Southwest Florida Real Estate News & Market Trends

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics 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!

May 26, 2020

Southwest Florida Real Estate Market Outlook May 2020

I came across this detailed and recent article from NAR:
 
https://www.realtor.com/research/2020-housing-market-predictions-covid-19-update/?fbclid=IwAR1ENr2c_6usAfN3K9oYKF6ofGc-zO3bSt4vDfKz_uDtaLl7g4V3N0oxQUM
 
I get asked all of the time about my personal thoughts about our real estate industry and Covid-19. Unlike the Great Recession of 2008, I truly believe our real estate industry will be the leader in bringing our economy out of this current economic situation.
 
WHY?
 
1. Inventory is low. This is primarily because the builders lost deals, have inventory, and stopped production. When inventory is low prices don’t drop as much. The demand will stay in front of the supply.
 
2. More than 60% of all homeowners had equity in their homes prior to COVID 19. The highest amount in 20 years. This is why we won’t see as many distressed homes. In 2008, the number was very low. Everyone pulled out equity from their home which was a major cause of the Great Recession.
 
3. 3 out of the past 5 recessions witnessed an increase in property values. The 4th one only decreased by 1.9%. The only substantial property decrease came during the Great Recession of 2008. I don’t see prices dropping.
Home prices during the last 5 recessions
 
4. Interest rates keep dropping. When you combine that with the low inventory prices may actually increase.
 
5. The unemployment rate is tied to the shutdown. That was an event no different than a hurricane. It was just on a much larger global scale. Remove the event and some of those jobs will come back. Not all of them, however, most will. I also believe that “Made In America” will become very popular, creating many new jobs.
 
6. Northerners are tired of the lockdown, their government, and high taxes. I see a surge of people moving to Florida sooner than later from #NewYork, #NewJersey, #Massachusetts, #Illinois, #Ohio, #Missouri, #Indiana, #Idaho, #Minnesotta, #Wisconsin and #Michigan and others. Lower taxes and less COVID 19 related deaths.
 
7. The government just poured $3 Trillion into the economy. In comparison the government spent only $152 billion on the Economic Stimulus Act in 2008 and $787 Billion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.
 
8. Buyers should not stay on the fence. The number one reason is the interest rate. You see, a one-point increase in interest rates decreases your prospect’s buying power by $10,000 per $100,000 of value or 10%. They may not be able to qualify or afford the property they want now in the future. Also, let’s say prices drop the 1.9% like it did on the 4th recession outlined above. On a $500k property that is a drop of $9,500. If the interest rate goes up by 1% on that $500k loan that is a loss of $50,000 to that buyer.
9. Looking at the Market Stats every morning for the last 4 weeks, this past week of May 2020 looking at the last 7 Days we are seeing an increase of Pending Sales. As of today May 26, 2020 in the last 7 days there is 1,008 Pending Sale recorded in the Southwest Florida MLS.
 
I hope this info and the link helps you. If you or someone you know has any questions about the Real Estate Market in Southwest Florida or are thinking about or are #BuyingaHome #SellingaHome Call/Text me (239) 221-0225 I'll be happy to listen and answer any questions you have or help you with your need!
 
#RealEstateMarket2020 #SouthwestFloridaRealEstate #CapeCoralRealEstate #FortMyersRealEstate #EsteroRealEstate #BonitaSpringsRealEstate #NaplesRealEstate

Considering Buying or Selling a Home?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Estero, I encourage you to work with a real estate professional or consultant who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison so you can set the Price Right. Contact us today to learn more about the current market and if selling how your home or condo stacks up against the competition and how we can position your property to sell quickly and for a fair price. Learn more about selling your home

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a focused and goal-oriented Realtor® in Southwest Florida who will help you achieve your Real Estate needs, please reach out to me directly. Additionally, if you are looking at buying or selling a home or condo, vacation home/condo, waterfront home/condo or to build your own dream home, call or text me at 239-770-6880 or email me at Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

About Jonathan Blaze, PA


The above information about how selling your home was provided by Southwest FL Dream Homes Team of MVP Realty, Jon Blaze, an expert in Southwest Florida real estate.  When you are ready to buy or sell a single-family home or condo in Cape Coral, Fort Myer, Bonita Springs or Estero, contact me. With almost 20 years of experience, I can help provide the market information and insights into individual communities to help you find the perfect home.  Most importantly, I will handle all the negotiations to make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.
Contact Jon: (239) 770-6880 or Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team or Keeping Matters Current does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.
May 21, 2020

Cape Coral-Fort Myers Housing Market Update April 2020

Lee County Market Update April 2020

Closed Home Sales Down in April 2020

  • Year-over-year sales were down double-digit points for single-family and townhouse/condominium properties versus April 2019 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lee County’s housing market saw a double-digit decrease in closings in both the single-family and townhouse/condominium categories in April, compared to the same period a year ago. Year-over-year, sales were down by 14.1% for single-family and 31.2% for townhouses and condominiums, according to figures just released by Florida Realtors®, an umbrella organization for Realtor®groups throughout the state.

