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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

Pinellas International Council 6th Annual Global Symposium-Thank you to David Bennett CEO of PRO, John-Paul Mario Chair of the PRO Business Affiliates, Susan Inez-Poskus CPA from Roberge Poskus, Maria Grulich from Florida Realtors, Bill Risser, VP of Digital Strategy from Fidelity National Title, Don Gonzalez Attorney, Carlos Fuentes NAR instructor, the nearly 100 attendees and all of the PRO Affiliates who sponsored this informative event. Thank you all for making this such great day!!

 

According to CoreLogic, cash home sales in the U.S. accounted for 31.8 percent of total home sales in October 2016, down 2.7 percentage points year over year from October 2015. The cash sales share peaked in January 2011 when cash transactions accounted for 46.6 percent of total home sales nationally. Prior to the housing crisis, the cash sales share of total home sales averaged approximately 25 percent. If the cash sales share continues to fall at the same rate it did in October 2016, the share should hit 25 percent by mid-2018.

Fast FAQS

  • The national cash sales share was 31.8 percent in October 2016
  • The national distressed sales share fell 2.9 percentage points year over year from October 2015
  • The national distressed sales share fell in all but eight states

Real estate owned (REO) sales had the largest cash sales share in October 2016 at 59.2 percent. Resales had the next highest cash sales share at 31.7 percent, followed by short sales at 30.2 percent and newly constructed homes at 15.9 percent. While the percentage of REO sales within the all-cash category remained high, REO transactions have declined since peaking in January 2011.

National distressed sales share of total home sales, of which REO sales made up 5 percent and short sales made up 2.6 percent in October 2016. The distressed sales share of 7.7 percent in October 2016 was the lowest distressed sales share for any month since October 2007. At its peak in January 2009, distressed sales totaled 32.4 percent of all sales with REO sales representing 27.9 percent of that share. The pre-crisis share of distressed sales was traditionally about 2 percent. If the current year-over-year decrease in the distressed sales share continues, it will reach that “normal” 2-percent mark in mid-2018.

All but eight states recorded lower distressed sales shares in October 2016 compared with a year earlier. Maryland had the largest share of distressed sales of any state at 18.6 percent in October 2016, followed by Connecticut (18.3 percent), Michigan (17 percent), New Jersey (15.8 percent) and Illinois (14.7 percent). North Dakota had the smallest distressed sales share at 2.7 percent. While some states stand out as having high distressed sales shares, only North Dakota and the District of Columbia are close to their pre-crisis levels (each within one percentage point).

Alabama had the largest cash sales share of any state at 47.5 percent, followed by New York (44.5 percent), Indiana (41.8 percent), Florida (41.5 percent) and Missouri (38.8 percent).

Cash-Sales-SHare-by-Sale-Type-2017.jpg

Distressed-Sales-as-Percentage-of-Total-Sales-2017.jpg

Cash-Sales-SHare-by-Sale-Type-2017-map.jpg
from  http://www.worldpropertyjournal.com/   By Michael Gerrity

Annalisa Weller, Realtor®, Certified International Property Specialist

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