With today’s considerably lower Miami Beach real estate prices, the large inventory of foreclosures and bank owned property the question becomes more of what kind of property is worth investing in than anything else. For purposes of this article, we’ll focus on bank owned properties, also known as REO (real estate owned) property.
A home becomes real estate owned if it doesn’t find a buyer during a property auction. Since banks aren’t necessarily designed to function as Miami Beach real estate property-owners, they’re usually very eager to get rid of them which can result in considerable discounts. However since an REO is not the same thing as a foreclosure, lenders can still earn a profit from them so don’t expect as deep of a discount.
A perk of buying a Miami Beach real estate REO is that there’s much less of a risk of dealing with liens, taxes and other unforeseen costs that come with a foreclosure since lenders will take usually deal with them before the sale is closed. However an REO can still be in bad condition like a foreclosure so it remains important to get a home inspection or check the home out yourself, lenders are not at all obligated to make any repairs on the property but they will allow you to back out if something is seriously wrong.
Posted at 10:24:21 AM
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Examining the Interior of a Home
If you’ve been browsing through Miami Beach real estate on the internet, you’ve more than likely come across numerous resources thoroughly explaining how important it is that you carefully consider where the home is located, the values of neighboring homes, etc. If you’ve done your homework, perhaps it’s time to narrow down your assessment to the home you may soon be living in by giving the interior a meticulous examination.
Perhaps you’d like to start off with the electrical wiring. Depending on your familiarity, you may wish to leave this to a professional or have it done as part of the home inspection report, should you request one. Always check this part out regardless of whether the home was built ten years ago or five years ago.
The plumbing is a little easier. Leakage can often be discovered just by taking a look behind sinks since that’s the spot where mold has the best conditions for accumulating. A leaky sink could be an indicator of bad pipes and thus plumbing, something you likely want to bring to the appropriate person’s attention before signing off on the dotted line on your Miami Beach real estate purchase.
Not all homes come with an addict but if there is one, you may wish to make it your first stop. If you want to examine the roof, the attic is the best spot to do so. If there’s wood that shows wear and tear, this could lead to leakage later on.
Posted at 11:00:29 AM
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Compiling Comparable Sales
With the advances in technology and the widespread availability of the World Wide Web, there is more real estate information available than ever. Realtors have a number of resources available to help them with their seller and buyer assistance efforts and among these, it’s important to have a good idea of average sales prices in any given neighborhood, officially known as comparable sales and often referred to simply as comps.
Depending on the state where the realtor is doing business, obtaining information on comps can be done by simply heading over to the local courthouse and browsing through public records or reading newspaper listings to get a glimpse of recent sales figures. However this method means that such services need to actually be provided in order to make use of them.
The most readily available resource is the internet since there are many websites available which can be used for finding comparable sales information while removing the need to do a lot of unnecessary and possibly fruitless legwork. Keep in mind though that there is no guarantee as to how current this information may be. A similar approach is to subscribe to service companies which can mail or offer this information via other means besides the internet. Even so, the same problems of encountering outdated information are still there.
The MLS can be extremely useful and if the person using it is already a licensed realtor then they have access to a wealth of information on multiple listings which is more often than not kept up to date.
At the end of the day however, perhaps the best way to have the sharpest knowledge on comps is to take the self research approach and focus on a certain neighborhood and staying abreast of sales.
Posted at 4:43:12 PM
Friday, October 31, 2008
Existing Home Sales Rose Nationally Last Month
While the economy seems bleak with the stock market fluctuating daily and a steady amount of major companies going bankrupt or merging, the real estate market seems to be headed down a different path. Month-after-month the real estate market has slight improvements. Experts think the worst declines in the real estate market have already past while the economy still has a while before it stabilizes.
Recent reports from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) show an increase in existing home sales. Home sales were up 5.5 percent with a total of 5.18 million units sold across the country in the month of September which was higher than the previous month by 1.4 percent. Lead economist for the NAR Lawrence Yun suggests this is part of “a sales turnaround which began in California several months ago…” and “is broadening now to Colarado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Rhode Island”.
