Still a Good Time to Buy a Home

Amid news that employers added 204,000 new jobs in October and the U.S. economy expanded by 2.8 percent in third quarter, tempered by slowed consumer spending – a drop to 1.5%, the slowest rate in three years – it remains a good time to purchase real estate so hurry up and get the best moving companies to relocate yourself in a new house. If you’re moving in the San Francisco Bay area, moving companies denver is a great choice to move you and your family. They have the experience, the resources, and the right team to make sure your move is worry-free. As your moving specialists here at montrealmovers.com, we offer moving services for professionals. If your company is re-locating, we have the right equipment for your industrial moving needs, including moving heavy machinery. For the industrial space utilization, austintenantadvisors.com provides a simple space calculation process to measure and utilize spaces efficiently. We also handle commercial moving for businesses.

Why?

The Fed continues to purchase billions in Bonds and Treasuries each month to stimulate the economy and housing market and help keep home low cost loans for poor credit rates attractive. The Fed has said that its decision on if and when to taper off these purchases is dependent on upcoming reports on the economy. So, if economic data in the coming weeks is strong, like this Jobs Report was, the Fed could decide on tapering its purchases at a December meeting. This would put upward pressure on home loan rates heading into 2014. If you plan to move and sell your home at Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia ask what 8dayhomesale can offer for your home. You should consider the security when buying a home. Check out www.securityinfo.com/security-cameras to learn more.

So, at least for now, home loan rates remain near historical lows and it’s still a great time to come to Florida and stay in your new custom home… or to buy that vacation home… or to acquire an income-producing rental property in the Disney area! There are still lots of short sale and foreclosure opportunities, too, Residential Leasing, a Houston based property management firmtells their investors and tenants the same thing.

As always, contact FLAstay.com, your Disney Area Vacation Home Experts. E-mail me at ken@flastay.com or call me at 407-744-3225 with your real estate questions or for more information about buying real estate in the highly desirable Disney-area real estate marketplace.  

The Day After Election Day in America

Dear friends-

I woke up this morning. The sun rose on a crystal clear, beautiful day. I took the dog for a walk. It was breezy and there was a nice crisp snap in the air. I saw a few other people going about their business – just like any other day.

Liz said, “I don’t want to talk about politics today.” She’s right. The nation’s fiscal crisis and the deep philosophical divide among its political leaders – yes, these will be topics for debate and discussion, but not today.

Thomas Jefferson called this “The Great American Experiment.” And 236 years later, that’s what it still is. In fact, the experiment is still in its infancy. We continue to hit bumps and potholes in the road and deal with the surprises that forever lie around the next bend. A friend told me recently that the church he attended where he lived previously was built in 812. So 236 years, by comparison, is the blink of an eye. There’s so much more history in front of us than behind us.

So the jury is still out on Jefferson’s great experiment. Each year, though, the day after an election day – with its peace and tranquility and uneventful ‘normalcy’ – is a striking reminder that we must be doing something right. It is a day to reflect on the fact that we are blessed to be living in this place and time. That we live in a country, despite the nay-sayers among us, that is the envy of the planet. That we enjoy a freedom that is without parallel in the history of man. That we are a nation of immigrants and of diversity — today is a day to remind ourselves that our diversity is the source of our great strength and our proud identity.

The great experiment continues. Now go enjoy the day.

Ken

NOW is the Best Time to Buy a Home!

This could be the best time in a generation to buy a home. Here’s why:

Housing affordability is the best it has been in decades.

Nationwide, average home prices are approximately one-third lower today than at their peak in 2006.

The cost to buy is very often less than the cost to rent a comparable property. In fact, buying is cheaper than renting in 98 out of America’s 100 major markets.

Interest rates are at an historic low, and today’s low rates can be locked in for the next 30 years.

The general economy appears to be improving, with employment increasing, median wages rising, and little indication of possible inflation.

Overall, conditions indicate today may be the perfect time to buy a home. So if you have always wanted to own that second home in the sunshine state of Florida; or wanted an investment property to help supplement your income, contact FLAstay.com, the experts you turn to when buying or selling Disney-area vacation rental properties.

