Real Estate Blog






Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for the first time in two months as global economic anxiety and market turbulence eased.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.64 percent from 3.62 percent last week. The benchmark rate remains below the 3.75 percent level it marked a year ago.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages edged up to 2.94 percent from 2.93 percent last week.

Economists saw some positive signs in new data. The U.S. stock market started recouping losses from a brutal start to the year and ended last Friday with a second straight weekly gain. That brought a break in the recent trend of U.S. government bond prices

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Impacts from new federal guidelines were felt in November, creating additional time requirements to close on a mortgage for home buyers.  Home sales were down in November, with home which otherwise have closed in November to be pushed into December. 

The average time to close on a mortgage was 49 days in November, the longest timeline since February 2013, according to Ellie Mae's latest Origination Insight Report. Conventional and FHA loans each averaged 49 days while VA loans averaged 50 days.

The National Association of Realtors® has flagged the new RESPA-TILA "Know Before You Owe" mortgage regulations, which took effect Oct. 3, as the likely culprit for the longer closing times.

NAR reported last month that

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Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes rose last month with a total of

22,147, an increase of 1.2 percent over October 2014.

Statewide, October marked the 47th consecutive month in a row that the median sales

increased year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $198,995, up 12.4 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations.

The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in August was $150,000, up 7.2 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for

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Buying a home can really be confusing, and intimidating for the first time home buyer.  So much to do, so little time!  Here is a link which may prove to be helpful in navigating through the process;

First Time Home Buyer To Do List

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What’s your home worth? Not as much as you think

This article from Florida Realtors, and again stresses the importance of a couple of things;  first, the importance of knowing the market, and doing a comparative market analysis.  Secondly, and this is a difficult issue for home sellers, is the need to emotionally detach yourself from your home.  Your home is worth what it is worth, based on the market and only the market!

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Sept. 29, 2015 – Some homes are sitting for sale longer in Broward and Palm Beach counties, and real estate agents blame the sellers.

With prices rising, more sellers seem unable to accept what their homes are really worth, agents say.

"There's a serious problem with sellers

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The real estate picture is improving nationwide.  Florida, a state which lead the nation in foreclosures and distressed properties is the most improved state in the nation.  In a city-by-city comparison, Orlando leads the nation in both a month-to-month and year-to-year comparison, and only one non-Florida city makes the top five list for either timeframe.

Florida metro comparisons

Orlando topped all city lists from Freddie Mac. Month-to-month, Orlando improved 2.6 percent, followed by Greenville, S.C. (+2.55%), Cape Coral (+2.51%), Tampa (+2.19%) and Jacksonville (+2.12%).

Year-to-year, Orlando improved 18.27 percent, followed by Cape Coral (+17.75%), Tampa (+15.99%), Palm Bay (+14.98%) and North Port (+14.77%).


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1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent.

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down

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With home prices on the rise again, so is the value of the Save Our Homes break. The 20-year-old tax policy, voted into Florida's constitution, says a homesteaded property's taxable value can't rise by more than 3 percent a year.

The break will shield $23.5 billion from property taxes, up from $16.5 billion last year, it is estimated.

Florida voters in 2008 approved "portability," which lets homesteaded owners take $500,000 of their Save Our Homes break to a new homestead, thereby reducing taxable amounts at the new residence as well.

Save Our Homes benefits longtime property owners with homestead exemptions. But the cost is shifted to recent buyers of homes, apartment tenants, snowbirds, owners of malls and office buildings,

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$ signs  The Federal Reservehas for some time been signaling that they will be raising interest rates in the fall or winter of this year.  Just what does that mean to you?  Quite simply, this represents a loss in buying power for all home buyers.  As the interest rates rise, the cost of a mortgage rises along with them.  For example, if the interest rate were to rise 1%, a $200,000 home would cost you $2,000 more each year than it currently does ---- just due to the increase in the interest rate on the mortgage.

Unless your income rises by an equal amount, you LOSE 1% of your purchasing power, in this example.  The message? --- it's quite simple, now is a great time to buy if you are considering a home purchase in the near future.  It's better to buy that

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