The cause of this influx of real estate business, according to NAR President Richard F. Gaylord is “low home prices and low interest rates”. The nearly thirty percent discounts in home prices in major cities and rural areas have attracted buyers back to the real estate market in certain areas of the country. Richard F. Gaylord is optimistic about recent gains and thinks the real estate market is on its way to recovery.
Lawrence Yun, while also optimistic about the recovery of the real estate market, warns of “market disruptions” on the road to real estate market recovery. The credit markets have a significant impact on the real estate market and as they experience tough times it may have averse effects on the real estate market. But that aside, the NAR is predicting that the worst for the real estate market is over and that it will recover sooner than the economy itself.
Posted at 10:53:28 AM
Friday, September 05, 2008
Global warming, damaging fuel emissions, they’re all more of a concern on people’s minds these days as they become more and more aware of their long term effects on the environment and how important it is to try and incorporate “green practices” into your daily lifestyle whether that means doubling up your recycling efforts or reducing the amount of time you spend sitting idly in traffic.
In real estate, many developers have taken into account how they too can make homes “greener” and many have made use of natural resources to create environmentally friendly condo buildings like Ten Museum Park which uses its glass design to allow tons of natural sunlight to come into the building, thus reducing the need to flip on artificial lights, at least during the day.
The Ten Museum Park condo is only a small part of a bigger picture. Its home, downtown Miami is recognized not only by its sweeping business and condo skyscrapers, but also the numerous and elaborate light displays that bring the city to new life during the evening. Obviously all this visual eye candy, while certainly nice to look at does not do the environment any favors. Thus, to reinforce the message of how important it is to turn off nonessential lights whenever possible, Ten Museum Park and all those other high rises in downtown Miami’s will turn off their own unimportant lights on March 29 in a global effort to encourage environmental awareness.
Regardless of whether you live in a Miami single family home or a luxury condo, the efforts required by you to help out the environment even a little are that simple: turn off lights when you leave a room, drop a plastic water bottle or soda can into a recycling receptacle instead of the trash. It may seem useless but it’s always good to know you’re doing your part in making the world you share with everyone else that much more pleasant.
hat require little to no repairs. Don’t get caught up in the fierce competition without having a limit of how far you’re willing to bid, always remember the winning bid is only a component of the other fees that follow. As you learn the ropes, you’ll eventually get a feel for how real estate auctions work and who knows, if you become good at it, they may become your preferred method of buying Florida real estate.
Posted at 2:50:44 PM
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
International Florida Real Estate Assistance
To some degree the foreclosure situation has transitioned from how to prevent foreclosures to how to get rid of the hundreds of foreclosure properties already available on the market. South Florida homes are among the highest in foreclosure filings, contributing to an already overcrowded housing glut. The answer to appeasing the situation may lie beyond the U.S. borders.
Strategic Real Estate Advisors is an asset management firm situated in London that plans to raise $1 billion dollars in order to purchase luxury property like Miami Beach oceanfront condos currently owned and being sold by the banks through the Florida Prime Residential Opportunity Fund.
Itâ€™s interesting to note that not only is Strategic Real Estate Advisors located outside of the United States, the majority of the funds which will go towards the purchase of all these luxury properties will be coming from well to do investors and funds located throughout Europe and the Middle East. Recent reports have consistently pointed towards international investors and buyers as integral towards maintaining interest in Florida property investments and sales.
Critics may see Strategic Real Estate Advisorsâ€™ initiative as ineffective since they wonâ€™t be making a profit. The firm actually plans to buy and then hold onto these properties for next six years or so, a move that may cost considerable funds as the market fluctuates but which should bring considerable profit by the time it decides to sell them off as a residential property investment or something else entirely.
Within a seven year timeframe home values and the real estate market in general will certainly be in much better shape and buying activity will likely have increased so in a sense Strategic Real Estate Advisors are providing a worthwhile short and long term solution. Is this just another flash in the pan or is it a viable strategy?
Posted at 12:30:39 PM
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Homes Are Selling Again
Amidst the doom and gloom of housing market reports comes a recent report suggesting the real estate market is showing strong signs of life. In these tumultuous times it's easy for people to think that the economy is headed for recession or even a crash. Despite current market reports that suggest we are beginning to see slow signs of recovery there are still those who would rather build a bunker under their homes to prepare for an apocalypse then invest in real estate.
