Everything about Florida Real Estate

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The first thing you should all know is that the Florida Real Estate market is in a transition. The market today is different from even six months ago. The prices at the bottom and moving up as demand increases; and the inventory is depleted. We are not seeing as much flipping by investors as we are seeing “buy, fix up , and rent” investors. Upper level homes are still going wanting for buyers as retirees and second home buyers look for smaller homes in prime locations. There are still deals, but they sell quickly and often with multiple offers.

Technology has made confident buyers come to the market thinking they know what’s going on. They don’t. Zillow does not know neighborhood trends. Trulia does not know the difference between active and active contingent, and Realtor.com can’t give you the pulse of the market; what’s hot and what’s not. A good amount of the initial time spent with buyers is educating them on local conditions. Use a local expert to help guide you. And to get the full picture of the market, instead of using Trulia or Zilow, you can ask me a password to access our MLS.

The rental market is hot. But be careful of rental prices given to you in a proforma. Move in incentives and free rent are skewing yield rates. Yes you can buy rental property here and get a good return (6 to 10%), but it is rarely as good as presented. This is due to differed maintenance; move in incentives, and underestimated lease out fees and management costs.

New Homes are hot. The last time any volume of homes were built was in 2005. Some of these have never been lived in, been air-conditioned, nor had the mechanical put to the test (if they are even there). They have no warranties. Because of this buyers are looking to new homes. They will be better built, perhaps Green, and will be smaller and smarter. And financing is cheap (3.88% today). And you can get what you want in a house.

Buy and Rent is the New Flip. To build a new home cost around $120 per square foot. You can buy an existing home today for half that. The rent less expenses will return you more than you can get in a traditional liquid investment. The gradual return towards a par with replacement costs is the bonus round. I have regularly leads from cash buy and hold investors, especially from Europe. What do they want? They want homes in areas that will rent to people that will be buyers in three to five years or that they can enjoy themselves for retirement.

Cost of Owning.

What does it cost to own a rental house in Florida? In the absence of accurate numbers for a specific house I use these rules of thumb:

Initial improvement and get ready costs $8,000

Annual Vacancy loss 5%

Annual Cleaning and Repairs .08% of Purchase Price

Annual Insurance 1.2% of Purchase Price including liability

Monthly Property Management 8% at Rossman Realty

Leasing cost is 50% of the first month’s rent

Annual Taxes 1.5% of Purchase price

Selling Costs 7%-8% of selling price

Insurance Costs. It costs more to insure a home near the water or in low lying areas. You can’t get insurance on an older home without a roof inspection. If you are comparing homes, get an insurance cost estimate before you buy. If you want to rent it, make sure to have a liability insurance as well.

Hurricanes. More important to outsiders than the locals. Newer homes built since 1992 are better equipped to deal with them. Look for good drainage (we get a lot of rain), solid windows, and roof quality.

Air-conditioning costs and water costs are high. Check on insulation, age and efficiency of the air units, and make sure there is a deep well for irrigation.

Water and Sewer. Not all homes are hooked up to city water and sewer, and if they are, not all the assessments are paid.

Termites. Like the hot weather and the rain, bugs are a way of life here. Get a WDO (Wood Destroying Organism) inspection. All houses will have bugs, they can be dealt with. It’s when the bugs have been ignored for a long time you have trouble.

A good house inspection with WDO (Wood Destroying Organism) will cost you between $250 and $300. This is your best investment.

Let’s talk about the commercial market. It’s coming back. Empty retail and office space is getting filled. There are great deals on empty industrial buildings now. I do not expect that to last more than a year or two. In fact the rate of our recovery is increasing. Like a snowball, we are picking up momentum. The locations that are hot have the traffic and infrastructure. Look for a return of the industries that cater to the home building market. Medical has been soft while the doctors fret about Obama care, but I see this loosening up as well. It’s a great time for owner occupied purchases because there is money to lend to them. It’s still very tough to get investor money for commercial property.

