Sarasota Real Estate Market News

Sarasota Market Conditions

Click HERE to view a current Sarasota market conditions video – This is updated monthly

December 3, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Foreclosures made up 31% of home sales in second quarter

Foreclosures made up roughly one-third of all home sales in Florida and the rest of the nation this spring. While that’s a smaller share of sales from the previous quarter, it’s six times the percentage of foreclosures in a healthy housing market. 

Foreclosure sales, which include homes purchased after they received a notice of default or that were repossessed by lenders, accounted for 31 percent of the market in the April-June quarter, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

Read more HERE

 

August 28, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Palm Island Status Report

Here is the latest status report of properties in and around beautiful Palm Island!

Palm Island Report HERE

Palm Island Detailed Listings HERE

Legend:  WF = Water Front, WV = Water View, WA = Water Access, WE = Water Extras (Dock, Davits, etc)

 

August 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

USDA still offers no-downpayment mortgages

USDA still offers no-downpayment mortgages

WASHINGTON – Aug. 18, 2011 – Thanks to funding from federal programs to boost the housing market, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) still has $11.2 billion in its coffers earmarked for mortgage loans. The USDA’s Rural Development Service’s Section 502 loan is one of the few mortgage programs that requires no downpayment.

In earlier years, the program ran out of money by late summer, leaving homebuyers in limbo as they waited for the new budget year to begin. In Florida, most low-income and middle-income buyers qualify if they live in rural areas, smaller towns or some outlying suburbs to larger cities.

The program will change slightly after Oct. 1, when buyers will be required to pay a 0.3 percent premium for mortgage insurance monthly; however, the cost of upfront mortgage insurance will be reduced to 2 percent from its current 3.5 percent.

For more information, visit the USDA’s website.

© 2011 Florida Realtors®

Many single family properties  east of Interstate 75 (Lake Sarasota for example) qualify for this type of financing

August 20, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5 do’s and don’ts when hiring contractors

CASPER, Wy. – July 27, 2011 – Have a home remodeling project in mind? Here are some tips that may help you achieve a successful result.

1. Research pays off, but remember who the expert is.

DO research your project before you get quotes. It doesn’t hurt to find out, at least generally, the correct way your project should be completed. Look at trade magazines and visit home improvement websites to explore different approaches to remodeling. Sometimes there is more than one way to complete a project. For example, one painting contractor may prefer to paint your room with a tinted primer followed by two coats of latex paint, another may use a one-coat self-priming paint. Find out what industry standards are, what is a no-no under any circumstances or what might work best for your project. A little knowledge gives you power to negotiate the best price for the best work.

DON’T think a little knowledge makes you an expert. Above all, don’t think your project will be completed like projects you see portrayed on television. Home improvement television shows are deceiving. There are whole crews bringing the project to a finish in-between the time the camera is rolling. Mistakes are edited out. Remember that every remodeling project is different, and there can be hidden complications.

For example, replacing the slider door that’s been sticking for the last two years seems like a simple one-day project, but when your contractor takes out the existing door he might find it was not properly flashed by the original installer. Decay, dry rot or mold affecting the underlying framing may require him to do unexpected work. He may not be a shady contractor; he might be concerned that if he replaces the slider without fixing the underlying problem, in a few years you’ll be unhappy with his finished product.

Most reputable contractors will keep you informed of any unexpected developments and will discuss solutions with you, including estimated extra costs. They will show you problem areas and explain the process for fixing them in detail. In some cases, they can tell you in advance what kinds of hidden problems they’ve seen before and whether they think they’ll experience the same issues with your remodeling project.

2. Get competitive bids, but don’t take the lowest bid offered.

DO get competitive bids. For small projects, calling 2 or 3 contractors is usually sufficient. For larger, more extensive projects, it’s wise to have a minimum of 4 to 5 contractors bidding against each other. People will spend weeks researching the best cars and haggling over a car sale when it’s time to buy a new vehicle, but don’t hesitate to spend thousands of dollars on a remodeling project after mere hours or a few short meetings with contractors.

DON’T take the lowest bid offered, thinking you will be getting the best deal, even if your contractor shows up in a designer polo in a big, shiny truck with custom lettering looking like the perfect professional. Be leery of any contractor eager to bid lower than everyone else. It’s common practice for less-reputable remodelers to have “hidden costs” they spring on you later in the project, when everything is torn apart and you feel like you can’t back out without extreme inconvenience or loss of what you’ve already invested.