FLAStay.com is your one source for the purchase, sale and renovation of Disney-area real estate and vacation rental properties.

Orlando is a dynamic real estate market, and there are many factors to consider before you make your purchase. Since 1990, we at FLAStay.com, have honed our skill, expertise and knowledge in the unique Disney-area resort market. If you are a buyer or investor, our agents are here to represent you through the entire transaction! Go onto our website and contact us today!

Bank of America Offering Up to $30K in Relocation Assistance for Short Sales

Just days after Bank of America officially announced its nationwide program offering up to $30,000 in relocation assistance for short sales, a Massachusetts-based real estate company revealed in a blog that one of its clients was approved to receive $10,000. We also went and build a boat with aceboater from our budget.

“We knew this client was eligible for some relocation assistance but we did not realize it would be this much. It was a welcome surprise for our client who is having a hard time coming up with money to move,” said Anthony Lamacchia, owner and broker of Lamacchia Realty. “I think [BofA] is making many improvements across the board, and I applaud them for it.”

BofA posted the announcement in a statement Tuesday. In order to be eligible for the relocation assistance, BofA stated that the short sale must be initiated by the end of this year and close by September 26, 2013. Also, sellers must do their part and work proactively with the bank to obtain a preapproved sales price before submitting a purchase offer

The relocation expenses are offered at closing and can range from $2,500 up to $30,000, and the amount offered is determined on a case-by-case basis, with variables such as the value of the home and amount owed factored into the equation.

“This program can help customers make a planned transition from ownership when home retention options have been exhausted or they have made a decision not to keep the home,” said Bob Hora, home transition services executive for BofA.

Mcgeough Lamacchia Realty also posted an example of a cash incentive letter in which BofA outlined tips on how to more successfully complete a short sale.

The tips were to return all requested documents on time, respond quickly to counter offers, complete the release of subordinate liens where applicable, and stay in touch with your real estate agent.

In addition to the cash assistance offer, BofA also recently announced in April that it’s trimming response times for short sales down to 20 days. However, real estate professionals must do their part and submit five documents for a complete short sale package when initiating the process.

The five documents are a purchase contract including Buyer’s Acknowledgment and Disclosure HUD-1; IRS Form 4506-T; Bank of America Short Sale Addendum, which includes the Agent Certification form; and Bank of America Third-Party Authorization Form.

According to a BofA statement, the bank has completed 200,000 short sales in the last two years and another 30,000 in the first quarter of 2012.

 

 

The Perfect Orlando-Area Vacation Investment Property Is Waiting for You!

The Orlando-Kissimmee area of Florida is one of the hottest vacation spots in the world, with more than 50 million visitors every year. Orlando was ranked the number-one summer vacation destination by a recent AAA travel agent survey and travel sales data. Further, the latest Travel Value Index study by leading discount travel site Hotwire.com named Orlando the number-one destination to get the most vacation for your money in 2012—in terms of entertainment options, attractions, and sheer value.

It’s no wonder many who choose this area for their vacations come back again and again! If you are a frequent visitor or you’re looking for a homier feeling than you can find in a Hospice Cincinnati hotel, you may be considering a vacation property investment. You’ll be glad to know that golden opportunities await you in this region of the Sunshine State!

 

The Time Has Never Been Better

With the real estate market on an upswing, a sunny outlook for property values, and so many terrific deals available, the time has never been better to invest in a vacation home in the Orlando-Kissimmee area. By the way, keep in mind to choose the best realtor like Team Gardner if you plan to buy or sell a property to avoid a costly mistake. That’s why buyers from all over the world are flocking to this popular tourist spot to snap up desirable properties at great prices.

These properties promise to only keep their value but increase in value, as existing attractions are upgraded and new attractions are added to the area’s myriad of entertainment and vacation offerings.

