Orlando Real Estate Making a Good Comeback

7 reasons you should buy a home now


The National Association of Realtor’s International Homebuyer survey indicates that 14% of the Sunshine State’s overseas buyers purchased Homes in the Orlando-Kissimmee area. There is a lot of foreign investment in Orlando homes especially in countries like Germany, UK and Canada.  Prices are also coming back. According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association (ORRA), median prices in 2010 were 1.29% ahead of those in 2011. This rise spiked in December, with prices in the last month of 2011 ($118,000) 12.38% up on December 2010’s median price ($105,000). The number of Orlando bank-owned properties sold in Orlando went down by over 50% however, with short sales and ‘normal’ sales rising in prominence.

The increased activity indicates a renewed faith in Florida’s and Orlando’s housing. Buyers are taking note of Orlando’s historic affordability conditions, consistent increases in prices, and dramatically declining inventory and taking action. In addition, I expect to see even more sales activity once the problem of contract failures – estimated by the National Association Realtors to be as much as 33 percent nationwide – is resolved by an easing of unnecessarily restrictive lending standards.”

Orlando also benefits from having one of the world’s top tourist attractions on its doorstep. In 2010 it attracted 51.5 million tourists, while New York only attracted 48.7 million. On top of this, further developments at theme park Walt Disney World have been given the go-ahead, including an Avatar-themed land at Animal Kingdom, with work set to begin in 2013.

Much of this is fueled by Florida’s unrivalled status as a tourist hotspot and the allure of steady rental income in a sunshine State. Orlando is also serviced by its own international airport, and services 26 international destinations including key markets such as Canada and Brazil. The latest figures from 2009 show that international passenger numbers at Orlando was 2,977,920…nearly 300,000 more than 2008 and a 600,000+ jump from 10 years previous.

If your ready to get a great deal on an Orlando Investment Property, Come see us for some of the best deals in Orlando. 407-855-6996

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Sell your Orlando House in 24hrs

One of the things that people always struggle with is procrastination.  They will clean out the garage tomorrow, they will do their taxes this week, and they will list their home for sale someday…
What if I told you that I could list your home today and have a contract on it by tomorrow?  Would that get you fired up to take initiative?  I would like to think so it would or at least it should.
 So how does one go about selling an Orlando home in 24 hours?
In the real estate industry there is good amount of prep work to be done in order to achieve these results.  Before you list your home with an Agent you need to find the “RIGHT” Agent for the job.  You want an Agent that is able to come and talk with you and listen to your goals and one that will provide with  a real solution to your problem.  You want someone who is able to get the paperwork done fast, get pictures taken,  get the marketing strategy in place all within a very short period of time.  Also, you need an agent that will price your house correctly the 1st time around so that it will draw attention to your property.  One thing that I do on all my properties is offer a bonus to the buyer’s agent which I pay  out of my commission. Once the property is listed the marketing strategy is enacted.  This includes a website page, ad sites, social networking, an email bulletin, a press release, outside flyers,  ect…Getting this all into the hands of hungry buyers is crucial. When done correctly the proper pricing of the home along with the prep work and a quick marketing strategy can in a lot of cases lead to heavy buzz on a home and in turn lead to a quick offer.
So if you have been saying that you will “eventually” sell your Orlando home, stop procrastinating and give me a call.  Let’s see how fast we can get a SOLD sign in your yard….

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The Window on Orlando Short Sales Closing Soon!!!!

The Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007 is set to expire!!

The most important tax-relief provisions enacted by Congress during the housing crisis to help financially strapped homeowners is about to come to an end. Although the 2007 law that allows taxpayers to exclude from income the amount of debt that is forgiven or canceled by their lenders doesn’t expire until Dec. 31, it will probably take your bank at least that long to either foreclose or allow you to short sale your house. So if you are someone that’s considering a short sale on your house you should know that time is running out.

While owners who are struggling to hold onto their homes shouldn’t throw in the towel solely because of the pending tax bite, it is certainly something to consider.

According to the law, borrowed money doesn’t need not be reported as income because you have an obligation to repay. But if your lender subsequently cancels what you owe, the IRS requires that you report that debt as income because the duty to repay it no longer exists. So, if you owe $350,000 and your lender forgives $50,000 of that debt in a $300,000 refinancing, that $50,000 is considered income. If your combined federal and state marginal tax rate is 36 percent, you would owe $18,000 in taxes. Ouch!!!