April continued to show a median sale price increase of 3.2% for single-family and 9.8% in the townhouse/condominium category. Inventory is significantly down for both. Year-over-year, local inventory of single-family dwellings is down at 22.9% as shown in active listings. A 4.3 -month supply of inventory shows the market shifting into a sellers’ market.

In the townhouse/condominium category, listings were down 21.1% versus March 2019. That translates to a 5.1-month supply, shows a balanced market.

Time spent on the market in April was shortened to just 48 days for single-family homes and 45 days for townhouses and condominiums. April 2019 showed 71 days for single-family and 77 days for townhouses and condominiums. This is another indication that we are in a sellers’ market.

April Lee County Prices by Property Types

Broken down by city, single-family homes all of the cities showed a decrease in sales, with the exception of Estero, which had 7.7% over last year. Pine Island and Fort Myers saw the largest decrease in sales with 34.8% and 24.8%. Single-family homes sold with 109 closed sales. Fort Myers Beach posted a 24.8% decrease in median price compared to last year.

When looking at closed sales by price point, all single-family were affected by the decrease in sales. The lower price points showed the highest decrease, in both single-family and for townhouses and condominiums. Townhouses and condominiums priced at $1 million or more did show a 12.5% gain.

April Lee County Market by Cities

 

Considering Buying or Selling a Home?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Estero, I encourage you to work with a real estate professional or consultant who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison so you can set the Price Right. Contact us today to learn more about the current market and if selling how your home or condo stacks up against the competition and how we can position your property to sell quickly and for a fair price. Learn more about selling your home

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a focused and goal-oriented Realtor® in Southwest Florida who will help you achieve your Real Estate needs, please reach out to me directly. Additionally, if you are looking at buying or selling a home or condo, vacation home/condo, waterfront home/condo or to build your own dream home, call or text me at 239-770-6880 or email me at Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

About Jonathan Blaze, PA


The above information about how selling your home was provided by Southwest FL Dream Homes Team of MVP Realty, Jon Blaze, an expert in Southwest Florida real estate.  When you are ready to buy or sell a single-family home or condo in Cape Coral, Fort Myer, Bonita Springs or Estero, contact me. With almost 20 years of experience, I can help provide the market information and insights into individual communities to help you find the perfect home.  Most importantly, I will handle all the negotiations to make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.
Contact Jon: (239) 770-6880 or Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team or Keeping Matters Current does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

 

May 11, 2020

Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020

Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020?

Will Home Values Appreciate or Depreciate in 2020?

With the housing market staggered to some degree by the health crisis the country is currently facing, some potential purchasers are questioning whether home values will be impacted. The price of any item is determined by supply as well as the market’s demand for that item.

Each month the National Association of Realtors (NAR) surveys “over 50,000 real estate practitioners about their expectations for home sales, prices and market conditions” for the REALTORS Confidence Index.

Their latest edition sheds some light on the relationship between seller traffic (supply) and buyer traffic (demand) during this pandemic.

Buyer Demand

The map below was created after asking the question: “How would you rate buyer traffic in your area?”

buyer traffic index 2020

The darker the blue, the stronger the demand for homes is in that area. The survey shows that in 34 of the 50 U.S. states, buyer demand is now ‘strong’ and 16 of the 50 states have a ‘stable’ demand.

Seller Supply

The index also asks: “How would you rate seller traffic in your area?”

seller traffic index 2020

As the map above indicates, 46 states and Washington, D.C. reported ‘weak’ seller traffic, 3 states reported ‘stable’ seller traffic, and 1 state reported ‘strong’ seller traffic. This means there are far fewer homes on the market than what is needed to satisfy the needs of buyers looking for homes right now.

With demand still stronger than supply, home values should not depreciate.

What are the experts saying?

Here are the thoughts of three industry experts on the subject:

Ivy Zelman:

“We note that inventory as a percent of households sits at the lowest level ever, something we believe will limit the overall degree of home price pressure through the year.”

Mark Fleming, Chief Economist, First American:

“Housing supply remains at historically low levels, so house price growth is likely to slow, but it’s not likely to go negative.”

Freddie Mac:

“Two forces prevent a collapse in house prices. First, as we indicated in our earlier research report, U.S. housing markets face a large supply deficit. Second, population growth and pent up household formations provide a tailwind to housing demand.”

Recap

Looking at these maps and listening to the experts, it seems that prices will remain stable throughout 2020. If you’re thinking about listing your home, connect with a local real estate professional who can help you capitalize on the somewhat surprising demand in the market now.

Considering Buying or Selling a Home?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Estero, I encourage you to work with a real estate professional or consultant who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison so you can set the Price Right. Contact us today to learn more about the current market and if selling how your home or condo stacks up against the competition and how we can position your property to sell quickly and for a fair price. Learn more about selling your home

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a focused and goal-oriented Realtor® in Southwest Florida who will help you achieve your Real Estate needs, please reach out to me directly. Additionally, if you are looking at buying or selling a home or condo, vacation home/condo, waterfront home/condo or to build your own dream home, call or text me at 239-770-6880 or email me at Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

About Jonathan Blaze, PA


The above information about how selling your home was provided by Southwest FL Dream Homes Team of MVP Realty, Jon Blaze, an expert in Southwest Florida real estate.  When you are ready to buy or sell a single-family home or condo in Cape Coral, Fort Myer, Bonita Springs or Estero, contact me. With almost 20 years of experience, I can help provide the market information and insights into individual communities to help you find the perfect home.  Most importantly, I will handle all the negotiations to make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.
Contact Jon: (239) 770-6880 or Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team or Keeping Matters Current does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

April 22, 2020

Cape Coral-Fort Myers Housing Market Update March 2020

Cape Coral-Fort Myers Housing Market Update March 2020

Closed Home Sales Up Double Digits again in March!

