Winter Garden, FL Real Estate News

By Robert Schott & Paula Hemani, Your Link to Real Estate
(TeamConnect Realty)
A few years ago homes in the gated Stoneybrook West golf community were in high demand because of its location.  Today with the housing market upside down and home values still trying to find the bottom a buyer can get a great deal here.  I remember in 2004 you could not find the Grand Brighton model which has over 4,000 sq. feet of living space and if you did you were looking in the $600,000 range.  Today you can get one of these homes with an open floor plan and a 3 car garage in the $300,000 range depending on its location in the community.Stoneybrook West features an Arthur Hill designed 18 hole, par 72 golf course, fully stocked pro shop, restaurant and bar, outdoor roller-skating rink, basketball courts, tennis courts, club house with fitness room and craft room, party rooms, comm...
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By Darrel Davis, Southern Heritage Realty
(Winter Garden, Florida)
The sales closed of single family homes in Winter Garden for the month of June were brisk. The average price of a home was between $200,000 and $300,000. The upper priced homes in the above $400,000 range with a pool showed much less marketing time than other price brackets. FHA loans are making an impact in the lower sectors with other assistance programs such as Ameridream pulling in some sales as well. Some homes closed very close to their respective list price, but many others showed sizeable differences actual selling price compared to list price. Sales closed for the month of July seems to be falling behind the previous month of June with 89 homes currently under contract. To date only 8 homes have closed this month but this number is not a likely indicator of the monthly totals t...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
For first-time buyers, often the first thought that comes to mind is, "I need a down payment." This is often followed by the question, "Now, where do I get that down payment?" Depending upon the loan type, a home mortgage typically requires 3 to 5 percent down. If you have the money, then you're set. But what if you don't? What if you're renting? You can afford a mortgage within your means, but coming up with the down payment money needed to begin the transaction can be challenging. So, where can you turn? One of the most overlooked sources of down payment funds is likely right under your nose-in the form of government bonds and local grant programs. These programs either provide outright monetary grants for down payment or money to buyers in the form of a forgivable loan. In essence, ...
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By Rick Belben, Orlando Real Estate - Belben Realty Group
(Belben Realty Group)
  Click here to "Get a FREE List of all NEW properties just added to the market in Winter Garden FL" Beat other homebuyers to the hottest Winter Garden new homes coming on the market with my FREE list of properties meeting your specific requirements.  Right to your email.  Great Deals still sell very fast so sign up today for your FREE List of homes and don't miss out on a great opportunity. It's a Great Time to Buy a Home!! Call Rick Belben direct at (407) 341-1706 to set-up your FREE List of New Winter Garden Properties. Orlando Real Estate Orlando Homes For Sale Winter Garden Real Estate Rick BelbenAmerivest Realty of Central Florida(407) 341-1706
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By Darrel Davis, Southern Heritage Realty
(Winter Garden, Florida)
The City of Winter Garden will be sponsoring a Pre-Foreclosure workshop to educate the public on this serious subject. There will be an informative presentation by one of the nation's leading speakers on foreclosure prevention, as well as a panel of professionals with experiance and training in their prospective areas. There will be representitives from HUD and many others in order to assist the public in this crisis they are facing. The workshop is open to the public but room is limited and registering early is best.  The event will be held at the new Winter Garden City Hall (downtown Winter Garden) in the commissioner's chambers. The time is 9am to 1pm and refreshments will be provided.
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
The Orlando Real Estate Voice is happy to offer a great article on jumbo loans from David Reed - the author of Mortgage 101 and Mortgage Confidential: Everyone knows the jumbo loan market has been out of whack for nearly 18 months. "jumbo" loans, those amounting to more than $417,000, took it on the chin when mortgage investors stopped buying subprime and alternative loans. For that reason, jumbo rates can be as much as 1.50 percent higher than conforming rates. Historically, jumbo rates were only about a quarter of a percent higher than a conforming rate, but this new spread has kept many out of the housing market: especially those that I call, "just jumbo." So what exactly is "just jumbo?" It's a loan amount that just exceeds the conforming limit of $417,000 and typically reflects a s...
