Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fannie Mae said Monday it's finalizing a plan to help renters stay in their homes even if their landlord enters foreclosure. The mortgage giant says renters who can make their monthly payments could be offered a new lease or given cash to help move to a new home.Read the full story:

Monday, December 08, 2008

When the economy shrinks, so does the size of housing, sending the popularity of tiny apartments and condos soaring as construction costs rise and financial markets fall. Developers are also responding to buyers' penchant for urban living and their environmental awareness.Read the full story:

Monday, November 24, 2008

For the second month in a row, Florida's existing home sales rose in October: Florida Realtors reported a 15 percent increase in activity in the year-to-year comparison; last month's sales of existing condos statewide increased 5 percent in the year-to-year comparison. Meanwhile, NAR reports that existing-home sales fell 3.1 percent from the strong gain seen in September.Read the full story:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Right now, yes in the year 2008, is the most affordable time to purchase a house in the last 35 years...
Based info from the NAR (National Association of Realtors), every year, the combination of median single family home price, family income, qualifying income, interest rates = the Housing affordibility index.
Here is how it works, a score of 100 means a family has the exact amount of income to qualify for a home, a score of 120 means a family has 120% of the income needed, therefore making it actually more affordable & the home mortgage payment a smaller portion of their bills..
So, we need to spread the word!!, there is no technical, financial, or analytical reason not to buy a home..
Not only is it the classic rallying cray of a "Great time to Buy" but its actually the "BEST time to Buy in out of the past 35 years"!!!!
Wow!! That is something to write home about... or at least to write to customers about homes about...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good Faith Estimates will be standardized effective Jan. 1, 2010, under rules issued by HUD yesterday. The change, HUD says, will save consumers $700 at the closing table by making it easier to compare mortgage offers from competing banks.Read the full story:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Starting Jan. 1, 2009, FHA will insure single-family home mortgages up to $271,050 in low-cost areas, and up to $625,500 in high-cost areas. While the February stimulus package temporarily raised the FHA maximum higher, $625,500 still represents a significant increase over the original $362,790 limit.Read the full story:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Clippings from Lake City Reporter... all credit goes to Lake City Reporter and/or Forbes.

In the most recent issue of Forbes, the magazine lists the most and least vulnerable towns in the United States. Using criteria that focuses on 141 micropolitan areas in the nation, Lake City ranks 95th out of the 141 — the higher the ranking, the better, Forbes explained.

Of the Florida cities listed, only one — Key West, which is labeled the second least vulnerable town in the U.S. — ranks higher than Lake City.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama Will Support Housing, Says NARPresident-elect Barack Obama is likely to make a housing market recovery a central part of his economic revival plan, NAR leaders said Thursday.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. announced that it will begin offering a Commercial Nonresidential Multi-peril (CNR-M) policy on Nov. 17, 2008. This new policy will be available to eligible nonresidential entities statewide.Read the full story:

Monday, November 03, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

The number of homeowners ensnared in the foreclosure crisis grew by more than 70 percent in the third quarter of 2008 compared with the same period in 2007, according to data released Thursday. One bright spot: Filings in September were actually down 12 percent from August.Read the full story:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

To compensate for a drop in sales, many new home builders switched to the construction of smaller houses. That worked for a while, but to attract buyers now, they're cutting square footage even more.Read the full story:

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Pending home sales surged 7.4 percent, according to NAR's latest Pending Home Sales Index, and the number is 8.8 percent higher year-over-year. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says homebuyers were responding to improved affordability, especially in states such as Florida, California, Nevada, Arizona and Rhode Island.Read the full story:

Monday, September 29, 2008

Florida will receive $541 million in new federal foreclosure funds that must be used to buy property, rehabilitate abandoned homes and offer downpayment assistance to low-to-middle-income home buyers.Read the full story:

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lake City FL Real Estate - Land Liquidation Sale

