Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it.

We are here to help you from the beginning of the home buying process through closing and after.  We have great knowledge in getting buyers approved, helping everyone know how to increase your credit scores. Everyone has different needs and we have the experience to know how to help you.

We have a client care program for you to find the right vendor for your needs.  See our Affiliated Partners.

Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you! 352-266-2637

March 25, 2020

Do You want Representation when Selling?

Buckner Homes Realty Inc. has the experience to help you in the home selling process.  We make it easy because we know the problems that can happen and divert them when possible. We get our Sellers top dollar. 

We live in a fantastic age where information is only a click away. There are plenty of places to look for the home of your dreams, and you probably have a good idea of what you want or need in your future residence. Nevertheless, there are many good reasons why nearly 90% of all people who purchase homes today opt to have a real estate professional on their side:

Your Agent Will Represent You.

The real estate professional you hire owes you fiduciary responsibilities that protect you, allowing you to be able to shop with confidence, and security. These are their responsibilities:

  • Loyalty: Your REALTOR® must be loyal to you and work in your best interests only, even if that is above their own best interests. You are their #1 highest priority during a real estate transaction.
  • Confidentiality: Your REALTOR® must keep anything you tell them private and confidential. In other words, your price, terms, motivation, and personal information are all kept under a tight lip.
  • Disclosure: Your real estate professional has a vast wealth of knowledge about the real estate transaction process. They will share anything they've learned from their years of experience to help set you up for success. This allows you to know you are always making the most informed decisions.
  • Obedience: Your REALTOR® must obey all of your lawful instructions. You are in the driver seat.
  • Reasonable Care: As a client of your REALTOR®, you are the most important person to the transaction. They will always attempt to be available when needed and will make sure to help you locate the best possible home for your family.
  • Accounting: The real estate transaction is a challenging process. Your REALTOR® is accountable for ensuring that the transaction runs smoothly, all the pieces fall into place as expected, the numbers match the offer, as well as the financing approval and closing docs are taken care of.

Rhonda with Buckner Homes Realty has years of experience and knowledge that will help you in the selling process.  Give me a call any time.  My web site has a lot of great information on the sales process to help you. Check it out.

Rhonda Buckner 

Posted in Helping Sellers
March 25, 2020

Why Use an agent Buyer Agreement






Enlisting the services of a professional Buyer’s Agent is similar to using an accountant to help you with your taxes, a doctor to help you with your health care, or a mechanic to help you with your car. If you had the time to devote to learning everything about accounting, medicine, and automotive mechanics, you could perform these services yourself. But seriously, who has time for such endeavors? This is why you enlist the help of proven professionals.


Your real estate agent will take care of the hassles of everyday real estate transactions for you, allowing you to concentrate on your full-time job, while guiding you through the home-buying process. Agents exclusively represent your interests as they help you find a home, present your contract offer, negotiate, and close on your home.






Just as your accountant, doctor, and mechanic understand your specific needs, your Buyer’s Agent understands your real estate needs and concerns. And they achieve this type of understanding through open communication at all times. Your Buyer’s Agent will save you a lot of time by providing you the needed details about a potentially interesting home before you see it. In addition, your Buyer’s Agent will listen to your feedback and concerns about each home.






The advantage of signing a Buyer’s Agency Agreement is that you will have a professional agent working to find and secure the ideal home for you. It is nearly impossible to find a home that meets your exact needs, get a contract negotiated, and close the transaction without an experienced agent. You won’t need to spend endless evenings and weekends driving around looking for homes or trying to search websites by yourself. When you tour homes with your professional Buyer’s Agent, you will already know that the homes meet your criteria and are within your price range.






Entering into a Buyer’s Agency Agreement has countless advantages. When you sign the agreement, you are simply agreeing to “hire” a personal representative who, by law, must represent your best interests to the best of his or her ability. All of this personal service is generally available at absolutely NO COST TO YOU! In many states and provinces, the Seller’s Agent is responsible for paying your Buyer’s Agent fee. So, you get a professional agent devoted to protecting your needs and to helping you make one of the most important investment decisions of your life, and usually for free.

Posted in Buyers
March 18, 2020

Mortgage 101

Mortgage 101

It's a good idea to get pre-approved by a lender before you start looking for a home. Most will give you a free consultation. Once you're pre-approved, you'll know exactly what you can afford. Then you can act immediately when you find the home you want and sellers are more comfortable accepting your offer.

 What To Expect In Your First Conversation With A Lender?

