Orlando Hits #4 on Zillow’s Projected Top 10 Housing Markets of 2017

On January 6, Zillow, a leading real estate and rental database, announced its predictions for 2017’s 10 hottest housing markets. Topping the list this year, at #4 in the nation and #2 in the East, is our very own Orlando, Florida! Zillow’s predictions are based on rising home values, low unemployment rates, and

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Kissimmee Florida Homes Sales Summary

April 1st marks the opening day of the real estate major league season, or at least that’s what I like to call this busy 4-month period. Kissimmee Florida homes sales peak between April and July, making it the busiest season of the year for many reasons. For people with kids, school is or has wound down and they are looking to make the move during the Summer months while the kids are out of school. For people who have an empty nest and are in retiring mode, they have had enough of the snow by April and get into relocating mode. What ever your situation may be, the following information is one you should take into consideration if you are buying or selling a home in 2016.

Kissimmee Real Estate Cold Hard Facts

According to a recent news report, this January, the Orlando Metro area housing market outperformed the state of Florida’s. In the Orlando metro area, buyers paid a midpoint of $202,000, which is $3,000 higher than the current median price throughout the state of Florida.

A report by Florida Realtors stated that a tight job market along with a thinning inventory helped boost Orlando’s real estate market up by more than 14 percent over the past year. Over the course of the past year, the state’s 13 percent price growth was surpassed by Central Florida’s market.

The region’s strong price growth wasn’t hurt by its pace of sales. The Orlando metro area accounted for 2,000 single-family home sales in the month of January, a 4.3 percent increase from January of 2015.

However, not every price range was selling according to Florida Realtor Chief Economist Brad O’ Connor. Affordable home sales dropped by 17 percent and the inventory of houses through- out Florida decreased from a supply of 5.9 months in 2015 to 4.5 months of supply just last month. The demand for such home prices was maintained, even with 30-year mortgage interest rates rising to nearly 3.8 percent.

What Does This Mean If You’re A Seller?

Make repairs now – gutters, squeaky doors, leaky faucets, broken moldings, paint touch-ups, pressure washing, new roof (if approaching the 12 year mark), add fresh mulch, weed flowerbeds, and any other simple repairs or improvements that could be an excuse for a buyer to submit a low bid. Keep curb appeal closely in mind as a clean, bright driveway and maintained landscaping will create competition for your home and thus being able to sell closer or above your asking price.

What Does This Mean If You’re A Buyer?

Be flexible. Things can begin moving rather quickly during this time and you must be ready for calls, face-to-face meetings, and other things that may come up during this process. Expect to exceed the asking price. In these types of market conditions, chances are the seller has several good bids and yours may not make the cut if you try to bid cheap. Get in touch with the seller and show him/her your interest in creating a home out of their space – they may prefer to sell to you even if your bid isn’t the highest because they can relate to you. Have at least two areas you would want to live in. The market is tight so we may need a back up plan.

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Florida Real Estate Outlook: 2016

2016 will be the year to buy a home in Florida.

At least, that’s what the Florida real estate outlook for 2016 is alluding to. In an interview with the St. Augustine RECORD, realtor.com Chief Economist, Jonathon Smoke, said “Florida is positioned to become one of the hottest spots in the country with rising demand, positive gains in recovery, really good fundamentals and positive momentum”.

According to Smoke, Millennials and Boomers will both be dominating the market when it comes to home purchases. Millennials will be looking to purchase their first home, while Boomers will be looking to downsize and relocate to warmer weather, lower cost of living, and an activities-rich area. From experience, the Spring and Summer months always are a hot time for closing sales, but according to Smoke the Spring and Summer months will bring a swarm of buyers to Florida. Home prices will “rise about 5%” during 2016 and will result in an “8 to 10 percent” home sales increase.

See the full interview by going to staugustine.com

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Florida Real Estate Market Positives

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Interview With Realtor Lorraine Valdes: Understanding Real Estate

lorraine-valdes-real-estateMeeting new people,” Lorraine says in response to the question of her favorite thing about being a Realtor, “I am constantly meeting new people. Being able to see the joy in someone starting a new life. Moving a family into a new home. It’s very exciting and very rewarding.”
There is no such thing as a typical work day for Lorraine. Success comes from serving people and meeting their needs. In the real estate business each day brings different people with individual needs. She stays busy and often schedules out in advance. But she leaves room to serve impromptu clients because she believes that if she can serve their needs then she will. She credits the drive of serving people and doing what is right as the secret to her success. This interview with Lorraine Valdes covers her suggestions of what a buyer should do before calling her to buy a home, the impact of summer on the Central Florida Market, and gaining momentum of the Florida Housing Market.

