Move My Realty - Real Estate News

Aug. 10 Update

August 10th, 2007 1:24 PM by Ron Mastrodonato

Condo Boards Toughen Ownership Standards
Condo boards in Florida and elsewhere in the country have been toughening their ownership standards, making it more difficult for existing owners to sell their units.

The boards are using more rigorous screening methods for new buyers because some new owners who qualified for subprime mortgages were unable to pay both their mortgage and their association obligations.

The boards couldn’t foreclose because the new owners had no equity. As a result, the other members of the condo association had to pick up the unpaid share of the common expenses, such as water, insurance, pest control, and maintenance.

Boards have almost unlimited power to reject buyers and renters as long as their governing documents allow it and no illegal discrimination is involved, according to Randall K. Roger, whose Boca Raton-based law firm represents 600 associations in South Florida.

Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Joe Kollin (08/07/2007)


Inventory's Still Rising in Most U.S. Markets
The number of homes on the market in the 18 major U.S. metro areas rose 1.2 percent in July from the previous month, and were up 19 percent from a year earlier, according to a report by real estate Web site ZipRealty, based in Emeryville, Calif.

While the inventory is still keeping a lid on prices in most areas, the supply of unsold homes didn't increase as rapidly in July as it has been, says ZipRealty CEO Pat Lashinsky.

The biggest increase was 6.1 percent in Seattle, which until now hasn’t been much affected by the housing slowdown. Sellers are reluctant to trim their asking prices, and "buyers are sitting on the sidelines, trying to figure out what's going on," he told The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, the Boston metro area showed a decline of 2.8 percent in July. Here’s how inventory is moving in ZipRealty’s 18 key cities:

  • Baltimore +3.6 percent
  • Boston -2.8
  • Chicago +1.2
  • Dallas -0.1
  • Houston +0.7
  • Las Vegas +3.0
  • Los Angeles +3.0
  • Miami +0.2
  • Minneapolis -0.2
  • Orange County, Calif. +2.0
  • Orlando, Fla. +0.8
  • Phoenix +0.5
  • San Francisco +3.7
  • Sacramento, Calif. +3.0
  • Seattle +6.1
  • San Diego +2.3
  • Tampa, Fla. -0.9
  • Washington, D.C. +0.1
  • All 18 metro areas +1.2

Source: The Wall Street Journal, James R. Hagerty (08/09/2007)

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Some Home Owners Pessimistic About Home Values
Half of U.S. home owners don’t expect any appreciation in the value of their homes in the coming year, according to the Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers, released on Monday.

Seventeen percent of home owners surveyed last month reported that their home had lost value. That number was unchanged from the second quarter, but up 7 percent from a year ago.

About 49 percent of the respondents reported gains in the values of their homes, also unchanged from the second quarter, but below the 64 percent recorded in July last year.

Overall, 37 percent of home owners said they expected home prices to rise in the year ahead, while 14 percent expected home prices to fall.

Source: Reuters (08/06/07)

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Scam Artists Rent Model Home to Unknowing Couple
Two scam artists in Hialeah, Fla., have been arrested on charges of renting an unfurnished model home to a couple eager for a nice place to live.

The couple said they paid $1,200 in rent and $1,200 in security deposit for the new three-bedroom, two-bathroom town house shown to them by Joel Del Rosario and Daniel A. Argilagos. The couple reported meeting the two men at the house after calling a phone number on a handmade sign posted on a telephone pole.

When the couple, who were not named by Hialeah police, called the number on the sign, they said Del Rosario had agreed to meet them at 6 p.m. after workers had left for the day.

The couple agreed to the rental and Del Rosario took their cash and gave them a handwritten receipt with a new lock and key for them to install, police said.

Shortly after they moved into the unit, the couple noticed a water leak and complained to the security guard, who then called police.

Source: Miami Herald, David Ovalle (08/09/07)

Posted in:General
Posted by Ron Mastrodonato on August 10th, 2007 1:24 PM


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