jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Florida Economy is Projected to Improve - 12/19/14 06:47 AM
A quarterly report released by the University of Central Florida (UCF) suggests that the recession was far worse on Florida than it realizes, but the rebound in 2015 will "surely put a twinkle in Kris Kringle's eye."
The report under Dr. Sean Snaith suggests that the recession in Florida started earlier than it did for the rest of the U.S., and it lasted longer, though no source tracks state economic data. According to UCF analysts, the Florida recession lasted 32 months longer than the rest of the U.S. – a total downturn of 50 months – before starting a tepid rebound … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Reducing Buyer Closing Costs - 12/19/14 06:41 AM
Closing costs can add a lot to home buyers' final price, depending on which lender a buyer uses, which state they live in, the price of the home, and sometimes even the day of the month the closing occurs, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Borrowers can reduce their closing costs in several ways:
Comparison shop. If buyers apply for a mortgage with more than one lender, they'll be able to compare the origination fees quoted in good-faith estimates, says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst of Bankrate.com. Federal law requires lenders to provide the statement within three days of a loan application. The … (2 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Old School vs. Online regarding RE leads - 12/17/14 10:59 PM
Real estate agents' most valuable leads still come from traditional sources – open houses, past-client referrals, for sale signs and walk-ins to brokerage offices – according to the latest Imprev Thought Leader Survey of more than 270 broker-owners and top executives at leading franchises and independent brokerage firms.
Imprev says that real estate agents and brokers spent more than $33 million in the latest quarter to secure new leads from Zillow and Trulia premium services, but data from its survey finds that brokers consider the leads agents already have in their address books as far more valuable.
"A real estate agent's … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Short sale legislation advances for 2014 - 12/17/14 10:53 PM
Financially strapped homeowners who sold their home this year in a short sale or received a loan modification that include a principal reduction appear likely to benefit from the same tax break that helped similarly distressed consumers in the past six years.
The U.S. Senate late Tuesday passed on a 76-16 vote a package of temporary tax breaks that includes an extension of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, but only until Dec. 31, enabling taxpayers to claim them on their 2014 returns.
The $42 billion tax extenders bill, which contains a wide range of tax breaks, was passed earlier this month … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: 'Dock Condos' again becoming popular - 12/16/14 11:14 PM
Before the Great Recession, some South Florida developers were selling storage units for boats just like condominiums.
The financial crisis stymied that, as demand for boats and storage shrunk.
Now, with the economy recovering, sales of "dockominiums" are making a comeback.
A Dania Beach marina held a grand opening this month, offering its covered dry-racks on land for prices between $35,000 and $90,000 each plus monthly maintenance fees, said sales agent Ginger Hornaday.
And The Bluffs Marina in Jupiter reports 17 slips on water sold so far this year, an improvement from last year. It now sells a 60-foot wet-slip for … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Zillow-Trulia merger is delayed... - 12/16/14 11:10 PM
News Corp announced today that it successfully completed its acquisition of Move Inc., the oversight company that manages realtors.com for its owner, the National Association of Realtors®(NAR).
"In partnership with the National Association of Realtors and its one million members, we look forward to turbo-charging realtor.com and making it the most popular and profitable property site in America," says Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp.
According to Thomson, the Move Inc. acquisition extends News Corp's operations globally and digitally, and substantially bolsters the real estate pillar of its business.
News Corp.-Move Inc. merger details
The previously announced tender offer by … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: First time buyers still affected by debt - 12/16/14 11:06 PM
 How much do student loan debt and car payments impact first-time homebuyers?
RealtyTrac released an analysis of major U.S. counties – including 34 of the 67 in Florida – based on median home prices and median incomes. The analysis assumed a downpayment of 3 percent, 10 percent and 20 percent.
RealtyTrac's stated goal: To determine how much lower downpayments would help first-time buyers if they must also pay higher monthly mortgage costs after the sale. It assumed a conventional loan that could be sold later to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
"While lower downpayments may help pave a quicker path to … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Baby Boomers still want bigger, better homes! - 12/16/14 11:02 PM
Over the next five years, analysts estimate that baby boomers will purchase about $1.9 trillion in homes. But the key question is: Will they be able to afford to move?
"Their choices will have a real impact on the housing sector in the next several years," says Jeremy Burbank, vice president at the Demand Institute, a nonprofit think tank run by the Conference Board and Nielsen.
The Great Recession caused the average boomer's household net worth to shrink to $143,000 in 2013, from $200,000 in 2007, according to Federal Reserve data. Boomers are also carrying more mortgage debt than previous generations. … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Is it a good time to Buy? More think so... - 12/16/14 06:08 AM
While the real estate market continues to improve slowly, Fannie Mae's November 2014 National Housing Survey finds some subtle shifts in consumers' attitudes.
Overall, buyers seems to be more optimistic about whether or not it's time to jump into the market; however, fewer homeowners think it's a good time to sell.
According to the survey, consumers' personal financial outlook has increased fairly steadily during the year, lending support to the ongoing housing market recovery. In addition, the share of respondents who expect mortgage rates to go up in the next 12 months decreased again to 45 percent. The overall trend seems … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Does pre-purchase counseling work? Results here... - 12/16/14 06:05 AM
In developing Homeowners Armed With Knowledge (HAWK) – a pilot program that gives FHA borrowers discounts on mortgage insurance premiums if they complete housing counseling – HUD rekindled a debate over the benefit of pre-purchase counseling.
 
Mounting research supports the theory that pre-counseling improves loan performance, and advocates say borrowers benefit more when third parties are not vested in whether they ultimately obtain a mortgage.
 
