Central Florida Real Estate Blog

Provided by The Mortgage Firm, Inc. (www.closemymortgage.com):

Guidelines for the length of time a consumer must wait following foreclosure, a short sale &/or filing bankruptcy have recently changed.  Following are basic timelines for each scenario:

IF PLANNING TO USE VA FINANCING:

Short Sale - No time period required if AUS (automated underwriting system) approval received.

Bankruptcy - 2 yrs with established credit.

Foreclosure - 2 years from transfer of title date.

IF FINANCING WITH FHA:

Short Sale - 3 years of delinquent at the time of the short sale or 1 year with extenuating circumstances.  Or no seasoning period if current on all debt at time of short sale.

Bankruptcy/Chapter 7 - 2 years with established credit.

Bankruptcy/Chapter 13 - 12 month history of current payments and letter from bankruptcy judge authorizing a home purchase.

Foreclosure - 3 years from transfer of title date.

CONVENTIONAL FINANCING:

Short Sale - 2 years with 20% down and AUS approved.
                  4 years with 10% down and AUS approved.

Bankruptcy/Chapter 7 - 4 years or 2 years if documented extenuating circumstances and with reesstablished credit.

Bankruptcy/Chapter 13 - 2 years from discharge or 4 years from dismissed.

Foreclosure - 7 years or possibly shorter if documented extenuating circumstances with reduced LTV (loan to value) and with established credit.

RURAL HOUSING:

Short Sale - No seasoning required but must receive automatic approval through Gus (guaranteed underwriting system).

Bankruptcy - 3 years with established credit.

Foreclosure - 3 years from transfer of title date.

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THE IMPORTANCE OF INSURING YOUR HOME TO VALUE

September 23rd, 2014 3:15 PM by Joe Bornstein

As shared by Sihle Insurance Group (www.Sihle.com):

As a homeowner, you may be perplexed by the gap between the current market value for your home and the replacement cost listed on your homeowner's insurance policy.

Market Value vs. Replacement Cost

Market Value (the price at which your home may sell for today) is not the same as replacement cost (the price to repair or rebuild your home if it is severely damaged).  When rebuilding a home, contractors must work with and match existing materials, which requires skilled labor that costs more.  Plus, when a contractor rebuilds a single home, there are no economics of scale - they aren't receiving bulk discounts the same as they would if they were building in a new development several homes at a time.  the cost to rebuild is always higher than the initial cost to build.  Market value includes factors such as the quality of the local school system and popularity of the neighborhood, things that aren't good indicators of the proper amount of insurance coverage for your home.  The estimated replacement cost for your home, however, is a significantly more reliable indicator of the appropriate coverage limit needed in the event of a major loss.

Factors That Can Affect Home Replacement Cost

- Contractor Fees.  The typical contractor fee is 15-20% of the overall building cost or even more for larger, more custom homes.

- Architectural & Related Fees.  Fees for architecture, interior design, engineering, and other related services should be included in the home replacement cost.  These fees can add another 10-15% to the overall building cost.

- U.S. Environmental Factors.  Natural disasters such as hurricanes , floods and wildfires have contributed to shortages of building materials and overall cost increases.  Building codes are continually changed following these natural disasters, which can also increase replacement costs of a structure.

- Green Construction.  The trend to build "green" is gaining more and more popularity with consumers.  Building with ultra-efficient technology has contributed to rising construction costs that are 15-20% more than traditional construction.

- Rebuilding Custom & Historic Homes.  The materials used to reconstruct custom homes or restore historic homes are more expensive than those used to build average homes, due to finer quality and the fact that specialized homebuilders buy these materials in relatively small quantities.  Also, fewer craftsmen specialize in custom construction and historic renovation, and greater demand for these specialties has led to increased skilled labor costs.

