Susan Halverson

Real Estate updates on Clermont FL Properties

GREEN IS THE NEW GOLD! October 28, 2010

Oct24 – KW Research

KW Research survey reveals the green features that matter most to buyers

Green homes sell faster and command a higher price than traditional construction, and the demand for green homes is climbing quickly. According to a survey conducted recently by KW Research, nine out of 10 agents indicated that green homes have a higher market value than similar homes without green features.

So just what green features have the highest appeal among buyers? A double-pane or low-e window tops the following list of 17 features that fall within the category of “green.”

Green features that buyers were looking for in their home search in the past 12 months:

Double-pane or low-e windows 39.1%
Energy-efficient appliances 36.8%
Insulation 25.7%
Heating/cooling/climate control 25.5%
Solar panels or solar powered heating or appliances 22.4%
Non-specific energy efficient or desire to keep bills low 15.1%
Tankless or other high-efficiency water heater 14.8%
Water conservation (rain barrels, low flow toilets) 9.7%
Low- or no-VOC paint 7.9%
Energy efficient and/or sustainable roofing materials 5.9%
Tech shield/radiant barriers 4.8%
Bamboo flooring 4.3%
Energy efficient lighting 3.9%
Air quality / Allergies / Asthma 3.0%
Fans 1.8%
Landscaping, xeriscape 1.0%
A home that is “off the grid” 0.5%

Source: KW Research


New home sales rise 6.6% after dismal summer! October 27, 2010

WASHINGTON (AP) – Oct. 27, 2010 – Sales of new U.S. homes improved last month after the worst summer in nearly five decades, but not enough to lift the struggling economy.

The Commerce Department says new home sales in September grew 6.6 percent from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 307,000. The increase follows a stretch where three of the past four months were the slowest on records dating back to 1963.

High unemployment, tight credit and uncertainty about home prices have kept people from buying homes. Government tax credits propelled the market earlier in the year, but those expired in April.

The median sales price was $223,800. That was up 3.3 percent from a year earlier.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press, Alan Zibel, AP real estate writer.


Florida’s Landlord/Tenant Law October 19, 2010

There are certain responsibilities that apply to each party as outlined by law. You and your landlord share many of the responsibilities. Maintenance of the premises is a good example. Your landlord must provide a healthy, properly maintained place for you to live. You are required to keep the premises in good condition and to occupy them as a peaceful neighbor.

The Landlord
The landlord’s responsibilities will depend on the type of rental unit. The landlord of a dwelling unit at all times during the tenancy shall:
Comply with the requirements of applicable building, housing and health codes; or
Where there are no applicable building, housing or health codes; maintain the roof, windows, screens, floors, steps, porches, exterior walls, foundations and all other structural components in good repair and capable of resisting normal forces and loads;
Keep the plumbing in reasonably good working condition.
The landlord’s obligations may be altered or modified in writing with respect to a single family dwelling or duplex.

In addition to providing the above requirements, the landlord of a dwelling unit other than a single-family home or duplex shall, at all times of the tenancy, make reasonable provisions for:
Extermination of rats, mice, ants and wood destroying organisms and bed bugs.
Locks and keys.
Clean and safe conditions of common areas.
Garbage removal and outside receptacles.
Functioning facilities for heat during winter, running water and hot water.

If the dwelling is a single-family home or duplex, a working smoke detection device.
This does not mean that the landlord is obligated to pay for utilities, water, fuel or garbage removal, although he/she may choose to. Other provisions relevant to a rental agreement may also be altered in writing.

The Tenant
A tenant, at all times during the tenancy shall:
Comply with all building, housing and health codes.
Keep the dwelling clean and sanitary.
Remove garbage from the dwelling in a clean and sanitary manner.
Keep plumbing fixtures clean, sanitary and in repair.
Not destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove any part of the premises or property belonging to the landlord, nor permit any person to do so.
Conduct him/herself, and require other persons on the premises with his/her consent, to conduct themselves in a manner that does not unreasonably disturb the tenant’s neighbors or constitute a breach of the peace.
Use and operate in a reasonable manner all electrical, plumbing, sanitary, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and other facilities and appliances, including elevators.

Call or email the law office of Boyette, Cummins & Nailos, PLLC, or Susan Halverson for your free consultation. We will sit down with you and discuss all of your options regarding your real estate needs.


Housing tax credits benefit the young the most! October 9, 2010

WASHINGTON – Oct. 5, 2010 – New research from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) finds that the benefits of housing-related tax deductions, such as the mortgage interest deduction, generally decline in value as individuals age.

Using Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income (SOI) data, NAHB studied how housing tax deductions benefit different age groups. The analysis found that pro-housing policies benefit younger households most – homeowners who typically have large mortgages, a small amount of equity and growing families.

“Opponents falsely argue that the (mortgage interest) deduction is only for the wealthy, but it is clear that the mortgage interest deduction is also of great value to younger homeowners,” says Robert Dietz, assistant vice president for Tax and Policy Issues for NAHB. “Any tampering with this deduction would have a disproportionate impact, as a share of household income, on younger homeowners … (and) these are households who have growing demand for homeownership due to marriages and children.”

The average mortgage interest deduction peaks for taxpayers in the 35- to under-45 age group, followed by the 18-to 34-aged taxpayers. The mortgage interest deduction peaks soon after the taxpayer moves from renting to homeownership, and declines over time as homeowners pay down existing mortgage debt and increase homeowner equity.

The largest share of homeowners (59 percent) claiming a tax deduction for mortgage insurance goes to those aged 18 to under-45. Owners who made less than a 20 percent downpayment on a home generally pay mortgage insurance.

The age-related pattern for the smaller tax deduction for local and state real estate taxes, however, differs slightly. Unlike the mortgage interest deduction, which declines in value as taxpayers age, the value of the real estate tax deduction increases as taxpayers age, primarily due to increases in home values as household income and wealth increases.

The report also finds that both housing deductions – for mortgage interest and real estate taxes – falls as a share of household income for older taxpayers. In contrast, the share of other non-housing deductions, such as the medical expenses, charitable contributions and investment interest expense deductions, rises for taxpayers 65 and older.

To read the entire NAHB report, “Housing Tax Incentives: Most Helpful to Younger Households,” go to NAHB’s website: