Real Estate Blog






Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates rose this week for the first time in two months as global economic anxiety and market turbulence eased.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage increased to 3.64 percent from 3.62 percent last week. The benchmark rate remains below the 3.75 percent level it marked a year ago.

The average rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages edged up to 2.94 percent from 2.93 percent last week.

Economists saw some positive signs in new data. The U.S. stock market started recouping losses from a brutal start to the year and ended last Friday with a second straight weekly gain. That brought a break in the recent trend of U.S. government bond prices

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     Residential real estate had a great year in 2015. Demand was strong and inventory, although dropping, was still enough to sustain the demand. It is expected that 2016 will also be a good year. It maybe a little more favorable for sellers since the affordability index continues to drop and inventory has fallen to 3.4 months.
     In Jacksonville metro area, prices continue to go up during the first month of 2016. The median sale price increased +14.6%. Inventory fell -17.7%.
In Ponte Vedra Beach (zip code 32082) there were 51 homes pending sale and 26 homes sold with prices ranging from $124,000 to $1,650,000. Average sale price was at 94% of the listing price. Average days on the market 102. To see last month’s real estate Market Statistics

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We have reported many times that the American Dream of homeownership is alive and well. The personal reasons to own differ for each buyer, with many basic similarities.

Eric Belsky, the Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University expanded on the top 5 financial benefits of homeownership in his paper -The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America.

Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study: 

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value

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Impacts from new federal guidelines were felt in November, creating additional time requirements to close on a mortgage for home buyers.  Home sales were down in November, with home which otherwise have closed in November to be pushed into December. 

The average time to close on a mortgage was 49 days in November, the longest timeline since February 2013, according to Ellie Mae's latest Origination Insight Report. Conventional and FHA loans each averaged 49 days while VA loans averaged 50 days.

The National Association of Realtors® has flagged the new RESPA-TILA "Know Before You Owe" mortgage regulations, which took effect Oct. 3, as the likely culprit for the longer closing times.

NAR reported last month that

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Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes rose last month with a total of

22,147, an increase of 1.2 percent over October 2014.

Statewide, October marked the 47th consecutive month in a row that the median sales

increased year-over-year for both single-family homes and townhouse-condo properties.

The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $198,995, up 12.4 percent from the previous year, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis department in partnership with local Realtor boards/associations.

The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in August was $150,000, up 7.2 percent over the year-ago figure. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for

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It's not a secret that real estate is extremely seasonal. Most realtors will tell you that winter months a very slow, buyer interest re-appears in January and closings peak during summer months. However, here are a few reasons to give yourself and your family a Christmas gift instead of waiting till spring to buy a home, as presented by Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of


Don’t Wait—Beat the Crowds and Buy This Winter

Now that the U.S. has regained its job-creation mojo, as the October employment report showed, the demand for housing is only going to grow.

After all, when people have jobs they can break off and form new households—ditching the roommates behind or finally moving out of Mom and Dad’s

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WASHINGTON – Nov. 10, 2015 – Freddie Mac issued a warning for homebuyers about scams that entice them by promising to raise their credit score in exchange for money.

"Who doesn't want the highest credit score possible to garner the most-favored terms?" Freddie Mac notes on its website. "For many Americans with consumer credit negatively impacted by the housing crisis and fluctuating economy, it's easy to be lured by the promise of a raised credit score," Freddie Mac says. "Schemes that falsely raise credit scores will land borrowers in scalding hot water – as well as cost you time and money combating both origination- and servicing-related fraud."

Freddie Mac highlighted three types of common fraud schemes to raise credit scores:

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Here are 48 things that Sellers can do with the help of their Realtor to speed up and ensure that the sale of their house go faster.  Things from painting, repairs, landscaping for curb appeal will significantly increase the chances of the house being sold faster.  Bringing buyers into a dirty home or where the outside yard is unkept can be disastrous. 

You would think Sellers would instantly want to spend a little money to spruce up their property to make it appealing to the Buyer.  Not always!  The reasons could be lack of funds, lack of knowledge or just don't care.  All they want is to get the house sold.  Realtors it is our job to help our Sellers see that decluttering and cleaning their homes as a perfect opportunity to spruce it up.  With your

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Buying a home can really be confusing, and intimidating for the first time home buyer.  So much to do, so little time!  Here is a link which may prove to be helpful in navigating through the process;

First Time Home Buyer To Do List

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Now that the heat of the summer has gone, it's time to plant fall flowers, put a little paint on your porch rails, and do other things to beautify your house in order to get it ready for sale.

For advice on how to get your house ready, please call me for a walk-through and to discuss listing your home for sale.  (904) 671-4160.

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