Insuring Your Home to Value

In order to help ensure that your homeowners coverage keeps pace with rising rebuilding costs, contact your agent to make sure your replacement cost appraisal is updated every 3-5 years, maintain your policy's annual inflation guard so your coverage is in line with construction cost increases, and report any significant home remodeling projects or upgrades, and make any necessary coverage changes.
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Double-Checking Appraisers With Value Reviews

September 23rd, 2014 2:42 PM by Joe Bornstein

As reported in Inman News (www.inmannews.com) August 2014:

The appraisal is probably the most important part of a mortgage application.  Lenders originate residential mortgages on the basis of either the sale price or the appraised value, whichever is lower. If the appraisal is too high, sellers worry that they should have asked for more money. And, if the appraisal is less than the agreed sale price, it can be a deal killer unless the seller is willing to take less or the buyer brings additional cash to closing.

But what if the appraisal is wrong — or at least a valuation you want to dispute? What if the comps don’t apply, the appraiser’s data is too old or the appraiser is not familiar with local trends? According to the National Assoc. of Realtors (www.nar.org), about 4 percent of all transactions fall through because of appraisal issues, roughly 200,000 sales per year.

Generally speaking, appraisals are hard to change. Appraisers are likely to stand by their valuations. The options in the case of a disappointing valuation are to ask for a second appraisal, or present the appraiser or lender with additional property information, comps and documents — and then plead for a revision, according to NAR.

Now an alternative is showing up, what might be called “value reviews,” or automated reports that use “big data” to examine appraisals line by line and show how the appraisal compares with expected norms. Never before has there been a way to gauge appraisal results, and with such reports some transactions that might have failed will now go through.

Value reviews

We’re in the process of downsizing and buying a Florida home. We were delighted when the appraisal showed that our property was valued at $232,000 — good news given that the sale price was $220,000.

Then the other shoe fell. Something we had never seen before — a “value review” — arrived from the lender by email, a one-page document that showed the “estimated value” of the property was $200,200.  Was the deal off? While we would be perfectly happy to pay less for the property, the odds were pretty good that the owner would not be equally thrilled.

Then we took a closer look at the review. It plainly said that it was not an “appraisal.” It also said that the value of the property might range from a low of $164,164 to a high of $236,236. If you add these figures together and divide by two, you get $200,200.

If the value review was not an “appraisal,” then what was it? Could it kill our deal?

Our loan officer said the value review was an “internal document” and that the loan would still be based on the appraisal results. Since the appraisal was well above the sale price, the appraised value was fine.

But if this was an internal review, then how come it was sent to us?

According to Francois (Frank) K. Gregoire, a Realtor and appraiser based in St. Petersburg and a former chairman of the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board, we likely received the value review because of “the lender’s attempt/intent to comply with the Dodd-Frank Amendments to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).”

It turns out that ECOA requires lenders to automatically provide free copies of all appraisal reviews to borrowers, but that’s not all: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says lenders also have to provide “other written valuations promptly after they are completed, regardless of whether credit is extended, denied, incomplete or withdrawn.

‘Big data’ and appraisals

In the same way that buyers and sellers want appraisals to be on target, so do lenders. They’re looking for a realistic opinion of value, preferably a conservative opinion, because the lender’s goal is not just to make the loan, it’s to make loans with as little risk as possible.

The value review is a way to measure appraisal norms. In my case, the lender was looking for an appraised value that was no more than 20 above or 20 below the “estimated value” shown in the appraisal report. Since the estimated value was $200,200, an acceptable appraised value could range anywhere from $160,160 to a max of $240,240. With an appraisal of $232,000, our valuation was within the acceptable range.

Other lenders might look at the same estimated value and have a different range. Maybe they will only tolerate an appraised value that’s 15 percent above or below the estimated value.

Here’s another way to look at the numbers: We have an agreement to buy at $220,000 and the appraisal says the property actually has a fair market value of $232,000. That’s a difference of 5.45 percent. The lender might require that the purchase price and the appraised value must fall within a certain range to avoid red flags, for example, a difference of no more than 10 percent.

Checking the appraisal, and the appraiser

While a residential appraiser is required to physically inspect the interior of the property — that’s one reason you see so many photos in an appraisal — the value review was done with data and math. Nobody actually stepped inside the home; instead, the review came from things such as recent real estate sales and property tax records.

While the home’s market price is obviously central to the appraisal process, the value review does not stop there. It rummages through the appraisal looking for every possible deviance and abnormality and then presents a red-flag summary.