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By Rick Belben, Orlando Real Estate - Belben Realty Group
(Belben Realty Group)
Buying or Selling? One Call Does it ALL!! Rick Belben Direct (407) 341-1706 Are you looking for an experienced real estate professional who knows the Orlando Real Estate market and can get the results you desire? Let me put my knowledge, experience, and dedication to work for you. Give me a call today, and I will immediately get to work for you - satisfying your real estate needs. Buying a Home? I'll take the time to listen to your needs and desires, and find your dream home. Your total satisfaction is my number one priority. Selling a Home? I will get your home sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. My online and offline marketing programs will give you the edge you need to sell your home. I don't want to just list your home, I want to sell it! Fast! Relocating to the Orlando Flor...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
The Federal Housing Administration shook up Washington's mortgage and real estate leaders last week by announcing that it's shifting its entire production line to risk-based pricing -- starting this summer. FHA plans to abandon its 74-year policy of charging all borrowers the same insurance premiums and interest rates, and to move to a system where applicants who present high risks -- low credit scores and low down payments -- pay higher premiums. Though private mortgage insurers have been using this approach since the mid-1990s, it's a big move for FHA. Currently the agency charges a standard one and a half percent up front premium, and a half percent annual renewal premium -- all of which are folded into monthly mortgage payments. Under the new system, applicants with FICO scores belo...
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By Rick Belben, Orlando Real Estate - Belben Realty Group
(Belben Realty Group)
Looking for a Good Deal NEW HOMES is the way to go!!! If you are looking to purchase a new home in any Central Florida New Home Community NOW is a excellent time to do so. New Home builders in the Orlando, Apopka and Central Florida area have dropped the prices and are offering great incentives. Do you need a REALTOR® when buying a brand new home from a builder? ABSOLUTELY!!! When you walk into a Model home and you're greeted by the salesperson, remember they work for the Builder and have the Builders best interest in mind NOT YOURS! Thinking of Buying a NEW home in the Orlando, Apopka and Central Florida area? Don't BUY WITHOUT Representation. Call Rick Belben BEFORE YOU VISIT the sales center as I must accompany you on your 1st visit. Let me represent you and Save thousands on new hom...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
I just don't understand the course we're on. Since when is it OK to just walk away from your responsibilities when things don't work out the way you wanted them to? Many people treated their homes like a day-trade on the stock market. Now that their ‘gamble' isn't working out, they seek government bailouts (not unlike their lenders and mortgage companies at my expense as a taxpayer) or the ability to just walk off into the sunset to live a carefree stress-free life. What about all the people that WERE responsible, who didn't wipe out every penny of their equity, who didn't run out buying three and four condos, who lived within their means? Why is it now our responsibility to bail these clowns out? It's just not right. I find myself having a hard time feeling sorry for all these people,...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Will you wear blue?International Picture of the Year Here are two very touching photos honored this year. First Place: First PlaceTodd Heisler The Rocky Mountain NewsWhen 2nd Lt. James Cathey's body arrived at the Reno Airport , Marines climbed into the cargo hold of the plane and draped the flag over his casket as passengers watched the family gather on the tarmac.During the arrival of another Marine's casket last year at Denver International Airport , Major Steve Beck described the scene as so powerful: 'See the people in the windows? They sat right there in the plane, watching those Marines. You gotta wonder what's going through their minds, knowing that they're on the plane that brought him home,' he said 'They will remember being on that plane for the rest of their lives. They're ...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Have you been feeling frustrated at clients who don't seem to be able to make a decision? At the beginning they seem interested in buying, either they've contacted you or you contacted them. Then as they see some homes and may begin listening to the news about today's marketplace, they start to get cold feet.They don't return your phone calls or e-mails, and when you finally reached them they say, "I'm not sure this is the best time to buy. I've heard prices may get lower."At this point you can either get exasperated and give up or you can give them a good reason to buy now, one that they can't refuse.This is a simple three step process:First, say to them, "Did you know that Donald Trump is buying up as much real estate as he can right now?" Client, "No, really? Why?" You respond with,...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