Year-over-year sales were up over 15 points for single-family and townhouse/condominium properties versus March 2019 amid the Covid19 Pandemic.

Lee County’s housing market saw a double-digit increase in closings in both the single-family and townhouse/condominium categories in March, compared to the same period a year ago. Year-over-year, sales were up by 15.6% for single-family and 16.4% for townhouses and condominiums, according to figures just released by Florida Realtors®, an umbrella organization for Realtor® groups throughout the state. March also showed a median sale price double-digit increase of 11.4% for single-family and 5.7% in the townhouse/condominium category. Inventory is down for both. Year-over-year, local inventory of single-family dwellings is down significantly at 22.6% as shown in active listings a 4.5-month supply.

In the townhouse/condominium category, listings were down 23.4% versus March 2019. That translates to a 5.1-month supply. Time spent on the market in March was 61 days for single-family homes and 70 days for townhouses and condominiums.

Lee County Prices for March 2020 Market Report

Broken down by city, single-family homes in Sanibel/Captiva and on Pine Island saw the largest increase with a jump in sales more than 50% over last year, with a combined 58 closed sales compared to 38 in March 2019. Bonita Springs experienced an increase of 31% for single-family homes sold with 109 closed sales. Fort Myers Beach posted a 33.3% decrease in single-family compared to last year and was the only city to show a decrease in March. When looking at closed sales by price point, most were up. The under $50,000 categories showed the highest decrease, while the biggest increase was in properties priced at $1million or more a 66.7% gain.

Lee county housing market march 2020 by cities

 

Considering Buying or Selling a Home?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Estero, I encourage you to work with a real estate professional or consultant who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison so you can set the Price Right. Contact us today to learn more about the current market and if selling how your home or condo stacks up against the competition and how we can position your property to sell quickly and for a fair price. Learn more about selling your home

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a focused and goal-oriented Realtor® in Southwest Florida who will help you achieve your Real Estate needs, please reach out to me directly. Additionally, if you are looking at buying or selling a home or condo, vacation home/condo, waterfront home/condo or to build your own dream home, call or text me at 239-770-6880 or email me at Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

About Jonathan Blaze, PA


The above information about how selling your home was provided by Southwest FL Dream Homes Team of MVP Realty, Jon Blaze, an expert in Southwest Florida real estate.  When you are ready to buy or sell a single-family home or condo in Cape Coral, Fort Myer, Bonita Springs or Estero, contact me. With almost 20 years of experience, I can help provide the market information and insights into individual communities to help you find the perfect home.  Most importantly, I will handle all the negotiations to make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.
Contact Jon: (239) 770-6880 or Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

 

April 16, 2020

Think This Is a Housing Crisis Think Again

Think This Is a Housing Crisis? Think Again.

Think This Is a Housing Crisis? Think Again.

With all of the unanswered questions caused by COVID-19 and the economic slowdown we’re experiencing across the country today, many are asking if the housing market is in trouble. For those who remember 2008, it’s logical to ask that question.

Many of us experienced financial hardships, lost homes, and were out of work during the Great Recession – the recession that started with a housing and mortgage crisis. Today, we face a very different challenge: an external health crisis that has caused a pause in much of the economy and a major shutdown of many parts of the country.

Let’s look at five things we know about today’s housing market that were different in 2008.

1. Appreciation

When we look at appreciation in the visual below, there’s a big difference between the 6 years prior to the housing crash and the most recent 6-year period of time. Leading up to the crash, we had much higher appreciation in this country than we see today. In fact, the highest level of appreciation most recently is below the lowest level we saw leading up to the crash. Prices have been rising lately, but not at the rate they were climbing back when we had runaway appreciation.

Annual Home Appreciation

2. Mortgage Credit

The Mortgage Credit Availability Index is a monthly measure by the Mortgage Bankers Association that gauges the level of difficulty to secure a loan. The higher the index, the easier it is to get a loan; the lower the index, the harder. Today we’re nowhere near the levels seen before the housing crash when it was very easy to get approved for a mortgage. After the crash, however, lending standards tightened and have remained that way leading up to today.

Mortgage Credit Availability

3. Number of Homes for Sale

One of the causes of the housing crash in 2008 was an oversupply of homes for sale. Today, as shown in the next image, we see a much different picture. We don’t have enough homes on the market for the number of people who want to buy them. Across the country, we have less than 6 months of inventory, an undersupply of homes available for interested buyers.

months supply of inventory of homes

4. Use of Home Equity

The chart below shows the difference in how people are accessing the equity in their homes today as compared to 2008. In 2008, consumers were harvesting equity from their homes (through cash-out refinances) and using it to finance their lifestyles. Today, consumers are treating the equity in their homes much more cautiously.

