How SunRail is Affecting Orlando Real Estate

September 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

SunRail is a relatively new addition to Orlando’s transportation scene, a little over a year old. To date, it connects Volusia and Orange Counties through Downtown Orlando. It is expected to expand to Poinciana in Osceola County and north up to DeLand. Here’s how the train has affected Orlando’s housing scene.

Convenience is key

The addition of the commuter rail to Orlando has increased housing around the rail’s train stations. SunRail has appeal for people working all along the track, not just in Downtown Orlando. Residents love the convenience of having a commuter track near their homes. This helps to forego some of Orlando’s unforgiving traffic and the cost and maintenance of having to drive a car to work on a daily basis.

Keeping commuters in mind

Another lure for Orlando residents to choose to live near the train is the fact that developers are capitalizing on the empty spaces near the train stops, and are starting to build shopping centers and other amenities that would intrigue the everyday commuter, such as coffee shops and commuter parking lots.

5 Modern Real Estate Investment Myths Busted

5 Modern Real Estate Investment Myths Busted

March 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The world of real estate investment can be very exciting and quite lucrative for people who know what they are doing. That being said, there are several real estate investing myths that could get newcomers pointed in the wrong direction. The investment market has turned around here in Orlando over the last year, and we’d love to see you starting off on a solid foundation.

Today, we are going to dispel 5 common misconceptions that could be holding you back from realizing your full potential.

1) You Need to be a Landlord to Collect Passive Income

What many people don’t realize is just how big of a commitment being a landlord is. If you’re a busy person, then you might not have time to do this right. But this isn’t the only way you could collect passive income through real estate investment. You should consider hiring on a management team that can handle the direct dealings with tenants. This way you can still benefit from this secondary source of income without it becoming a major pull on your time.Passive Investment Income

(Quick Note: You’ll still need to provide some routine oversight on your properties with a management team in place.)

Profits from Flipped Homes in Orlando Improved During 2013

Profits from Flipped Homes in Orlando Improved During 2013

February 13, 2014 by · 5 Comments 

Profits from Flipped Homes in Orlando Improved During 2013A new report shows that flipping houses may be the way to go in the Orlando metropolitan area. The gross profit from the average flipped listing grew to $37,615 last year– compared to $36,518 in 2012. The report has certainly peaked the interest of many savvy real estate investors in the Southwest.

The average selling price for a home in the Orlando housing market increased by 20 percent over the course of 2013. Investors that were able to purchase and re-sell listings within a sixth month window realized significant profits, based on studies conducted by the real estate research group, RealtyTrac.

(Quick Fact: Reported profits from these flipped homes do not reflect the cost for improvements and repairs incurred by investors.)

“Strong home price appreciation in many markets boosted profits for flippers in 2013 despite a shrinking inventory of lower-priced foreclosure homes to purchase,” explained Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac’s VP.

The average flipped home in Orlando was sold within six months for a sales price of $153,849.

The reported number of Orlando properties changing owners within six months has been growing over the last three years:

  • 924 homes in 2011
  • 1,831 homes in 2012

The Equity Crises in Orlando’s Housing Market

The Equity Crises in Orlando’s Housing Market

January 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Orlando Homes UnderwaterThe housing market in Orlando saw it’s fair share of positive trends during 2013. Home values have made big strides in returning to their historical averages, but it’s not been all positive. The Orlando area also had one of the largest concentrations of underwater properties in the country.

Nearly 36 percent of homes in the four counties that comprise the Orlando metro area are buried in home loans exceeding the present home value by 25 percent or more. The rate of underwater residential properties in Orlando outpaced the statewide number of 34 percent.

(Investor Fact: The highest rate of financially troubled properties was 38 percent which was reported for the state of Nevada.)

The Long Road to Financial Stability

Over the last year, the average prices for homes throughout the Orlando metro area increased by nearly 28 percent! This has certainly helped build equity for homeowners– but many of them still have a long climb to become financially stable.

Just remember that this is only one side of the coin. There is a significant percentage of homeowners who are equity-rich. Reports show that it is nearing a point where more and more will be expected to list their Orlando home for sale. This is expected to provide a nice boost for the Central Florida housing market during this year.

