What Are Benefits of Working with REALTOR® & Rountree Realty

What Are Benefits of Working with REALTOR®rlogo

 

Experience: The typical REALTOR® has 11 years of experience 80% of REALTORS®  have over 6 years. With an average of 8 transaction sides closed per year, the knowledge your REALTOR®  possesses is invaluable in the success of residential and commercial advertising, appraising, renting, leasing, buying, selling, auctions or exchanges.

Education: Real Estate Associates must complete 63 initial hours of education before licensure and an additional 45 hours before 2 year anniversary. Brokers must have 2 years experience in real estate field and complete 72 hours of coursework to obtain Broker license with an additional 60 hours to completed within 2 years. Also, 30% of REALTORS have a Bachelors or some college experience.

Local Expert: A Realtor that specializes in a local market will know things that are not appearing on the listing information online; they’ll know more about the neighborhood. Letting a Realtor take what is a very emotional decision and apply objective criteria is one of the largest benefits.And when it’s time to write an offer, they’ll know what other properties have sold for and the intricacies of those properties, the differentiating features, so then you can get the best deal for your money.

So I would say it’s ok to shop on your own, but absolutely retain a trained professional REALTOR® for one of the most important purchases that you’ll make in your entire lifetime.Only real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) can call themselves REALTORS®. All REALTORS® adhere to NAR’s strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. That’s why all real estate licensees are NOT the same. “Dedicated to serving America’s property owners at local, state, and national levels, the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, The Voice for Real Estate®, is the largest professional association at 1 million members strong. So, whether you’re buying or selling a home – it pays to work with a REALTOR®. Look for the REALTOR® logo when choosing your real estate agent. -Courtesy of NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®”

“Perform at your best when you best is required. Your best is required each day.” John Wooden

HOT Sales Activity in Ocala

Today I am going to be talking about a few areas of Ocala experiencing a little heatwave on our “Trend Maps.” Something we have not been experiencing for the last couple weeks here in the Horse Capital of the World, Ocala, Florida. What are trend maps? A trend is a general direction something is going and combined with a map provides a look at “Sales Activity” based on zip codes. The statistical data is overlaid onto a map and provides a more visually geographical representation compared to simple data chart. The trend map included here shows the “HOT” areas for “Sales Activity” right now are 34472(Silver Springs Shores), 34476(Shady Hill area, Ocala), 34481(Leroy area, Ocala) and 34491(Summerfield.)

34472,34476,34481,34491,

Sales Activity Map Trend for Ocala, FL

I also thought it would be interesting to look at the median DOM(Days on Market) to contract, for these same zip codes. Notice the trend for most of the zip codes have gone down from the same time last year. The only zip code experiencing a longer days on market is Silver Springs Shores area due to the higher foreclosure rate and over supply. So we are seeing these areas experience higher sales activity and less days on the market to contract. If your a seller it is a great time to “SELL.” If your on the fence about selling it might be time to talk to a great local REALTOR, me, and find out if the time is right for you. If your a buyer and you want to buy in one of these zip codes, It’s time to get with your preferred lender, get on the phone, text or email me.

Days On Market To Contract
 

 

Lake Diamond Golf & Country Club – Ocala, FL

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Enjoy this stunning 3 bedroom 2 bath pool home across the street from Lake Diamond golf course. Home is 1904 living square feet with 2 car garage, nicely landscaped and ready for new owners. As you enter tiled foyer you are greeted by cathedral ceilings and lots of natural light from the dual sliders leading to the pool. The kitchen has granite counters and lots of cabinets and storage and built in work station. Formal dining room is open and great for entertaining guest. Spacious main bedroom includes decorative ceiling bay window, dual closets leading to tiled bath including jetted tub, privacy toilet and glass shower enclosure with door leading to lanai and pool area. Many great features and priced to sell. Home is a great value for this gated gold course community and anyone would be proud to own this home and invite family, relatives and friends over for a day of golf and then relax under the shade trees in the pool. Offered @ 121,250 MLS# 402007

 