I wanted to take a minute & let you know about a sale we are having. This is our Land Liquidation Sale!!!. I have a list of listings that the sellers are very motivated & have authorized me to liquidate their properties at unheard of prices. These are all priced below market value for Columbia County, FL / Lake City, FL area. Check out the list below & regardless if this is the exact type of property you are looking for, these are incredible deals to check out. Otherwise forward these to anybody that you may know that may be interested. NOW is the time to get a deal.
  • Lot 3 - Sylvi Cir - Star Lake Subdivision. This is a .58 acre LakeFront Lot. Originally priced at $84,000. This has been reduced to $39,900. You simply will not find another quality Lake front lot at this price. Seller needs quick cash closing. This is a deal!!MLS 66648.
  • Olivia Court. This is a construction development opportunity. 1.66 acres. Priced at $29,900, and bring any offer. Zoned RSF-3, 8 units per acre zoning, preliminary plat NOT filed shows 8 possible building lots, or build off existing road. MLS 63259.
  • Explorer Glen - Plenty of room to raise horses or a few other animals.. 16.17 acres priced at only $6178 per acre. $99,900 list price. NEW Listing. MLS 67962. Well, Septic on property per owner. Ft. White, FL area. One of the best prices in the county for acreage this size. Massive price reduction from original listing.
  • Happy Jack Dr. - Several 10 acre lots available. BEST PRICE in THE COUNTY!!! for 10 acre tracts. Priced at only $53,000 for Lots 6 & 8, and $58,000 for Lot 7. MLS 64578. Only about 10-15 minutes from Lake City. Great Value.
  • Lot 5 - Gideon Pl. This is a 10 acre parcel with 2 homesites already setup.. 2 wells, 2 power poles, 2 sceptics, Reduced by over $45,000 for buyer to take advantage of this. Priced at $69,900. MLS 65364.
  • Haygood Loop. Multi-Family Development opportunity. Priced at $89,900, this is a 1.4 acre parcel. It is zoned & land use for 8 units per acre. Good locations, very close to schools, High & Dry. Multi-Family is great for Lake City, FL. Good demand MLS 61057.

  • Horse Way. 5 acres close to Lake City, Mostly pasture. New Listing. Priced at only $49,900. MLS 67926. Great value, Great location in north central Florida.

Email me back for a map & a flyer on any property you are interested in. I will be personally coordinating all offers for the above properties, so contact me right away with questions, and about putting in your offer.
More Good Deals on Land & Homes Available at:

What does the federal government bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mean to home buyers and sellers? Generally, it's a good thing, and brings stability to the mortgage market. Most experts even expect mortgage rates to drop some over the short term, though qualifying for a mortgage will remain a challenge unless the feds tinker with fees or rules.Read the full story:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

With most closings shut down by property insurers when a storm is "in the box," some sales may have to be scheduled between bouts of bad weather. Hurricane Gustav is departing only to see new threats from Hanna, a strengthening Ike and newcomer Josephine.Read the full story:

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Renters insurance isn't a burning issue to most renters. It's often only after a robbery that a policy suddenly seems like a no-brainer.Read the full story:
s this the real estate turnaround? On the heels of an increase in Florida home sales, a spike in new home sales and an upswing in consumer confidence, traffic to went up significantly in July, with traffic 29 percent higher and time spent on the Web site up 26 percent compared to one month earlier.Read the full story:

Monday, August 25, 2008

Single-family existing home sales rose in Florida for the first time in more than two years: While only six more homes sold in July 2008 than in July 2007, it could indicate stabilization in Florida's housing sector, according to FAR's latest housing statistics. NAR also reported that national existing-home sales rose in July to the highest level in five months.Read the full story:

Friday, August 22, 2008

How will homeowners fare with property insurers when seeking repairs for damage from Tropical Storm Fay? There's good news/bad news. Since Fay never became a hurricane, the higher deductibles don't apply. But flood damage is not covered under most policies, and less than half of homesteaded owners have a supplementary flood insurance policy.Read the full story:

