Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics about Kissimmee, Poinciana, Winter Haven, Davenport, and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

June 30, 2020

¿Es buen momento para comprar?

La pregunta que todos se hacen es si es buen momento para comprar una propiedad dadas las circunstancias de que los intereses han bajado en los préstamos hipotecarios.

Foto de archivo sobre la venta de un hogar.Pero, a la misma vez que bajan los intereses, los bancos se tornan más restrictivos en el proceso de aprobación de préstamos. Pues dentro de la incertidumbre se cuestionan si ese comprador continuará empleado y pueda pagar la hipoteca. Opino

Comprar una vivienda es una decisión muy personal que debe ser tomada analizando su estabilidad financiera y necesidades individuales. En términos de intereses, sí conviene, pues equivale a un pago más bajo por la vida del préstamo y ahorras dinero. Por otro lado, está la incertidumbre de cuánto tiempo durará esta situación y las consecuencias que puede acarrear en el futuro, especialmente en sus ingresos.

Por otra parte, nosotros como agentes de bienes raíces, al igual que las compañías constructoras, hemos tomado unas precauciones adicionales para continuar trabajando durante este proceso. Nuestra rama es considerada como “trabajo esencial”, por lo que estamos autorizados a trabajar y a salir a la calle en esta época de crisis. Sin embargo, nos ha tocado usar alternativas para poder ayudar a nuestros clientes sin ponerlos en riesgo. Por ejemplo, la tecnología digital es una herramienta muy poderosa pues se requiere distanciamiento social.

Estamos realizando ventas en línea, como también realizamos presentaciones virtuales de las propiedades. En ocasiones, con las debidas precauciones que toman las compañías constructoras, atendemos por citas a clientes dispuestos a visitar personalmente las comunidades, usando desinfectantes y entrando uno a uno los clientes para mostrarle propiedades.

En mi caso, no he podido acompañar a mis clientes en estas últimas inspecciones y cierres que he tenido pues, las nuevas directrices requieren que los clientes asistan solos para evitar contacto y riesgos de contagio del coronavirus. Por ello me he comunicado con ellos vía telefónica.

Aunque sí ha disminuido la venta de propiedades, recientemente fui a mostrar una propiedad con una familia que me pidió los llevara, me sorprendió ver la cantidad de potenciales clientes que estaban allí. Eran más de doce familias visitando la comunidad a la misma vez. Los tenían a todos aparte y le mostraban las propiedades en respectivo orden.

A pesar de la incertidumbre que vivimos, entiendo que al final de esta situación las ventas se van a disparar, por el bajo interés, como también por la probabilidad de que bajen los precios de las propiedades.

Por otro lado, los bancos han detenido los “short sales” y foreclosures por 60 dias. Algunos estados han detenido las órdenes de desalojo de propiedades. Según el plan del Departamento de Vivienda y Desarrollo Urbano, las ejecuciones hipotecarias y los desalojos se detendrían durante 60 días en viviendas unifamiliares con préstamos a través de la Administración Federal de Vivienda. Según HUD, eso se aplicaría a aproximadamente 8 millones de unidades.

A nivel local, condados como Orange, Osceola y Seminole han informado que no se realizarán desalojos.

Yo recomiendo que si estás ya en el proceso de comprar casa aproveches la oportunidad de negociar los términos, trates de mantener tu empleo, solicitando trabajar desde casa si posible, y te mantengas informado de todo lo que acontece en el proceso.

Algunas personas ven las crisis como oportunidades, incluyendo las inversiones de bienes raíces. Una de las recomendaciones que hacen los expertos economistas es no invertir en zonas de vacaciones en este momento. Cuidar los ahorros que tengas, e invertir en todo caso en la propiedad que vayas a vivir, con precios populares. Es decir, no precios tan elevados para así asegurar su inversión. Opino que este es el mejor momento para educarte, para prepararte para tus futuras transacciones en bienes raíces.

Es tiempo de reinventarse en el mercado inmobiliario, por eso muchas compañías constructoras promueven los interés más bajos, pero además les proveen incentivos tanto a los compradores como a los realtors, para mover la venta y la economía.

En el caso de alquileres, le recomendé a un amigo que comienza un alquiler en el siguiente mes que le pidiera a la arrendadora le bajara $100 los primeros tres meses a la renta debido a la situación actual, y ella accedió. Por lo que recomendación general es que: es momento de negociar en las bienes raíces.

June 9, 2020

How to Buy a Home With Down Payment Help

There are many challenges as a result of COVID-19, but it doesn’t mean you have to put your homeownership dream on hold. This is a great opportunity to use online resources available to get prepared for the home buying process and connect to the right experts.

