Size of U.S Housing Market

(click for report)

How big of a deal is the U.S. Housing market? Even after a historic devaluation, U.S. residential real estate ranks among the world’s largest asset classes. How does residential real estate compare against other asset classes?

This comparison by Radar Logic shows the footprint of U.S Housing and asks: “Given its relevance to the overall economy, should it be among your allocations?”

As an REO listing agent for Bank of America and other lenders in the Tampa Bay area, we see a surge in both first-time investors and institutional investors buying residential real estate. I know Tampa Realtors who spend all of their time helping hedge funds buy units in bulk. We are also seeing many international investors, including a surge from China. Rather than focusing on immediate appreciation, we see a premium placed on cash flow. Is it time for you to think about investing in real estate?

As a Certified Investor Agent Specialist (CIAS), I have the training and tools to help you success in today’s Tampa Bay real estate market. To learn more about real estate investor metrics and investment properties, contact Dale Bohannon at 813-377-4455.


What is the Average Down Payment in Florida?

Think you need 20% down to buy your dream home in Tampa? Think again. While some conventional and investor loans require 20% down, Tampa Bay home buyers are still taking advantage of FHA, VA, HomePath, USDA and 203K loans to buy with little or nothing down.

Check out this graphic from LendingTree, who just produced a new report showing the average mortgage down payments for each state.

To find the right loan for you, contact Team Bohannon in Tampa, Florida. Our lender partners have a track record of delivering the best rates at the promised dates. – Dale Bohannon

New Short Sale Policy to Reduce Fraud

The crack down on shady short sale deals continues. Banks and government agencies cite instances of flopping, whereby real estate agents fail to disclose other contracts to re-sell property for a higher price.

Florida has a long history of being the epicenter of fraudulent real estate schemes. I have see many instances of flopping in the Tampa Bay market.

In fact, I had to walk away from a million dollar deal when an All-Star professional baseball player wanted to buy a short sale home at what seemed like a great price, but the seller’s agent had a flop scheme in play. The agent disclosed a pre-existing contact whereby an investor would buy the home at a deep discount from the bank. The seller’s agent proposed doing a simultaneous closing and flipping the home to my baseball player. The investor would pocket the difference. The problem was: the existence of the higher offer would not be disclosed to the bank. If you see this happen, run or risk jail time.

As a result of such schemes, Freddie Mac has just amended the Mandatory Short Sale Affidavit Policy to help prevent fraud by requiring everyone involved in the transaction to make various certifications, including that the short sale is an arm’s length transaction and the buyer will not resell within 120 days unless there are improvements. The new affidavit will go into effect January 1, 2012.

Parties to the short sale will be held liable for their negligent or intentional misrepresentations, according to new guidelines.

The “new normal” in real estate is the wild west. Who can you trust? As a Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) since 2008, I have helped Tampa Bay buyers and sellers obtain over 150 short sale approval letters the right way. Call 813-377-4455 today for a confidential consultation.

– Dale Bohannon


Tampa’s 10 Most Expensive Home Sales YTD

Curious about the top 10 most expensive homes that have sold in Tampa thus far in 2011? See:

Top 10 Tampa Home Sales
Comparison of Sales Data

Nine of the ten homes were located in South Tampa (Beach Park, Davis Island, Hyde Park, Bayshore Blvd, St Andrews Park), while one was in North Tampa’s Avila.

Sale prices for the top 10 ranged from $2,835,000 to $6,750,000. The median sale price was $4,397,000, or $520 per square foot.

The median home had 5 bedrooms, 6 baths and 7,730 square feet. The homes were on the market for an average of 284 days before going under contract. Six of the ten had price reductions prior to going under contract. None were short sales, none were bank owned.

How much room was there to negotiate? The median discount off the final asking price was 11%.

Luxury home buyers in Tampa are taking advantage of a buyer’s market.  There are 211 homes for sale right now in Hillsborough County that are listed for over $1,000,000. See Tampa Luxury Homes for Sale for a map and photos. Call Annette, Doug or Dale Bohannon for a confidential consultation.

All data comes from the Tampa Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

– Dale Bohannon

12 Reasons to List Your Home During the Holidays

Selling Over the Holodays?Are you putting off selling your home until after the holidays? With just 46 days left until 1/1/2012, why not wait until next year?  Is it worth the effort of starting the process now?  Consider these 12 reasons to start marketing your Tampa Bay home during the holiday season:

1. Buyers who look for a home during the holidays are more serious buyers.

2. Fewer homes are in the market, hence you have less competition.

3. Homes often show better when decorated for the holidays.

4. Buyers may make deeper emotional conections during the holidays.

5. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays.

6. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.

7. Transferees cannot wait until Spring to buy.

8. Buyers may want to start the new school semester in a new home.

9. You have the option to decline showings during personal family events.

10. You can sell now, but specify a delayed closing or extended occupancy.

11. Sell now and be in a prime position to buy during the Spring.

12. Sell now to avoid the wave of forecloses expected to hit the market soon.

Bottom Line? By listing now, you will face less competition and see motivated buyers. As a result, you may have a quicker sale and a better price! Contact Annette, Doug and Dale Bohannon today for more information.

– Dale Bohannon

Tampa Condo Market Sizzles

The Hillsborough County condominium market continues to sizzle as the number of units for sale falls (see Tampa Condo Analysis).

The lower priced segments, particularly the under $50,000 units, are moving with extreme velocity but not necessarily at higher prices. Investors are enticed by cap rates and the stability of the rental market. We are starting to see more buyers using self-directed IRA funds to pay cash for properties. First-time buyers are finding that owning is less expensive than renting.

Of the condos that closed in October 2011: 22% were bank owned (REOs), 35% were short sales, and 42% were traditional/equity sales.

What kind of a discount off asking price can you expect? The median bank owned condo sold for $39,750, which was 2% over the asking price. The median short sale condo sold for $50,000, or 3% below the asking price. The median equity (or traditional) sale was $72,500, or 5% less than asking price.

There are positive signs for buyers, sellers and investors if they know where to look.  See the November 2011 Hillsborough Condo Analysis  for the data and charts provided by CB Florida.

– Dale Bohannon, Realtor

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