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NFIP-February-2018

WASHINGTON – Feb. 9, 2018 – As part of the just-passed continuing resolution to keep the government open, the National Flood Insurance Program now won’t expire until March 23, 2018.

While the legislation only extends government operations for six weeks – including NFIP – Congress agreed to some long-term changes, including $90 billion in assistance for post-hurricane cleanup in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.

While the national flood insurance program isn’t a direct part of federal funding, its future has been tied to it recently because the flood insurance extension has been voted on alongside the larger spending packages.

For at least the next six weeks, however, homebuyers and sellers in flood zones can stop worrying about the loss of flood insurance derailing their transaction.

© 2018 Florida Realtors®

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Urban Institute recently released a report entitled, “Barriers to Accessing Homeownership,” which revealed that eighty percent of consumers either are unaware of how much lenders require for a down payment or believe all lenders require a down payment above 5 percent.”

Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

Buyers often overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the same report:

Consumers are often unaware of the option to take out low-down-payment mortgages. Only 19% of consumers believe lenders would make loans with a down payment of 5% or less… While 15% believe lenders require a 20% down payment, and 30% believe lenders expect a 20% down payment.”

These numbers do not differ much between non-owners and homeowners; 39% of non-owners believe they need more than 20% for a down payment and 30% of homeowners believe they need more than 20% for a down payment.

While many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream home, they do not realize that programs are available that allow them to put down as little as 3%. Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

Myth #2: “I Need a 780 FICO® Score or Higher to Buy”

Similar to the down payment, many either don’t know or are misinformed about what FICO® score is necessary to qualify.

Many Americans believe a ‘good’ credit score is 780 or higher.

To help debunk this myth, let’s take a look at Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans.

2 Major Myths Holding Back Home Buyers | Keeping Current Matters

As you can see in the chart above, 53.5% of approved mortgages had a credit score of 600-749.

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will make the mortgage process easier. Your dream home may already be within your reach.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Oct. 2017 – Higher home prices and a tight supply of homes for sale may be the mantra nationwide – but certain markets are still offering lucrative options for investors, including two in Florida.

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.

Real estate sales and auction company TenX released its top picks for investors. Texas had the most markets on the list, scoring three out of the top five, as it continues to post strong growth in employment and home construction. San Antonio topped TenX’s list for best places for investors, posting strong population growth for six years and having incomes hit all-time highs. San Antonio is followed on the list by two other Texas hot spots: Fort Worth and Dallas.

Home prices are rising quickly in Texas, but they remain low compared to some other hot markets, like in California, TenX notes.

“If you look at our report, probably eight or nine of the top 20 markets in terms of housing performance are in either Texas or Florida,” says Rick Sharga, executive vice president at TenX.

“The Florida markets will be more directly impacted because Irma hit everything, but even in Texas, a lot of the construction and labor and materials and so forth that’s been going to build new properties in Dallas and Fort Worth and San Antonio might get diverted to rebuild Houston, and that could have a noticeable impact on home sales and home starts over the next six to nine months.”

Investors have had to shift course in many cities as the number of low-priced or foreclosed homes dries up.

“What they’re really looking to do now is make money on the month-to-month rent, so in a lot of cases they’re buying properties at full value,” Sharga told CNBC. “In some cases, they may even be slightly overpaying for properties, but they’re making it up in the rental income over the period of time.”

The following are the top 10 markets for investors, according to TenX:

  1. San Antonio
  2. Fort Worth, Texas
  3. Dallas
  4. Columbus, Ohio
  5. Tampa, Fla.
  6. Orlando, Fla.
  7. Indianapolis
  8. Austin, Texas
  9. Nashville, Tenn.
  10. Raleigh, N.C.

http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.

Source: “Want to be a Landlord? These Are the Top Markets This Fall for Investing in Rental Homes,” CNBC (Oct. 13, 2017)

 

Technological change will determine which cities will outperform, Cushman & Wakefield says

New York was the most sought-after market for real estate investment, according to the survey.
New York was the most sought-after market for real estate investment, according to the survey.

Global property investment rose by 4% in the year to June to $1.5 trillion, reflecting improved sentiment in 2017, Cushman & Wakefield reported Thursday.

from:http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2017/10/12/us-dominates-global-cities-for-real-estate-investm?&slreturn=1508455425

According to the firm’s annual survey of global commercial real estate investment activity, high interest from regional buyers drove growth.