Home Equity

5. Home Equity Today

Today, 53.8% of homes across the country have at least 50% equity. In 2008, homeowners walked away when they owed more than what their homes were worth. With the equity homeowners have now, they’re much less likely to walk away from their homes.

percentage of home equity

Recap

The COVID-19 crisis is causing different challenges across the country than the ones we faced in 2008. Back then, we had a housing crisis; today, we face a health crisis. What we know now is that housing is in a much stronger position today than it was in 2008. It is no longer the center of the economic slowdown. Rather, it could be just what helps pull us out of the downturn.

Considering Buying or Selling a Home?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Estero, I encourage you to work with a real estate professional or consultant who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison so you can set the Price Right. Contact us today to learn more about the current market and if selling how your home or condo stacks up against the competition and how we can position your property to sell quickly and for a fair price. Learn more about selling your home

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a focused and goal-oriented Realtor® in Southwest Florida who will help you achieve your Real Estate needs, please reach out to me directly. Additionally, if you are looking at buying or selling a home or condo, vacation home/condo, waterfront home/condo or to build your own dream home, call or text me at 239-770-6880 or email me at Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

About Jonathan Blaze, PA


The above information about how selling your home was provided by Southwest FL Dream Homes Team of MVP Realty, Jon Blaze, an expert in Southwest Florida real estate.  When you are ready to buy or sell a single-family home or condo in Cape Coral, Fort Myer, Bonita Springs or Estero, contact me. With almost 20 years of experience, I can help provide the market information and insights into individual communities to help you find the perfect home.  Most importantly, I will handle all the negotiations to make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.
Contact Jon: (239) 770-6880 or Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team and Keeping Matters Current does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

April 15, 2020

Why Hire a Realtor when buying a new construction home

Why hire a buyers agent when buying new construction home

 

1. Why clients and buyers need a Realtor

Purchasing new construction is usually more complicated and intimidating than buying a resale home. It is important with a new-home purchase that a buyer hires a real estate agent to represent them in this process. This agent should be a local expert and have experience with newly constructed homes. Builder contracts and the building process is different from what most real estate agents deal with on a daily basis, so having new construction experience is important.

As a real estate agent who specializes in an area with a lot of new construction, buyers ask me all the time if they can use a real estate agent when they are purchasing new construction. The answer is yes.

In general, builders’ model homes are staffed by agents who work directly for and represent the builder. A buyer also needs to have a real estate agent who represents them and looks after their best interests.

Keep in mind that most builders will require that the real estate agent accompany and register the buyer on their first visit to the builder’s model home or community. Make sure your buyers don’t just “stop by” the new-home community without you. If they do, they could lose the opportunity to have their own representation.

2. Builder list prices

Surprise — builders don’t like to reduce their prices. If they do, it sets a precedence for future home sales. Builders are more likely to pay for closing costs or offer design center incentives than to drop their prices.

Builders are not like regular sellers. They are not emotionally attached to the property. They make decisions based on what is best for their bottom line. There is something known as the time value of money, which means that money available at the now is worth more than the same amount of money later.

What does that mean practically? It means that every day a builder has a home that is sitting for sale on the market, they are losing money. Look for builder inventory homes that have been on the market for 45 days or more. These are the homes in which a buyer might be able to get a good deal.

Side note: Some new-home buyers think that if they do not use an agent for their purchase, the builder will reduce the price of the home by the amount of the commission. For the most part, this cannot be further from reality. Builders do not want to reduce their prices because it sets the comparison price for future home sales in that neighborhood. Builders instead add the commissions paid to a buyer’s agent into the marketing budgets of the homes. If a buyer goes to a new-home builder without a real estate agent, either the builder’s agent or the builder will pocket that money.

3. Know the builder’s lender

Builder’s love it when a buyer uses their preferred lender. In most cases, they will even offer some enticing incentives to ensure a buyer chooses the preferred lender. Even so, a buyer should not just automatically use this lender. They should shop around and find the best loan for them, not for the builder.

After all, we just went through with the real estate downturn, I am amazed that builders do not require buyers to use construction loans or require larger down payments. Because they do not need these items, there is a huge financial risk for builders when they build a new home. Using the preferred lender reassures the builder that the buyer is a good credit risk.

Depending on the incentives the builder is offering, using the builder’s lender might be an excellent option for a buyer.

4. The best time to buy

A lot of the national builders are publicly traded companies. They need to meet sales goals and answer to the shareholders of that company. For that reason, toward the end of a quarter, builders tend to be more aggressive with their incentives in order to meet these sales goals.

Going back to point number one, using a real estate agent will get you the best price possible! Why? because builders have realized that working with Realtors and their buyers cost them less in advertising. How, because if they have inventory coming available that they need to move/sell they send us Realtors the updated price improvement prior to releasing them to the public. So we as real estate agents get those price reductions and lower prices and can then share them with you as the consumer and negotiate even a little more off for you. The builder again has an obligation to its investors and shareholders, so if they can sell the home for more money directly to you they will, but if they can sell it faster for a little less by reaching out to real estate agents that is a win for them even more!

The December holiday season is another great time to buy. Most of the country is out shopping and traveling to see family. Very few people shop for homes this time of the year. For that reason, ’tis the season to find some great incentives to purchase a new home.

