Archive for February, 2009

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FHA increases loan limits

February 26, 2009

GREAT NEWS – CENTRAL FLORIDA

FHA LIMITS HAVE INCREASED

 

FHA has increased the loan limits for the remainder of 2009.  The limits for Orange and Osceola Counties have been increased to $353,750 for a single family residence.  Great news!!! Call LINDA HUTCHINSON with Stirling Sotheby’s International Realty for more details at 407-898-9090.

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Survey says…NO PLACE LIKE HOME

February 26, 2009

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It’s not a good market outside, but it’s still home inside. A survey released by the Pew Research Center finds that 90 percent of homeowners say their home is a source of comfort, and only 9 percent consider it a burden. The remaining 4 percent think it’s a little bit of both. Happiness is not based on gender, race, age, income or education, according to researchers, though they did note a slight difference by region: Only 6 percent of homeowners in the South or the East consider their home a burden, but the number rises to 11 percent in the West and 14 percent in the Midwest. Overall, homeowners are happier than renters, but analysts point out that homeowners tend to have more money and be married, and overall happiness cannot be completely attributed to homeownership. To read more from the study, go to: http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1126/home-buy-sell-comfort-burden-polling

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90 years old…Lessons learned from my Dad

February 22, 2009

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Today is S.A. Parvin’s 90th birthday. Why is this special? Because he is my Dad. What does this have to do with real estate? Very little but I don’t care.

Dad is my home. Not only did he provide me with a roof over my head but he made it (along with my Mom) a haven and place of refuge from the harshness of this world. He was and is a war hero, a hard working man, a GREAT golfer (he would really like you to know this especially), a devoted husband, a loving father. He is simply extraordinary.

I listed a home in Orlando today that is 1,000 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It is strikingly similar to the home I grew up in and the home in which my parents raised FOUR kids after WWII. How did we all fit in this house? We thought it was a mansion. In later years we moved upscale to the Country Club and a different lifestyle but that small home in North Miami remains a place that I remember with great fondness.

In today world we forget that as cliché as it sounds…home is where the heart is. A home is not simply an investment. For many of us our homes are a place for love and laughter. They are a little slice of heaven on earth. We would be wise to remember this always.

Happy 90th Birthday Dad! It’s still good to go home.

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The Power of Positive – The Sky is NOT falling…

February 17, 2009

In the children’s fable, The Sky is Falling, the main character is “Chicken Little” who believes the sky is falling down because an acorn falls on her head. She goes on a quest to get help. The basic moral of the story is: DON’T BE A CHICKEN – have courage.

So that is my lesson for today! Don’t be a chicken. I am very tired and weary, as is most of America, about the negativity in our world that seeks to reinforce that the sky is falling, the end of times is near and we are all doomed. DOOMED. Quite simply…we aren’t.

Yes…we are in a recession. Yes…money is tight. But it’s going to get better. If you can’t believe that, then what’s the point? Homeownership is still glorious and it’s STILL a tax advantage that renters don’t have. It’s also an investment (yes I used the “I” word) in your future. Don’t give up. Don’t wait for the sky to fall. Be bold and courageous.

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Home is where the heart is…

February 13, 2009

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

For Valentine’s Day are you thinking of hearts, flowers, chocolates and greeting cards? Just in time to commemorate Valentine’s Day, a recent poll from Trulia.com asked what home features couples consider most important in maintaining a happy, loving and passionate relationship.

 

“We found that couples, new and old, need a balance of features in their home,” says Heather Fernandez, Trulia’s vice president of marketing. “Some features allow them to spend quality time together, but (they also want) individual space so they aren’t constantly tripping over one another.” The top 10 list includes:


1. Dual sinks in the master bath.
2. A Jacuzzi tub made for two.
3. His and hers closets.
4. A “man” room for his stuff.
5. A large kitchen island.
6. A bedroom big enough for a king size bed.
7. Water views for sunrises and sunsets.
8. Bright and airy spaces.
9. Storage, storage, storage.
10. A fireplace. Said one pollster: “If movies and TV have taught me anything, it’s that a bear skin rug and a fireplace (maybe some candles, too) are key to keeping the magic alive.”

© 2009 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

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There is nothing to fear but fear itself…

February 7, 2009

As a student of history during my college years, one of my favorite subjects was President Franklin D. Roosevelt who in his inaugural address said “So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

FDR brought our nation out of one of the most tragic crashes in history and restored American pride and self-confidence. He knew that to restore consumer confidence and control the “fear factor” would mean success for his Presidency but more importantly, for the American public. Fear can simply be a paralyzing force in our lives.

I find today that people remain fearful. Tonight, I just wanted to say…Don’t be afraid. We will come through hard times just as we have come through hard times before now. The market will correct itself, homes will not go empty and we will all live with a sense that nothing can wear us down.

I work with fearful agents, fearful owners, fearful buyers and it’s all so sad to me. Life is too short to be filled with fear about our future. We have a future, we have hope and we will persevere.

So hang in there real estate friends. It’s going to get better – I promise and this I believe!

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Is the grass greener?

February 5, 2009

Survey Finds Grass Is Greener on the Other Side

The results of a survey exploring attitudes related to where Americans would like to live show that the grass is definitely greener on the other side of the fence.

About 46 percent of people would prefer to live in a different type of community from the one they live in now, the survey by the Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends found. That sentiment was most common among urban dwellers.

But the desire to move elsewhere doesn’t stop people from appreciating their current locale. About 80 percent rank their current communities as excellent, very good or good. Both the 63 percent who have moved at least once and the 37 percent who have lived in the same place all their lives are equally satisfied with their current locations.

Other findings include:

  • Americans are all over the map in their views about their ideal community type: 30 percent say they would most like to live in a small town, 25 percent in a suburb, 23 percent in a city and 21 percent in a rural area.
  • About 75 percent of Americans say they prefer living where the pace of life is slow, not fast. A similar majority prefers a place where neighbors know each other well to one where neighbors don’t generally know each other’s business.
  • About 65 percent say they prefer to live in a hot-weather climate rather than a cold one.
  • Fast food gets the nod with 43 percent preferring to live in a place with more McDonald’s outlets vs. the 35 percent who would rather have more Starbucks shops.

Asked to rank cities where they would live if they could, nearly everyone chose warm weather locations in the South or the West. Here are their top 15 picks:

1. Denver, 43 percent
2. San Diego, 40 percent
3. Seattle, 38 percent
4. Orlando, 34 percent
5. Tampa, 34 percent
6 San Francisco, 34 percent
7. Phoenix, 33 percent
8. Portland, Ore., 31 percent
9. Sacramento, 29 percent
10 .San Antonio, 29 percent
11. Boston, 28 percent
12. Miami, 28 percent
13. Atlanta, 26 percent
14. Washington, DC, 25 percent
15. New York, 24 percent

Source: Pew Research Center (01/29/2009)