Everything about Florida Real Estate

Posted: under Real Estate.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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

Incoming search terms:

Post to Twitter

Comments (0) Apr 01 2013

Are you looking to buy a property in Cape Coral, Florida?

Posted: under Real Estate.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So, you have been looking to buy a home in Cape Coral for over 6 months now. There is something important for you to know.  Stop looking to buy a home right now.  You are wasting your time and energy. Cape Coral properties prices have been increasing for the last 6 months in a row. So, if you’re still looking, it’s not for finding the best deal of the century, it’s already too late. It has to be because you’re searching for the best floor plan or curb appeal possible, but then, the inventory is so wide, if you didn’t find it already, it’s because it doesn’t exist.

Not to mention all the time that is being wasted by professional lending and real estate brokers. They are not your taxi driver even if it’s my second job. They are not the ones to fix your poor credit scores.  They are not the ones to hold your hand every step of the way even if I do it on a daily basis.  They are there to help you not be taken advantage of by someone who is not committed to the home buying process.

Buying a home is a process and it doesn’t take over 6 months to complete.  A Realtor can help you with the home buying process, however, you the buyer must take action to make it become a reality.  Seeing every home that comes on the market for a year is insane!  It’s not that big of a deal to find the house you will come to know as home.  If you see a house you like and it’s within your means, then buy it.  Otherwise, go home and leave everyone alone.

You can read more at 1capecoral.com or in my blog. The time to buy a home was in the last 6 month, with a rock bottom price reached last December 2010/January 2011  or today…not in 6 months. Quit trying to out think the other guy or the sellers. Find what you like and buy it.  If there isn’t anything out there that you like then you probably are not going to find it.

Go home.  Stop wasting your time. Watch some football or NASCAR or a movie anything but get out of the home buying process as you are not a buyer.  You are a looker and you are frustrating people around you that can actually and willingly help you.

The time is ripe to buy a home today.  Interest rates are low.  Prices are still low. In most markets inventory is high.  Sellers want to negotiate on their homes. It’s easy and time for action. And if you think that a home priced below a car’s price is too high, you’ll never buy anything. So, do something else.

If you are angry right now…good.  Here is a way which may help.  Revisit why you wanted to buy a home in the first place and re-motivate or inspire yourself.  If that doesn’t work then forget about it.  You will never achieve your American Dream without concise methodical action on your part.  Now go out there and become a buyer and call me to seriously get started!

Post to Twitter

Comments (0) Oct 25 2011

Virtual Staging Software for Real Estate | Do it yourself

Posted: under Realtor® Tools.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I wrote an article about virtual staging for Real Estate few months back, using a virtual staging software. I was explaining the advantages of using a software to stage an empty home instead of renting furniture to stage it, which is more expensive.

Today, I did receive some updates from the company doing the software (Virtual Staging Solutions) and they have added a few more options that can greatly help to generate a very nice layout. The best use in my opinion is to vitually stage your empty listings, get the results on your website and let the buyer’s agents where to go to see how nice the property can be once furnished! It will bring a clear idea of the transition from a house to a home in your buyer’s eyes. It can be the difference between losing your time showing a property and an offer! Your vacant listings will sell faster.

The first new feature is the choice of furniture available. They said on their website that they were working for more than a year with designers in order to bring the brands of furniture available in stores! So you will be able to browse a furniture gallery.

Secondly, they have worked on a personalized way to have your documents out there. They have especially developed those pages for the mobile use. So, your virtual staging listings will be ready to be seen on all mobile devices out there, which is very convenient knowing that it’s easier to bring a cellphone or an iPad with you instead of a laptop.

And last but not least, your presentation of your virtual staging will be in video mode instead of just plain pictures. Today, the video is almost the next big thing.  People are leaving the world of blogging to enter the world of vlogging!

I had an email the other day, asking me questions about the virtual staging software. But honestly, since I’m not involved with this company, it’s probably better to ask directly to them. They website is www.virtualstagingsolutions.com . They have a help sections where your can find email address, phone number and a bunch of frequently asked questions. They offer several plans from $197, which is most likely much cheaper than renting furniture to furnished a living room, a family room and 2 or 3 bedrooms!

For more details, visit their website at www.virtualstagingsolutions.com and get your empty listings sold fast :-)

Incoming search terms:

Post to Twitter

Comments (0) Sep 17 2011

Decrease of the number of foreclosure in Lee County

Posted: under Investments.
Tags: , , ,

As you may know, I check the foreclosures on a daily basis. I do that for all my client looking for the best deal possible. They can get into my Cape Coral foreclosure list by filling the form that you can find here.

Few months ago, I’ll say something like last fall, we had 1,000+ foreclosures in our MLS for the whole Lee County, that include Cape Coral foreclosures, Fort Myers Foreclosures and Lehigh Acres Foreclosures.
And since a couple of weeks, that number had a steady decrease to reach 660 today.

