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Homeownership Beats Renting

Don't Be Surprised by Closing Costs

Homeownership Beats Renting

LOS ANGELES – July 27, 2017 – Arizona, Nevada and Washington, D.C. are among the 11 states where it’s more affordable to rent than it is to buy a home. But owning a home still beats renting in Florida, according to a study by website GOBankingRates.

GoBankingRates surveyed all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and identified which states are best for buying a home and which are better suited for renting. The study, based on rental data on Zillow, was sourced to June 28, 2017. For the cost of owning, the study assumed a 20-percent downpayment on a 30-year fixed loan.

In Florida, homeowners have the advantage. They GOBankingRates study found that the average monthly rent of $1,543 is $167 higher than the cost of an average monthly mortgage of $1,376. The difference amounts to about $2,000 per year that the average Florida family would save by owning rather than renting, though actual savings would differ by metro area and other variables.

The 11 states where renting a home is less expensive than buying one include Arizona, Colorado, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

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Life’s A Beach Real Estate is a full service Real Estate Company on the beautiful Emerald Coast.  Our headquarters is located in one of the most unique condominium buildings on the beach, The Origin Beach Resort. We have over 700 condos for sale on Panama City Beach as well as beachfront and vacation homes in the world famous 30A area.  A large part of our business is Condo sales but we also assist our clients with new homes, investment opportunities, commercial properties, new construction and development.

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Millennial Homeowner? Now is the time to sell!

Millennial Homeowner? Now is the time to sell!

Millennial Homeowner? Now is the time to sell!

Contrary to what many believe, Millennials are not the ‘renter’ generation. Millennials purchased a larger percentage (34%) of homes in the U.S. than any other age group in 2017 and the most recent Census Bureau report shows that the homeownership rate among Millennials is finally on the rise.

Many Millennials took advantage of post housing crash prices and the First-Time Homebuyers’ Tax Credit and jumped into homeownership in 2010. If you are one of these buyers, now may be the time to sell for many reasons. Here are a few:

1. Equity Build-Up

Home prices have been on the rise since the beginning of 2012 and your house may have appreciated by more than you think. ATTOM Data Solutions, in their Q2 2017 U.S. Home Sales Report revealed that:

“…homeowners who sold in the second quarter realized an average price gain of $51,000 since purchase — the highest average price gain for home sellers since Q2 2007, when it was $57,000.

The average home seller price gain of $51,000 in Q2 2017 represented an average return of 26 percent on the previous purchase price of the home, the highest average home seller return since Q3 2007, when it was 27 percent.”

2. Projected Home Price Increases

If you just got married or just found out you are about to become a parent, you may have plans to move up a bigger home or perhaps move to a different area. Waiting to buy a more expensive home in this market probably doesn’t make sense. The experts contacted for the Home Price Expectation Survey are projecting home prices to increase by nearly 5% over the next year. Yes, your house’s price will increase but not as much as a home currently valued higher than yours.

3. Projected Interest Rate Increases

The Mortgage Bankers’ AssociationFreddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the National Association of Realtorsare each projecting mortgage rates to increase over the next year.

Higher PRICES + Higher INTEREST RATES = LARGER MORTGAGE PAYMENTS.

Bottom Line

If you are lucky enough to be one of those Millennials who purchased a house in 2010 (or even later), now might be the perfect time to move up to the home of your dreams!

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Life’s A Beach Real Estate is a full service Real Estate Company on the beautiful Emerald Coast.  Our headquarters is located in one of the most unique condominium buildings on the beach, The Origin Beach Resort. We have over 700 condos for sale on Panama City Beach as well as beachfront and vacation homes in the world famous 30A area.  A large part of our business is Condo sales but we also assist our clients with new homes, investment opportunities, commercial properties, new construction and development.

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Selling your Home

Selling your Home

Selling your Home

We all realize that the best time to sell anything is when demand is high and the supply of that item is limited. Two major reports issued by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed information that suggests that now continues to be a great time to sell your house.

Let’s look at the data covered in the latest REALTORS® Confidence Index and Existing Home Sales Report.

REALTORS® CONFIDENCE INDEX

Every month, NAR surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions.” This month, the index showed (again) that home-buying demand continued to outpace supply in May.

The map below illustrates buyer demand broken down by state (the darker your state, the stronger the demand is there).

Selling your Home

In addition to revealing high demand, the index also mentioned that “compared to conditions in the same month last year, seller traffic conditions were ‘weak’ in 24 states, ‘stable’ in 25 states, and ‘strong’ in D.C and West Virginia.” 