5. WYSIWYG

Is that a typo? No, it is an acronym for “what you see is what you get.” Or, in this case, what you see is not what you might get. A builder model home might not be a good representation of what comes standard with the home.

Often the model home is a high-end version of the standard home. It is the builder’s showcase home and a way for the builder to show off many of the stellar upgrades it can offer. The builder hopes a buyer will like these upgrades and ultimately add them to the purchase of the home. In general, these upgrades have good profit margins for the builder.

When touring the model home, find out exactly what options are standard, what options are available, and, of course, what any additional options will cost.

Each builder will have their own set of standard items that come with a house. A standard item for one builder might be an upgrade for another.

6. Purchase the builder’s model home

Purchasing the builder’s model home can be an excellent deal. Remember, these homes are the showcase homes for the builder. The builders have packed great upgrades and features into the model. Typically when the community is almost complete, the builder will put the model home up for sale. Be on the lookout for them.

Technically, these model homes are new homes because no one has ever lived in them. These homes have served as an office and have had hundreds of prospective buyers walk through and view them.

The one downside of buying the model home is that buyer generally does not get to pick the floor coverings, the color of the paint on the walls, the kitchen cabinets, appliances or any fixtures. In many ways, it is like buying a professionally designed resale home.

These gently used model homes are typically a pretty good deal. These homes tend to sell for market value and have showcased upgrades.

7. Get everything in writing

Getting everything in writing seems obvious, but the builder’s agent says during a showing of a new-construction home. If something said is important to the buyer, get it in writing.

The majority of larger builders will have lengthy, attorney-written, intimidating-looking purchase agreements that cover all the pertinent details of the new-home purchase. Ensure you read through and are familiar with the purchase agreement

8. Research the builder

Not all builders are created equal. Do your homework, and get to know the builders, their reputation and what they offer. To get an understanding of the builder and what they offer, visit other communities the builder has built-in, try to speak with past buyers and look for online reviews.

9. Builder Home Warranties

Most home builders have their warranties divided into structural, mechanical, electrical and cosmetic.  The warranties for most of these are fairly basic.  The time frame for coverage is spelled out in what is covered and for how long.

However, cosmetic warranties are somewhat a gray area and that is where most buyers get taken advantage of during the building process.

In a large, popular neighborhood a builder can have over 30+ homes going in various phases of construction.  Each home is assigned to a construction field manager.  That person is responsible for organizing and overseeing all the sub-contractors responsible for building the home.  Unfortunately, when the builder is busy, these managers are spread thin and still have to make the production timelines the builder has set.

What happens when your staff is overworked and subs are hard to get?  Quality can be compromised. This is where your lack of knowledge can hurt you if you are not prepared and armed with persistence and patience.

Most builders will do a walkthrough with you prior to closing.  This is usually done about a week before closing.  At this time, it is possible that your home is not totally put together, especially if the builder is busy.  Do NOT accept this as your final walkthrough.

Because the builder has timelines to meet, the construction managers are pushed to adhere to that schedule.  Stand your ground.  If you have a Realtor, this is another place where we earn our money.  Your Realtor should be the person that pushes back and fights for your home to be completed and cosmetic work finished.

You, like most buyers, have other things on your mind, such as moving and perhaps completing mortgage requirements.  Even if this is a happy time.  It is a stressful time for most buyers.

The last thing you need is to be fighting with your builder on your home’s completion.  But, if you do not do this, your cosmetic issues will be pushed back on the builder’s “after closing” warranty department.

10. Home Inspections

I am always shocked to hear people spending a few thousand to millions of dollars or more on a brand new home and never thought to check the builder’s work.  There are several phases where you have the opportunity to bring an independent inspector (pre-drywall and finished product) to check on your brand new home.  Home inspectors can truly save you thousands of dollars and time.

Neither the builder’s salesperson nor the construction superintendent will suggest a home inspection.  However, they will allow them.  If your real estate agent attends the initial meeting with you, your agent will want to mention the intent for inspections.  This at least gives the builder a heads up that you will be overseeing their work.

What type of inspector should you choose?  Your agent can recommend companies that other clients have used and had great results. In Florida, home inspectors have to be licensed, however, they are not all created equal.

If you are going it alone in your new home, you want to choose an inspector that has new construction experience and can read building plans.  A good inspector will ask for a copy of your plans, especially for the pre-drywall inspection.

Whether you decided to use a realtor like me or not to help you with your new construction home purchase just know that it does not cost you any extra to use us and could save you thousands of dollars as well as many headaches along the way. I have been selling residential and new construction homes here in SWFL for over 18 years. I offer to you my knowledge of the process and procedures and insight to the builders and communities around the area at no cost to you. I look forward to hopefully helping you with a new construction purchase in the future, but if not please implement and think about the information above to help you in your new construction home purchase.