We answer the most common questions from first-time homebuyers to help guide you during this pandemic. 

How low will mortgage rates go?

The Fed cut interest rates to 0%, but that doesn’t mean mortgage rates are at zero. While mortgage rates are still very low, lenders are also managing the refinancing demand so rates have been fluctuating. According to many economists, we might expect mortgage rates to hit new record lows and remain low until this crisis is over.

Your best bet here is to shop and compare your mortgage offers. Your mortgage rate can make a big impact over the life of your loan, but it’s not the only factor to consider. Make sure you ask these five questions when interviewing lenders.

Are down payment assistance programs still available?

Yes, programs are still available during this crisis. We are seeing many program providers moving homeownership education to online only, taking applications from their remote offices, and temporarily suspending the availability of some programs and rate locks. It’s important that you research your options for your situation and build in some extra time to apply for available programs in your market.

You can read more about the impact we are seeing on down payment programs and how we are keeping our database current.

Can I do homebuyer education online?

Yes! This is the perfect time to educate yourself on the process and knock out homebuyer education. The good news is that those options have expanded with more down payment assistance programs allowing online homebuyer education. Plus, once you complete your homebuyer education course, you’ll be a much more prepared and successful homeowner. Homebuyer education certificates are typically good for one year.

If you are using a homeownership program, verify with your lender or housing finance agency what courses are approved.

Here are some good places to begin:

o   ehome America online homeownership counseling.

o   MyHome by FreddieMac walks you through financing your home purchase.

o   ReadyNest homebuyer education test.

o   Keep’s special resources for homeowners and homebuyers during this crisis.

How can I shop for a home?

Now that we’re spending more time at home, you might as well own it, right? With social distancing, shopping for a home will look a little different. The situation is fluid, but here are some changes Realtors are making:

o   New showing procedures. Talk to your Realtor about procedures in your market. During a showing buyers may be asked to wear gloves and booties over shoes. And, only the Realtor may touch door knobs, light switches, etc. during the tour. Realtors are thoroughly disinfecting before  and after showings.

o   Online home tours. Some Realtors are offering to do live Facetime tours with perspective buyers. We also see more listings enable video and virtual tours so buyers can get a better feel for a space.

o   New home shopping. If you are looking for a new construction home, check out these tips for shopping for a new home online.

Now is the time for open communication. Stay connected to your Realtor and lender so you are informed as this situation continues to evolve.

 

June 6, 2020

Why This Summer Is the 2020 Real Estate Season

Why This Summer Is the 2020 Real Estate Season | MyKCM

With stay-at-home orders starting to gradually lift throughout parts of the country, data indicates homebuyers are jumping back into the market. After many families put their plans on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what we once called the busy spring real estate season is shifting into the summer. In 2020, summer is the new spring for real estate.

Joel KanEconomist at The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) notes:

“Applications for home purchases continue to recover from April’s sizable drop and have now increased for five consecutive weeks…Government purchase applications, which include FHA, VA, and USDA loans, are now 5 percent higher than a year ago, which is an encouraging turnaround after the weakness seen over the past two months.”

Additionally, according to Google Trends, which scores search terms online, searches for real estate increased from 68 points the week of March 15th to 92 points last week. As we can see, more potential homebuyers are looking for homes virtually.

What’s the Opportunity for Buyers?

Another reason buyers are coming back to the market, even with forced unemployment and stay-at-home orders, is historically low mortgage rates. Sam Khater, Chief Economist at Freddie Mac indicates:

“For the fourth consecutive week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been below 3.30 percent, giving potential buyers a good reason to continue shopping even amid the pandemic…As states reopen, we’re seeing purchase demand improve remarkably fast, now essentially flat relative to a year ago.”

With mortgage rates at such low levels and states gradually beginning to reopen, there’s more incentive than ever to buy a home this summer.

What’s the Opportunity for Sellers?

Finding a home to buy, however, is still a challenge, as this spring sellers removed many listings from the market. Though more people are now putting their houses up for sale this month as compared to last month, current inventory is still well below last year’s level.

According to last week’s Weekly Economic and Housing Market Update from realtor.com:

“Weekly Housing Inventory showed continued tightening. New Listings declined 28% compared with a year ago, as sellers grappled with uncertainty and hesitated bringing homes to market. Total Listings dropped 20% YoY, a faster rate than in prior weeks, leaving very few homes available for sale. As Time on Market was 15 days slower YoY, asking prices moved up 1.5% YoY.”

If you’re thinking of selling your house this summer, now may be your best opportunity. With so few homes on the market for buyers to purchase, this season may be the time for your house to stand out from the crowd. Trusted real estate professionals can help you list safely and effectively, keeping your family’s needs top of mind. Buyers are looking, and your house may be at the top of their list.

