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Things to Strive to Accomplish Soon After Your Move

August 19th, 2016 · No Comments

refinancing

If you were lucky enough to move into a new home recently then you need to know a few things that you should strive to accomplish soon after your move.    These things will get you set in the right direction for being comfortable in your new home for years to come.  A few of these ideas are listed below. 

  • Be sure to take pictures of each room in your new home just before moving in. Sometimes the inspection takes place and then the previous owners come back to get a few last items of theirs moved out. You never know, especially if the previous owners were forced to move due to a short sale, what they may have done to the house.  Take pictures before you move your furniture inside.  This way if any damage has occurred you will have full documentation of it and may be able to get things fixed more easily.
  • If you hire a moving company to move your belongings from one house to the other you will want to check all of your belongings to make sure there was no damage done to anything during the move. You should have liability coverage in your moving contract and if that is the case if any damage occurs and you document the damage you should be able to get reimbursed for that.
  • One of the most important things to accomplish as soon as you move into a new home is to change the locks. You have no way of knowing how many folks have a key to your home from the previous owners and you surely don’t want to worry about someone being able to get inside of your home without your knowledge.  Get this task done right away.
  • If you want to make the home have a nice new feel, painting is a great way to do that. Painting an empty house is much easier than having to move the furniture around later.
  • If you are a registered voter and you have recently moved into a new home that is in a different county, you will want to change your voter registration right away. It’s not a good feeling to be turned away at the polls because your address is incorrect.

These are just a few ideas of things you should strive to accomplish soon after moving into a new home. Hopefully they will be of some help to you and yours.

Courtesy of Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · Home Ownershio · home ownership · Real Estate

Alachua County and Gainesville FL Foreclosure Trends – April 2013

June 2nd, 2013 · No Comments

In April, the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in Alachua County, FL was 36% lower than the previous month and 68% higher than the same time last year, according to RealtyTrac.com.

Alachua County & Gainesville FL Foreclosure Activity and 30 Year Interest Rate

The number of new foreclosure filings compared to the 30-year interest rate.

rate-april 2013

Alachua County foreclosure activity is based on the total number of properties that receive foreclosure filings – default notice, foreclosure auction notice or bank repossession – each month. Interest rate is based on the average 30-year fixed rate from Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Alachua County & Gainesville FL Foreclosure Geographical Comparison

The number of Alachua County foreclosures were 0.13% above national statistics and 0.14% below state figures in April.

geo-april 2013

Alachua County & Gainesville FL Foreclosure Activity by Month

The number of  Bank-owned properties decreased 48.3% from March and 206.7% from April 2012. The number of Auctions dropped 24.1% from March and increased 172.7 from April 2012, while Pre-foreclosure activity dropped 34.0% from March and 1.6% from April 2012.

trend-april 2013

Are you or someone you know behind on your mortgage payments and facing a Gainesville FL foreclosure? You do have options. A short sale may be the answer to saving you, your family and your home. I am a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE). Give me a call for a private consultation.

Search all Gainesville FL real estate and Gainesville FL homes for sale.

Linda Luetjen assists buyers looking for Gainesville FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Gainesville FL homes for sale.

She understands the purchase of any Gainesville FL home represents not only one of the largest and most significant investment a person can make, but also a decision that affects the entire life of a family. It should be handled with all the care and attention such a significant transaction deserves. You may rest assured that Linda never forgets this. Her reputation depends on your satisfaction.

For more information about buying or selling your Gainesville FL home, please call Linda toll free at 888-424-8841 or via email with our convenient contact form.

Tags: Market Trends · North Central Florida Real Estate · Real Estate

Buying a Gainesville FL Home? Attend Open Houses!

April 5th, 2013 · No Comments

Whether you are simply toying with the idea of purchasing a Gainesville FL home or are a serious buyer, attending open houses can be a very beneficial experience for you.  With each house you visit, you gain knowledge about what you really want/need and gather valuable information about features, pricing, and hidden assets or defects.

