Wednesday, April 23, 2008

WILL THE FHA OWN PART OF YOUR/YOUR NEIGHBOR’S HOME?

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has a proposal (H.R. 5830) introduced in the House of Representatives suggesting that the FHA refinance mortgages and be part owners with profit sharing. The bill proposes a declining percentage fee on profits to discourage short-term speculators, and the program would not apply to 2nd home owners, equal to 100% of all profits in year one, 80% in year 2, and so on for the first 5 years. Then there would be an “exit” fee equal to 3% of the sale price. This means lenders would accept losses and would later receive a portion of future profits from the home seller. To the besieged homeowner/seller, getting 97% of a profit after 5+ years is a big relief from total equity loss from a foreclosure.

HOME SALES UP LOCALLY

Buyers still are choosing to buy permanent and 2nd homes in southeast Florida to stretch out on our beautiful sandy beaches, go fishing and boating on the waters, take the kids to the local parks, enjoy watching and participating in local sports, dine indoors or out in wonderful restaurants, and pick up both high end and bargain items when shopping in luxury stores, local shoppes or bargain outlets and flea markets. More and more predictions are being printed now that a turnaround is already starting to happen in the housing market. One source now says that buyers waiting for the market bottom could miss out on amazing opportunities now. Some sources point to low interest rates and to banks lowering prices of foreclosed homes to cut back inventory. Some comment that the high inventory of condos has brought investors back.

If you are considering a purchase and want listings or other information, don’t hesitate to contact blog manager and Realtor, Marilyn Jacobs, at marilynfjacobs@gmail.com. For recent sale prices, comparing amenities and restrictions and condo complex descriptions, see http://www.FLWaterfrontCondos.com.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

HAVE YOU ENJOYED THE MIZNER PARK ART WALK?

Stroll along a monthly al fresco art experience on Plaza Real. Next walk will be Wednesday, April 30 from 6-9 pm. Enjoy wine tasting, browsing the shops, and dinner inside or out at one of Mizner Park’s fine restaurants. The art show is done in cooperation with The Artists’ Guild of the Boca Raton Museum of Art, drawing visitors to Mizner Park for an evening of viewing art, music, and the latest show at the Guild’s Mizner Park Images Exhibition Center. For more info go to www.miznerpark.com or call 561-393-9115.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

FLORIDA #1 DESTINATION FOR INTERNATIONAL HOME BUYERS

A mid-2007 National Association of Realtors survey found that Florida was the leader in foreign home buying at 26% of all international purchases. California was next at 16%, Texas third at 10%. This includes purchase of mid-priced primary residences, luxury vacation homes, investments to rent out, and commercial properties. Being a convenient point of entry to the US from Europe and South American along with warm weather and recreational and cultural offerings were cited as reason for a preference for Florida properties. With the dollar weakness against the euro and British pound, foreign buyers have more purchasing power compared to home prices in other countries, e.g. the UK, Span and Ireland. Florida has 31 major airports and 14 deepwater seaports. According to the US census bureau, Florida gets more than 4-MM Visitors from 100+ countries in a year. In a 2005 FAR survey, 15% of total home sales in Florida were by international buyers. One-third of foreign buyers were from Latin America.

Monday, April 14, 2008

MILD HOUSING RECOVERY ON THE WAY BEFORE 2008 YEAR-END???

YES says a report from SMR Research Corp, who specialize in mortgage and home equity loan industry research. Being the first to report in 2004 that “a perfect storm” in credit quality would cause a blast in foreclosures within 2 years, they say, “Our prior forecasts were accurate but widely disbelieved when issued.” They expect skeptical reactions now too, but say “the numbers are what they are… homes are now affordable again… consumer psychology is the biggest remaining hurdle to recovery.”

Sunday, April 13, 2008

MILLION SQ FT TRI-RAIL STATION DEVELOPMENT TO BECOME A GO?