FHA’s Back-to-Work Program Helps Foreclosed Owners Get Second Chance

upside down house

FHA’s Back-to-Work Program Helps Foreclosed Owners Get Second Chance

 

Foreclosed owners in Ocala/Marion County can get a second chance at homeownership sooner rather than later. The Federal Housing Administration recently announced the shortening of the waiting period for qualified borrowers who had a bankruptcy, foreclosure,  deed in lieu of foreclosure, or short sale who are in the market to buy again. To qualify under the FHA’s Back-to-Work Program homeowners must show that they have their finances back in order and they must receive counseling from a HUD-approved agency. The counselors provides borrowers with household budgets and customized action plans showing them how to manage money and financial obligations to prevent future failures.The details of the program claim if the buyer meet the criteria they can apply to buy a property in as little as a year.

“The Back to Work program is a great opportunity for us to help those impacted by the recent housing crisis,” Heather Shanahan, a representative with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency      called Springboard, told HousingWire. “Our goal in our counseling sessions is to enable the borrower to better understand their loan options and the obligations.” I think what gets lost in many of these programs is the fact that many, if not most, did not make the decision to make bad financial decisions. There were many factors that played a role in the recent economic downturn and unfortunately many Americans paid the financial price. FHA, Fannie Mae and many other lending institutions created the mess by offering loans that were not safe for themselves or the public they were offering them too.

I have said before and i will say again, “Low down loans did not lead to the housing boom and eventual bust!” It was the exotic 1-2-3 A-R-M loans, No Income Verification and on and on. It was so easy to get a home, anyone could and most did! With the added demand the prices skyrocketed over a few short years. Then the A-R-M loans started coming due and the values were not there and the job market slowed or died all together. It was simply a bad combination for many Americans and I hope more programs will come along to help folks become homeowners again soon.

Want to learn more about one of these programs? Contact Me Today 352-572-1739

⅓ of All U.S. Foreclosures in Florida

⅓ of All U.S. Foreclosures in Florida

 

167,680 vacant(abandoned) homes make up about 20% of all U.S. properties that are somewhere in the foreclosure process and sit ready for new owners but the banks do not own the homes yet. Florida also leads all states with the most owners abandoning their home before the lender officially take it back. Out of the 544,274 bank-owned homes nationwide, at least 55,503 Florida homes still sit empty and will remain so until they have been officially foreclosed and sold to a third party.

 

Florida also accounted for the most vacant foreclosure by zip code- 85 of the top 100 nationally, led by zip code 34668 in the Tampa/St. Petersburg metro area. Indiana, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, and Georgia are states where the percentage of owner vacated foreclosures was above the national average of 20%. Vacancy rates were higher on lower-end foreclosures: 29 percent on homes valued below $50,000 and 25 percent on homes valued between $50,000 and $100,000. However, 12 percent of homes valued $1 million or more were vacant.

 

“Efforts to prevent unnecessary foreclosures and mitigate their impact on home values have resulted in a foreclosure process that takes an average of 477 days nationwide, and more than two years in some states – which is holding many of these must-sell properties off the market,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.“Even if all these homes flooded the market simultaneously, they would likely not cause the once-feared double dip in prices given supply constraints from non-distressed sellers and stronger demand,” he adds. “Given these market dynamics, it’s not surprising to see that Florida, Illinois and New Jersey – states with three of the four longest foreclosure timelines – have all had laws take effect in the last six months that speed up the foreclosure process on vacant properties. These laws should help provide some extra supply and possibly help reduce the threat of another housing price bubble forming in these markets.”

 

“Make Greatness Attainable By All” John Wooden

Why Are Foreclosures Dropping?

Is Foreclosure Crisis Finally Fading?

According to research by CoreLogic foreclosures decreased by 8.4% or 130,000 in 2011. Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic, says “This is the first time in a year that REO sales (those bank-owned properties) have outpaced completed foreclosures.” There were 103 sales of bank owned homes for every 100 homes in foreclosure inventory in December 2011. Compared to November 2010 when there were 94 REO sales for every 100 in the foreclosure process.

