Local Home Sales Sets Record

27 01 2004

Existing single-family home sales climbed 13 percent in Florida in 2003, better than the mark for the nation as a whole. Home sales for the country were up 9.6 percent in 2003 over the record-setting year of 2002.

By year’s end, Florida reported a 13 percent gain in the number of existing single-family homes sold and broke the 200,000 mark for annual sales, according to the Florida Association of Realtors.

In total, 203,243 homes changed hands last year compared to 179,631 homes sold in 2002.

And the prices of those homes keep rising. Statewide, the median sales price rose 12 percent to reach $158,400; a year ago, it was $141,700. In 1998, Florida’s median sales price was $101,600, for a 55.9 percent jump over the five-year period.

Throughout 2003, the housing sector propelled Florida’s economy into its current upswing and made the year one for the record books in terms of sales volume and median price, both statewide and nationally.

Sales in Jacksonville climbed 1 percent to 14,072, while the median price of a single-family home rose 11 percent to $138,200.

Last year’s 5.83 percent average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was a significant decline from the 6.54 percent average for 2002. FAR’s sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.





Local Home Sales Sets Record

26 01 2004

Existing single-family home sales climbed 13 percent in Florida in 2003, better than the mark for the nation as a whole. Home sales for the country were up 9.6 percent in 2003 over the record-setting year of 2002.

By year’s end, Florida reported a 13 percent gain in the number of existing single-family homes sold and broke the 200,000 mark for annual sales, according to the Florida Association of Realtors.

In total, 203,243 homes changed hands last year compared to 179,631 homes sold in 2002.

And the prices of those homes keep rising. Statewide, the median sales price rose 12 percent to reach $158,400; a year ago, it was $141,700. In 1998, Florida’s median sales price was $101,600, for a 55.9 percent jump over the five-year period.

Throughout 2003, the housing sector propelled Florida’s economy into its current upswing and made the year one for the record books in terms of sales volume and median price, both statewide and nationally.

Sales in Jacksonville climbed 1 percent to 14,072, while the median price of a single-family home rose 11 percent to $138,200.

Last year’s 5.83 percent average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was a significant decline from the 6.54 percent average for 2002. FAR’s sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.





Celebrate Chinese New Year with Feng Shui in Your Home

22 01 2004

The Chinese Lunar New Year rings in Thursday, Jan. 22 (the Year of the Monkey). For many, the start of a new year is the perfect time to update or implement feng shui practices into their homes.

Feng Shui is often referred to as the mother of natural sciences. In fact, it’s the Chinese art of placement and is as ancient as the culture and Lunar New Year Calendar. Now widely adopted across the globe, feng shui involves all aspects of our daily lives including our homes, our businesses, our doctor’s office and our entire community.

“Whether you live downtown, near the ocean, in a home or an apartment, the principles of feng shui transcend our everyday lives,” said Will Vasana, Jacksonville’s Southside real estate specialist and Feng Shui consultant. “Feng Shui addresses the areas where most of our concerns lie, such as wealth, relationships, fame and reputation and health. It’s old knowledge in this new age and it is making an impact on us more than ever.”

According to Vasana, Feng Shui is making a significant impact right now on real estate in particular, helping people to sell their homes faster and helping people settle into their new homes more comfortably.

“You can tell the difference. You walk into a house and it just feels good. You don’t know why. That’s what Feng Shui does. You take away the obstructions,” Vasana says. “A lot of it is common sense.”

Some of Vasana’s top placement tips to enhance the layout and interior design of a home are:

1. Don’t have a side door as a front door.

2. Position the stove so it’s not facing the wall, but facing people while cooking.

3. Keep doors in any one area to a minimum.

4. Position the toilet so it’s not seen immediately when opening the bathroom door.

5. Avoid using double doors in the master bedroom.

6. Make the first impression upon entering your home a warm and welcoming one.

7. Add mirrors to increase the size of a small room. You will create a feeling of more space and also endless opportunities.

8. Remember when placing furniture, less is always best. Too much furniture can make us feel cramped and can restrict the flow of our opportunities.

9. Add flowering plants, in groups of 3’s along the walkway to your front door. Red is best.

10. Have live plants in as many rooms as possible, if their leaves look like round coins, even better.

“While each home, office or community is different and requires different applied principles, it’s amazing to see and feel the improvement feng shui makes on your space,” said Vasana. “From a real estate perspective, we’re of course most concerned with our clients’ personal well-being, and taking a little instruction from an ancient Chinese art is just one of the tools we may use to help sell their homes.”

For more information, call (904) 307-8998 or visit Homepage.





Celebrate Chinese New Year with Feng Shui in Your Home

22 01 2004

The Chinese Lunar New Year rings in Thursday, Jan. 22 (the Year of the Monkey). For many, the start of a new year is the perfect time to update or implement feng shui practices into their homes.

Feng Shui is often referred to as the mother of natural sciences. In fact, it’s the Chinese art of placement and is as ancient as the culture and Lunar New Year Calendar. Now widely adopted across the globe, feng shui involves all aspects of our daily lives including our homes, our businesses, our doctor’s office and our entire community.

“Whether you live downtown, near the ocean, in a home or an apartment, the principles of feng shui transcend our everyday lives,” said Will Vasana, Jacksonville’s Southside real estate specialist and Feng Shui consultant. “Feng Shui addresses the areas where most of our concerns lie, such as wealth, relationships, fame and reputation and health. It’s old knowledge in this new age and it is making an impact on us more than ever.”

According to Vasana, Feng Shui is making a significant impact right now on real estate in particular, helping people to sell their homes faster and helping people settle into their new homes more comfortably.

“You can tell the difference. You walk into a house and it just feels good. You don’t know why. That’s what Feng Shui does. You take away the obstructions,” Vasana says. “A lot of it is common sense.”

Some of Vasana’s top placement tips to enhance the layout and interior design of a home are:

1. Don’t have a side door as a front door.

2. Position the stove so it’s not facing the wall, but facing people while cooking.

3. Keep doors in any one area to a minimum.

4. Position the toilet so it’s not seen immediately when opening the bathroom door.

5. Avoid using double doors in the master bedroom.

6. Make the first impression upon entering your home a warm and welcoming one.

7. Add mirrors to increase the size of a small room. You will create a feeling of more space and also endless opportunities.

8. Remember when placing furniture, less is always best. Too much furniture can make us feel cramped and can restrict the flow of our opportunities.

9. Add flowering plants, in groups of 3’s along the walkway to your front door. Red is best.

10. Have live plants in as many rooms as possible, if their leaves look like round coins, even better.

“While each home, office or community is different and requires different applied principles, it’s amazing to see and feel the improvement feng shui makes on your space,” said Vasana. “From a real estate perspective, we’re of course most concerned with our clients’ personal well-being, and taking a little instruction from an ancient Chinese art is just one of the tools we may use to help sell their homes.”

For more information, call (904) 307-8998 or visit Homepage.





Bush Administration Proposes "Zero Downpayment" Mortgage Plan

20 01 2004

President Bush and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez announced more than $1 billion in grants to provide housing and supportive services to hundreds of thousands of homeless families and individuals across America. The announcement represents the largest amount of homeless assistance in history.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a Fiscal Year 2005 proposal that would allow homeowners to buy a home without a downpayment.

This “zero down payment” mortgage would help remove the greatest barrier facing first-time homebuyers–the lack of funds for a downpayment on a mortgage.

The proposal would eliminate the statutory requirement of a minimum three percent down payment for FHA-insured single-family mortgages for first-time homebuyers.

Preliminary projections indicate that the new FHA mortgage product would generate about 150,000 homebuyers in the first year alone.

For those that choose to participate in the Zero Down Payment program, HUD would charge a modestly higher insurance premium, which would be phased down over several years, and would also require families to undergo pre-purchase housing counseling.

The monthly payment would likely be higher for borrowers taking part in the new program as opposed to a traditional FHA program. The downpayment costs would be put into the monthly mortgage payments. It is suggested that consumers who can afford a downpayment are better off going with the traditional FHA program.

The private mortgage insurance companies are not likely to be affected by the new proposal. Their consumers are traditionally lower risk, and HUD’s new plan helps those who are higher risk. The new HUD program would not interfere with work done by downpayment assistance programs run by groups such as Nehemiah Corporation of America.

For current FHA mortgage loan limits, visit www.hud.gov





Bush Administration Proposes “Zero Downpayment” Mortgage Plan

20 01 2004

President Bush and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez announced more than $1 billion in grants to provide housing and supportive services to hundreds of thousands of homeless families and individuals across America. The announcement represents the largest amount of homeless assistance in history.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a Fiscal Year 2005 proposal that would allow homeowners to buy a home without a downpayment.

This “zero down payment” mortgage would help remove the greatest barrier facing first-time homebuyers–the lack of funds for a downpayment on a mortgage.

The proposal would eliminate the statutory requirement of a minimum three percent down payment for FHA-insured single-family mortgages for first-time homebuyers.

Preliminary projections indicate that the new FHA mortgage product would generate about 150,000 homebuyers in the first year alone.

For those that choose to participate in the Zero Down Payment program, HUD would charge a modestly higher insurance premium, which would be phased down over several years, and would also require families to undergo pre-purchase housing counseling.

The monthly payment would likely be higher for borrowers taking part in the new program as opposed to a traditional FHA program. The downpayment costs would be put into the monthly mortgage payments. It is suggested that consumers who can afford a downpayment are better off going with the traditional FHA program.

The private mortgage insurance companies are not likely to be affected by the new proposal. Their consumers are traditionally lower risk, and HUD’s new plan helps those who are higher risk. The new HUD program would not interfere with work done by downpayment assistance programs run by groups such as Nehemiah Corporation of America.

For current FHA mortgage loan limits, visit www.hud.gov








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