Monday, August 18, 2008

With Tropical Storm Fay bearing down on Florida, most property insurers have stopped writing new policies, which could stall closings scheduled early this week if a mortgage lender demands coverage before releasing money. Florida's property insurer, Citizens Property Insurance, stopped writing new policies on Sunday morning, for example. Most insurers resume writing new policies once tropical storm or hurricane watches and/or warnings have been lifted. "The box" - the geographic area in which policies will not be written - varies among insurers, so it's worth a phone call for any closings scheduled during a storm. For more hurricane info, visit the hurricane page at:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Florida Realtors continued to report positive signs for the state's housing sector in the second quarter of 2008. Sales of both existing single-family homes and existing condos improved in the second quarter compared to first quarter 2008, according to FAR's latest housing data. A total of 35,178 existing homes sold statewide in 2Q 2008, up 38.2 percent over 1Q 2008. Nationwide, existing home sales rose from the first quarter in 13 states, according to NAR's latest survey.Read the full story:

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Gov. Charlie Crist spoke out again in favor of Amendment 5 yesterday during one of his meetings with constituent groups, this time business people. The group included FAR President Chuck Bonfiglio, who thanked Crist for being ''the catalyst'' for Amendment 1, and said that Amendment 5 would be the second part of the tax relief promised by the governor.Read the full story:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

President Bush signed the massive housing bill intended to provide mortgage relief for 400,000 struggling U.S. homeowners and stabilize financial markets. The measure also offers a temporary lifeline to mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and tightens controls over the two government-sponsored businesses.Read the full story:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nice Site

This is a pretty nice website for flyers, postings your listings to Trulia, Zillow, etc, Its called Vflyer, , Even create cool little widgets like this for showcasing your listings.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Positive Movement in Home Sales

Well its not as bad as you hear in the national media. Check out this article from Florida Associateion fo REaltors. Numbers keeping somewhat steady, although we are still seeing frequent price reductions for motivated sellers.


Many Florida Realtors reported positive movement in their local housing markets in June, with the statewide median price for both existing home sales and condo sales up 1 percent over the May 2008 figures, according to FAR's latest housing statistics. The statewide existing-home median price last month was $205,500; the statewide median condo price was $183,700.Read the full story:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lake City FL Commercial Medical Complex for Sale

Lake City FL Medical Office Complex For Sale or For Lease
Doing a little listing marketing blogging today....
Here is my latest big listing...$6,900,000. The property is for sale or for lease. -- Website for complete property information.
Southern Mediplex is a 34,000+ sq ft 9.7 acre complex with innovative solutions for medical & health services. Property consists of 3 buildings including: a 2 story, 24,126 sq ft out-patient/office; a single story 6,285 sq ft Surgery center, and a 3,990 free standing building. Incredible location in Lake City, FL, near Hwy 90 & I-75. Information available regarding leases, current occupancy, floorplans, & more.
Chad Stewart - Westfield Realty Group - Real Estate Broker Associate in Lake City, FL.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Columbia County - Lake City FL Schools

8 county schools earn ‘A’ ranking
High scores could relate to more money from state.
Columbia County schools marked significant improvement for the 2007-2008 school year, with eight of the 12 schools in the district scoring an “A” for the year, and the school district attained a “B” for the first time since district grades were implemented.

The Federal Reserve will issue new lending rules next week to protect future homebuyers from shady lending practices. The plan would apply to new loans made by thousands of lenders of all types, including banks and brokers.Read the full story:

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

While it's impossible to predict the future of median home prices, some experts don't think REOs will decline any more since banks are cutting such great deals right now.Read the full story:

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It's a buyer's market, but sellers can increase the chance of a sale in today's climate by working with a Realtor and considering these eight things.Read the full story: __________________________
Enthusiasm keeps practitioner on top
TAMPA, Fla. – July 1, 2008 – Blucher Bridges, a sales representative for Standard Pacific Homes in the Seven Oaks community in Wesley Chapel, Fla., recently sold his 300th new home.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Real Estate Sales Increase.. Read on...