For instance, the value review answers such questions as:

Is the appraiser’s license valid as of the appraisal date? Is the legal description right? Does the square-foot measurement match public records? Are the buyer and seller different — in other words, is the transaction an arm’s-length sale? What is the 12-month listing history of the property? Do foreclosure sales equal more than 15% of all local transactions? Are photos of comps included in the appraisal?

My particular appraisal raised several issues such as comps that were more than 6 months old and a signature that could not be electronically detected. Such items are not necessarily “errors,” but since they were flagged lenders can instantly see if the matter is worth a second look.

Actually, I was greatly pleased with the value report. It said the home was 54 years old, but because of upgrades and maintenance it had an effective age of 20 years. It also said basically that the appraiser had done a very good job valuing the property.

How does the value review know all of this stuff? The data points come from public records such as assessments, building permits and deeds, plus every time there's a new appraisal it adds more data to the mix. The result is that the system becomes more accurate every time it’s used.

Value reviews are going to become more common, a way to check appraisal accuracy and completeness and also a tool that can teach borrowers much about the property they’re financing. It’s an example of big data being used to protect both consumers and lenders, and for this buyer that’s a very comforting idea.

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FAQ Regarding Rising Flood Insurance Rates

September 23rd, 2014 12:45 PM by Joe Bornstein

As provided by Sihle Insurance Group (www.Sihle.com) on 9/23/14:

Following are several important questions and answers regarding rising flood insurance rates in Florida:

Q:  WHY ARE FLOOD INSURANCE RATES INCREASING?
A:  To price flood policies at "Full Risk" rates and stabilize the federal flood insurance program.  Congress passed a law last year to require property owners, who for decades subsidized, to pay a higher rate.  The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 went into effect October 1, 2013 and could impact approx. 270,000 FL property owners with flood zone revisions and rate increases.

Q:  WHO WILL BE AFFECTED THE MOST?
A:  Owners of property in high risk areas, such as older oceanfront condos and inland homes on the banks of streams and rivers face a substantial increase for flood coverage that is required by their mortgage co.  Businesses and older primary residences that have had prior severe or repeated flooding will gradually lose their subsidized rates and will face a rate increase of 25% a year until they reach full risk rates.

Q:  WHAT IF MY PRIMARY HOME IS CURRENTLY RECEIVING SUBSIDIZED RATES?
A:  Around 100,000 older primary residences will keep their subsidies but they will face a rate increase that started back in Oct. 2013 averaging 20%.

Q:  WHAT IF I SELL MY HOME?
A:  The buyer will have to pay the full risk rates for any NEW policy.  This could be substantially higher than the seller of the home is currently paying.  Also, policies that have lapsed will be subject to the new rates.

Q:  WHAT IS AN ELEVATION CERTIFICATE AND WHEN IS IT REQUIRED?
A:  It is conducted by a licensed surveyor and determines if the home is above or below base flood elevation.  The higher the house elevation is above base flood, the cheaper the premium.  In zones A and V, an elevation certificate will be required to quote the flood insurance.  These are special flood hazard areas and prone to moderate to severe flooding.

You can also obtain an elevation certificate for all other zones but it will only lower the premium of the house if it's in a positive elevation.  The approximate cost for an elevation certificate is $250 and can be done by any licensed surveyor.

FACTS BY THE NUMBERS:
$16.1 Billion - Flood insurance premiums paid by FL property owners between 1978 and 2011.
$3.7 Billion - Total flood claims paid to FL policyholders since 1978.
$16 Billion + - Flood claims paid to Louisiana property owners since 1978, most of it being from Hurricane Katrina
$2 Million - Total FL flood policies, nearly 40% of ALL policies nationwide.
268,646 - Federal flood insurance policyholders in FL who will face sharply higher rates, more than any other state.
# 1 - Pinellas County's ranking among counties across the nation with almost 51,000 affected properties, or 1/8 of its homes and businesses.

