Lahaina Realty

239-994-4572

phillip@mybabcock.com

6035 Estero Blvd

Fort Myers Beach

FL

USA

33931

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Florida Realtors RSS Feed

  • U.S. consumer confidence rose a bit in June
    Overall, consumers have a rosier picture of their situation today (up 5.7 index points), but they're a bit less optimistic about the future (down 1.7 points).

    Tuesday, June 27, 2017

  • NAHB: Lumber tariffs will increase cost of new homes
    Proposed tariffs on Canadian lumber are "another tax" on builders and buyers, NAHB says, adding that the two proposals could cost "a whopping 27%" more.

    Tuesday, June 27, 2017

  • Scott vetoes condo sprinkler bill; cites London fire
    The bill eased fire sprinkler mandates in Fla. condos and had almost unanimous support in the Legislature. But the London high-rise fire that killed 79 people "illustrates the importance of life safety protections," the governor said in his veto.

    Tuesday, June 27, 2017

  • Rick Scott signs bill updating state building code
    Fla. will no longer automatically update its building code using International Code Council standards as a baseline.

    Monday, June 26, 2017

  • Survey: More lenders expected to ease credit standards
    According to Fannie Mae's 2Q survey, more mortgage lenders say they've eased credit standards recently, and they expect further easing in the coming months.

    Monday, June 26, 2017

  • Florida homestead law a 'debtor's haven'? Not always
    In Fla., courts cannot seize a homesteaded property to pay judgments, making real estate attractive to out-of-staters who want to shield their assets. However, a court ruled that they must actually make an effort to live here.

    Monday, June 26, 2017

  • Fed court upholds photo copyright charge against Zillow
    Using photos that you found on the Internet? Don't. A second court upheld a copyright charge last week against Zillow, though it lowered damages to $4M.

    Monday, June 26, 2017

  • Self-driving cars will influence real estate demand
    Just as some buyers want a smart home, many will want a smart city. Metros that adapt quickly to the technology could attract more residents and high-paying jobs.

    Monday, June 26, 2017

  • NAR's Yun: Some markets reaching 'crisis' level
    Record-high median home prices last month have led to an inadequate supply of affordable housing in some areas of the country, says NAR economist Yun.

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • Hey buyers: Securing a mortgage takes longer than you think
    The mortgage process is complex. In addition to filling out a form, it requires documentation, third-party verifications and an independent appraisal process.

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • New-home sales rise 2.9% in May
    The U.S. still isn't producing enough new homes to offset supply shortages, but it's trying. New-home sales are up 12% year-to-year, according to NAHB.

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • Homeowners like Airbnb renting – but not if neighbors do it
    A pair of dueling polls found that homeowners like to rent a home through Airbnb when they travel – but they don't want Airbnb renters in their neighborhood.

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • 12M consumers may get July credit-score boost
    Some buyers who can't qualify for a mortgage now might be OK soon after the big three credit agencies clean up their inaccurate tax lien and civil judgement data.

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • Citizens to offer free water removal, drying services
    The Fla.-owned insurer is giving homeowners two new options on July 1: They'll remove water after a leak and offer drying services without charge (no deductible) and offer a 3-year guarantee if repairs are done by in-house contractors.

    Friday, June 23, 2017

  • Congress tackling flood insurance extension
    Coverage expires in Oct. without Congress approving an extension, but it's addressing the issue. NAR says it supports six of seven bills that passed out of the House Financial Services Committee this week.

    Thursday, June 22, 2017

  • Affordable housing: Americans want help getting in
    Survey: 90% Americans say homeownership is one of the greatest achievements in life; most think governments should do more to solve the affordable housing problem.

    Thursday, June 22, 2017

  • Real estate QandA: Delinquent owners OK on HOA boards?
    If HOA boards have to deal with owners who pay dues late, does it make sense for one of those owners to serve on the board? No – and it's not OK under Fla. law.

    Thursday, June 22, 2017

  • Mortgage tech company Sindeo calls it quits
    Sindeo hoped to revolutionize the mortgage application process using tech, but "simplifying the highly regulated, complex business" proved too challenging.

    Thursday, June 22, 2017

  • As rents rise, millennials turn to dorms for adults
    Co-living arrangements – in essence adult dorms that incorporate a social element shared by all renters – are soaring in popularity as rental costs rise.

    Thursday, June 22, 2017

  • Long-term mortgage rates down slightly this week
    The big news is that fixed-rate mortgages didn't go higher this week, though the drop is marginal. They averaged 3.90% compared to last week's 3.91%.

    Thursday, June 22, 2017

  • Citing water losses, Florida insurer approves rate hikes
    Citizens OK'd to raise homeowner rates about 5.3% and about 8.4% for commercial accounts; but homeowners could pay 10% more in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade.

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017

  • NAR: U.S. existing-home sales rise 1.1% in May
    Total existing-home sales rebounded after a drop in April, up 2.9% over May 2016. Low inventory helped propel the median sales price to a new high of $252,800.

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017

  • First-time buyers face new competition
    Investors are competing for starter homes: Housing inventories are at the lowest level in 30 years, and worst shortages are in the low and middle price ranges.

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017

  • Fla.'s home sales, median prices up in May 2017
    Year-over-year, existing single-family home sales rose 7.6%, median sales price up 7.7% to $239,000. Condo sales up 8%; median sales price up 8.1% to $178,000.

    Wednesday, June 21, 2017

  • Citizens customers could be paying more in 2018
    The state-run property insurer wants to raise homeowner rates by an average of 5.3% and commercial accounts by an average of 8.4%, but regulators must OK the hike.

