To qualify, you must be 62 or older. The home you wish to draw equity from must also be your principal residence, not income property. Your home must be owned free and clear or have only a small outstanding mortgage that can be paid off with the reverse mortgage. There are no income, employment or credit-worthiness requirements. Continue reading “Important things to look out for with today’s reverse mortgages”
“This is probably the first time we’ve seen them through the peak selling season. It’s unusual that the incentives have continued all year,” said housing consultant Tracy Cross, president of Schaumburg-based Tracy Cross & Associates. In Washington, D.C., Dallas-based Centex Corp. offered $100,000 off the sales price to those who bought a house within a 12-hour period. And [tag]Miami[/tag]-based [tag]Lennar Corp[/tag]. is giving [tag]Tampa[/tag] buyers a lowest-price guarantee. Continue reading “New-home buyers in driver’s seat”
Insurance companies that write [tag]commercial policies[/tag] for everything from strip malls to restaurants are raising premiums as much as 400 percent, dropping policies as they come up for renewal, or both. One insurer simply decided to cancel policies. [tag]North Pointe Holdings[/tag] of Southfield, Mich., said recently that it plans to cancel nearly half of its 28,000 commercial policies in Florida. Continue reading “The other insurance crisis”
Debt can land your finances in trouble. U.S. consumer credit is at a record high $2.17 trillion and growing at its fastest clip in a year, according to the Federal Reserve. Credit card debt, in particular, is destructive because it can easily balloon out of control. Examine all that you owe and pay off highest-rate debt first. Develop a plan to pay down credit card bills, loans and car payments as quickly as possible so that in the long run you have more to invest. Next select your financial goals. Choose short- and long-term targets so it doesn’t seem like an endless treadmill. Write everything down and reassess progress every six months. Continue reading “A midyear financial checkup is vital to retirement planning.”
Recipe ideas and etiquette tips for serving food at your next open house.
Free appetizers won’t sell a listing on their own, but offering tasty treats at your open house encourages buyers to linger longer and creates a positive atmosphere. However, food can also be a huge hassle â€” creating a mess and distracting potential buyers from falling in love with the home.
Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™ve prepared this list of 10 rules you should follow when serving food at an open house. It includes tips that will impress potential buyers while cutting down on cleanup. Iâ€™ve also shared my four favorite open-house recipes. Theyâ€™re hassle free and perfect for visitors who want to nibble as they explore the house. Bon appetite! Continue reading “Mm, Mm Good Open House”
When it’s completed in five years, the community – perhaps best known for hosting the Coastal Living magazine Idea House in 2004 – will feature 1,900 homes priced from the high $300,000s to more than $5-million. It’s particularly appealing to boaters because of its 3.5-mile canal system and direct, deep-water access to Tampa Bay. That grabbed the Terrys’ attention as they are regular kayakers who enjoy getting out after work and paddling for relaxation. Continue reading “Love of water draws them to MiraBay”
But in the long term, he is optimistic. [tag]Baby boomers[/tag] continue to move here, international demand remains strong, unemployment in South Florida is low, and [tag]mortgage rates[/tag] — despite inching higher in recent months — are still at historically low levels. Just as important, Lereah said, the speculators are fleeing the market. He contends that speculators are most to blame for huge price hikes. ”Florida will be better for it with them gone,” he said. Lereah cited the increased threat of hurricanes and the availability of property insurance as South Florida’s two biggest worries. Such worries, he said, are prompting some baby boomer and retirees to look away from Florida. He noted a trend of baby boomers moving to places such as the [tag]Smoky Mountains in Tennessee and North Carolina[/tag]. Continue reading “Housing market in transition”
Forget those alphabetic designations (GRI, CRI, each is more reflective of the ability to tolerate a hard chair than any real expertise) or the total sales achieved last year. Who you are as a person and a consumer, and what you know or donâ€™t know about real estate are the keys to picking the right agent. Therefore, the most important interview is one you should conduct with yourself before you start questioning prospective agents. Continue reading “Choosing A Real Estate Agent – Top Producer or Hungry Rookie?”
The pace of change varies greatly from market to market. In its survey of 69 metro areas, Reis found 60 markets with rising rents, with [tag]Florida[/tag]’s [tag]Fort Lauderdale[/tag], [tag]Palm Beach[/tag], [tag]Miami[/tag] and [tag]Tampa-St. Petersburg[/tag] and California’s San Jose topping the list. It also found nine markets in which rents are flat or falling, including Buffalo, N.Y.; Charlotte, N.C.; Denver, and Omaha, Neb. Continue reading “How to survive soaring rents”
When the fed increases the cost of money to curb inflation, short term consumer borrowing costs for credit cards, home equity loans and adjustable rate mortgages likewise take a hike. Mortgage interest rates have fallen eight times this year, but during the first 24 weeks in 2006 they’ve risen twice as often, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Last week, Freddie reported the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.62 percent, down from the previous week s average of 6.67 percent. Continue reading “Inflation fears prompt slight rise in mortgage rates.”