3. Negotiate for the best price, but don’t under-value your contractor.

DO negotiate for the best price. Pick the best contractors, and give them a chance to bid against each other for your project. Most contractors are willing to negotiate. If you can’t get them to negotiate on the labor price, ask them to offer you discounts on materials. Most contractors get commercial discounts between 5-25 percent from suppliers and may be able to offer you a portion, if not all, of this discount without suffering a loss on the value of their time. Depending on the size of your project, this can equate to significant savings. Some contractors may offer you a much lower labor price to beat out other bids but make up for it later through high mark-ups on materials.

DON’T get too obsessed with negotiating. Contractors often pay high insurance and overhead costs, especially if they have employees. They want to work for you, but if you want a high quality product, keep in mind that a reputable contractor with good references will walk away from your project if he thinks you are under-valuing his skills. No one wants to be under-valued. Asking for a bottom line price is not inappropriate, but asking him to be competitive with someone he knows to be the worst contractor in town could land you in spot where you have ONLY the bad contractor to complete your job. Be fair.

4. Insist on a contract and understand its terms.

DO insist on a comprehensive contract. Surprisingly, many people think a contract locks them into a set price, which is not really the case. Anyone can write a number down on paper! The most important aspect of any remodeling contract is the detailed scope of services to be provided. Even for small jobs, this is the key to getting services with a set price. For example, if your contractor is replacing an old window, NEVER accept a contract that says: “Window Replacement $XXX.XX!” The contract should specify whether or not the window will be removed and disposed of (not all contractors dispose of construction debris); whether the new window will be caulked and weatherized; or even whether the old window molding will be re-applied or replaced. Also, the contract should state how long it will take to reasonably complete services, as well as what kind of materials will be used. Insist on high quality fasteners, caulking and other materials to protect the integrity and long-term durability of your project.

DON’T ignore payment terms, which can vary greatly between contractors. Make sure you understand terms fully. Pay your contractor in a timely manner, especially if he’s efficient and provides quality workmanship. If you find the contractor is not meeting his end of the bargain, you have every right to withhold payment until a certain portion of the work is completed in accordance with the terms of your contract. Make sure payment terms state amounts to be paid at specified time periods. Having a clear and concise contract legally protects both parties and prevents misunderstandings about what is expected by all.

5. Check references carefully.

DO check references, and if possible, look at a portfolio of finished projects. Try to arrange a visit to a site where the contractor performed work similar to your own project.

DON’T let a contractor’s charm sway you. The best con artists can “talk a dog off a meat wagon.” If you are investing a sizeable amount of money into a remodeling project, you want to ensure that the contractor has a good track record by calling or visiting client references – not his relatives. If possible, try to talk with clients who have finished projects more than a year old. Newly remodeled areas always look great compared with the old, but work that still looks great a year or more later is proof of quality workmanship.

Ask these questions about how the contractor worked: Did the project move along smoothly? Did the contractor show up to work daily or have a project manager so the project moved along in a timely manner, or did work go unfinished for days or weeks at a time, seeming to take forever to complete? Did they work haphazardly or clean up at the end of each day to minimize disruption? Some people want a project completed simply and quickly, some want fancy detailing finished to magazine perfection. Decide what services are most important to you, write a list of them and discuss how they will be completed in a reasonable timeline with the contractor.

© 2011 Networx. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.   Laura Foster-Bobroff is a Hometalk – http://www.hometalk.com – writer.

July 29, 2011 Posted by | News related to Investors, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fla. couple threatens bank with foreclosure

Man Bites Dog?

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – June 7, 2011 – Months after Bank of America wrongly foreclosed on a house Warren and Maureen Nyerges had already paid for, they were still fighting to get reimbursed for the court battle.

So on Friday, their attorney showed up at a branch office in Naples with a moving truck and sheriff’s deputies who had a judge’s permission to seize the furniture if necessary. An hour later, the bank had written a check for $5,772.88.

“The branch manager was visibly shaken,” attorney Todd Allen said Monday, recalling the visit to the bank last week. “At that point I was willing to take the desk and the chair he was sitting in.”

