Foreign Home Buyers Continue to Identify U.S. as Profitable Investment, Realtors® Report

Foreign Home Buyers Continue to Identify U.S. as Profitable Investment, Realtors® Report


According to the National Association of Realtors® 2013 Profile of International Home Buying Activity, interest in U.S. properties continues to grow, signaling that America continues to be regarded by international buyers as a great place to own property. International sales have declined a bit in the past year, but are at their second highest level in recent years. Difficult economic conditions, particularly in Europe, have impacted foreign buyers abroad and here at home tightened credit standards and low housing inventories have made finding a house more difficult. However none of these factors appear to be permanent. Total international sales were $68.2 billion, with 51% of foreign buyers with permanent residences outside the U.S. and 49% who are recent immigrants or temporary visa holders.

Five states made up 61 percent of reported purchases; Florida (23 percent), California (17 percent), Arizona (9 percent), Texas (9 percent) and New York (3 percent). About half of foreign buyers preferred to purchase in a suburban area, while a quarter preferred a more central city/urban area. A majority purchased a detached single-family home and 63 percent used all-cash. Based on the reported international transactions, the mean and median prices of purchases were higher when compared to purchase prices of domestic buyers. For the 12 months ending March 2013 the median international home price was $275,862 and for domestic buyers it was $179,867. The types of homes purchased by international buyers frequently tended to be different from the types of homes purchased by domestic U.S. buyers. “Some are looking for trophy properties while others are interested in modest vacation homes,” said  NAR President Gary Thomas. International buyers are more likely to be substantially wealthier and looking for a property in a specialized niche. International buyers also tend to cluster in locations based on their origin and many other factors including proximity to home country, relatives and friends, jobs, education and climate.


“Realtors® provide international buyers with a significant advantage when purchasing property in the U.S.. Realtors® who have earned NAR’s Certified International Property Specialist designation have received specialized training and are well prepared to service the international market,” said Thomas.Source:, News-releases, 2013, Foreign Buyers Leanne High


“What is right is more important than who is right.”

– John Wooden


FHA’s Back-to-Work Program Helps Foreclosed Owners Get Second Chance

upside down house

FHA’s Back-to-Work Program Helps Foreclosed Owners Get Second Chance


Foreclosed owners in Ocala/Marion County can get a second chance at homeownership sooner rather than later. The Federal Housing Administration recently announced the shortening of the waiting period for qualified borrowers who had a bankruptcy, foreclosure,  deed in lieu of foreclosure, or short sale who are in the market to buy again. To qualify under the FHA’s Back-to-Work Program homeowners must show that they have their finances back in order and they must receive counseling from a HUD-approved agency. The counselors provides borrowers with household budgets and customized action plans showing them how to manage money and financial obligations to prevent future failures.The details of the program claim if the buyer meet the criteria they can apply to buy a property in as little as a year.

“The Back to Work program is a great opportunity for us to help those impacted by the recent housing crisis,” Heather Shanahan, a representative with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency      called Springboard, told HousingWire. “Our goal in our counseling sessions is to enable the borrower to better understand their loan options and the obligations.” I think what gets lost in many of these programs is the fact that many, if not most, did not make the decision to make bad financial decisions. There were many factors that played a role in the recent economic downturn and unfortunately many Americans paid the financial price. FHA, Fannie Mae and many other lending institutions created the mess by offering loans that were not safe for themselves or the public they were offering them too.

I have said before and i will say again, “Low down loans did not lead to the housing boom and eventual bust!” It was the exotic 1-2-3 A-R-M loans, No Income Verification and on and on. It was so easy to get a home, anyone could and most did! With the added demand the prices skyrocketed over a few short years. Then the A-R-M loans started coming due and the values were not there and the job market slowed or died all together. It was simply a bad combination for many Americans and I hope more programs will come along to help folks become homeowners again soon.

Want to learn more about one of these programs? Contact Me Today 352-572-1739

New HUD Rule / More Eligible for Mortgages? Maybe Not!