Banks are also doing more loan modifications to prevent the foreclosure process. Banks are also encouraging the use of short sales to try and help reduce the number of foreclosure. Another reason could be banks are stricter with credit conditions and choosier about approving loan applicants, reserving approvals for mostly low-risk borrowers with low chance of default and foreclosure.

Does This Mean the End to High Foreclosure Rates?

In my opinion only time will tell. If you drive around any neighborhood in Ocala, Marion County there are still many many vacant homes unkept and due to hit the market in the future. The banks are taking their time in processing these foreclosures and we should see a steady dose of them to come for any years. There are simply to many homes vacant to say we are even close to seeing a huge drop in foreclosures.

However! Any Drop in Foreclosure Numbers is a GOOD Thing for Owners, Sellers and Neighborhoods.

The negative effects from foreclosures is far reaching and I believe the banks will soon realize it is better to work with existing struggling homeowners to refinance and reduce the principal amount owed, to qualifying homeowners, rather than short sale or foreclose. How does it make sense to remove homeowners, who are willing to stay and pay their mortgage. ONLY, to sell the property for less money to a new buyer. Can we not figure out a better way, for folks who can qualify and afford the home now at a much reduced value. Common sense is gone in today’s business world. I’M just Sayin!

“Until Next time”

 

 

Source: “Homes in Foreclosure Decline by 130,000,” CNNMoney (Feb. 8, 2012)

© Copyright 2012 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

1 Million Homeowners May Get Mortgage Write-Downs

Housing and Urban Development Secretary says about 1 million homeowners would get write-downs in the size of their mortgages under a proposed deal with banks over shady foreclosure practices and it could be reached in a few weeks. Using Donovan’s estimate, the settlement could provide a reduction of about $20k for each of the 1 million borrowers.

Prior efforts to jump-start the housing recovery have fallen short of how they were promoted. “Principal reduction can have a substantial impact on the housing market nationally,” Donovan said.

National decline in values hovers around 30% with Ocala, Marion County closer to 50% reduction in values since the boom times of 2004. Reports also show about 22 percent of U.S. homes have negative equity totaling about $750 billion, according to Core Logic.

Note: Any settlement would not apply to mortgages owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which together  own or guarantee most of the U.S. mortgage  market. The reason is the cost to the taxpayers compared to other options. The White House will also lay out plans to convert foreclosure into rentals and start “Project Rebuild”, part of Obama’s American Jobs Act that aims to have construction workers rehab vacant properties. The estimated cost of $15 billion would creat 200,00 jobs and used to renovate thousands of vacant homes and properties nationwide.

Copyright © 2012 washingtonpost.com, Margaret Chadbourn; Aruna Viswanatha

In my opinion this will do little to help the housing arket nationwide but especially here in Marion County. The focus should be on banks and lending institutions to loosen lending practices. I do not think everyone who applies should get a mortgage, as has happened in the past(fog the mirror loans!!LOL) However, the challenges many good homebuyers face with banks is the largest problem. Credit score standards and income are to strict and oversight is needed to make loans more available to good borrowers.

“Until Next Time”

 

Shorts Sale and Foreclosure SOLD in 2013 Could Owe Federal Income Taxes

Are You Thinking About Trying to Sell Your Home via Short Sale or Considering Walking Away?

Uncle Sam is still giving homeowners until Dec. 31st 2012, to go through the short sale or foreclosure without tax consequences-AS LONG AS THE LENDER RELEASES THE DEBT. But on January 1, 2013 the rules change: The amount the lender forgives, for either short sale or foreclosure, on primary residence will be taxable on federal income taxes.

Example: If a house sold $50,000 short of what is owed on the mortgage, then the selling homeowners will owe federal income taxes on that $50,000. Homeowners would owe $12,500 if they’re in the 25 percent bracket; $7,500 if in the 15 percent tax section. Homeowners would be on the hook even if the house sold but the bank had not formally forgiven the loan in a letter: THE BANKS MUST OFFICIALLY SIGN OFF IN WRITING BEFORE DEC. 31, 2012

Homeowners declaring bankruptcy could escape paying income taxes on any cancellation of debt income if the debt is forgiven in the bankruptcy even if the debtor is solvent, said Nick Jovanovich, a board certified tax attorney in Fort Lauderdale, FL..

