Susan Halverson

Real Estate updates on Clermont FL Properties

Housing Experts Say Tax Credit Had to End August 31, 2010

Will the government revive tax credits to encourage home sales? Housing experts are dubious.

Even suggesting that the tax credit might be revived could have a negative effect on the market, says housing economist Tom Lawler, because it could “lead many a prospective home buyer to hold off on buying a home.”

Earlier this month Richard Dugas, CEO of PulteGroup Inc., said earlier in August on an earnings call: “Almost regardless of how future demand plays out, we still believe that the tax credit had to end. We need to know the true level of demand without government stimulus distorting the market so that we can continue to properly position our business for ongoing improvement.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos (08/30/2010)


5 Reasons Homeownership Trumps Renting August 30, 2010

5 Reasons Homeownership Trumps Renting
The seemingly endless run of bad housing news is discouraging some potential home buyers from considering a purchase. But the truth is that the advantages of homeownership have very little to do with investment gains. The best things about owning a home have a lot more to do with personal comfort and satisfaction.

Here are five of them:

· Be your own landlord. The bank can only kick you out if you don’t pay; a landlord can be much less dependable – deciding to sell the property or choosing to live there themselves.
· Paying the principal is forced savings. Yes, it’s possible that home prices will fall further. It is also possible that your 401(k) will lose value. But over the long haul, both are likely to enjoy modest gains in value.
· Fixed-rate mortgages never rise – and eventually you pay them off. With mortgage rates at record lows, people who buy now are locking in real bargains.
· Good schools. Family-sized rentals are harder to come by in areas with excellent public schools.
· Spacious properties in pleasant neighborhoods. Sizable homes in attractive communities are almost always owned – not rented.

Source: The New York Times, Ron Lieber (08/27/2010)


In times of need…SILENT ANGELS August 26, 2010

In times of need…
Silent Angels

Reaching out and helping people in dire need. That’s what Silent Angels is all about. It’s also about bringing joy, touching hearts and improving lives. So why are we silent? Because doing the right thing is all that really matters.

Founded in 2002, Silent Angels is a charitable organization composed of Realtors® for the purpose of providing funds, supplies and services to individuals who are making a determined effort yet are financially needy or otherwise distressed.

Each request for assistance must include a completed Silent Angels “Request for Assistance” form.

To apply for assistance or to recommend someone who is in need; email for a form to


Is the Housing Slowdown a Sign of a Double-Dip? August 23, 2010

Home construction and property sales led the U.S. out of seven recessions since 1960, but this time around, housing isn’t helping. In fact, some outspoken analysts like Celia Chen, who tracks the industry for Moody’s Analytics Inc., fear housing may drive us back into recession.

“There is an epidemic of thrift,” explains Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at business analysts IHS Inc. “Households and businesses are super-cautious right now.”

Unlike analysts for Moody’s, HIS’ Behravesh is more sanguine. He says, “Sometime in the next six to 12 months, we’ll start to see more movement on home and car purchases and greater willingness on the part of businesses to hire.”

Source: Bloomberg, John Gittelsohn and Bob Willis (08/23/2010)


Home Owner’s Insurance, Look before you Leap! August 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Susan Halverson @ 12:34 pm

Trying to get just the right amount of homeowners insurance for your house and possessions may leave you feeling a bit like Goldilocks searching for a chair, a bed, and porridge that are just right. If you underinsure your home and suffer a devastating loss—flood, fire, theft—then you risk not being able to return to the lifestyle you’ve worked hard to achieve. Yet if you overinsure, you’re throwing money away every year on unnecessarily high premiums.

What you need is coverage that’s just right. Here’s how to get it, and it shouldn’t take more than 4 or 5 hours of your time spent reviewing your homeowners insurance policy, talking to your agent, and doing a little research.

Read more:


GO “GREEN”! Save Energy and Money. Conserve the Environment. Live a Healthier Life August 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Susan Halverson @ 9:32 pm

Living in a “Green” Home is only common sense—save money, be comfortable, live healthier and protect the environment—what’s not to like about that? It is not a lifestyle sacrifice but rather a different way of thinking. It’s about rising to a higher quality of living for you and your family. Green living is a rapidly growing trend of our society, including living in an eco-friendly or green home.

Simple and affordable steps can bring your home to a greener environment that will attract more buyers. This will also be the way you’d want to live when purchasing your next home.
Did you know that: indoor air is typically between 2-5 times more contaminated than outdoor air? In some cases, indoor air can be 100 times more contaminated. Even new homes can be 10 times more polluted than outdoor air.
A well-insulated, well-sealed and ventilated home with efficient windows, appliances and lighting, solar design, water management and landscaping are just the basics on living in a green home. All energy efficiency measures are vital to protecting our environment, and provide a cost effective and prudent investment to reduce exposure to future energy cost increases.
Did you know that: your green home for sale, or you as a buyer, could qualify for an Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) or an Energy Improvement Mortgage (EIM)? Green financing offers an opportunity to derive more purchasing power.
For more details, email or call me, I just finished a “GREEN” home class through WCR.



PAINT THE HOUSE. Hands down, the most commonly offered curb appeal advice from real estate pros and appraisers is to give the exterior of your home a good paint job. Buyers will instantly notice it and appraisers will note it on the valuation. Just make sure you stay within the range of accepted colors for your market. A house that’s painted a wildly different color from its competition will be marked down in value by appraisers.
IF YOU DON’T WANT TO INVEST IN A PAINT JOB, then at least have the house washed. Before you make the investment in a paint job, take a good look at the house. If it’s got mildew or general grunge, just power washing the house could make a world of difference, overall, the goal is to spend less than $5,000 and generate an extra $10,000 on the sale price.