The last half dozen months have not seen much progress in the way of homes sold. The highest percentage of drop in home sales occurred during that period leading many to believe that the market would eventually begin to recoverâ€”and it did. In April homes sales increased slightly, which wasn't enough to ease all tensions in the housing market but enough to show that the market is on the right track to recovery.
Property value also rose slightly across the nation showing encouraging signs of the real estate market's enduring strength. Though the median home value is comparably low to just four years ago the fact that property value is stabilizing across the country is a sign that things will return to normalcy sooner than later. When property values experience steady rise it will be more practical for people to sell homes and to convince investors to buy homes.
So, how should one react to recent reports of trends reversing in real estate? Real estate transactions rising are a sign that demand for property is still alive. Prices are almost at a low enough level that many people sitting on the fence on whether or not to invest will soon become active. As sales increase, so will home values and soon real estate investments will become stable enough to return to business as usual.
When sellers start the home-selling process, no one wants to think "What would happen if my home doesnt sell?" But before you panic, recognize that there are many things that you can do so you dont wind up in that position.
Tip 1: Understanding the real estate market and the value of your home will help you avoid this dilemma. The first key point is to get educated about the market. Read your newspapers, online real estate sites, and consult with the best experts in real estate for your area to determine the sales price.
While all that may seem basic, youd be surprised how many sellers >Tip 2: Fix up your home. Most buyers dont want to purchase a big list of must-do fixes in order to live in the home they just bought. Yet, some sellers think that its a waste to spend money on a home that theyre moving out of soon. Thats quite a predicament. Both sides have valid points except one side-buyers-might be in a stronger position. The seller wants out and if the home is a mess, many buyers will simply move on to the next best house.
Yet, if a buyer wants it badly enough, he/she might agree to purchase your home but its guaranteed youll take a financial hit as the buyer will want to discount the price for the problems that need fixing. In the end, you might have to fix the issues before the sale anyway. So, starting with a house that is in >Tip 3: If you need to sell your home, dont pull it off the market because you think the season isnt right. Buyers who need to buy a home will keep hunting through all the seasons. There may be some slow times but if people need a house, theyll keep looking even in the unlikely times.
Tip 4: Consider incentives. Yes, you can make your home more appealing by tossing in some incentives. Its best to speak with your REALTORreg; about which incentives are best for you to offer. Even practical incentives can help get buyers to your home to view it. These incentives can help encourage the buyer to move forward, especially if other challenges arise.
Tip 5: Stage your home. This is not the same thing as fixing up your home. Fixing up your home includes daily maintenance and repairs. Staging your home involves using experts to make your home showroom-readylike a model home. I know you might say that all your friends tell you that you have fantastic taste but, trust me, if youre serious about selling your home, then its worth at least having a consultation with an expert in the industry.
Heres why: They are trained to stay on top of the trends that have mass appeal. They also offer a fresh set of eyes on your home. They might easily point out something that you never saw before because youve been living in your home for a long time. They will look at your home from an outsiders perspective and thats exactly what you need.
Taking the time to, at least consult with experts, allows you to gain knowledge and information about your home and the market place. What you do with that is up to you, but it may just be the difference between a For Sale sign and a Sold sign hanging outside your home. > Full Story
You know how tough it is to qualify for a mortgage.
Proof youve got a long-term job with ample income. A credit score to the moon. Your lifes savings as a down payment. More cash stashed away. A debt-to-income ratio to die for. For some, tax returns for the last two years.
Youve been there, done that. For weeks now. Maybe a month or more.
Youve fought the good fight, youve run the gauntlet of mortgage qualifications and you have your signature-tired hands on that coveted home loan approval.
Now, all you have to do is not blow it.
For goodness sake, dont make any surprise financial moves that could cost you your home loan.
Your mortgage approval is primarily based on documenting your income and assets, your equity stake or down payment, your credit and the cash youll have left over after the deal is done.
Once you have a mortgage approval, if you change the profile of any one of those qualifiers, you could have to kiss your mortgage goodbye.
Lenders today dont just check your qualifying information once or even twice. Three, four or more checks, of one document or another, arent out of the question in todays tight lending market.
Avoid big purchases - If you buy a new car, change the lease, or acquire another large possession, it could show up on your credit report or bank statement.
