Are Foreclosures Worth The Hassle? Yes!

Foreclosures at first glance can be somewhat intimidating, particularly for first time home buyers or small investors. However, the savings that can be made by purchasing a foreclosed home far outweigh the risks and extra work involved. No matter the condition of the housing market, foreclosed homes can be a very good investment whether you are purchasing it for resale, to rent it or to live in it yourself.


On average, foreclosed homes sell at 5%-10% less than market prices. Lenders who have had the house listed for longer than a month may be willing to waive certain fees or lower the interest rate in order to get to closing. Sometimes even the down payment amount will be lowered. As an investor, these savings can only increase the return rate of your investment in the future.

Repairs and Renovations

Oftentimes potential buyers can be distracted by cosmetic issues within the home. Do not let that be you! Painting, replacing carpet, adding new trim and moldings are all relatively inexpensive repairs that will give the house a more appealing look, and make it more move in ready for your potential buyers or renters. Be careful though, structural issues can be much more costly than cosmetic ones. Roof or foundation repairs can get expensive quickly.

Look Ahead

Even if you don’t plan to sell the house immediately or live in it yourself, renting it can be a very good option until you decide what will be best for you. Anytime you purchase a home you should already be looking ahead to the point of selling. Making good choices now will save you time and money in the future. If you expect a good rate of growth in the surrounding neighborhood, then it isn’t a bad idea to rent the home short term, allow the equity to appreciate, and give the neighborhood time to make your home a more appealing purchase in the future. This will increase your return of investment later.

Ask Questions

Understanding how foreclosure works will give you bargaining power in the future. Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions about the process before you commit yourself to the investment. Look for lenders and brokers that are familiar with the process, and request a complete home inspection by a qualified individual before you get to the closing table. Don’t make your purchase based on price alone. Instead be thinking of the costs of tomorrow in renovations and repairs.

Watch Out For

Keep an eye out for damage. Properties with structural damage can cost you big time. Sometimes when owners get behind on mortgages they may also get behind on maintenance and repairs of the home. Always take this into account.

In some states the original owners have a certain amount of time to get back on track with their payments, and pull the house back away from the closing table. Don’t become too invested or committed to a property until you know for certain that you will be able to close on it.

Lipply Real Estate, serving the entire Tampa Bay area, is not afraid to show and help you buy Tampa Bay foreclosures. Foreclosures are one of the hottest properties right now. Don’t forget you can still find a great deal whether it is a foreclosure or not!

What Is True Luxury Living?

Living in a luxury resort town is a treat in and of itself for everyone. But for some, it is the pinnacle of a true luxury lifestyle. Waking up every morning to the sights and sounds of the ocean or to views of the most beautiful snowcapped mountains are dreams that many have with very few experiencing on a daily basis.

But, what is the true luxury to this life? Is it just living in a home with these magnificent views or is it living in magnificent home with the views being only one of the perks? That is a question that requires some thought.

Walking up and down the beach or through villages at ski resorts, you see several styles of homes with only one common element…the views from the deck or porch facing the ocean or mountainside.

Imagine being able to sit in front of a wall of windows watching a storm churn out in the sea or sit by a big picture window in a cozy overstuffed chair watching thousands of snowflakes fall from the sky. This is what those who live in luxury do from their homes. Though, each home a different character and look to the home that exudes the needs and wants of the homeowners.

No matter the location of the home — beach town or a ski resort — many are lavishly appointed and perfectly decorated with every amenity you can conjure up. Think floor to ceiling windows, beautiful moldings, and huge kitchens with high-end appliances and shiny granite countertops, and beautiful elevators. On the outside, you find infinity pools appear to be one with the ocean or elaborate hot tubs with views of massive trees and the most beautiful mountains. As you stand and look out the window in a home of this caliber, you can’t help but think that you “have arrived.”

On the other end, there are cottages in the same locations with the same panoramic views that are much more simple and understated. Wooden porches with swings, modest kitchens and other rooms with tasteful, less chic decor are the mainstays of these quaint homes. Yet, for many, who can afford the ultimate in luxury, these homes are what they consider to be the highlight of luxury living. Here, the views from the windows and the feeling that comes with living so close to the most beautiful locations far outweigh any high end amenity that an estate might offer.

So, the question remains. What is luxury living? Who has it best? One definition of luxury is “free and habitual indulgence in or enjoyments of comforts and pleasures in addition to those necessary for a reasonable standard of well being.” Based on this, it seems that either way is considered luxury living.

The answer is in the eye of the beholder. Location, alone, is definitely a luxury but lavish improvements and enhancements are the icing on the cake to make the experience that much more gratifying!

What do you consider luxury?

We have our share of luxury homes in the Tampa Bay area. Clearwater Beach Luxury Homes are in excess of $600,000 and on up to $4,000,000 plus for direct waterfront. Lower prices are found in St. Pete Beach Luxury homes but there are many gorgeous homes in between Clearwater and St. Pete as well to consider.

HOAs and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Buying a home means the realization of a dream for most folks, but it can also mean subjecting yourself to the rules of the local homeowner’s association. There can be definite benefits for buying a home that is “overseen” in by the HOA. But HOAs can also be hard to deal with. Just ask Lexington, Kentucky mother, Tiffany Veloudis. Her son is afflicted with cerebral palsy and needs a special playhouse for therapy purposes. The playhouse, which is quite attractive and hardly noticeable from the street, is in violation of the restrictions that Dr. and Mrs. Veloudis agreed to when they bought their home. They are now embattled in a fight to keep the house on site. The issue at hand is whether or not private HOAs should have to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Recorded deed restrictions can make everything from erecting a fence to owning more than two dogs an offense. In the Lexington case, the HOA informed the family that the playhouse was in violation of deed restrictions that bar enclosed space structures. The family argued that the playhouse is necessary for the child’s therapy. The child has impaired speech and limited movement on one side of his body due to his disease.

Although the situation is yet to be resolved, the HOA has agreed to look at medical evidence that shows that the child needs the playhouse as part of his therapy regimen. It is possible that the HOA will allow an accommodation that will allow the playhouse to remain in place under Federal Housing Act guidelines.
The Fair Housing Act applies to all HOAs, but the Americans with Disabilities Act, an act that prohibits discrimination again people with disabilities, does not apply. A Kentucky legislator wants to change that. Representative Richard Henson filed a bill in December 2011 that would “make it possible for families with special needs children to have therapeutic play structures” when needed by making HOAs comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

This unfolding drama raises a lot of questions. Should whether or not an HOA will be looking over your shoulder be a consideration when you look for a home? The role of the HOA is supposed to be to protect the home’s value while enhancing your enjoyment of living in a particular neighborhood. The reality is, however, that there are some drawbacks to HOAs. I mean after all, most HOAs can tell you what color you can paint your home, where you can park your car, and more. HOAs can have a substantial control over many aspects of your life within the communities that are subject to them.

Nonetheless, there can be advantages to you if you are considering buying a home that is within a development governed by an HOA. The biggest of these is that property values within these areas tend to stay higher than those in non-HOA areas. This is because most HOAs maintain the streets, landscaping and more for the entire neighborhood, which makes it look more appealing to buyers. And this also means that you don’t have to worry about properties around you becoming eyesores that, in turn, make it hard for you to sell your home on down the road.

This article is brought to you by Palm Harbor Real Estate in Florida with the assistance of Jennifer Mackay at Panama City Homes. Thank you Jennifer for helping us write this informative article on the HOAs and the Americans with Disabilities Act.