Naples-Marco Island metros at #1 spot statewide for price growth!

Naples-Marco Island metro area is first place in price growth in Florida state-wide.  The Naples real estate market has been heating up for the past year and is only getting hotter!  Rising 23.1 percent from July 2014 to July 2015,  average median price rose from $325,000 to $400,000.  Cape Coral-Fort Myers metro areas was listed second on the list of 20 with home prices rising 17.2 percent with a median home price range of $179,000 to $210,000.

One of the reasons by prices have grown is due to the low mortgage rates opportunities that appeal to buyers.  A 30 year fixed rate at 3 to 4 percent has appealed to buyers  and is hard to pass up.  There has also been a slow rise in the market supply which has affected price growth.  Asking prices are averaging out to be about 94.4 percent of the original price.


HARP Refinancing – Apply before it is too late!

Harp, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, helps homeowners who have an “upside down” mortgage by refinancing their loans and decreasing their interest rates.  A few years ago, it was more difficult to qualify for refinancing with HARP, but recently the strict standards have loosened its reigns substantially.  Those who were once unable to qualify are now more likely to be accepted.

Three major changes have been made to the HARP program:

The amount that the homeowner can be upside down on their mortgage has changed from 5% to even 100% depending on their financial situation and credit scores.  The qualifying requirements have been revised and become less strict.

Also, now homeowners can refinance through a lender other than their original lender. The deadline to refinance is currently Dec 31, 2015.  The time window is getting smaller and smaller as each day goes on.  So, now may be the time to consider applying for a HARP refinance if you need a lower interest rate.  The loan does need to be owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  The loan payments cannot be more than 30 days late within the past 6 months.


Retirees: Up-size or Downsize? That is the question…

Typically, when you think about retiring, you think of down-sizing, getting rid of the yard work duties, and other upkeep tasks that involve owning a home.   However, a recent study done by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave showed results that retirees are not downsizing, but up-sizing instead!  There are more 65-plus households in the US and the number of those homes are predicted to expand to 11 million within the next ten years!

The percentage of retirees that choose to up-size rather than downsize do so because they want to enjoy the best home of their lives during retirement.  They seek a larger home that feels comfortable and can house a large number of family members and guests whenever they visit.  The percentage of retirees who do decide to downsize mostly because of financial, maintenance burdens, or just by sheer preference.

Study Statistics:

30% up-sized.

49% didn’t downsize.

33% wanted larger homes for visitors or family members to live with them.

16% have a boomerang child that moved back in with them.