While analysts talk about a double dip recession, we are seeing signs that point to a healthier, recovering and somewhat stable, real estate market. Home prices were up 1% this past June from May according to S&P’s 20-city home price index, up a total of over 4% from June last year. Despite a drop in sales for July this year’s annual sales are still expected to reach 5 million, beating out the average of 4.9 million of the past 20 years, and home prices nationally have continued to increase according to the National Association of Realtors.

In the second quarter of the year, 100 out of 155 MSAs (metropolitan statistical areas) had higher median existing single-family home prices in comparison to the previous year, and 91 for the first quarter.…

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People are moving at record pace to purchase Orlando real estate. So what is it about living minutes from Disney World that is so amazing? The Orlando area is one of the most serene and beautiful vacation areas our country has to offer. The market for homes in Florida right now is fantastic! Young entrepreneurs, families and even international investors are all buying up real estate around Disney World.

Why the rush to buy vacation property in Orlando? Prices and interest rates are lower than ever. With good credit, one can mortgage a vacation home with an interest rate as low as 4%. Rates that low are unprecedented in the area. .

The Orlando area offers a great diversity of attractions and culture. From award winning golf courses, resorts and swimming…

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Oftentimes you may see the terms pre-qualification and pre-approval thrown around seemingly interchangeably. Understanding the difference between the two, however, is very important in the mortgage process.

Pre-qualification is generally faster than the pre-approval process, but by no means is it a replacement for pre-approval. In the pre-qualification process, you give the bank or lender your financial information; this includes your income, debt, and assets. After the bank or lender reviews this information, they are able to give you an estimate of a mortgage that you should be able to qualify for. This is only an estimate, it is subject to change, and it will get you nowhere in today's market, as it holds no guarantee. Its only real use, is to give you…

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Due to the turbulence in the recent economy, there are a few different types of real estate sales that one hears about frequently. When preparing to enter the real estate market, whether as a seller or a buyer, it is important to know the terms used, and the implications of each type of sale.

Short Sale Property


You often will hear the term “short sale”. A short sale is when the homeowner owes more on their mortgage than the home can sell for in today’s real estate market. There are a few ways this can happen. One way is when a homeowner takes out an equity loan (to pay off other bills) that amounts to greater than the home can sell for including closing costs.

Another way this could happen would be if the homeowner originally bought the home with what…

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Increases in the median sales price of both bank-owned homes and short-sale homes have helped Orlando’s overall median home price increase for the third consecutive month, to $115,000!

Members of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association reported an increase of 32.74 percent on completed home sales from April 2009 to April 2010. In addition to this great news is the fact that the number of new contracts filed in April 2010, is an increase of 53.02 percent over April of last year!

Another indicator that the real estate market in Florida is improving is that there are 86.18 percent more homes (10,832) under contract and awaiting closing in April of this year than in April of last year (5,818).

Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association Chairman of the…

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If you thought that the idea of real estate being a great investment was a thing of the past, think again.  The fact that the home prices are so low and rent has not dropped to match, investors are beginning to come back.  Another interesting change is that there is an increase of buyers paying with cash.

The share of home sales involving all-cash transactions was 26 percent in January, up from 18 percent a year earlier,
according to the National Association of Realtors.  The reason for investors paying cash is largely due to the fact that they can avoid paying interest charges on loans and get a larger return on their investment.

National Association of Realtors data shows a pickup in investment activity. Home purchases made by investors climbed to 17…

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Members of the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association filed 4,043 new sales contracts in the month of February, the greatest monthly tally since 2005!  That is a jump of 66.1 percent from last February’s numbers. 

“The new-contract statistic is an important indicator to consider in our current market, as it reflects real-time buyer interest. I expect activity in this category to continue to pick up into late spring as buyers take advantage of the tax credit before its April 30 deadline”, said ORRA Chairman of the Board Kathleen Gallagher McIver, RE/MAX Town & Country Realty. 

More good news:  the median price of all existing homes combined sold in February 2010 increased 7.06 percent from January 2010.  February’s median price was $109,200, which includes…

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Vacation-home sales recovered in 2009 while investment sales fell sharply, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

NAR’s 2010 "Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey," covering existing- and new-home transactions in 2009, shows vacation-home sales rose 7.9 percent to 553,000 last year from 513,000 in 2008, while investment-home sales fell 15.9 percent to 940,000 in 2009 from 1.12 million in 2008. Primary residence sales rose 7.1 percent to 4.04 million in 2009 from 3.77 million in 2008.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “The typical vacation-home buyer is making a lifestyle choice, with nine out of 10 saying they intend to use the property for vacations or as a family retreat. Investment buyers primarily seek rental income, with…

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For the first time in years, the number of people facing foreclosures is declining.  This means that the end of the crisis is in sight.  There is a long road back to stability ahead of us, but it does not look like things will get worse. 

This long road ahead is due to the fact that the housing values have dropped to roughly half of their peak.  These deeply discounted houses will put pressure on home prices for years to come.  Mike Larson, a real estate analyst with Weiss Research said, “Housing is on a path to recovery but it’s going to be a very long, gradual process.”

The good news is that it has begun to change.  The percentage of borrowers who missed just one payment on their home loans fell to 3.6 percent in the October-to-December quarter from 3.8…

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Sales of existing single-family homes in Florida rose 44 percent in fourth quarter 2009 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the latest housing statistics from Florida Realtors®. A total of 43,926 existing homes sold statewide in 4Q 2009; during the same period the year before, a total of 30,610 existing homes sold. It marks the sixth consecutive quarter that Florida has seen higher existing year-to-year home sales, according to the state association.

Statewide sales of existing condominiums in the fourth quarter rose 93 percent compared to the same time the previous year. This marks the fifth consecutive quarter for increased statewide sales in both the existing home and condo markets compared to year-ago levels.

To gain insight into…

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