However, under the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007, taxpayers are allowed to exclude from income the discharge of debt on their principal residence when they do a short sale— at least until 2013.

This means that when your lender agrees to a short sale, there is no tax on the difference between the selling price and the amount you owe. When your lender forecloses, there is no tax on the canceled debt. Even when you refinance at a lower loan balance, there is no tax on the difference between what you owed on the old loan and what you now owe on the new one.

Unless Congress extends the law, [and there is no indication lawmakers are even thinking about that] all residential mortgage debt relief that takes place on or after Jan. 1, 2013, will once again be considered taxable income.
So why should you worry about this now? Because the timeline for most lenders to approve a short sale in absolutely horrendous, especially if your lender is Bank of America.. I’ve worked certain B of A short sales that have taken up to 3 years to close.

There are other factors besides a tax break to consider when deciding whether to short sale your house. What will a foreclosure or short sale do to your credit score? How long will you be precluded from buying another house? Will the extra income push you into a higher tax bracket? How long will it take before the amount I owe is on par with what is owed? Is it worth being tied down to one property for many years or should I just short sale and be back in the market within 2 years and probably buy more house for way less.
The best thing to do is consult with a short sale expert and find out exactly where you stand.  Contact us for a free consultation with my team of short sale experts. After closing thousands of Orlando short sales  we are the leading authority for short sales in Orlando.

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What You Should Know About Your Orlando Short Sale Agent

When it comes to doing an  Orlando short sale, many things come into play. One of the most important aspects of this particular home selling process is the agent that you choose. Your agent will be doing all of the negotiations for you with your bank as well as with the potential buyer; therefore, you have to trust your short sale agent.  In order to trust your agent, you should know important things about them before turning the steering wheel over to them when it comes to selling your home.  When picking an agent, it’s absolutely crucial that you do your research on that person.

The first thing you should do is research the agent’s background and area of Expertise. The best way to research the company is to utilize online search engines. Simply type in the company or the agent’s name followed by “reviews.” Within seconds you should be able to find numerous reviews from previous clients that will help you to determine the reputation of the company in which your agent is associated.  Also, as with anyone that you hire, you should take into consideration the agent’s real estate experiences. You can also ask the agent to provide you with references, which you can call to obtain detailed information from previous Short Sale clients. References can provide you with the best information about what to expect if you need to do a short sale on your house.

The problems occur when a homeowner hires an agent to do their short sale but the agent has never done one before.  Short sales are not easy and not all realtors have the skills, work ethic or experience required to be an expert short sale agent.  When homeowners make the mistake of not hiring the right agent for the job, the result can be disastrous resulting in your home getting foreclosed on.  If you’re in the market for a real estate agent that specializes in doing short sales do your research and find out everything that you can about the agent before making your decision.  You’ll be glad you did.

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Inspecting a Pre- Foreclosure

In Central Florida everyone knows just how opportunistic today’s market can be with an abundance of short sale homes up for grabs.  New pre- foreclosure listings appear every day, with hundreds of investors and Realtors competing for the best properties.

If you want to succeed in such a market you must do your homework on the properties that interest you to make sure it is a sound investment. That means, among other things, having the property properly inspected.

Not all pre-foreclosure  properties are created equal. Dilapidated, abandoned, and neglected foreclosures in the slums are a different beast altogether than recently-vacant, well-maintained, and intact foreclosures in higher-end neighborhoods in the suburbs. Because of this, it helps to have inspections done on your properties. The scope and detail of an inspection will depend on the quality of the home itself. For example, if you are dealing with a property in a relatively decent neighborhood, and the home appears to be well-maintained and in good order, you could probably deal with inspecting the home yourself for minor repairs and leave it at that. It helps to witness a professional home inspection at least once so you can get a good feel for how it is supposed to work.