New HUD Rule / More Eligible for Mortgages? Maybe Not!


WASHINGTON – Sept. 16, 2013 – Federal housing authorities want to make it easier for people who lost their homes due to bankruptcy or foreclosure as a result of the economic downturn five years ago to qualify for a new mortgage – sooner rather than later. The Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD) last month changed its rule requiring a 3 year waiting period for people who have lost their home due to foreclosure or bankruptcy, opening the door for them to buy another home in only one year as long as they have fixed whatever financial problem caused them to lose the previous home.


This is an effort to help boost the housing industry, which is a major part of jump-starting the economy.” “Three years can be a long time for a family to wait for a loan, and putting money into a rental instead of an investment can result in a loss,” said Don Frommeyer, president of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers in Plano, Texas. At a time when interest rates are ticking up and new mortgage applications are on the decline, the rule change could make more people eligible for mortgage loans, even if their credit was ruined during the Great Recession. But the Achilles’ heel of the rule change is that banks and other mortgage lenders are not required to abide by it.


What does this all mean for you? Well probably not much because banks are still very reluctant to stray far away from their current standards. Most lenders currently have more stringent requirements than HUD does anyway. Banks are now a little too overly cautious and scrutinize every details of a consumers credit and history. All because they, banks, were more worried with the value of collateral rather than the creditworthiness of the borrower. Contact your local REALTOR today for assistance in finding a great lender to help with a mortgage or refinance today.


To buy, or not to buy pre-1990 home

Did you know that more than 70% of the U.S. single-family homes were built before 1990 – but only 60 percent of the 2013 sales year-to-date were for homes built before 1990. Of course all things are “local” when talking real estate and the likelihood  of purchasing an older home varies by state with 14 states having sales up 80% year-to-date 2013 for pre-1990 homes. According to RealtyTrac homes built in 1990 or later sold at an average price of $256,292 year-to-date in 2013 while homes built before 19190 sold at an average price of $233,221.

“The high percentage of homes that are at least 20 years old and likely in need of some major repairs is eye-opening,” says Jake Adger, chief economist at RealtyTrac. “However, given the low inventory of homes available for sale in today’s market, this challenge of aging U.S. housing supply can also be an opportunity for buyers looking for a bargain and homeowners looking to update their living space and improve the value of their homes.”The lower price point on older homes is not surprising given many are in need of some rehab and are more likely to have maintenance issues,” Adger says. “But this also presents an opportunity for buyers willing to take on that older inventory. Those buyers can purchase at lower price points and face less competition from institutional investors.”

SO what is the solution? Maybe it’s the government-backed rehab financing loan known as the FHA203(k) program. These loans allows owner-occupant buyers to finance the purchase, rehab, and upgrade of an older home, while allowing for all of the rehab cost to be rolled into the loan. This program is underused in my opinion because there is a lack of experienced lenders with experience in 203k program, the difficulty of meeting all of the requirements, and the additional upfront and closing cost involved in completing the purchase.

The perception that a new homes have less issues compared to pre-1990 homes is not always true either. Of course every home is built with codes and permits in place to ensure minimum or basic standards that every  home is safe, sound and secure. The reality is many of the older homes can be a great value and remodeled to meet current customers wants and needs.




⅓ of All U.S. Foreclosures in Florida

⅓ of All U.S. Foreclosures in Florida


167,680 vacant(abandoned) homes make up about 20% of all U.S. properties that are somewhere in the foreclosure process and sit ready for new owners but the banks do not own the homes yet. Florida also leads all states with the most owners abandoning their home before the lender officially take it back. Out of the 544,274 bank-owned homes nationwide, at least 55,503 Florida homes still sit empty and will remain so until they have been officially foreclosed and sold to a third party.


Florida also accounted for the most vacant foreclosure by zip code- 85 of the top 100 nationally, led by zip code 34668 in the Tampa/St. Petersburg metro area. Indiana, Oregon, Nevada, Washington, and Georgia are states where the percentage of owner vacated foreclosures was above the national average of 20%. Vacancy rates were higher on lower-end foreclosures: 29 percent on homes valued below $50,000 and 25 percent on homes valued between $50,000 and $100,000. However, 12 percent of homes valued $1 million or more were vacant.