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Details That Affect Homeowner's Insurance Policies

September 22nd, 2014 5:17 PM by Joe Bornstein

As reported by Sihle Insurance Group, Sept. 2014:

AGE OF HOME -
A home over 30 years of age will require the Buyer to have a 4 point inspection done.  These inspections go over the AC, electric, plumbing (incl. water heater) and roof.  An insurance co. will want to make sure all four of these areas have been updated within the last 15 years and are in good condition.  It is difficult to find a company that will insure a home with polybutylene plumbing, Federal Pacific fuse boxes (among others) and/or aluminum wiring.  Even when you do find someone who will cover them, the policy will be more expensive.

ROOF -
Shingle roofs more than 20 years old are hard to find coverage for also.  Most carriers will want to make sure there is at least 3-5 years of life expectancy on the roof.  It is also very tough to find someone that will write a policy for a home with a flat roof or any portion of the roof that is 20% or more flat.

FIRE HAZARD -
Homes that don't have a fire hydrant within 1000 feet are surcharged and most companies will not write insurance if the fire hydrant isn't 100 feet within the home or a fire station within 5 miles.

BANK-OWNED/FORECLOSURES -
Some carriers are getting picky with these types of properties due to the fact that most of them (not all of them) have some form of damage or missing features (i.e. AC units, water heaters, etc.)  Some insurance companies are now required to submit for approval interior and exterior photos showing the true condition of the home prior to binding the policy.  Short sales aren't subject to this requirement!

WIND MITIGATION INSPECTIONS -
If the roof of the home was put on after 2002, it is usually recommended that you have a wind mitigation inspection.  It will cost you approx. $100 but you'll receive more back in credits that remain on the policy at each renewal.  Most inspection companies will do the 4 point and wind mit inspections at the same time.

DOGS -
Buyers with pitbulls, rottweilers, chows, dobermans, german shepherds, and akitas will have a hard time finding insurance.

CRAWLSPACES -
Homes with crawlspaces are also more difficult to insure.  Some insurers will write a policy if the open space is covered with brick and some just will not insure at all.

OTHER -
Homes with diving boards, slides, prior sinkhole claims, and any existing damage are always tougher to insure.

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Windstorm Liability Under Hurricane Conditions

September 22nd, 2014 4:40 PM by Joe Bornstein

As reported by Sihle Insurance (www.Sihle.com) Sept. 2014:

Even though this year's Hurricane Season is in its last two months (ends November 30), we would like to call to your attention to new requirements when a hurricane has been reported by the Nat'l Hurricane Center (www.nhc.noaa.gov/).

- Certain insurance companies will NOT be able to bind, issue or request issuance of policies providing the perils of Windstorm or Extended Coverage when a hurricane is reported to be within the area bounded by North of 15 degrees North Latitude, South of 35 degrees North Latitude, West of 70 degrees West Longitude and East of 95 degrees West Longitude. (a large box)

Note:  The restriction also applies when a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning has been issued by the Nat'l Hurricane Center.

- This applies to All Risk, Homeowners, Farmowners, Dwelling, Commercial Fire or Commercial Package, Inland Marine or Ocean Marine and Automobile Physical Damage policies on risks of personal or real property within 100 miles of the coast.

This temporary suspension of binding authority will remain in effect from the time a hurricane is reported by the Nat'l Hurricane Center to be within the above described area until it moves out of the "hurricane box" or has weakened and is no longer classified as a hurricane, whichever happens first.

Always be sure to bind insurance BEFORE a tropical storm or hurricane enters the box or is even named.

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Sinkholes & Catastrophic Ground Collapse - Are You Covered?

September 22nd, 2014 4:21 PM by Joe Bornstein

Provided by Sihle Insurance Group (www.Sihle.com) Sept. 2014:

Do you need sinkhole coverage?  All policyholders in the State of Florida have catastrophic ground collapse by law.  But any insurer can exclude sinkhole coverage.  What will insurance pay?  A claim would be paid if the insured is unable to reside at home due to sinkhole activity.  The sinkhole would have to be so bad that the structure is compromised, and then the insurance company will pay up to the policy limit for damages to the home.

What is the difference between a sinkhole and catastrophic ground cover collapse?

A sinkhole is described as a land form created by subsidence of soil, sediment or rock as underlying strata are dissolved by groundwater.  A sinkhole may form by collapse into subterranean voids or holes created by the dissolving of limestone or dolostone (or by the subsidence) as these strata are dissolved.

Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse = Geological activity that results in ALL of the following:
1.  The abrupt collapse of the ground cover.
2.  A depression in the ground cover clearly visible to the naked eye.
3.  Structural damage to the building including the foundation.
4.  The insured structure being condemned and ordered to be vacated by an authorized government agency.

What does this mean to you?  It means that if your home is damaged by sinkhole activity - but it doesn't meet all 4 of the above criteria for catastrophic ground cover collapse (i.e. you have foundation cracks but your home is still livable) - insurance probably will not pay for the damage unless you have the additional sinkhole insurance coverage.  This is generally an addendum or rider to your existing policy, as well as an additional premium charge.

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Just Listed! 800 Mystic Oak Place Apopka, FL 32712

September 16th, 2014 5:20 PM by Joe Bornstein

Header
Header_2
Listings Photo
$409,900.00
800 Mystic Oak Place

Apopka, FL 32712



Beds: 3 Rooms: 11
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 2782
Garage: 2 Built: 1995
 

This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Joe Bornstein
Rock Springs Realty, LLC
8773332811
www.rockspringsrealty.net



 
  Visit this listing here

Just Listed! 37328 N. County Rd. 44A Eustis, FL 32736

August 31st, 2014 3:10 PM by Joe Bornstein

Header
Header_2
Listings Photo
$479,000.00
37328 N. County Rd. 44A

Eustis, FL 32736



Beds: 3 Rooms: 8
Full Baths: 2 Sq. Ft.: 2271
Garage: 3 Built: 1994
 

This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Joe Bornstein
Rock Springs Realty, LLC
8773332811
www.rockspringsrealty.net



 
  Visit this listing here

Florida's Housing Market: Prices, Inventory Up in July 2014

August 22nd, 2014 3:37 PM by Joe Bornstein

As reported by Florida Realtors (www.floridarealtors.org/) in ORLANDO, FL on August 21, 2014:

Florida's housing market reported rising median prices and increased inventory in July, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors®. Closed sales of single-family homes statewide totaled 22,099 last month, up 5 percent over the July 2013 figure.

"Florida's housing market continued its steady pace in July," said 2014 Florida Realtors® President Sherri Meadows, CEO and team leader, Keller Williams, with market centers in Gainesville, Ocala and The Villages. "Median sales prices rose year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties in July – marking 32 months in row for higher median prices. Statewide, inventory (active listings) for single-family homes last month rose 17.5 percent year-over-year, while the townhouse-condo inventory of active listings rose 10.9 percent."

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $185,000, up 3.6 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 July was $137,500, up 7.4 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors®(www.realtor.com), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in June 2014 was $224,300, up 4.5 percent from the previous year the national median existing condo price was $215,700. In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in June was $457,160; in Massachusetts, it was $365,000; in Maryland, it was $284,553; and in New York, it was $229,000.

Looking at Florida's townhouse-condo market, statewide closed sales totaled 8,984 last month, down 6.7 percent compared to July 2013. The closed sales data reflected fewer short sales last month compared to the previous year: Short sales for condo-townhouse properties declined 61.1 percent while short sales for single-family homes dropped 54.8 percent. Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Florida Realtors Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo said, "The July numbers look very much like June's when each is compared to the prior year. This tends to verify our preliminary view that the market is settling into a stable pattern. I'm asked a great many times about the 'new normal,' meaning how the Great Recession changed the housing market. We are now beginning to see that the 'new normal' is really the 'old normal' with statistical patterns reminiscent of the market that prevailed prior to the frantic run-up of prices.

"The only troubling area is condo sales. The declines here, coupled with the sharper declines in condo cash sales, suggest waning interest on the part of investors. This is an area that will bear watching."

Inventory was at a 5.5-months' supply in July for single-family homes and at a 5.7-months' supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac (www.freddiemac.com), the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.13 percent in July 2014, down from the 4.37 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.

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Clearly the market is still favorable for home sellers.  If you are considering listing your home, give Cathy Nanfeldt a call.  I will be happy to provide a Comparative Market Analysis for your home at no charge to you.  407-704-0423 or cathynanfeldtrealtor@gmail.com

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