A mortgage lender will evaluate four areas of your financial history to determine your ability to secure a loan:

  • Credit history/credit scores
  • The amount of monthly credit you currently have
  • Income/employment history
  • Your financial assets (money in the bank, investments, retirement accounts, and potential gift funds)

Routine documentation you should have available:

  • Thirty days of pay stubs
  • Two years of W-2s or two years of tax returns (if self-employed)
  • Two months worth of bank/asset/investment/retirement account statements (all pages)
  • Diploma or school transcript if a full-time student during the past two years
  • Information on any real estate you may currently own
  • A copy of recent mortgage statements or your current lease
  • Explanations for any derogatory credit or gaps in employment you know you may have
  • Any correspondence with creditors if you have disputed any debts

Other items that would be helpful include:

  • A social security card
  • A driver's license

 The Loan Market

It is important to know that most of the financial institutions making the loans sell almost all their loans on what is known as "The secondary market". The lender you work with is referred to as the 'originator'. Your loan is then sold in the 'secondary market'. The largest buyers of loans are agencies called FNMA (Fannie Mae), FHLMC (Freddie Mac), and GNMA (Ginnie Mae). These huge organizations constitute the 'secondary market' and write the rules for loans that they will buy. A lender must then follow the rules these agencies have written in order for the loan (borrower and property) to qualify as conventional, VA, or FHA. During the loan process an Underwriter will evaluate your loan. Their job is to make sure that the loan fits the guidelines for a particular program(FHA, VA,  or conventional), so the loan can be sold.

FHA Loans are government-insured loans that were instituted to assist buyers with minimal cash and first-time buyers to purchase a home. An FHA loan has more lenient guidelines for borrower credit history, allows for all or part of the funds needed by the borrower to be a gift, and has stricter requirements on the property's condition for the protection of the borrower. FHA loans do require inspections to ensure that the property meets the FHA guidelines.

VA Loans are entitlement loans that are earned based on the number of years served in the armed forces. If you were an active service member at one time in the past. It is recommended to talk to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to get more information about your VA entitlement. Just like FHA loans, VA loans also require inspections to ensure that the property meets the VA guidelines on the property's condition for the protection of the borrower.

Conventional Loans meet the standards of the 'conventional' secondary marketplace. There are two types of conventional loans, conforming and non-conforming.

  • Conforming Loans usually fit neatly into the box of rules and are under the prescribed maximum loan amount set each year. Both the borrower and the property fit the typical scenarios, and there is nothing unusual.
  • Loans over the 'conforming' loan amount or loans that have some facet outside the box either related to the borrower or the property are called non-conforming loans. A loan can be non-conforming if the borrower is unable to document their income or assets, if their credit scores are low, if the property is unusual for the area, or if the loan amount or program is designated non-conforming.

 What's The Difference Between A Fixed Rate And An Adjustable Rate?

Fixed rate mortgages are when your monthly principal and interest payment are always the same for the life of the loan. The benefit is that you always know what your principal and interest costs are. Fixed rate loans are usually amortized (paid in full) over a period of 30, 20, or 15 years. Your monthly payments are predictable over the life of the loan. (Keep in mind that your monthly mortgage payment may include principal and interest AND 1/12 of your annual property taxes and home owners' insurance. So although the principal and interest will remain steady, the taxes and insurance amounts can vary.)

Adjustable rate mortgages (ARM) allow for the the interest rate to fluctuate, which makes the payment change during the life of the loan. ARMs start off with a fixed interest rate for a determined period of time (1, 3, 5, 7, 10 years), and then adjust annually after that. Typically, the shorter the fixed term is, the lower the initial rate. The lower rate means lower payments for that period of time. Once the rate adjusts, the payments can go up, if the interest rate is higher. Most loans adjust annually after the fixed rate period.

 Which Mortgage Is Best?

There are literally dozens of loan products and hundreds of combinations of these products. A good loan consultant will listen to your needs, evaluate your situation, and recommend loan scenarios that fit your need. A home loan should fit into your overall financial plan, and help meet your long- and short-term financial goals with the desired monthly payment and equity position. 
Just calling around for the best rates on a 30-year mortgage could cost you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan if you don't get the loan that best fits your needs. There is so much more to the home loan process than just rates. A professional loan consultation is a vital first step in the process and is usually at no cost to you.

 Ten Questions To Ask

Your real estate professional can assist you in finding a lender for a consultation. Make an informed decision when selecting your mortgage lender. Consider asking:

  • Are you a licensed mortgage broker, a mortgage banker, or both?
  • Will I receive a loan estimate, and will it disclose fees that I must pay out of pocket?
  • Do you have automated underwriting, or does my file need to go through a full underwriting process?
  • Do you have a local underwriter?
  • What are the approval conditions?
  • How far in advance before closing does the mortgage package go out?
  • How long does the full process take?
  • Are you using a local appraiser? What is their time frame?
  • Do you guarantee your closing date and closing costs?
  • When can I lock my rate?