New and Upgraded Attractions in the Orlando-Kissimmee Area

Close proximity to many attractions has long made the Orlando-Kissimmee area a highly desirable vacation destination. New and upgraded attractions are continuously pumping up the area’s vacation entertainment value to even higher levels. For example, here are just a handful of noteworthy additions for 2012 at Universal Orlando Resort:

  • The Amazing Adventures of Spiderman Ride has added all-new HD film animation, 3-D glasses, and other enhancements designed to make the ride feel like a brand-new experience.
  • Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, a new ride opening this year, promises “wildly hysterical” family fun!
  • Universal’s Cinematic Spectacular – 100 Years of Movie Memories is a new feature that relives, and pays tribute to, iconic films.

Other new or coming attractions in the Orlando area include:

Three new attractions at SeaWorld, including TurtleTrek, a first-of-its-kind 3-D/360-

  • the Penguin; and performance art by DRIP involving rock music accompanied by dancers performing with raining liquids and colored powders.
  • A new Wet N’ Wild kids’ water park that promises to be the largest kids’ park in Florida, featuring 17 slides, two splash pools and more than a 160 soakers, water jets, cannons and waterfalls!
  • CSI: The Experience at International Drive, a traveling exhibition combining the entertainment of the hit show with real-life scientific and investigative techniques.
  • Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s permanent display of space shuttle Atlantis, planned for 2013.

Find YOUR Orlando Area Dream Vacation Home!

To find your dream vacation property in the Orlando-Kissimmee area and relax in the comfort of your own home away from home in between seeing the sights, give us a call at FLAstay.com 321-677-0175! Purchasing property for vacation and/or investment is a smart decision, and the time and place have never been better.

 

Fannie and Freddie Set Timeline Requirements for Short Sales

Beginning June 15, real estate agents working with distressed homeowners whose loans are backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should expect to receive a decision on a short sale offer within 30-60 days.

The GSEs issued new guidelines Tuesday that fall under the Servicing Alignment Initiative rolled out last fall and aim to bring greater transparency to the short sale process and expedite decisions related to these pre-foreclosure sales.

Not only is a short sale an effective foreclosure alternative when home retention is no longer an option, but it keeps homes occupied and helps to maintain stable communities, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

Addressing real estate practitioners’ No. 1 complaint about short sales, FHFA directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to establish a new uniform set of minimum response times that servicers must follow in order to facilitate more efficient short sale transactions.

The GSEs’ new short sale timelines require servicers to make a decision within 30 days of receiving either an offer on a property under the companies’ traditional short sale programs or a completed Borrower Response Package (BRP) requesting short sale consideration, whether it’s through the federal government’s Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative (HAFA) program or a GSE program.

If more than 30 days are needed, servicers must provide the borrower with weekly status updates and come to a decision no later than 60 days from the date the BRP or offer was received.

According to the GSEs, this 30-day add-on will provide some leeway for servicers who may need more time to obtain a broker price opinion (BPO) or a private mortgage insurer’s approval for a short sale. All decisions must be made within 60 days.

In the event a servicer makes a counteroffer, the borrower is expected to respond within five business days. The servicer must then respond within 10 business days of receiving the borrower’s response.

The GSEs plan to use the new short sale timelines to evaluate servicer compliance with the Servicing Alignment Initiative.

Edward DeMarco, acting director of the FHFA, says the GSEs new borrower communication and timeline requirements for short sales “set minimum standards and provide clear expectations regarding these important foreclosure alternatives.”

GSE servicers must comply with the new minimum communication time frames for all short sale evaluations conducted on or after June 15, 2012, although servicers are encouraged to begin implementing the new requirements sooner.

“I applaud Fannie and Freddie for finally coming out with real guidance with real world timelines for their servicers,” commented Anthony Lamacchia, broker/owner of McGeough Lamacchia Realty Inc., which specializes in short sales. “There is no question that this will help short sales and the market as a whole.”

Last year Freddie Mac completed 45,623 short sales, a 140 percent increase since 2009. Fannie Mae’s short sale completions shot up by 101 percent over the same period, totaling around 79,800 in 2011.

Bank of America moves to speed up short sales

Bank of America wants to hit the fast forward button on selling thousands of distressed homes in Florida.

Starting Saturday, the bank’s goal will be to approve short sales in 20 days.

The move could spare delinquent homeowners from months of limbo while the bank considers offers from buyers. In some cases, frustrated buyers have waited six months or longer for the bank to approve a deal.