The lender could think youve gone beyond the risk the lender is willing to accept on your mortgage - especially if you qualified by a hair.
If the new loan or purchase amount upsets the debt-to-income ratio the lender used to approve your home loan, your mortgage could go "poof."
No new credit - Likewise, dont open new credit cards, even for a zero interest rate. Those credit card offers will come streaming in after you close your mortgage. Just wait. The lender didnt approve you based on the additional card or extra loan.
Pay your bills - Also, pay your bills on time, even if theres a dispute. Stop paying a bill and the blotch on your credit report can block your mortgage.
Keep your job - Be kind to your boss and dont get fired. Also, dont go looking for new work right now, unless its a second job to make more money.
Certain job changes also can affect how the lender rates your creditworthiness.
That includes a job change between industries, a job change to start a new company and changing from a job with a salary to a job that pays by commission.
On the other hand, get a promotion and a raise and you should be fine.
Dont cash out - Leave your stashes of cash alone. Dont transfer large sums of money between bank accounts. Dont make random, undocumented deposits to or withdrawals from your bank account.
Dont be stupid It should go without saying, but criminal activity, trying to buy a second home and trying to add a co-signer or name to the loan, after approval, could all also get your mortgage canned.
Remember, stuff happens. There are events beyond your control that could cost you your mortgage. A pink slip. A divorce. Hospitalization. The co-signer bails.
However, once your mortgage is approved, do keep tight reigns on what you can control. > Full Story
If youre looking to buy a home and you would really like to get something in escrow before the end of the year, you might be facing a "slim pickins" situation. Inventory issues have plagued the market for several years, and despite a positive real estate outlook, the lack of homes has kept many buyers out of the game.
Thats one of the reasons home buyers have been choosing new U.S. homes. They jumped last month to the highest level since October 2007, ldquo;a sign that Americans mdash; unable to find existing homes mdash; are turning to new construction,rdquo; said USA Today. ldquo;New home sales leapt 18.9 in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 667,000, the most in a decade. Sales rose in all regions including the South, where they increased nearly 26.rdquo;
Existing home inventory isnt expected to get better until at least the last half of 2018. So, if a brand new home is something youd consider, think about this: the next two weeks could be the best time to buy all year.
Builders are especially motivated to move their homes this time of year so they can get them off the books. Be sure to ask in the sales office about "featured" plans or homes, which may mean the builder is willing to work with buyers to get these particular homes sold. While that may not mean a discount on the price, builders will often throw in upgrades that make them more attractive.
"A lot of the national builders are publicly traded companies. They need to meet sales goals and answer to the shareholders of that company," said Inman. "For that reason, toward the end of a quarter, builders tend to be more aggressive with their incentives in order to meet these sales goals. The December holiday season is another great time to buy. Most of the country is out shopping and traveling to see family. Very few people shop for homes this time of the year. For that reason, tis the season to find some great incentives to purchase a new home."
Many builders also offer thousands of dollars in incentives to buyers who choose to get their loan through the builders preferred lender. Those incentives mean "it actually may be less expensive to buy anbsp;new homenbsp;than a resale," Ron Sozio, builder client >
Those builder incentives can include closing costs and/or a buy-down of your interest rate, and can be as much as two or three percent of either the sales price or the loan amount - be sure to ask which one so you have a clear understanding of what youre paying.
Want more reasons to look at a new construction home? How about the fact that its brand new, never been lived in, and reflects your needs, taste, and >
If you are going to go look for new construction homes, make sure you bring your real estate agent to ensure you get the best deal. "Some buyers dont feel anbsp;real estate agentnbsp;is necessary whennbsp;building a new home. They think that because there is a sales agent on-site they dont need to bring in anyone else, right? Wrong," said The Goodhart Group.
"This mistake could cost you. That on-site person works for and represents the seller. A real estate agent will work on your behalf. A good one will know what questions to ask that can get you a sizable closing cost credit from the seller. Not to mention -- a seasoned agent will know how to negotiate the contract for upgrades and finishes that dont come standard with the home. Perhaps most important is the fact that you dont pay for the real estate agents service. "The builder pays YOUR agents commission so it costs you nothing to have someone represent you during the new construction process."