With today’s considerably lower Miami Beach real estate prices, the large inventory of foreclosures and bank owned property the question becomes more of what kind of property is worth investing in than anything else. For purposes of this article, we’ll focus on bank owned properties, also known as REO (real estate owned) property.
A home becomes real estate owned if it doesn’t find a buyer during a property auction. Since banks aren’t necessarily designed to function as Miami Beach real estate property-owners, they’re usually very eager to get rid of them which can result in considerable discounts. However since an REO is not the same thing as a foreclosure, lenders can still earn a profit from them so don’t expect as deep of a discount.
A perk of buying a Miami Beach real estate REO is that there’s much less of a risk of dealing with liens, taxes and other unforeseen costs that come with a foreclosure since lenders will take usually deal with them before the sale is closed. However an REO can still be in bad condition like a foreclosure so it remains important to get a home inspection or check the home out yourself, lenders are not at all obligated to make any repairs on the property but they will allow you to back out if something is seriously wrong.
Posted at 10:24:21 AM
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Examining the Interior of a Home
If you’ve been browsing through Miami Beach real estate on the internet, you’ve more than likely come across numerous resources thoroughly explaining how important it is that you carefully consider where the home is located, the values of neighboring homes, etc. If you’ve done your homework, perhaps it’s time to narrow down your assessment to the home you may soon be living in by giving the interior a meticulous examination.
Perhaps you’d like to start off with the electrical wiring. Depending on your familiarity, you may wish to leave this to a professional or have it done as part of the home inspection report, should you request one. Always check this part out regardless of whether the home was built ten years ago or five years ago.
The plumbing is a little easier. Leakage can often be discovered just by taking a look behind sinks since that’s the spot where mold has the best conditions for accumulating. A leaky sink could be an indicator of bad pipes and thus plumbing, something you likely want to bring to the appropriate person’s attention before signing off on the dotted line on your Miami Beach real estate purchase.
Not all homes come with an addict but if there is one, you may wish to make it your first stop. If you want to examine the roof, the attic is the best spot to do so. If there’s wood that shows wear and tear, this could lead to leakage later on.
Posted at 11:00:29 AM
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Compiling Comparable Sales
With the advances in technology and the widespread availability of the World Wide Web, there is more real estate information available than ever. Realtors have a number of resources available to help them with their seller and buyer assistance efforts and among these, it’s important to have a good idea of average sales prices in any given neighborhood, officially known as comparable sales and often referred to simply as comps.
Depending on the state where the realtor is doing business, obtaining information on comps can be done by simply heading over to the local courthouse and browsing through public records or reading newspaper listings to get a glimpse of recent sales figures. However this method means that such services need to actually be provided in order to make use of them.
The most readily available resource is the internet since there are many websites available which can be used for finding comparable sales information while removing the need to do a lot of unnecessary and possibly fruitless legwork. Keep in mind though that there is no guarantee as to how current this information may be. A similar approach is to subscribe to service companies which can mail or offer this information via other means besides the internet. Even so, the same problems of encountering outdated information are still there.
The MLS can be extremely useful and if the person using it is already a licensed realtor then they have access to a wealth of information on multiple listings which is more often than not kept up to date.
At the end of the day however, perhaps the best way to have the sharpest knowledge on comps is to take the self research approach and focus on a certain neighborhood and staying abreast of sales.
Posted at 4:43:12 PM
Friday, October 31, 2008
Existing Home Sales Rose Nationally Last Month
While the economy seems bleak with the stock market fluctuating daily and a steady amount of major companies going bankrupt or merging, the real estate market seems to be headed down a different path. Month-after-month the real estate market has slight improvements. Experts think the worst declines in the real estate market have already past while the economy still has a while before it stabilizes.
Recent reports from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) show an increase in existing home sales. Home sales were up 5.5 percent with a total of 5.18 million units sold across the country in the month of September which was higher than the previous month by 1.4 percent. Lead economist for the NAR Lawrence Yun suggests this is part of “a sales turnaround which began in California several months ago…” and “is broadening now to Colarado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Rhode Island”.
The cause of this influx of real estate business, according to NAR President Richard F. Gaylord is “low home prices and low interest rates”. The nearly thirty percent discounts in home prices in major cities and rural areas have attracted buyers back to the real estate market in certain areas of the country. Richard F. Gaylord is optimistic about recent gains and thinks the real estate market is on its way to recovery.
Lawrence Yun, while also optimistic about the recovery of the real estate market, warns of “market disruptions” on the road to real estate market recovery. The credit markets have a significant impact on the real estate market and as they experience tough times it may have averse effects on the real estate market. But that aside, the NAR is predicting that the worst for the real estate market is over and that it will recover sooner than the economy itself.
Posted at 10:53:28 AM
Friday, September 5, 2008
Global warming, damaging fuel emissions, they’re all more of a concern on people’s minds these days as they become more and more aware of their long term effects on the environment and how important it is to try and incorporate “green practices” into your daily lifestyle whether that means doubling up your recycling efforts or reducing the amount of time you spend sitting idly in traffic.
In real estate, many developers have taken into account how they too can make homes “greener” and many have made use of natural resources to create environmentally friendly condo buildings like Ten Museum Park which uses its glass design to allow tons of natural sunlight to come into the building, thus reducing the need to flip on artificial lights, at least during the day.
The Ten Museum Park condo is only a small part of a bigger picture. Its home, downtown Miami is recognized not only by its sweeping business and condo skyscrapers, but also the numerous and elaborate light displays that bring the city to new life during the evening. Obviously all this visual eye candy, while certainly nice to look at does not do the environment any favors. Thus, to reinforce the message of how important it is to turn off nonessential lights whenever possible, Ten Museum Park and all those other high rises in downtown Miami’s will turn off their own unimportant lights on March 29 in a global effort to encourage environmental awareness.
Regardless of whether you live in a Miami single family home or a luxury condo, the efforts required by you to help out the environment even a little are that simple: turn off lights when you leave a room, drop a plastic water bottle or soda can into a recycling receptacle instead of the trash. It may seem useless but it’s always good to know you’re doing your part in making the world you share with everyone else that much more pleasant.
hat require little to no repairs. Don’t get caught up in the fierce competition without having a limit of how far you’re willing to bid, always remember the winning bid is only a component of the other fees that follow. As you learn the ropes, you’ll eventually get a feel for how real estate auctions work and who knows, if you become good at it, they may become your preferred method of buying Florida real estate.
Posted at 2:50:44 PM
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
International Florida Real Estate Assistance
To some degree the foreclosure situation has transitioned from how to prevent foreclosures to how to get rid of the hundreds of foreclosure properties already available on the market. South Florida homes are among the highest in foreclosure filings, contributing to an already overcrowded housing glut. The answer to appeasing the situation may lie beyond the U.S. borders.
Strategic Real Estate Advisors is an asset management firm situated in London that plans to raise $1 billion dollars in order to purchase luxury property like Miami Beach oceanfront condos currently owned and being sold by the banks through the Florida Prime Residential Opportunity Fund.
Itâ€™s interesting to note that not only is Strategic Real Estate Advisors located outside of the United States, the majority of the funds which will go towards the purchase of all these luxury properties will be coming from well to do investors and funds located throughout Europe and the Middle East. Recent reports have consistently pointed towards international investors and buyers as integral towards maintaining interest in Florida property investments and sales.
Critics may see Strategic Real Estate Advisorsâ€™ initiative as ineffective since they wonâ€™t be making a profit. The firm actually plans to buy and then hold onto these properties for next six years or so, a move that may cost considerable funds as the market fluctuates but which should bring considerable profit by the time it decides to sell them off as a residential property investment or something else entirely.
Within a seven year timeframe home values and the real estate market in general will certainly be in much better shape and buying activity will likely have increased so in a sense Strategic Real Estate Advisors are providing a worthwhile short and long term solution. Is this just another flash in the pan or is it a viable strategy?
Posted at 12:30:39 PM
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Homes Are Selling Again
Amidst the doom and gloom of housing market reports comes a recent report suggesting the real estate market is showing strong signs of life. In these tumultuous times it's easy for people to think that the economy is headed for recession or even a crash. Despite current market reports that suggest we are beginning to see slow signs of recovery there are still those who would rather build a bunker under their homes to prepare for an apocalypse then invest in real estate.
The last half dozen months have not seen much progress in the way of homes sold. The highest percentage of drop in home sales occurred during that period leading many to believe that the market would eventually begin to recoverâ€”and it did. In April homes sales increased slightly, which wasn't enough to ease all tensions in the housing market but enough to show that the market is on the right track to recovery.
Property value also rose slightly across the nation showing encouraging signs of the real estate market's enduring strength. Though the median home value is comparably low to just four years ago the fact that property value is stabilizing across the country is a sign that things will return to normalcy sooner than later. When property values experience steady rise it will be more practical for people to sell homes and to convince investors to buy homes.
