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Home Prices Rose 5.8% in 2014

For 2014, the national median existing home price hit its highest level since 2007: $208,500. The median price also represents a 5.8% increase from 2013 ($197,100), data from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® show.

Meanwhile, the number of home sales for the year declined 3.1%. But despite low levels of properties for sale in many markets, the number of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops that sold in December 2014 rose 2.4% from November and were up 3.5% compared with December 2013. Read the rest of this entry »

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Packing Tips to Get You Moving

Get MovingPacking Tips to Get You Moving

Packing is one of those dreaded but necessary chores of moving. Not only is it time consuming, but it sheds light on how much we really have accumulated since the last move. But it can be a manageable task by starting early and having a plan.

Don’t wait until the last minute.


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Closing Process Explained

I get lots of questions about the closing process from Miami home buyers.  Today I came across a neat video from the folks over at Federal Title that explains the process simply, while totally entertaining you.

So, instead of having your eyes glaze over as I explain the closing process, spend two minutes watching this neat video.  Kudos to the folks at Federal![youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fifp2mLGoWc[/youtube]

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Housing Stimulus Bill Summary

I’m going to catch some slack from my blogging colleagues on this one. That’s because I’m reprinting an article in it’s entirety. What a faux pas! But for time’s sake, I opted for that this time. This issue is too important and I don’t have the time for a full-fledged analysis of it but still want to make my readers aware of what’s going on. I do hope to blog soon about the fact that this bill ELIMINATES in it’s entirety down payment assistance programs and I don’t agree with the change. But for now, without further ado, I present you the National Association of REALTORS®’ take on the Housing Stimulus bill:

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Short Sales In Miami Dade

short salesIt occurred to me that 80% of the home buyers I am working with in Miami are looking specifically at short sales yet I do not have any short sale articles posted on my blog. Hmmm! It’s really because I am busy working the short sales and have not had time to write about them.

I promise to return and dedicate more blog space to short sales but at the very least I’d like to explain what a short sale is.

So… what exactly is a short sale? Very simply put, it’s when a property is being sold for less than the amount owed to the bank(s) on it.

The short sale process is more involved than the traditional home buying process. There are things to look out for whether you are the seller or the buyer in a short sale.

If you need more information on short sales before I have the opportunity to write more posts, feel free to contact me.

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Do You Not Understand Its Mortgage Fraud?

HandcuffsI like selling real estate in the Miami Redland. I’ve met some great people in my business. I’ve helped lots of folks and knowing I’ve done a good job is extremely satisfying to me.

Yesterday I didn’t like one of the people who contacted me. I was on my way to a meeting in Aventura and driving on I-95. I’m not that familiar with the area and was keeping an eye on the exits.

My phone rang and I answered, “Hello, this is Maggie!” The gentleman on the phone asked me about some homes in an area of Homestead. I told him that I didn’t have homes available specifically where he said but a little further away I have a development listed with 15 homes still available for sale and affordable.

He asked me for the prices and if there were any incentives. I answered all his questions and he said something about wanting “cash back.” I told him we were not offering cash back at closing. I went even further and told him it was mortgage fraud and illegal.

He said to let him worry about that. He asked me again for the prices. I repeated them. “What will they appraise at?” he asked me. OK, now I see he’s trying to skin the cat a different way. I know where he’s headed with this.

I tried really hard to not sound arrogant when I replied, “they will appraise at what they’re priced at. If they were to appraise higher, we would be selling them for more money.” Now this may seem like common sense, but I did understand where he was headed. He’s familiar with appraisals that come in, magically, at numbers that are inflated. These inflated appraisals are key in being able to commit mortgage fraud. I guess he thinks he knows my business better than I do.

Mr. Cash Back must have realized that my patience was wearing thin. He told me he’d call me back if he decided to look at these homes. I’m happy if he loses my phone number. The only orange I look good in is perhaps an orange scarf. An entire jumpsuit might be a bit much. Besides that, I worked hard for my license and am actually proud of it. I won’t be risking losing it anytime soon.

By the time I hung up I realized I had passed my exit by 5 miles. Dagnabit!

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These articles are not intended to give legal or tax advice, and you should consult your attorney or financial advisor for additional information.

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