Even if nothing on the outside appears out of order, you could be facing some major repairs on the inside. The things you need to pay special attention to are the big money items like the electrical wiring as well as the plumbing of the house especially if it’s an older house. If you have to get a house rewired or re-plumbed up to code, you could be talking big bucks!  Another big money item you should inspect is the central A/C system. A central A/C system can cost you thousands to get repaired or replaced. Also, you should get the roof thoroughly inspected for things like rotted wood, termite damage, the condition of the shingles, etc. If the house has ceiling damage, it means that the roof leaks or has leaked in the past at some point.

The main benefit of a home inspection is to help you determine how sound of an investment the property may be, so you are not pouring money into a money pit. Again, not all short sale homes  are equal; some will require extensive, major renovations that could eat away at your profit margin and leave you in the red. Once you know what the home will cost to repair to proper standards, you will have an inside track on pricing your offer and maximizing your spending power.  If you’ve never re-habbed a house before, I would recommend that you start with one that doesn’t need a whole lot of repairs so you can get a feel for it before taking on any major projects.

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Renting Heating up the Orlando market

As 2012 begins to kick into full gear, the real estate market in Orlando is already heating up. If you’re talking about rentals, that is.
The truth is, renting has become the fastest-growing component of the overall real estate market over the last year, simply because fewer people are buying homes than they otherwise would in a healthy year. Falling home prices, incredibly-tight lending standards, and stubborn unemployment rates have all contributed to pushing the would-be buyers to the other side – renting.
This doesn’t mean that renting is inherently “bad” – for many people, renting is the cheaper and wiser option. Especially if you’re renting a house for less than what your neighbor’s mortgage payment is for the same size house. But for those who want to build up equity in a home, break free of a landlord once and for all, and purchase a home at severely-discounted prices, renting just will not do. Fortunately (or unfortunately), renting will have a big impact on buying and selling of Florida homes in 2012, perhaps even more so than in 2011.
For sure, the rental market across Florida as well as the rest of the nation will continue to improve as it did throughout 2011. In many metropolitan areas in particular, vacancy rates have plummeted and rental prices have risen sharply. This trend may taper off a tad, but more or less will continue throughout the year – meaning people will be paying more money to rent the same apartment in 2012 as they would have in 2011. If you’re looking for a great deal on renting or buying a house in Central Florida contact me

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Big Cash For Keys!

Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo have all started offering cash incentives to their delinquent customers in Florida who agree to a short sale. It’s not unusual for a lender to give a small cash bonus to foreclosed customers who leave their properties in good condition, which has become known as Cash For Keys. What is different about these new programs at the nation’s top three mortgage lenders is that the amounts are significantly higher, up to 20,000 dollars.

The banks cite the length of time that foreclosure takes as their reason for encouraging customers to make short sales. In Florida, it is an average of 619 days, 30 percent longer than it took just one year ago. Short sales, while still not a particularly short process, are much more efficient and overall more beneficial for everyone involved.

In short sales, homeowners are protected from potential deficiency judgments and severe credit hits, while the banks themselves are able to recoup something, instead of nothing, from defaulted loans. They also save money that would otherwise be spent on the eviction process. It is the smarter business move. Real estate agents win, too. They gain a listing, a sale and a commission.

Encouraging short sales is also a public relations boon for banks reeling from a recent lack of confidence from consumers. By helping people to avoid foreclosure, they present a more beneficent image. That improves their overall bottom line by bringing in new customers.

It may be smart business to offer a cash incentive for a short sale, but it really does help people, too. Those facing foreclosure frequently don’t know where they are going to live once their home has been taken away. They are often so strapped for money that they cannot afford a typical first-and-last-month’s upfront payment on a rental property. The cash makes a big difference in helping people to land on their feet. Some may even be able to use it as a downpayment on a more affordable home.

A short sale, relative to a foreclosure, is easier emotionally and psychologically, too. There’s the comfort of knowing that the debt is gone, and with no risk of legal action. A person can truly start fresh. There’s less embarrassment, and the impact on credit is less than it would be for a foreclosure.

More banks are looking into offering significant cash incentives to their delinquent customers who choose short sales. It makes good business sense for them, since they do not lose as much money as they would in a foreclosure. It also is a way for them to give something back to the community and earn goodwill.

The government also has a program, the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA), that provides cash, up to 3000 dollars, for short sales. To get the government credit, homeowners must meet certain minimum criteria, including that the loan be owned by the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. Through the end of 2012, there is also a federal tax break for short sales.

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