Archive for the ‘Mortgage Loans in Orlando’ Category

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Show me the money – from contract to close on a home…

July 16, 2013

In today’s real estate world…financing is critical. It is often the difference between deal or no deal. So, how do you make it work? There are a number of factors to consider:

1. Is the buyer’s lender local and reputable?
2. Has the buyer been pre-APPROVED?
3. Is there a significant down payment?
4. Will the house appraise?

Without a yes answer to the above questions, your contract could be in jeopardy. It is always important to work with a lender who properly qualifies prospects, No ambiguous language allowed on that pre-approval letter (look for the “out” clauses”)! Make sure you actually talk to the lender and find out the specifics on the borrower. Is the buyer putting down some funds…money talks in this market and deals are done when the buyer has contributed to the bottom line. Finally, is the home priced right? In today’s market…we don’t want to be a part of the problem. We have to be problem solvers!

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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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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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Beg, Borrow or Steal…

April 26, 2008

OK…I DON’T REALLY mean steal…but if you ever wanted to borrow on the equity on your home here are my words of advice – DO IT NOW.

Banks are getting ready to shut down lines of credit and these funds will be closed off and no longer available to you. Of course, in a perfect world, you should not borrow against your house at this time unless absolutely necessary but you are warned; we may not see easy HELOC loans or home equity loans for a while. Banks are getting cautious and are pulling back from loans even to owners with outstanding credit. Look for very conservative lending in the future.

One last word of advice – hang in there. This market will not last. We can not let fear overtake us. I only hope the lenders get that point as well. If they don’t make loans…they won’t make money. In the buying or selling of homes, there has to be a flow of cash and mortgages on secured property. It is what keeps our economy running! Let’s hope the lenders make it so.

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Where is Real Estate Going?

March 25, 2008

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What is going on in real estate in Orlando? I must get asked this question about a hundred times per day. I’m beginning to think I need to whip on my swami turban and cart around my “8” ball and start coming up with some snappy retorts. Where is it going? Well I think it’s going UP! Lord knows…we have been down long enough and it can’t go any lower. Good people are walking away from their homes and facing foreclosure, bad people are walking away from their homes and facing foreclosure, smart people are walking away from their homes and facing foreclosure…it’s an epidemic. Good news is that for most epidemics, there is a cure. It’s just sometimes the cure is as bad as the disease. Will we see many more months of price declines, will we see more foreclosures, and will we see more rentals? What will we see? I wish I knew. But this I do know…it WILL rebound. The market will turn. Real estate is a life force and you can not stop it. Everyone STILL wants to own a home. Many people are returning to the thought process that it’s actually a HOME and not JUST an investment. Everything points to the good. The paper (and this is totally shocking) actually reported some positive news about real estate and the fact that it looks like the bottom has hit. Heck, even Donald Trump is buying, buying and buying real estate. Why not? It’s a great time to buy. What is going on in real estate? It’s all a gamble but it has ALWAYS been a gamble. But one thing I know. It’s worth owning a home and it’s still the greatest job on the planet. I love real estate!

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Till Death Do Us Part… Divorce & Mortgages

December 3, 2007

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One of the newest changes to the fluctuating mortgage market that may trip up unwary homebuyers is the difficulty in removing a divorced partner from a mortgage loan. In times past, if one spouse chose to remain in the home and assume the mortgage payments, their partner would refinance their debt, effectively placing the mortgage solely in the hands of the resident spouse. But since it is more difficult for people to obtain loans under today’s guidelines, and homes may not appraise at former high values, divorced parties may have to think this option through. Accordingly, debtors beware…a Quit Claim Deed will not release you from the obligation to repay your mortgage loan and the debt remains a part of your credit record. Getting a new loan will be problematic. With today’s current loan and market conditions…it may be “till death do you part” when it comes time to mortgage debt.

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Do Falling Leaves Mean Falling Prices?

September 4, 2007

by Linda Hutchinson

It’s fall y’all and the leaves are starting to turn. Pretty soon they will be falling in preparation for winter.But real estate in Florida had an early fall. I’m sounding the warning for you buyers out there….START TO BUY. I mean it. START TO BUY. Real estate agents AND Sellers are figuring out that lowering prices is not working. Eventually, these same people are going to simply get fed up and stop the drop.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? The end of year approaches which also means the best opportunity for (a) great interest rates (b) concession from Sellers (c) best home prices (d) end of year tax deductions and motivated sellers, agents and lenders. BUYERS HAVE NEVER HAD IT THIS GOOD and yet there seems to be a wait and see attitude. Amazingly, BUYERS seem to be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Well…It’s dropped and it’s kicking you in the teeth. For the smart BUYER – they will make the move NOW. Wait much longer and you are going to see some very serious sellers WAKE UP and start increasing their prices as interest rates drop.

Nothing stays the same forever. Change is a constant in real estate. Mark my words…I’m certain of this!

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