Title Security's Blog

Comprehensive Title Insurance & Escrow Services


Leave a comment

What’s Up With Housing?

.

Latest Florida Realtors data shows Single-family home sales up 8.5% year-over-year; condo-townhouse sales up 14.1%, due in part to rising inventory of active listings.
.
.
.
.
Florida timeshare companies and exit companies are blaming each other for rising default rates, with the timeshare industry now lobbying lawmakers and regulators for policy changes.
.
.
.
.
National flood insurance, like the 2018 hurricane season, ended at midnight last evening. Many observers predict another short-term extension for NFIP, but newly elected 2019 lawmakers may be more open to a long-term extension that also keeps rates affordable.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
This move could speed closings and reduce costs, but appraisers warn that automated processes are not as reliable.
.
.
.
The federal agency that creates conventional loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will raise max amounts 6.9% – to $484,350 for most single-family 2019 loans.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Advertisements


Leave a comment

What’s Up With Housing?

.

Millennials still show a preference for conventional loans. In Sept., 68% of all loans were conventional; 27% FHA and 2% VA, reports Ellie Mae, which says the industry should “educate these buyers on the options… available to them.”
.
.
.
.
As home prices rose in the years before the Great Recession, complaints about a shortage of “workforce housing” became common in many communities throughout Florida. Those complaints are back again, with a vengeance. In most fast-growing areas of Florida — particularly in South Florida and Orlando — housing affordability for low- and moderate-income workers is a bigger issue than ever.
.
.
.
The federal government’s clampdown on dirty money in luxury real estate markets in South Florida and other metropolitan areas is ramping up.
.
.
.
.
Stackable apartments. Robotic valets. Infrared spas. The future has arrived, haltingly, and this time will be different. Maybe.
.
.
.
.
.
Want to retire comfortably? Millennials should buy a home now, finds a ULI study. Those who postpone a purchase now to save money end up losing out later, because buying young nets a “big bang for the housing buck.”
.
.
.
.
The 2018 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study finds homeowners are opting for showers over bathtubs in their master suites. And over half (56%) of baby boomer homeowners are addressing aging-related needs during master bathroom renovations.
.
.
.
.
For the second consecutive month, sales and prices showed healthy year-over-year gains in October, with Pinellas County recording its biggest price jump — 13.3 percent — since January.
.
.


Leave a comment

What’s Up With Housing?

.

Happy Thanksgiving

.

Federal statistics show that Realtors are twice as likely as the general public to be victims of violent crime.
.
.
.
.
Residential market is so strong that developers are changing plans for major projects to meet rising demand.
.
.
.
.
Listing your house for sale in this low-competition environment could net you more money than your renovations otherwise would.
.
.
.
.
The National Flood Insurance program expires again Nov. 30. According to NAR, about 1,300 home sales could be disrupted every day if so – 40K sales each month.
.
.
.
.
.
Harvard report: Adults older than 50 own 50% of all U.S. homes, and many aren’t financially ready to retire with inadequate savings after the recent recession. Many may be forced to sell, especially if they carry a mortgage and unexpected bills come in.


Leave a comment

‘Tis the Season: 5 Reasons Why Winter is a Great Time to Buy or Sell a Home

It’s a common misconception that you shouldn’t try to buy or sell a home during the fall and winter months.

This is generally considered the “offseason” in real estate. Many sellers mistakenly believe that the cold weather will keep buyers away and that no one is looking over the holidays. Unfortunately, many real estate professionals perpetuate this myth by advising their clients to “wait until the spring” to list their home.

The truth is, homes are bought and sold year round. And while the market is typically quieter during the fall and winter, savvy buyers and sellers know how to use this slow down to their advantage. In fact, depending on your circumstances, now may be the ideal time for you to purchase or list a home.

If you’re in the market to buy or sell, there’s no need to wait for the spring. Read on to discover the top five reasons that it can pay to buy or sell a home during the offseason!

 

  1. LESS COMPETITION

What’s the number one reason to buy or sell a home during the offseason? Less competition!

This can be particularly beneficial if you’re a seller. Come spring, a huge wave of new listings will hit the market. But if you list now, you will have fewer comparable homes with which to compete.

