Buying A Home: Avoiding Set Backs and Disappointment

I read an interview with Matt Bomer, the suave Neal Caffrey (White Collar), where he shared that he was looking for a house in LA a while back.

“There was a place I was interested in, but I couldn’t get in touch with its owners”. So he resolved to jumping their fence.

Well, Matt, I am surprised you have not thought of having a Realtor, to get you in through the front door!

Seriously, why ANY Buyer will be looking on their own, instead of having a Realtor working for them at no cost???

Here is what every HOME-Buyer should read.

Buying a Home- 10 Steps To Follow:

Use a Buyer’s Agent
Be Wary About the Listing Agent
Get Pre-Approved for Financing: Getting a Legitimate Lender
Do Not Make Any Major Credit Purchases
Find The Right Neighborhood
Find The Right Home: Finding the Right Seller
Build a Plan of Actions and Get Ready
Do Your Homework: Hot, Normal, and Cold Markets
Importance of Inspection
Avoiding Financial Stress

If you do not have an agent, please call me at 786-412-8510, or drop a note to obtain more details on each one of the steps, or assistance regarding your search at I’m here to assist you every step of the way.

ALL-CASH Buyers Scooping Up SE Florida Real Estate Deals

I have written many posts on foreclosures and guidelines/ tips on how to successfully buy foreclosed properties and being an “ALL-CASH” buyer, has always been on top of the list. 

Cash buyers get the “real deals” in SE Florida Real Estate. Reports show that 63% of all closed transactions in the first quarter for Dade and Broward counties were all cash purchases.

The lowest price ranges for Dade and Broward, are for the most part foreclosed properties. And, not only do they go to “all-cash” buyers, but there are bidding wars.

Now, we finally have statistical data that speaks in a more convincing voice; see some of the published details below, showing clearly that Miami- Fort Lauderdale, SE Florida, is leading with 63% of all sales in the first quarter being cash purchases. What is different for this local market is that significant number of these cash buyers is made of foreign purchasers, not just investors as in the other markets.

Here are some figures from the major areas affected by foreclosures:

“WASHINGTON – June 22, 2011 – Cash buyers are snapping up homes in markets nationwide, betting that deals won’t get much better. Last month, all-cash buyers accounted for 30 percent of existing home sales, up from 25 percent in May 2010, and 12 percent two years ago”, says the National Association of Realtors.

The cash buyers are enticed by low prices and potential rental income, economists say. But while their activity has helped curb price drops, price increases have yet to follow.

In the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, 63 percent of first-quarter buyers paid in cash, vs. 39 percent in 1997’s first quarter, Zillow says.

Phoenix is also seeing more cash buyers, 44 percent in the first quarter up from 25 percent in the same 1997 period, Zillow data show.

The big numbers are “positive news,” says Stan Humphries, Zillow chief economist. “These are people who’re getting back into the market because they see good value.”

Cash buyers are especially prevalent in markets where prices have fallen the most, often areas hard hit by foreclosures.

In Las Vegas, the foreclosure capitol of the U.S. for the past four years, cash buyers accounted for 49 percent of first-quarter sales, says data from real estate site

Given low prices, they can buy homes, rent them and be immediately cash-flow positive, says Paul Dales, an economist for Capital Economics.

To read full article published by FAR (Florida Association of Realtors):

Myths And Facts About Foreclosures: Single Family Residences In SE Florida Market

Myths And Facts About Foreclosures: Single Family Residences In SE Florida Market

If you are of those people, who at the end of the day want to say “I’m glad I did” instead of “I wish I had”, read on. I promise you, you will find it essential or at least helpful:

1.    I hear there are so many foreclosures on the beach… Myth!

2.    I hear that there are a lot of empty units in the new buildings on the beach and we can buy them for pennies on the dollar…Myth!

3.    I hear that there are a lot of foreclosures; really expensive homes…Myth!

4.    I am going to wait; I hear the market is still going down…Myth!

5.    I am looking for 3-4 bedroom home, garage, newer, in a nice school district, my budget is $220,000- yes, was a possibility 6 months ago.

 Well, as you know me, I spent hours researching. Sending you the FACTS:

I. Homes for sale Broward: 4172 total units; total sold in 2009: 8512; REO’s Today: 299; Sold REO’s in 2009: total 3411

1.    Price range: under $200,000: 550 total homes

a)    REO-S ( i.e. Foreclosures): 96 ; Sold REO’s in 2009, total 1174= 31% of all foreclosures;

b)    Regular sales: (current): 550; sold: 2010

2.    Price range: between $201,000- $400,000- 1398 total homes;

a)    Foreclosures: 120; Sold REO’s in 2009: total 998

b)    Regular sales: (current): 1398; sold: 3588

3.    Price range: between $401,000- $700,000- 822 total homes

a)    Foreclosures: 18; Sold REO’s in 2009: total 135 (less than 4% of all cat. sales)

b)    Regular sales: (current): 822; sold: 3588

4.    Price range: between $701,000- $1,000,000- 470 total homes

a)     Foreclosures: 4; Sold REO’s in 2009: total 25 (less than 0.01% of all foreclosures)

b)  Regular sales: (current): 470; sold: 276

5.    Price range: above $1,000,000- 816 total units

a) Foreclosures: 2; Sold REO’s in 2009: total 7

b) Regular sales: (current): 816; sold: 276

I. Homes for sale Dade: 4628 total units, closed sales 2009: 6937; REO’s total 372; Sold REO’s in 2009: total 3931

1.    Price range: under $200,000: 620 total homes

a) Foreclosures: 180; Sold REO’s in 2009: total 1829

b) Regular sales: (current): 620; sold: 2317

2.    Price range: between $201,000- $400,000- 1363 total homes;

a) Foreclosures: 81 (only 6% of all homes); Sold REO’s in 2009: total 903

b) Regular sales: (current): 1363; sold: 2137, the fastest absorption rate;

3.    Price range: between - $401,000- $700,000- 808 total homes

a) Foreclosures: 11; Sold REO’s in 2009: total 142

b) Regular sales: (current): 808; sold: 754

4.    Price range: between $701,000- $1,000,000- 434 total homes;

a) Foreclosures: 3; Sold REO’s in 2009: total 10

b) Regular sales: (current): 434; sold: 250;

5.    Price range: above $1,000,000- 1239 total homes

a) Foreclosures: 5 (only 0.4% of all); Sold REO’s in 2009: total 5

b) Regular sales: (current): 1239; sold: 387

Now, that you have seen the OFFICIAL figures, you can draw the following conclusions:

  1. It is evident that the lowest tiers (pricing 100-400,000) are moving towards very aggressive seller’s market, please observe the absorption rates.
  2. It is evident that the luxury market is barely affected by the economic down turn; there are hardly ever any foreclosures. So, I am real curious where are all these buyers (who are convinced that there’s tons of foreclosures), getting their information?

Our reports further show, that close to 95% of the foreclosures are selling at asking or above asking price.  They go in most cases to cash buyers, since there is a real crowd bidding for them. So, when you find just that sweet deal be wise instead of being a “wise guy”!

As it has always been, housing is our bedrock investment. It will continue to generate a nest egg for us long after we’ve turned off the television and forgotten what was said in the sensation-seeking story of the moment.

I hope, you will find these points helpful. For those of you who still do not own your home or, that great investment property you have been dreaming about, please call me now. Join those people, who at the end of the day can say “I’m glad I did” instead of “I wish I had”.

Kate Smith, Realtor®, ABR, CRS, E-Pro, TRC, LHM


PS: Stay tuned and look for my next report on how to buy foreclosures.

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