Remember: if you need a referral to a reputable mortgage loan officer or mortgage broker, speak to your REALTOR®, Rhonda Buckner 352-266-2637.



Posted in Buyers, Credit Help
March 18, 2020

Helping Buyers

Did you know that at Buckner Homes Realty Inc we help you from the very beginning to the day you get the keys to your perfect home. We have years of experience and know how to keep you out of trouble.  We make it easy.

Give Rhonda  a call any time to discuss how she can help you, 352-266-2637.

We have lenders with special programs and a lender that cares and will help you with any problem you need.  Lenders will be able to tell you what you need to do to get your self in a Can You Buy?.  It might take a month or two but it is worth your time and it is Free Loan Approval

Just a reminder -- I can arrange a private showing for Search all homes listed for sale in our area. It's easy, just call me or e-mail me and I can make arrangements. I can also provide a comparative market analysis if you are interested in selling your home. Don't hesitate to contact me if you need anything. Have a great day!

Rhonda Buckner 

Posted in Buyers, Credit Help
March 18, 2020

Credit Score 101

Credit score 101

Are you considering making a major purchase, like buying a home, this year? If so, your credit score will likely come into play. An understanding of the basics can help you effectively monitor and manage it.

Credit Score 101 
Your credit score will usually 
range from 300 to 850 . It's derived from an algorithm that takes into account several factors, including payment history, the total debt owed and length of credit history.

Lenders use this three-digit number to predict risk and the likelihood that you'll repay your debt on time. The higher your credit score, the less risk you are and the lower your loan terms will be. For example, a person with a "good" credit score of 700 may have a lower interest rate and smaller required down payment than someone with a "poor" credit score of 400.

How to Improve Your Score 
If you don't have much credit history or you have a few negatives on your report, consider these 
strategies to increase your score .

  • Pay all of your bills on time. Late payments can negatively impact your score.
  • Pay off debt where you can. The less debt you have, the lower your debt-to-income ratio.
  • Keep your credit card balances as low as possible, aiming to use no more than 30 percent of your available credit. And pay off as much as you can each month since higher balances can sink your score.
  • Review your credit report at least annually, and keep an eye out for mistakes and identity theft. It is FREE yearly at

Remember Rhonda with Buckner Homes Realty will help you.  Give her a call 352-266-2637 to see how she can help you.


Rhonda Buckner 


Posted in Credit Help
March 16, 2020

VA Loans – Who is Eligible and How to Apply

I specialize in helping Veterans with the home buying process.  If it is your first time or you have purchased many, I help with representing your best interests throughout the purchase. And just so you know, using me as a buyer agent won’t cost you anything. My services are paid for by the home seller.


Active Duty personnel or personnel with previous qualifying military service.

Reserve visits, National Guard, and Coast Guard personnel with qualifying service.

Unmarried surviving spouses of veterans who died in service or missing in action as a result of service-related activities.

Honorably discharged personnel.

Current US Citizens who served with our allies during World War II.

Public Health Service officers, cadets/midshipmen in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard academy.

A borrower Certificate of Eligibility (COE) is required. My lender can order one for you.

Applicant has to have a 580 credit score or higher

Applicant can be on disability Applicant will qualify for 100% financing

Applicant will have closing costs, seller might be able to pay.

To obtain more information about how to get qualified for a VA loan Call Rhoda 352-266-2637


When I work for you I will:


1)  Educate you about Buyer Agency, outlining my fiduciary responsibilities to you, which include: Complete Disclosure, Loyalty, Confidentiality, Obedience and Accountability.

2)  Save you time- Instead of you searching the market for an affordable home that meets your criteria, then find out they are under contract or trying to coordinate with multiple agents. I do it all for YOU.  I have the knowledge and experience to get the best deals on homes that qualify for VA.

3)  Help you find the right lender with the best rates. I have found that using local lenders make the transaction close quicker and easier.

4)  View homes with you that will pass the VA requirements (not all pass). Share my knowledge to you so you know you are getting a great home at a great price.  I can also refer you to expert home inspectors who’ll provide more in-depth analysis and advice

5)  Negotiate the best possible price and terms for you and help you get all the documentation and details co ordinate with everyone.

6)  Assist you in finding any home-related services you may need, like handy man, cleaning company, windows, A/C, roofer  ect.

In short, I’ll provide you with comprehensive, high-quality buyer's service. So if you'd like me to help you with the home buying process, please call 352-266-2637 or email me,


 I hope to hear from you soon.

