Susan Halverson

Real Estate updates on Clermont FL Properties

SELL NOW OR SELL LATER? February 23, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Susan Halverson @ 9:21 am

Every homeowner would love to buy a home when the market is low, sell when the market is high and walk away with a tidy profit. However, that is easier said than done. Your life plans don’t always line up with the housing market and even if they do, you have to consider the cost of your new home once you sell your current one.

With today’s housing market, many homeowners are finding that their homes are not worth anywhere near as much as they were five or six years ago. Those who bought at the height of the housing bubble may even be in a position where their homes are worth less than what they owe on them. If you are in that situation, you may have no choice but to try to hang on to the property until the situation improves.

Many homeowners who are approaching retirement age do have substantial equity in their homes. Yet, they still have to face the difficult question of whether to sell now and take advantage of the lower price of their next home, or wait and hope to make more of a profit when the market eventually rebounds.

There are many factors to consider when deciding whether to sell now or later. A large part of the decision is a financial one. How much equity do you have? Could either strategy cause you to lose money? What are the tax implications? But you also have to consider the more emotional or realistic side of the question. How will the sale (or delayed sale) of your home affect your life plans and how do you feel about that?

If you plan to relocate after selling your home, it’s important to research real estate trends in both your current home and your planned destination. If the community you love is typically priced out of reach, now might be a great chance to buy your dream retirement home—even if that means making less of a profit on your current home. Remember, if a better market makes the sale price go up on your home, it’s also likely to raise the price on the home you plan to buy.

Researching the real estate potential of an area extends to more than just home prices. Look at the area as a whole. What is the unemployment rate? What are the local development plans? If new businesses or public transportation systems (like an extended subway stop) are moving into your area, that might be a sign that the housing market will pick up as well.

When buying and selling real estate, you should always consider the tax implications. Will you be purchasing a more expensive home or will you end up paying capital gains on the money you make? If your home is declining in value while your taxes are rising, would you be better off selling sooner and moving to a home without the heavy tax burden? Talk to an accountant or financial planner if you have questions.

When you can afford both options (selling now or later) but are only trying to optimize your financial gain, don’t discount the emotional benefits of the decision. If you’re eager to sell your family home and move to a new community, the joy of getting started on the next phase of your life may outweigh the money you might (or might not) make by waiting for a better market.

Tagged as: Housing Market, Sell Now or Later, Selling Home


Defaults Soar 33%, Biggest Monthly Gain in 4 Years September 15, 2011

Daily Real Estate News | Thursday, September 15, 2011
A new wave of foreclosures hit in August, as banks picked up the pace in taking action against home owners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, RealtyTrac Inc. reported Thursday.

The number of U.S. homes that receiving an initial default notice rose 33 percent in August from July. That increase represents the biggest monthly gain in four years, according to RealtyTrac.

“This is really the first time we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of new foreclosure actions,” says Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac. “It’s still possible this is a blip, but I think it’s much more likely we’re seeing the beginning of a trend here.”

The uptick in foreclosure activity follows after months of a slowdown in foreclosures, which started last fall, with banks reviewing foreclosure policies and paperwork after facing lawsuits and criticism over how they processed foreclosures. Some banks even temporarily halted their foreclosures as they more carefully reviewed pending cases. The slowdown was also blamed on court delays in some states.

But some housing experts say the increase in foreclosure activity actually could be good for the housing market. A faster turnaround in foreclosures could help clear the glut of shadow inventory hovering over the market, which many say has caused home values to plummet.

The “bloated foreclosure pipeline now presents the greatest obstacle to a housing market recovery,” said Josh Levin, a Citi analyst. About 3.7 million more homes are in some stage of foreclosure than in a normal housing market, Levin said.

Banks are on track to repossess about 800,000 homes this year — down from more than 1 million last year, Sharga said.

Overall, 228,098 U.S. homes — or one in every 570 U.S. households — received a foreclosure-related notice in August, a 7 percent increase from July. However, that represents a 33 percent decline from August 2010.

Source: “Report: Mortgage Default Warnings Spiked in August, Signaling Potential New Foreclosure Wave,” Associated Press (Sept. 15, 2011)



When discussing active adult communities, people often assume that these developments will have an age restriction. While it’s true that many of these communities are only open to residents who have reached a certain age (typically 55), some amenity-rich communities do welcome residents of all ages, including children.