You might not hear much about them on TV or in the papers, but there are some economic signs popping up right now that are -- at the VERY least -- encouraging for housing and real estate. Take the gold standard of all forward indicators for the U.S. economy -- the Conference Board's "Index of Leading Indicators," which is based on a broad survey of industry data and predicts economic activity three to six months down the road. The latest Conference Board index registered its first increase in six months. Now I know that all we hear about these days is recession: it's either already here or it's about to happen. But the index suggests that there should be positive growth underway in the second half of the year, if not sooner. Look at the stock market, it's starting it's upward trend aga...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Orlando's housing marketing experienced a month-over-month increase in the number of home sales, an increase in the number of pending sales contracts, and a decrease in the amount of inventory - all baby steps toward a market balanced between buyers and sellers. The monthly statistical reports released by the Orlando Regional Realtor® Association revealed some additional interesting tidbits for the month of March: the sales of homes costing upwards of $1 million more than doubled in March compared to last month; the sales of duplexes, town homes, and villas have increased in each of the last three months; and the majority of condos sold have fallen into lower and lower price categories for each of the last three months.The median sales price of a single-family home in the Orlando area ...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Homeowners reluctant to sell because prices have fallen should do the math and realize that the market downturn could work in their favor."People are finding houses at prices they thought they'd never see again," I would like to point out that to potential sellers that if the house a buyer covets used to be $500,000 but its price has fallen 20 percent to $400,000, it is a deal, even if the buyer's own home also has lost 20 percent of its value.In general, the toughest will be for people who bought within the last three years, at the height of the market. But even for these homeowners, selling now may make sense as long as they can at least break even, or their trade up property is down more than their current property. (ie., that $500,000 home 3 years ago that may be now worth $400,000...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Basic Information on the Stimulus PaymentsYou've heard about it. Now find out how to get yours.What is it? It's an economic stimulus payment that more than 130 million households will receive starting in May. It's not taxable, and it won't reduce your 2007 or 2008 refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2008 return.Are you eligible? The vast majority of people who file a 2007 income tax return qualify, and many who don't regularly file a tax return may qualify as well. You're eligible if you have a valid Social Security Number (SSN), can't be claimed as a dependent on a tax return and have either an income tax liability or "qualifying income" of at least $3,000. Qualifying income includes any combination of earned income and certain benefits from Social Security, Vetera...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Just a note on perspective for some of the foreclosure news you are seeing. Is it rough out there? Well consider this, in a news article today (see below) there are apparently frightening numbers on forclosure rates - " U.S. Foreclosures Jump 57%" . Awful state of affairs - right? How about this headline for the same article - "99.8% of U.S. Households NOT in Forclosure" Amazing? Can't be true? Check the math. Use the numbers provided in the article - "More than 234,000 properties were in some stage of foreclosure, or one in every 538 U.S. households... ". Pull out your calculator and work out the percentage - .001859 or .1859% (1 divided by 538). Yep - that is LESS than two-tenths of one percent. Well that is the national number, you might say, but Florida is much worse. You are absol...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
Is there a difference between a Mortgage Pre-Qualification letter and a Mortgage Pre-Approval letter?The reality is that most all buyers need to obtain a mortgage loan to purchase a home. Since mortgage approval is such an integral aspect of a home purchase, wouldn't it make sense that REALTORS® have a better understanding of the mortgage pre-approval process, since so few buyers are able to buy a home and pay cash. These terms appear to be similar, but can be quite different. Not only do they cause confusion for home buyers, there seems to be many interpretations from those in the real estate and mortgage industry as well. Speaking as a REALTOR®, the difference is in documentation and verification. In other words, is the buyer providing copies of income paystubs and bank account state...
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By Debbie Summers
(Charles Rutenberg Realty )
  What's up with the photo?This timeless neighborhood could have been built 60 years ago when black and white photography was all that there was, but these homes are brand new. We've just returned from our first look at Oakland Park in West Orange County in Winter Garden, Florida.I have to tell you that it takes a lot to impress me, I've visited some of the best master planned communities in Florida including WaterColor, Seaside, and Celebration.  I was really impressed by the thought and time that has gone into developing this community on the shores of Lake Apopka.Please check back for additional and new information about this Green Community. Considering a Move to Central Florida?Do you want to  Buy or Sell a home?Contact Debbie Summers, REALTOR®, ALHS, e-PRO, RE/MAX Central RealtyPl...
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By Jerry LaRose, ABR, GRI, e-PRO, CLHMS
(Keller Williams Classic Realty)
"2008-the Best Year to Buy a Home in 35 Years!" In April of 1973, mortgage rates were about the same as they are today. Since that time, we have only had mortgage rates this low during 2001 and 2002, the height of the seller's markets where there was little inventory. In the last two major buyer's markets, one in the early 1980s and the other in the early 1990s, the rates were much higher. In 1978, interest rates were at 9.75 percent, en route to 18 to 21 percent in 1980. In the early 1990s, the rates were hovering in the 11 to 12 percent range. Thus, today's buyer's market, with exceptionally low mortgage rates plus a substantial supply of inventory, is the best time in decades to purchase.About the author: Jerry LaRose is an Orlando Area Residential Real Estate Expert, who can assist ...
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