Parkland, FL Real Estate News

By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
With the holiday season comes colder weather -- there are the parties, the baking, the fixing of family dinners, and, in some cases, the stringing of holiday lights. It's also a time of year when home energy use can spike, leading to a very large January electricity bill. This year, do what you can to conserve energy through the holidays and the New Year. Try following these simple tips. Go LED If you string lights outside of your home, try LED (Light-Emitting Diode) lighting. LED lights use 86% less electricity than comparable incandescent lights and have numerous safety advantages. For example, LED lights are shatterproof, present no fire hazard, and, because they emit almost no heat, are safe to the touch. Reduce Your Home Thermostat When you home is filled with people, or the ovens ...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
Floating a mortgage rate? Consider getting locked in on Thursday. ADP released its November 2012 Employment Report Wednesday in which the payroll-processing firm reported 118,000 new jobs created last month. The company said the service sector created 114,000 new positions, the construction sector created 23,000 new positions, and goods-producing businesses created 4,000 new jobs, among others. There was a 16,000 decline in manufacturing employment. ADP's monthly Employment Report can influence mortgage rates. This is because it's typically released during the same week as the Non-Farm Payrolls report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and can sometimes provide a preview. The Non-Farm Payrolls report -- more commonly called "the jobs report," is a sector-by-sector breakdown of th...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
A short sale is when a property is sold for less than its remaining mortgage principal balance, and executed as a way for both the existing homeowner and mortgage lender to reduce their respective losses. Typically, although not always, short sales are reserved for situations of extreme financial hardship; just prior to a bank beginning foreclosure proceedings. Short sales are not automatic, however. Homeowners must often prove the merits of a short sale to their lender, which often involves documenting that selling the home for less than its worth is the best and most viable option for all parties involved. The short sale process starts with a letter of hardship. To prove your short sale worthiness to the bank, you'll be asked to submit a cover letter which explains your hardship, and ...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, stories have emerged of homeowners whose hazard insurance coverage was too low to cover the damage to their respective properties. Unfortunately, this scenario is common among U.S. homeowners, and is not just limited to damage from natural disasters. Homeowners in Parkland and nationwide are often woefully under-insured against catastrophe in its many forms. Whether you're buying a home, or own one already, revisit your hazard insurance policy choices and be sure that your bases are covered. Here are four common components of a homeowners insurance policy : Dwelling/Building Coverage Look for the amount listed under this section and divide it by the square footage of your home. Talk to your insurance agent, your real estate agent and perhaps even you...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
Low mortgage rates are pumping up home affordability. Average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates made a new all-time low in November, continuing this years Refinance Boom and giving fuel to the budding housing market recovery. At month-end, Freddie Mac's survey of 125 banks nationwide put the benchmark product's rate at 3.32% for borrowers willing to pay 0.8 discount points. This is just 0.01 percentage point above the record-low rate established prior to Thanksgiving. The 15-year fixed mortgage is similarly low, posting 2.64 percent nationwide, on average. This, too, is only slightly higher then the all-time low set the week prior. Falling mortgage rates have helped to offset rising home prices in many U.S. cities. Steady job creation and rising consumer confidence has swelled the pool ...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
Homes were sold at a furious pace last month. According the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the Pending Home Sales Index rose 5.2 percent in October, crossing the benchmark 100 reading, and moving to 104.8. It's a 5-point improvement from September's revised figure and the highest reading since April 2010 -- the last month of that year's federal home buyer tax credit. October also marks the 18th consecutive month during which the index showed year-to-year gains. As a housing market metric, the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI) differs from most commonly-cited housing statistics because, instead of reporting on what's already occurred, it details what's likely to happen next. The PHSI is a forward-looking indicator; a predictor of future sales. It's based on signed real estate con...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
Sales of newly-built homes took a small step lower in October, but remain strong. According to the Commerce Department, New Home Sales slipped 1,000 units last month, falling to 368,000 units on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis. The final reading fell short of Wall Street expectations, and the government revised downward its initial findings from August and September by 2,000 units and 20,000 units, respectively. A "new" home is a home that is considered new construction. Furthermore, the number of new homes for sale nationwide ticked higher to 147,000 -- the highest reading in 9 months. However, in taking a broader look at October's New Home Sales report, we see obvious strengths. For example, although home sales slipped last month, it remains the third-highest tally since the A...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