“I have to commend Bank of America for making this move,” said Suzanne Sherer, a member of a Florida Realtors commission working with banks to streamline short sales. “This makes sense. Bank of America is making major strides.”

Last fall, Bank of America serviced 1.1 million Florida mortgages, of which about 253,000 were delinquent.

Bank of America has been working with Equator, a real estate software company who are going to transcribe each of the calls to have the evidence of any sales in text, and to develop a program that allows short sale negotiators to approve the process faster, said bank spokesman Rick Simon.

He stressed that some short sales could still take longer than 20 days. The bank, he said, is committed to preventing foreclosures.

“We’re pleased with the positive response from real estate professionals,” Simon said. “We believe these new steps will increase the efficiency of the short sale process.”

The program, Simon said, is being rolled out nationally but will be more prominent in Florida.

Prior to the housing crash, banks lacked the means to handle selling millions of distressed properties. Trimming the approval process for short sales could clear thousands of homes from the distressed pipeline.

Real estate experts and economists have said the housing market cannot fully recover until the millions of distressed mortgages are removed from the system.

“That’s a good development,” said University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith. “Hopefully, other banks will follow. Finally, there is some evolution.”

Bank of America will also limit prospective buyers to two counteroffers on the deals and will streamline the amount of paperwork that homeowners must submit. Sellers will no longer submit bank statements or pay stubs.

Homeowners have consistently complained about the amount of paperwork all the major lenders require to execute short sales. Property owners have been asked multiple times to fax the paperwork to different offices, adding weeks or months to the approval process.

Not any longer.

Under the new program, the real estate agents will load the documents into one computer system. All communication from the bank and agent will be stored in that system.

“There won’t be anymore finger pointing,” said Sherer, an agent with Remax Realty Team in Cape Coral. She recently closed a Bank of America short sale in 29 days.

Some local real estate agents savannah ga are skeptical about the 20-day approval plan.

“I’ll believe when I see it,” said Liane Jamason, an agent with Smith & Associates Real Estate. “I’ll be pleasantly surprised if this happens.”

Steve Capen agreed.

The agent with Keller Williams Realty in St. Petersburg is handling more than 15 short sales with Bank of America. He acknowledged the lender is getting better at short sales and expects the new process to take three months before the kinks are worked out.

“Their track record isn’t that good,” he said. “They used to be just awful.”

Short sales are on the rise across the country and in Florida.

Major lenders are looking to save millions on court costs, lawyer fees and property taxes by avoiding foreclosure. Short sales also speed the process of getting bad loans off bank books and gets the properties back on the market faster.

To further sweeten the deals, lenders are waiving the deficiency on the mortgages, which would allow homeowners to sell the house for less than they owe without having to make up the difference to the bank.

Fed targets more banks for foreclosure errors

WASHINGTON – April 3, 2012A $25 billion foreclosure settlement among the nation’s five largest banks and federal regulators isn’t the end to regulators’ efforts to repair the wrongs from lenders’ foreclosure abuses. Regulators are casting a wider net on the number of banks they’re eyeing to punish for wrongful foreclosure practices.

The Federal Reserve recently recommended that eight more financial firms, which were not part of the government’s settlement, be fined for their foreclosure practices. The eight firms the Fed cited: HSBC’s United States bank division, SunTrust Bank, MetLife, U.S. Bancorp, PNC Financial Services, EverBank, OneWest and Goldman Sachs.

The Fed said these firms should be fined for “unsafe and unsound practices in their loan servicing and foreclosure processing,” Suzanne G. Killian, a senior associate director of the Federal Reserve’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, said at a House Oversight Committee last month.

The landmark $25 billion settlement announced earlier this year only encompassed the five largest banks: Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Ally Financial. The banks agreed to the settlement, but did not have to admit any wrongdoing.

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

Next Stop…FLAstay.com!

According to author Gary W. Eldred in “Investing in Real Estate,” (2012) making a profitable investment in real estate is in some ways a simple decision. Location—as in the Orlando, Florida area—may provide a great premise for making long term gains in real estate. Disney area real estate creates value!