Takeaway: Demand for housing continues to be strong throughout 2017, but supply is struggling to keep up, and this trend is likely to continue into 2018.

THE EXISTING HOME SALES REPORT

The most important data revealed in the report was not sales, but was instead the inventory of homes for sale (supply). The report explained:

  • Total housing inventory rose 2.1% to 1.96 million homes available for sale
  • That represents a 4.2-month supply at the current sales pace
  • Unsold inventory is 8.4% lower than a year ago, marking the 24th consecutive month with year-over-year declines

According to Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR:

“Current demand levels indicate sales should be stronger, but it’s clear some would-be buyers are having to delay or postpone their home search because low supply is leading to worsening affordability conditions.”

In real estate, there is a guideline that often applies; when there is less than a 6-month supply of inventory available, we are in a seller’s market and we will see appreciation. Between 6-7 months is a neutral market, where prices will increase at the rate of inflation. More than a 7-month supply means we are in a buyer’s market and should expect depreciation in home values.

As we mentioned before, there is currently a 4.2- month supply, and houses are going under contract fast. The Confidence Index shows that 55% of properties were on the market for less than a month when sold.

In May, properties sold nationally were typically on the market for 27 days. As Yun notes, this will continue, unless more listings come to the market.

“With new and existing supply failing to catch up with demand, several markets this summer will continue to see homes going under contract at this remarkably fast pace of under a month.”

Takeaway: Inventory of homes for sale is still well below the 6-month supply needed for a normal market. And the supply will continue to ‘fail to catch up with demand’ if a ‘sizable’ supply does not enter the market.

Bottom Line

If you are going to sell, now may be the time to take advantage of the ready, willing, and able buyers that are still out searching for your house.

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Life’s A Beach Real Estate is a full service Real Estate Company on the beautiful Emerald Coast.  Our headquarters is located in one of the most unique condominium buildings on the beach, The Origin Beach Resort. We have over 700 condos for sale on Panama City Beach as well as beachfront and vacation homes in the world famous 30A area.  A large part of our business is Condo sales but we also assist our clients with new homes, investment opportunities, commercial properties, new construction and development.

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4 vacation home issues every buyer should know

4 vacation home issues every buyer should know

4 vacation home issues every buyer should know

NEW YORK – July 7, 2017 – Before clients purchase a vacation home, make sure they’re ready for the responsibilities of owning a second property.

“Costs of owning and renting a vacation home can be very high,” says Todd Huettner, owner of Denver-based lending company Huettner Capital. “The hassles and costs of short-term vacation rentals are higher than most people expect. … People are way too optimistic about rental rates, vacancies, management fees, maintenance costs and home value increases.”

Owners buying a second home in a different part of the country than their primary residence may have to consider new climate issues, such as damaging blizzards in the mountains or corrosion from salty air in beachside communities, Huettner says.

The vacation-home market has made a full recovery in recent years, with prices returning to what they were in 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the median sales price increased by 4.2 percent in 2016 to $200,000.

The Wall Street Journal featured some considerations for buyers who aspire to purchase a vacation property:

1. Check your reason for buying. Some buyers find that a vacation home can be a moneymaker. Sabrina Robinson of Santa Cruz, Calif., said that she rents her vacation condo in Lake Tahoe to tourists year-round. The rental income covers her mortgage and utilities and generates a $20,000 profit annually.

But buyers of second homes don’t always want to become landlords.

“Our buyers today are buying for a number of reasons, with the number one reason being lifestyle and use,” says Nick Cassini, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Four Seasons Private Residences in the Caribbean island of Anguilla. NAR surveys also find that vacationing is the primary motivation for buyers who purchase a second home.

2. Assess the location. Sales prices and rental demand can vary significantly between locations. “The owners who are most displeased are ones that rush the purchase decision because they are blinded by their dream,” says David Angotti, co-founder of SmokyMountains.com, a vacation rental listing site in Tennessee. “For example, they fail to understand that location, view, features and other amenities are critical to the overall revenue.”

Owners may also want to consider how far their second home is from their primary residence. Fifty-seven percent of vacation properties are located in beachside or lakeside communities at a median distance of 200 miles from owners’ primary properties, according to NAR.

“In our experience, living close is really helpful if something goes wrong, but there are a huge number of services out there to hold keys, offer concierge services, or otherwise help if you live farther away,” says Laura Hall, communications director for Kid & Coe, a vacation rental website. “So anything is possible if you’re willing to pay for it.”

