Wednesday, March 20th, 2013 at 10:36am. 225 Views, 0 Comments.
Short sales have been becoming increasingly prevalent since the collapse of the housing bubble, but 2012 may have been their biggest year yet. According to RealtyTrac, short sales accounted for 32% of all homes sold in the United States, while foreclosures only accounted for 11%.
A short sale is when a bank allows an underwater homeowner to sell their home at a price that is less than what they owe the bank, with the bank absorbing the loss. To get a short sale approved, the homeowner has to prove that they have some sort of financial hardship. Banks have been willing to approve more and more short sales because they realize that they end up getting more for the home than they would have if they had foreclosed on it. In the fourth quarter of…
Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 at 9:14am. 104 Views, 0 Comments.
The IRS reported that last year the average American got nearly $3,000 of tax refund money. So while you're anxiously awaiting this year's check, are you dreaming of all the wonderful things you could do with it? Sure, you could go on vacation. Sure, you could upgrade your home entertainment system. Yes, I guess you could even go try that indoor skydiving thing on International Drive that you always said you wanted to try. Well, I hate to rain on your parade, but there are much smarter ways to spend that money. Here are just a few.
Paying Off Your Credit Card
Ok, so maybe it's not as glamorous as a tropical vacation, but using your tax refund to pay off your credit card debt is one of the smartest things you can do. On a high interest…
Friday, March 15th, 2013 at 9:39am. 92 Views, 0 Comments.
Here's a thought that I bet has never occurred to you - is your home covered against meteor damage? It's certainly not a possibility that most people prepare for, but I'm betting it's crossed a few minds since the remarkable footage of last month's meteor explosion in Russia. So, what would happen if a meteorite fell on your house?
Well, the good news is, your homeowner's insurance probably covers it. Sure, it might be hard to find a good insurance policy that covers likely Florida disasters, like floods or sinkholes, but for objects falling from space? They got your back.
In fact, homeowner's insurance covers against all "falling objects", whether it's a meteorite, satellite part or, more commonly, "blue ice" (you don't want to know…
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 at 8:27am. 83 Views, 0 Comments.
I just talked about the benefits of applying for a Homestead Exemption on your home, now I want to talk about how you can apply those benefits to your next home when you move.
To encourage home sales, Florida allows you to transfer your tax benefits from one homesteaded property to a new one when you move, so long as you apply for a new homestead within 2 years of abandoning the previous one. If your new home is more valuable than your old home, you may port up to $500,000 of capped value to the new property.
To transfer your benefits from one home to another, you need to apply for a new Homestead Exemption with your new property, AND file a Form DR-501T.
Determining Your Cap Differential
How much you can port over…
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 at 8:22am. 91 Views, 0 Comments.
I've talked about this briefly in the past but it's time to go over it again. Every Florida resident who owns their own home is eligible for a tax exemption of up to $50,000 called a Homestead Exemption. The first $25,000 applies to all taxes on your property, including school district taxes, while the additional $25,000 applies to assessed value between $50,000 and $75,000, only to non-school taxes. If you are over 65 years old, or if you have a disability, you may qualify for even more exemptions. And best of all, once you've gotten your Homestead Exemption, the assessed value of your homestead property will not increase more than 3% per year or the percent change of the Consumer Price Index, according to the Save Our Homes Amendment of the Florida…
Friday, December 7th, 2012 at 8:31am. 134 Views, 0 Comments.
In Orlando, the inventory of foreclosed homes is going down and sales of foreclosed homes are going up! (Hmm, could one have something to do with the other?)
In the last 12 months, ending in October, Orlando's foreclosure inventory has fallen almost 2%. Orlando isn't the only place that foreclosure inventories are falling. In fact, they're falling all across the country. In Florida, we still have one of the largest foreclosure inventories in the nation but the rate at which ours is falling is higher than it is in other parts of the country. Simply put, we may have more foreclosure homes here but we're selling more of them as well.
For example, in the Orlando area, which includes Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola counties, there was a…
Monday, November 12th, 2012 at 12:22pm. 2243 Views, 0 Comments.
For those who haven't visited, Winter Park Village is a great shopping area located in Winter Park, just off of 17-92. It's just a few minutes away from Park Avenue and has many fantastic stores, a grocery store, some great dining and one of the area's best movie theaters.
It also has a number of uniquely styled apartments called Lofts at Winter Park Village. It's a great location to live, with nearly everything you could possibly need just a short walk from your home. But Lofts only has a limited number of units and the increased demand has led the developer of Winter Park Village to bring a bigger residential presence to the complex.
In the first quarter of 2013, Winter Park Town Center Development will start construction on a new $30…
Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 12:45pm. 238 Views, 0 Comments.
What do you see when you picture the Home of the Future? Conveyor belts and robot maids? Computer screens on every wall? A garage for your flying car? These ideas may have seemed far-fetched at one time (ok, the flying car is still pretty far-fetched) but almost every idea of the home of the future shares one thing in common - technology. In the future, we expect technology to be integrated directly into our homes in a way that the world has never seen before.
The truth is, that future is already here.
One of the biggest growing trends in luxury properties today is the "Smart Home", a house that uses the latest technology to make living at home easier and more intuitive than ever. The basic idea of a Smart Home is simple. Anything in your…
Monday, November 5th, 2012 at 1:25pm. 162 Views, 0 Comments.
With the recent, horrible destruction brought about by Hurricane Sandy up North, we're reminded how important it is to be prepared for the worst that Mother Nature can throw at us. Here in Florida, hurricanes are commonplace - so commonplace that many people don't make a special effort to be ready for them. Don't make this mistake!
I've talked in the past about making your home nearly-hurricane proof. Today I want to talk about something that every home needs to have - a storm survival kit. So get yourself a large, waterproof container and put these things in.
Food & Water
Of course, your biggest concern when disaster strikes will be the amount of food and water you have. Experts say that your survival kit should contain enough…
Thursday, November 1st, 2012 at 1:35pm. 611 Views, 0 Comments.
Buying a home is an enormous investment, so naturally you'll want to protect this investment as much as possible. For this we have homeowners insurance. Getting homeowners insurance for your new home is not only important, it's also almost always required by your mortgage lender. After all, your home is an investment for them too.
Basic homeowners insurance covers property damage from disasters like fire and wind. If your home needs heavy repair, your insurance may also help to cover your hotel stay and food costs while repairs are going on. Most policies don't include coverage for flood damage, however. That has to be purchased separately.
Homeowners insurance also covers loss of property through criminal activities like…