What are some things a prospect buyer should know, or do, before they call you about owning a home?

Know the market, be familiar with the location you’re interested in! Just asking to be relocated to Central Florida is too broad, that covers 6 or 8 counties. Target in on the area that you are interested in. If you have children, check out the school systems, do a little bit of pre-planning before you decide on a location. What you pretty much need to know is: focus on an area, know your budget and stay within it. Also, you have to be pre-qualified, you can’t buy a house without having pre-qualification for finance or proof of funds. Take time to understand real estate taxes and how mortgages are amortized. Buying a home is a commitment. If you have plans of selling it in the future then you’ll need to maintain the property in order to hold it’s value.

Summer is here! How does that affect the Central Florida Housing Market?

Summer is a slow season in Solivita. People in over 55 communities are people who are retired or semi-retired and come down to Florida for the winter months to escape the cold. Our high season is September through March when snowbirds flood the housing market. While they are here, just on vacation or month long rental or something like that, they fall in love with the weather and want to relocate. High season drives prices up, there are more people searching so there is more demand to purchase homes. Most people will list their home to sell it in high season, so yes, you have more homes to choose from but you have much more competition in purchase power. Summer time is slower, less inventory but more serious buyers. People that come down in June or July want to buy a house. They have already sold their home, they need to get in a new one soon.      Now on the other hand, I do work outside 55 community, and what drives the market is school season, people start shopping in June and want to be in by August because school starts in August. So there are two very distinctly different markets I work in. People with children are busy shoppers in June/July because they need to be in by August.

The housing market is supposedly gaining momentum in Florida. As a Realtor do you notice the difference from this year as opposed to previous years?

Yes, absolutely. It has been a very busy year in the housing market. I attribute much of it to the weather conditions that have been going on in the North and Midwest. The colder the winters are the more people want out and immediately start to consider relocation to Florida. The market has been consistently high because banks are loaning again. Mortgages are quick and easy to achieve. After the bust in 2005-2007, people did a lot of short sales and foreclosures. Now they are coming upon year seven, their credit is good, and they can buy again. Central Florida is also driven by tourism. So if you have a lot of people that get laid off, or want to relocate, Central Florida is the perfect place to go because no matter if you are in management, banking, or a waitress there is always, always work here. Being in close proximity to Disney World creates a very major draw for anyone that needs to work. There is constant employment here due to tourism.

So, there are still a lot of foreclosure homes on the market?

Yes. We are still seeing a tremendous amount of foreclosures on the market. People don’t realize that process is a very lengthy one. Just because someone falters on their mortgage does not mean that the property immediately goes back to the banks. You might have seen someone get evicted from a property you want last month. Well, that property will be on the market in about four or five years. The process for the bank to acquire the deed of a foreclosure is a long one that goes through the court system. Right now they are working on foreclosures that banks took back in 2009. But there are plenty out there right now on the market that people can buy.

Nearly 2 million homeowners no longer ‘seriously’ underwater on their mortgages

Surging home prices have helped nearly two million homeowners get back above water on their mortgages over the past year.

During the first quarter, 9.1 million, or 17%, of homeowners were seriously underwater on their home, meaning their debt exceeded the home’s value by 25% or more, according to RealtyTrac. That’s down from 10.9 million, or 26%, of all properties a year earlier.

States with the highest percentage of seriously underwater homes included Nevada, Florida and Illinois.

Read full article at CNN

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Existing Home Sales Report

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Putting the Recession in the Rearview: Home Values at or Near Peak Levels in 1,000+ US Cities

Home values in more than 1,000 cities and towns nationwide either already are, or soon will be, more expensive than ever, erasing any losses in value experienced during the recession, according to Zillow.

U.S. home values climbed 5.7 percent year-over year in the first quarter, to a Zillow Home Value Index of $169,800. National home values have climbed year-over-year for 21 consecutive months, a steady march upward that has helped put the housing recession almost entirely in the rearview mirror in 1,080 of the more than 8,700 cities and towns covered by Zillow.

In these areas, home values are already at or expected to reach pre-recession levels in the next year, including in many hard-hit areas. Among the 6,781 cities and towns covered by Zillow that experienced home value declines of 10 percent or more during the recession, values in 527 have either fully recovered or are expected to recover fully by the first quarter of 2015.

Read full article at Zillow

Spring Housing Market Shaping Up as Tale of Two Coasts

The Spring housing market is taking form and buyers and sellers should be looking at what kind of market they will be buying/selling a home in. Whether you are looking to buy/sell in a buyer’s/seller’s will determine the negotiating power you hold. Read more