving stones.

It all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? For the short term, you may really enjoy the new upgrades, but you’ll still have to climb those stairs, pay to heat and cool a home that’s larger than what you need, and continue fixing all the things that start to go wrong with a 40-year-old home.

Last month, in their Retirement ReportKiplinger addressed the point,

“Renovations are just a part of what you need to make aging in place work for you. While it’s typically less expensive to remain in your home than to pay for assisted living, that doesn’t mean it’s a slam dunk to stay put. You’ll still have a long to-do list. Just one example: You need to plan ahead for how you will manage maintenance and care—for your home, and for yourself.”

So, at some point, the time may come when you decide to sell this house anyway. That can pose a big challenge if you’ve already taken cash value out of your home and used it to do the type of remodeling we mentioned above. Realistically, you may have inadvertently lowered the value of your home by doing things like reducing the number of bedrooms. The family moving into your neighborhood is probably similar to what your family was 40 years ago. They probably have young children, need the extra bedrooms, and may be nervous about the pool.

Bottom Line

Before you spend the money to remodel or renovate your current house so you can age in place, let’s get together to determine if it is truly your best option. Making a move to a smaller home in the neighborhood might make the most sense.

Contact us:
PHP Houses
142 W Lakeview Ave
Unit 1030
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Ph: (407) 519-0719
Fax: (407) 205-1951
email: info@phphouses.com

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Categories
Buying a House

How to Avoid a Gender Gap When Investing in the Housing Market

When buying a home, we all want to feel like we’re making the right decision, paying a fair price, and making the best investment of our lives. According to a recent gender-based study, men and women can unknowingly walk away with very different financial outcomes when the deal closes. Thankfully, if you follow some simple ways to arm yourself with the information you need to prepare in advance, you’re more likely to feel like you’ve won when the keys to your new house are in your pocket.

Kelly Shue and Paul Goldsmith-Pinkham of the Yale School of Management showed in their recent study The Gender Gap in Housing Returns, when single women invest in the housing market, they’re generally losing out compared to their male counterparts. The report explains,

“We find that single men earn one percentage point higher unlevered returns per year on housing investment relative to single women…The gender gap grows significantly larger after adjusting for mortgage borrowing: men earn 6 percentage points higher levered returns per year relative to women. Data on repeat sales reveal that women buy the same property for approximately 2% more and sell for 2% less.”

On National Public Radio (NPR), Kelly Shue elaborated by saying,

“Women are losing about $1,370 per year relative to men because they tend to buy the same house at a higher price and sell for a lower price.”

In the grand scheme of things, $1,370 a year could be as much as an entire month’s mortgage payment for many households in the United States.

How can you make sure this doesn’t happen to you?

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be this way for anyone, regardless of gender. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you’re prepped and ready to enter the housing market with your best foot forward.

1. Work with a Trusted Real Estate Professional

You need someone on your side who’s going to have your best interest in mind and support your unique homeownership goals. Hiring an agent who has a finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying experience an educated one. You need someone who’s going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

2. Understand the Homebuying Process

Know the key homebuying steps in advance, so you have the best context for how the process works from pre-approval to budgeting, inspections, and more. Have a price range in mind that you can realistically afford, too, so you’re ready to make an offer that positions you for success. Ask your agent questions along the way, and partner together so you feel confident and prepared at every turn.

3. Research the Current Market

Make sure you know the current trends and insights of the housing market as well. When you find a home that’s the perfect fit, determine what other homes are selling for in the neighborhood. These numbers can vary over time based on market conditions such as inventory, appreciation, and many other economic factors. A great agent will provide you with this information and guide you through every step from start to finish.

Bottom Line

When you have a trusted advisor on your side and you’re confident you know exactly what’s happening in the market, you’ll be in a great position to negotiate effectively. Let’s get together today to make sure you’re ready to win the homebuying deal.

Contact us:
PHP Houses
142 W Lakeview Ave
Unit 1030
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Ph: (407) 519-0719
Fax: (407) 205-1951
email: info@phphouses.com

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