Tag Archive: Florida Homes


 

“Florida is where the sun shines”- you must have heard this several times. Moderate/warm climate, famous beaches and entertainment venues really make Florida real estate very attractive. So that means Florida real estate or buying a house in Florida is really good for someone who wants to escape the vagaries of weather elsewhere in America and also add to his/her enjoyment through the Miami beach and Orlando theme parks.
However, Florida real estate is also attractive for real estate investors i.e. people who would like to treat Florida real estate as an investment avenue for making profits. With the property prices rising as much as 25%, Florida real estate makes investment sense too. That is one reason why Florida real estate is so sought after. If you wanted to look for a really good deal in Florida real estate, you should start with looking for places that are still in their development phase i.e. places where the real estate prices are not so high but are expected to go up in the years to come. This is generally a good option for people who are looking to pick up Florida real estate as an investment option. This is also good for people who are looking for Florida real estate or a house in Florida to live in by themselves but don’t mind a bit of inconvenience that is generally associated with a newly developed (rather developing) area. As far as looking for Florida real estate listings is concerned, you first need to decide on what location in Florida is suitable for you. Again, this will depend on your reason behind going for Florida real estate. If you are going for Florida real estate purely for investment purposes (i.e. you don’t actually want to live in there), then you should really be looking for places where the prices are significantly low but are rising or expected to rise in near future. One indication for expected price rise is the influx of a lot of businesses in the area. Industry/business generally propels development in the area and hence causes the real estate prices to go up (and that would be true for Florida real estate too). Of course, distress sales, public auctions, bank foreclosures are like evergreen opportunities that are available in any place at any time and you should always explore them. If you are going for Florida real estate for personal use, then you would be looking at a number of different factors which would basically be related to your convenience and quality of life.
So Florida is where the sun shines and that is also making Florida real estate shine.

 

The internet has revolutionized real estate. From text ads a decade ago, to picture ads five years ago. The next big thing to change real estate’s presence on the internet are video tours.

84% of buyers use the internet to aid the buying process. What they typically get are a series of pictures showing various rooms of the house. But it is hard to paint the full picture of a house with just pictures. That’s where video tours come in.

Video tours are essentially open houses over the internet. An agent would appear on a video and act as if he or she were actually showing a house to a potential buyer. Except now, that video can reach millions of people. Videos give much more insight into a house that pictures cannot. They say a picture is a thousand words. It would be fair to say a video is a thousand pictures….Literally.

It is becoming a easy process to post real estate videos on the internet. Sites such as http://www.ShowYourPlace.com specialize in this. They offer a high quality video of the house that you are selling. Not only that, but its free. All you need to do is upload the video.

Video editing software is not required but it can make things look more professional. Adding contact information into the video or doing a satellite view with Google World Maps are some ways to improve the video. The video can be taken with most digital cameras. To prepare for the video, it is very useful to have a script prepared or a list of what you hope to capture on video.

In this day and age, agents need to offer something special to both separate themselves from the competition and offer value to the customer. Video is that special something.

A very common question I get is “How soon after my foreclosure can I buy another home?” There are a couple of answers to this question and they depend on how soon and how badly you need a home.

The first option to getting a new home is to simply pick one and buy it with conventional financing. The lender who will be looking at your credit will be very reluctant to finance another home for you. However, with a large enough down payment (20% minimum) and your willingness to pay a higher interest rate, you could have a new home in 45 days.

Most conventional lenders will not allow financing another home after a foreclosure for as much as 12 – 24 months. It probably has to do with the ideal that if your previous home was lost to foreclosure, why would you be able to afford the new one. While this is good logic, it doesn’t take into account special issues with the original loss such as job loss, divorce, medical issue, or any similar problem that has had a final resolution.

I just heard of a women losing her home to foreclosure because of a job related injury and her employer not keeping her on the payroll. She became permanently disabled and was schedule to collect disability that would have easily paid her mortgage and forestalled the foreclosure. However, the first check was not sent until two weeks after the foreclosure sale and she lost her home. This is not the end of the story. I suggested she go to Legal Aid Services and fight the sale despite being beyond the redemption period. Her case is still pending but she had to get an apartment in the interim.

There are generally a couple of sources for the funds to buy a new home. The first is conventional lenders who will generally look at a foreclosure financing in 12 – 24 months at a rate about 1.25% to 1.5% above current rates for a “B” paper lender, and with a hefty deposit. The problem is that the 1%+ differential amounts to nearly a hundred thousand dollars in excessive interest over the life of the mortgage.

If getting another home is absolutely necessary, and you have a large down payment (35%), hard money lenders will loan for up to one year while you attempt to get another long term loan in place. The cost is usually 4% or “points” to close plus the usual closing costs and 12% to 15% per month. There are seldom pre-payment penalties for obvious reasons, but if there is one it should be for a maximum of three months of interest payments. Obviously, this is an expensive method of owning a home.

The next method requires a small down payment (usually 3%) and no closing costs. You should be able to move in within a week or less and the seller will be happy to work with you. This method is a Contract for Deed or a Lease Option. The Contract for Deed has the home transferred into your name with the financing in place by the seller. The agreement is that you will get permanent financing within a given time period, usually one year. However, your timely payments on the existing mortgage will go a long way with your new lender to get a better financing rate.

The Lease Option method keeps the home in the name of the seller, and gives you an option to purchase the property for as many as five years in the future. Each year the option price (“Strike price”) goes up, but this is negotiable. Should you decide not to buy the home, you will lose your deposit (“option consideration”). This method of getting a home quickly is the most cost-effective of the various options and all the aspects of the lease, purchase, partial credit for each payment toward the purchase price, no initial financing credit requirements, minimal cash, etc. are negotiable with the seller.

The key to doing a lease option is to get one document from the homeowner. The reason is that if you do have to go to court to enforce the option agreement or get your option consideration back, one agreement has been adjudicated by the courts as an equity-type agreement. This means that with every lease payment you make, you build equity in the property. If you sign two agreements, you can easily be evicted from the property and lose your option consideration with few or no grounds for recourse.

If your property has been on the market for a long time and you have been unable to sell home fast, chances are you are not doing something right. You may have planned to sell your home in order to move into a better place or to improve your financial condition. In case of the latter, you may be considering a sell and rent back option. Whatever the case may be, you can take a few steps to ensure that your house gets sold quickly.

Tips to Sell Home Fast

Here are a few tips that can help you make your home more attractive to buyers:

Complete all repairs: Remember the squeaking door that drives you nuts, the broken screens that let sunshine through in the wee hours of the morning or the tap that leaks? You can no longer defer fixing these. It may be a good idea to walk through your home and take a thorough look at everything that needs repair and get them fixed.

Opt for a pre-sale inspection: A professional inspection has dual benefits. Firstly, it brings out problems that you perhaps would never have noticed. It also helps spread the word around if there are no major issues. An inspection report sends out a clear message to buyers that you have nothing to hide.

Clean up thoroughly: There are three aspects to cleaning:

  • Remove the clutter so that buyers can visualize themselves staying in the house. A cluttered room not only makes the property look less attractive, it also makes rooms look smaller.
  • Create a neutral and impersonal atmosphere so that buyers think of themselves and not you when they look through your house. However painful it may be for you, certain items like family photographs should be packed up.
  • Further cleaning in terms of scouring bathrooms, shining windows and banishing all kinds of smells that could turn buyers off are a must do.

Redecorate for maximum effect: Highlight the focal points of the rooms with the correct placement of furniture. Remove all unnecessary pieces and rearrange them elsewhere if necessary. Take special care of the floors. A clean floor is not enough. Look for cost-effective alternatives for stained or cracked floors.

Impress with a splendid curb: Many buyers make a decision even before they go into the house. As most buyers surf online before they visit the property, landscaping counts. The photos of the exterior of your house should be impressive. Beautiful flowers and neat hedges are a good start. Think up ways to spruce up your lawn, paint the front door and ensure that potential buyers get all the right vibes as they walk in.

Sell Home Fast with the Right Strategy

Apart from making your property look attractive to buyers, you can take the following steps to ensure a quicker sale:

Select the right agent: When making the choice, ensure that your agent:

  • Can really sell.
  • Is trustworthy.
  • Knows the locality well.
  • Is enthusiastic about your home.
  • Gets along well with other agents.

Fixing the price: Never test the market with too high a price tag. Buyers will not make an effort for someone they feel is unreasonable. Fix the price on the basis of other houses in the area. You may also take the advice of your agent, as they are more in touch with the market and prices than you are. You will be flooded with offers from people who are looking for fairly priced houses.

How can I sell my house fast? Has this question been bothering you? You are not alone. Most homeowners have this concern. Even if you are looking for a good sell and rent back offer, ensuring that your home is in good shape and selecting the right agent will help you to sell home fast.

Real Estate Marketing

The single most important thing in real estate is marketing. It is the way you find sellers and buyers. Without it you have no hope of success in the real estate industry. There are two main categories of real estate marketing: offline and online. Both are essential in developing a profitable business. The following are ways in which you can optimize your advertising dollar.

Offline

Most of you have no doubt seen signs strategically placed around busy intersections and residential neighborhoods. These are called bandit signs, so named because technically they are not allowed in most city ordinances. Although there are usually no repercussions, the signs are removed regularly, so they will have to be replaced periodically. If you put your bandit signs out on Thursdays, you will have a good chance of them making it through the weekend at least. Choose locations near the types of homes you are interested in. Make sure the signs are visible with easily memorized contact info.

Direct mail consisting of postcards or letters is a good way to bring in leads. The post office has a system where you can set up your own campaign. Postcards are the most cost effective. Make sure they have an eye-catching design. Target only the areas you are interested in by mailing to specific zip codes.

Flyers, posters, handouts, inserts, and door hangers can be effective real estate marketing tools. Color is preferable to black and white. It can be time consuming to distribute this type of advertising. Often, you can hire a high school or college student in need of some extra cash to do this for you. Of course, there is always newspaper and magazine ads, however, these are fast being replaced by online marketing.

Online

Craig’s List is a great way to advertise. Not only is it free, it gets tons of traffic. Place your ads in as many relevant categories as you can. Make sure you change the ads from category to category as Craig’s List does not allow duplicate content. There are also other real estate sites that allow you to advertise on, some free, some not. It just takes a little research to find them.

A website with squeeze pages to capture information is a must. Not only do you need these things, you have to SEO them. SEO (search engine optimization) gives your pages importance in the search engines, ie Google, Yahoo, Bing. If you are not well versed in how to SEO, there are many great SEO companies out there that do great work in this field. It is almost a necessity to be on the first page of a search result in order to generate business.

Hopefully, these tips will help you in your real estate marketing. Remember it takes money to make money, but you don’t want to break the bank. Use your advertising budget wisely and keep track of your results. That way you can focus your dollars where they are doing the most good.

There are thousands of foreclosed single family homes available in the market today. These homes range from large sprawling estates to small-unit condos to townhouses. A common denominator among these homes is that they are all spacious enough to have two or more bedrooms, a living room, a dining and kitchen and a bath.

The more popular structure of foreclosed single family homes are detached and surrounded by outer spaces for a garage or a lawn. The prices of these homes vary depending on location, size, condition, as well as on the length of time they have been on the market. Some of these homes

only get sold after several price adjustments by the seller.

Foreclosed Single Family Homes

It is typical to find foreclosed single family homes at only a fraction of its actual price. With the right tools like a reliable online listings service, potential buyers can search for these homes by state or by price. These homes will likewise be listed on real estate companies, newspapers and the county courthouse. The listing will always have the contact details for the property manager that buyers can contact to inquire about the home.

These homes can be purchased at various stages of the foreclosure process. Many buyers purchase them during pre-foreclosure through a short sale. This happens when the home owner elects to the sell the home rather than get foreclosed on. With thelender’s approval the property is sold for a price that is lower than the outstanding debt owed by the homeowner.

Buyers with ready cash on hand purchase these homes through public auctions. Auctions are popular among buyers as it takes only a short time to transfer the deed of the property to the buyer. Yet another means of buying foreclosed single family homes is through real estate agents appointed by banks or the government to sell their foreclosures.

Internet Homebuyers

You’ve tried to avoid it for years…a real estate agent website.  You figured word-of-mouth, newspaper, flyers and signage would cover your advertising for years to come. Well, if you haven’t crawled out from under your rock already, it’s 2010. We live in a digital world…where Facebook and BlackBerry addictions have supreme reign. Where blogging, texting and e-mails are our communication lines of choice. People use the Internet now to buy their groceries, rent a movie and order their favourite Chinese take-out. If your real estate business has yet to embrace the online age, where does that leave you? Probably miles behind your competition. So isn’t it time you capitalized on the Internet revolution?

Start by understanding that more and more people are relying on the web to learn about the entire real estate process. There has also been a shift in consumer from Generation X to Generation Y. First-time buyers from GenY will have different communication needs, purchasing behaviour and housing requirements than their earlier counterparts. Now more than ever, it’s vital for all real estate professionals to understand why the Internet is so crucial to today’s industry, and why choosing not to get involved would reduce their profits and competitive edge.

As today’s potential client has less time than ever before, they desire their information served on a silver platter. So why not deliver the information they want and make it available to them 24 hours a day? Give them a one-stop-online-real-estate-shop to help them buy their dream home? That’s what they’re looking for. Nowadays, they expect it.

So why are customers so apt to house-hunting online?

1.  Well first, it saves them time, and plenty of it. Who has the energy to flip through a mile-high pile of messy newspapers? Or make 20 preview appointments with a REALTOR®? Certainly not the urban jet-setters, soccer moms or suits of today’s world.

These Internet savvy buyers will take an average of 4.5 weeks to look for information on homes and neighborhoods before ever contacting a real estate professional, as compared to a traditional buyer that takes only 1.5 weeks. However, once the initial information gathering is complete, Internet buyers spend significantly less time with their agent and preview far fewer homes, spending 2 weeks, compared to 7 weeks for the traditional buyer.

2.  Online buyers also enjoy a greater sense of control. Real estate websites of today embrace a more user-friendly attitude than ever before. The Internet helps these buyers better understand the whole home buying process, and puts them in better control of that process. They can refine their needs and wants and comparison shop to paint a more detailed picture of their dream home for you. In the end it also helps save you time, so you can steer clear of what they don’t want, and deliver on what they do.

Just know that if they’re looking for a ‘4-bedroom, 3-bathroom raised bungalow with a salt-water outdoor pool and white picket fence, close to the highway yet nestled in a quiet community and close to a nature trail’…you’ll be the first to know.

3.  Internet buyers tend to be global risk-takers. They are more willing and able to relocate now more than ever. These buyers are looking to move to different parts of the country, and use the Internet to scope out the hottest trends. They want to settle into a new lifestyle and status, not just a new home. With it they’ll earn a trend-setting label among friends and colleagues, and a life experience they’ll never forget.

Internet buyers are expanding their families at a slower pace, having children significantly later than their baby-boomer counterparts. As a REALTOR®, you need to appeal to their sense of freedom, mobile lifestyle and ability to live in an exciting new place, whether on their own or with a partner.

4.  The information they need is available at the touch of a button, anytime, anywhere. Whether they’re searching for a home on their lunch break or at 2am, they have all the resources they need on their timetable. They don’t have to play phone tag to answer their questions. Everything they need is ready and waiting for them online.

Keep in mind that Internet homebuyers want as much detailed information as possible. Therefore, real estate professionals that offer websites with specialized, inside information and detailed listings including plenty of quality photos and virtual tours, will be more likely to capture these customers.

So, who exactly are these Internet savvy homebuyers, anyway? Let’s take a closer look at the Internet homebuyer profile and how they differ from traditional buyers.

They enjoy a controlled environment.The Internet empowers this type of consumer. They have control of the search process, by way of privacy and freedom. They can regulate the level of communication they choose to have with an agent or agency, and therefore feel less pressured and more comfortable in the decision-making process.

They are usually first-time buyers.The Internet buyer tends to be new to the real estate purchasing market, and is younger, wealthier, more likely to be married and better educated than a traditional buyer.

They want to be as informed as possible. These buyers want a complete understanding of what they’ll be jumping into. Not just listings and prices, they want information on the entire real estate transaction, from agent negotiations to legal procedures. They want all the real estate marketing tools wrapped into one complete package.

Internet savvy real estate professionals are at an advantage to fill in the gaps for these types of clients. Armed with this buyer profile and the proper real estate internet marketing tool, you can learn to better recognize and understand the requirements of this market niche. Think of real estate professionals like a GPS Navigation System for the Internet homebuyer. The Internet is their road map, but they still need detailed navigated directions to get to their destination; a guide to help them through the negotiation and transaction processes of home buying.

Remember, these Internet buyers will judge your competency based on your online perception. Establishing an online presence through a user-friendly real estate website and e-mail has become a benchmark of professionalism for all business. So, if you find your business is lacking in this department, keep in mind that valuable sales are being lost each passing moment. A website can therefore only compliment your role in the home buying process. Take action and get your real estate business online. Farming, referrals, sign calls and traditional advertising can only take you so far in the 2010 marketplace.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/internet-marketing-articles/the-internet-homebuyer-reach-them-with-a-real-estate-website-519165.html#ixzz16767RIV2
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When you purchase of home foreclosures you can be saddled with tasks you know nothing about. From securing financing, to finding the ideal property, to closing the deal and all the little steps in between, this exercise should not be undertaken without proper information and preparation.

Distressed properties are not only about great discounts, there are also a lot of risks involved. But these risks can all be minimized if not completely eliminated if you purchase home foreclosures with caution and diligence.

What You May Not Know

There are some elements that are true of all foreclosures. One is that they are all sold as is and seldom will a seller shoulder the cost of repairs for the property. There are some foreclosures that have outstanding obligations other than the mortgage. Obligations in the form of back taxes, liens and other encumbrances are not part of the seller’s disclosure. Your offer for a foreclosed home will only be considered if you can show proof that you are able to pay for your purchase. For this, you will need to obtain a loan pre-approval from your bank or any other mortgage lender. This will require the submission of some personal documents for the lender to be able to assess your financial situation and gauge your ability to borrow funds and how much.

Reducing Your Risks

Make sure you are indeed financially prepared for a high ticket investment like when you purchase home foreclosures. You should consider several listings of foreclosed properties to find the one you like. Never forgo a professional home inspection of the property as well as a title search. You should also commission an expert to conduct a comparative home value analysis in the area where your home is located. Once you have completed your research base your offer on what you have uncovered and approach the seller or his appointed agent.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/what-to-consider-if-you-want-to-purchase-home-foreclosures-3691582.html#ixzz15q9N5wWk
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Renting vs Buying

For sure, you have been considering on purchasing your very own home. It has been quite some time now that you have been working so hard every single day and you want to see something that you would be truly proud of.

Truly, owning your own home will give this sense of pride and confidence into yourself compared to renting an apartment where you will always get stressed out as your land lord or land lady keeps on knocking on the door to ask for the rental.

Can you imagine, the amount that you are paying monthly to your land lord or land lady could have been almost the same amount which you can use to pay your own house and after you have done paying the mortgage it would be all yours?

Well to give you great view between renting and buying a house, take a look at this:

Renting:

1. It only requires 2 months advance and 1 month deposit, before you move in.

2. If you do not pay on time and be in default it does not affect your credit score, you can pay for the next days or month.

3. If you do not want to stay in that house anymore, you can go provided that you finish the duration allotted for the lease contract which is more or less about 1 year.