“Efforts to prevent unnecessary foreclosures and mitigate their impact on home values have resulted in a foreclosure process that takes an average of 477 days nationwide, and more than two years in some states – which is holding many of these must-sell properties off the market,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.“Even if all these homes flooded the market simultaneously, they would likely not cause the once-feared double dip in prices given supply constraints from non-distressed sellers and stronger demand,” he adds. “Given these market dynamics, it’s not surprising to see that Florida, Illinois and New Jersey – states with three of the four longest foreclosure timelines – have all had laws take effect in the last six months that speed up the foreclosure process on vacant properties. These laws should help provide some extra supply and possibly help reduce the threat of another housing price bubble forming in these markets.”


“Make Greatness Attainable By All” John Wooden

Perrywell Branch Mini Tree Farm 3 & 5 Acre Tracts

If you are looking for a private secluded piece of acreage, look no further! Planted in in pine trees and located on dirt roads with great wildlife including Florida black bears, whitetail deer, wild turkey and variety of  birds. Located 30 miles to Ocala and short drive to Fort McCoy with grocery, hardware, pharmacy, Cougar park and Fort McCoy School grades K-8. 15 minutes to Ocala National Forest with off road trails, horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and just about any outdoor activity you can think of.

Dont Miss This Opportunity / 3 Acres – Only $15,000

 View Facing South










5 Acres – Only $25,000


P1000400 P1000403

3 Tips For Landing a Mortgage

What is happening with todays current mortgages and how did we get there?

I can tell you one of my most challenging obstacles is financing. The banks/ lenders went from the “fog the mirror” loans to overly strict lending requirements. What is a “fog the mirror loan? Back in the good old days if you could breath and fog a mirror the bank would just ask how much you earned(which you did not have to verify, by the way) and the lender would qualify the loan based on no income verification or documentation. Simply qualify for the 0% first year months payments and it was yours. Now we have good people, with good jobs, money saved and finding it difficult to get a mortgage. I have even had buyers with enough cash to pay for a property outright to be told by the bank they could make the loan. If you are an entreprenur or private business owner good luck getting a decent mortgage.

What can you do to get a mortgage today?

Hope, Pray, Beg….. No not really but be prepared and shop around.

1.) High Credit Scores Count- surprise the lowest interest rates go to the ones with the highest credit scores of 760 or higher. Make sure you don’t open lines of credit or loans for at least 3 months prior to shopping for a loan. Also, try to pay off loan balances — “One large balance — even if it’s paid off at the end of the month — can ding your score by 20 points or more,” according to the article at Money Magazine.

2.) Gather plenty of quotes. Shop around, it can pay off big! Gather at least 6 quotes from lenders on rates because they can vary between lenders. Request quotes from local, regional and even online vendors like or MOST IMPORTANTLY! Ask about the closing cost, they can vary from 2-3% of the loan amount.

3.) Lock in the Rate. When you chose the lender make sure to lock in the rate. During this period the lender agrees to not raise the rate within a certain time period. Make sure you check with your REALTOR and lender to verify how long the loan will take to close so you know how long to set the lock in rate for.

Lastly, ask for referrals to local professionals that can help. Ask ME! I have several preferred mortgage folks with different banks to serve your needs.

“Until Next Time”

Source: “For Your Customers:…” REALTOR Mag May 2, 2012

Google New Patent Ad

“Advertising Based on Environmental Conditions”

This is the goal of the newest Google patent that will use data gathered by smartphone sensors to target ads at users, PC World reports. Temperature can be gathered from the smartphone, web browser or search engine located  at the user’s site and obtain information on the environment including temp., humidity, light, sound and air composition.

Why would they care?

