Sunday, December 11, 2011

Florida Real Estate Steals Abound, Ibis Country Club is a Prime Example, Says Realtor Tali Wolder

Real estate in Florida continues to offer exceptional opportunities for great buys. Newer homes, completed at the peak of the market are showing the sharpest declines in price but offer the best value. Almost new homes are 50% of the original purchase price. Experts say, "Time to get off the fence and buy in Florida."

West Palm Beach, FL, December 09, 2011 --( While property prices appeared to have stabilized in most metro areas throughout the US, Florida is still showing price drops. This means exceptional value in short sales, foreclosures and the fate of sellers who paid too much and now just want to get out. In some areas, buyers are picking up luxury country club homes in prime locations for 50% of the original purchase price.

Tali Wolder, of Floridian International Realty, assists buyers purchasing in golf and other exclusive communities. She has one case that perfectly illustrates the current situation. Ibis Country Club is a world class golf community in West Palm Beach Florida. Many homes are newer, built in the past 5 - 8 years. She has an Ibis Country Club listing of a 4 bedroom plus den home with 3.5 bathrooms, decked out with very high end window treatments, most of the designer furniture is included and the home overlooks a private, deeded natural preserve.

The Sellers paid $740,000 in 2006 for this 3,000 sq. ft. Ibis home, brand new from the developer. Now, they are offering it for $419,000. It’s hard to beat for a virtual turnkey property. This deal and many similar ones are being snapped up by eager buyers of second homes and foreigners looking for their place in the sun. The seller is not short selling the home; he's taking a huge loss but wants to preserve his credit and understands that a sale will only be successful at current fair market value.

With a lot of inventory available, deals like this one will be around for a while. Astute buyers shouldn't hesitate too long as the best homes are being snapped up by smart investors who realize that this housing problem has brought about a surge in renters and therefore a shortage of quality rental units.

Florida now equals value in the real estate market. Buyers who have been sitting on the fence would do well to get off now and jump right in. If you don't know the Florida Market well, your best bet is to call a knowledgeable Realtor like Tali Wolder, she will give you a complete overview of the areas and communities and help you decide where to start. Perhaps the desirable Ibis Country Club?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Fla.'s Housing Market Bouncing Back

/PRNewswire/ -- Despite national and global headwinds, Florida's real estate market is entering 2012 on an upward trend, according to three leading U.S. economists.
"Our state is in a mini-recovery," said Florida Realtors® Chief Economist Dr. John Tuccillo at the state association's 2012 Real Estate and Economic Forecast Conference in Orlando. "Sales are trending up, listing inventories are falling, the supply of lender-related properties has stabilized, and we are seeing multiple offers on homes in some local markets."
Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, N.C., says the U.S. economy will continue to face significant challenges, particularly financial concerns related to the European debt crisis. But he expects the U.S. economic recovery will continue next year, making it easier for Midwesterners, for example, to buy Florida homes.
"Florida's economy is recovering, with tourism and healthcare leading the way," Vitner said. "On a national level, we expect the U.S. will not fall into recession next year, although Europe faces serious problems."
Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®, said many Florida markets are showing sharp drops in inventories of homes for sale – a sign that demand is picking up and prices are stabilizing. "That's a major change from just a year ago," he said. "Buyers have stepped back into the Florida market."
Noting the state's powerful appeal to international buyers, Yun said he was particularly optimistic about the outlook for South Florida. "Don't be surprised to see a gain in home prices in the Miami and Naples markets in the next 18 months," he said. "From there, the recovery is likely to roll northward to Central Florida and then North Florida."
Tuccillo noted that foreclosed and distressed properties will remain a significant part of the Florida market in 2012, but lenders are feeding these properties into the market at a gradual pace rather than pushing them out all at once.
The event also featured a panel of Florida real estate professionals, who discussed the 2012 outlook for several sectors of the state's real estate market from a practitioner's point of view. Panelists were Clark Toole, president and COO, Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Inc. in Florida, discussing residential real estate; Cynthia Shelton, 2009 president of Florida Realtors and a director at Colliers International in Orlando, discussing the commercial market; and Dean Saunders, accredited land consultant and broker-owner of Coldwell Banker Commercial Saunders Real Estate in Lakeland, covering the market for land and undeveloped property.
Florida Realtors real estate and economic summit was webcast to 32 local association or satellite sites around Florida. "Turnout was high for our statewide event," said 2011 Florida Realtors President Patricia Fitzgerald, manager/broker-associate with Illustrated Properties in Hobe Sound and Mariner Sands Country Club in Stuart. "We hope to hold more of these forums on a regular basis – sharing knowledge of market trends is a powerful way for our Realtor members to connect with buyers and sellers."
Florida Realtors®, formerly known as the Florida Association of Realtors®, serves as the voice for real estate in Florida. It provides programs, services, continuing education, research and legislative representation to its 115,000 members in 64 boards/associations. Florida Realtors® Media Center website is available at
SOURCE Florida Realtors

Out&About in the Cape!: Fests, breasts and bands offer something for everyone

The weekend was abuzz with plenty to do. Festivals and fundraisers rocked the city from North to South Cape.

As about 25,000 of you know, The Holiday Festival of Lights was another soaring success this weekend, complete with Santa, snow and the annual lighting of the tree. The Christmas spirit of giving continued through the evening and into Sunday, as well.