Instead of thinking of active adult communities as always being age-restricted, it may be more accurate to think of them as communities which simply include central amenities and social opportunities. Communities which are open to all ages but still include the amenities, social clubs and events which appeal to active adults are typically referred to as being “age-targeted” instead of “age-restricted.”



Baby Boomers make up 28% of the population in the United States. Over 76 million Americans were born between 1946 and 1964, and statisticians believe that this generation will live seven years longer than previous ones. Because of the size of this generation of Americans, their spending power has always swayed the national economy. As Boomers begin to retire, cities and active adult communities that house them will experience growth.

by Melanie Grimes



Social activities are abound in active adult communities, making it easy to participate and meet people. Fitness centers often feature many classes, such as aerobics, yoga, tai chi, Zumba and water aerobics. In addition to lush golf courses, communities include sports courts for recreations like tennis, basketball, bocce ball and pickleball. Special events, such as dinners, luncheons, dances, barbeques and parties are also commonly found on community calendars.

Just as colleges provide clubs, fraternities and sororities, social clubs in active adult communities cover a wide range of special interests. Residents can meet with like-minded neighbors to form book clubs, travel clubs, luncheon clubs and much more. They can share hobbies and recreations, but they can also work together to make a difference in the community through volunteer leadership positions and by joining charitable groups.

Many active adult communities even offer continuing education opportunities. Some of these programs are provided through local colleges and other communities have their own on-site learning centers. Through adult learning programs, community residents can take a variety of classes and lectures, without the exams or homework.

Whether you think of an active adult community as a country club, a resort or a return to campus-style living, there’s no denying the appeal of these amenity-rich environments.



Active adult communities are often billed as offering “country club living” or “resort-style living.” However, there’s another analogy which may be even more apt. Talk to the residents of many amenity-rich active adult communities and you are likely to hear them say, “It’s like college, but without the studying!” And it’s easy to see the similarities.

At colleges across the country, young adults matriculate within a community of their peers. In addition to taking classes and earning their degrees, most college students participate in a rich social life. There are activities, sports, clubs, social events, community service organizations and many other ways to get involved in the college lifestyle.

An active adult lifestyle at a resort-style community can be very similar to these active college years. Except this time, there are no exams and the lifestyle doesn’t end after four short years.

Whether choosing an age-restricted or age-targeted community, residents are likely to live mostly among their own peers. While personalities can vary widely, being from the same generation increases the chances of similarities among neighbors. For the most part, active adult residents have moved beyond raising young families and are now in a similar phase of life.

Like colleges, active adult communities often draw residents from all over the country. Many relocating retirees enjoy meeting neighbors who come from diverse backgrounds. They can enjoy sharing their experiences while getting to know each other and forming lasting friendships.



Look for Inventory Homes or Resale Homes

Though you may have dreams of buying a new construction, don’t limit your options too much. Choosing a pre-built (or partially built) new home doesn’t give you the freedom to plan every detail, but it can be a great way to save money while still being the original homeowner.

Similarly, you should also let yourself be open to looking at resale homes. You never know when you might come across a previously-owned, well-maintained home which has all the features you want—including a lower price.



Consider Community Amenities and Fees

Amenity-rich communities are nice, but no one wants to pay for perks that they know they won’t use. For the best deal, compare the monthly association fees at your favorite active adult communities. Find out what the fees cover and if you would be paying for something you won’t use, like a mandatory golf course membership.

While larger resort-style communities are impressive, make sure you plan to use a good portion of the amenities. Otherwise, you might be happier in a community with lower association fees and just the amenities you will use.



Honestly Assess Your Needs

In real estate, there’s an old adage which advises against buying the biggest or grandest house on the block. This is because the value of your home is always dependent in part on the price of its neighboring homes. Bigger homes also require more maintenance and upkeep costs.

Now that the market has made homes more affordable, don’t be tempted to buy a bigger or more luxurious house than you need just because it is a “good deal.” Instead, look for a home that is just right for your retirement needs and use the savings to reach some of your other retirement goals.



Heading into retirement, it’s more important than ever to know just how much house you can truly afford. Many homebuyers got in trouble during the recent housing crisis because they followed bad advice, even though they were afraid it sounded “too good to be true.”

Before talking to a community sales agent or other real estate agent, meet with an independent financial advisor to review your retirement savings. Don’t forget to plan for retirement goals like travel or recreation expenses. Once you know how much you can truly afford to spend on your retirement home, it will be easier to stick to your budget while home shopping and negotiating the sale.Review Your Finances and Retirement Goals.