Atlantis, FL Real Estate News

By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
The Daily Hot Sheet Of Top Real Estate News Trending Now January 6, 2016   CFPB to lenders: No worries about small mistakesThe fed agency said the industry is in a transition phase with new mandatory mortgage disclosures, and it won't audit each transaction and threaten heavy fines. Read more. Exciting 2016 forecast: 'Normal' real estate marketRealtor.com lists five predictions for 2016, noting "a slowdown" really means "a return to normal." Plus construction, rent and mortgage rates will move higher. Read more. It took longer to close a home loan in Nov.VA loans closed in an average 50 days while conventional loans took 49 days. According to NAR, almost half of all Realtors are reporting longer closing times. Read more. Real estate Q&A: 'Wild deed' can cause troubleA divorcing couple f...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
Market Minute Updates Ending for the Week of January 1, 2016  Falling oil prices are near an 11-year low, with no signs of reversing. Cheap oil is disinflationary and generally good for mortgage rates. Jobless claims remain low as labor market conditions continue to improve. The strengthening employment market has helped the housing market recovery.  Consumers were optimistic about the economy and their own personal financial situations in December. Solid job growth and falling gas prices likely contributed. Home prices rose in October at a slightly higher pace than in September. Limited supply and strong demand continue to support price increases in the market. The "affordable starter home" is making a comeback, as builders are starting to focus on smaller, entry level inventory. This ...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
Is The Fed One & Done?Yes, the Fed raised rates on 12/16, but the market may not support any future increases.  Gross domestic product growth (GDP), for instance, continues to languish. Growth for the fourth quarter was recently revised down to 1.3% by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. The US dollar continues to gain strength, to the chagrin of US exporters, and oil prices are near a seven-year low.  What’s more is that deflation, not inflation, is a major concern. Central bankers are keen to cut interest rates, not raise them, in a deflationary environment. But, of course, that outlook could change if the facts change.
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
The Daily Hot Sheet Of Top Real Estate News Trending Now  January 5, 2016Fla. home sales, prices up in Nov. NAR says U.S. home sales "dropped considerably" in Nov. due in part to longer contract times after mortgage disclosure changes - but Fla. sales still rose 1.9%. Read more.New-home sales move 4.3% higher in Nov.New U.S. home sales picked up in Nov. even as existing sales declined. "Builders are increasing their inventory even as they face difficulties," says NAHB chairman. Read more.Pending home sales decline a bit in Nov.NAR's pending sales index dropped 0.9% month-to-month as buyers found fewer homes on the market, but the pending numbers keep rising year-to-year. Read more.Average mortgage rate tops 4% to kick off 2016The FRM hit 4.01% in Freddie Mac's last weekly report for 201...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
INFO THAT HITS  US THIS WEEK OF JANUARY 4TH 2016 & BEYOND    ... To stay focused on the day is a pretty useful piece of advice, since that's where progress is made. Progress, however, seemed elusive in last week's Pending Home Sales number, which declined slightly in November.  Yet this National Association of Realtors (NAR) index of contracts signed on existing homes was still a decent 2.7% ahead of where it was a year ago. Plus, we've now seen year-over-year gains in pending home sales for 15 months in a row.  True, there's been a modestly slowing trend since the index peaked at a nine-year high last May, but the housing market remains constrained by tight inventory levels in many areas. The Case-Shiller Home Price Index posted a 5.2% annual bump in October. But some feel that price a...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
Many Things Your Home Contractor Wishes You Knew  Planning a major renovation can be absolutely terrifying.First, you have to make a thousand decisions—about everything from kitchen layout to backsplash patterns to whether you want the chrome or brushed nickel finish on your faucets. And then you have to trust strangers to make those dreams a reality—without decimating your home and wallet in the process. Putting all your faith in a contractor is tough when you’ve been bombarded with horror stories about builders going rogue or cutting corners only to present you with a mind-walloping bill at the project’s completion. But it turns out that you have the power to influence whether a collaboration with your contractor goes well or not. Here’s how to make the process go smoothly—straight fr...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