In Short…

Homeowners should decided sooner than later this year to begin whichever process they chose to avoid the tax law changes coming in 2013. Short sales can takes months to years depending on lender, type of mortgage, market activity and many other variables. Contact a local REALTOR for more information on the services they can provide to assist in your decision.

Some major lenders are offering quicker short sale programs as an alternative to foreclosure. Owners benefit from reduced documentation and smoother processing.

In some cases, owners may be eligible for cash incentives from a couple thousand dollars to upwards of $30,000.

“Until Next Time”

Florida Housing Market Bouncing Back….

Florida Housing Market Bouncing Back….

Florida’s real estate market is entering 2012 on an upward trend, according to three leading U.S. economists. Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo says, “Our sate is in a mini-recovery” and “sales are trending up, listing inventories have fallen, the supply of lender-related properties has stabalized, and we are seeing multiple offers on home in some local markets.”

In Fact…

Dr. Tuccillo says homes in Florida may be undervalued. “That may sound like a drastic statement,” he said. ” But a buyer who plans to own the home for 5-7 years can get some great bargains today.” Interesting statistic from South Florida I heard yesterday said at one point Miami had 9 years worth of inventory, now with decreased number of homes on the market and high buyer activity has dropped that number to less than one year. The South Florida economy is growing  based on relationships with Latin America and the Carribbean. Dr. Lawrence Yun says, “Don’t be surprised to see a gain in home prices in the Miami and Naples markets in the next 18 months.”"From there, the recovery is likely to roll northward to Central Florida and then North Florida.”International buyers are driving the market in South Florida and other areas of the state.”

What about Ocala….

We are seeing positive signs locally including a drop in unemployment and reduced housing inventory. Banks are slowly releasing foreclosed/REO homes on the market and this is creating a negotiating competition between buyers. Many of the more inexpensive homes are only on the market for 1-2 weeks. We are still facing challenges getting buyers qualified for financing, however with the USDA loan programs and FHA there is great opportunity. Another key factor is the high price for rentals and availability. In todays market you can buy a home for the same or lower than you can rent. The benefits of buying to renting can create tax benefits, provide stability because there is no landlord who can ever raise your rent or sell the home without your approval.

If you are interested in receiving a monthly “Market Trend Report” please call, text, or email me anytime.

“Until Next Time”

Ocala, Florida Area Local Market Report 2011 – 3rd Quarter

TODAYS MARKET…. Median Price and Existing home Sales

All real estate is local and every market is unique. Remember that when you hear reports from the major new networks. We are seeing some positive signs in the Ocala / Marion County Market with the Median Home Price now at $80,900 with 1-year Appreciation at -1.6% and a 3 year Appreciation of a whooping -40.1%. This relatively recent correction in local home prices wiped out most of the equity gained over the last 7 years. State Existing Home Sales(2011 Q3 vs 2010 Q3) is at +10.6% for Florida and Nationally 17%.

FORECLOSURE info by type…

The market share of Foreclosures by type is 88.3% are Prime Loans, 5.1% are Sub-Prime Loans and 6.6% are Alt-A Loans. There has been a decline of both 60 and 90 day delinquency rates over the most recent 6-month period suggests a decline in local foreclosure rates in the near future.

AFFORDABILITY….

Based on Ratio of Local Mortgage Servicing Cost to Income, Ocala has typically been more affordable than most markets. For example the Monthly Mortgage Payment to Income for Ocala is 6.6% compared to 15.5% in the United States for 2010 and 5.7% locally for 2011 and 13.9% nationally with the historical average at 11.3% locally and 22% nationally. The price to income ratio has fallen as well and is below the historical average.

So what does this all mean?

Well it could mean we are close to reaching the bottom of the housing value slide. But it will take a strong economy and more local jobs for the housing market to continue gaining traction. There is less inventory on the market with an increase in buyer activity, compared to the same time last year. We are a long way from seeing appreciation in our homes but hopefully close to reaching the bottom and no more depreciation of value.

“Until Next Time”

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