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Brice R. Miller

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Will stock price hits help keep mortgage rates low?

by Brice R. Miller

WASHINGTON – Jan. 27, 2016 – Volatile stock and oil markets have some investment strategists looking for the Federal Reserve to step in with a balm Wednesday by signaling more modest rate hikes this year than it had planned.

But economists say the Fed is likely to acknowledge the global and market turbulence without indicating a change in course, especially with the economy turning in blockbuster job growth.

"They don't want to tip their hand one way or another because they don't know," says Barclays economist Michael Gapen.

Futures markets give virtually no chance the Fed will raise its key interest rate after a two-day meeting, but analysts will scour its post-meeting statement for clues on future increases.

Last month, the central bank lifted its federal funds rate by one-quarter percentage point, its first hike in nearly a decade, and projected it will continue to raise rates gradually, by another percentage point this year. Fed officials partly attributed the cautious approach to low inflation and weakness overseas.

Economists figured that blueprint called for the next quarter-point rate increase in March, with three more similar hikes in 2016. So far this year, however, news on China's slowdown has become more dire, oil prices have tumbled further, and stocks are down about 6 percent, even after a recent rally. The dollar has continued to strengthen, which could further douse inflation.

By slowing growth and inflation, Morgan Stanley reckons, these developments already have had the effect of four rate hikes.

Money Manager Patrick Adams of Choice Investment Group wrote to clients the Fed on Wednesday should do "some serious back-peddling" on its outlook and rate increases. Some analysts expect only two hikes in 2016.

Copyright © 2016, USATODAY.com, USA TODAY, Paul Davidson. Contributing: Adam Shell

Seller's Market?

by Brice R. Miller

Gainesville’s single family housing is quickly approaching a seller’s market with the Supply of Inventory dropping to 6.9 months.  This continues a strong declining trend seen since the peak of 15.4 months in June of 2009, and is being driven by a 52.5% year-over-year increase in New Pending Sales.  The continued strong demand and resulting decrease in Active Listings (-10.8% year-over-year) has pushed the average sale price from $175,555 to $194,646.  Expect a return to more moderate price growth due to an increase in new listings as sellers are raising their estimation of the value of their homes.

Don’t be too alarmed by rising prices though… home values are just rebounding after negative growth attributable to distressed assets being absorbed by the marketplace.  There are still lots of homes for sale at fair prices, and now is a great time to invest in the right property.  If you are looking to purchase, expect to act quickly as well priced homes are not staying on the market long and often result in multiple offer scenarios.  Contact Miller Real Estate today to learn about the advantages of using our team of real estate professionals to help you navigate the ever-changing marketplace! 

This article contains our interruption of statistics included in Gainesville-Alachua County Association of REALTORS® Monthly Market Detail – August 2013 for Single Family Homes.  A copy of the full report can be obtained by contacting Miller Real Estate at 352-872-5704. 

Gainesville-Florida-Realty.com brought to you as a service of Miller Real Estate.

$350 Million to Fla. Homeowners!

by Brice R. Miller

State officials announced a new program for Florida homeowners who owe more on mortgages than their homes are worth.  The Florida Hardest Hit Principal Reduction Program will provide a break of up to $50,000 for qualifying applications.  According to Florida Housing’s executive director Steve Auger, “For those who qualify, this new program can help to reduce their principal balance, which can result in a lower monthly payment and put more money in their pockets.” 

You will have to act fast, as the program is initially restricted to 25,000 applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.  The online application begins tomorrow (9/25/13) at 9 am at www.principalreductionflhhf.org.  Some of the rules to qualify are: 

  • The unpaid balance of the mortgage cannot exceed $350,000;
  • Homeowners must be Florida residents and legal U.S. citizens;
  • The house must be occupied as a primary residence;
  • Total household income cannot exceed 140% of the area’s median income;
  • Mortgage payments must be current with no payments later than 60 days in the past 24 months; and
  • The mortgage had to originate prior to Jan 1, 2010. 

Hopefully the ‘Hardest Hit’ program will help to preserve home ownership and prevent more homes entering the market as distressed properties. 

Gainesville-Florida-Realty.com brought to you as a service of Miller Real Estate.

Upgrading Your Kitchen on a budget

by Doug Chapman

By Doug Chapman, www.homedaddys.com

It might sound like a daunting task – both financially and mentally – to upgrade your kitchen. Whether you are trying to make passive income from real estate or just trying to upgrade to your dream house, there are many things you can do to make it a welcoming area even if you are on a limited budget.                                                                      

You don’t have to watch all of the TV shows to get your kitchen design ideas on ways to upgrade your kitchen. Keep it simple and stick to the basics. Many things can be done that will give your entire kitchen a look like it has been completely uprooted and started over – finishing with the look that will have all of your guests marveling at what you have done.

You can do many things to your kitchen in one weekend, so it won’t take up your time. And you will be able to do it within your budget, which is the most important aspect of redoing it.

Here are a few ways to upgrade your kitchen at a relatively low cost:

Give The Walls A Fresh Paint Job

Provided that you don’t already have tile or backsplash on your kitchen walls, this might be the easiest and most inexpensive way to give your kitchen a refreshing look that it desperately needs. This doesn’t have to be a project that gives your kitchen an entirely new look, either. Simply paint over the old color with a new fresh off-white or tan background. Don’t go overboard and try to make it something that it shouldn’t be, because a lot of times it then becomes an eye sore. Give it something plain, but make sure to do the edging and under the cabinets very well so that it gives off a sharp look to everyone.

Add Lighting

No matter what room you are remodeling or re-decorating, adding extra light always is a smart move. You can make it simple by adding a few extra light fixtures to the kitchen, or you could simply change all of the light bulbs to LED to give it a new look. There are so many different fixtures that you can choose from at your local hardware store so do the due diligence and figure out what works best, not only for your budget but also for the interior designer in you. Most can be installed by yourself, but you can also hire an electrician for little cost to come in and install them in no time.      

Paint Your Cabinets

Since the cabinets are the centerpiece of many kitchens, you want to make sure that you have them updated and painted at all times. An easy way to do that is to take a simple color of paint – even the same that they already are – and paint over them. This won’t take long, but the lasting impression will be worth it.

Add Storage Shelves

If you don’t have the cabinets like you may want, then an easy solution for storage is to add shelving throughout. These are inexpensive to buy and very easy to hang. They will add functional space to either put dishes or knickknacks, and they will add a nice touch to any kitchen.

Stage Your Home To Sell Quickly

by Doug Chapman

By Doug Chapman, www.homedaddys.com

When you are preparing to sell your home, a major part of the process is to stage your home that, in essence, looks like a model home. You want to de-personalize most of it and you also want to make it look clean, fresh and new.

Making it a neutral house can be simple, but you should make sure you do everything in your power to get the home looking better than ever.

Here are some ideas and tips to take into consideration when you are putting your house on the market:                                                                 

Do All Patch-Up Work

This might not be at the top of your list to “want” to do, but doing all of the patch-up work will go a long way when potential buyers start coming through the house. This includes patching up small holes from pictures that were hung or from little scratches from moving furniture from time to time. By patching up the holes and adding a fresh paint job, your house will look that much more appealing when you hold your open house or when the realtor starts bringing traffic through your home.

Light The House

Dark rooms are a killer, so make sure that all of your lights are working and make sure that you allow the light from outside to shine through your windows. Even if it is dark outside at night, still make sure to allow as much light enter the house as possible. Add additional lamps where needed and make sure that all of the light bulbs are functioning so that they don’t blow out in the middle of the open house.  Even choosing bright paint colors for bedroom can help ad some life in the room.

Get Storage Unit

Removing clutter not only outside of the house but also inside the house is imperative. Potential buyers need to see a lot of storage place so the last thing you want them to notice is too much furniture in a room or not enough space for all of your ‘junk’ – which could be anything from kids’ toys to extra clothes to excess blankets and towels. In order to alleviate this problem, get a storage unit to move a majority of these items so that your house looks clean and bigger. Storage units can be rented month-by-month or if you think it might take a few months to sell your home, many times you can get cheaper deals by renting them on a three-month or six-month basis. Regardless, make sure you get rid of the clutter and hide it in a storage unit.

Replace All Fixtures and Appliances

Potential buyers can be easily turned off by seeing old fixtures, toilet seats or appliances around the house so it would be in your best interest to update all of these. If you don’t have the money or don’t want to invest the money in brand new appliances throughout the kitchen, that is fine. But you might want to pick at least one to replace so that it livens up the kitchen. In terms of the bathrooms, it is very inexpensive to replace the shower fixtures or the toilet seat covers but yet they will go a long way in showing the potential buyers that you keep things updated and clean throughout the house.

Don't say we didn't tell you!!!

by Brice R. Miller

Prices have begun to rise!  According to the May 2013 Monthly Market Detail released by Florida Realtors®, the median sales price of single family homes is up 9.1% year over year to $180,500.  This is also a significant increase over the March and April median sales prices of approximately $160,000.  Why are prices going up?  Simple supply and demand...  Pending sales of single family homes are up 70.7% year over year!  Even though new listings are up 30%, they can't keep up with the increase in pending sales and the Month's Supply of Inventory is down to 7.6 months (1277 listings).  The inventory will continue to decrease and drive prices further up if current sales trends continue. 

In an abrupt shift from the previous years, the Gainesville area is quickly approaching a seller's market.  Expect to see more new home construction if builder's can overcome labor shortage and financing issues.  Closed condo sales are trending upward as well, even as prices increase as a result of less inventory.  Expect a seller's market atmosphere in the condo market with Month's Supply of Inventory at 5.6 months.  Contact Miller Real Estate today if you are ready to capitalize on the improving market by listing your property for sale!   

Gainesville-Florida-Realty.com brought to you as a service of Miller Real Estate.

Y U NO BUY?!?

by Brice R. Miller

Did you know that buying a home is cheaper than renting?  According to Trulia's Rent vs. Buy Report, it is 44 percent cheaper!  Jed Kolko, Trulia's chief economist, states "People who didn't buy a home last year may have missed the bottom of the market, but they haven't completely missed the boat.  Buying remains cheaper than renting in all 100 large metros.  Even buyers who can't get today's lowest mortgage rates will still find that buying makes more financial sense than renting in nearly all local markets..."

The report compared the costs between homes for sale and rent, and factored in transaction costs, taxes and opportunity costs.  A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with 20 percent down, itemizing tax deductions at the 25% bracket, and a stay of seven years in the home was assumed.  If you're ready to start saving money, AND building equity, call Miller Real Estate today!

Gainesville-Florida-Realty.com brought to you as a service of Miller Real Estate.

 

Mortgage Rates Continue to Rise

by Brice R. Miller

Fixed U.S. mortgage rates rose for the sixth straight week to 3.98%, according to a June 14 AP article by Marcy Gordon, AP business writer. The rise is a result in concerns that the Federal reserve will scale back its bond purchases. Regardless, mortgage rates still remain low by historical standards, and home prices are still depressed. If you have been sitting on the fence, now is a great time to buy!  Contact Miller Real Estate today at 352-872-5704 to take advantage of today's low rates

Gainesville-Florida-Realty.com brought to you as a service of Miller Real Estate.

Expect Prices to Increase!

by Brice R. Miller

The Median Sale Price of single family homes in Alachua County has been pretty flat throughout the first part of 2013, with the Florida REALTORS® April 2013 Monthly Market Detail value  at $159,000.  This lack of growth is partially due to the lingering presence of distressed assets in the marketplace.  However, there is good news on the horizon!  April’s 37.9% year-over-year increase in closed sales of foreclosed homes continues a strong trend that indicates banks are more proactively working to eliminate bad loans from their books.  The absorption of foreclosures by the marketplace, coupled with a decreased supply of inventory, bode well for an increase in home prices. 

Such an increase would follow the national housing market.  The Wall Street Journal reported in a May 1, 2013 article titled Housing Market Accelerates that home prices have jumped 9.3% year-over-year.  This is the quickest rise in prices since 2006, and seems to be in line with last year’s forecast by the National Association of REALTORS® Chief Economist that home prices would rise 15% in 3-years.  Miller Real Estate forecasts more conservative growth locally, with home prices rising steady as the current supply of inventory approaches 6 months (currently at 7.9 months).  This trend should also translate into a jump in home construction, as rising prices make new homes a more viable option.  Don’t expect drastic changes in the number of permits for new homes just yet though, as builders will face their own challenges due to increased material cost, lack of developed lots, and a shortage of skilled labor. 

The bottom line is that home prices will increase… and soon!  We are already seeing increased competition for existing inventory with most “good deals” resulting in multiple offer scenarios.  If you’ve been sitting on the sideline waiting until the market improved to list your home, now is the time.  Contact Miller Real Estate today at 352-872-5704 to take advantage of the improving market! 

Gainesville-Florida-Realty.com brought to you as a service of Miller Real Estate.

Market Continues Recovery

by Brice R. Miller

Gainesville’s single family housing market continues a strong recovery with January’s huge year-over-year jump of 74.5% for pending sales.  This is by far the largest year-over-year percentage change in the last 12 months.  Median and average sale prices are finally beginning to creep up after negative growth attributable to distressed assets being absorbed by the marketplace.  Although year-over-year inventory is down significantly (-11.4%) due to an increase in closed sales, January saw 5.5% more inventory than December; indicating that sellers are raising their estimation of the value of their homes.  It is a fairly balanced buyer’s/seller’s market with lots of homes for sale at fair prices.  However, the great deals that were seen at the bottom of the market are becoming few and far between with most resulting in multiple offer scenarios.  If you are thinking about putting your home on the market, contact Miller Real Estate today to learn about the advantages of using our team of real estate professionals to help you sell! 

This article contains our interruption of statistics included in Gainesville-Alachua County Association of REALTORS® Monthly Market Detail – January 2013 for Single Family Homes.  A copy of the full report can be obtained by contacting Miller Real Estate at 352-872-5704. 

Gainesville-Florida-Realty.com brought to you as a service of Miller Real Estate.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 76

Contact Information

Miller Real Estate
Miller Real Estate, Inc.
3601 SW 2nd Avenue, Suite O
Gainesville FL 32607
Office: 352.872.5704
Cell: 352.494.5449
Fax: 352.872.5705