In the spring and summer months, it can be difficult for your property to stand out in a crowded market. You may end up with a surplus of homes for sale in your neighborhood. Indeed, it’s not uncommon to see multiple listings on a single street during the peak selling season.

Inventory in the fall and winter months, however, can be significantly lower. That means your home will not only receive more attention from buyers, but you may also gain the upper hand in your negotiations. In fact, research found that homes listed in the winter are nine percent more likely to sell, and sellers net more above asking price in the winter than any other time of year.1

Buyers also have a lot to love about the real estate offseason. While some buyers need to move during the winter, many bargain hunters search this time of year in hopes of scoring a great deal.

Smart buyers will continue to scan the market during the fall and winter for hidden gems that pop up during the offseason. There are always highly motivated sellers who need to sell quickly. And with less competition to bid against you, you’re in a better position to negotiate a great price. If you’ve been looking for a good deal on a home or investment property, now may be the best time to look!

So while a “slow market” may scare off some buyers and sellers, it can actually be the perfect time of year for you to list or purchase a home. While the rest of the market is hibernating until spring, take advantage of this opportunity to get a jump start on your competition!

 

  1. EVERYONE’S MORE MOTIVATED

During the spring and summer, you’re likely to encounter “lookie-loo” buyers who are just testing the waters and unrealistic sellers who are holding out for a better offer. But the serious buyers and sellers stay active during the cold weather and holiday season, often because they need to move quickly. In fact, research shows that homes listed in the winter sell faster than any other time of year.1

January and February are peak job hiring months, which brings a surge of buyers who need to relocate quickly to start a new job.2And of course life changes like retirement, marriage, divorce, and new babies come year round. While families often find it more convenient to move during the summer when school is out, the reality is that many don’t have the option to wait. According to the National Association of Realtors, 55 percent of all buyers purchased their home at the time they did because “it was just the right time,” not because of seasonal factors.3

If you prefer to deal with serious, highly-motivated buyers and sellers who want to act fast and don’t want to waste your time, then the offseason may be the perfect real estate season for you.

 

  1. GREATER PERSONAL ATTENTION

Another key benefit to buying and selling in the offseason is the increased personal attention you’ll receive.

While we strive to provide unparalleled client service throughout the year, we simply have more time available for each individual client during slower periods. Similarly, we find the other real estate professionals in our network—including title agents, inspectors, appraisers, insurance agents, and loan officers—are able to respond faster and provide more time and attention during the offseason than they are during the busy spring and summer months. The result is a quicker and more streamlined closing process for all involved.

 

  1. COST SAVINGS

Clients who move during the offseason often report significant cost savings. Moving costs may be discounted by 15 percent or more during the winter months, and moving companies can typically offer more flexibility in their scheduling.4

Home renovations and repairs can also be less expensive in the offseason.5 Whether you’re fixing up your property prior to listing it or remodeling your new home before moving in, contractors and service providers who are hungry for business are often willing to work for a discount this time of year. If you wait until the spring and summer, you may be forced to pay a premium.

Home stagers and decorators are also more likely to negotiate their fees during the winter. And you can often score great deals on new furniture and decor during the holiday sales.

Whether you’re buying or selling, count cost savings as another compelling reason to consider an offseason move.

 

  1. EASIER TO MAINTAIN CURB APPEAL

Finally, listing your home during the fall and winter offers one key—but often overlooked—advantage: less lawn maintenance!

Good curb appeal is crucial when selling your home. According to a recent report by the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of home buyers drove by a property after viewing it online but did NOT go inside for a walkthrough.6That means if your curb appeal is lacking, buyers may never make it through the door.

If you list your home during the peak of the selling season, we will generally advise you to implement a frequent schedule of mowing, edging, watering, weeding, and trimming shrubs and hedges. You’ll probably want to plant flowers, as well, to brighten your exterior. After all, a lush landscape is a key element in attracting spring and summer buyers.

If you list in the offseason, however, your lawn maintenance list is significantly reduced. While we do recommend that our sellers keep their exterior clean, tidy, and free of leaves, snow, and ice, you will probably spend much less time on outdoor maintenance during the winter than you would if you listed your home in the summer.

 

ARE YOU READY TO MAKE YOUR MOVE?

