Florida Ranks No. 2 in Foreclosures

11 09 2009

Florida had the second highest foreclosure rate in the nation behind only Nevada, with one in every 140 homes receiving some sort of foreclosure filing, according to RealtyTrac.

Florida was one of six states — joining California, Michigan, Nevada, Arizona and Illinois — that accounted for more than 60 percent of the nation’s total foreclosures.

Among metropolitan areas, the top foreclosure-ridden regions were dominated by California and topped by Las Vegas. Only two Florida metros were in the top 10 — Orlando-Kissimmee at No. 8 with one in every 87 houses in some form of foreclosure and Cape Coral-Fort Myers at No. 9 where one in every 88 homes received a foreclosure filing.

Nationwide, foreclosure rates were up nearly 18 percent with one in every 357 homes experiencing some level of foreclosure either from a default notice, scheduled auction or bank repossession.

More foreclosure homes are expected to hit the market in the next twelve months. In Jacksonville, one of three homes sold is a foreclosure property.

Jacksonville Ranks 17th Best Place to Attend College

10 09 2009

Jacksonville ranks 17th in a survey of mid-sized cities that are the best places to attend college, according to the American Institute of Economic Research.

Analysts compared the country’s 360 metropolitan statistical areas on factors including academic environment, quality of life and professional opportunities. Jacksonville was grouped among cities with populations of 1 million to 2.5 million.

Topping the list of the nation’s big cities was New York, followed by San Francisco; Boston; Washington, D.C.; and Seattle.

Among big cities, Miami ranked 10th.

Other Florida cities to make the mid-sized city list include Orlando at No. 8. Among small cities with populations of 250,000 to 1 million, Gainesville was No. 4, Naples was No. 13 and Sarasota was 20th.

Pending Home Sales on a Record Roll

6 09 2009

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun talks about the latest index with Realtor Magazine on 9/1/09. (4 min. 8 sec.)


5 09 2009

I found a video clip from Lennar Homes that offers ten simple and important tips that could help you turn your old home into a SOLD home. See http://www.lennar.com/10tips


1. MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION. From the minute they pull in your driveway, their minds made up. Take the time to mow, mulch, trim and tidy up.

2. FIX EVERYTHING. Nobody wants to buy a home that’s broken.

3. HIDE YOUR LITTLE ANIMALS. Showing your home is not the time to show off your pets. Remove them, their hair and their smells from your home before your guests arrive.

4. GET RID OF THE CLUTTER. Don’t show off your knickknacks. De-clutter your counters and streamline your shelves. Make cabinets look roomy, not gloomy.

5. KEEP EVERYTHING OPEN. Open the blinds. Open the doors. And remove excess furniture to open up the spaciousness of every room.

6. IF YOU WANT IT, DON’T FLAUNT IT. You may be attached to your light fixtures or ceiling fans. But if they’re attached to that home, they’re part of that home. So remove the things now that you’ll be taking with you.

7. MAKE A CLEAN SWEEP. Clean the carpets. Clean the closets. Clean the showers. Clean the faucets. Clean everything. It might be old to you, but its new to them.

8. SELL THE NEIGHBORHOOD, TOO. Your buyers aren’t just buying a home, they’re buying into a community. Highlight the positives of the area: and make them comfortable to know that they’re making the right move.

9: PRICE IT RIGHT. Don’t base your selling price on what nearby homes have sold for in the past. Check the prices of homes that are on sale now.

10: JUST LEAVE. Home buyers want to picture their home with their family in it, not yours. They’ll feel much more comfortable if you’re not there.

Best of luck turning your old home into a sold home!

Top 10 Things Homebuyers Should Know

5 09 2009

Top 10 Things Homebuyers Should Know

Thinking about a new home? NOW is a great time to BUY and BUY NEW. I came across this video by Lennar Homes. If you’re thinking of buying a home, here are the top 10 most important things you should know before you go. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVql0LkZTPo.

From knowing what to look for, to knowing what you can afford, this Lennar video podcast is essential viewing for anyone in the market for a home.

And here are ten things homebuyers should know.

10: Know Before You Go. Go online. Research is quick and easy. Learn about home values and how to pre-qualify. The more you know, the easier it’ll go.

9: Know Your Builder. You don’t want to get stuck with a half-built home, right? You want to know that your builder is financially strong, and that they’ll be here for you tomorrow.

8: Know Your Neighborhood. Make the drive. Visit the community live. See it. Breathe it. And make sure it really feels like home.

7: Know Your Price Range. Set your budget. Stay within it. And never, never buy more home than you can afford.

6: Know What You Owe. Get a copy of your credit report. Get your finances in order. And get your down payment right where you want it.

5: Know That New Is Better Than Old. New homes mean less maintenance. Less retrofitting. More advanced technology. And more new stuff.

4: Know That New Is More Energy-Efficient. In a new home, you save energy. You save resources. And you save money.

3: Know That This Is A Long-Term Investment. Now is not the time to flip it and fly. Choose a home you can grow in, and be comfortable for the long run.

2: Know That Your Wealth Can Grow. Home equity is a big part of your net worth. Owning a home is the first step in assuring your financial security.

1: Know That Now Is A Great Time To Buy. Prices – down. Interest rates – down. Payments – down. And government assistance – UP – with a new $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers.

So now you know. The time is now!

U.S. Worker Productivity Hits Six-Year High

4 09 2009

The Labor Department released the report this week saying that U.S. workers are more productive, but employee earnings are falling.

Worker productivity — basically the output of work per hour — increased at an annual rate of 6.6 percent during the second quarter, the best performance since summer 2003 and easily exceeding the 6.4 percent gain economists expected.

Aggressive cost-cutting efforts helped boost the bottom line and keep companies operating, but labor costs declined an alarming 5.9 percent — the largest drop since second-quarter 2000 and slightly more than the 5.8 percent a month ago.

For cost-conscious companies it’s good news, but consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of the economy and lower pay could hurt the recovery.

Pending Home Sales Rise to Two-Year High

2 09 2009

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) said housing affordability, the first-time buyer tax credit and lower interest rates have combined to increase the number of Americans purchasing homes for the six straight month.

NAR went on to say pending home sales for July increased 3.2 percent to 97.6, the highest level since June 2007, up from 94.6 in June and 12 percent higher than a year ago, when it was 87.1.

In the South, pending home sales activity rose 3.1 percent to an index of 103.8 in July and is 12 percent above July 2008.

NAR estimates that about 1.8 million to 2 million first-time buyers will take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit this year, with about 350,000 additional sales that would not have taken place without the credit. The deadline to qualify for the credit is Nov. 30. However, NAR President Charles McMillan said the organization is encouraging Congress to extend the deadline into 2010 and expand it to all buyers of primary residences. “The faster we stabilize home prices, the fewer families will face foreclosure and the quicker credit can be extended to other sectors of the economy,” he said.

Existing-home sales to rise through the fourth quarter.

Source: National Association of Realtors

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