So, how should one react to recent reports of trends reversing in real estate? Real estate transactions rising are a sign that demand for property is still alive. Prices are almost at a low enough level that many people sitting on the fence on whether or not to invest will soon become active. As sales increase, so will home values and soon real estate investments will become stable enough to return to business as usual.
Of course, Fallons home may be slightly different than ours. From what we have been able to see on The Tonight Show at home, a pared-down version of his weeknight show that has been a family affair, with his kids and wife participating, the home is as interesting as he is. It has a slew of eye-popping features, including a rustic wood staircase, wallpaper that resembles birch bark, paneled walls, and an indoor slide.nbsp;
Yes, a slide.nbsp;
It made an appearance during the show after Fallon said goodbye to viewers and made his exit.nbsp;
Thats right, said Yahoo. It turns out the late-night host has a full-blown, tubular slide inside his home, which he can apparently use to travel between rooms. The reveal took many Twitter users by surprise, mainly because Fallon made absolutely no reference to the feature during his monologue.
In light of this momentous reveal, weve decided to take a look at some other indoor slides around the world. From taking center stage in swanky Manhattan penthouses to providing the fun secret way to get from the laundry room to the basement in Minnesota, these playground pieces are anything but childs play, said Houzz.
Perhaps no residential slide is as famed as the one at Skyhouse, a penthouse apartment in lower Manhattan. Perks of the pad include a four-story open living room, glass walking bridge, a climbing column and a stainless steelnbsp;slidenbsp;that snakes through each floor, said HuffPost.nbsp;
New York Architect David Hotsonnbsp;built the tubular slide into the upper levels of an 1896 skyscraper, which had not previously been used as a residential space. Per Hotsons website, The entrance to a tubular slide, constructed from mirror-polished stainless steel, emerges through a circular hole cut in the seamless sloping glass partition at the south end of the Attic. The cylindrical helical slide flares to an ellipse which is sectioned on the angle of the inclined glass wall resulting in a circular opening where the slide emerges through the glass.nbsp;This circular opening creates an illusion of flatness contradicted by the sideways path of the slide as it begins its descent.
The slide even has windows that admit natural light from the dormer windows and provide fleeting vistas through the entire length of the penthouse.
This slide isnt just for transport; It helped transform a space with added function. Created by Seoul studio Moon Hoon in a South Korean house, the wooden slide is slotted into a combined staircase and bookshelf, said dezeen. The homeowners asked for various spaces where their four children could play, so the architects designed a house where different floors belong to different residents. The ground floor is dedicated to the children and includes the wooden staircase and slide. Open treads create bleacher->
Not all slides are quite as architecturally distinct. Rather than serving as a sculpture or major design statement, some slides are surprises hidden in the walls, said Houzz. The basement rec-room fun begins with the trip down a level in thisnbsp;Minnesota home. This ones entry point is tucked away in a first-floor closet. The round opening does not give away what the slide experience will be, which builder Steve Kuhl describes as severe tubular craziness.nbsp;He estimates that installing anbsp;slide like this somewhere else would run from 2,500 to 5,000.
Sometimes, you can have both: an architecturally significant slide thats a showpiece on one floor and a hidden gem on another. Found in the Rainbow House in West London, from designer AB Rogers, this slide travels from an upstairs bedroom down into the wide-open living room. Even in the vibrant, yellow-and-white space, the sculptural metal slide is a standout. But the entry from upstairs isnt just demure; if you dont know its there, you might miss it. Instead of a typical slide opening, you instead get a trap door that, when closed, blends right into the patterned floor.nbsp;
Located in a fashionable London neighborhood, the vibrant Rainbow House by designernbsp;AB Rogersnbsp;is a traditional four-bedroom town home that was renovated in 2009 for maximum fun and personality. Wild prints, rainbow-colored spiral stairs, color-coordinated floors, conversation pits, and a bed that rotates 360 degrees are notable features, but the most fun by far is the slide linking a bedroom to the open-plan living room via a trap door in the floor.