That number is very important for me and I explain that to my clients, investors or first time home buyers.
Not only, obviously, that means there are less foreclosures out there, but also, the non-distress market will take over sooner. Consequently, prices are going up. It shows even with the foreclosures themselves. Banks now see more multiple offers on their listings and adjust pricing. They see an increase of the demand.

We also experience an employment rate having an upward trend and the 60 days and the 90 days delinquency rates are both decreasing, that’s always a sign of a foreclosure rate decline.
So hurry. Not only I was showing a proof that this is the best time to purchase a property in Lee County in history, but prices are increasing little by little. So if you are looking to get a great deal, call me today and I’ll send you the available foreclosures in Lee County.

Incoming search terms:

Post to Twitter

Comments (0) Feb 11 2011

Real Estate agent: documents you need for your short sales.

Posted: under Realtor® Tools.
Tags: , , ,

First of all, understand the short sales.

A short sale is a transaction that happens when a homeowner is owning more money on his/her home than what it is worth in today’s Real Estate market, and when the bank or the lender is willing to take less than what the homeowner owes.
Most of the time, that bank or lender will be able to collect more money with a short sale than if the homeowner goes into bankruptcy or foreclosure. That’s why they will be listening to short sales under certain circumstances.
For the homeowner, the short sale transaction is a better situation than going bankrupt or foreclosed. They credit will be hurt for 2 or 3 years instead of the 7+ years in a foreclosure situation.

Secondly, here are a list of documents you will need in order to prepare the short sale transaction with the bank representative:

FOR THE REALTOR:

  • ~ Signed letter of authorization from seller authorizing you to negotiate with the lender on their behalf.
  • ~ Letter of facts about the property. Everything that is wrong with the property and why it is impossible to sell it at a higher price.
  • ~ Current Market Analysis. Highlight comparable sales that reflect the lower value.
  • ~ Photographs. Remember, the photographs aren’t to highlight a charming house. Photograph evidence of damage, bad location, etc…
  • ~ Evidence of all showings and feedback. Explain to lender results and conversations you’ve had while trying to sell the property.
  • ~ Copy of listing contract/MLS Listing/MLS history.
  • ~ Current “AS IS” CMA.
  • ~ Copy of purchase contract if you have one.
  • ~ Preliminary HUD
  • ~ Make sure the seller has a detailed, tear jerking letter of hardship. See an example here
  • ~ Sales and services Quotes

Also, insert copies of the following if any:
1. Code Violations
2. Fines
3. Hearing Information regarding the maintenance of the property
4. Evidence of lawsuits the City is filing against lenders
5. Evidence of pending litigation or changes in the law
6. Insert Tenant / Landlord provisions if it helps your case
7. Evidence of the town / city’s enforcement of fines against other banks
8. Latent Material Defect
9. Sexual offenders and predators

FROM THE SELLER:

    -Two years tax returns and W-2′s.
    -Three months bank statements.
    -Pay stubs for last 30 days.
    -Detailed monthly budget.
    -All mortgages with account numbers.
    -Copy of the deed.
    -Copy of the note and/or mortgage
    -Pending bankruptcy, or other action/judgment or lis pendens.
    -Tear jerking hardship letter. See an example here

Buyers generally get a lot more house for their money in a short sale situation, because these properties are usually very competitively priced in order for the sellers to unload them before they end up in foreclosure. It’s a very good situation for them. The only downside I see is often the multiple offers situation for those short sale properties. But there are a lot of short sale properties available in the Cape Coral Florida market than in other parts of the country, so this area is the place to buy!.

So, if you are thinking of buying a short sale, here are 3 tips:

1 – Find a Realtor with short sales experience. There are many rigorous short sales and foreclosure training programs available to real estate agents, including the Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) and the Short Sales and Foreclosures Resource Certification (SFR). If you wish to purchase a short sale property in Cape Coral, Florida, or anywhere else for that matter, you will greatly increase your chances of getting your deal to closing if your agent is experienced and comfortable with short sales….either through a short sales certification program, or through hard knocks experience in the field.

2 – Get pre-approved. No short sale offer will be considered without a pre-approval or a proof of funds letter. If you have not yet been pre-approved by a local lender and are not sure who to call, your real estate agent is a good source of referrals. The pre-qualification process generally takes less than 30 minutes, and can be done over the phone, however, a pre-approval takes longer but is better than a pre-qualification. Make sure you work with a local lender – today’s wild & woolly finance environment means that you greatly increase your chances of closing a deal if you use a local lender with a good reputation. All short sale offers must be submitted with a pre-approval letter, or with a proof of funds, as bank’s statements, in the case of a cash transaction.

3) Submit your highest and best offer the first time around! Lenders generally do not counteroffer….they will either say “Yes” or “No”. So if you are going to go through the process of waiting 60 days or more to hear back from the lender, you will greatly increase your chances of hearing that “Yes!” if you submit a good, solid offer with no contingencies.

Once you submit an offer that is approved by the seller, the seller has to submit your offer to their lender to see if the lender will accept the offer as well….remember, in a short sale situation the lender is agreeing to accept less than what the homeowner owes on the mortgage…..and the lender is going to do whatever they can to minimize the amount of that loss to their bottom line. Parting with their profits is not something that comes easy to lenders…..so it takes awhile to find out if they are willing to take the level of financial beating that is inherent in the amount you are offering. Sometimes the wait can be up to 90 days….sometimes much more (the amount of the wait often depends upon which lender holds the paper).

Look at the frustrating wait time as the price you pay for getting the chance to get a home you might not otherwise be able to afford.

If you want to receive listing from banks, this program will give tremendous help to get in the game as well.

Incoming search terms:

Post to Twitter

Comments (0) Dec 31 2009

Must do for first-time homebuyers

Posted: under Real Estate.
Tags: , , , , ,

As you may know, the first-time homebuyers’ $8,000 credit has been extended. I think it’s time to let you know what you should do before purchasing your first home.

1. Check the selling prices‘ of comparable homes in your area. Web sites like Zillow, Trulia or Homegain are not giving you an acccurate idea of what you should expect to pay. You can also do a quick search of actual multiple listing service, or MLS, listings in your area on a number of Web sites. The best will be to ask a Realtor® of course. Choose one that work in the area you are looking to buy.

2. Use a mortgage calculator to get an idea of what your monthly mortgage payments would be if you bought today. They are plenty of them online, just google it.

3. Find out what your total monthly housing cost would be, including taxes and homeowners insurance. In some areas, what you’ll pay for your taxes and insurance escrow can almost double your mortgage payment. Make sure you can afford that

To get an idea of what you’ll pay in insurance, pick a property in the area where you want to live and make a call to a local insurance agent for an estimate. You won’t be obligated to get the insurance, but you’ll have a good idea of what you’ll pay if you do buy. Just remember that exemptions and the intricacies of local tax law (like Florida’s Save Our Homes value cap) can create differences between what a homeowner is currently paying and what you can expect to pay as a new homeowner.

4. Find out how much you’ll likely pay in closing costs. The upfront cost of settling on your home shouldn’t be overlooked. Closing costs include origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items like homeowners insurance or homeowners’ association fees. You can see what closing costs average here.

5. Look at your budget and determine how a house fits into it. Fannie Mae recommends that buyers spend no more than 28 percent of their income on housing costs. Go much past 30 percent and you risk becoming house poor.

6. Talk to a reputable Realtor® in your area about the real estate climate. Do they believe prices will continue falling or do they think your area has hit bottom or will rise soon?

7. Remember to look at the big picture. While a buying a house is a great way to build wealth, maintaining your investment can be labor-intensive and expensive. When unexpected costs for new appliances, roof repairs and plumbing problems crop up, there’s no landlord to turn to, and these costs and can quickly drain your bank account.

So consider whether you’re ready for the expense and effort of homeownership before pulling the trigger.

Then, prepare yourself for the hunting!

If the numbers make sense for you, taking a few steps at the beginning of the homebuying process can save you time, money and aggravation.1. Examine your credit. Right now, blemished credit or the inability to make substantial down payment can put the kibosh on your homeownership plans. That’s why it pays to look at your creditworthiness early in the home-buying process. Get a credit report and comb through it for errors and unresolved issues. If you find mistakes, contact the credit reporting bureau to make sure they are corrected. It’s also a good idea to get your FICO score, which will cost you a small fee.

2. Get your docs in a row. Collect pay stubs, bank account statements, W-2s, tax returns for the last two years, statements from current loans and credit lines, and names and addresses of your landlords for the past two years. Have them ready to show to the lender. This may seem like a lot, but in this age of tight credit, don’t be surprised if your lender needs a lot in the way of documentation.

3. Find lenders and get preapproved. Getting preapproved for a mortgage helps you bargain from a position of strength when you are house hunting. The institution where you bank and a local credit union are good places to start your search. Applying to multiple lenders in the same month helps increase your chances of getting a loan approved at the best rate possible without dinging your credit score too much.

4. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try … the government? If you can’t find a bank willing to lend to you — and in the current tight credit market, it’s possible you won’t — consider getting an FHA loan. The Federal Housing Administration has a program that insures the mortgages of many first-time homebuyers. As a result of this guarantee, lenders who might otherwise feel queasy about your qualifications will be more inclined to lend to you. As a bonus, the FHA only requires a 3 percent to 3.5 percent down payment from first-time homebuyers.

5. Finally, don’t forget about the first-time homebuyer’s credit. Get your hands on Form 5405 ahead of time and send it in with your tax return immediately after your home purchase to ensure you receive the $8,000 credit as soon as possible, especially since the credit is set to expire April 30, 2010 and you must close by July 31.

Incoming search terms:

Post to Twitter

Comments (0) Dec 07 2009

Get Adobe Flash playerPlugin by wpburn.com wordpress themes