Orlando Real Estate Blog
March 26, 2018
Selling a home is an exciting一and stressful一process. If you are trying to sell your Orlando home in today’s market, most homeowners will start by getting a home appraisal.
Fortunately, going online is a great place to start for those seeking counsel concerning their real estate. Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in Central Florida, a wealth of information is available to you via these home appraisal websites.
Not only are these resources helpful in a pinch, they’ll track your home’s value so you can stay up to date on the market fluctuations in and around the Orlando area.
No proper list could start without mention of Zillow, arguably the titan of real estate estimation services. The reason that Zillow works so well is its easy-to-use layout coupled with an expansive amount of cultivated information. After receiving your Zestimate (the free estimate from Zillow’s website), take a moment to browse properties in the Central Florida area. You can compare your property value to those in the surrounding neighborhood or pick out your new dream house with their clean and simple interface.
Users of Zillow will be pleasantly surprised when they stop by Trulia, as the layout is very similar to the above site with a couple of added perks. Like Zillow, you can enter your address into Trulia, but instead of a Zestimate, the site will offer an average listing price for similar homes in your area.
This service also offers a tab that details market trends, crime reports, and available schools. It’s a great resource for already homeowners or those looking to purchase a home sometime soon.
Redfin stands out amongst the other estimating services because of its use of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to calculate a home’s current market value, which gives a more accurate estimate. The site is straightforward and easy to use, plus they have agents on-hand to assist anyone who would like to buy or sell a home through their website. Though you’re probably better off with a group that specializes in Central Florida properties, Redfin certainly offers a service that’s beneficial to anyone who’s curious about the value of their home.
The name of this site may indicate that it is intended for realtors, but actually the opposite is true: Realtor.com is a great resource for evaluating your home, receiving an estimate, and discovering local schools. Just enter in your address and you’ll find a ton of information on your Orlando home. There’s also a feature that shows you the median listing price of the neighborhood, which can be a huge help when predicting the price that your home could sell for.
5) Chase Mortgage Services
Our team was very surprised to learn that Chase Bank has its own home valuation service. Though it may not sport the bells and whistles of other popular estimate sites, Chase Mortgage Services offers a price range that they feel your home falls into, as well as information on neighboring homes. This site is free, easy to use, and best of all, requires no personal information to get started. It’s just another useful resource to have on-hand when you’re looking to get an estimate on your Florida home. There have been claims of slow updates to the database, so keep in mind that anything listed on Chase’s site should be taken with a grain of salt.
Real estate firm RE/MAX has also entered the home valuation game with a service offered from its website. This is likely a tactic to influence you to use their agents when you sell your home, but the valuation tool is easy to use and free. Additionally, it’s another option that does not require any personal information or email to get started and provides details on schools in the area, interesting graphics and realistic mapping.
Propertyshark is a limited resource, and you do need to create an account to access their full report, but from just a preliminary search you are able to see the specs, property taxes, and assessment history of your Central Florida home.
Though HomeGain’s primary function is to serve as a home shopping tool, they do have a valuator that allows you to see what your home is worth and how the value has changed over the years. The downside to this site is that it requires you to enter in an email to view the results, which will undoubtedly lead to unwanted correspondence in the future.
This site began as a place for homeowners interested in selling their own home in a tricky market without the help (and commission costs) of a real estate agent. It has evolved over time into a worthwhile and straightforward resource that even offers its own Price Scouting tool.
It does require you to register with them to use this function, but once you’ve signed up, you’ll have access to an estimated market value of your Orlando home based on comparable properties in the area that have recently told, plus characteristics of the the local real estate.
Even if selling your home isn’t yet on your radar, it can be very helpful to watch the market and familiarize yourself with the value of your Florida property. And there’s never been a better time, as the above websites offer you the chance to keep up with the housing market in your area without paying anything out of pocket.
It’s important to remember that while this information is based off of reliable resources, estimates are just that一they do not reflect an exact value. To get a finite number, meet with a couple of our experienced real estate agents or investors. They’ll be able to decode the local market and get you an exact value for your Orlando home.
December 20, 2016
The rate of foreclosure is fairly high here in Central Florida, despite overall positive trends in our housing market this year.
If you’re a homeowner and worried you may become the newest foreclosure statistic, you’ve probably considered the option of a short sale. You’re likely facing a lot of big questions in the midst of this unfamiliar life situation. We’re here to provide some answers and hopefully a bit of clarity!