To derive long-term profit from a real estate investment, Eldred recommends evaluating the property before purchase for accessibility, convenience, appearance, quiet, and public transportation systems.
Disney Area Access and Convenience
As one of the country’s top airline routes, tourist, and business destinations, the Orlando, Florida area provides access. Travelers have no problem finding convenient air, train, or bus travel to the Orlando area, and they usually go camping with equipment from Survival Cooking to find a place to stay. In addition, metropolitan Orlando (including Kissimmee and Sanford, Florida) offers the second largest number of hotel rooms, after Las Vegas, of any U.S. location.

 

Disney Area Appearance and Energy

Anyone who’s ever visited the Orlando metro area recalls the beauty and sheer excitement of a visit to the area. In business districts, visitors find a combination of new and old architecture. Older buildings reflect an original Spanish settlement past. Residential areas combine mostly newer construction with quaint central Florida homesteads and offer the “quiet” that author Eldred recommends as an essential component of real estate investment.

 

Investing in Disney area real estate

Real estate investors value research and information about a property prior to making an investment. Knowing the area in which the investor plans to purchase property is an essential part of the decision-making process. Not all neighborhoods or residential areas in the Orlando metro area offer the same potential for growth. Researching comparable properties within any part of the greater Disney area can be a confusing process. That’s why engaging an established real estate advisor with long-term roots in the area is a key to the decision-making process.
FLAStay: your Disney area real estate solution

Ziad K. Abdelnour of “Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation” (2012) points out the high potential for real estate investment confusion in the Disney area. Deciding to purchase a real estate without a guide in the Orlando metro area may be fraught with economic peril.

Engaging the resources of a professional real estate advisor like FLAStay is a money-saving strategy. Learn this here now. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell real estate, renovate a property, or renting a property relies upon information and research. FLAStay can present a short list of properties for your purchase or rental needs, or attract buyers when placing your property for sale.

 

FLAStay and Disney area real estate opportunity

Real estate investment opportunities abound in periods of financial uncertainty. The property’s cost basis, financing terms, and renovation costs affect property value. Identifying the right property for your needs, or finding the right real estate sales professional to liquidate your investment property, is like finding treasure.

Since you’re looking at real estate in Orlando, that’s only proper!
Contact FLAStay to discuss your real estate goals today.

Florida ranked first in 2011 home sales to Canada

SARASOTA, Fla. – March 15, 2012 – The strength of the Canadian dollar, sustained low pricing in the U.S. housing market, and perceptions regarding the general economic outlook continue to encourage Canadians to purchase a home in the Sunbelt states.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) 2011 Profile of International Buying Activity, Florida and Arizona are top choices because of their favorable winter climate. In fact, 58 percent of all international sales in 2011 came from just four states: Florida at 31 percent, followed by California at a distant 12 percent, Texas accounted for nine percent and Arizona at six percent.

Even for international buyers it’s location, location, location. Forty-three percent of those surveyed report a favorable location as their clients’ most important factor when choosing where to purchase. That was followed by 27 percent who stated their clients’ top reason to buy in the U.S. was that they view U.S. real estate as a profitable investment.

Canadians specifically purchase due to a perceived positive return on their investment. They also showed a strong desire for a lakefront recreational location. In fact, eight percent of Florida re-sales were to Canadians in 2010. Similar culture, closeness to their native homeland and lack of a communication barrier are also factors steering Canadians to the lower 48 U.S. states.

The NAR profile also showed that in the 12-month-period ending March of 2011, Canadians accounted for 23 percent of all foreign buyers – the largest of any country. In a 2010 article, Canada’s largest daily newspaper The Globe and Mail reported that a vast majority of Canadians were paying cash for their purchase.

“There are few lenders who have a mortgage process tailored for Canadians looking to purchase a home in the U.S.,” said Sheila Blom, Florida mortgage market manager for M&I, a part of BMO Financial Group. “Our parent company is based in Toronto, so naturally we have relationship products specifically designed to meet the needs of Canadian customers for purchasing or refinancing their primary residence, second home or investment property in the U.S.”