Weathering Storm Sandy and Real Estate in Florida.

It appears that Tropical Storm Sandy is heading north and has impacted us here in Coral Springs,FL. with some rain and gusty wind and all seems well for this weekend. I’m sure there will be some cleanup but we were well prepared and lucky at the same time. We all move forward doing what we need to do in a proactive manner.

There has been a storm here in the South Florida real estate market the last 4-5 years as well which has impacted all. There has been a clean up in real estate as well going on with opportunity for all. The impact varies for each but the recovery has begun and will continue as long as the desire is there. We all need shelter which is the foundation of our lives in Florida and nationally.

There are opportunities today in refinance, modification, credit repair, government backed incentives and loans, short sales, bankruptcy and foreclosures. The point being that lives move forward after a storm with opportunities for all. Just know what they are and what you want.


Are subdivision amenities worth the cost?

There are different lifestyles here in the Coral Springs-Parkland, FL. area of South Florida. There are those guard gated communities that may offer status, security and value. They may also include pools, tennis,clubhouse and events (which many don’t use). Some others are only card gated for security and some private communities offer pools, lawn and sprinkler maintenance only.

Then there are those with no HOA fees or small fees that cover the signage and common ground, which allow for the economy to save money each month and the freedom to maintain the property as they see fit. Often it is an affordability issue because whatever fees you pay can go toward the mortgage. Certainly, investors don’t think much of high HOA fees.

So the question becomes, do you use the amenities and how do you value the security, and being managed by the HOA verses the costs involved. Your choices might just be the result of what type of personality you have or what you can afford or feel comfortable with.


Some empty nesters-boomers prefer single family homes.

There are many empty nesters and baby boomers who prefer the single family home lifestyle here in South Florida.http://www.youngquisthomes.com/EmptyNesters.html  There are several reasons for this: they are: having room for visitors, a home office, privacy,affordability and having room for family to move in.

The amenities preferred are modern kitchens, newer baths and flooring, easy or low maintenance and comfort with the community lifestyle. This they feel is well deserved after many years of hard work and family responsiblity. It’s less about status and more about freedom to enjoy life.

Which do you prefer? The condo, townhouse, single family home,  and the type of community wanted are all choices that are available here in the Coral Springs-Parkland area of Florida. Does a community of all age groups fit your needs best? Or maybe not. Everyone has different needs.


New homes sales and construction surging.

New home sales and construction has come back here in South Florida and thru out our nation. http://www.builderonline.com/housing-starts/new-home-permits-and-starts-climb-to-highest-level-in-four-years.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=jump&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BBU_101812&day=2012-10-18

This is the result of decreasing inventories, rising home prices, and pent-up demand. For the buyer this means more inventory, more options and as a result our economy will grow. For every new home sold, it is said that 4 jobs are created in construction, retail sales for the home, service fields such as mortgage, insurance,security and provides much-needed revenue to our cities and state.

It is time to move forward and this is a major step in what is going to be a bright future.


City living vs suburb living.

I just got back to Coral Springs from a trip to Washington DC. There were some obvious differences both in lifestyle and weather. The autumn weather there was cool at night and pleasant during the day, a good contrast to the heat still evident here in Florida.

The lifestyle contrasts however struck the me the most. The higher density and diversity of people, colleges and young people, cabs, metro and buses, cultural and community activities,people walking, and the history and age of the community showed me a difference. The suburbs especially here in Florida are more about driving to activities, more space for people, newer but with less history or culture.

It all depends on what your lifestyle preferences are and at what stage of life you are in. The bigger cities here in South Florida are FT. Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach which I like to visit but I prefer the suburbs of Coral Springs,Parkland and Coconut Creek to live in. What is your choice?


In Florida foreclosures are increasing.

It is apparent that Florida a Judicial Foreclosure state has resolved legal issues with lenders and attorneys and that increasing numbers will be coming on the market. http://www.builderonline.com/housing-data/foreclosures-up-in-august-as-legal-issues-resolve.aspx?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BBU_091712&utm_content=full 

However we will not be seeing this back logged shadow inventory depressing the hot real estate market because of a couple of factors. One is that there is incredible  pent-up demand by buyers and investors. Second, there are major incentives for short sales and modifications. Third, banks are asking and getting top dollar and some are fixing up the properties to do so.

So if you need to buy now hook up with a real estate professional who is up to date on the market. This is how dreams and goals come true.


Most home buyers search online 1st but….

Over 85% of home buyers start their search online here in South Florida. They are impressed by photos, price ranges, neighborhoods and availability. What shows up as active is often not the case which leads to confusion and disappointment. The major home search engines are allowing this to happen in the name of advertising oneself.

What some Realtors are doing is putting listings under contract in backup instead of pending which shows up as active on these home sites. The purpose is to keep their name out there and self promotion. We all get many calls from buyers about properties that are no longer available. If a deal falls through and doesn’t close, then it is put back on the market.

Computers and smart phones are wonderful tools in our search but why add to the confusion. It’s supposed to be real-time but in fact is not accurate. You need a realtor who finds you properties as they become available to succeed in this hot market.

Paul Zwanger has lived, built and sold homes in Coral Springs, FL for 25 years

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