This is a VERY positive article. Note the increase of sales, and the slight decline in pricing from a year ago...BUT notice the 34% increase in prices over a 5 year period which is 7% per year.

Sales up, prices up, interest rates low. This is a great time to be in the real estate business.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fed leaves rate means good news for real estate market.

Fed leaves rates unchanged....
Central bank ends nine-month course of rate cuts as it cites rising inflation risks and hints at a rebound in the economy.

This means that now is a great time to buy real estate, especially in the Lake City, FL area.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Online Home Values

Consumers love real estate Web sites that offer an immediate estimate of a home's worth, and some Internet users are almost addicted to seeing fluctuations in their home's value. One problem, however: The percentage of error is still "very large," making any single home's estimate almost worthless.Read the full story:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Mortgage Fraud Crackdown

See the article below, this is a big part of why the mortgage industry was in such a termoil.
from Chad Stewart - Lake City Florida Realtor & Blogger.

At least 22 people in Miami-Dade have been arrested on federal mortgage fraud charges in recent weeks, pushing the total to 102 people charged since September. In 2007, there were 47,000 "suspicious activity reports" in Florida, which leads the nation in the number of reports. In 2003, there were only 7,000 - an increase of more than 570 percent.Read the full story:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Housing Aid

Major mortgage lenders have agreed to streamline and speed up the process for assisting distressed homeowners following criticism that they're too slow and sometimes unresponsive. Under new guidelines, homeowners seeking help can expect an answer within 45 days.Read the full story:

Monday, June 16, 2008

Analyst paints rosy picture for S. Fla. real estate agents

Analyst paints rosy picture for S. Fla. real estate agents
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – June 16, 2008 – Home prices in South Florida “easily” could be 20 percent to 30 percent higher by 2013, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.Addressing local real estate agents during a conference at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, Lawrence Yun countered the persistent pessimism of experts who insist the region’s housing market will continue to struggle before rebounding slowly during the next few years.USA Today recently identified Yun as one of the nation’s top 10 analysts on a list measuring accuracy in forecasting. But real estate observers say he is overly optimistic because he works for the national Realtors’ group, whose goal is to promote home sales.
Selling your home means being realistic in down market FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – June 16, 2008 – Setting the right price for a home sounds simple, but too many sellers aren’t doing it.They insist that their properties are special and holding value, even though the median prices for existing homes have plummeted 26 percent and 24 percent, respectively, in Palm Beach and Broward counties since late 2005.These stubborn sellers ask for too much money, ignoring the list prices of nearby homes, not to mention their real estate agents’ advice. It’s a short-sighted strategy, one that ultimately costs tens of thousands of dollars in a depressed housing market like South Florida, agents say.

Friday, June 13, 2008

TECHNOLOGY Check it out: Tech analysts are praising the new iPhone's business applications, saying it poses a real challenge to the BlackBerry and other corporate cell phone systems for the first time. For example, unlike its predecessor, the 3G iPhone can connect with most corporate e-mail systems and handle Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.Read the full story:

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT NAR testified Thursday that a temporary tax credit would be the best incentive to move hesitant homebuyers into the market, basing its support on the success of a 1975 temporary tax credit that jump-started a slow housing market.Read the full story:
PENDING SALES NAR's Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed in April, rose 6.3 percent to stand at 88.2 from a reading of 83.0 in March - the highest index since last October. According to NAR's latest forecast, a modest gain in home sales is possible over the next couple months, and the second half of this year should see some improvement as more buyers are able to access affordable mortgages. Read the full story:

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

PROPERTY INSURANCE State officials issued a final decision Friday rejecting Hartford Insurance Co. of the Midwest and its affiliates' request for an average property insurance price increase of 40 percent. The Hartford decision is part of a campaign to "protect Florida consumers from unwarranted rate increases," Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty said in a statement.Read the full story:

PROPERTY TAXES It appears that Florida cities aren't hurting too much from the property tax cuts created by January's Amendment 1 thanks to the number of commercial enterprises. But suburban and rural areas have lost more funding since private homeowners benefited more from the tax cuts, and many local governments say they must raise tax rates or cut spending.Read the full story:

Real Estate in Lake City,

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Brand new never been lived in house built by Whiddon Construction on Two (2) acres!!! Priced at $239,900. Home is for sale in Lake City, FL.

