Saint Cloud, FL Real Estate News

By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
So your looking for a new home. You get into the car and start to drive. Along the way you are writing down phone numbers off the for sale signs. Some you call from the car, others you wait until you return home. Some of the phone numbers you get answers, some you don't.The Real Estate industry here in the state of Florida is a co-brokerage industry. That means all licensed agents can sell any property in the state of Florida. Here is how it works, The Listing agent is contracted by the seller to sell their home. Part of the contract is the commission paid by the sellers. This commission is the same whether there are one or two agents involved with the sale. Many home buyers have the idea if they deal directly with the Selling Agent they will be saving the seller money from having to pa...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
         How many times have you talked to someone who has said "I would like to buy a house someday."            Dream or goal?       DREAMA Dream is a desire lacking a plan.      "I plan to buy a home for under $250,000 by Decmeber of 2008."        Goal- It has a specific time frame attached to it.A goal is specific in nature.  Too often people are sidelined by dreams thinking they are goals and fail to accomplish them.   They fail primarily because they do not have a working plan which will allow them succeed.           An open ended question "How much money would you like to make"? Can actually prevent someone from making it.  It opens the door to dreaming and not planning. Without a plan the goal cannot be met.  This results in frustration, procrastination and eventually abandonmen...
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By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
When I get a call from a buyer here in Kissimmee/Saint Cloud Florida, It's usally, we are in town (On Vacation to See Mickey) and we want to look at homes. We saw this home on the internet and can you meet us there? I politely invite them to my office. In my office I found out what their game plan is. We first spend time with the meet and greet. I try to learn about their families, their jobs, and their recreational activities. We then discuss locations of housing and what area will be most benifical to the to accomidate their lifestyle and jobs.The next step is the pre qualifying for a mortgage. Here is when the buyers are informed about what makes up their monthly payment. Principal, Interest, Insurance, Taxes, HOA dues, and possibly mortgage insurance. We make a call to my Mortgage s...
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By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
The phone has been ringing the past few days with buyers trying to see listings. As a professional, one of my first questions is " have you spoken to a mortagage company yet?"  No, has been the dominant responce. That's ok, I can get a pre approval in 15 minutes. It's easy. But, many feel like I am impossing on their privacy. That's not the case at all. Sure, you have see the news, Realtors are not as busy as we were the past 3 years. So, why can't we just show them a house. Professional Realtors aren't doing anything anyway.Let me explain, sellers will not take an offer and take their home off the market while you try to get qualified for a mortgage. They need to know you can buy. As a Real Estate Professional. I need to know if we are looking at the right priced home for your budget. ...
Comments 13
By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
Inman News reports today that Freddie Mac has reported interest rates are at their lowest levels since July of 2005.30-year fixed are down from 5.87% last week to 5.69% this week. 15-year fixed rate from 5.43% to 5.21%.I am sure that tis doesn't do much to help the value of the dollar, but consumer confidence needs a jump start in the housing market. I personally don't think that this is the bottom. Buyers need to grab the rates now, because rates will not stay low for long in this Realtor's opinion.So buy Now!The Resident Markwww.ResidentTeam.com
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
  It is true that many Realtors have left the business.  The 80/20 rule suggests that 20 percent of the Realtors do 80 percent of the work. With declining renewals in most markets this can be a benefit.  The ones actively working, have refined their communication skills.  They are keeping in touch with their customers via telephone, email and face to face, even when there is nothing new to report.  They are providing stastistics on recent market sales, and inventory levels, and keep the sellers abreast of market conditions after the contract has been signed. The signing of an agreement is when the relationship begins.Remembering We Are ALL ConsumersTreating others with superior service is paramount to how we want to be treated as consumers of other services. We do not like to be kept wa...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
Everyone loves a bargain.Buyers who waited out the recent building boom are gaining added benefits from builders liquidating inventory homes.   In addition to reducing prices, added upgrades are making inventory homes a desireable commodity.  More and more buyers are exploring development close outs.  While the supply of single family homes have reached record highs, many builders are seeking to develop in other areas leaving a small supply of finished turn key homes up for grabs.  New construction appeals to a wide variety of buyers for a diversity of reasons. The primary one being the free upgrades and immediately occupancy.   Bristol Creek located in St. Cloud, Florida offers convenience to both town, and turnpike, in addition to new homes at reasonable costs.  Typically a 4 bedroom ...