We especially love this example by Archology because:
1. The slide is especially attractive, using timber in close collaboration with a makernbsp;skilled in the ideas of boat building, said Wood Solutions. This collaboration allowed the structure to benbsp;curved in both directions. This was achievednbsp;by using narrow strips of plywoodnbsp;that were then smoothed and finished with a hardwearing polish finish. 2. It exists side-by-side with the curved staircase, so you can pick and choose which mode of travel youd like every time you head down to the lower level.nbsp;
Check Local Ordinances and Homeowners Association Rules
When youre looking for a home, either rented or purchased, youll need to follow the rules of the community that youre entering. Most areas have general ordinances on cleaning up after your dog when you go for a walk. Theyll also have leash laws, and they might have other ordinances on what kinds of animals you can have. If you live in a condo or townhouse, you will also have a homeowners association, which will tell you whether or not you can have a pet at all. Before you buy or start renting, make sure you know all of the rules that you will be expected to abide by for the length of your stay.
Find a Pet-Friendly Realtor
If youre looking to find someone who knows the neighborhoods that youll be looking in, find someone who understands the needs of the type of pet that you have and knows the ordinances of the area. Realtors who are unfamiliar with your particular pet might say that a building in the backyard would be a great place for your goat, but if they dont actually know about what the animal needs, as well as the type of buildings that could house a goat, theyre just making guesses.
Tips For Finding a Pet-Friendly Apartment
When you want to find an apartment, you need to be aware that many apartments have no-pet policies, or they only allow certain types of pets. For instance, some apartments will allow cats but not dogs. Others will only allow dogs under a certain weight. If youre looking for an apartment, youll have a better chance of finding one if youre aware of their policy. But dont worry. There are plenty of housing options animal lovers can consider. You also need to be aware that you might have to show proof of vaccinations, and it might be wise to show that youre a responsible pet owner. If you have a current landlord, see if you can get a letter of recommendation that tells how you take care of your pet, cleaning up after it when it makes a mess.
Consider Your Pets Needs
When youre looking for a house or apartment, think about the amount of space that your pet will need now and in the future. If you have a puppy mastiff, he might only need a small space now, but in a very short time, hell need a large outdoor space where he can play. Youll also need to think about the materials used in the house. Animals have hooves, claws, and mouths, and youll need to either train them to avoid activities that can damage things like hardwood floors, or youll need to have materials that arent easily damaged.
Whether your pet is a cat, dog, pig, or snake, you love your animal. And it makes sense for you to find the housing that will fit your whole familys needs. Do some research, and youll find the perfect living situation that fits your budget and your life> > Full Story
Sounds like a pretty good idea, doesnt it? Take a break from making this months mortgage payment plus skipping the next one? Who wouldnt want that? But lets take a closer look at what actually goes on with those payments during a refinance transaction.
First, lets understand that mortgage payments are made in arrears. Its the opposite of a rent payment. When renting, youre actually paying for the month youre about to live in. With a mortgage, youre paying for the month you just lived in. For instance, you make your mortgage payment on the first of the month, but the payment is for accrued interest from the previous month.nbsp;
You might have noticed this when you first bought and financed your home with an entry on your settlement statement noting prepaid interest and a range of dates. If you closed on the 25th of the month, the interest collected would be from March 25 March 31. That would amount to seven days of interest collected at your closing. But heres where the skip part comes in- because you made your first payment of seven days and because interest is paid in arrears, you dont have to make your first payment on the first of the next month because you already paid it at your closing. You paid seven days. You didnt really skip anything, you just paid it ahead of time.
Now look at a refinance. When your new lender seeks out a payoff from the old lender, the payoff amount will be the principal balance plus interest that has accrued for the current month. Lets look again at closing on the 25th. The payoff will include the outstanding loan balance plus unpaid interest. Because refinances require a three-day rescission period before funding, the loan would fund on three days later. In this example, the loan would fund three business days after the 25th. Borrowers have a right to change their minds for pretty much any reason whatsoever up until midnight on the third business day after signing closing documents. The rescission cant be waived, even if youre completely satisfied with your loan and wondering why theres a wait.nbsp;
If your refinance funds on the 29th for example, the payoff will include the outstanding loan balance from the old lender of 29 days and 2 days for prepaid interest for the following month. This is the two months worth of skipping payments. Yes, you did make your mortgage payments, its just not paid directly out of your pocket like a regular monthly payment. Instead, its included in your new loan amount. Borrowers certainly have the right to not include interest in arrears and prepaid interest in the final loan amount, but most do. Its your choice.
But if you hear of a loan officer talking to you about refinancing and the loan officer mentions you get to skip two payments, while it sounds good its really not the case. You made those two payments, just in a different way. Still, though, your pocketbook will feel a little heavier because you didnt have to make those two payments from your own bank account.