It said the economic background for real estate was now more encouraging than many analysts had anticipated, with the International Monetary Fund having raised global growth forecasts for the first time since 2011.

The U.S. dominated the survey’s ranking of global cities for investment, but Asian markets made the most impressive gains in the past year.

2017 Top Cross Border Investors

Out of the 150 most populous cities, these 25 got (mostly) high marks from WalletHub in four categories.

Thanks to increased interest in buying land for development, Asian markets grew by 24.6%. By comparison, European and North American markets experienced declines of 11% and 7.5%.

Although the top 25 gateway cities in the survey declined by 120 basis points, they remained dominant with nearly 50% of the market. Half the cities in the top 10 underwent volume declines over the past year; now the 10 cities represent just 29.5% of total volumes, down from 32.9%.

New York maintained its position as the most sought-after market for the sixth consecutive year, according to the survey. The other cities in the top 10 were Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Dallas, Paris, Washington, Hong Kong, Atlanta and Shanghai.

London saw volumes fall by 25%, and was bumped from the top three by San Francisco, while number nine Atlanta displaced Tokyo, which fell to number 11.

London continued as the most attractive city for international investors, but several German cities rose in the rankings: Berlin to number five and Frankfurt to number seven. Number two New York and number three Paris were popular rivals to the British capital. Athens real estate reached a 10 year peak.

The survey found that sector concentration was highest in the office sector, with 61% of all office transactions occurring in the top 25 cities. Multifamily followed, with 49% of volumes in the gateway cities.

The report said a key factor determining which cities would outperform was technological change. Developments such as virtual reality and big data will enable more rapid change, and will start shaping cities and tenant demand within months rather than years.

It said cities will need to be able to adopt smart designs in buildings and infrastructure, and have a strong focus on their target audience of talent and businesses.

Four things will facilitate this process, according to the report:

  • City connectivity, as the importance of linking families and businesses across borders grows
  • Supportive governance with integrated strategies
  • The size and quality of a city’s institutions
  • Access to services, healthy living and cultural appeal

 

http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2017/10/12/us-dominates-global-cities-for-real-estate-investm?&slreturn=1508455425

 

From the National Association of REALTORS® Commercial and Global Services:
“Your association’s Global Business Council has been named a Platinum Council in the 2017 Global Achievement Program. Reaching the Platinum award level places you in the top 11% of councils operating nationwide. Your council contributed to raising members’ awareness of global business in your local market. Your council has demonstrated the utmost commitment to helping members capture their share of the global real estate market in the United States, in addition to connecting your council and members to the global community in your area.”
We, the Pinellas International Council board would like to thank NAR, the Pinellas REALTOR® Organization (PRO), the Pinellas Realtor Affiliates, and all of the members of the Pinellas International Council for making this recognition possible!! Thank you all so much!! We will do our best to continue bringing Global education and events to our members.
2017-NAR-Global-Platinum (1) - Copy

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PROFARM Neighborhood Advocates
Remodeling ROI (September 2017)

Whether you’re thinking about modernizing a room in your home or rehabbing an entire house, you’ll want to make sure the money you invest in the project has a positive effect on your home’s value. Before you start tearing up tile, ripping out old plaster or buying that “handyman’s special” you’ve had your eye on, consider consulting a professional real estate appraiser about the economics of your proposed project.

You may receive good advice on questions such as:

  • Is the improvement feasible and marketable?
  • Are neighborhood trends pointing to an upward cycle?
  • How to go about it

When it comes to improving your home, don’t count on a dollar-for-dollar return on every improvement. For example, real estate appraisers have found that remodeling a kitchen or bathroom or adding a room may bring the greatest return on a homeowner’s investment. Some custom installations can actually detract from value, which appraisers call “overimprovements.”

“The latest research shows that home improvements with a relatively low cost are most likely to generate a positive cost-to-value ratio,” says Appraisal Institute President Jim Amorin. “Spending big dollars on major renovations doesn’t necessarily equate to a dollar-for-dollar return. In short: cost doesn’t necessarily equal value.”

Amorin encouraged homeowners contemplating renovation projects to compare the planned improvement to what’s standard in the community. “Projects that move a home well beyond community norms are typically not worth the cost when the owner sells the property,” he says.

Make sure essential repairs are completed before you start improving — a posh sauna won’t make up for a leaky roof. In fact, simple and relatively inexpensive repairs such as plastering and painting could earn a better return on your investment than some major improvement projects. Many buyers can’t overlook tacky paint colors, old or dirty carpet and ugly kitchen cabinets. Start with freshening up what you already have before adding new features to your home.