I expect a very busy summer for both home and commercial sales. Condos are disappearing as well. (Prices are well below replacement costs)

If I can help you in your real estate needs, just drop me an email or call me at 239-240-3283

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Comments (0) Apr 01 2013

Frais d’achat d’une propriété en Floride | Combien ca coute?

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Savoir quels sont les frais associés a un achat d’une maison en Floride en général et à Cape Coral en particulier est en effet une question qui est répétée par chaque client qui s’intérèsse à l’achat d’une maison ou un appartement.

Il semble que les acheteurs en Europe paient leur agent immobilier à l’heure de l’achat et aussi au moment de vendre.

Ici, l’agent immobilier n’est paié que par le vendeur. L’acheteur, lui, ne doit pas payer un agent immobilier pour que ce dernier travaille pour lui. Donc, un acheteur économise facilement 3% du prix d’achat, ce qui est quand meme conséquent.

Les frais d’achat sont donc minimals. Ils sont comme suit:

1) L’inspection: il est toujours conseillé d’engager un inspecteur professionel pour s’assurer qu’il n’y a pas de problème avec la propriété. C’est probablement le meilleur investissement parce qu’il vous ouvre les yeux sur un éventuel problème qui pourrait etre très couteux. Le cout se situe entre $200 et $400 suivant les dimensions des lieux. Comptez $80 supplementaires si il y a une piscine.

2) La recherche de dettes: Le notaire – qu’on appelle une “title company” – fera une recherche pour savoir si des dettes sont inscrites sur la propriété. Similaire à ce qu’un notaire européen fera. Le cout est d’environ $175 a $200.

3) Le passage des actes (closing fee): la “title company” facturera entre $250 et $300 pour le passage des actes notariés.

4) les frais d’enregistrement: la “title company” fera enregistrer les actes notariés à votre/vos nom(s) à la ville dans laquelle se situe la propriété. Le cout de l’enregistrement est entre $10 et $20 suivant les villes.

5) Assurance: il est suggéré de prendre une assurance sur la propriété au cas ou une erreur admisnistrative a été faite. Elle n’est pas obligatoire. Mais si vous faites un pret hypothécaire aux USA, elle sera obligatoire par la banque. Le cout se situe vers le 0.5% à 0.7% du prix d’achat.

6) Les frais d’agence: ici chez Rossman, ces frais s’élève à $195. Century 21 facture $395

7) Création d’une compagnie: si vous désirez acheter sous la tutelle d’une compagnie américaine que vous aurez fondée plutot que sous votre nom propre, comptez $450 pour structurer une LLC (Limited Liability Company)

Donc, techniquement, l’achat d’une maison a Cape Coral et en Floride ne coute pas très cher, à part le prix de la propriété elle-meme. Avec $500, soit 400 Euros, vous faites déjà beaucoup de chemin dans les frais d’achat.

En résumé, et au moins cher:
1) Inspection: $250
2) Recherche: $75
3) Closing : $275
4) Enregistrement: $18
5) Frais d’agence: $195

Total: $813 ou plus ou moins 625 Euros

A la revente, il y a donc les frais de l’agent immobilier qu’il faudra inclure. Cette commission est toujours négociable mais est souvent de l’ordre de 6% du prix de vente.

Si vous avez des questions, ou si vous etes intéressé par l’achat ou la vente d’une propriété sur Cape Coral ou sur le Comté de Lee, n’hesitez pas à me contacter via email à info@1capecoral.com ou par téléphone.