Considering Buying New Construction Home or Selling a Home?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Estero, I encourage you to work with a real estate professional or consultant who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison so you can set the Price Right. Contact us today to learn more about the current market and if selling how your home or condo stacks up against the competition and how we can position your property to sell quickly and for a fair price. Learn more about selling your home

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a focused and goal-oriented Realtor® in Southwest Florida who will help you achieve your Real Estate needs, please reach out to me directly. Additionally, if you are looking at buying or selling a home or condo, vacation home/condo, waterfront home/condo or to build your own dream home, call or text me at 239-770-6880 or email me at Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

About Jonathan Blaze, PA


The above information about how selling your home was provided by Southwest FL Dream Homes Team of MVP Realty, Jon Blaze, an expert in Southwest Florida real estate.  When you are ready to buy or sell a single-family home or condo in Cape Coral, Fort Myer, Bonita Springs or Estero, contact me. With almost 20 years of experience, I can help provide the market information and insights into individual communities to help you find the perfect home.  Most importantly, I will handle all the negotiations to make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.
Contact Jon: (239) 770-6880 or Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

April 13, 2020

Recession Yes Housing Crash No

Recession? Yes. Housing Crash? No.

Recession? Yes. Housing Crash? No.

With over 90% of Americans now under a shelter-in-place order, many experts are warning that the American economy is heading toward a recession if it’s not in one already. What does that mean to the residential real estate market?

What is a recession?

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research:

“A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.”

COVID-19 hit the pause button on the American economy in the middle of March. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley are all calling for a deep dive into the economy in the second quarter of this year. Though we may not yet be in a recession by the technical definition of the word today, most believe history will show we were in one from April to June.

Does that mean we’re headed for another housing crash?

Many fear a recession will mean a repeat of the housing crash that occurred during the Great Recession of 2006-2008. The past, however, shows us that most recessions do not adversely impact home values. Doug Brien, CEO of Mynd Property Management, explains:

“With the exception of two recessions, the Great Recession from 2007-2009, & the Gulf War recession from 1990-1991, no other recessions have impacted the U.S. housing market, according to Freddie Mac Home Price Index data collected from 1975 to 2018.”

CoreLogic, in a second study of the last five recessions, found the same. Here’s a graph of their findings:

House prices from last 5 recessions

What are the experts saying this time?

This is what three economic leaders are saying about the housing connection to this recession:

Robert Dietz, Chief Economist with NAHB

“The housing sector enters this recession underbuilt rather than overbuilt…That means as the economy rebounds – which it will at some stage – housing is set to help lead the way out.”

Ali Wolf, Chief Economist with Meyers Research

“Last time housing led the recession…This time it’s poised to bring us out. This is the Great Recession for leisure, hospitality, trade and transportation in that this recession will feel as bad as the Great Recession did to housing.”

John Burns, founder of John Burns Consulting, also revealed that his firm’s research concluded that recessions caused by a pandemic usually do not significantly impact home values:

“Historical analysis showed us that pandemics are usually V-shaped (sharp recessions that recover quickly enough to provide little damage to home prices).”

Recap

If we’re not in a recession yet, we’re about to be in one. This time, however, housing will be the sector that leads the economic recovery.

Considering Buying or Selling a Home?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Estero, I encourage you to work with a real estate professional or consultant who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison so you can set the Price Right. Contact us today to learn more about the current market and if selling how your home or condo stacks up against the competition and how we can position your property to sell quickly and for a fair price. Learn more about selling your home

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a focused and goal-oriented Realtor® in Southwest Florida who will help you achieve your Real Estate needs, please reach out to me directly. Additionally, if you are looking at buying or selling a home or condo, vacation home/condo, waterfront home/condo or to build your own dream home, call or text me at 239-770-6880 or email me at Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

About Jonathan Blaze, PA


The above information about how selling your home was provided by Southwest FL Dream Homes Team of MVP Realty, Jon Blaze, an expert in Southwest Florida real estate.  When you are ready to buy or sell a single-family home or condo in Cape Coral, Fort Myer, Bonita Springs or Estero, contact me. With almost 20 years of experience, I can help provide the market information and insights into individual communities to help you find the perfect home.  Most importantly, I will handle all the negotiations to make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.
Contact Jon: (239) 770-6880 or Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team or Keeping Matters Current does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

April 8, 2020

How Technology Is Enabling the Real Estate Process

How Technology Is Enabling the Real Estate Process

How Technology Is Enabling the Real Estate Process

Today’s everyday reality is pretty different than it looked just a few weeks ago. We’re learning how to do a lot of things in new ways, from how we work remotely to how we engage with our friends and neighbors. Almost everything right now is shifting to a virtual format. One of the big changes we’re adapting to is the revisions to the common real estate transaction, which all vary by state and locality. Technology, however, is making it possible for many of us to continue on the quest for homeownership, an essential need for all.

Here’s a look at some of the elements of the process that are changing (at least in the near-term), due to stay-at-home orders and social distancing, and what you may need to know about each one if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home sooner rather than later.

1. Virtual Consultations – Instead of heading into an office, you can meet with real estate and lending professionals through video chat. Whether it’s your first initial needs analysis as a buyer or your listing appointment as a seller, you can still get the process started remotely and create a plan together. Your trusted advisor is still on your side.

2. Home Searches & Virtual Showings – According to theNational Association of Realtors (NAR), the Internet is one of the three most popular information sources buyers use when searching for homes. Your real estate agent can send you listing information and help you request a virtual showing when you’re ready to start looking. This means you can virtually walk through the homes on your wish list while keeping your family safe. As a seller, you can still have virtual open houses and virtual tours too, so as not to miss those buyers looking to find a home right now.

3. Document Signing – Although this is another area that varies by state, today more portions of the transaction are being done digitally. In many areas, your agent or loan officer can set up an account where you can upload all of the required documents and sign electronically right from your computer.

4. Sending Money – Whether you need to pay for an appraisal or submit closing costs, there are options available. Depending on the transaction and local regulations, you may be able to pay by credit card, and most banks will also allow you to wire funds from your account. Sometimes you can send a check by mail, and in some states, a mobile escrow agent will pick up a check from your home.

5. Closing Process – Again, depending on your area, a mobile notary may be able to bring the required documents to your home before the closing. If your state requires an attorney to be present, check with your legal counsel to see what options are available. Also, depending on the title company, some are allowing drive-thru closings, which is similar to doing a transaction at a bank window.

Although these virtual processes are starting to become more widely accepted, it does not mean that this is the way things are going to get done from now on. Under the current circumstances, however, technology is making it possible to continue much of the real estate transaction today.

Recap

If you need to move today, technology can help make it happen; there are options available. To learn about the specific regulations in your area, contact a local real estate professional to discuss your situation, so you don’t have to put your real estate plans on hold.

Considering Buying or Selling a Home?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Estero, I encourage you to work with a real estate professional or consultant who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison so you can set the Price Right. Contact us today to learn more about the current market and if selling how your home or condo stacks up against the competition and how we can position your property to sell quickly and for a fair price. Learn more about selling your home

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a focused and goal-oriented Realtor® in Southwest Florida who will help you achieve your Real Estate needs, please reach out to me directly. Additionally, if you are looking at buying or selling a home or condo, vacation home/condo, waterfront home/condo or to build your own dream home, call or text me at 239-770-6880 or email me at Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

About Jonathan Blaze, PA


The above information about how selling your home was provided by Southwest FL Dream Homes Team of MVP Realty, Jon Blaze, an expert in Southwest Florida real estate.  When you are ready to buy or sell a single-family home or condo in Cape Coral, Fort Myer, Bonita Springs or Estero, contact me. With almost 20 years of experience, I can help provide the market information and insights into individual communities to help you find the perfect home.  Most importantly, I will handle all the negotiations to make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.
Contact Jon: (239) 770-6880 or Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team or Keeping Matters Current does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

April 5, 2020

Are We About to See a New Wave of Foreclosures

Are We About to See a New Wave of Foreclosures

Are We About to See a New Wave of Foreclosures?

With all of the havoc being caused by COVID-19, many are concerned we may see a new wave of foreclosures. Restaurants, airlines, hotels, and many other industries are furloughing workers or dramatically cutting their hours. Without a job, many homeowners are wondering how they’ll be able to afford their mortgage payments.

In spite of this, there are actually many reasons we won’t see a surge in the number of foreclosures like we did during the housing crash over ten years ago. Here are just a few of those reasons:

The Government Learned its Lesson the Last Time

During the previous housing crash, the government was slow to recognize the challenges homeowners were having and waited too long to grant relief. Today, action is being taken swiftly. Just this week:

  • The Federal Housing Administration indicated it is enacting an “immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages” for the next 60 days.
  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced it is directing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for “at least 60 days.”

Homeowners Learned their Lesson the Last Time

When the housing market was going strong in the early 2000s, homeowners gained a tremendous amount of equity in their homes. Many began to tap into that equity. Some started to use their homes as ATM machines to purchase luxury items like cars, jet-skis, and lavish vacations. When prices dipped, many found themselves in a negative equity situation (where the mortgage was greater than the value of their homes). Some just walked away, leaving the banks with no other option but to foreclose on their properties.

Today, the home equity situation in America is vastly different. From 2005-2007, homeowners cashed out $824 billion worth of home equity by refinancing. In the last three years, they cashed out only $232 billion, less than one-third of that amount. That has led to:

  • 37% of homes in America having no mortgage at all
  • Of the remaining 63%, more than 1 in 4 having over 50% equity

Even if prices dip (and most experts are not predicting that they will), most homeowners will still have vast amounts of value in their homes and will not walk away from that money.

There Will Be Help Available to Individuals and Small Businesses

The government is aware of the financial pain this virus has caused and will continue to cause. Yesterday, the Associated Press reported:

“In a memorandum, Treasury proposed two $250 billion cash infusions to individuals: A first set of checks issued starting April 6, with a second wave in mid-May. The amounts would depend on income and family size.”

The plan also recommends $300 billion for small businesses.

Recap

These are not going to be easy times. However, the lessons learned from the last crisis have Americans better prepared to weather the financial storm. For those who can’t, help is on the way.

