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Real Estate Trends in Pinellas County

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

If you are looking for a bargain in real estate, and think that chasing after foreclosures is the answer, take a look at these numbers and then consider if this is your best strategy.

In April 2014, there were 720 active foreclosure listings in Pinellas County.  The previous month there were 764.  In April, 299 foreclosures were sold, in March 323 sold.  The arithmetic says that if there are 720 available foreclosure, 299 sold, then the absorption rate is 41.5%.  The absorption rate means that there is only a 2.4 months inventory of foreclosed property.  The competition for foreclosed property is pretty aggressive.

According to statistics from the Pinellas Realtor Organization, foreclosures are selling at 97% of the list price and are going under contract in an average of 71 days.

So you might think that shifting to short sales is a better strategy.  In April, there were 438 short sales listed and in March there were 448.  In April 113 short sales sold, in March 83 sold.  The absorption rate for short sales is 438 active listings with 113 sales, thus a 25.8% absorption rate.  This works out to an inventory of 3.9 months for short sales in our market.  And, short sales are selling for 98% of the list price.

So far, I'm not sure I am seeing the proverbial "deal" in these distressed properties.

Let's take a quick look at non-distressed, or "traditional" sales.  In April, there were 5,798 properties for sale, March has 5,904.  In April, 1,367 sold vs. March when 1225 sold.  Now we have an absorption rate of 5798 active listings and 1367 sold for an absorption rate of 23.6%.  Meaning that there is a 4.2 months inventory of homes for sale in Pinellas County, and they are selling at an average of 95% of list price.

Of the three groups of property, short sales are going for 98% of list price, foreclosures for 97% of list price, and traditional (non-distressed)properties are selling for 95% of list price.

Part of your strategy should be to consider the cost of repairs, especially for a foreclosure property -   things like a new roof, plumbing repairs, possible mold remediation, etc.  The short sales have somewhat different issues, most notably the length of time from contract to closing, with the uncertainty of the final purchase price.  This uncertainty is caused by increasing real estate prices, which makes the bank often ask for thousands of dollars more after the house has been under contract for months at a lower than "market" value.  The buyer then has to determine if the short sale is worth the additional and unexpected cost, or should he simply move on.

Finally, with a traditional transaction, the price is agreed to, the loan is made and the deal can close in 30-45 days with often no significant repairs.  

So, in the current market for Pinellas County real estate, which transaction presents the best value for the time and money invested in a property?  You tell me.

Stimulus Money to Close Foreclosures in Pinellas and Pasco Counties

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

The Sixth Circuit Court is using federal stimulus money to hire case managers to work on the 33,000 foreclosure caseload in Pinellas and Pasco counties, which make up the Sixth Circuit Court.  Chief Judge J. THomas McGrady said the goal of hiring the case managers is to resolve at least 24,000 backlogged foreclosure cases in 2010.

The need for case managers is so the court can reduce its caseload and ease the burden on other litigation before the courts, since everyone is  entitled to his/her day in court.

The goal for these foreclosure cases is to schedule 100 summary judgment cases per day at each of the four Sixth Circuit courthouses.  Since the court convenes twice weekly, this could result in 800 cases a week coming to resolution.  Stimulus money is paying for the case managers and additional judges, such as retired judges certified by the Florida Supreme Courtto act for sitting judges when needed.

The sooner the backlog of foreclosures is cleared, the sooner the real estate recovery can begin. 

For more information on foreclosures or short sales, click here.

July Foreclosures in Florida

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Florida has the "distinction" of being the number 2 state in the nation for foreclosures.  California is first, with 92,318 and Florida is second, with 54,940, according to RealtyTrac.  Florida's foreclosure activity rate is 1 in 171 houses are in some stage of foreclosure.

Breaking this down a little further, to Pinellas County, where Palm Harbor, Clearwater and Dunedin are, there are 1610 houses in foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac.

If you want to go deeper yet, look at Palm Harbor.  For the three zip codes in Palm Harbor, 34683 has 64 houses in foreclosure, for a rate of 1 in 234:  34684 has 61 houses in foreclosure for a rate of 1 in 234:  and 34685 has 14 houses in foreclosure, for a rate of 1 in 550.

The relatively good news, for Pinellas County foreclosures is that the county is not nearly the worst in Florida.  For instance, Miami-Dade County has 7107 homes in foreclosure, for a rate of 1 in 137:  Broward County has 6471 homes in foreclosure for a rate of 1 in 124:  and Lee County has 3958 homes in foreclosure for a rate of 1 in 92.

To learn more about distressed property and how to possibly avoid foreclosure, click here for free reports on foreclosure and short sales.

 

Foreclosure is Avoidable with HAFA

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

The latest government initiative to combat the millions of foreclosures across the country is called the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, or HAFA.