3. Budget for the true costs. Buyers shouldn’t just focus on purchase price, rental rates and recent market trends when considering purchasing a second home. They need to be aware of other factors that can push up costs, such as fees for cleaning, management, routine maintenance and repairs. For example, homeowner association fees can be more than $1,000 a month in some markets. Financial experts recommend that buyers also factor in real estate taxes, insurance costs, utilities and any state sales tax on rental income.

4. Consult local rules. If the intent is to rent out a second home, check out local ordinances and homeowners association rules, which may reduce the pool of potential renters.

Source: “What to Consider Before You Buy a Vacation Home,” The Wall Street Journal (June 11, 2017)

© Copyright 2017 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

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Life’s A Beach Real Estate is a full service Real Estate Company on the beautiful Emerald Coast.  Our headquarters is located in one of the most unique condominium buildings on the beach, The Origin Beach Resort. We have over 700 condos for sale on Panama City Beach as well as beachfront and vacation homes in the world famous 30A area.  A large part of our business is Condo sales but we also assist our clients with new homes, investment opportunities, commercial properties, new construction and development.

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Origin at Seahaven Post Auction Sales

Origin at Seahaven Post Auction Sales

Origin at Seahaven Post Auction Sales

 

Origin at Seahaven Post Auction Sales

The Origin at Seahaven Auction was a huge success with over 100 buyers in attendance and 70 units sold for almost 10 million in sales! If you missed the auction on June 29th, don’t worry, currently there are still about 25 units left in the original block of 95 and the seller is entertaining offers for the remaining units. There are still some good opportunities to be had in this building and our agents would be thrilled to help you find your piece of paradise! The Origin is in a great spot in Panama City Beach about 1 mile from Pier Park and right across the street from Sharkey’s Restaurant. Just stop by our onsite office in the front of the Origin building and ask to take a tour!

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Life’s A Beach Real Estate is a full service Real Estate Company on the beautiful Emerald Coast.  Our headquarters is located in one of the most unique condominium buildings on the beach, The Origin Beach Resort. We have over 700 condos for sale on Panama City Beach as well as beachfront and vacation homes in the world famous 30A area.  A large part of our business is Condo sales but we also assist our clients with new homes, investment opportunities, commercial properties, new construction and development.

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Origin at Seahaven Information

Origin at Seahaven Information

Origin at Seahaven Information

Check out this informational interview with a local radio station and Lamar Fisher of Fisher Auctions in regards to the upcoming auction in the Origin at Seahaven condo building! Come visit us in the onsite Life’s a Beach Real Estate office to take a tour of the model units or obtain additional information. We are looking forward to working with you!

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Why It’s Important to Hire a Realtor

Why It's Important to Hire a Realtor

Why It’s Important to Hire a Realtor

Moral of this story, Always Call a Realtor First!

 

“Received a very alarming call this morning from a girl that was getting ready to send cash to someone for keys for a rental she found on Zillow/Trulia,” Heartland Real Estate Agent Dawn Dell posted Tuesday on Facebook. “This is my listing, currently active, and the sellers are not interested in renting.”

Luckily, the out-of-state customer sensed something and called Dell.

It’s happened several times in the past, Dell said Wednesday. “I get the listing and they steal our pictures.”

In this case, the scammers – who Dell said are sophisticated – posted on Zillow.

Scammers usually offer a sensational deal – in this case under $700 for a house that would normally rent for $1,000 a month.

“When you talk to (the scammers), they say they’re in the military and they’re not coming back, that’s why they need to rent it quick; or they couldn’t sell it so they need to rent it.”

Six locals replied to Dell’s post, each saying they or a close relative had encountered scams. Andy Centonzio tried to rent a house in Sebring. However, his wife had worked for a local Realtor.

“She said, ‘I took that photo. That’s my photo,'” Centonzio said.

RE/MAX Realty Plus agent Sue Dean was called by a woman who had driven by the house that Dean had listed. “She said, ‘I’m getting ready to send money.’ I called the sellers. They said they didn’t put it on Craigslist. It’s kind of scary, really.”

Both Dell and Centonzio said renters should use common-sense business practices: if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is; and never send money to people you don’t know.

“One guy wanted cash or a money order,” Centonzio said. “One guy wanted the money in advance, and he would FedEx the keys. One wanted to know if we had Western Union or Amscot, so I could wire the money. And one guy was asking for credit card information.”

Always contact the real estate agency that has the sales listing, Dell suggested. “Have somebody look at it. Look in the local paper for houses, or use a rental company that’s in town.”

Dean suggested searching for the property owner’s name at the Highlands County property appraiser’s website, www.hcpao.org

Centonzio kept asking to see the inside of the house, a request scammers couldn’t fulfill. “They say, ‘Oh, we’re not in town.'”

