January 30, 2012

Real Estate Questions and Answers: Appraisals

As a Realtor, I am often asked many of the same questions over and over by potential buyers.  One question that gets asked frequently concerns appraisals.

Q: I have an executed contract on a property and the lender is requiring an appraisal. Does the appraiser know what the contract price is? Wouldn't that knowledge influence the amount the property appraises for?

A: Per FNMA (Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae), appraisers are required to review the contract and comment on it. Otherwise no, the appraiser is not required to see the contract. It is at the discretion of the client.

In the past appraisers were not required to receive a copy of the contract, but with all of the new regulation, now they are. FNMA has updated appraisal forms and appraisers are required to put the contract price, type of transaction (short sale, REO, etc), executed date, and then make a comment about their findings. 

Just because appraisers know the contract price does not mean they will over value the property for the deal to go through.  It is not uncommon for the appraisal to come in under contract price.

One appraiser I spoke with, Erin Arnett with Appraisal Certified Services Inc., has told me that she is doing a lot more appraisals for potential buyers to make sure they are not paying too much. She has even started doing abbreviated appraisals for a reduced fee.  This restricted use appraisal average between $200 to $250 for a standard property. Naturally, the more difficult the property, the higher the price.

If you would like more information, you can contact Erin Arnett by calling 305-481-0367 or email her at erin@appcert.net.   

January 25, 2012

Florida Keys Market Update - January 16th to the 22nd, 2012. New listings, pending sales and closed transactions

It's hard to believe we're already nearing the end of the first month for 2012!  Realtors I know are all in agreement - the market has seen an increase in activity. That said, 95 new listings came on the market, 69 properties went under contract and 25 properties closed.

New Listing #2214 Ocean Pointe
Among the new listings, I have a new listing at Ocean Pointe. This 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit has never been in the rental pool and it is in fantastic shape.  The complex has a very flexible rental program that allows owners to rent their condos when they are not using it to generate income.  This unit is offered at $369,000.

Pending Sale - 152 Iroquois Street
Pending listings include a home in my own neighborhood. This 3 bedroom, 2 bath home was built in 2000 and is fully fenced. It features high ceilings, open living/dining/kitchen great room and a spacious master suite.  It was priced at $275,000 at time of contract.

Sold - #T7 at Executive Bay Club
Sold listings include a nice unit at Executive Bay Club. This 2 bedroom, 2 bath townhome is in a private gated community with sandy beach, dockage, tennis and more, directly adjacent to Islamorada's Founder's Park. It sold for $177,000. It was marketed as a short sale.

Follow the links below to view the listings:

Listing information is gathered from the Florida Keys MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Listing links will automatically expire 2/24/2012

January 17, 2012

NEW LISTING! #2214 at Ocean Pointe. Great investment or year round residence! $369,000

Ocean Pointe - Resort Living in the Florida Keys!. Property features include on-site property management, a heated Olympic sized swimming pool, private sandy beach, private cocktail lounge, cafe, oceanfront marina with boat ramp and dockage, lighted tennis courts and oceanfront gazebo - all situated on 69 lush tropical acres. These units provide owners with excellent rental income, making it very appealing to the investor. Use it as your own Keys retreat when it's not being rented.  

Pristine ''D'' unit at Ocean Pointe - never in the rental pool. Enjoy resort living in this very well maintained, original owner unit with great ocean views. Offered fully furnished in island decor. Very easy to show - call today for more details or to schedule a showing!  

Market Update - January 1st to the 15th, 2012. New listings, pending sales and closed transactions

The New Year has certainly began with a good start, with over 200 new listings, 104 pending contracts and 52 closed sales in the first two weeks.

Sunset Key - offered at $5,400,000
Among the new listings there is a stunning island home on the exclusive Sunset Key off Key West. This home has been featured in many national magazines and has everything, right down to the private beach just steps from your backdoor. It is offered at $5,400,000.

REO in Tavernaero - pending
Pending sales include an unfinished home in a private gated community that features a private airstrip (see my article about other homes on this airstrip).  There is also a private boat ramp and slips in the marina on Tavernier Creek. This home is bank owned and received multiple offers prior to going under contract.

224 Treasure Harbor - sold for $820,000
Sold sales include on of my listings at 224 Treasure Harbor Road in Islamorada.  This island home was immaculate inside and out and was totally remodeled with new kitchen and impact doors and windows. It offered 70 of dockage on a protected harbor just minutes from Snake Creek. It sold for $820,000.

To view the listings, follow the links below:

New Listings
Pending Sales
Closed Sales

Listing information gathered from the Florida Keys Multiple Listing Service.  Listing links will automatically expire after 2/16/2012.

January 06, 2012

Just Reduced! Two great condos at Ocean Pointe - both with excellent rental history!

#4312 - $299,000
Just Reduced! Beautiful oceanfront unit with endless ocean views. New remodeling just completed, including all new stainless appliances, new kitchen cabinets, granite counters, fresh paint & more. Use it yourself while you’re here, rent it out when you’re not. Amenities include manned gate, swimming pool, tennis, sandy beach, marina, boat ramp, & year round boat storage. Solid rental history.

#4416 - $359,000
Priced to sell! Top floor end unit with incredible ocean views! End units have no neighbors adjacent to bedrooms, bay windows and larger floorplan. Upgraded with new baths, granite kitchen, tile floors & more with delightful Keys charm. Amenities include 24 hour manned gate, Olympic pool, clubhouse, tennis, boat storage, boat ramp, marina & sandy beach. Rental history makes for a great investment.

January 02, 2012

Unique Homes in the Florida Keys - Private Airstrip Homes in Tavernier, Florida

Fly In - Sail Out!  The best of both worlds for the adventure enthusiast!

Tavernaero is a quite subdivision in the Florida Keys that has one unique feature other subdivisions don't - a private, gated airstrip. It is the only private airstrip between Homestead and Summerland Key. The grass runway is open from sunrise to sunset. It is 2075 feet long and 80 feet wide.

Many of the homes here even have enclosed the downstairs area of the home to provide hangar space for private planes. While most homeowners in the neighborhood are pilots or enjoy flying, it is not a requirement to own property or live in the community. 
Additionally, there is a private marina with boat ramp, providing immediate access to both the Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay via Tavernier Creek.

So, bring your boat and bring your plane! Click the link below to see all properties currently for sale in the community.

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