Brand new house on two (2) acres !!!

Stone & hardy board house was built by Whiddon Construction. Great floor plan, great room wi vaulted ceiling, 18’4” x 12’8” master, his/her closets, wood floor in dining room, screened porch, sprinkler system, landscaping & sod, security system.

Must see this area with lots of room for kids to run, horses, ATV, gardening, etc. Tranquil rural area, but still short drive to town. Scattered oaks in the front of the lot & pasture land in the back. Call your Realtor for floor plan or tour.

THAR' SHE BLOWS. OR NOT.Government forecasters officially predict six to nine hurricanes in 2008, with up to five becoming major storms. However, forecasters say the chances for an above-average season are about 65 percent; the chances for a normal season about 25 percent; and the chances for a slow season about 10 percent, making the outlook sound almost like a guess. Coupled with two recent years of above-average forecasts and below-average storms, Floridians may be getting confused. Two major points must be made, however: One, it doesn't matter if there is only one major storm in 2008 should that one major storm hit your home. Two, less-than-accurate forecasts could make Floridians apathetic about hurricane preparations and forget that they live on a peninsula that sticks out into the ocean like a giant hurricane "Kick Me" sign. Every state homeowner should prepare for the worst even as they hope for the best. For more information, visit's "Hurricane Information and Resources" page at:
Florida existing home sales improve in April compared to March 2008ORLANDO, Fla. – May 23, 2008 – Florida Realtors® statewide reported an upswing in existing home and condominium sales from March to April 2008, according to the latest housing statistics released by the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR). A total of 11,200 existing single-family homes changed hands in April, a 20 percent increase over the previous month when 9,330 homes sold. Existing condo sales statewide rose 21.6 percent, with 3,900 units sold in April compared with 3,207 condos in March.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

COMMERCIAL According to the latest NAR Commercial Member Profile, commercial members experienced a 7 percent jump in median sales volume for 2006, reaching a median of $2.249 million in sales. Selling land was the single largest commercial specialty for respondents, accounting for 19 percent.Read the full story:
CHARITY The foreclosure problem has given something good to the country's best-known housing charity: Cheap properties for sale. Some Habitat for Humanity chapters have seized the buying opportunities.Read the full story:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

From Florida HOME SALES Florida Realtors reported positive signs in their local housing markets during first quarter 2008, noting a slower rate of expansion for inventory levels and an increase in pending home sales in some areas. Another positive note: A total of 8,581 existing condos sold statewide during the quarter, up 8.3 percent over fourth quarter 2007. "If we look at what is happening month-over-month for 2008, it appears that the bottom may be here," says 2008 FAR President Chuck Bonfiglio. "We are now seeing more activity, more sales and even prices starting to rise in some markets."Read the full story:

Friday, May 09, 2008

According to Realty Times, Florida real estate experts say the state's housing market is showing signs of recovery, despite falling residential prices and rising foreclosures and short sales. They note that inventory is expanding at slower rates, and home sales are on the rise in some markets. The Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers, for instance, reports an 85-percent surge in pending single-family home sales in its area during the past 10 weeks. Meanwhile, pending sales jumped 65 percent in February from January in Fort Lauderdale, and 30 percent in March from the prior month in Palm Beach County.Source: Realty Times (05/09/08) Carr, M. Anthony © Copyright 2008 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

Monday, May 05, 2008

It's a challenge to sell a home in today's market, but the battle eases considerably with careful preparation. Sellers should focus on the top 10 issues. Curb appeal, kitchens, bathrooms and doors head the list.Read the full story:

Wow, billion dollar home in India...
Check out this article from Forbes

Daily Real Estate News May 1, 2008 The First $2-Billion Home Is Coming The world’s largest and most expensive home will be completed in January.The 27-story skyscraper in downtown Mumbai, India, will be the residence of Mukesh Ambani and his wife Nita. Ambani, head of Mumbai-based petrochemical company Reliance Industries, is the fifth richest man in the world.The couple who have three children, are custom designing their $2 billion property with help from architecture firms Perkins + Will and Hirsch Bedner Assoc., based in Dallas and Los Angeles respectively.The home will have 400,000 square feet of interior space, nine elevators, a ballroom and a section for security guards and assistants to relax.There will also be an ice room where residents and guests can escape the Mumbai heat and be dusted by man-made snow flurries.Source: Forbes, Matt Woolsey (04/30/2008)

Friday, May 02, 2008

MORTGAGE RATES Rates on 30-year mortgages remained above 6 percent and almost unchanged this week. Experts polled by generally agree that rates will increase or remain steady in the short term.Read the full story:

Thursday, May 01, 2008

HOMEBUYERSSome programs for first-time buyers still offer slightly more lenient underwriting standards that make it easier to get into a home, or discounted interest rates that make homeownership more affordable. But it's harder to find first-timer mortgages today.Read the full story:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What a deal! Perfect for FHA financing. Home features R13 wall insulation for efficiency, oak kitchen cabinets, 25 year shingles, fenced back yard. Call Chad Stewart, for 386-487-1463 . $118,900.

FHA: New government data shows that claims on FHA mortgage insurance, which is backed by the government to prevent foreclosures, rose by 61 percent last year compared to five years ago. These payoffs allowed more than six in 10 homeowners who defaulted on FHA-insured loans to stay in their homes.Read the full story:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Florida Realtors statewide reported slight gains in existing home and condominium sales from February to March 2008, according to FAR's latest housing statistics. A total of 9,142 existing single-family homes changed hands in March, a 10 percent increase over the previous month. Statewide existing condo sales totaled 3,145 in March, up 13.7 percent compared to February's sales.Read the full story:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lake City among country’s hottest markets
Magazine rates area as No. 47 for doing business.


Lake City was named one of the top 100 small business markets in the south — coming in at No. 47 — in the April issue of Southern Business and Development magazine.Lake City was second on the list in the state of Florida behind Palm Coast.

This is the second time in the past decade that Lake City has been named one of the top small business markets by this magazine, said Jim Poole, executive director of the Lake City-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.“This is based on the number of actual deals or company locations within your community that has created a minimum of 200 jobs,” Poole said.

He said the scoring is done during the course of a five-year time frame, and new industries in Lake City such as Hunter Panels, New Millennium Building Systems, U.S. Cold Storage and Target helped Lake City place on the list again.Ranking businesses east of Texas and south of West Virginia, the magazine ranked communities similar in size to Lake City, Poole said, and noted that many of the communities were larger than Lake City and very few, if any, were actually smaller.

Lake City being named to the list could help future expansion, Poole said, as companies looking to relocate into the South or into Florida will see Lake City’s high ranking.

“The last time (we were named to the list), it definitely helped us because people began to realize where we were, and began to look and see who is here and what’s happening and why this community was emerging,” he said.“I think that will continue,” Poole said.

“The magazine goes out to site developers, company locators, people looking for new locations for businesses; when they go through the businesses on the list, they’ll see how well we did within the state and southern markets.”