When deciding what to improve first, take a look around and find out what other homebuyers want. That way, you’ll select those improvements for which the market is willing to pay. Beware of overimproving.

If you do it yourself, do it right. Keep your improvements consistent with the quality of your home and the character of the neighborhood. If you decide that you can’t do the job yourself, be sure to contact a reputable contractor. Pay a fair price for improvements, not an inflated price.

Also be sure to consider energy-efficient improvements. While they may not save you a great deal of money now, as energy costs increase, so will your savings. Many buyers are looking for “green” and “smart” features in homes these days. Even something as simple as installing a smart thermostat can be an attractive bonus to buyers.

Most importantly, obtain any necessary permits to make sure your improvements are legal. Illegal improvements might not add value. In fact, work done without the necessary permits can create problems for you and the new buyer when it comes time to finalize a sales transaction.

I would be happy to discuss ideas and a strategy with you that would be appealing to buyers. Let me know how I can assist you! Thank you.

AnnalisaWeller1@gmail.com, 727-804-6566

 

Sources:

The Appraisal Institute, “Remodeling & Rehabbing: Some Valuable Hints for Homeowners,” © 2014 (http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/assets/1/7/remodeling_rehabbing_web.pdf)

Florida Realtors News, “Top return on investment? Smaller remodeling projects,” April 20, 2017 (http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?id=351064)

REALTOR Magazine, “Ugly Home Features Buyers Can’t Overlook, “ August 3, 2017

(http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/08/03/ugly-home-features-buyers-cant-overlook)

© 2017 Pinellas Realtor® Organization

Flood the Capitol

 

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) needs your help to send messages to Members of Congress urging them to support a comprehensive re-authorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Reauthorization will make a number of critical improvements to the NFIP including increased funds for mitigation activities, caps on overall premium increases, improved claim and mapping processes, as well as removing hurdles for more private market participation in the flood insurance market.

Reauthorization of the NFIP will help over 5 million homeowners in 22,000 communities around the country, so it is critical Congress acts now.

If Congress fails to take action to reauthorize the NFIP, it will expire by September 30, 2017.

More information:
NAR Flood Insurance Portal

July There's no place like home

 

                                                              Capture                                                           PROFARM Neighborhood Advocates
                                                           No Place Like Home (July 20, 2017)

Wherever you are in your real estate journey – dreaming, planning, remodeling, looking – a REALTOR® can help you along the way.

There’s no place like home… until a better house hits the market! You thought you were settled, until a “For Sale” sign showed up in front of that house you’ve been eyeing for years. Even when you are settled, there are always shifting priorities and scenarios that may prompt you to consider moving.

The kids are gone and you want to downsize, or maybe a parent is moving in with you. Perhaps you’ve just gotten married or are having a baby and need more room. Housing and family needs combined account for 72.7% of the reasons people move, according to the 2015-2016 U.S. Census Bureau.

Or you’ve got outdated appliances and have new kitchen envy. Many of the homes in Pinellas County are older housing stock, and need not only cosmetic, but in many cases safety or efficiency upgrades.

The next generation of home buyers are looking for updated interiors, well-equipped kitchens and outdoor living rooms.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, for-sale-by-owner homes stay on the market longer and sell for $39,000 less than those sold with the help of a real estate professional.

Finding the right agent matters! An experienced agent, who knows the market and has a network of potential buyers, can help sell a home 32% faster than an inexperienced agent (study by Dr. Bennie D. Waller, Longwood University).

Whatever your life stage or wherever you are in your real estate journey, you have a partner in me to help guide and support you.

I’m ready when you are! Contact me to set up a personalized plan for your real estate goals. Thank you, Annalisa Weller

© 2017 Pinellas Realtor® Organization

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Seven real estate laws drafted by the 2017 Florida Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott went into effect Saturday, including a Florida Realtors priority: estoppel fee caps.