After the moving company and sheriff’s deputies get their share, the Nyerges should receive the rest of the money this week, ending a bizarre saga that started when they paid Bank of America $165,000 cash for a 2,700-square-foot foreclosed home in Naples in 2009.

About four months later, a process server knocked on their door and handed Warren Nyerges a notice of foreclosure.

“This is a big mistake,” he recalled saying. “You must have the wrong house. We bought a foreclosure and don’t have a mortgage.”

That started 18 months of frustrating phone calls, paperwork and court hearings. Whenever Nyerges called the bank, representatives told him to “come up to date” with his payments. When he called 25 different law firms, no attorney would take the case. When he went to court, the lawyers for the bank filed incorrect motions and were woefully unprepared for the hearings.

“It was mind boggling,” said Nyerges, a 46-year-old retired police officer. “To try to unscrew the screw up, it’s not as easy as it sounds.”

Eventually the Nyerges found Allen. They fought the foreclosure and won, proving that they owned the home outright.

During his research, Nyerges heard that his name got transposed from purchase agreements onto the prior foreclosure.

“I don’t know if that is a fact, because no one really had the facts,” he said.

In September 2010, a judge ordered Bank of America to pay the couple’s $2,534 attorney fees. But by last week, the bank hadn’t paid up, so Allen got a judge’s permission to seize assets.

In an email to the Associated Press on Monday, Bank of America spokeswoman Jumana Bauwens apologized to the couple about the “delay in receiving the funds.”

“The original request went to an outside attorney who is no longer in business,” she wrote.

The law office of David J. Stern, which handled the Nyerges’ case for Bank of America, told judges across Florida in March that it will end its involvement in 100,000 foreclosure cases.

The Florida attorney general’s economic crimes division is investigating three law firms, including Stern’s, over allegations that they created fraudulent legal documents, gouged homeowners with inflated fees, steered business to companies they owned and filed foreclosures without proving the bank actually had legal interest in the loans.

According to employee testimony filed with Florida authorities, Stern’s employees churned out bogus mortgage assignments, faked signatures, falsified notarizations and foreclosed on people without verifying their identities, the amounts they owed or who owned their loans.

The attorney general is also looking at whether Stern paid kickbacks to big banks.

This isn’t the first time that Bank of America has tried to foreclose on a property that was owned by a person without a mortgage. In 2009, a Fort Lauderdale man named Jason Grodensky bought a home in cash from Bank of America in a short sale. But in court, the foreclosure case continued and a judge ordered the property to be sold. Bank of America acknowledged the error and rescinded the foreclosure.

Allen sees the Nyerges case as symbolic of the foreclosure crisis. Courts are backlogged, and banks and their attorneys aren’t scrutinizing foreclosure paperwork.

And Nyerges said he’s still upset with Bank of America.

“They couldn’t even spell our name right in the apology,” he said.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press, Tamara Lush.

June 8, 2011 Posted by | News related to Short Sales and Foreclosures, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Summer’s the season for Siesta

So, according to Dr. Beach, Siesta Beach is now the No. 1 beach in the country? Um, tell us something we don’t already know! 

Look, I’m not a sun worshiper by any stretch of the imagination. I slather on a 45 SPF just for a walk from my front door to the mailbox. But even for someone like me, Siesta Beach is nearly irresistible.

From the moment you slip off your sandals and sink your tootsies into the warm, white sand, Siesta is sublime. You can almost feel the emotional imprint of the millions of people who’ve come to the beach for fun, sun, romance, solitude, weddings, break-ups and make-ups, remembering, forgetting, praying, and celebrating.

Yes, Siesta’s seen it all … and soothed it all. Somewhere between the sand and the saltwater and the sun — a magic works itself on nearly every individual who sets foot on the beach — and later, when they leave, as they gather up their picnic baskets and shake the sand from their towels, they may not even realize it, but they feel somehow “better.” Lighter. Less worried, more calm. Feeling almost imperceptibly more connected to the world.

If you live here year-round, it’s easy to forget just how soothing Siesta can be. For natives, “season” can be a time to stay away from the beach — who wants to fight the crowds and circle like vultures for a parking spot?  But summer’s different — you can park and relax and enjoy … a lot.