There are only so many home photos and descriptions that you can view online. Eventually, you’ll want to go out to see some properties in person. Open houses are an enjoyable way to check out a variety of homes while getting an up-close look at neighborhoods. Check out real estate booklets, the newspaper, and this website to find times and places of Gainesville FL homes.

When you go to an open house, pick up the property-information sheet and take notes on what you like and dislike. After seeing several homes, those notes will help you remember specific property details. And don’t be afraid to take pictures, but ask the hosting real estate agent first if it’s okay.  One tip for note taking is to create a “must have” list you can check off for each Gainesville FL home you tour.  You might also consider bringing along a tape measure to make sure your furniture will fit and to verify measurements provided by the seller.

Other hints for being successful in open house visits include:

  • Be observant and focused:  Don’t be swayed by expert staging or the aroma a freshly baked cookies.  Prepare a list of items to check out, such as cabinets, carpet, storage space, yard requirements, etc.  Click here for an extensive list of such items and questions you need to ask yourself.
  • Tour the home by yourself:  One time around with the hosting realtor is fine, but you are entitled to a walk-through alone.
  • Be alert for warning signs:  Are scented candles masking pet odors?  Are drawn curtains hiding a less-than-lovely view?  Is a small throw rug covering up worn carpet?  Is the roaring fire providing heat in an otherwise cold room?  Visit FrontDoor.com to read about common traps potential homebuyers should avoid at an open house.
  • Search the web for helpful articles before you go:  Typing in “benefits of attending an open house” will yield some interesting and important reading to help you capitalize on your home tours. About.com is a good place to begin.

Search all Gainesville FL real estate and Gainesville FL homes for sale.

Linda Luetjen assists buyers looking for Gainesville FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Gainesville FL homes for sale.

She understands the purchase of any Gainesville FL home represents not only one of the largest and most significant investment a person can make, but also a decision that affects the entire life of a family. It should be handled with all the care and attention such a significant transaction deserves. You may rest assured that Linda never forgets this. Her reputation depends on your satisfaction.

For more information about buying or selling your Gainesville FL home, please call Linda toll free at 888-424-8841 or via email with our convenient contact form.

Tags: Buyer Info · North Central Florida Real Estate · Real Estate

Gainesville FL Foreclosures and Children

February 1st, 2013 · No Comments

While much has been written about the impact of foreclosures on the Gainesville FL real estate market and the economy, little has been said about the personal effect of home loss on families, especially displaced children who are so often the invisible victims of the foreclosure crisis. Mortgage records do not tell how many children are in owner-occupied homes, and it is even harder to estimate the number of children in rental properties. Yet foreclosure affects not just the homeowner or landlord, but also the children living in the foreclosed properties.

According to a recently-released report by the Brookings Institute,an estimated 2.3 million children in single-family homes have already lost their homes to foreclosure, and even more – 3.0 million children – are at serious risk of losing their homes in the future. Another three million or so children have been evicted, or may face eviction, from rental properties that undergo foreclosure, suggesting that more than 8 million children are directly affected by the ongoing foreclosures of both Gainesville FL and nation-wide real estate.

In general, the negative effects of foreclosure include increased family stress and tension, financial hardship, moving homes, a sense of insecurity, changing schools, and a decrease in available community resources.  While the impact of the first four areas is obvious, the changing of schools is more than simply an inconvenience.  Research has shown that children who are forced to switch schools have lower levels of math and reading achievement than their more stable peers. Each move is associated with a reduction in math and reading scores by about one-tenth of a standard deviation, which is equivalent to about one month of school. Some studies have even suggested that children who change schools under negative circumstances are more likely to drop out and/or experience problems in social relationships.

The reasons for a possible drop in available community resources are twofold: the first is that often children move to a lower economic community with limited financial backing, and the second is that localities hard hit by foreclosure have reduced funding available for schools and other social services for children. It follows, then, that medical care (both physical and mental) for children is another area which is often adversely affected by foreclosure.