When Holding an Open House? Don’t Make These Huge Mistakes  If you’re selling your home for the first time, you might think of the open house as the point at which your Realtor® waits until you leave, turns into a magician and, with a flick of the wrist, completely transforms the place into something out of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing.” But here’s the truth of it: Your agent isn’t practicing wizardry on the side. And you’re not responsibility-free when it comes to the open house. In fact, even though you’re not present for the open house (and you never, ever should be, if you want to sell the home), there are still quite a few ways that you can screw it up—and drive away potential buyers. These seven things will, according to our experts, destroy your chances of a successful open ho...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
Six Ways to Make Your Home Look Expensive & Desirable For 2016 You went bananas for this home improvement and design story that revealed some pretty simple (and cheap!) hacks for upping the “wow” factor on your digs.No surprise here that our advice to you included the old standbys of decluttering and cleaning. But a few other tricks had us heading straight for the toolbox in order to add the illusion of luxury.Can’t-Miss Tip: If you want to give your kitchen and bathrooms a makeover and barely lift a finger, update the hardware. Try gold, bronze or even crystal—or make an adventure of it and scour your local thrift store for vintage hardware that screams your style. Read More 
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
The Top Five Real Estate Trends That Will Shape 2016It’s the new year. Get ready to break out the Cristal: We had a great 2015—the best year for housing since 2007. And our forecast here at realtor.com® projects an even better year in 2016.How so? Well, with economic growth chugging along, employment will continue to increase, meaning that people will have more money coming in and they’ll be able to buy their first home or upgrade to a new one.Here’s a closer look at the trends that will have the greatest impact on the housing market in 2016.1. We’ll return to normal (Anyone remember normal?)The year ahead will see healthy growth in home sales and prices, but at a slower pace than in 2015. This slowdown is not an indication of a problem—it’s just a return to normalcy. We’ve lived throug...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
The Hottest Markets In The U.S. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or Festivus, the holidays seem to really take over the month of December: With long lines everywhere, office parties, decorations, and random elf sightings, everything else practically grinds to a halt. It’s typically not the best time to find a new job, start a diet, or—especially—buy or sell a home. Just as we’d expected, the residential real estate market cooled down a bit in the last month of 2015, with reduced demand and inventory in most major markets—though not as much of a slowdown as the same time last year, according to a preliminary analysis of the month’s data on realtor.com®.  Read More
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
Existing Home Sales Dial Back In Last Quarter of 2015With mortgage rates remaining below 4 percent for the third straight month, existing-home sales in October were at a healthy pace but failed to keep up with September's jump, according to the National Association of Realtors®. All four major regions saw no gains in sales in October.Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million in October from 5.55 million in September. Despite last month's decline, sales are still 3.9 percent above a year ago (5.16 million).  Read More 
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
How To Recycle Old Items & Furniture Into New Home Projects   Got an old dresser gathering dust in your attic? Or maybe you inherited your mother's Mason jar collection but not her love of canning? Instead of trashing it, try upcycling hand-me-downs into something new. There are a million options for turning one person's trash into another person's treasure. Here are a few ideas to get you started:  Window Shutters -- Give old wooden window shutters new life as a room divider, shabby chic sideboard, succulent planter, wall-mounted magazine holder or a cottage-inspired armoire.  Old Doors and Windows -- Repurpose old doors and windows into beautiful furniture pieces with a touch of history. Turn doors into kitchen tables, nightstands, room dividers, headboards and coffee tables. Repurpos...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
People vs. Winter and the winner is.........The holidays are here and almost over looking forward to what comes next. Well for some it will still be shorts and flip-flops and running the A/C.  AKA the folks here in S. Florida, sometimes sunny but we will save that for another post. Yes folks the dreaded cold is soon to embark with that fun-loving white stuff. So sit back get your popcorn ready with the snow tires and enjoy three minutes of sliding toward 2016.     