What is a Short Sale?
Most people are familiar with the concept, but do you know exactly how a short sale works?
A short sale occurs when a home’s current worth is less than the mortgage. The lender agrees to accept a price negotiated by the seller or real estate professional that is actually lower than what is owed in home payments. Most short sales include an agreement that releases the homeowner from the remaining balance after the sale has gone through.
How Do I Know If I Qualify?
This may sound great, but the next question to ask is whether you actually qualify for a short sale. This option is not available to everyone. There is a specific set of criteria that you need to meet in order to qualify for a short sale in Orlando.
To qualify, you must be able to prove:
Your home’s value is down
The home’s market value has dropped, and it is now worth less than the unpaid balance you owe your lender. This may include a prepayment penalty.
You have no assets
Your lender will likely want a copy of your tax returns or a financial statement. This doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically be denied if you do have some assets; you may still be granted the short sale. However, you may be required to pay back the shorted difference, or a percentage thereof.
Your assets include things like:
- Cash in a savings account
- Other real estate
- An IRA
You have (or are about to) default on your mortgage
In the past, lenders wouldn’t even consider a short sale if the homeowner’s payments were current. However, these days they realize that other factors can bring about a potential default and are a bit more eager to quell potential problems at the start. If you are interested in a short sale and not in default, it’s worth asking your lender if this is a viable option.
You’ve generally have fallen on hard times
If you decide to attempt a short sale, you must write a letter of hardship that explains why you cannot pay the difference due upon sale of your home. This includes the reason you’ve stopped making the monthly payments (or plan on stopping). Your letter of hardship must meet certain criteria in order to be considered legitimate.
Examples of hardships are:
- Medical emergency
- Sudden illness
The following are NOT acceptable examples of hardship:
- Poor spending decisions
- Buying a different home
- Moving into a rental home or apartment
- Not happy with your neighbors
As you can see, qualifying for a short sale isn’t easy. Not only must you meet the aforementioned criteria, but at the end of the day the decision will ultimately be in the hands of your lender.
What’s the Best Solution?
A short sale is a certainly a better option than letting your home go into foreclosure, but it’s far from the perfect solution. For one thing, you have to get lucky and actually find a buyer. That aspect of a short sale is out of your control, which is never a good feeling. It also involves a slew of complicated procedures with your lender, realtor, and buyer.
Selling your home for cash can help you bypass a lot of the hassle. You don’t need to worry about making repairs or trying to impress anyone. You can retain the privacy that most short sales and foreclosures lack. You can stay in charge of the situation instead of being at the mercy of others.
So do you qualify for a short sale? And do you even want to be part of a sale where you need to qualify anything? If selling your home for cash sounds like a better plan, don’t hesitate to give Cash Home Buyers Orlando a call today!
December 9, 2016
Can you believe that 2016 is already coming to an end? It’s been a crazy year for sure, but it’s also been a good one for the real estate market here in Orlando. A look at the housing market trends in Orlando over this last year show that it was certainly a seller’s market– thanks to favorable interest rates and rising median home prices.
That being said, it’s now time to look to the future. Will it still be a favorable environment for someone looking to sell their Orlando home? Should you really consider selling your home in 2017? Yes you should and here’s why!
Stong Demand from First-Time Buyers
If you take a quick look at Realtor.com’s latest Home Shopper Survey, something should immediately stand out to you. There data suggests that first-time buyers will account for more than 50% of the buying potential in the housing market next year. If you’ve been thinking about selling your first home, this should be a really intriguing statistic!
Favorable Median Sales Prices
The median sales price for homes in Orlando have been on the rise for more than 60 consecutive months! That is very impressive and a strong indicator of how healthy our housing market is. It has been a seller’s market, but eventually home prices will begin to level out.
Real estate indicators suggest that we’re in for another good year for Orlando’s housing market. If you have been waiting to sell, then next year could be the perfect opportunity to list your home for that “dream” listing price.
Low Interest Rates
Interest rates have been historically low over the last year, but will this continue in 2017? Most experts theorize that there will be a slight increase over the next year. This would have an impact on home affordability rates in Orlando.
Remember that mortgage rates are based on nationwide interest rates– they’ve been low over the last year. Increases may persuade more potential buyers off the fence sooner rather later.
If you are considering listing your home on the market, keep an eye on interest rates next year. An increase will likely generate an initial spike in the housing market as indecisive homebuyers seek to lock in a more affordable mortgage rate.
It’s Still a Seller’s Housing Market
If things remain stable into next year, then you’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of listing a home in a seller’s market. Since the housing inventory tends to be tight in these conditions, there are two key benefits for the seller:
- Sell Your Home More Quickly: In a seller’s market, you can bring in more bids by listing your home at or just below market value. Get them competing and you can get a good offer quickly!
- You’re in More Control: Additionally, getting multiple bids in a seller’s market means that you don’t have to accommodate inconvenient demands from potential buyers. Does a buyer want you to pay for a full-scale inspection or asking to purchase on credit? You now have the option to throw out lousy offers in favor of real quality prospects.
Next spring will certainly be a good time to sell your home. If you’ve been sitting on the fence, we hope this will give you the confidence to make the right decision.
That being said, you may have problems taking the traditional route to sell your home if you’re facing significant maintenance issues. Home renovations can be costly and some owners just want to try sell their home instead. Un
If this describes you, we can help. As cash home buyers, we’ll make a great offer for your home as-is! That means you don’t have to worry about any of the usual hassles involved in selling a home or hiring a realtor. You also don’t need to worry about paying for ANY home renovations.
If you’d like to sell your home for cash right away, all you need to do is fill out the form on the righthand side above! We’ll contact you to set up an inspection so we can get you the best offer.
November 18, 2016
Do you want to sell your home this Fall? Perhaps you’re wondering whether the time is right to become a homeowner! In either case, it’s not a bad idea to check out the housing market trends first. Fortunately, the outlook in Orlando looks pretty good as this year comes to an end.
How do we know this? There are several important factors we want you to take a look at.
Orlando’s Housing Data for October 2016
- Median Home Price: $205,000 (up 14% from 2015)
- Sales: 2,654 (Down 8%)
- Pending Sales: 4,719 (Down 11%)
- New Contracts: 2,271 (Down 12%)
- Interest Rate: 3.57% (Based on 30-year fixed rate mortgage)
That’s just a snapshot, but let’s delve a bit deeper into this data and what means for the housing market in Orlando.
The Median Price for a Home in Orlando
First of all, the median sales price for homes in Orlando was up 13.95% from $179,900 in October 2015 to $205,000 last month. If you’ve been keeping track, that’s now 63 consecutive months of increases! Additionally, the current median sales price is 77.49% higher than it was 5 years ago. This is a strong indicator how how Orlando’s housing market has improved.
Quick Breakdown of Orlando’s Housing Inventory
Another positive indicator for Orlando’s real estate market is the housing inventory. The number of homes that were available for purchase in October was 10,025– this is 12% less than a year ago.
- The inventory of normal homes decreased by 2%
- Foreclosed homes decreased by 67%
- Short sales decreased by 46%
Housing inventory is an important indicator of the sales taking place in Orlando. With a 3% decrease from September, the housing inventory has dropped to its lowest recorded point in two years.
What does this mean for home sales in Orlando? On average, homes are on the market for about 2 months before going under contract. Most sales are being completed at 97 to 100% of the asking price. When combined with increased home prices, it’s clear that we’re in the midst of a seller’s market here in Orlando.
If you’ve been considering selling your home, now is a good time to act!
Historically Low Interest Rates
Did you notice that interest rates are currently at 3.5%? This is historically low and has had a significant impact on our housing market. For potential buyers in Central Florida, this is an opportunity to purchase a home at a more affordable interest rate!
Just remember that the lower housing inventory will continue to drive up median sales prices.
Housing Market Outlook for 2017
So how do things look for next year? You’ll be pleased to know that housing market forecasts look positive for 2017. In fact, we expect to see an increase in first time homebuyers next year.
Realtor.com’s Home Shopper Survey states that first-time buyers will account for more than 50% of future buying potential in 2017.
While more first-time homebuyers could create issues with the affordability index in Orlando, some experts have a different outlook. Jessica Lautz, managing director for research at NAR, reported that a significant number of millennials have saved enough to bypass the typical starter home purchase. Lower interest rates certainly could support this prediction.
Speaking of interest rates, the prediction is that we could be seeing another year of low interest rates following this controversial presidential election. According to Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, uncertainty in the wake of Donald Trump’s win would not create an environment where we’d see a hike in interest rates.
As of right now, the Orlando housing market has a healthy outlook for 2017. It has been a seller’s market this year and we haven’t come across any news to make us believe that it’s going to change next year.