Laws effective July 1

  • Cap on estoppel certificate fees – Sellers of properties who live in an HOA, condo association or co-op will have a limit on the amount they’ll pay for an estoppel certificate, a document that informs a buyer if the seller is current with their dues and assessments. SB 398 (Sen. Passidomo, R-Naples) caps estoppel certificate fees at $250 for unit owners who are current in their assessments. Associations may charge an additional $100 for expedited estoppel certificates (delivered within three business days) and another $150 to owners who are delinquent in their assessments. The bill sets the price of estoppel certificates for multiple units owned by the same person and establishes a uniform, statewide format that ensures buyers and closing agents receive the appropriate information needed to close the real estate transaction. This bill also requires certificates to be valid for 30 days if delivered electronically or 35 days if delivered by mail.
  • Florida’s natural resources – More than $500 million is earmarked for Everglades restoration, beach renourishment and springs restoration. During the session, SB 10 (Sen. Bradley, R-Orange Park) served as the primary piece of policy legislation for Everglades restoration and establishes how the funding will be used for these projects. A key provision of SB 10 is the construction of a reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee that is designed to curb nutrient and salinity levels that are harmful to Florida’s valuable natural resources.
  • Condominium termination law – Legislation passed in 2015 to protect condo owners from being forced to sell – possibly at a loss – has several loopholes that real estate investors and bulk buyers exploited. SB 1520(Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater) fine-tunes the rules and modifies the process by reducing the percentage of owners required to reject the termination – from 10 percent to 5 percent.
  • Condominium oversight – A South Florida news report of fraud in condo board elections, misappropriation of funds and rigged bids resulted in a Miami-Dade grand jury recommending changes to Florida’s Condominium Act. HB 1237 (Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami) provides several new condo oversight rules: (1) a condo association with more than 150 units must publish its financial reports and other documents (bylaws, articles of incorporation, condo rules) on a password-protected web page; (2) if an owner is denied documents and fraud is proven, persons responsible for fraudulent activity could face felony charges; (3) the term of a condo board director is limited to eight years, with some exceptions.
  • Private flood insurance – As Realtors petition Congress to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Florida lawmakers continue to work to attract private flood insurance capital to Florida. HB 813 (Rep. Larry Lee Jr., D-Fort Pierce) accomplishes two primary goals: (1) Rating flexibility for flood insurers is extended from 2019 until 2025 before they must follow guidelines similar to other lines of coverage – a way to encourage private insurers to enter the Florida market; (2) insurance agents can place flood policies with surplus lines insurers for two more years – until 2019 – before they must make a “diligent effort” to place the coverage with carriers regulated by the state. Diligent effort requires an agent to seek coverage and be rejected by at least three regulated carriers writing the same type of coverage.
  • Drone regulation – HB 1027 (Clay Yarborough, R-Jacksonville) preempts the regulation of unmanned aircraft systems (drones) by local governments and grants oversight to the state of Florida. This will prevent drone operators from having to potentially comply with ordinances adopted by 400+ local governments.
  • Pollution notification – SB 1018 (Sen. Denise Grimsley, R-Lake Placid) sets a threshold for when an operator is required to notify the Division of Emergency Management and the Department of Environmental Protection about a pollution event. It also provides a timeframe for the notification and defines what a reportable event means. This legislation is the result of pollution from a sinkhole at the Mosaic fertilizer facility in Mulberry, Fla., last summer. The Scott administration created an emergency rule that shifted the burden of pollution notification from the state to the owner of the property where the spill occurred. Florida Realtors was part of a coalition that successfully challenged the legal authority for this rule, creating an opportunity for the passage of this friendly legislation.

© 2017 Florida Realtors

Study shows blues and grays are the way to go for interiors and doors, ‘greige’ for exteriors

Homes with bathrooms painted in a powder blue or periwinkle shade sold for an average of $5,400 more — the highest sales premium of all colors analyzed.

When it comes to a home’s exterior, neutral tones, such as ‘greige,’ sold for $3,496 more than comparable homes in a different color.

by MARIAN MCPHERSON 

Furthermore, homes with front doors painted in shades of dark navy blue to slate gray sold for an extra $1,514.

On the other hand, buyers seem to be put off by style-specific features such as terracotta walls, which resulted in a $2,031 dip in sales prices. But even more than that, prospective owners seem to hate white walls: Homes that had no color whatsoever sold for an average of $4,035 less. Ouch!

“Color can be a powerful tool for attracting buyers to a home, especially in listing photos and videos,” said Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell. “Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colors, particularly in shades of blue and pale gray not only make a home feel larger, but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space.

“Incorporating light blue in kitchens and bathrooms may pay off especially well as the color complements white countertops and cabinets, a growing trend in both rooms,” she added.

If a seller is adamant about keeping color in the home, have them consider a pop of color on an accent wall using Pantone’s Color of The Year, Greenery, or have them incorporate jewel-toned decor pieces throughout the home.

BYMARIAN MCPHERSON     Email Marian McPherson.

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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