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By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
What Home Buyers are looking for in their next home. They are looking to be knocked off their feet the minute they step out of their automobile. The lawn should be well trimmed without brown spots. Trees and shrubs need to be trimmed to show the front elevation of the home. Keep the stoop swept and have all toys, tools, old news papers, and trash cans out of view. Paint the front door and entrance if needed for a bright new look.Once they are in the home. If there is a litter box, have it changed often. There is nothing that turns a buyer off more than pet odor. Besides the home of a smoker. If the odor is common to you, have a friend that doesn't live in your home to tell you if there are odors that you can no longer detect.Bright and airy sells. Turn on all lights and ceiling fans whe...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
    Builder Inventories mean substantial savings for consumers.  Often a builder will build homes to keep in inventory. Unlike a model home, when there was high demand for housing, most consumers were unwilling to wait forseveral months while the homes they purchased were under construction.  To speed along the process, many big builders built "inventory" homes. All well appointed and suitable for a fast sale.  As the market began to slow down, several of the started "inventory" homes were in final stages of being completed.     Over the past several months, these Inventory Homes have seen huge price reductions as builders are looking to downsize the volume of homes they have in inventory, and return to more conventional contract build outs.  Many Builders are vacating the area and not ...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
I'd heard a lot about the popularity of Craigslist. A wonderful free online classified service. Everything including the kitchen sink is there for a price.  So, being naturally curious, I tried a posting. I decided to get rid of the kids bed. It was one of those loft things, with the desk and bookshelf built in. It was astonishing how much stuff they had crammed into it. It came with a matching dresser.  I previewed my competition. There were several similar or identical units. New, it costs close to $1100 with the dresser and mirror.  Mine was not new anymore. It was not new when I got it 2 years ago.  I got a great deal. I decided someone else should benefit from the great deal I had gotten. Taking into account, its age, normal wear and tear, and my need to dispose of it ina timely ma...
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By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
Experts say that the credit crunch is showing signs of easing. But what is alarming is oil prices to $100 a barrel. Unemployment is up and the unemployment rate is at 5%, the highest since December of 2005, the .03% raise is the largest one month raise in 12 years. This has sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average down nearly 200 points. The market is down 5% in the past two weeks.   This sounds very gloomy. I am not the media so I won’t sensationalize it by screaming recession, recession. But we do have some major obstacles to over come. President Bush met with the Fed today to try and find a solution. Experts believe that mortgage rates will fall even lower than the 5.875% rates that we have now, to maybe below 5.25% that we experienced in 2002-2004.   That all sounds good to me, but wi...
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By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
Buying a home without a home inspection is just plan asking for trouble. The home inspection gives you piece of mind about your new purchase. It also gives you protection for the home. Home inspectors have insurance, so if they have missed something you do have recourse. Best bet is to hire a home inspector that won't miss anything. A home inspection is the best investment you can make on your new home. I am constantly learning how much I don't know when I attend home inspections. For piece of mind, hire a home inspector!  Another element for piece of mind is a home warranty. This usually covers all the appliances, water heater, and air conditioner. These policies are inexpensive and cover these items for up to a year. As a buyers agent I don't submit an offer on behalf of my clients wi...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
 Who ever thought our thumbs would do all the talking? Technology, texting, typing, have replaced simply talking. But with tone and thought are you conveying the right message? Depending on the receipient's frame of mind, ambiquity in how we text and the words with which we mean to convey our message can and are often misinterpreted.VOICE INFLECTIONGreat aurators know the secret to smooth delivery is in the manner we use our voices to emphasis certain phrases to key words. Absent is the tone in a text message. The subtle inflection, indicating whether or not a comment was meant to be humourous or serious.  We have the ability to convey numerous emotions by inflection.  Surprise! Sincerity, distain, excitement or confusion are just a few. A question always ends on a up tone for example.T...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
Most people are under the misconception that a foreclosure or short sale means purchasing power for pennies on the dollar which we know is not true. In the wake of jumbo loans, the foreclosures are not the steals they used to be. Mortgages amounts defaulted on were commonly in the hundred or several hundred thousand dollar range) In Grandma's day a foreclosure meant picking up a home far below the current Market Value. The amounts borrowed back then were minimal compared to the jumbo loans of today due in part to the fact that back then there was no 100%- 125% financing. They had actually put money down on the home.  BANKS GOT A LESSON FROM THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS Out of area lenders forgot one vital schoolhouse rule- Real Estate is local. Many Loss Mitigation "Experts" failed to take...
