Archive for the ‘Million Dollar Homes’ Category

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More bad news for JUMBO loans

May 13, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe to jump back into the water…oh the dread.

I’m not really talking about sharks in our oceans – I am talking about the jumbo loan sharks and the debacle that is looming. Looks like the federal government is going to take a hard line on these jumbo loans and really cut off the people in the $500,000 to $1M loan category at the knees. Be prepared for a bucket load of strategic defaults with Sellers jumping overboard.

It is getting harder and harder to get any loan. But now Congress is working to get out of the high-end market (so called “jumbo” loans) and try the new “private banking” rescue of our homes for luxury properties. The result for many will be higher cost loans and fewer buyers for more expensive properties. To be clear, there are buyers and sellers in this price range but they can’t do it without a loan at this “mid-range” luxury price point.

In homes priced over one million, we see more cash buyers. But I call this mid-range group ($500K – $1M) as being in real estate purgatory. They are losing hope and they are losing hope fast.  

Michael S. Barr, a former assistant Treasury secretary, said the federal government’s retrenchment would be painful for many communities. “There’s always going to be a line, and for the person just over it it’s always going to be an arbitrary line,” said Mr. Barr, who teaches at the University of Michigan Law School. “But there is no entitlement to living in a home that costs $750,000.”

The problem with this logic is that it will trickle down and affect the entire housing industry. This is the start of some difficult times in the lending market and I believe we may witness many people bailing out of these homes to become renters. Watch for an increase in strategic defaults. I’m already seeing it from the perspective that I have more tenants on hand than high-end buyers. This could be catastrophic.

I don’t see private banking coming to the rescue. Why? Because the federal government is still going to tightly control bank reserves which further decreases loan availability. I would love to see someone with some real economic credentials figure out how badly this new policy could affect our ENTIRE housing industry.

In short, this could blow a lot of people out of the water. Sending out an SOS…

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And the Oscar goes to…

January 23, 2009

Recently I had the “rare” opportunity to view the movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”  Rare because I don’t have enough time to go to movies anymore.

This movie was special to me in so many ways…First, I attended LSU and been a spent many hours with friends in their lovely Southern homes in the Garden District of New Orleans. Secondly, I am a tremendous fan of the writer F. Scott Fitgerald. It is Fitzgerald’s short story that is the basis for this movie. Three, what’s not to like about Brad Pitt?

But as a proud member of Sotheby’s International Realty, I am also happy to report that our affiliate is listing the home used in the movie for sale. Following is the article on this outstanding home in the Garden District of New Orleans. For the record, I don’t think there is a more beautiful place on the earth than the Garden District. If you haven’t been there…you have missed a little glimpse of what the Garden of Eden might look like.

Benjamin Button’s House is For Sale in New Orleans

January 23, 2009 at 9:00 AM | 0 Comments

 

Most homeowners these day are fretting over whether or not their house is still worth anything but the owners of the house featured in the Oscar-nominated movie (several times over), “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” might not have much to worry about.

The house, located in the Garden district of New Orleans, is now on the market. According to the rental listing on Sotheby’s, the 7,800-sq.ft. Victorian-era mansion has six bedrooms, six baths, central air and heat, a library, music room and reception hall. That’s a far cry from the movie incarnation of the house which was a nursing home. And the listing price? $2.85 million.

The Sotheby’s listing has a 30+ page slideshow of interiors photos of the house and you can practically see Brad Pitt as an old seven-year-old in his wheelchair on the porch. Or Oscar-nominated actress, Taraji P. Henson picking up an abandoned Benjamin Button on the home’s back steps. However, if you are interested in buying the house, remember to put some money aside to furnish it.

Also, we’re no real estate experts here but if we were the owners, we would hold out until after the Oscars is over. That way if the movie does win all 13 nominations, you could probably get at least your asking price. Of course, there’s a chance the movie will only win one Oscar (and a lesser one like “Makeup.”) Then you’ll just have to use the “Brad Pitt was here” selling angle.

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Pricier Homes Still Selling

September 19, 2007

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by Linda Hutchinson

A recent search of the Mid Florida Regional multiple listing service reflects that there have been 219 homes sold in ORANGE County, Florida for $1M or more since January 1st of 2007. This is only slightly lower than the 251 sales for the same time period in 2006. However, it is important to note that the highest price sold in 2006 was only $8.815M with 2007 boasting a recent sale of a 15,000 sq. foot, $10M mansion in Isleworth. In total sales volume, luxury sales are on pace to meet or exceed last year’s statistics. This is good news indeed.

For those who are interested, the majority of homes sold in the $1M plus price range were in Windermere with almost 100 homes sold this year. Winter Park is a distant second at 49 homes sold. The balance of homes sold is spread out around the county. Most homes over the million dollar mark feature at least five (5) bedrooms and 4,500 square feet of living space. It would appear that market conditions (whether real or imagined) have not adversely affected the luxury home market in Central Florida.