Now that you know all the great reasons to buy or sell a home in the offseason, it’s time to decide whether you’re ready to make your move.

Every client’s circumstances are unique. Whether you needto move quickly or you simply wantto take advantages of all benefits this season has to offer, it’s a great time to enter the market.

Call a professional today to schedule a FREE consultation … and you could be ringing in the New Year in your new home!

 

Sources:

  1. Redfin –
    https://www.redfin.com/blog/2013/12/why-winter-is-the-hottest-time-to-sell-your-home.html#.VjKYm2SrTKI
  2. Top Resume –
    https://www.topresume.com/career-advice/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-job-search
  3. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/research-and-statistics/research-reports/highlights-from-the-profile-of-home-buyers-and-sellers
  4. Angie’s List –
    https://www.angieslist.com/articles/why-winter-can-be-best-time-move.htm
  5. Build Direct –
    https://www.builddirect.com/blog/the-best-times-of-the-year-to-get-deals-on-home-remodels/
  6. National Association of Realtors –
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/reports/2017/2017-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-03-07-2017.pdf


Leave a comment

What’s Up With Housing?

.

Poppys

.

A grant worth nearly $1 million helped reinvent the program that has helped almost 100 students work towards carpentry certification.
.
.
.
.
When the topic of disruption arises we often hear; smart homes will soon be the norm, more people than ever are connected via the Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence will disrupt the way we live, work and play.
.
.
.
.
Realtor.com finds the z’s are indeed zealous when it comes to saving for a home.
.
.
.
.
.
Authenticity has never been more important, and real estate agents should position themselves as trusted advisors and sources of insider information before, during and after the transaction.
.
.
.
.
From plumbing and electric to additions and remodeling, this infographic shows the average cost homeowners paid for 57 popular home projects!
.
.
.
.
Tiny homes are set to go through a growth spurt, because the demand for living small is getting bigger.
.
.
.
.
We could see tax reform rollback, HUD cuts, flood insurance and other housing policy likely to be stalled in gridlock as a new makeup of lawmakers comes to Washington.


Leave a comment

What’s Up With Housing?

.

Plenty of people love a good Halloween scare — as long no one gets hurt. And that includes your house.
.
.
.
.
Not all mortgages are created equal. A LendingTree study looked at lending competition and found Florida buyers can save serious money by comparison shopping.
.
.
.
If buyer demand continues to outpace the current supply of existing homes for sale, prices will continue to appreciate. Nothing nefarious is taking place. It is simply the theory of supply & demand working as it should.
.
.
.
Hurricane Irma impacted Florida’s Sept. 2017 housing market and economy. With that in mind, 2018 Florida Realtors data finds existing single-family sales up 17% year-to-year, median prices up 4.9%, condo sales up 14.6% and condo median prices up 5.5%.
.
.
.
.
Florida led the nation in construction job growth over the past year, according to a new report. Contractors added 70,700 workers to their Florida payrolls, a 14.8 percent growth rate, in the 12 months ending in September.
.
.
.
A trend in Central Florida’s two major multifamily growth markets may be indicative of a national shift from downtown to suburban markets.
.
.
.
.
.
Due to Hurricane Irma last September, the Pinellas County housing market saw a few large swings in sales & listings year-over-year.


Leave a comment

What’s Up With Housing?

.

Hurricane Michael’s damage to property in the Florida’s Panhandle region will provide a fresh test of the state’s unusual property insurance market.
.
.
.
When many of the homes on the Panhandle were built, the state had a patchwork of codes from which some buildings here were exempt.
.
.
..
.
As IBM’s Watson adds its computational power to construction sites, tech sees an industry in need of an upgrade.
.
.
.
.
.
.
This cycle is different, in part because construction never took off and an inventory shortage remains. Worst case scenario: Stagnant prices for a year or two.
.
.
.
.
.
The Neighborhood Assistance Corp. of America is hosting events around the U.S. to help buyers with low credit scores get home mortgages with low interest rates.
.
.
.
.
Raise your hand if you’ve seen this: After an inspector has finished a home report, buyers look terrified and seem overwhelmed by supposed flaws that have been found. Recommend they take a deep breath and ask these questions.