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

  • CoreLogic: Mortgage credit risk edges up slightly
    CoreLogic Q1 Housing Credit Index: The HCI rose 3.6 points to 105.6, up from Q1 2016; but the credit risk level remains nearly the same as the "normal" baseline.

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

  • Flood insurance: facts, fiction
    If a flood swamps your home, will insurance cover the damage? Maybe. It depends on a lot of factors, including if you have a flood insurance policy or not.

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

  • How to buy investment property
    Owning rental real estate has benefits like investment diversification and an alternative income stream, but there are challenges, too - like dealing with tenants.

    Tuesday, June 20, 2017

  • Condo QandA: Bad credit and landscape contracts
    Can a condo HOA deny a unit owner's tenant who has a poor credit history? Can a condo HOA use the same landscape service for 10 years without competitive bidding?

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • 10 top threats to today's hot real estate market
    The Counselors of Real Estate's annual top 10 list has global uncertainty and political polarization at the top, followed by tech changes in the commercial sector and "generational disruption" as boomers age and millennials age.

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • Gov. Scott signs renewable energy bill
    Lawmakers passed a renewable-energy bill (SB 90) supported by Florida Realtors after nearly 73% of voters approved the constitutional amendment last August.

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • Realtors have a lot to focus on in Washington, D.C.
    The mortgage interest tax deduction, according to RPAC, saves more than $24,000 per home sale and could cost each Realtor as much as $22,420 if eliminated.

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • Is a $399K list price really better than $400K?
    Your brain takes a relatively small amount of info and makes up the rest based on previous experience – a process that also makes 99¢ seem a lot cheaper than $1.

    Monday, June 19, 2017

  • What paint color nets sellers $3,496 more at closing?
    An analysis of 32,000 U.S. home listing photos found that soft blues and grays positively influence buyers, and "greige" (beige/gray) exteriors sell for more.

    Friday, June 16, 2017

  • Supreme Court shields city marinas from property taxes
    A private marina pays property taxes; a city-owned marina doesn't. That makes the private venture more expensive. Is that fair? The Fla. Supreme court says "yes."

    Friday, June 16, 2017

  • U.S. housing starts drop for 3rd straight month
    Construction appears to be transitioning from multifamily to single-family. New housing starts dropped 5.5%, but single-family rose 2.3% as multifamily fell 7.7%.

    Friday, June 16, 2017

  • Could 1031 exchanges go away?
    A major commercial tax benefit that allows investors to avoid capital gains taxes when they sell a property and buy another could disappear: Some lawmakers are considering a cancellation of the 1031 exchange provision as part of a major tax-rate cut.

    Friday, June 16, 2017

  • The zero-down loan? It's making a comeback
    Some experts said no-downpayment mortgages led to the housing crisis, but some lenders are starting to offer them again anyway.

    Friday, June 16, 2017

  • Higher prices squeezing both renters and homebuyers
    In many metros, buyers can't find a suitable listing, and when they turn in frustration to rentals, they discover that higher demand has increased the cost.

    Friday, June 16, 2017

  • Promises in wills and trusts can change on a whim
    Real estate QandA: A live-in girlfriend's living trust allowed her boyfriend to reside in her condo after she dies, but she changed her mind. Can she do that?

    Thursday, June 15, 2017

  • Cabinet taps Florida Forever for conservation deals
    Fla. will use part of the $75M in the state's conservation fund to buy 6,478 acres for preservation, though the 2017-18 budget doesn't include additional money.

    Thursday, June 15, 2017

  • Mortgage rates move higher
    The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose from last week's seven-month low (3.89%) to 3.81% this week.

    Thursday, June 15, 2017

  • The Craigslist scam: Still around, still a problem
    It happens often: Scammers pull a Realtor's pictures and content from a real estate ad site and repost them, saying the house is for rent at a below-market rate. Many times, agents don't know info has been stolen until a potential renter contacts them.

    Thursday, June 15, 2017

  • Fed again hikes short-term interest rates
    Credit card holders will soon pay more. So will people with adjustable-rate mortgages or home equity lines of credit. But will it impact long-term mortgage rates?

    Thursday, June 15, 2017

  • Root causes for U.S.'s depressed homeownership rate
    Affordability issues, student loan debt, tight credit conditions and housing supply shortages are keeping the homeownership rate stuck near a 50-year low, according to NAR's latest study: Hurdles to Homeownership: Understanding the Barriers.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

  • Globally, the U.S. is a deal in luxury housing
    Luxury real estate buyers may find bargains in the U.S. compared to the rest of the world. Miami is No. 14 for fastest-rising prices; China has the top 2 cities.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

  • Next buyers' market? Two or three years, say some experts
    As price growth slows, more sellers should sell, and one economist predicts the market will "meaningfully swing in favor of buyers" in the next two to three years.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

  • Most home flippers aren't who you think they are
    Of the homes and condos flipped in the first quarter, 70% were purchased by mom-and-pop investors who flipped only one house during those three months.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

  • NAR answers questions about Zillow 'Instant Offers'
    Change is constant in the real estate industry, and since many Realtors are talking about a recent Zillow move, NAR published answers to common questions.

    Wednesday, June 14, 2017

  • 6 common misconceptions about hurricane season
    If you've seen one hurricane, you've seen them all, right? Wrong. Even the most seasoned Fla. residents can learn something new about these complex storms.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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Phillip Babcock
Phillip Babcock