Monday, August 29, 2011

Have Banks Finally Realized That Short Sales Are Better Than Foreclosures?

Recent numbers indicate that banks have experienced an epiphany of sorts when it comes to opting to dispose of distressed homes while they are still under title to the distressed owner via short sale as opposed to waiting until foreclosure takes place, and the bank is now the righfful title-holder, the property has suffered greater abandon and potential vandalism and significantly higher value depletion.

Very revealing and informative article below:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Shadow Inventory - Not a Boiler Plate Call to Arms

As I have been illustrating for some time now, real estate is a local market driven industry.  While on a national scale, the signs are strongly indicating that a flood of new foreclosure properties are about to hit the market, Sellers should rely on local market data as their primary resource for decision making with respect to the sale of their home.  I would urge Sellers to obtain current market data indicating recent sales activity in their respective communities.  See what the current price range per square foot is on like homes within your community, then look at the homes that have gone "pending" (under contract) to interpret the trend as stable, appreciating or depreciating.  Then take a look at the total number of homes you are competing against month over month.  Are there more or less?  That should give you an indication of the supply and demand component of the equation.  Depending on your findings and the circumstances affecting your urgency to sell, you may need to price your home within the estimated per square foot value range or perhaps below it to attract the greatest number of potential buyers.  The higher the price per square foot, the less likely you are to attract buyers.  To price your home above the value range will likely guarantee that you will enjoy the comforts of your home longer than you might anticipate.  Buyers are looking for extraordinary value, and an experienced and qualified Realtor will know how to effectively showcase your home

The illustration below depicts the national picture, but it may not representative of your community.

The areas consisting of Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, The Roads/Brickell Corridor and surrounding communities make up our Area 41.  Here is a snapshot of the last 15 months of unit sales activity in single family homes.  There has been asteady decline in the number of available homes (supply), yet pending and closed sales show about 3.47 months of inventory.  If a normal market holds has about 6-7 months of inventory, then this market is on steroids! 

This will change as distressed properties are fairly likely to appear.  However, this market is sufficiently strong to absorb a significant number of distressed properties before it can be called a distressed community.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Delinquency Rates Dropping Dramatically - The End of The US Housing Nightmare May Be In Sight

It's difficult to make a convincing argument that housing is beginning to stabilize when you still have high unemployment and almost no growth in GDP, but an interesting trend is starting to develop. 

Click on the article and draw your own conclusions.

The Biscayne Corridor - All This Activity Can't Be Coincidence



I've been saying for a while now how for a real estate market that is reportedly in the throws of a persistent vegetative state and a local government whose fiscal challenges are as daunting as Miami Dade County and the City of Miami, there's an awful lot of interesting large scale infrastructure and private sector capital investment going on simultaneously along the Biscayne Corridor.

Maybe it's my urban New Jersey roots that just set off my "Spider Sense" to these things, or maybe I owe it all to a bunch of really good arithmetic teachers, or perhaps my parents instilled me with a pretty keen knack for the abundantly obvious, but it seems fairly apparent that something is going on along the Biscayne Corridor and to all outward appearances, it looks like opportunity dressed in work clothes.

The following link is to an article that does a pretty good job of putting the pieces together.  Give it a click and see if it all adds up for you.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Residences At Vizcaya in Coconut Grove - The Peak of Chic in Waterfront Luxury

Click on the Headline to see the most amazing brand new waterfront high luxury community that is the very essence of the NEW Grove!

18 luxury waterfront condos.  6 left as of today, including a 6,000 sq ft bi-level Penthouse with Private Pool.  Private Deeded Docks available.  Infinity Pool.  World Class Fitness Centre.  24 Hour Concierge and Security.  Exquisite Array of First Class Finishes and Features.

 Residences At Vizcaya - The Peak of Chic


Shadow Inventory: Short Term Medicine - Long Term Cure

For nearly a year, the threat of "Shadow Inventory" being unleashed on to the market has loomed large in the hearts, minds and wallets of homeowners all over the country.  Certainly, the short term impact of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of distressed /foreclosed properties will adversely affect property values in localities where they predominate.  In some states, the courts have delayed foreclosures for years in some cases, and the sheer volume of homes that will suddenly  be released onto the market will have a tsunami effect on affected communities.