"Realtors and FHA lenders care a lot about borrowers, but it's a conflicted conversation because the Realtor and the lender want the deal to happen, and they prefer a bigger deal to a smaller … (1 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: IRS Mileage Rates for 2015 --How does this affect you? - 12/16/14 06:01 AM
The standard mileage rate for federal income taxes is rising next year for business use, even though gas prices have gone down.
The IRS issued its 2015 optional standard mileage rates. Beginning Jan. 1, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be:
57.5 cents per mile for business miles (an increase from 56 cents in 2014) 23 cents per mile for medical or moving reasons (a decrease of half a cent from 2014) 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations The rates go into effect for the 2015 calendar … (4 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Real Estate Agent and Drone Use -- FAA delays - 12/16/14 03:05 AM
Dec. 15, 2014 – Real estate pros hoping to use drones to capture aerial photos of their listings may have to wait a lot longer than previously thought.
The Federal Aviation Administration has extended its original 2015 deadline to issue final rules for small commercial drones by two years. A final ruling is now not expected until 2017.
"We all agree that the project is taking too long," Peggy Gilligan, a top FAA safety official, testified to a congressional House panel last Wednesday. But she said a proposal on drones is under executive review, and once the proposal is published, it … (1 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Appraisals are catching up with market values - 12/16/14 03:02 AM
The discrepancy between appraisers' and homeowners' opinions of home values is narrowing. In November, appraisers valued homes 1.56 percent higher than homeowners, according to Quicken Loans' Home Price Perception Index.
"Mortgage financing often hinges on whether the appraised value coincides with the home values agreed upon by the home buyer and seller in the case of a home purchase, and the homeowner's estimated value in the case of a refinance," says Quicken Loans Chief Economist Bob Walters. He called it "reassuring to see the gap between appraiser opinions and homeowner opinions" draw closer.
"If we had to choose a side of … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: FHA re-instates home flipping ban to 90-days - 12/12/14 05:55 AM
The Federal Housing Administration's (FHA) Office of Single Family Housing announced that a rule on property flipping will again be effective starting Jan. 1, 2015.
FHA issued a temporary rule waiver after the recession, but that will soon expire. According to FHA, the rule prohibits the use of FHA financing to buy single-family properties that will be resold within 90 days.
The waiver still applies to any sales contracts executed before 11:59 p.m., Dec. 31, 2014. FHA considers a sales contract "executed" when all parties have signed the contract, and the contract is enforceable under state law.
FHA says it will … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Florida Foreclosures Increase - 12/12/14 05:53 AM
After dropping one level to become the nation's No. 2 state for foreclosures in October, Florida retook the No. 1 position last month, according to RealtyTrac's U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for November 2014.
Even though Florida ranked first, however, its foreclosure problems are easing.
The state had a 4 percent month-to-month decrease in foreclosure activity, and a 15 percent year-to-year decrease. That improvement, however, wasn't enough to keep the state from having the highest foreclosure rate in the country – one in every 462 housing units with a foreclosure filing. Florida has had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation for … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Update regarding Apartment Boom - 12/11/14 01:35 AM
As builders quickly ramp up U.S. apartment construction to meet rising demand, vacancy rates are starting to rise. That could help limit rent increases in 2015, according to economists with the CoStar Group.
The economists predict rent growth will slow to below 2 percent in 2015 as the multifamily market increases construction. They say apartment vacancy rates will rise in 46 of the country's 54 top metros over the next four quarters "due to the massive wave of current apartment deliveries and new apartment projects starting almost daily."
Vacancy rates – currently at 4.1 percent – will likely push higher than … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: 3% down payments a good idea?? - 12/11/14 01:32 AM
Millennials and Americans who survived the Great Recession by siphoning from savings accounts are the targets of a new program that allows first-time homebuyers to get a loan with as little as 3 percent down.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced the mortgage guideline change Monday, hoping the rock-bottom downpayments will boost homeownership rates, which dropped during the housing bust.
Federal officials called the new mortgage product a "significant milestone" in a call with reporters, but acknowledged they are not sure how many people will be impacted by the change – or which lenders will participate.
Some South Florida mortgage brokers … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Florida Real Estate Market on the Move - 12/08/14 11:52 PM
Florida's housing market reported more closed sales, higher median prices and a rising inventory in October, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 21,894 last month, up 17.8 percent over the October 2013 figure.
The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $177,000, up 4.6 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis (IDA) department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations. The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in October was $139,900, up 7.7 percent over the year-ago figure. The … (0 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: 2015 looks to be a good year for Real Estate - 12/08/14 11:40 PM
Existing-home sales are expected to be higher next year, and prices will remain at a healthier level of growth that benefits both buyers and sellers, according to an economic forecast during the 2014 Realtors® Conference & Expo.
Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Mel Watt joined National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun and Julian Castro, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who kicked off the forum with a video address.
Yun said existing-home sales this year got off to a slow start, but have recently shown stronger growth behind improvements in inventory, slower price gains and pent-up demand. … (2 comments)

jeffrey riegel selling south florida: Short-sale tax break for 2014? - 12/08/14 01:04 AM
A bill that would extend a key tax break to tens of thousands of financially distressed homeowners who sold their homes this year for less than they owed passed the U.S. House on Wednesday and is headed to the Senate for consideration.
 
A one-year extension of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, which expired Dec. 31, 2013, was included in the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 and passed the House on Wednesday on a 378-46 vote. Dozens of other temporary tax breaks that expired but would get a reprieve until the end of this year under the measure include those … (1 comments)

 
Jeffrey Riegel (RE/MAX AllStars)

Jeffrey Riegel

Fort Lauderdale, FL

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