After the Festival of Lights, we headed over to Diamond’s Billiards, not just for a night cap, but to support Bridget Rewis. Those of you who have followed the story on know that Bridget has battled breast cancer. Saturday nights Fundraiser at Diamond’s was a creative way for her to raise money for her reconstruction surgery. Owner, James Oswalt and his fiancĂ©e, Mary, were more than happy to help, selling pink cups, offering drink specials and raffles. Representatives for Budweiser, Mike and Brian, were also more the willing to jump in and support the cause. Some of the prizes included weekend getaways, gift certificates, NFL tickets and merchandise. I am still waiting to hear the grand total for the evening. Bridget’s surgery is scheduled for December 12th. She will be rockin’ her new ta-tas by Christmas!

Diamond’s Billiards is always ready to step up to support great causes and find creative ways to give back to our community. Another local watering hole that is notorious for their generosity and community outreach is Leapin’ Lizard. In the past, they have held fundraisers for Veterans, but this Sunday night was all about Dale Brown. Dale, who is well known for his band BlackWater Fla., is said to be “The best country singer in the area. Easily.” That statement was made by Dale's good friend, and fellow vocalist, Robb Brooks of Robb N The Cradle, who helped organize the Pig Roast, Auction and multi band concert. Bands included Hung Jury, Soapy Tuna, Back Lash and Torched, who donated their equipment for all the bands to use. Jacki, lead vocalist of Torched, worked hard throughout the evening tweaking lights and sounds for all other bands. At 10:30, when it was their turn to take the stage, he made it clear that he was happy to do anything to support Dale and his family’s effort to raise money.

The event itself was a lot of fun, the bands were wonderful. I missed the food, however, I am sure it was mouth watering and satisfied the crowd. Attendees, like Sam Huber and James Saunders, were thrilled with their auction hauls and Robb Brooks, along with all the others, showed a great deal of support for Dale, who clearly must be an remarkable guy.

That being said, it would be an absolute injustice to him if I didn’t tell his story.
Dale had a mole on his back for as long as he could remember. Earlier this year it started to change and in his words “get real nasty”. His wife, Kristy, pushed him to go to the doctor. The first one wouldn’t touch it. He sent Dale to a dermatologist, who also wouldn’t touch it. His next stop was to the surgeon. In September, they diagnosed him with Melanoma cancer. Dale then lifted up his shirt to show me the 12 inch scar down his back and then under his arm. They ended up taking what he describes as the “size of a tuna can, only three inches deep” out of his back and removed his lymph nodes.

Dale’s message through the evening, with everything that he is now fighting, is awareness. If a photo of his scar or getting his message out saves one person from this virtually unpublicized form of aggressive cancer, he can feel good about that. Dales told me an astonishing number. One person, every hour, dies from Melanoma. In the time it takes me to resize my photos from the weekend, one person is gone. By the time I finish writing, another. Astonishing.

circle have been affected by Cancer it sickens me. It also strengthens my commitment to use whatever vehicle I can to raise awareness. On February 17th, the resort at Marina Village will host Mardi Bras and Boxers. The krewe is working hard to make this event Cape Coral’s premiere fundraiser for our Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. You can found out more information about Mardi Bras and Boxers on their facebook page.

The photo galleries saw a lot of action this weekend. Take a few minutes to check out the beautiful pictures of The Holiday Festival of Lights and this week’s “Out&About” photo gallery featuring Bridget and Dale’s events.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Jaimie Ross: Use Florida housing dollars for housing

Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature have the ability to create nearly 9,000 jobs and $900 million in economic impact in Fiscal Year 2012-13, by appropriating the state and local housing trust fund money for housing, rather than sweeping those funds dedicated to housing into general revenue.
The faster Florida’s housing market recovers the faster Florida’s economy recovers. Using housing trust fund dollars to move the foreclosed housing stock and rehabilitate abandoned homes would put workers who are now unemployed or underemployed back to work repairing and refurbishing existing housing stock. Investing in Florida’s existing real estate market will stabilize property values for the entire community; support the businesses that supply construction related materials, and all of Florida’s businesses that rely upon consumers having money to buy goods.

Florida is highly dependent on sales taxes for revenue. When housing funds are used for housing, sales revenues increase. This means that when housing trust fund dollars are used for housing, it reduces the state budget deficit. State and local housing trust fund money can also be used for down payment and closing cost assistance to help potential homeowners access fixed rate mortgages at historically low interest rates. SHIP programs provide homebuyer counseling and ensure that homeowners are using only long-term fixed rate mortgages. The SHIP program has a proven track record of providing homeownership only to those families who are financially ready, willing, and able to benefit from homeownership. The SHIP program has withstood the test of time and compliance monitoring. It can boast flexibility and accountability.

On behalf of the 24 statewide organizations that comprise the Sadowski Coalition, from business and industry groups to low income advocates, I urge Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature to put Florida’s housing dollars into Florida’s housing programs to create jobs, stabilize the real estate market, and help reduce state budget deficits.

Jaimie Ross is facilitator of the Sadowski Coalition, a collection of 24 nonpartisan statewide organizations, ranging from business and industry groups such as AIF and the Florida Chamber of Commerce to special needs and low income advocates such as Florida AARP, Florida United Way, the Florida Housing Coalition and the Florida Coalition for the Homeless, as well as faith-based organizations such as Habitat for Humanity of Florida and Florida Catholic Conference, demonstrating a uniquely diverse breadth of support across the State of Florida.

Housing Market In South Florida Ripe For The Picking

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