South Florida, while hardly immune to judicial backlogs, have had a considerable head start compared to other regions of the US.  Our real estate boom ostensibly ended in July 2005, whereas much of the country didn't experience their respective housing downturns until late 2006 and 2007. 

We will most certainly feel the effect of the shadow inventory stampede in sficic areas, but I believe the effect will be considerably less devastating than other parts of the country.

In my opinion, the reasons for this is the fact that the mushroom cloud effect of the housing bust hit South Florida first, and many communities have already begun to stabilize.  A second and more critical reason is that South Florida is a Mecca for foreign investment in real estate.  Foreign exchange conditions with our primary international markets in Latin America have drawn thousands of buyers to our shores to take strategic advantage of the currency exchange rates.  Finally, the rental market is smoking hot with increases as much as 20% over the last two years.  In specific areas, the rent vs. buy analysis clearly favors the buyer.

The link below explains the situation and uses New Jersey to illustrate of the declining effect this shadow inventory will have on the real estate market.  I agree that the disposition of all these distressed properties is the only way to bring the supply and demand equation back in to equilibrium.  Please be reminded, however, that real estate is local in nature, and conditions in New Jersey are not the same as in South Florida or Dubuque, IA or Beaufort, SC.

I conclude that sellers should consult with a knowledgable and experienced Realtor who is keenly aware of his local market conditions, and make their decisions based on accurate local data.     

Monday, August 22, 2011

What goes into your Hurricane Emergency Kit?

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The Appraiser's Role in Today's Real Estate Transaction

Real estate professionals must work with appraisers to provide the latest trend data with respect to specific communities.  Agents should provide a copy of the previous survey to the appraiser at the time of inspection if it is available.  Realtors should also have a detailed market analysis of the property and the community on hand for the appraisers consideration, which need to include sold as well as active and pending properties.  Active and pending listings are strong trend indicators, and may be vital to supporting the contract price being evaluated.

Visit the link below for a first hand account of some of today's appraisal challenges:

Have elderly relatives? Which is better- Granny Flat or in Law Quarters?

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Friday, August 12, 2011

The Evolution of Belief in the FSBO -Simple Irony or Intergalactic Epiphany? You Decide

We all remember the ads for the "For Sale By Owner" website.. Why pay a Realtor a commission for doing what you can do yourself so easily?

Well, the founder of For Sale By Owner didn't exactly walk the walk, did he?  In fact, he ignored his own hype and hired a Realtor!

A picture is worth a 1,000 words....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"For Sale By Owner" is a Recipe for Disappointment -Take it from the Founder of For Sale By Owner

For those considering their homes without the assistance of a real estate professional, it may serve as meaningful guidance to learn that Mr. Colby Sambrotto, founder of the company "For Sale By Owner" opted to hire a Realtor who sold his New York home for $150,000 over the asking price.  After six months of frustration and failure trying to sell his home on his own, Mr. Sambrotto apparently came to grips with the value of hiring a Realtor, and successs shortly followed.

The enclosed link uncovers a couple of mths regarding the For Sale By Owner business model.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mortage Rates: Impact of the US Credit Downgrade

No one really knows the answer, since this is the first time in history it has ever happened.  We are ostensibly in uncharted territory.  It seems the only certainty is that there will be further uncertainty.  If supply and demand and fundamental economic theory were the only determinants, interest rates should increase at least somewhat.  However, we live in an age where global factors play an important role in our internal economics.  Moreover, the federal government and the Federal Reserve have also played active roles in determining economic outcomes through policies, measures and counter-measures. 

Bottom line:  It's anybody's guess.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Kucinich Q&A: 20% Downpayment Would Keep Qualified Home Buyers on Sidelines

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Questions You Should Ask Prospective Real Estate Agents When Selling Your Home

Questions You Should Ask Prospective Real Estate Agents When Selling Your Home Your home is one, if not the most valuable asset you own. Mor...