Friday, April 11, 2008

PENDING HOME SALESNAR released its pending home sales and outlook this morning, with Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicting little change over the next few months followed by an upswing in sales in the second half of the year.Read the full story:
Canadians, especially those who live in U.S. border areas, are snapping up vacation homes in the U.S. as the Canadian dollar gains value against the declining American dollar. According to NAR, the largest number of Canadians head to Florida, with California ranking second.Read the full story:
Title: 5 Tips for Buying a Home in a Down Market

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

MARKET WATCH: GAINESVILLEIn Gainesville, some positive signs have recently emerged about median home prices and existing home sales. "I think we're heading in the right direction," says Craig McCall, president-elect of the Gainesville Alachua County Association of Realtors. More buyers, McCall says, are beginning to look at properties, and agents are starting to receive more offers.Read the full story: __________________________

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

HOMEBUYERSRecognizing that the current market favors buyers, 77 percent of respondents in a MarketTools survey said that the time is right to buy a home - a 20 percent increase compared to a similar January survey.Read the full story: __________________________

Monday, March 24, 2008

Breaking News

Home sales rose by 2.9 percent in February, the first increase after six straight declines, trade group reports.
from today 3-24-08

Monday, March 17, 2008

HOME VALUESThe real estate mantra of "location, location, location" rings particularly true in a slow market. Encourage your buyers to do their research, because choosing the right neighborhood could have a big effect on whether or not their home turns out to be a winning investment.Read the full story:
STUDY SAYS: MILD HOUSING RECOVERY ON THE WAYIt looks like the housing market may have hit bottom, setting the stage for a mild housing recovery to begin prior to year-end 2008, according to a new study by SMR Research Corp. The market's recovery is likely to be gradual, with house prices merely firming up or increasing slightly, rather than returning to the strong growth seen from 2002 to mid-2006, the firm said. An SMR study was among the first to declare (in 2002) that a housing price bubble existed, defined as prices rising faster than consumer incomes. In a 2004 study, SMR forecast that a "perfect storm" in credit quality would cause an explosion in foreclosures within two years. SMR specializes in mortgage and home equity loan industry research. "Our prior forecasts were accurate but widely disbelieved when issued," says SMR President Stuart A. Feldstein. "We similarly expect a skeptical reaction now to a recovery forecast, which is not the common view. But the numbers are what they are." The new recovery forecast was published within SMR's annual spring study. "Homes are now affordable again," Feldstein says. "Consumer psychology is the biggest remaining hurdle to recovery." © 2008 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

Friday, February 29, 2008

Here are some good design tips from Lowes
Only three days remain: Friday is the deadline for homeowners to apply for a homestead exemption, and, for 2007 homebuyers, the last day to apply for property tax portability – the right to take tax savings from a home protected by Florida’s Save Our Homes amendment and transfer it to a home purchased last year.Read the full story:
NAR’s housing report yesterday had some good news. While the sales numbers were down, they weren’t as dismal as many economists expected. Some investors saw that as positive news, and a sign that the housing downturn is on the verge of bottoming out.
Here is some interesting info about foreclosures...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Wow! Even in what is being referred to as a dismal market almost 7,000 existing homes sold in ONE MONTH in Florida in January!!! Also note the good positive outlook for the future in Par. 2 -
ORLANDO, Fla. – Feb. 25, 2008 – The mortgage credit crunch and a sluggish economy continued to affect the sales pace of existing homes and condominiums in Florida in January. Statewide, sales of existing single-family homes totaled 6,737 last month while 9,360 homes sold in January 2007 for a decrease of 28 percent in the year-to-year comparison, according to the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR).
But some industry analysts expect sales activity to improve by the second half of the year, especially if the increased loan limit caps within the federal government’s economic stimulus package can be implemented quickly. In the latest market outlook from the National Association of Realtors®, Chief Economist Lawrence Yun says, “Existing-home sales have moved narrowly since last September, but when the full impact of higher loan limits for conventional mortgages begins to hit the market, there is likely to be a notable rise in home sales and prices. If higher limits are enacted very quickly, we’ll see a faster and more meaningful recovery by expanding safe, affordable financing in high-cost areas – that, in turn, would help to stimulate overall economic activity.”