Considering Buying or Selling a Home?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Estero, I encourage you to work with a real estate professional or consultant who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison so you can set the Price Right. Contact us today to learn more about the current market and if selling how your home or condo stacks up against the competition and how we can position your property to sell quickly and for a fair price. Learn more about selling your home

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a focused and goal-oriented Realtor® in Southwest Florida who will help you achieve your Real Estate needs, please reach out to me directly. Additionally, if you are looking at buying or selling a home or condo, vacation home/condo, waterfront home/condo or to build your own dream home, call or text me at 239-770-6880 or email me at Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

About Jonathan Blaze, PA


The above information about how selling your home was provided by Southwest FL Dream Homes Team of MVP Realty, Jon Blaze, an expert in Southwest Florida real estate.  When you are ready to buy or sell a single-family home or condo in Cape Coral, Fort Myer, Bonita Springs or Estero, contact me. With almost 20 years of experience, I can help provide the market information and insights into individual communities to help you find the perfect home.  Most importantly, I will handle all the negotiations to make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.
Contact Jon: (239) 770-6880 or Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team or Keeping Matters Current does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.

March 25, 2020

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance My Home

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance My Home

Is Now a Good Time to Refinance My Home?

With interest rates hitting all-time lows over the past few weeks, many homeowners are opting to refinance. To decide if refinancing your home is the best option for you and your family, start by asking yourself these questions:

Why do you want to refinance?

There are many reasons to refinance, but here are three of the most common ones:

1. Lower Your Interest Rate and Payment: This is the most popular reason. Is your current interest rate higher than what’s available today? If so, it might be worth seeing if you can take advantage of the current lower rates.

2. Shorten the Term of Your Loan: If you have a  The 30-year loan, it may be advantageous to change it to a 15 or 20-year loan to pay off your mortgage sooner rather than later.

3. Cash-Out Refinance: You might have enough equity to cash out and invest in something else, like your children’s education, a business venture, an investment property, or simply to increase your cash reserve.

Once you know why you might want to refinance, ask yourself the next question:

How much is it going to cost?

There are fees and closing costs involved in refinancing, and The Lenders Network explains:

As an example, let’s say your mortgage has a balance of $200,000. If you were to refinance that loan into a new loan, total closing costs would run between 2%-4% of the loan amount. You can expect to pay between $4,000 to $8,000 to refinance this loan.”

They also explain that there are options for no-cost refinance loans, but be on the lookout:

“A no-cost refinance loan is when the lender pays the closing costs for the borrower. However, you should be aware that the lender makes up this money from other aspects of the mortgage. Usually charging a slightly higher interest rate so they can make the money back.”

Keep in mind that, given the current market conditions and how favorable they are for refinancing, it can take a little longer to execute the process today. This is because many other homeowners are going this route as well. As Todd Teta, Chief Officer at ATTOM Data Solutions notes about recent mortgage activity:  

“Refinancing largely drove the trend, with more than twice as many homeowners trading in higher-interest mortgages for cheaper ones than in the same period of 2018.”

Clearly, refinancing has been on the rise lately. If you’re comfortable with the up-front cost and a potential waiting period due to the high volume of requests, then ask yourself one more question:

Is it worth it? 

To answer this one, do the math. Will it help you save money? How much longer do you need to own your home to break even? Will your current home meet your needs down the road? If you plan to stay for a few years, then maybe refinancing is your best move.

If, however, your current home doesn’t fulfill your needs for the next few years, you might want to consider using your equity for a down payment on a new home instead. You’ll still get a lower interest rate than the one you have on your current house, and with the equity you’ve already built, you can finally purchase the home you’ve been waiting for.

Recap

 

Today, more than ever, it’s important to start working with a trusted real estate advisor. Whether you connect by phone or video chat, a real estate professional can help you understand how to safely navigate the housing market so that you can prioritize the health of your family without having to bring your plans to a standstill. Whether you’re looking to refinance, buy, or sell, a trusted advisor knows the best protocol as well as the optimal resources and lenders to help you through the process in this fast-paced world that’s changing every day.

Considering Buying or Selling a Home?

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or Estero, I encourage you to work with a real estate professional or consultant who has the experience and knowledge to provide an accurate market comparison so you can set the Price Right. Contact us today to learn more about the current market and if selling how your home or condo stacks up against the competition and how we can position your property to sell quickly and for a fair price. Learn more about selling your home

Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a focused and goal-oriented Realtor® in Southwest Florida who will help you achieve your Real Estate needs, please reach out to me directly. Additionally, if you are looking at buying or selling a home or condo, vacation home/condo, waterfront home/condo or to build your own dream home, call or text me at 239-770-6880 or email me at Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

About Jonathan Blaze, PA


The above information about how selling your home was provided by Southwest FL Dream Homes Team of MVP Realty, Jon Blaze, an expert in Southwest Florida real estate.  When you are ready to buy or sell a single-family home or condo in Cape Coral, Fort Myer, Bonita Springs or Estero, contact me. With almost 20 years of experience, I can help provide the market information and insights into individual communities to help you find the perfect home.  Most importantly, I will handle all the negotiations to make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible.
Contact Jon: (239) 770-6880 or Jon@southwestfldreamhomes.com

The information contained, and the opinions expressed, in this article are not intended to be construed as investment advice. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team or Keeping Matters Current does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of the information or opinions contained herein. Nothing herein should be construed as investment advice. You should always conduct your own research and due diligence and obtain professional advice before making any investment decision. Jonathan Blaze, MVP Realty or Southwest FL Dream Homes Team will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on the information or opinions contained herein.