Posts Tagged ‘real estate’

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Change is good…let’s get into home design

February 29, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For years I have been writing about market conditions and lenders and the federal government’s role in real estate. I’m still going to do that but…I’m also going to start writing some hints and tips to help you get your home SOLD in these challenging times.

For starters – I recently had a homeowner approach me about selling their home inOrlando. They asked me to stop by to view their home. What did I find? A carport full of junk (think hoarder), dead grass and a very unappealing entry to this charming home.

I told the Sellers that before we did ANYTHING – they had to clean up the front, put in new grass and add some orange shutters, window boxes, and paint the front door, etc. In other words – create charm. They did so and sold their home quickly.

No matter how you live daily…you have to live differently when you are selling your home. A lovely and charming entry is going to entice people to look at the inside of your home. If a home looks neglected – Buyers won’t give it a second chance.

Today color is HUGE. The orange (think coral) shutters and window boxes made a giant impact on the Sellers’ home. They did not have to buy tons of new plants, just fill the window boxes and replace the lawn with new grass. The whole change was under $2,000 and they got it all back on the sale of their home. In fact, the Sellers wondered if they should sell once the house looked so cute.

Just like anything – first impressions count. Make yours memorable.

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What does Van Gogh have to do with real estate?

January 3, 2012

What does Van Gogh have to do with real estate?

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found those dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”

Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter (March 30, 1853 – July 29, 1890)
http://www.vangoghgallery.com/

Artists take risks. They pursue their vision, often without financial security, facing long odds while stewing in their own self-doubt. When the world tells them “it’s not safe,” they listen to their own voice despite “prevailing wisdom.” They have a vision and they pursue it.

Occasionally, if they’re very lucky, they get to look back on their life and see the path that lead them to create a masterpiece. At the time, the path wasn’t easy, yet in retrospect, it looks very much like the only possible path they could take.

I think in twenty years or even ten years, we’re going to hear the collective sound of people kicking themselves because they did not buy a home this year. As their teenage sons and daughters graduate and enter the future job market and begin searching for their first home, they’ll turn to their parents and say, “Seriously? You’re telling me when I was in middle school, you could get a 30-year fixed for under 5%?”

Too many remain terrified by the last great storm in the housing market. They stand now on the shores of incredible opportunity, but can’t shake the vision of all those values sinking into oblivion.

Think about the future. Who might need a home? Is there an opportunity to “be the bank” when the time comes? The descendants of those savvy collectors who bough a Van Gogh painting for mere dollars in 1885 are surely grateful for their grandparents’ eyes today, aren’t they?

Yes, there is uncertainty, but this is the calmest water you’re ever going to see. Set sail now and buy a home. Those that do will certainly be rewarded. As for the masterpiece? It will be the satisfaction of looking back and realizing they bought at just the right time.

There’s certainly no risk to exploring the opportunity. I’d love the opportunity to sit down with you and plot a possible course to the best investment you could make. Contact me today at: lindahutchinson@msn.com or 407.925.7721 (Cell or Text).

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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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Foreclosures and the Local Markets

December 7, 2011

Market Analysis Must Be Granular to Be Relevant

By: Krista Franks 12/06/2011

Home price predictions have traditionally been fairly straightforward, relying heavily on employment and income levels, according to Michael Sklarz, president of Collateral Analytics. However, the last cycle has posed challenges for analysts, Sklarz said during a panel at the Five Star MPact Mortgage Conference and Expo in Dallas, Texas Tuesday.

For example, one of the leading market indicators throughout the housing crisis has been foreclosure sales, which rise and fall at the inverse of home prices.

Another indicator throughout the past few years has been the ratio of sales price to listing price.

However, despite the best indicators and the best analytic data, national predictors – even if accurate – may not be relevant on a local basis.

During the discussion, Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics at Clear Capital, used Phoenix as an example to show how much variation exists from market to market, and ZIP code to ZIP code.

Currently, Clear Capital predicts prices in Phoenix will remain relatively flat, falling just 3 percent. However, the analytics company predicts one Phoenix ZIP code will see a 17 percent decline, while a neighboring ZIP code will see a 34 percent rise in prices.

Another indicator, according to Thomas J. Healy, president and CEO of Level 1 Loans, Inc., is the ratio of median real estate value to median income.

Prior to the crisis, some ZIP codes were at 8.9, while others were at 1.5, according to Healy, reiterating the importance of granular data as opposed to national or regional data.

A ratio of about 3 or 3.5 is sustainable, according to Healy, and most markets that experienced a sharp rise during the bubble are now falling back to these levels.

At his keynote presentation at MPact Tuesday morning, Doug Duncan, chief economist at Fannie Mae, said we are now at the “new normal.”

Healy agrees. “There will be no rebound,” he said during the panel discussion. “We’re pretty much where we should have been at the entire time,” had the crisis not occurred, he said.

(Note: The Five Star Institute is the parent company of DSNews.com and DS News magazine.)

 
Courtesy of DWSNEWS.com
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The Devil is in the Details – Ignoring Negative News

October 11, 2011

I had made a pact with myself that I would not read all the negative real estate news this year and I broke my own agreement. The result – I think too negatively about this business that I love. 

Numbers, declines, foreclosures, and loss of jobs…these are all real and troubling issues in challenging economic times. But to dwell on them creates a mindset of defeat. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

I have to remember to think of the bright spot. Homes ARE still selling and people ARE still buying. It may not be as easy as it once was but after 20+ years in the business – you just have to stick one foot in front of the other and hunt down some deals. 

The numbers are mind boggling but there is always hope and always a chance to make a difference in someone’s life with the purchase of real estate. Details be darned – I’m moving full steam ahead.

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Glamour comes in all sizes…

July 7, 2011

Real estate  is constantly changing and for me…that is a good thing.

I like change and while sometimes it can seem daunting and scary, it also forces me to re-focus my energies into what is important and what will make me AND my clients happy. The old days are gone and a new day is here. Not everyone is going to make it in this new world order. Why? Because they are unwilling to change.

One of the biggest changes I see is the return to smaller homes. I remember when everyone thought bigger was better and tried  to keep up with their neighbors. If these economically challenging times have taught us anything – it’s to tighten your belt and live within our means. No more super-sized anything. It’s time to live large in smaller spaces.

When I say that glamour comes in all sizes – I am seeing it on a daily basis when showing homes. Small homes are VERY popular and as baby-boomer enter new phases in their lives and careers, they will look to downsized. The smaller home will be the desired size for many. Even Gen X, Y and whatever would agree that to be “green” today means to keep our homes at a manageable size. Families live within their means and within a more “defined” living space. It’s cool to be cozy.

I’m looking forward to our future – I think we are getting smarter and we are coming to terms with what is important in life. Size doesn’t matter – but charm, character, personality and a home with glamour will never go out of style. Live large but in a smaller space! Be willing to change.

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Safety First – why your agent should use an Electronic Lockbox

June 22, 2011

I recently had the pleasure of taking an out of state buyer to look at properties in Central Florida. I was ALARMED (sorry for the pun) at the number of homes without electronic lockboxes.

The alternative that is used is often a “locker-style” lockbox where the agent enters an alphanumeric code such as A-B-C  to open the box and obtain a homeowner’s house key. The problem with that system is that any prospective and attentive buyer can watch you use the code and gain access to your home in the future. While I don’t think break-ins are increasing – it is still a security risk. These lockboxes are cheaper but not safer for the homeowner.

I highly recommend the electronic lockbox (no cost to the seller – just to the agent) because they LOCK at night and no one can gain access to your house unless they use a Board of REALTOR’s issued lockbox key which records via an electronic keypad the showing agent who is going in and out of your home. All this information is downloaded daily to the listing agent via the internet. These lockboxes are safe and effective.

In my business the customer comes first and the customer’s safety is of the utmost importance to me. Be smart.