Example would be winter season comes and triggers ads for Local Heater & Repair companies and vice versa for warm climate or rainy climate. The patent will also allow Google to analyze background noise. Say you are at a concert and make a phone call, Google could be able to determine your taste and push ads for albums, tickets or musical equipment to the phone.

What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?

Well you don’t have to do anything now, because it is only a patent filed by Google. Google also assures us they will notify users if and when they implement the technology to protect your privacy by opting in or out. If you use Google products now you should always check your user setting to make sure you are not sharing information, you do not wish to share.

Happy Smartphone Surfing or Appling, Whichever You Prefer!

“Until Next Time”

Buy a Home, Get A Date! Or maybe even more….

Did you ever think your home could be an aphrodisiac?

This is a funny story reported by CNNMoney was conducted with 1,000 single people with more than a third of women and 18% of men saying they would much rather date a homeowner rather than a renter. Only 2% of women and 3% of men preferred to date someone who rents compared to owners of their home.

62% Prefer to Date Singles Who Live Alone w/ No Roomate

What about boomerang kids(these are your adults who went off to college, graduated and then would up back in their old bedrooms.) It’s going to hard to find love, well maybe not from your parents, but less than 5% of all singles surveyed said they would date someone  living with their parents. “Thats a real deal breaker,” said Michael Corbett, of Trulia, “if your still living with your folks, your’re dead-on-arrival for dating.”

What does this ALL mean for you?

First, If you are single, Call, Text, Email or visit the  to search for your next home. In today’s market, many times, it less expensive to own a home than to rent.

Second, a few benefits of homeownership; same monthly payment for life of loan(no more increased rent/lease), IRS mortgage interest deductions on your taxes, customize the home to your likings, not your landlords, and more likely to land a second date or possibly even more.

Third, call, text, or email me to find out about USDA(0% Down), FHA (3.5% Down), or if your a veteran apply for your VA(0% Down) benefits. We can help find you a loan to fit your needs and many times for less than first, last, and security. Don’t Wait the market is gaining steam and there are many choices between $50-$100k.

“Until Next Time”


By Les Christie @CNNMoney February 14, 2012: 5:30 AM ET

Why Are Foreclosures Dropping?

Is Foreclosure Crisis Finally Fading?

According to research by CoreLogic foreclosures decreased by 8.4% or 130,000 in 2011. Mark Fleming, chief economist with CoreLogic, says “This is the first time in a year that REO sales (those bank-owned properties) have outpaced completed foreclosures.” There were 103 sales of bank owned homes for every 100 homes in foreclosure inventory in December 2011. Compared to November 2010 when there were 94 REO sales for every 100 in the foreclosure process.

Banks are also doing more loan modifications to prevent the foreclosure process. Banks are also encouraging the use of short sales to try and help reduce the number of foreclosure. Another reason could be banks are stricter with credit conditions and choosier about approving loan applicants, reserving approvals for mostly low-risk borrowers with low chance of default and foreclosure.

Does This Mean the End to High Foreclosure Rates?

In my opinion only time will tell. If you drive around any neighborhood in Ocala, Marion County there are still many many vacant homes unkept and due to hit the market in the future. The banks are taking their time in processing these foreclosures and we should see a steady dose of them to come for any years. There are simply to many homes vacant to say we are even close to seeing a huge drop in foreclosures.

However! Any Drop in Foreclosure Numbers is a GOOD Thing for Owners, Sellers and Neighborhoods.

The negative effects from foreclosures is far reaching and I believe the banks will soon realize it is better to work with existing struggling homeowners to refinance and reduce the principal amount owed, to qualifying homeowners, rather than short sale or foreclose. How does it make sense to remove homeowners, who are willing to stay and pay their mortgage. ONLY, to sell the property for less money to a new buyer. Can we not figure out a better way, for folks who can qualify and afford the home now at a much reduced value. Common sense is gone in today’s business world. I’M just Sayin!

“Until Next time”



Source: “Homes in Foreclosure Decline by 130,000,” CNNMoney (Feb. 8, 2012)

© Copyright 2012 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688