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By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
I have heard the rage from people in the Real Estate industry about the Debt Forgiveness Law. "These People were foolish and they need to suck it up" is the consensus.Folks, the consumers got bad advise! The killer is that here in Florida, Real Estate Agents and lenders were doing these loans and telling their clients to not escrow their taxes and insurance. Here in Florida there is a 3% camp on your homestead for tax increases. But they are reassessed after a sale. We had a 28% increase in property value in 2004, and about 32% increase in 2005. So if you bought in 2005 or 2006, your taxes were going to go up. Almost double. We also have Homestead exemption. But it needs to be filed before January. If it isn't, the taxes go up higher. This was the largest reason for foreclosures. Homeo...
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By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
Yesterday President Bush signed Hr 3648. It is the tax relief bill that may give individuals who had to sell their home in a short sale, the relief of not being taxed on the deficient amount of their loan payoff. The interesting part of this law is that the President was talking about taxes on a refinance of a loan with negative equity. So, I believe that there is something more coming. If lenders are willing to refinance homes at their current value, and forgive the amount that is deficient on their original loan, this would be huge to homeowners. I just don't see this happening. But, anything is possible. Hope Now, refinances and helps with cutting the adjustable rate. But to refinance, and adjust to current value, I don't think many lender are going to make that leap. Only time will ...
Comments 2
By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
I received a call from a woman out of town yesterday. She had invested in a con. She was promised with a partnership with an investor on a great deal on a flip. The purchase price was $70,000. They would do the renovation, and then they would sell the home for profit. They convinced her that they needed $70,000 for renovation, so they needed to borrow $140,000 for the deal. She thought it was a joint purchase, but she soon found out the she had a hard money loan only in her name on the property. The loan is a one year balloon. I am sure that he was shown comps at $200,000. I went to see the home. It's 1000 square feet. The area is not a nice area. Home values in the area are less than $120,000. The flip home looks the best on the block and I don't think they spent $25,000 on it. But, it...
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By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
With HR 3648 Passing the Senate on Friday, Homeowners that lose their home to foreclosure will not be taxed on the deficient amount of their loan balance, and the amount of the sale price from the courthouse steps. This bill has passed the Senate and The House and is waiting for the Presidents signature. Currently, the deficient amount is reported to the Internal Revenue Service as a gift, and it is taxed as income. This will also hold true for those that have used Short Sales to sell their homes. These are only for principal residences. NOT INVESTMENT HOMES.The bill passed the Senate 93-1. The legislation will help the Federal Housing Administration "be a source of salvation for those families who were tricked into unaffordable loans," said Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. What is the thou...
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By Mark Horan, "The Resident Chef" - Resident Team Realty LLC &
(Resident Team Realty, LLC & Toni's Property Management LLC)
I received a call from an investor that was distraught over an investment property had depreciated in the current market so it can't be flipped for a profit. This investor owned a homesteaded primary residence that had equity.These are bad circumstances for investors. I feel for them. Short Sales are loses that a bank will endure from an insolvent homeowner. They cannot pay. A Short Sale isn't a safety net that lenders give to people that got over their head in an investment. It's for people that are broke and have no money and no assets. It's up to the lender after they review the home owners financials if they will grant a short sale.You qualify traditionally,after you have missed payments and a default notice is served. (It can be negotiated by an experienced agent with short sale ex...
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By Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904
(St.Cloud Homes )
There is a new predator lurking in the shallows of the Real Estate Market. First it was predatory lending practices, mostly on loans originated by the unscrupulous independent loan originators.  They were soon consumed in a feeding frenzy as the bigger bank sharks  began to come into the warm waters discovering the food source of consumable mortgages was a buffet.                              If the experts are right... we are deep trouble. The Joint Economic Committee published their findings in October of 2007.  The study concluded that foreclosures will impact the local economy, and foreclosures will continue to devalued personal housing wealth enjoyed by most Americans.  American home owners are in fact being eaten alive by soaring debt as mortgages rates readjust and personal incom...
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