Imagine what it is like for a person to be placed in a position where they have to sell their house in today's national housing market. For millions of people throughout the country, this point in time can be a depressing one. Not only will many people have to face the prospect of selling their homes for far less than they ever thought they would be able to, but selling a home could also come with title issues, disagreements over contract terms and lack of disclosure claims. It's is in the faces of millions of Americans every day: the residential real estate market is still struggling badly in the wake of the economic recession and the bursting of the housing bubble.
Many of our South Florida readers who are familiar with previous posts here have seen plenty of good news regarding the residential real estate market in the area. Despite the continuing malaise of the housing market throughout much of the country, with a recovery only coming at a snail's pace, the market in South Florida has been hot for months and is only getting hotter. Well, on the heels of all of that good news regarding the residential real estate market, a report has been issued recently which predicted that the commercial real estate market will continue to improve as well.
Let's face it: electronics have changed almost everything. Over the last twenty years there have been so many advances to change society's level of interaction, as well as the way people interact, that now it is almost impossible to imagine how we managed without cell phones and computers. Homeowners have probably seen some changes in how they interact with banks, with many now preferring an automatic withdrawal to pay the monthly mortgage payment.
While we have frequently discussed the recent upward trend of the South Florida real estate market, it is important to remember that, while the picture in some cases may be improving, many homeowners are still struggling. Florida was one of the hardest hit states during the housing meltdown, and a full recovery is far from complete.
Florida real estate investors looking for a lesson in purchasing strategy will be interested to hear of a 14-year-old girl who snatched up a 679-square-foot home in Port Charlotte for $12,000.
According to a recent decision involving mortgage lender Countrywide (now owned by Bank of America since 2008), over 200,000 African-American and Hispanic loan borrowers could receive between $500 to thousands of dollars in remuneration. A payment of $335 million is meant to settle charges of discrimination stemming from Florida's housing boom. Bank of America will make payments to borrowers nationwide, and thousands of people in South Florida are expected to receive compensation. It is likely that the lender's unfair practices against communities of color led to many needless foreclosures.
Last week, we touched on some contradictory trends that characterized South Florida real estate in 2011. For many Broward County residents who are seeking to close on a real estate transaction, the statistics reported by the Miami Board of Realtors might be a bit baffling. What, then, can Florida residents expect regarding real estate transactions in 2012?
A property tax firm in north central Florida says that a surprise on upcoming tax bills may be of serious concern to many Florida residents. The firm indicates that an "unintended consequence" of the Save Our Homes Amendment (passed in 1992) is to blame. People are seeing their homes' market values decrease while their assessed values continue to increase. This frustrating situation could give rise to a larger number of real estate disputes filed.
Florida residents looking to close on a real estate sale may be interested in a property assessment controversy unfolding in Brevard County. In Florida, real estate tax is based on assessed value, so that value plays an important part in determining the annual amount of property taxes to be paid by a homeowner. At issue in Brevard are claims made by the county Property Appraiser, the county Value Adjustment Board (VAB) and the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR). The controversy surrounds a charge of favoritism concerning the appraised value of certain residential real estate in Indialantic. The appraiser has filed a lawsuit against the VAB and the DOR, accusing the VAB of not following the law and the DOR of basically looking the other way.