Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

Economy Stabilizing as Banks Deteriorate

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

According to the Wall Street Journal, despite the possible stabilizing of the economy, more banks are endangered.  The banking industry has a gloomy outlook, at least for the short term as federal regulators have added 111 lenders to the list of endangered banks, despite signs that the economy is stabilizing.

FDIC now reports that at the end of June 2009 there are 416 banks on its problem list, which is about 5% of the nation's banks.  This is up from 117 at the end of June 2008.  These problem banks have just under $300 billion of assets.

Being on FDIC's problem bank list means that the bank is at a high risk of insolvency, said the Wall Street Journal.  So far this year, state and federal regulators have closed 81 banks.  Gerard Cassidy, an analysit with RBC Capital Markets said that he believes "there are hundreds of failures to come."

On a more positive note, housing units sold in the past month have stabilized or increased and the prices appear to be stabilizing as well.  So, despite the continuing troubles with the banking industry, the US economy is showing signs that it has or is about to be stabilizing.

FHA Puts HVCC on Hold

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

With the problems that the HVCC has caused in the real estate industry, such as unqualified appraisers killing deals because of complete unfamiliarity with local markets, or simply because of an overall lack of appraisal experience, FHA Commissioner David Stevens recently stated that FHA has no plans to implement HVCC for FHA loans.

This action may help avoid some of the issues caused by out-of-market appraisers killing deals from not knowing the local markets or recognizing the values of specific areas or neighborhoods.

Realtors, mortgage brokers and the home-buying public should take this as very good news.  For an interesting take on this, click here

The bottom line, and it appears to be very good news for now, is that the FHA will not implement the HVCC for FHA loans, at least for the immediate future.

Indian Trails, Palm Harbor

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

If you are looking for a wonderful neighborhood, close to the Gulf of Mexico for excellent boating and fishing, not to mention the outstanding beaches, then look no farther than Indian Trails, Palm Harbor.  This is a deed restricted community off Alderman Road in Palm Harbor.

Well established live oaks line the streets, providing shade for those evening walks to give your dog some exercise or to just visit with your neighbors.

C'mon, live near the Gulf of Mexico for great fishing.

Old Palm Harbor, Florida

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Palm Harbor, Florida offers a whole lot of great reasons to live there.  Of course there is US 19 with all the shopping and restaurants lining both the east and west sides of US 19.  Then there is the Old Palm Harbor, with no major highway running through it or the traffic that goes with it.  There is County Road 1 and Alt. 19 with the best parts of Old Palm Harbor lining the side streets between CR 1 and Alt. 19. 

Florida Avenue offers a great selection of restaurants and coffee shops all in the same one block area.  There is the Thirsty Marlin and Peggy O'Neil's Irish Pub and Eatery just across the street from each other.  Both offer great food, plenty of variety in the adult beverages, and camaraderie.  And they have dining outdoors. 

Right beside the Thirsty Marlin is a wonderful coffee shop with absolutely wonderful coffee blend, Baby's Coffee that is available at the Old Town Cafe in Palm Harbor, and the only other places Baby's Coffee can be had is Key West and Miami.  Plus Old Town Cafe serves wine or beer and great smoothies.  They also have Cuban sandwiches, panini, burritos, bagels and much more.  Check out the Old Town Cafe.

Locals love the Old Palm Harbor areas, shops and restaurants.  It is readily accessible from the Pinellas bike trail too.  If you are looking for a place to call home, find a little bit of real estate heaven and settle in Old Palm Harbor.

Existing Home Sales Lead Market Surge

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Friday morning stocks surged as the Dow Jones average went up 139 points to 9489 and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.4% to climb above 2000, reported the Wall Street Journal.

After the National Association of Realtors reported a better than expected jump of 7.2% in existing home sales for July, the stock markets began the Friday morning surge.  The 7.2% increase in home resales was the biggest monthly increase in at least 10 years as first time home buyers rushed to take advantage of the first time home buyer credit that expires at the end of November.

Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, stated "economic activity appears to be leveling out in the United States and abroad."  He added that prospects for the near-term growth "appear good" but the recovery is likely to be relatively slow with unemployment only gradually declining from its current high levels, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Short Sale Myths

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

There are a number of short sale myths floating around.  Today I'll "de-myth" a couple and explain why.  The following summary information is courtesy of the Distressed Property Institute.

Myth:  Banks want to foreclose instead of taking a short sale.  NOT true.  Banks are in the lending business, not property management and much prefer to get the property off their books.  If a person is qualified for a short sale, banks must consider the short sale.  Banks come out ahead with a short sale because they lose far less, almost always, than going through the entire foreclosure process.

To qualify for a short sale a person must 1. exhibit financial hardship; 2. have a demonstrated monthly income shortfall; and 3. insolvency, that is you do not have sufficient liquid assets to pay down your mortgage.

Myth:  You must be behind on your monthly mortgage payments to negotiate a short sale.  NOT true.  In the past, before short sales became so common, this may have been the case, however no longer.  Lenders are now looking for a verifiable hardship, montly cash flow shortfall or pending shortfall and insolvency.

Myth:  There is not enough time to negotiate a short sale before foreclosure on my property.  Again, not true.  Although a short sale is a lengthy process, it is just that, a process.  There is time, unless a seller has waited until the last second when the home is being auctioned on the courthouse steps.  Many lenders will delay foreclosure proceedings with a phone call from an owner explaining an honest attempt to sell, and if there is a legitimate contract, this almost always forestalls the foreclosure.

Next time, we'll address a few more myths about short sales.  Remember the parts to qualifying for a short sale:  1. financial hardship; 2. monthly income shortfall; 3. insolvency.

For more details, contact your local Certified Distressed Property Expert.

Certified Distressed Property Expert

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates



Doug Campbell of Keller Williams Realty, Palm Harbor, has earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation, having completed extensive training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales. This is invaluable expertise to offer at a time when the area is ravaged by “distressed” homes in the foreclosure process.


Short sales allow the cash-strapped seller to repay the mortgage at the price that the home sells for, even though it is lower than what is owed on the property. With plummeting property values, this can save many people from foreclosure and even bankruptcy. More and more lenders are willing to consider short sales because they are much less costly than foreclosures.


In the Tampa Bay area, nearly half of all homes for sale are in danger of foreclosing. It is happening in all price ranges. Local experts say that even high-priced homes are not immune.


“This CDPE designation has been invaluable as I work with sellers and lenders on complicated short sales,” said Campbell. “It is so rewarding to be able to help sellers save their homes from foreclosure.”


Alex Charfen, founder of the Distressed Property Institute in Boca Raton, Fla., said that Realtors® such as Doug Campbell with the CDPE designation have valuable training in short sales that can offer the homeowner much better alternatives to foreclosure, which virtually destroys the credit rating. These experts also may better understand market conditions and can help sellers through the emotional experience, he said.


The Distressed Property Institute opened in January 2008 and provides training on-site and online. The CDPE is the premier designation for Realtors helping homeowners in distress and handling short sales.


“Our goal is to educate as many people as possible so we can help as many homeowners as possible,” Charfen said.

For more information, contact Doug directly at 727-741-4189 or by email at [email protected].

Pricing Strategy for the Real Estate Market

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

In today's real estate market pricing is everything.  As the market in Tampa Bay continues to decline, or even stabilize, there is no room for mistakes in pricing your home to sell.  Even if a home is priced just a few thousand dollars above the current market, as the prices continue to decline the market is not going to catch up to the overpriced home, or even see it.  When the seller finally realizes that his home is priced too high and reduces the price to close to, but usually just above the market, he is chasing the market and will continue not to be seen.

The best strategy in a declining market is to price the home just a bit lower than the current market.  This will allow the market to "see" your home and is far more likely to bring showings and most importantly, offers.  If you price your home just below the market it won't take long for the market to fall to that price range, and better yet, savvy buyers will find it right away.  This strategy can often lead to offers and a sale in 30-45 days while the overpriced houses sit on the market, being pretty much ignored, for months.

Price it right and it will sell, especially in a declining market.  Price it too high and buyers will not even look.  This will result in your ever so slightly overpriced house sitting on the market, getting shopworn.  Then buyers will ask, "What's wrong with that house?" instead of going to look at it and buy it.

When the market is increasing, being slightly overpriced will eventually lead to people finding your home as prices rise.  It is sort of like trying to catch a train, if you get there early, you can catch the train when it gets in.  However, if you overprice your home you are getting to the station ten minutes after the train has pulled out and you simply have missed the train, or the opportunity to sell your home.

Has the Real Estate Market Stabilized?

by Doug & Gwen Campbell at Sun Bay Associates

Has the Florida real estate market stabilized?  Has even the Tampa Bay real estate market stabilized?  The answer is maybe, but probably not.  Nationally the media is saying the recession has bottomed out and we are beginning a recovery.  That is very good news.  The not so good news is that Florida and the Tampa Bay area were hit so hard, especially by the housing slump, that it may take longer for the real estate market in the area to bottom out and thus begin a recovery.

The Florida economic recovery may be longer because layoffs are continuing.  There are 15% more families receiving welfare assistance in Florida than were a year ago, according to the St. Petersburg Times.  Florida's unemployment rate is over 11% compared to the national average of 9.5%.  With all this bad news, there is good news since the number of houses sold in June was up for the first time in many, many months.

As the national recession abates, the Florida recovery will follow, eventually.  Stabilized house prices are a very good sign that the Tampa Bay real estate market may be improving as reported by the Florida Association of Realtors, but one month does not a trend make.  Many experts are predicting that even in Florida the real estate market will stabilize by the end of the year.  We certainly hope so.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9




Contact Information

Photo of Gwen and  Doug Campbell - The Campbell Team Real Estate
Gwen and Doug Campbell - The Campbell Team
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