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENTInvestors who bought housing stocks at the beginning of the year made money. As the Federal Reserve started cutting interest rates, the stocks of several home builders started to rise dramatically; and some analysts believe it signals sunnier days ahead for the entire housing industry.Read the full story:

Thursday, February 07, 2008

HOMESELLERSSome sellers may need to be convinced that the price they want for their home is not the price they’re going to get. Associates can use a number of tools to make that happen.Read the full story:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

PROPERTY TAX AMENDMENTRealtors around the state expect the pent up demand to buy-and-sell will spark home sales statewide thanks to yesterday’s passage of Amendment 1, which lowers property taxes statewide.Read the full story:

Now is the time to buy a home.
Check out & start browesing for Lake City, FL Homes & Real Estate today.
COMMERCIALUF’s latest real estate survey finds that commercial real estate remains healthy in Florida. While the residential industry continues to suffer, the commercial respondents report stable, healthy conditions in the market.Read the full story:

If "getting organized" is on your list of New Year's resolutions, you're not alone. Surveys show that getting organized is right up there with exercising, spending more time with family and paying off debt.
Organizing your home from top to bottom doesn't have to be a daunting task, especially if you focus on one room at a time and work in short intervals. Help your clients and customers get their homes in shape for 2008 by printing out and sharing these helpful tips.

8 Home Organization Tips

Monday, January 28, 2008

Please remember to vote YES on Amendment 1 in Tuesday's primary election.

Amendment 1 cuts property taxes for all homeowners.
Amendment 1 doubles the homestead exemption.
Amendment 1 cuts property taxes on businesses.
Amendment 1 makes the "Save Our Homes" property tax cap portable by allowing owners of homesteaded property to take up to $500,000 of tax savings with them when they purchase another home.


Amendment 1 *DOES NOT* remove "Save Our Homes" as was proposed in the super-homestead legislation that failed last fall.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

AMENDMENT 1With green and orange “Vote Yes On 1” signs raised high, Florida Realtors greeted Gov. Charlie Crist this morning with a standing ovation, thanking Crist for his efforts to cut property taxes. The governor addressed Realtors attending FAR’s Mid-Winter Business Meetings in Orlando.Read the full story:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

DEMOGRAPHICSCensus figures show that Florida continues to grow rather than shrink, but the number of incoming residents from other states dropped by about 86 percent in just two years thanks to higher home prices, property taxes and insurance costs.Read the full story:

Friday, January 18, 2008

RENT OR BUY?Are your potential homebuyers on the fence? Smart Money’s Web site allows them to calculate in dollars and cents whether it’s beneficial to rent or buy. An online worksheet estimates how much value will be found in either scenario. Even if it’s smarter for a customer to rent now and buy later, they’re bound to remember you and pass along your good name when friends or family ask for references. Check it out at:© 2008 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS

Thursday, January 17, 2008

PROPERTY TAXESGov. Charlie Crist yesterday urged voters to approve Amendment 1, speaking from homes across the state as part of the “Yes on 1” campaign. “You know what that (amendment) will do to the real estate market in Florida? I tell you, it will ignite it,” Crist said.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

REASON NO. 4Vote YES on Amendment 1Florida’s homestead exemption hasn’t changed since 1980, which means it’s about time it was increased to better reflect modern home values. Under Amendment 1, the state’s homestead exemption will double from $25,000 to $50,000 for most Floridians. Take that to the bank! Vote YES on 1 –

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Florida’s housing market slowed in 2007, flattened out and will begin to recover in 2008, according to a new forecast report from the Attorneys’ Title Insurance Fund. “Florida has a very large and powerful economy that has gone through a cyclical downshift, but it is still outperforming compared to the rest of the nation,” says Orlando economist Dr. Hank Fishkind, who created the report.

Read the full story:

Monday, January 07, 2008

A Good Time to be in the Commercial MarketGetting to know developers and taking courses are among the ways to develop a new niche and take advantage of some growing commercial opportunities.Read more >