HAFA is the program put in place to benefit homeowners who do not qualify for HAMP, or Home Affordable Mortgage Program.  HAFA was released in April of 2010 and is designed to expedite the foreclosure avoidance options for homeowners in need. HAFA, using the short sale process, can potentially save millions of homeowners the financial devastation of a foreclosure.  Since the statistics tell us that 1 in 7 homes are in default, right in your neighborhood there are people who need help with avoiding foreclosure.  A short sale process is simply selling a property for less than the mortgage amount due in order to avoid foreclosure.

Here is how someone can qualify for the HAFA Program.

They must:

1. Be delinquent on the mortgage or face imminent risk of default

2. Occupy the property as the primary residence

3. Have a mortgage that  originated on or before January 1, 2009

4. Have an unpaid principle balance no greater than $729,750 for a one unit property; AND

5. Have total monthly mortgage payments exceeding 31 percent of the gross income.

The HAFA short sale process is the primary solution to avoid foreclosure, salvage one’s credit score and move on with dignity through the process.  The following link shows lenders currently participating in HAFA: 

http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/contact_servicer.html

If you know anyone who is in need of expert guidance to navigate the short sale process, be sure they contact someone who is an expert, such as a Certified Distressed Property Expert, or CDPE.

 

HAMP or HAFA and Your Mortgage

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

At last, the federal government is taking real action to provide homeowners assistance with their mortgages.  A new initiative, Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program, or HAFA, is now in effect to help homeowners.  The details are complicated, and you, the homeowner, need to clearly understand these new solutions to gain the most benefit.  This is a critical issue, especially for the Tampa Bay real estate market since this market has been so hard hit by the economic downturn.  As a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Sun Bay Associates is in a position to explain the nuances and benefits of the HAFA process.

In March 2009, the Home Affordable Modification Program or HAMP, was introduced to provide homeowners assistance if their mortgage payments exceeded guidelines for income levels (above 31% of income).  Most homeowners, however, are facing such financial hardship that the HAMP can't provide them deep enough discounts on the mortgage and either don't qualify or in the end will default on the modified mortgage anyway.

Enter the HAFA program.  This is specifically designed for homeowners who don't qualify for HAMP aid.  HAFA is supposed to speed up the foreclosure avaoidance options for those homeowners who need this help.  HAFA can help same millions of homeowners from the financial disaster of foreclosure by getting either a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure accomplished relatively quickly.  A short sale is when the home is sold for less than the outstanding mortgage amount and a deed in lieu is when the property is completely turned over to the lender because the homeowner cannot continue making payments.  Then the bank will sell the house to salvage as much of the loan balance as possible.

A critical item in qualifying for the HAFA program is that the loans are NOT owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and applies only to the first lien mortgage.  HAFA does offer incentives to lenders for those homeowners who have second, third or more mortgages on their homes.  Also, HAFA prevents lending participants from pursuing deficiency judgments against the homeowner after the short sale or deed in lieu has been completed.  If you are in the Tampa Bay area and need to avail yourself of the HAFA program, or are seeking financial help with your mortgage and don't know where to turn, contact us.  We will send you a report that clearly outlines the HAFA process.

With the detailed training and ongoing education as CDPE, we will be able to explain your options.  We can walk you through the various programs available to assist you, whether it is to keep your home by loan modification or going through the short sale or even deed in lieu process as quickly as possible so life can return to normal without the financial stress of a crushing mortgage payment.

Avoid Foreclosure in Palm Harbor, FL

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Imagine that you live in Palm Harbor, FL, are behind on your mortgage, and facing foreclosure.  This is not an unusual scenario for people in Palm Harbor, FL, or almost anywhere else in Florida either.  On TV and the radio, you hear ads from attorneys telling people to extend the time they can live in their homes by not paying their mortgages and eventually declaring bankruptcy to avoid foreclosure.  In some cases this may actually benefit the homeowner, but not in most cases.  After foreclosure, the homeowner is, in almost all cases, still responsible for the TOTAL mortgage balance.  And if the homeowner goes to a lawyer, there is the up front fee that must be paid to that attorney.

A real alternative is to try the short sale route.  This is simply selling the home at market value.  When an offer comes in, the homeowner asks the bank to forgive the difference between the amount owed and the amount the house sells for.  In many cases, the bank will even forgive asking for a deficiency judgment.  If the short sale is successfully concluded and the deficiency judgment is negotiated away, the homeowner can then move on with his/her life without the cloud of a massive debt hanging over them. 

If you know someone who lives in Palm Harbor, FL and is upside down in their home, or someone in your community in that situation, give the short sale approach some thought.  It is far better than declaring bankruptcy or going through foreclosure.  Click here for additional information.

 

Florida Beats Out California-in Foreclosures

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Florida has moved into second place, behind only Nevada, and edging out California.  Unfortunately, it is NOT for something good.

Florida edged out California for the second place in the national foreclosure rate, lagging behind only Nevada in the percentage of home mortgages in default. Florida’s November figure was 7.6 percent higher than November 2008 and 2.0 percent higher than October 2009.  One out of every 165 homes was in some stage of foreclosure proceedings, according to a national report released by RealtyTrac.  Nationally, 306,627 homes, one out of every 447 homes, were in foreclosure, up 18.4 percent from November 2008. But the national rate represented the fourth straight month of national declines. James Saccacio, RealtyTrac chief executive, credited the drop to loan modification efforts and an extension of the federal first-time homebuyer program.  But long-term stability may be more elusive as the industry recovers from its worst slump in decades.  “A full recovery will only come when unemployment recedes to normal, healthy levels and when availability of credit reaches a more rational balance between the extremes of the past few years,” Saccacio said in a statement.  With 52,935 Florida properties receiving foreclosure statements, reversing a two-month trend of fewer defaults than the previous month.  Two Florida cities were among the top 10 metro areas in the nation. Cape Coral/Fort Myers held the 4th spot with one out of every 96 homes in foreclosures while Orlando/Kissimmee ranked 8th with one in every 120 homes in default.

Foreclosure impacts everyone!!

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

The topic of foreclosure is not an embarrassing secret to be whispered about any longer, nor is the topic of a short sale.  Falling behind on mortgage payments happens to people from every economic level, from celebrity status, such as Nicholas Cage, who lost two homes in New Orleans to foreclosure, to the man in the street who for whatever reason falls behind on payments.  Nicholas Cage's two homes were appraised at $6.8 million and sold for $5.6 million.

Whether it is loss of a job, death in the family, or mismanaged funds, foreclosure can be a fact of life to everyone.  One way to avoid a foreclosure, that can be financially devastating for most people, is to go through a short sale.  This can allow the homeowner to get out from under the debt of a home that has a mortgage that is more than the home is worth and the bank may forgive the balance due.  To learn more about short sales, click on this link.

Remember, foreclosure is not the end of the world and can be avoided as long as the homeowner seeks and receives credible counseling.  Whether you are a celebrity or not and are behind on your mortgage payments, a short sale is one option to avoid foreclosure.

Real Estate Market Stabilized? Or not.

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Some people are saying the real estate market has stabilized.  Maybe or maybe not.  Foreclosures are still going up.  In fact, according to RealtyTrac.com, foreclosure filings - default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions - were reported on 937,840 properties in the third quarter, a 5 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 23% increase from the same quarter in 2008!

In September alone there were more than 340,000 foreclosure filings, an increase of 29 percent from September 2008.  James Saccacio, CEO of RealtyTrac, stated that "Bank repossessions, or REOs, jumped 21 percent from the second quarter to the third quarter, corresponding to jumps in defaults and scheduled auctions in the previous two quarters."

The bad news for Florida homeowners is that Florida is still in the top five states for foreclosures.  California, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois and Michigan accounted for 62% of the entire nation's foreclosure activity in the third quarter.  Florida posted more than 156,000 property foreclosure filings in the third quarter, a jump of 23% from the same quarter in 2008.

Maybe the real estate market is stabilizing in parts of the country, but not all states are created equal.  However, Floridians may consider themselves lucky, because in Detroit, the average home price is around $8,000.  That is not a typo, it is $8,000.  Sales are rebounding, and prices are still declining.  You decide if this is a stabilized reall estate market.

Distressed Property HELP!!

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

The current market is in such disarray and so may people are in trouble, we decided to post this on the Sun Bay blog.  In today's real estate market, about 1 in 10 people are in some stage of foreclosure, whether it is a late payment, or 2 or 3, or the bank has served papers on them as a precursor to actual foreclosure and auction of their homes.  Or they know someone who is.  According to the St. Petersburg Times, 51% of the homes in the Tampa Bay area have mortgages that are greater than the current value of the home, today, in 2009.  In September, lenders filed 4,586 new foreclosure lawsuits against Tampa Bay homeowners and the banks auctioned or repossessed another 2,100 homes.  This is a familiar story month after month in the Tampa Bay area and many other parts of the country as well.

Because of this, I have earned the credential of Certified Distressed Property Expert and have the knowledge and expertise to help many people who are having these issues.  If you know anyone who is behind on their mortgage, or anticipates being behind, have them go to my website, www.sunbaystopsforeclosure.com, that specializes in educating people about distressed property with up-to-date and accurate information.  There is no cost or obligation to them to check it out.  And if they do decide they need help, there will be no fees.  We will consult with them to help them find the best possible resolution for their distressed property, from a loan modification to short sale and several other avenues to help avoid going to foreclosure.

I want to help, and in many cases I can help. 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 19

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Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - Sun Bay Realty Group
at Keller Williams Realty
30522 US Hwy 19N, Suite 107 S
Palm Harbor FL 34684
Doug's Cell 727-741-4189
Gwen's Cell 727-741-7260
Fax: 888-447-7908