Bottom Line

If you’re thinking of selling, many buyers may be eager to find a home just like yours. Let’s connect today to make sure you can get your house in on the action this summer.

May 30, 2020

Oaktree Pointe, St Cloud

Posted in
May 28, 2020

NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM FACTS

photo illustration of flooded living room
vicnt / Getty Images

A Look at What the National Flood Insurance Program Does

This federal program, which is crucial to the Florida real estate industry, helps keep insurance affordable.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides property owners, businesses, and renters access to affordable flood insurance, according to FEMA. Overall, the program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on individuals and communities.

The NFIP program ...

  • Caps NFIP rates at $10,000 per year for property owners.
  • Directs FEMA to develop more granular rate tables, to ensure fewer properties are overcharged by NFIP.
  • Sets aside $1 billion for flood mitigation assistance grants.
  • Increases access to private market flood insurance.

How NFIP affects the Florida market

  • Florida has more NFIP policies than any other state.
  • Nearly every Realtor either sells property or lives in a flood zone in Florida.
  • Without flood insurance, home sales don’t close, and our communities are unprotected and at risk.
  • Without the NFIP, 40,000 residential transactions a month will not happen.

If the NFIP ever expires, Florida’s real estate industry will be severely impacted.

May 27, 2020

Buying or Selling a Home? You Need an Expert Kind of Guide

Buying or Selling a Home? You Need an Expert Kind of Guide | MyKCM

In a normal housing market, whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need an experienced guide to help you navigate through the process. You need someone you can turn to who will tell you how to price your home correctly right from the start. You need someone who can help you determine what to offer on your dream home without paying too much or offending the seller with a low-ball offer.

We are, however, in anything but a normal market right now. We are amid one of the greatest health crises our nation has ever seen. The pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the journey consumers take to purchase or sell a home. To successfully navigate the landscape today, you need more than an experienced guide. You need a ‘Real Estate Sherpa.’

According to Lexico, a Sherpa is a “member of a Himalayan people living on the borders of Nepal and Tibet, renowned for their skill in mountaineering.” Sherpas are skilled in leading their parties through the extreme altitudes of the peaks and passes in the region - some of the most treacherous trails in the world. They take pride in their hardiness, expertise, and experience at very high altitudes.

They are much more than just guides.

This is much more than a normal real estate market.

Today, the average guide just won’t do. You need a Sherpa. You need an expert who understands how COVID-19 is impacting the thoughts and actions of the consumer (ex: virtual showings, proper safety protocols, e-signing documents). You need someone who can simply and effectively explain the changes in today’s process to you and your family. You need an expert who will guarantee you make the right decision, especially in these challenging times.

Bottom Line

Hiring an agent who understands how the pandemic is reshaping the real estate processes is crucial right now. Let’s connect today to guarantee your journey is a safe and successful one.

May 23, 2020

Housing Market Positioned to Bring Back the Economy

Housing Market Positioned to Bring Back the Economy | MyKCM

All eyes are on the American economy. As it goes, so does the world economy. With states beginning to reopen, the question becomes: which sectors of the economy will drive its recovery? There seems to be a growing consensus that the housing market is positioned to be that driving force, the tailwind that is necessary.

Some may question that assertion as they look back on the last recession in 2008 when housing was the anchor to the economy – holding it back from sailing forward. But even then, the overall economy did not begin to recover until the real estate market started to regain its strength. This time, the housing market was in great shape when the virus hit.

As Mark Fleming, Chief Economist of First Americanrecently explained:

“Many still bear scars from the Great Recession and may expect the housing market to follow a similar trajectory in response to the coronavirus outbreak. But, there are distinct differences that indicate the housing market may follow a much different path. While housing led the recession in 2008-2009, this time it may be poised to bring us out of it.”

Fleming is not the only economist who believes this. Last week, Dr. Frank Nothaft, Chief Economist for CoreLogic, (@DrFrankNothaft) tweeted:

“For the first 6 decades after WWII, the housing sector led the rest of the economy out of each recession. Expect it to do so this time as well.”

And, Robert Dietz, Chief Economist for the National Association of Home Builders, in an economic update last week explained:

“As the economy begins a recovery later in 2020, we expect housing to play a leading role. Housing enters this recession underbuilt, not overbuilt…Based on demographics and current vacancy rates, the U.S. may have a housing deficit of up to one million units.”

Bottom Line

Every time a home is sold it has a tremendous financial impact on local economies. As the real estate market continues its recovery, it will act as a strong tailwind to the overall national economy.

Posted in Housing Market
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

Receive the Latest Local Market Stats

Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates