Archive for the ‘Home values’ Category

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Holy cow – there are no homes to sell…

January 30, 2013

house sideways

Things have gotten a wee bit strange in real estate recently. There are simply too few homes for sale. I have buyers…lots of buyers actually but there is an absolutely nothing to show them. If you want a home in the $200,000 to $350,000 price range in a good area of Orlando then you had better be prepared to look a long time and jump on something the minute it becomes available. I’m seeing multiple offers on homes listed and anxious agents who want contracts signed before it is too late. There is definitely a sense of urgency in the Orlando real estate marketplace.

What does this mean? The economy is affecting homes listed for sale as potential sellers fear they won’t obtain fair market value for their home. The majority of homes for sale in Orlando remain short sales or foreclosures. We need to see the inventory of distress sales dwindle and more normal market conditions return.

What is normal? Who knows? But this certainly isn’t it.

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Cash is KING for real estate & other random real estate thoughts.

August 24, 2012

This may be a wild and wooly post but I’m just going to share whatever is on my mind today:

What in the world is going on in real estate in Orlando? I’m glad you asked. It’s a rather unique market right now with super low inventory of homes for sale and still lots and lots of distressed properties on the market. Not as many foreclosures but a lot more short sales.

I am seeing multiple bids on homes that are in move-in condition. I listed and sold a home in ONE day recently that was located in Winter Park and was completely remodeled. We had a bidding war and over 20 showings in two days. Absolute madness. What this tells me is that there are so few homes available that are in pristine condition that people will swarm over the good homes for sale. Note to Sellers: FIX YOUR HOUSE UP and make it shine. It paid off for my Sellers in a BIG way.

I recently had a chance to speak with an appraiser (yes…he actually spoke to me) and he told me that 8 out of 10 homes he appraises are fixed up and renovated. He hasn’t appraised a dumpy house in a long time. It is interesting to note that most people are looking for that type of home. After buying a home with 20% down, there isn’t a whole lot of extra cash leftover to fix up the home. So have your home in beautiful condition and watch the offers come in.

There are still distressed homes for sale and while lenders are putting lipstick on these pigs (i.e. paint and carpet)…they are still often showing signs of neglect. The interesting thing is that people are still bidding high on foreclosed homes. I am not sure what is going on here because who wants to OVERPAY for a home anymore? Have buyers lost their minds? Foreclosures are NOT a “deal” at the moment.

Finally, investors are still out there trying to work creative financing and get all sorts of hinky transactions closed. Flippers are back. I won’t deal with anything that may appear unethical and some of these deals just don’t seem “right” to me. Best to move forward with buyers who are working the deal with integrity. That is not to say that investors are not ethical…I just have not felt comfortable with the ones that have approached me lately.

Finally, CASH is KING. If you want to guarantee your offer will be accepted, I hope you are lucky to have cash. People know that the mortgage process is still dicey with resulting delays as things move through underwriting. If you have CASH…you have a guaranteed deal once you pass the inspection phases.

That’s real estate in a nutshell for Orlando…things are moving and selling but we have precious little homes available for sale. If you want TOP DOLLAR for your house – now is the time. I have not seen prices this good in a long time. Let’s get selling…

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STOP massive sale of foreclosed homes.

December 16, 2011

There is a simple way to address our current housing crisis – the sale of distressed properties could be easily slowed or stopped with ONE SIMPLE STEP. Banks need to write down the loans on homes that are underwater and allow good borrowers to refinance at today’s lower interest rates.

The most distressing things for most homeowners is that their homes are so UNDERVALUED that they will NEVER see a time when their home will be worth what they owe on it. It’s a reality and it is discouraging. Banks can start to turn the economy and housing around by going to people who are not in distress and beginning the process of re-evaluating value and re-negotiating outstanding balances to make home ownership attractive. To ignore this is fact is going to result in increased defaults and more short sales and foreclosures. It’s going to happen!

Recently, Moody’s released the following statement on the sale of foreclosed homes: They found that on average, a foreclosed property will be valued about 18 percent lower than average home prices, and will be subject to an additional sales discount of about 15 percent.

The banking industry is creating the depreciation of home values when they are personally responsible for the sale of homes at 30% less than fair market rate resulting in the downturn in value on surrounding homes. Banks are making a bad situation worse. I am shocked that no one seems to address this issue in the media or in Congress.

Who wins? Investors. Who loses? Everyone else – especially the American public.

If this fact is true then why not reduce the principal balance on underwater loans by 30% thereby rewarding homeowners who choose to stay in their homes and pay their mortgages. Does anyone really think that people are going to pay their loans out of a sense of obligation and responsibility? Seriously? I predict a mass exodus as people figure out that they are better off renting and getting out from a debt they can never actually pay off and for which their home will never be worth.

Let’s get serious about solutions to real estate and the housing crisis. Do I think this is going to happen? Hell, no. We have a government that is ineffective and impotent and a banking industry getting rich on investments. The American public continues to struggle with no one reaching out a helping hand. Is there anyone out there who can make a stand for the people?

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Condominium or House? Which should you choose?

May 19, 2011

With our changing market, I have buyers who are entering the market with cash and looking for some good deals.

Their main criteria are what can I pick up for a GREAT price and which property will start bringing me instant income? Should they buy a house or a condo?

Usually that requires a long and detailed discussion but here’s is an abbreviated comparison.

If buyers want worry-free maintenance and ease of lifestyle then a condo is ideal. You move in and the HOA (through your dues) maintains the property. You never cut a yard; trim a hedge, paint, etc. It’s all taken care of you for a fee. Added to this is the fact that condominium residences (in Orlando) can often be purchased for less than a traditional home.

With a house you have to consider the cost of maintenance and care but you also have privacy. In addition, you don’t have to worry about the strength of the HOA and if the condominium project is strong and viable for the future resale purposes.

I think if I am personally given a choice, for investment/rental purposes a home is always stronger than a condominium. But for retirement/investment purposes – you may want to consider the condominium residence lifestyle.

Either way…it’s good to have options.

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Real Estate Mind Games

August 21, 2010

 

Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” Conrad Hilton

 

Real estate today is moving and changing in new directions. To be a winner in today’s real estate world, you have to put the past behind you and move toward the future. You have to be an agent that wants to win and then sets out to figure out what it will take to make transactions matter.

It’s all a mind game and you must have a winning mindset. If you don’t – you are doomed to fail.

I am constantly reminded how tough our economic climate is and how bad home prices have fallen. But I am also reminded that we are not the only generation to have financial challenges. Many of our grandparents and parents suffered greatly during the “great depression” and they think we are all being a wee bit dramatic. I know it is tough out there but I also know that opportunities exist to those who don’t give up and keep moving toward a goal.

Will real estate ever be the same? No. But how can we expect it to remain the same? It’s changed for good and I don’t think that is all bad news. It’s just our reality and it is time we deal with it. I heard today that nearly a quarter of Americans think their home is going to fall in value this year and yet I also heard that nearly a quarter of Americans are going to put their homes on the market the first sign of change.

Be the change – start thinking about winning in a hard market. What have we got to lose because our days are full of opportunities! Keep a positive mindset and be prepared to WIN. I believe it for you.

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OWNER Financing – a great idea!

August 2, 2010

 

SELLER FINANCING IS A GOOD THING! JUST DO IT!

With real estate, we are taught to always talk in positive terms and believe me…I am positive. I’m positive that things are TOUGH right now and values are stable but nowhere near historic highs. I am positive that INTEREST RATES are low but no one can get a loan. I’m positive that we have a long time to heal in this economy with Congress seemingly lethargic and running scared. In the words of an old song “we need a hero”.

One of the things that Sellers in today’s market should consider is OWNER FINANCING. It’s not just a great opportunity to make good money it’s a FANTASTIC opportunity. Why rent your home waiting for the market to turn when you can sell and earn interest on the loan? As a seller, you have a secured asset and you have a plethora of worthy borrowers but you can’t get a fair market value for your home. Owner financing may solve your problem.

Seller financing works when:

  • Property has been on the market a long time with no buyers.
  • Property may too high priced for loans (jumbo loans are still a tough get)
  • Price is too high for current appraised values
  • No move up buyers in this market
  • Home needs updating or work.

OWNER financing works with:

  • Buyers may have some glitches on their credit and can’t get bank financing.
  • Buyers may be self-employed and have trouble getting financing.
  • Buyers may desire for many other reasons not to use bank financing.

A savvy seller realizes that there are good buyers out there who have lost their homes but have steady employment and could afford mortgage payments. They are ideal for owner financing and worth the risk.

What’s in it for the Seller? A great return on their investment. The seller sets the price, the interest rate and the payment plan. The Seller returns to a power position and reaps a great yield on interest since most of the payment during the first ten years of any loan goes to interest and not to principal.

The downside remains that the borrower may default but you simply foreclosure and the property is returned to the Seller. It’s not easy or fun but it’s all legal.

To the Seller who can afford to hold financing – take 10% down and hold a balloon mortgage for seven years at 7% and watch your money grow in this economy. It’s so simple that I can’t believe more Sellers aren’t doing it. Take a leap of faith and reap the rewards.