The housing market continues to expand. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Index, which was released earlier this week, U.S. home prices rose in September for the sixth straight month, climbing 0.3% as compared to the month prior. On an annual basis, values are higher by 3.0%. The Case-Shiller Index findings are a composite reading of 20 U.S cities, 17 of which showed home price gains in September. Detroit and Washington D.C. showed slight declines, and New York City showed no change. Leading the recovery, though, appears to be Phoenix, Arizona. The previously hard-hit city has seen home values gain 20.4% over the last 12 months. Also noteworthy is that Atlanta, Georgia reversed 26 consecutive months of home value declines in September, posting a +0.1% annual growth rate. Average U.S. h...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
As a home buyer or refinancing household in Parkland , you have choices with respect to your mortgage. You can choose a loan with accompanying discount points in exchange for lower mortgage rates; you can choose adjustable-rate loans over fixed rate ones; and, you can choose loans with principal + interest repayment schedules or repayments which are interest only. For borrowers using fixed rate loans, there's also the choice between the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgage. Each has its positives and negatives and neither is "better" than the other. Choosing your most appropriate fixed-rate term is a matter of preference and, sometimes, of budget. The 15-Year Mortgage With a 15-year fixed rate mortgage, mortgage rates are often lower as compared to a comparable 30-year fixed rate mor...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
When Parkland Florida homeowners get ready to list their Parkland home for sale, advice will often come from all corners of their personal and social network -- what within the home to upgrade; what to repair; what to replace. And, although some advice remains valuable, much of it can be ignored. The costs of an expensive upgrade are rarely recouped at the time of sale and studies show that smaller, simpler actions can yield a bigger return on your investment of time and money. Here are four inexpensive, yet highly effective, ways to prepare your home for sale. Improve the curb appeal It's not just the inside of your home which should be inviting to buyers -- the outside of your home should be, too. Trim hedges, maintain the lawn, power wash the walls and try to inject some color, wher...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
According to a joint release from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Housing Starts rose 3.6%in October 2012, climbing to a seasonally-adjusted, annualized rate of 894,000 units. A "housing start" is a new home on which construction has started and the report gives buyers and sellers across FL yet one more reason to be optimistic for the 2013 housing market. Regionally, Housing Starts varied. The West and Midwest Regions posted gains between September and October 2012; and, the South and Northeast Regions posted declines. The latter was affected by the effects of Hurricane Sandy. West Region : +17.2% from the month prior Midwest Region : +8.9% from the month prior South Region : -2.5% from the month prior Northeast Region : -6.5% from the month p...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
After a small decline in September, Existing Home Sales rebounded in October, increasing a modest 2.1%. The housing market's slow, steady recovery continues as sales volume in all four regions expanded last month with the exception of the Hurricane Sandy-affected Northeast. The National Association of REALTORS® monthly Existing Home Sales Report comprises completed sales of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops. The Existing Home Sales report is compiled on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis. It shows a 10.9 percent sales increase as compared last year. Sales volume might otherwise be higher, however, if not for a lack of homes for sale. Total housing inventory fell 1.4 percent to 2.14 million homes last month which, at the current sales pace, represents a 5.4-mo...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released its Housing Market Index (HMI) Tuesday, which showed a sharp, 5-point increase to 46 for November 2012, marking the seventh consecutive monthly gain for the HMI, and lifting the index to its highest point since May 2006. Readings under 50 indicate unfavorable housing conditions for builders. Readings over 50 signal "good" conditions. The Housing Market Index is a measure of builder confidence, published monthly, based on a survey sent to NAHB members which asks them to rate housing market conditions. In November, home builders reported gains in two of the three areas surveyed: Current Single-Family Sales: 49 (+8 from October 2012) Projected Single-Family Sales: 53 (+2 from October 2012) Buyer Foot Traffic: 35 (unchanged from Octo...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
The Federal Reserve released its October Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes last week, revealing a Fed in disagreement about the future of the U.S. economy and about what, if any, stimulus may be warranted in the next 12 months. The "Fed Minutes" recaps the conversations and debates that transpire during an FOMC meeting, and is published 3 weeks after the meeting adjourns. According to the October minutes, FOMC members "generally agreed" that a housing recovery is under way nationwide, citing increased housing prices, higher sales volume, and rising construction in many parts of the country. FOMC members made no major policy changes at their last meeting, but agreed that a continuation of additional asset purchases would likely be necessary in 2013, in order to achieve...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
According to data from RealtyTrac, a national foreclosure-tracking firm, the number of foreclosure filings increased 3 percent in October as compared to September 2012, climbing to 186,455 U.S. properties. RealtyTrac defines a "foreclosure filing" as any foreclosure-related action including a Notice of Default, a Scheduled Auction, or a Bank Repossession. On average, 1 in every 706 U.S. homes had a foreclosure filing during the month of October. For the 24th consecutive month, the number of bank repossessions fell, down less than 1% from the previous month and down 21% from October 2011. Bank repossessions dropped in 37 states, plus the District of Columbia, indicating that banks are seeking alternatives to foreclosure. Distressed home sales, which include foreclosures and short sales,...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
According to the Federal Reserve's quarterly Senior Loan Officer Survey, it's getting easier to get approved for a home loan. Between July - September 2012, fewer than 6%of banks tightened mortgage guidelines -- the fourth straight quarter that's happened-- and roughly 10% of banks actually loosened them. For today's buyers and refinancing homeowners in Parkland or Coral Springs , softening guidelines hint at a quicker, simpler mortgage approval process; one which gives more U.S. homeowners better access to today's ultra-low mortgage rates. However, although banks are easing guidelines, it doesn't mean that e have returned to the days of no-verification home loans. Today's mortgage applicants should still expect to provide lenders with documentation to support a proper loan approval. So...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
To refinance a mortgage means to pay off your existing loan and replace it with a new one. There are many reasons why homeowners opt to refinance, from obtaining a lower interest rate, to shortening the term of the loan, to switching mortgage loan types, to tapping into home equity. Each has its considerations. Lower Your Mortgage Rate Among the best reasons to refinance is to get access to lower mortgage rates. There is no "rule of thumb" that says how far rates should drop for a refinance to be sensible. Compare your closing costs to your monthly savings, and determine whether the math makes sense for your situation. Shorten Your Loan Term Refinancing your 30-year fixed rate mortgage to a 20-year fixed rate or a 15-year fixed rate is a sensible way to reduce your long-term mortgage c...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
The calendar has turned to November; the month during which we transition from fall into winter (not so much in Florida). With less sunlight, colder temperatures, and shorter days ahead for Parkland , it's an opportune time to cross those last-minute maintenance items off your homeowner to-do list. Practicing preventive care -- both inside and outside your home -- can save thousands of dollars in repairs come later this winter. What follows is a brief checklist to get you started. For outside the home : Inspect exterior lights and outlets. Be sure that none of the outlets are cracked or broken, or have exposed wires. Clean gutters and clear all blockages. If leaves are falling, redo after leaves are off all trees. Inspect and test outdoor railings and stairs. Have problem trees trimmed,...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
Nationwide, mortgage rates are low in Florida and home prices remain relatively low, too. This combination, plus rising rents, is pushing renters in some cities -- including Parkland & Coral Springs -- toward first-time homeownership. Buying your first home can be exciting, but you should also do your research to make sure that you ask the proper questions of the process, and make the best choices for yourself and your household. For example, recommended questions for first-time buyers to ask home sellers include : What major repairs have been made to your home? Although standard disclosure forms are supposed to provide information regarding past damage and renovation to the property, there are occasionally repairs that are omitted or otherwise forgotten. Be proactive and ask pointed qu...
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By Jon Klein, Search Parkland Homes for Sale - Parkland FL
(Real Living 1st Choice Realty)
The U.S. economy continues to improve. The National Association of Homebuilders released its Improving Markets IndexTuesday. The report attempts to identify U.S. metropolitan areas in which the economy is improving, demonstrating "measurable and sustained growth". 125 U.S. markets are qualified as "improving" this month, a 22-market jump from the month prior and and all-time high for the index which launched late last year. Compared to November 2011, this month's IMI has climbed more than four-fold, rising from last year's reading of 30. This jump suggests that housing recovery is firmly taking root, helping to generate needed jobs and economic growth across much of the country. So what qualifies a market as "improving"? The NAHB uses strict criteria. First, the group gathers data from ...
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