Copyright © 2017, Highlands News-Sun. All rights reserved.

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Life’s A Beach Real Estate is a full service Real Estate Company on the beautiful Emerald Coast.  Our headquarters is located in one of the most unique condominium buildings on the beach, The Origin Beach Resort. We have over 700 condos for sale on Panama City Beach as well as beachfront and vacation homes in the world famous 30A area.  A large part of our business is Condo sales but we also assist our clients with new homes, investment opportunities, commercial properties, new construction and development.

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Origin Auction Information

Origin Auction Information


95 Condominium Units to be sold with 25 pre-selected condominiums to be sold at Absolute Auction.

ABOUT ORIGIN:
Designed with Polynesian influences to inspire coastal living, Origin at Seahaven consists of a 17-story tower with 280 fully-furnished upscale residences. Located on Front Beach Road in Panama City Beach, Origin is within walking distance of the well-known Pier Park shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. Origin owners can enjoy Gulf of Mexico views, access to the pristine Panama City beaches, and amenities including a luxury pool and spa overlooking the Gulf, a 15th floor sunset observation deck, fitness center, game room, movie theater, and turnkey onsite rental and association management. Origin also benefits from close proximity to Panama City’s recently opened Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (ECP), the first new airport in the U.S. in over a decade, which is served by major flight carriers including Southwest and Delta. 

Amenities;
-Fitness Center
-Heated pool and spa overlooking the Gulf
-15th floor sunset observation deck
-Kitchenettes and full kitchens available
-Washer/Dryer in most units
-Dining terraces with BBQ grills
-24 hour front desk
-24 hour security
-Beach umbrellas and chair – (Fees May Apply)
-High speed internet access in all rooms
-Wi-Fi in lobby
-Three-level parking garage
-Boat & RV parking available
-Kids pirate ship play area on the beach
-Game room
-Media room

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Panama City Beach Housing Market

Panama City Beach Housing Market

 

NAR: This is the worst ‘housing drought’ ever

WASHINGTON – March 28, 2017 – The number of homes for sale is at the lowest level on record, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), which began tracking inventory 18 years ago.

For buyers, that means they’ll find fewer options this spring, and homes that are listed will probably sell fast and at a premium price.

The lack of new-home construction is one reason for the dearth of listings. Builders’ housing starts are only at about 75 percent of their historical average as they focus on pricier segments of move-up buyers. As a result, there’s a void in the number of new lower-cost homes that appeal to first-time home buyers. Builders blame the lack of production on higher costs for land, labor and materials that, they say, forces them to concentrate on the higher end of the market.

Builders aren’t the only ones to blame, however. Investors purchased about 4 million distressed properties – mostly in the lower-priced starter home segment – during the housing crash. They have been holding onto these properties, continuing to rent them out rather than selling.

“Investors came in to get that cash flow, and the cash flow remains very positive,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “The price appreciation is just extra gravy that they’re witnessing, and they’re saying they’re going to ride out this price increase.”

That strong price appreciation also may be curtailing home supplies. The more a local market has recovered, the larger the drop in inventory it’s experiencing, according to a new survey by Trulia.

“If you have a lot of equity in your home, that could be great to use to buy another one, but if that other home you might buy is that much more expensive than it was last year, you may stay put and you may renovate instead,” says Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia’s chief economist.

As such, the housing crunch likely isn’t going to let up anytime soon. Some areas are seeing it worse than others. For example, home sales in Southern California in February were 14 percent lower than the average, according to CoreLogic in reviewing 30 years of data.

“San Bernardino County, which has the region’s lowest median sale price and entices many first-time buyers and others priced out of coastal markets, was the only Southern California county to post year-over-year increase in sales this February,” notes Andrew LePage, research analyst at CoreLogic.

Source: “This Is What’s Behind the Severe Housing Drought,” CNBC (March 23, 2017)

© Copyright 2017 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688

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FSBO – No! You’re Only Hurting Yourself!

Reasons Not to For Sale By Owner

Reasons Not to For Sale By Owner

Reasons Not to For Sale By Owner

In today’s market, with home prices rising and a lack of inventory, some homeowners may consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons why this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are the top five reasons:

1. Exposure to Prospective Buyers

Recent studies have shown that 94% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 17% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

2. Results Come from the Internet

Where did buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 51% on the internet
  • 34% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspapers

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

3. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

4. FSBOing Has Become More And More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981.

5. You Net More Money When Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $185,000, while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $245,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $60,000 more for your home, as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.