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
The Biggest Non-Factor of the Year.....The Fed Raising RatesThe Federal Reserve finally moved to raise the federal funds rate last week. Specifically, it raised the range on the fed funds rate to 0.25% to 0.50% from 0.0% to 0.25%. This is the first time the Fed has increased the range since 2006. So far, mission accomplished. For most of 2015, the fed funds rate has vibrated between 10 and 15 basis points. Recent quotes on Bloomberg show the fed funds rate at 35 basis points.  The market had been prepping for this for some time, so the rate hike’s short term impact has been minimal. We did see some movement higher on the short-end of the yield curve. Rates on the 1-year ARM and 5-1 ARM were quoted a bit higher. As for longer-term rates, there was a slight increase initially, but rates o...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
INFO THAT HITS US WHERE WE LIVE  & BEYOND FOR THE WEEK ON DECEMBER  28TH..   Some might think darkness fell on existing home sales in November. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported Existing Home Sales dropped 10.5% last month, which translates to a 4.76 million unit annual rate, the lowest we've seen since April 2014.  But hold on. New federal TRID regulations went into effect in October and as a result, the average time to close a loan grew to 49 days in November, which we reported last week.  Clearly, many sales that would have happened last month will now occur in this one. Expect an existing home sales spike in December and a return to trend in the first few months of the new year. Existing home inventory decreased 3.3% in November and now stands 1.9% below its level ...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
Where Did That Saying Come From??? Early aircraft throttles had a ball on the end of it, in order to gofull throttle the pilot had to push the throttle all the way forwardinto the wall of the instrument panel. Hence "balls to the wall" forgoing very fast.  During WWII, U.S. Airplanes were armed with belts of bullets whichthey would shoot during dogfights and on strafing runs. These beltswere folded into the wing compartments that fed their machine guns.These belts measure 27 feet and contained hundreds of rounds ofbullets. Often times, the pilots would return from their missionshaving expended all of their bullets on various targets. They wouldsay, I gave them the whole nine yards, meaning they used up all oftheir ammunition. Did you know the saying "God willing and the creek don't rise...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
Greetings and Seasonal Salutations The PC Version    To All My Democrat Friends:    Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.    I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2016, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of ...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
Miracles Do Happen, Even during a Ski TripJack decided to go skiing with his buddy, Bob. So they loaded up Jack's minivan and headed north. After driving for a few hours, they got caught in a terrible blizzard.  So they pulled into a nearby farm and asked the attractive lady who answered the door if they could spend the night.  "I realize its terrible weather out there and I have this huge house all to myself, but I'm recently widowed," she explained. "I'm afraid the neighbors will talk if I let you stay in my house." "Don't worry," Jack said. "We'll be happy to sleep in the barn. And if the weather breaks, we'll be gone at first light." The lady agreed, and the two men found their way to the barn and settled in for the night. Come morning, the weather had cleared, and they got on thei...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
How To Keep Your Blogs On Top Of The Viewership  A blog is an excellent way to position yourself as an expert in your marketplace and engage your target audience. One of the challenges, however, is keeping your blog going. The last thing you want is a blog that hasn’t had a new post in three years! That sends the wrong message. Here are some ideas for posts that will help keep your blog active and effective:  Expert advice from you. This can be in the form of a short article or list of tips. Client success stories. These get high readership. Q&A is the easiest format. Simply send your clients four to five questions, then publish their answers. Updates on the local market. Most homeowners want to know what’s going on in the local real estate scene. Community news. Post updates regarding ...
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By Winston Heverly, GRI, ABR, SFR, CDPE, CIAS, PA
(Winston Realty, Inc.)
Quick Tips Of How To Seperate Out The Serious Buyers  One of the biggest challenges sales associates face is separating the serious buyers from those who are “just looking.” After all, you don’t want to waste time with those who will never buy, nor do you want to neglect prospects who are genuinely seeking a new home. One technique that can help you effectively identify serious buyers is to develop and use a list of qualifying questions. You can weave these into conversations with prospects, or even integrate them into a form on your website.  Your questions will vary depending on the type of client with whom you work, the geographic areas you target, the type of properties in which you specialize, and so forth. Here are some examples: “Is your current home listed for sale?” What is you...
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