Within the next 60 days The South Florida Regional Transportation Authority, operator of Tri-Rail trains, has invited all interested parties to a workshop to decide whether to move ahead with a large development near the station in Boca Raton on Yamato Road near the I-95 entrance or scale it back. Officials are invited from the City of Boca Raton, FAU, T-Rex Park adjacent to the station. City leaders feel the proposed project is about 15 times too big for the site. Zoning allows no more than 50,000 sq ft of office space and 15,000 sq ft of retail space. Yamato Road Joint Ventures LLC wants to create a transit “village” with a 150- room hotel, almost 200 work-force apartments, 55,000 sq feet of shops and 90.000 sq ft of offices and parking garages with 1731 spaces. Tri-Rail owns the 6-acre parcel at the train station, and the city controls the zoning. County agencies and the Lake Worth Drainage District along with the City of Boca Raton may also have input. Another proposal from three Boca Raton developers has plans for a 3-story building with 50,000 sq ft of offices, 15,000 sq ft of shops and underground parking. Workshop date has not yet been announced.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

TIPS FOR BUYING A HOME IN A DOWN MARKET

The subprime mortgage problem has scared a lot of people away from the housing market. However, the news isn’t all bad. The current market decline has dropped prices and made housing affordable to many fiscally responsible renters who never considered home ownership to be an option. Here are recommended steps for buyers to take advantage of this market downturn. Be aware of extraneous expenses including property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, standard maintenance, cost of utilities, and HOA fees or equity dues. Ask about current and upcoming special assessments. Decide how much you have left to spend on a mortgage, all closing costs, a down payment amount, paying down existing debts, and check on your credit records before applying in case there are errors to correct. Remember too that if you are selling and buying, while you may get a lower price than you want for your home, you will also get a low price for the home you buy. As a Realtor and a Mortgage Broker, your blog manager, Marilyn Farber Jacobs can assist you with all of these issues, and find you “the home of your dreams,” according to your criteria. Call 561-988-0070 or email marilynfjacobs@gmail.com. If you wish to receive all new properties that become available, go to http://www.FLWaterfrontCondos.com, register and list criteria for a condo, house or townhouse. Join the many buyers who regularly receive listings now. Perhaps your NEXT home will appear before your eyes, and Marilyn will be most happy to show you that home.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

PALM BEACH INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL IN MIZNER PARK

The 13th annual film festival begins April 10th and is a week-long celebration of the past, present and future of independent film and cinema. There will be screenings of American and foreign independent features, shorts and documentaries of all genres, stimulating seminars and intensive film discussion groups, parties and informal get-togethers with filmmakers and industry professionals from around the globe, and more. See COMPLETE LIST OF FILMS and SCHEDULE OF EVENTS. The Palm Beach International Film Festival is a not-for-profit organization supporting film programs in local schools and dedicated to making a difference in the lives of future filmmakers. Proceeds generated each year are donated to schools, in the form of grants and scholarships.

Friday, April 04, 2008

SUNDY INN, DELRAY BEACH BOUTIQUE INN



























Located in the heart of historic downtown Delray Beach, and one mile from the fabulous beach at the end of Atlantic Avenue, the Sundy House is a boutique inn listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This secluded retreat is nestled within an acre of stunning tropical gardens. The Victorian inn’s 11 luxurious guest accommodations feature sumptuous d├ęcor and modern amenities. Sundy House hides within an acre overflowing with 500 tropical plant species. In every corner, you'll discover unique details: a bed suspended in air, a sunset painted on the ceiling, red-cork wallpaper, and blue suede walls. Swim with turtles and angelfish in the naturally filtered swimming pond. Venturing away from this self-contained wonderland only brings more pleasures, like snorkeling or windsurfing in the southern Atlantic, minutes away. Stay for Sundy's Sunday brunch, a lavish affair with everything from eggs Benedict made with Florida lobster to raspberry ham with mango cole slaw. Doubles from $175; 561-272-5678 Experience the award-winning Sundy House Restaurant, the elegant Roux Bamboux Lounge. Just 20 minutes from Palm Beach International Airport and one hour north of Miami, our superb location is easy to reach whether for business or pleasure. The Sundy House is mere steps from shopping, dining and cultural events, in a serene setting in which art, history and culture merge. Complimentary transportation to beach/downtown where life is GOOD and ACTIVE. Other awards include: The New York Post – “Florida’s Top 50 Hotels and Resorts;” Travel + Leisure – “Top 30 Inns in the U.S;” Palm Beach Post – “Best Brunch and Most Romantic Restaurant;” South Florida Parenting – “Best Romantic Getaway.”

SUBMIT YOUR WORKS OF ART INSPIRED BY FLORA, FAUNA AND NATURAL PLACES IN THE COUNTY

“Local Treasures” is the theme for the 2008 summer/fall exhibit being shown from May 7th to September 24th with works of art being featured in public buildings, parks and plazas. IF you have talent, submit your works, reflecting the theme. For details – click on “Calls to Artists” or mail a self-addressed stamped envelope to Palm Beach County Art in Public Places, 2633 Vista Parkway, West Palm Beach FL 33422. Deadline for submission of photo of item is April 18th.