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Comments (0) Oct 14 2012

When a bank is willing to lose money

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By now, we all know that the Fort Myers Clarion Hotel has been sold.
In 2011, the owner, an Indian group, stop the payments on their mortgage and the Bank, the fifth third bank, took over. They hired WALNUT & VINE PROPERTIES I LLC which is the company who use to handle the Fifth Third Bank commercial foreclosures. So far, so good.
WALNUT & VINE PROPERTIES I LLC hired then Janus Hotels Management to manage the property while the foreclosure took place.
The fact that this hotel was foreclosed upon was public domain already and an interest to purchase was born here and there. Personally, I had 2 prospects who were willing to make a letter of intent to purchase the hotel. Both were in the $4 millions range for a 192 rooms hotel with pool, restaurant and tiki bar.
However, I had never received any news, when I was able to contact someone handling the case. A lack of cooperation was evident.
Now, CLARION REDEVELOPMENT GROUP LLC, a company owned by Creighton Development is the proud owner of that property and paid $3,300,000 for it to the bank.
So, it is still not clear why a business focused on making as much money as possible, a BANK, is knowingly willing to pass on $700,000.
Of course, I don’t say my 2 clients would have buy it. But at least, I would imagine the bank to review all offers or all interest that buyers out there may have.
I have seen people willing to earn less money than they could but for a bank, it was my first time :-)

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Comments (0) Sep 11 2012

31 Reasons why some agents “MIGHT NOT” show you houses.

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  1. 1. You aren’t approved.
  2. 2. You say approval is no biggie and that you’ll get approved once you find the house you like and once you get a contract on your home.
  3. 3. You refuse to get approved because you feel it is unnecessary and only your business.
  4. 4. You say you are paying with cash but refuse to provide proof of funds before being shown houses.
  5. 5. You are unemployed, broke, & admit to having poor credit.
  6. 6. You are demanding, rude and borderline hostile (bad mouthing listing agents and other Realtors) while talking.
  7. 7. You refuse to meet first.
  8. 8. You refuse to sign a buyers rep agreement for any reason.
  9. 9. You have a Realtor who is out of town and you don’t want to bother them.
  10. 10. You have a Realtor who is your friend and you’re getting half the commission and you don’t want to bother them TOO MUCH.
  11. 11. You are 6, 12, 24 or 86 months out from buying. “You’re just curious.”
  12. 12. You are in jail and stole access to a computer. (making sure you’re reading.)
  13. 13. You are a Realtor. YES, this happens.
  14. 14. You are an attorney who wishes to represent himself AND who wants to view properties all around town. This has happened, believe it!
  15. 15. You are looking to spend $10,000.00 on $100,000 homes or for homes that are priced .50 on the dollar. NO THANKS. And you want to submit 20 offers at once.
  16. 16. You believe the stars, energy fields, vibrations and colors of the cosmos will guide you through the buying process.
  17. 17. You are unrealistic in anyway fashion or form and refuse to take advice and suggest that Realtors are just key turners.
  18. 18. You expect agents to drop what they’re doing and show you any house withing a 1 hour window.
  19. 19. You expect agents to show you houses the same day you call.
  20. 20. You expect agents to show you houses in 3 or more parts of the city.
  21. 21. You call yourself a cash buyer, but your funds are overseas locked away in some investment account that might take weeks if not months to get.
  22. 22. You are hostile and rude.
  23. 23. You lie about having a Realtor.
  24. 24. You are a FRIEND or RELATIVE or ANYONE other than the actual buyer.
  25. 25. You want to go see homes at odd and ridiculous hours or during the rain.
  26. 26. As soon as we answer the phone you ask for 1/2 our check.
  27. 27. As soon as we answer the phone you ask for all of our check because you have a cheaper home to sell.
  28. 28. Your Realtor is on a cruise and doesn’t have a backup Realtor to help.
  29. 29. Your Realtor doesn’t have a supra key.
  30. 30. Your Realtor has a full time job elsewhere and can’t show me houses.
  31. 31. Your Realtor lives 80 miles away and wants the listing agent to show me the house.

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Comments (1) Jul 01 2012

About Low Ball offers for a Cape Coral Property

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The basic of a Real Estate transaction is obviously a seller willing to sell to a buyer willing to buy. Once you have those terms agreed upon, you are half way to closing.

But if the seller have to settle for a low ball offer from a buyer, everyone involved in the deal may lose time and money. This is where a clever agent can use valuable skills to negotiate the deal and make it happen all the way to the closing.

One thing I use to do is really showing the temperature of the market to  my buyers. I think it is important that they acknowledge how the today’s Real Estate market in Cape Coral is reacting to. I compare sold pricing instead of listed pricing, and this can be valuable to sellers as well in order to ask the right price instead of waiting an offer forever. Once my buyer understand the market, of course, it is ultimately their decision on what to put in their offer. But at least they know the potential result.

Also, I like to compare what’s comparable. I recently visited a seller. It was a “by owner” and his price was close enough to what the neighborhood was asking for. However, the features of his home were very different and a realistic price should be much lower. That’s why it’s still for sale with no showing today, after months on the market. So, I show only similar features home for comparing and make a wise decision about the offering price.

Low ball offers usually waste buyers’ time. And that time is valuable. If a buyer is offering low ball offers on 20 properties and getting denied each time, offering a decent price at the first one would most likely had given equity by now to that buyer. Not only he had money in the property, but he is an owner instead of nothing, hoping for “the best deal” to happen. Make low ball offers if you don’t need to buy, not if you are looking for a roof to live under.

Now, if you see a property bought around 2005-2007, when the Real Estate was at peak, chances are the seller is selling at lost. He knows that and it is already difficult for him. Showing a low ball offer right there is to shoot yourself in the foot. This is something I have the need to emphasize for the health of a transaction. Sellers are people with families they have to take care of, not just a number. Ultimately, again, my buyers have the last decision about their offer.

Low ball offer

Low ball offer

But let me tell you something that happened in the last few months when a buyer from Pennsylvania emailed me asking for a “good deal” foreclosure. I had several of them and even if I explained that the market is bouncing back, often with multiple offers, this buyer wanted to get a bargain in a location where everything was dirt cheap.

I found a nice pool home located in the SE of Cape Coral with access to the gulf of Mexico. It was a foreclosure well priced at $179,900. He told me he would pay that price when he saw the other similar sold properties I sent to him. But he wanted to “grab a deal” and he made an offer at $150,000, hoping a counter offer in the mid $160K from the bank. The scenario I told him just happened. They was a counter offer, but to another buyer who offered $175,000 and who ultimately close on that property. At this time, there is no more gulf access pool home in SE cape under $200K. No need to say the buyer made an easy $25K equity in one month. My buyer? He closed on a lovely property with a nice pool for $195,250. He does not have access to the gulf of Mexico. He’s on a fresh water canal. He knows he missed it.

So, if you are thinking of low ball offers, just know what to expect. And don’t make me wrong, I make low ball offers myself time to time, but I don’t have to buy. If I close it, great. If not, oh well, next…Not a big deal :-)

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Comments (0) Apr 25 2012

Cape Coral foreclosures at the lowest now

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In the field, we all agree, it’s a seller’s market now. Several major cities in the country show a solid level of activity that increase Real Estate prices slowly but steadily. And Cape Coral is no exception. I see we are headed to a much more normal market now, and the fact that we just got below the 200 foreclosures mark for Lee County is a good sign.

As I often say to my clients over the phone or email, we had a peak of 1,085 foreclosure at any given day in December 2010. Today, we had 196 foreclosures. And that number is decreasing on a daily basis. So we are inexorably entering a much more normal market.

Congratulations to all buyers who bought a property ion Cape Coral or around last year or even in 2010. They officially bought at bottom. And I predict that if they hold for another 3 to 5 years, they will build some great equity in their properties.

And for those who were on the fence, waiting for the best deal to appear to them, that boat has sailed away. We are in a seller’s market and purchase prices at asking prices or higher are not uncommon. I even see multiple offers on a majority of the deal I come across.

Knowing that Lee County in general and Cape Coral in particular have the lowest single family priced in the country, I have a lots of demand for properties under $100,000. But those buyers have a hard time to get in now, hardly finding anything just decent.