Posted in Va Loan
March 16, 2020


Plan for future financial needs because they will surely occur:

There’s an undisputed feeling of joy in you when you finally secure that perfect home you have been looking for; you know the one with the nice neighborhood, impressive house and the perfect price also. But you will later find out that the price is far from being flawless. This is because buying ones first home requires preparation for additional and unforeseen expenses. These often catch first-time home buyers unaware and may have you financially stranded in your new home. Be very conversant with your budget and plan for the future. Purchasing a home for the first can be a whole lot easier once you have planned for it and you know what you are getting into.

Prepare for the unforeseen

After paying for the house doesn’t expect expenses to stop .there are more costs to cater beyond that. The former owners of the house you are buying pose the major factor in determining your moving-in expenses. For instance if large appliances e.g. refrigerator are taken along by the previous owners while moving out, you know you have to buy another for replacement. Other things to look out for are improvements on the new home. Be very conversant with your budget and plan for the future. Purchasing a home for the first can be a whole lot easier once you have planned for it and you know what you are getting into.

While these costs may seem hidden, they all add up to a substantial amount if care is not taken. Be very conversant with your budget and plan for the future. Purchasing a home for the first can be a whole lot easier once you have planned for it and you know what you are getting into.

It is advisable to employ home inspector to help look out for any faults within the new home, although hiring them will cost money also. Be very conversant with your budget and plan for the future. Purchasing a home for the first can be a whole lot easier once you have planned for it and you know what you are getting into.

There are also insurance for home owners to watch out for, it is quite useful at times. Be very conversant with your budget and plan for the future. Purchasing a home for the first can be a whole lot easier once you have planned for it and you know what you are getting into.

Consider those things that make you comfortable and puts you at ease

Here is another pertinent cost you must plan for. So while purchasing your new home put in mind your own comforts which may include basic appliances like cable and payment of utility bills. If you can’t live without cable, you must confirm if your new home is wired for cable .if not it may be difficult for you to see the walls of your new home being punched with holes around. Utility bills for home owners tend to be higher than when you were renting an apartment .For you will find yourself paying for waste disposal , water etc. that you were never used to. Be very conversant with your budget and plan for the future. Purchasing a home for the first can be a whole lot easier once you have planned for it and you know what you are getting into.

Make adequate researches on potential homes and plan for them

Adequate Research and planning makes encountering the unknown and unexpected very easy .This involves drawing a budget plan before and while hunting for a house . Be very conversant with your budget and plan for the future. Purchasing a home for the first can be a whole lot easier once you have planned for it and you know what you are getting into.

For homes that fall within your budget and require improvement , make researches on how much it will cost you for those improvements. You won’t want to predict amount below your budget and find out later that it’s actually beyond :much more higher than worth you planned for. Be very conversant with your budget and plan for the future. Purchasing a home for the first can be a whole lot easier once you have planned for it and you know what you are getting into.

And also be very much prepared by making researches into home insurance and prices of properties in your desired areas before buying the home. Be very conversant with your budget and plan for the future. Purchasing a home for the first can be a whole lot easier once you have planned for it and you know what you are getting into.

Make clearly defined decisions on how much you will be willing to drop for down payment, you may then consider how much remains for catering for improvements and other minor expenses. It all still balls down to getting a home within your budget that is improvements included. Be very conversant with your budget and plan for the future. Purchasing a home for the first can be a whole lot easier once you have planned for it and you know what you are getting into.

Be very conversant with your budget and plan for the future. Purchasing a home for the first can be a whole lot easier once you have planned for it and you know what you are getting into.
Posted in Buyers
March 16, 2020

The Home Buying Process – Need Credit Help?

The Home Buying Process – Need Credit Help?

Buying a home is a very big step and there are a lot of things to consider. 

First - You need representation.  Someone who knows the laws and is knowledgeable about the real estate market you are looking in.  Not all Realtors are the same. Call Rhonda.

Your life revolves around your credit score.  You need to know what your score is and what you need to do to keep it going higher.  If you know what makes it go up or down then you are in control.

Here are a few things everyone needs to know:

1-   NEVER go over 50% of you available credit on your credit cards.   – Paying them down below 50% will increase your credit score.

2-     If you do not have available credit , get 2 credit cards (even if they are secured cards) and put a tank of gas on them, pay the bill on time when it comes in and keep doing that until your score gets to where you want it to be.

 You need a lender that looks out for your best interest. There are a lot of different types of loan programs.  You need someone knowledgeable and helpful to explain the difference.  I recommend Rick Durham with Home Town Lenders, 352-804-5883 or     He will be able to tell you what to pay and what not to touch on your credit report to get your score where you can purchase a home.

Once you find out what you are qualified for and talk to lender about the payment you want, then it is time to work with Buckner Homes Realty’s agent help find the home you want.  Call Rhonda, 352-266-2637 so I can find you your dream home.

I am always here to help you.

Let me know how I can help.

Rhonda Buckner 

Posted in Buyers, Credit Help
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates