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February 2009

Found 5 blog entries for February 2009.

For the past couple of years, we have all been talking about the correlation between property taxes and individuals ability to afford homes along the Emerald Coast.  After a couple of years of heated debate, Amendment 1 was put to a vote this week.  The amendment passed overwhelmingly this week as most residents want their tax bills lowered. 

The Key Points of Amendment 1 Are:

  1. It doubles Florida’s Homestead Exemption to $50,000 for non-school taxes.  The previous exemption was $25,000
  2. It Provides Portability.  This means that homesteaders can transfer $500,000 worth of the non-taxed value they’ve accumulated over the years to their next home.
  3. It does not take away the Save Our Homes Cap of
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Ok, we’ve spent countless hours discussing your needs and wants for your dream home or condo.  You have looked at dozens of listings that fit your criteria.  We have spent several days together looking at those properties.  We have researched prices, written offers, and negotiated “The Best Deal” for you. 

Now what happens?

Unfortunately, in too many instances, I see buyer’s that have worked so hard to get the best deal only to give it all up with their financing.  This is a shame considering that mortgages are the easiest component to negotiate.  How do you keep this from happening to you?  Follow a few simple rules:

1.      Get at least 3 quotes.  Every person has a “financial” profile.  This includes your income, debt, assets, credit

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Whether we are buying a new car, computer, plane tickets, or Real Estate, we all want the same thing, which is “The Best Deal”.  With most items, the best deal is assured when we buy the item that we want at the lowest price. 

Real Estate doesn’t work that way.  In addition to the purchase price, things like closing costs, lenders fees, property taxes, and state taxes affect your initial overall total cost.  As a buyer, this overall total cost should be what you are concerned with minimizing.  Keep in mind that most seller’s are focused on PURCHASE PRICE.  Let’s take a look at how to put together a smart offer.

Purchase Price:  This is the most visible and important of all terms in the offer.  It’s also potentially the most offensive and emotional

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The Real Estate Environment in Destin may have changed in the past few years but a few things are the same.  In particular, buyer’s are still looking for the “hot” deals.  In 2003 and 2004 pre-construction condos were the rage.

In those days, the phones literally rang off the hook for people looking for pre-construction properties.  Many buyer’s didn’t care about the condo layout, project amenities, location, costs of ownership or anything else.  They just wanted to know where to sign the contract and where to send the deposit.

Today, the phones are ringing off the hook for buyer’s looking for lists of foreclosures and short sales in Destin and the surrounding area.  In both cases, the bank or mortgage holder is involved in the selling process. 

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I had a buyer in the office today inquiring about the cost of owning a condo.  I thought I’d share my answer with you because there are a few things that you should consider if you are thinking of buying a condo:

Maintenance:  the nice thing about owning a condo or townhome in Destin or along the Emerald Coast is that the Home Owner’s Association takes care of most of the maintenance to the structure of the building.  The rule of thumb is that if a repair is needed to the outside of your condo, common walls and balconies, the Home Owner’s Association will take care of it.  If the repair is needed inside your unit, it is your responsibility.

It certainly takes away from having to worry about a lot of repairs that most home owners are faced with

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