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Comments (0) Apr 21 2012

Visa ou pas visa pour acheter une propriete aux Etats-Unis

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Hier, j’ai recu un coup de fil d’une personne résidant a Geneve en Suisse. Nous avons eu une conversation qui mérite quelques éclaircissements au niveau des papiers nécessaires pour l’achat ou la vente d’un bien immobilier aux Etats-Unis en général en en Floride en particulier.

Ce messieur a, auparavant, fait l’acquisition d’une maison dans l’état du Texas. Au moment de passer les actes notariaux, l’agent immobilier – un local qui n’a évidement aucune notion au sujet de l’immigration – lui a fait savoir qu’on allait retirer 30% du prix de vente lorsque ce résident Suisse allait vendre. J’ai expliqué ce qu’il en était en réalité.

Il est vrai qu’il y a une retenue de 10% sur le prix de vente d’un bien immobilier situé sur le territoire Américain lorsque le propriétaire est un étranger. Notex bien le 10%, et non pas 30%. Un propriétaire étranger est généralement défini comme une personne étrangere, mais aussi toute personne non résident légal, une société étrangere, un partenariat ou un trust, mais pas un étranger qui est résident légal. Et les 10% retenu sont calculés sur base du prix de vente du bien immobilier.

Le vendeur peut aussi faire une demande a l’I.R.S ( Internal Revenue Services – le departement des impots ) pour obtenir un ” Withholding Certificate ” ou un certificat de retenue pour réduire ou éliminer le montant retenu.

Un point important est aussi a retenir ici, et c’est notament le cas ou le prix de vente est inférieur a $300.000.

Si un bien immobilier a un  prix de vente  inférieur a 300.000 dollars au moment de la passation des actes , la retenue ou le report de ces 10% n’est pas nécessaire si et seulement si l’acheteur a l’intention d’utiliser cette propriété comme résidence principale. L’acheteur doit avoir l’intention d’utiliser cette maison au moins 50% du temps pour les deux premieres périodes de 12 mois. Donc, 50% des 12 premiers mois et 50% des 12 mois suivants. Par exemple, l’utilisation continue des 12 premiers mois mais aucun autre jour de la deuxieme année ne qualifie pas pour l’exception. Or 50% d’occupation est atteinte sur les 24 mois. Il faut 6 mois la premiere année au moins ET 6 mois la deuxieme année au moins. L’acheteur doit aussi etre un individuel, et non une société.

J’ai eu le cas il y a quelques années. Un citoyen Francais vendait sa maison pour un prix demandé de $309.900. Une offre a été acceptée a $309.000. Vu que le prix de vente est supérieur a $300.000, une retenue de 10% doit etre appliquée, laissant une somme de plus ou moins $280.000. En réduisant le prix a $299.900, ce vendeur n’était plus soumis a une retenue et pouvait repartir avec la totalite des $299.900, économisant plus ou moins $20.000 au passage. Il avait donc plus d’argent en poche en vendant en dessous de $300.000.

J’espere que ceci facilite la compréhension de cette retenue monétaire. Mais si vous avez des questions, ou si vous etes pret a vendre ou a acheter de l’immobilier sur Cape Coral, n’hesitez pas a me contacter par email a info @ 1capecoral.com ou par téléphone au 239-240-7346

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Comments (0) Apr 15 2012

Visa or no visa to buy in the USA | Florida

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I had a phone call yesterday from a gentleman living in Geneva, Switzerland. We had a good conversation about what he did and what he wanted to do as far as buying and investing in the US. When he bought his home in Texas, local – and US citizen Real Estate agent – told him he had to comply with a 30% withholding on the sale price of his home. You can’t really blame the agent, he just had no clue about immigration paper works needed.