4. No more worries about repairs and damages, the owner will take care of it for you.

5. No matter how long you have been renting the place, it will never be yours.

Buying:

1. It requires huge sum of money before you can move in.

2. If you do not pay on time, this will affect your credit score.

3. If you do not want to stay on the house anymore, you need to sell it off and it will take couple of months or even years before someone will be interested in buying your house.

4. It would be all in to you when it comes to repairs and damages. You need to pay for all costs including labor and material.

5. After how many years of paying the monthly mortgage, when you full pay the entire amount including the principal plus the interest, it will be all yours.

If you are staying in a certain place due to work and you do not have any intent to stay there for quite longer, then renting a place would be great. However, if you want to settle down, have a family of your own, then you need to invest on real estate and buy your very own house. You do not want to rent a house for the rest of your life, right?

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/real-estate-articles/which-is-better-renting-or-buying-a-house-3688665.html#ixzz15eYhTS24
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For the first time home buyer, buying your first home is one of the most exciting things you will ever do. If you have spent years living in apartments, there is nothing more satisfying than owning your own property. The process can be a little lengthy and you might hit a few bumps in the road to home ownership. The following tips will help the first time homeowner avoid some of the hiccups.

Step one is to talk to a real estate agent about the home buying process. It should not be a sales meeting and you should be able to find an agent that will agree to meet with you about the basics without having to sign a sales agreement with them. If you cannot find a good agent to talk to, you might want to consider talking to a loan officer at your bank or a mortgage broker.

An equally important tip is to get your finances in order before you apply for a mortgage. Order a copy of your credit report so you can check it for accuracy. Mistakes are common and you want to make sure that there is no fraudulent activity. You have the right to dispute errors on your credit report. If you come across something that you know is an error, circle it and send it to the reporting agency along with a letter of dispute.

Next, you should really study the mortgage industry. You need to be able to find the right loan and lender most suitable for your needs. Familiarize yourself with industry terms like debt to income ratio and adjustable rate mortgage. Learn the difference between pre-approval and pre-qualified. It will all seem foreign at first, but taking the time to learn the business will spare you from headaches in the future.

Also, you need to figure out what your wants and needs are. What kinds of amenities are you looking for? How many bedrooms? One story or two story home? You also need to consider the size of the down payment and figure out what you need to do to come up with the money for it.

You must learn about how real estate agents work. There are buyers agents and sellers agents. A buyers agents responsibility is to negotiate the best deal for the buyer. The goal of the sellers agent is to get the price that the seller most desires. The best way to find the right agent is to ask your friends for suggestions. They have all probably been in the same boat, so they can probably recommend a good real estate agent.

When meeting with a potential agent, pay attention to how they treat you. Make sure they listen to you when you talk about what you want. Also, how are their follow up skills? Do they take the time to return your calls or emails? If they do not take the time to respond, move on. There is a better agent out there for you.

When looking for a home, consider all of the possibilities. Look up real estate agents websites. Do not rule out For Sale by Owner Properties and foreclosed homes. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) homes can often be found for very reasonable prices. You do need to find an agent that is approved to sell HUD homes if you choose to take that road to home ownership.

Before you even think about making an offer, you need to consider the resale value. You might plan on being there for a long time, but you just never know. You might opt for a different climate to alleviate your allergies or you could simply be transferred by your company. You want to pick a good location that will be attractive to others as well.

Another issue that cannot be ignored are the deed restrictions, which govern what you can and cannot do with the property. If it has always been your dream to have a pool, you want to make sure that you do not buy a home in a subdivision that will not allow it because of deed restrictions.

Home inspections are an important part of the equation. Talk to your agent to find out when the inspection will be performed. It varies state to state. Sometimes the inspection will be right before the contract is signed and other times, they are performed right after an offer is made.

Finally, make sure you stay on top of things. Any number of problems can crop up at the last minute and delay the purchase of your home. If you are not sure about something with the paperwork, do not be afraid to ask questions. You might think of something that everyone else has overlooked.

Purchasing a home is a time consuming and sometimes frustrating task, but it is worth it when you have your backyard barbecues.