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

Immobilier a Cape Coral | Qu’est ce qu’une “short sale”?

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Une “short sale” s’applique lorsqu’un propriétaire désire vendre sa propriété dont la valeur marchande est inférieure au montant du crédit hypothécaire en place. En effet, ces derniers temps, il arrive souvent qu’un propriétaire d’une maison à Cape Coral ou même à Fort Myers en Floride, est obligé de mettre un prix en dessous de son prêt hypothécaire pour pouvoir trouver un acheteur.

Une fois cet acheteur trouvé, l’agent immobilier doit présenté l’offre d’achat à la banque et souvent négocier un prix de telle sorte que la banque devra forcément perdre de l’argent. Pour ce propriétaire, c’est un moyen d’éviter que leur bien immobilier ne soit saisi, spécialement lorsque ce propriétaire à Cape Coral n’a plus les moyens de payer son prêt.

De plus, il est malheureusement conseillé au prêteur d’arreter de payer les paiements mensuels et de prouver à la banque qu’il n’est plus en mesure d’affronter ses paiements, de tel manière que la banque favorise une vente à perte plutôt que de passer par la saisie (foreclosure) qui est souvent beaucoup plus couteuse pour la banque.

Souvent, un acheteur fera une bonne affaire en achetant une “short sale” mais dans des délais souvent très long. Il n’est pas rare de voir une banque prendre entre 3 et 12 mois pour donner une réponse à une offre, et elle peut etre négative! Tout dépend de quelle banque il s’agit. Souvent, le prix demandé pour une “short sale” est un prix très bas pour attirer une offre et pouvoir négocier un prix plus décent pour la banque. Cette dernière voudra perdre le moins possible évidement.

En générale, je ne conseille pas une “short sale” à mes clients. Mais si vous voulez vraiment acheter une “short sale”, voici quelques conseils a prendre en considération:

1) Que le représentant de la banque et l’agent immobilier aient une relation solide entre eux
2) Que la banque a déja approuvé le prix de vente.
3) Que l’agent immobilier a déja acquis une certaine experience avec les “short sales”.

Seulement 30% a 35% des “short sales” sont vendues avec succès. Le reste du temps, les acheteurs sont lassés d’attendre des mois et des mois pour une réponse de la banque qui n’arrive pas. De plus, certaines de ces propriétés nécésitent des travaux qui n’en font plus de bonnes affaires. Il s’agira de bien regarder le bien immobilier en question et voir si cela en vaut la chandelle.

Si vous désirez acheter une maison à Cape Coral, un appartement à Fort Myers, un terrain à Lehigh Acres ou meme un hotel sur Sanibel, n’hésitez pas à me contacter. Je suis un agent immobilier francophone sur Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Fort Myers Beach et Sanibel en Floride.

Claude Thomas, Realtor

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Comments (0) Jan 02 2012

Short sale or not short sale? That’s the question.

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Client after client, I have to explain the differences between a short sale, a foreclosure or just a plain regular sale. People want to know and be educated on the matter. And most of the time, they don’t want to touch a short sale at all after understanding the full short sale process.

I’ve read also that many real estate agents are in the same boat than I am and I wonder if they are not showing their clients short sales because they don’t want to deal with short sales or if their buyers have made the choice to eliminate them from their home search. Most of the time, for me, clients just say no to short sales because it’s time consuming.

I had a thought about that the other day and wondering if an agent choose to exclude short sales regardless what their client wants, does that violate the Exclusive Right-To-Buy Listing Contract?  What if the agent eliminates short sale properties that match a buyer’s criteria and the buyer never chose to exclude short sales from their search?  I’ll say yes, if you have such a contract in force. And I rarely go with it. On the other hand, I feel that I save time and money to my clients. I’ll add short sales only if my clients ask for it.

There are situations where short sales obviously do not work for buyers.  If the buyer has to buy a home fast due to a lease expiring or he has been transferred to another work branch and staying in a hotel room is not acceptable, especially with family members, pursuing short sales is probably not a good idea.  There are cases where a buyer really likes a short sale property but doesn’t have time to play the waiting game.  Most of the time, I write a time contingency for my client and keep looking for a better property.

Whether they are afraid of them, hate dealing with them, or do not have the knowledge to work them, agents who do not want to show buyers short sales need to make it clear to their buyer that they do not show short sale properties.  If the buyer still wants to view short sales, the real estate agent needs to refer the buyer to another qualified agent. Because let’s face it, if no one is showing short sales, they’re not going to be sold anytime soon. A good solution in my opinion is for the listing agent to get an acceptable price from the bank before putting the property for sale to the public. The sales price will be accepted by the bank and we can face a regular sale within acceptable time frame.

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Comments (0) Dec 11 2010

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