Experts Predict Slower Housing Market Growth in 2014

Experts Predict Slower Housing Market Growth in 2014

December 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Reduced Growth in Housing Market 2014Economists and real estate experts made predictions for the housing market in 2014 at a recent summit in Orlando. The current forecast is that prices will continue to increase by 4 to 6 percent– a markedly decreased rate compared to this year. It looks like 2013 could be a tough act to follow…

Frank Nothaft– Chief Economist for Freddie Mac– doesn’t expect home prices to grow at the rate they did this year. He was one of the influential speakers at the annual summit held for Florida Realtors. Price growth is expected to be more moderate.

Please don’t take this as a bad sign. The overall outlook for the 2014 Florida housing market is definitely positive, especially for those looking to sell their home. Here are just some of the specs for next year:

  • Stable home sales
  • Increased mortgage rates
  • Higher average sales prices

(Pessimistic view: some forecast that home ownership rates will drop to a 20-year low.)

Prices for single family homes in metropolitan Orlando outpaced the rest of Florida during this year. The median price in Central Florida was just under 175,000 for October– 28 percent higher than the prior year. Home prices jumped up by 17 percent across the Sunshine State during that same time.

Addressing Flood Insurance Reforms in Florida

Addressing Flood Insurance Reforms in Florida

October 17, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Addressing Concerns Over Flood Insurance in FloridaRealtors in Florida have joined their voices with others in asking Congress to discontinue some of the reforms that have been made to the nation’s flood insurance program. If you’re not familiar with these reforms, then it is probably because you don’t own property within the lines of federal flood-zone maps. As of this month, homeowners with flood insurance will be contending with massive premium rate hikes.

Dean Asher, president of Florida Realtors, spoke on the behest of Florida’s Governor Rick Scott to assembled members of the Florida Cabinet at the end of September. During his discourse, Asher warned of the “unintended consequences” which could wrought on property owners as a result of the Biggert-Waters Flood Reform Act of 2012.

Can the Florida Cabinet Take Action?

Asher requested that the Florida Cabinet take action and call on Congress to delay the implementation of the rate increases for newly purchased and grandfathered properties until Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had the opportunity to turn in the affordability study that is required by the Biggert-Waters law.

This study should have been submitted to Congress last year. However, Craig Frugate, the director of FEMA, has said that the affordability report could not have been completed in the allotted time period. Frugate also stated that he needed legislative authority to have postponed these rate hikes.

Home Prices in Florida on the Rise

Home Prices in Florida on the Rise

September 29, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Florida Housing Prices Continue to Grow

For all you optimistic investors out there, the housing market in Florida showed significant improvement during the month of August. Closed sales increased, median home prices have risen, there are more sales pending, and a nice reserve of homes available for sale. The data, which was released by Florida Realtor’s, could help build consumer confidence for 2014.

Compared to last year, closed sales on existing single-family homes in Brevard County rose by about 11.5 percent, while median prices of the homes sold grew by 13 percent to $130,000. What’s more, these rising numbers are being overshadowed by market reports from South Florida, where increases have been closer to 25 percent in the last year.

Let’s Break Down these Numbers

Just to be clear, the median price is the middle point where half the homes sold for more, and half for less. Leading analysts for the housing industry also noted that sales (in particular all cash sales) of foreclosures and others being advertised for sale by their mortgagee are keeping the median price of homes lower, since they tend to sell at a discounted price below market value.

Florida Housing Recovery Driven by Foreign Investors

Florida Housing Recovery Driven by Foreign Investors

September 22, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Florida Leads Nation in All Cash SalesFor potential home buyers like Nicole Kenaston, their dreams of owning a residence in Florida are being crushed. But what could be the issue? Kenaston, a 32 year old government employee claims that she has bid on no less than 5 houses over the last three years, but she keeps losing out to overseas investors who are willing to pay in cash. “I’ll find a place I like and can get financing for, and the all-cash buyers will come in and pay above market for it,” explains Kenaston. “It’s heartbreaking.”

Since the housing market recession started turning around, foreign investment in Florida real estate has been booming based on reports from the National Association of Realtors. International buyers, which accounted for 7.3 percent of statewide residential sales by dollar amount in 2007, accounted for 19 percent in the 12 months prior to June 2012 (the most recent data available).

Florida’s Market Ripe for International Investors

During this data period, Florida represented 25 percent of all U.S. residential property sales to international buyers. According to Peter Zalewski, owner of Condo Vultures, a Miami-based brokerage and consulting firm, the market seems reminiscent of 2003 or the early days of the housing market boom in South Florida.