Read More

June 6, 2011 Posted by | News related to Buyers, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Mortgage rates at 2011 low, but many won’t benefit

NEW YORK – May 13, 2011 – Mortgage rates have hit lows for the year and could soon near the decades-low levels of last year.

Those rates are providing an incentive for buyers, along with falling home prices. They’re tempting for refinancers, too.

Still, analysts say the combination isn’t likely to lift the depressed housing industry or contribute much to the overall economy. In many metro areas, real estate is straining under the weight of foreclosures, higher downpayment requirements, tighter credit, still-high unemployment and buyers’ expectations of even lower prices.

“If people aren’t confident about the economy, about jobs and home prices, they certainly aren’t going to sign up for the biggest purchase of their lives,” said Greg McBride, a senior analyst at Bankrate.com.

But for those with jobs, money and creditworthiness, today’s rates can be tantalizing.

This week, a qualified buyer could expect to finance a home over 30 years at an average fixed rate of 4.63 percent, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. That’s the lowest average rate in five months. In November, the rate hit a four-decade low of 4.17 percent.

The 15-year fixed mortgage, popular with refinancers, is down to 3.82 percent. That’s also the lowest point since December.

Mortgage rates have fallen for four straight weeks, tracking the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The 10-year yield has dropped as investors have snapped up Treasurys and other safe securities because of uncertainties about the global economy and the volatile prices of oil and other commodities.

Weak sales and a growing belief that prices have yet to hit bottom five years after the housing bubble burst have become a major obstacle for the economy. Homebuilding is down. Fewer first-time buyers are entering the market. The pace of home sales remains far below the level economists view as healthy.

But the biggest threat is foreclosures, said Mark Vitner, a senior economist at Wells Fargo. A wave of foreclosures is forcing down prices in most major U.S. cities.

About 3.7 million homeowners are at serious risk of losing their houses, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Foreclosures typically drag down the prices of nearby homes, putting even more homeowners in a financial bind.

More than a quarter of homeowners can’t sell their homes because they owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth. And many would-be buyers are holding off on a purchase, mindful that prices might fall further.

“What good is a low rate if you’re upside down on your mortgage?” said J. Philip Faranda, who runs a real estate firm in Westchester County, N.Y.

Even those who do feel ready to buy are having a harder time qualifying for a mortgage. The average credit score for a loan backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has jumped to 760, compared with 720 four years ago, according to the government-run mortgage buyers that back 90 percent of new loans. Fewer than half of American adults have credit scores as high as 760.

And banks are insisting on higher downpayments. The median downpayment rose to 22 percent last year in at least nine major U.S. cities, according to a survey by Zillow.com, a real estate data firm. That’s up from 4 percent in 2006.

“Lenders are reluctant to hand out loans unless you can bring some skin to the deal, in the form of a bigger deposit,” said Patrick Newport, U.S. economist for HIS Global Insight. “Until that changes, low mortgage rates aren’t going to make that much of a difference. Credit is simply hard to get.”

Home-loan financing has remained tight despite a wave of hiring, stronger consumer and business spending and a steadily rising economy. About 92 percent of banks say credit standards on mortgage loans have remained basically unchanged, according to the Federal Reserve’s senior loan office opinion survey released last month. About 45 percent said demand for home loans has been moderately weaker.

“There aren’t many buyers with deep enough pockets who can put 20 to 25 percent down,” said Julie Longtin, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Cityside in Providence, R.I.

And only two-thirds of Americans view homeownership as a safe investment, down from 83 percent in 2003, according to a Fannie Mae survey this year. Few economists see home values rebounding this year.

“The concern is, ‘Are values going to go up at this point, or go down or flatline?’” said Ben Coleman, broker-owner of Century 21 Hartford Properties in San Francisco. “I’ve seen where interest rates were dropping, and it’s almost like a ‘ho-hum.’”

The rate on the 30-year mortgage has spent most of the past year below 5 percent. Until last year, that would have been considered a bargain. This time, even those who could afford to buy will likely take a pass.

“What really may be the catalyst for buyers is when rates start moving back up,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Rates are low and still seem to be falling, so there’s no pressure now to pull the trigger.”
AP Logo Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press, Janna Herron and Derek Kravitz, AP real estate writers. All rights reserved.

May 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thought You’d be Interested

Thought You’d be Interested. Just Sold

April 15, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thought You’d be Interested

Thought You’d be Interested.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment