Archive for the ‘housing industry’ Category

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Holy cow – there are no homes to sell…

January 30, 2013

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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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Generational real estate selling and other minsinformation.

April 28, 2011

We live in a time when people want quick answers and quick resolutions to all their questions. How many times a day do you see articles with “Five ways to Happiness” or “Seven steps to selling your home”? Here’s a fact: there aren’t any quick or fast steps to doing anything. It’s just the use of a catch phrase to get your attention. Imagine how great life would be if we could solve things in three easy steps? It just not that simple.

One of the main things I see is that realtors are being misled to believe that their clients are now internet social butterflies and that so much business is done via the web. This is simply not true. While more than 80% may look on the web for a home; the majority of individuals still rely on word-of-mouth or personal relationships to find a realtor to assist them. For instance, a recent fact published by the American Affluence Research Center reflects that only 12.5% of affluent clients even use social media. That’s not very good odds for those seeking to attract the luxury market via the web, through Facebook or other social networking venues.

The other common mistake I see in today’s real estate world is labeling clients. Of course, you know about “boomers” but now we have the newest which is the Millenial generation. The Millenial Generation was born between 1977 and 1998 and has approximately 75 million members. REALTORS are being led to believe that this age group is the next big wave of buyers. Let me assure you – I don’t see this happening. Why? Because I personally have millenials (with college degrees) living under my roof and they can’t find jobs that pay enough to afford a home. Fact: College degrees don’t guarantee a high-paying job thereby making home ownership affordable. I have friends who also have children who graduated college, who are hard-working and driven BUT who are also waiting tables and working part-time at corporations just to get an opportunity for full-time employment. Where do they live? At home with their parents! In addition, many of my friends have not only their grown children living at home but also their parents. These are the people who are helping to support the Millenials. I wish more people would write about that fact.

Millenials and Gen “X” and “Y” are watching the world economy in turmoil and they are scared for their future. I’m not sure they see the value in home ownership and they may just wait it out for a few years and see how the United States government (and lending instituions) respond to our economic crisis.

What is factual? At the end of the day it is still about relationships. Get out from behind your computer and meet people. Stay in touch with friends and former clients. While I personally have a blog, Facebook page and I tweet like a maniac, I do so for fun. I don’t expect business to boom because I do all my social networking. People will buy homes because they need a place to live. But as for me – know any investors or better yet – let’s do lunch?

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Real Estate Ruins –

April 21, 2011

 

Real Estate in Ruins

As I was driving through a luxurious Orlando neighborhood recently, I noticed a number of homes that were obviously in foreclosure. The signs were everywhere including the overgrown lawns, the newspapers piled in the driveway and the general look of decay.

It dawned on me that without proper love and care – the earth has a way of reclaiming what it once lost. The house was covered in vines which were starting to smother the home. It was at once appalling and then again, mesmerizing. I guess the old adage “it’s not nice to fool “Mother Nature” really can come true. You can lay down all the bricks and mortar that you need to make a mansion or a modest home but left untended, Mother Nature is going to take it back and do so with a vengeance.

So goes the state of real estate. Real estate in the US is in ruins! No one is tending the real estate market and no banks, politicians or even news anchors seem to be alarmed. Banks have just disclosed that they wrote one-third (1/3) fewer loans the first quarter of this year than in the past. That is an ASTOUNDING fact. While is sounds wonderful to have a 4.45% interest rate, it is meaningless if no bank is giving out loans. It’s catastrophic. Right now we live in a world full of smoke and mirrors. It’s all fake advertising. It’s all for naught.

Banks are getting richer and bank CEO’s are reaping huge profits but not on real estate. Our country must stand up for a call to action for loans to be written to credit-worthy customers. We are in the weeds and we are going to be in a hole so deep it will take decade(s) to recovery.

As real estate goes – so goes the economy. As an example, I had a client with a two-year old foreclosure BUT $100,000 down payment on a $200,000 house and I could NOT get him a loan. Why? Because the lenders said his foreclosure had to be past three years. 50% down is almost unheard of and yet we could not get this buyer a loan.

PLEASE, please won’t someone get serious about the condition of our economy and realize that without loans and without buyers – we have no real estate? The effect is deep and sinks to the core of all business. No real estate builders, no real estate materials (bricks, shingles, asphalt, etc.), no handymen, no appliances, no furniture…I could go on and on. The lack of sales is affecting everyone and it is affecting you whether you understand this or not.

Let’s get back to business. Let’s sell some homes. Won’t someone make a stand?

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Will work for a home? Unemployment affects housing.

June 1, 2010

It’s almost summertime and the market is starting to turn. It’s great news for some but not so great for others.

According to a study released Friday by NeighborWorks America, 58 percent of homeowners who’ve received assistance through its national foreclosure counseling program reported the primary reason they were facing foreclosure was reduced or lost income.

NeighborWorks was created by Congress in 1991 as a nonprofit organization to support local communities in providing its citizens with access to homeownership and affordable rental housing. In January 2008, with the foreclosure crisis raging, Congress implemented the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program and made NeighborWorks the administrator.

The organization says that over the course of the NFMC program, the percentage of homeowners who’ve cited wage cuts or unemployment as the primary reason they were facing foreclosure has steadily increased.

In November 2009, 54 percent of NFMC-counseled borrowers reported reduced or lost income as the main reason for default. Six months earlier in June 2009, it was 49 percent; in February 2009, 45 percent; and in October 2008, 41 percent.

These steady increases parallel the nation’s unemployment rate, which until the November 2009 employment report, had marched upward since October 2008.

“With unemployment numbers not likely to dip below nine percent in 2010, our report proves what many already believed to be true. Unemployment and reduced income are having a devastating effect on our nation’s homeowners,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America.

So what does the future hold for real estate? Well as you can see a lot depends on the ability to create jobs in today’s world. WE NEED WORK and we need for Congress to act now to shore up  unemployment numbers. This could be a long recovery for our nation – but we WILL recover and we will go back to work.

I look forward to that day.

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Dog Day Architecture

March 31, 2008

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You know I couldn’t resist this one….as the owner of three precious rescued dogs, I thought this was absolutely one of the cutest things I have seen on the market in a while. For the luxury or upscale homeowner, you can now have a beautiful piece of furniture that also serves as a dog crate for your luxury pooch. This is fine furniture for Fido and can be found on their website. These cute furniture finds are great end tables and accessories for your dog-friendly home. They are absolutely the most adorable furniture pieces I have seen for dogs to date. Check it out…our dogs have never had it so good!

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Front Porch Wisdom

March 29, 2008

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It’s that time of year and the weather is just stunning here in Central Florida. Orlando greets spring with wind and warmth and oak leaves falling everywhere…it’s truly a breath of fresh air. But what spring always reminds me of is front porch living. When I was growing up – our front porch was a happening place. It is where all serious family discussion went down, it is where boys and girls held hands and fell in love, and it’s where life blossomed. My grandmothers, my aunts, my own home all had front porches and they were such a source of stability and of harmony and of hope. Sitting on a front porch swing is similar to having a welcome mat to the world. It harkens back to a time when people slowed down, when families sat down for dinner and when TV was not the center of the universe. Nature and swing-time on the porch was quite simply the best time of the day.  I remember when I was pregnant with my first daughter and they taught us in Lamaze to go back  in our minds to the most relaxing place in the world and all I could think of was that swing. Hours, and I mean hours of sitting with my Dad or Mom (or both) talking about everything in the world. Hours watching the leaves fall, the cars go by and the dogs sit in the yard. It was glorious indeed. I hope all of you will find time to sit on your front porch this spring and take a break. Believe me…it’s time well spent! 

PS: Front porches are STILL great selling features for any home!

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Buyer’s Market?

March 17, 2008

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ARE THESE THE DOGS DAYS OF REAL ESTATE? On the contrary, it’s A GREAT TIME to buy a home. Why…because buyers hold a lot of power right now and if used properly today’s buyer can become very successful at buying a home at the most opportune time in over a decade. Like it or not, buyers have a big advantage in this market because sellers are now more willing to negotiate. There are also more homes for sale on the market and the lenders are begging for qualified buyers. Buyers rule the world. However, buyers need to be careful. Why? Because things are getting a little ugly in the real estate industry and EVERY BUYER seems to think that all Sellers are DESPERATE for an offer, any offer. I have lost track of how many transactions have not only come in $5,000 under listing price but sometimes almost $500,000 under list price. Buyers need to understand that not EVERY SALE IS A SHORT SALE and not every SELLER is in panic mode. But what you do have…Sellers willing to make some good “deals” out there and you are missing the action. Why are buyers hesitant? I have no idea. I do know this…if buyers wait around for the PERFECT time to buy a home they will miss their chance. He who hesitates… So think about it, go out and look. Find a good REALTOR and get an offer in on the home of your dreams. It’s still a good buy, but even better, it’s good to come home each and every night to your “OWN” place and have a little slice of heaven here on earth.