Here is how it goes. When a foreigner is selling a property in the US, there is a 10% – not 30% – withholding for taxes purposes. It’s 10% of the purchase price. However, it is possible for an individual to avoid that withholding when the purchase price is under $300,000. Home Purchased for $300,000 or Less – No withholding or reporting is required if the property is acquired for the buyer’s use as a home.  The buyer must have definite plans to reside at the property for at least 50% of the number of days that the property is used by any person during each of the first two 12-month periods following the date of the transfer.  This exemption does not apply if the buyer is other than an individual.

So, no fear for a foreign buyer to have to give up some of the money invested. Of course, any profit should be reported to their country tax filing.

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Comments (0) Apr 15 2012

Cape Coral est la ville ou le prix immobilier augmente le plus aux USA

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La très sérieuse section immobilière de Yahoo nous a révélé il y a de ca à peu près deux mois que Cape Coral est la ville dont le prix immobilier augmente le plus dans tout les Etats-Unis. Ceci est évidement une excellente nouvelle pour nous les habitants mais aussi pour les investisseurs qui travaillent avec moi, dont une grande partie venant de France.

Maison a vendre a Cape Coral en Floride

Maison a vendre a Cape Coral en Floride

Cette augmentation est de 12,1% sur les 12 derniers mois, faisant de Cape Coral la ville numéro 1 devant Bridgeport-Stamford dans le Connecticut qui voit une hausse de 10% sur les 12 mois passés. Mais le prix moyen reste toujours abordable puisqu’il se situe vers les 100.000 dollars pour une maison standard de 3 chambres avec 2 salles-de-bain.

Donc, les investisseurs et autres peuvent encore prendre le train en marche, il est encore temps. J’espère que vous avez déjà acheté ici  à Cape Coral durant les 12 derniers. Et sinon, il est encore temps. N’hésitez pas à me contacter.Il semble bien que la reprise immobiliere a Cape Coral montre le bout de son nez pendant que le continent Européen a beaucoup de difficultés. Profitez que l’Euro est toujours assez fort face au dollar et vous aurez fait un excellent placement immobilier aux Etats-Unis qui sont un pays solide globalement.

Pour ceux qui sont interesses, voici le lien vers cet article de Yahoo Real Estate

N’oubliez pas de vous adherer a la page Facebook des francophones de Cape Coral

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Comments (0) Mar 13 2012

Cape Coral is the highest rising home prices

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The very serious Real Estate section of Yahoo has brought something very interesting a couple of months ago, and a very good news for people who bought a home in Cape Coral in the past 12 months. And not only in the Cape Coral real estate but also all around, like Lehigh Acres or Fort Myers. The good news is that Cape Coral is the highest rising home prices in the U.S.!

Price differences show an increase of 12.1% for the last 12 months far ahead from Bridgeport-Stamford in Connecticut, but with still a median price of$100,000 for a typical 3 bedrooms 2 bathrooms house. But the number of foreclosure is still important with 1 foreclosure for every 92 homes. That alone will probably decrease the price rise into the single digit. It will remain steady in my opinion though because the median price is still the lowest nationwide, but steady because more and more people see a perfect place to retire when they think about the sunshine state.

Cape Coral italian style foreclosure for sale

Cape Coral italian style foreclosure for sale

The city of Cape Coral show only a 4 months’ supply of properties, which has to rise prices and demand. Lehigh Acres has only a 1 month’s supply and the rumor about how secure is the city is decreasing as well. People begin to realize that crimes in Lehigh Acres were made by A/C, pool and water system professionals in search of free parts by stealing A/C, pool equipment and water system equipment from abandoned foreclosed houses there. Those foreclosure having disappearing rapidly, those parts are no longer available and crimes rate has melted like snow under the sun.

So, this is an excellent news for our community and I really hope you bought within the last 12 months. If not, and if you still want to take the running fast train to real estate wealth, feel free to give me a call at 239-240-7346 or send me an email at info@1capecoral.com.

Here is the link to that Yahoo Real Estate article.

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Comments (0) Mar 13 2012

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