So, while the foreclosure crisis has indeed had a dire impact on the real estate market and the economy, we must be aware that the children involved in this process lose more than just a home.

Search all Gainesville FL real estate and Gainesville FL homes for sale.

Linda Luetjen assists buyers looking for Gainesville FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Gainesville FL homes for sale.

She understands the purchase of any Gainesville FL home represents not only one of the largest and most significant investment a person can make, but also a decision that affects the entire life of a family. It should be handled with all the care and attention such a significant transaction deserves. You may rest assured that Linda never forgets this. Her reputation depends on your satisfaction.

For more information about buying or selling your Gainesville FL home, please call Linda toll free at 888-424-8841 or via email with our convenient contact form.

Tags: North Central Florida Real Estate · Real Estate

Gainesville FL Real Estate Market Trends – Dec 2012

December 21st, 2012 · No Comments

With the gift-giving season in full swing, some parents are considering a sizable and meaningful present for their children and/or grandchildren – real estate   This is the sign of a solid trend, with a growing number of parents are currently helping their children purchase homes, whether they’re buying these homes for their sons and daughters outright, helping them pay for closing costs, or coming up with the money for their down payments.

While such a gift is certainly in keeping with the spirit of the season, those who are giving or those relying on monetary donations from their parents or family members to buy  real estate should follow some fairly simple underwriting and IRS rules.

  • You can gift a total of $13,000 a person without being taxed on that money.
  • The person giving the gift must file a form 709 (gift tax return) for any gifts over $13,000 per year per recipient.
  • Buyers applying for a conventional mortgage loan must use their own funds for at least 5 percent of their down payment.
  • When buyers are providing a down payment of at least 20 percent of their home’s purchase price, they can rely on gift funds for the entire down payment.
  • Mortgage lenders will need to see documentation showing the origin of gifted funds.
  • A gift of real property is accomplished through a deed. A warranty or grant deed is normally used, but in some cases a quitclaim deed may be appropriate. You will identify the property being transferred and sign, notarize, and register the deed as clear evidence that the property has been given to your children.

As with all major financial decisions, you would be wise to consult your accountant and/or tax attorney before gifting monetary assistance for the purchase of real estate or the property itself.

Take a look at sales figures in our local real estate market for November.

The Gainesville FL area single family home sales saw pending sales increase by 60.3% when compared with November 2011 numbers.  Sold listings increased by 23.9% when compared to November 2011, and new listings increased by 7.3%.  The average sales price decreases by 7.9% to $170,254, and market times decreased by 24 days or 15.4%.

Gainesville Area
Single Family
New
Listings
Pending
Sales
Sold
Listings
Avgerage
Sales Price
Days on
Market
November 2012 263 226 166 $170,254 132
November 2011 245 141 134 $184,899 156

The Gainesville FL area Condo home sales saw pending sales increase by 107.4% when compared to November 2011 numbers.  Sold listings decreased by 10% and new listings decreased by 29.3% compared to November 2011.  The average sales price increased by .3% to $78,281, and market times decreased by 31 days or 19.0%.

Gainesville Area
Condo
New
Listings
Pending
Sales
Sold
Listings
Avgerage
Sales Price
Days on
Market
November 2012 53 56 27 $78,281 132
November 2011 75 33 30 $78,057 163

 

For the latest Gainesville FL real estate market conditions in your area, please call me at 888-424-8841 or visit MyGatorCondo.com.

Tags: Market Trends · North Central Florida Real Estate · Real Estate

Heads-up for Owners of Underwater Gainesville FL Real Estate

December 16th, 2012 · No Comments

The race is on to finalize short sales and seal the deal on mortgage reductions as the December 31st expiration of a massive tax break for struggling owners of Gainesville FL real estate looms.

Since 2007, homeowners whose banks have forgiven unpaid mortgage debt after a short sale, principal reduction, or foreclosure have not been required to count that money as income on their tax returns. But the end of the federal Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act will mean that borrowers, who have been spared tens of thousands of dollars depending on the amount forgiven and their tax bracket, may be faced with very large IRS bills after losing their home. Bottom line: unless lawmakers extend the Act, the IRS in January will treat any unpaid mortgage debt as taxable income for many borrowers.

The exemption, which can be as much as $2 million per household, covers owners of Gainesville FL real estate who negotiate a principal reduction on their existing mortgage, sell their house short (i.e., for less than the outstanding loans), or participate in a foreclosure process.  While an extension of the tax exemption would appear to be a common-sense means to help stabilize the housing market, the current political turmoil around the fiscal-cliff negotiations means common sense may not win out.

Although a bipartisan vote in the Senate Finance Committee approved the extension in August (Family and Business Tax Cut Certainty Act of 2012), opponents decry its cost — an estimated $2.7 billion over the next two years — and describe it as a reward for bad behavior, in effect implying that it lets the owners of Gainesville FL real estate off easy for buying more house than they could afford.  Proponents of the extension include 42 state and territorial attorneys general who petitioned Congress to that effect in November.

Even if Congress cannot extend the mortgage relief exemption before the end of this year, many observers note that a deal in 2013 could still be possible and could apply retroactively. However, the heightened uncertainty would deter some underwater homeowners from selling their homes before the issue is resolved, thus negatively affecting the housing market recovery.

Search all Gainesville FL real estate and Gainesville FL homes for sale.

Linda Luetjen assists buyers looking for Gainesville FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Gainesville FL homes for sale.

She understands the purchase of any Gainesville FL home represents not only one of the largest and most significant investment a person can make, but also a decision that affects the entire life of a family. It should be handled with all the care and attention such a significant transaction deserves. You may rest assured that Linda never forgets this. Her reputation depends on your satisfaction.

For more information about buying or selling your Gainesville FL home, please call Linda toll free at 888-424-8841 or via email with our convenient contact form.

Tags: Money matters · North Central Florida Real Estate · Real Estate · Seller Info

Alachua County & Gainesville FL Foreclosure Trends – October 2012

December 7th, 2012 · No Comments

There were 1,794 Alachua County and Gainesville FL foreclosure homes in October, 2012 according to RealtyTrac.com. The average foreclosure sales price was $106,145 compared to an average sales price of $152,474. 1 in every 599 housing units received a foreclosure filing in October.

Alachua County & Gainesville FL Foreclosure Activity and 30 Year Interest Rate

Gainesville interest rates averaged 3.38% in October while the number of foreclosed homes dropped from 229 in September to 150 in October.

 

Alachua County foreclosure activity is based on the total number of properties that receive foreclosure filings – default notice, foreclosure auction notice or bank repossession – each month. Interest rate is based on the average 30-year fixed rate from Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Alachua County & Gainesville FL Foreclosure Geographical Comparison

The number of Gainesville FL foreclosures were 0.03% above national statistics, 0.15% below state figures, and 0.03% below Alachua County figures in October.

 

Alachua County & Gainesville FL Foreclosure Activity by Month

The number of  Bank-owned properties increased from 20 in Sept to 45 in October. The number of Auctions climbed from 34 to 89, while Pre-foreclosure activity dropped from 175 to 16. There is a 6 month rising trend.

 

Are you or someone you know behind on your mortgage payments and facing a Gainesville FL foreclosure? You do have options. A short sale may be the answer to saving you, your family and your home. I am a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE). Give me a call for a private consultation.

Search all Gainesville FL real estate and Gainesville FL homes for sale.

Linda Luetjen assists buyers looking for Gainesville FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Gainesville FL homes for sale.

She understands the purchase of any Gainesville FL home represents not only one of the largest and most significant investment a person can make, but also a decision that affects the entire life of a family. It should be handled with all the care and attention such a significant transaction deserves. You may rest assured that Linda never forgets this. Her reputation depends on your satisfaction.

For more information about buying or selling your Gainesville FL home, please call Linda toll free at 888-424-8841 or via email with our convenient contact form.

Tags: Market Trends · North Central Florida Real Estate · Real Estate