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November 2015 Update of Riverside and Avondale real estate sales


Some Real Estate Information about Riverside for November 2015

The Riverside real estate market is not healthy, but has seen more sales than in Avondale over the past 30 days. The median list price is $282,750 and the average home has been on the market for 106 days. In the past month, there have been 11 real estate transactions in Riverside, with a median sale price of $286,000. The recent sales activity in Riverside represents a +26.3% change over the prior month. With the Sales price and listing price so close together, it was nice to see this change.

There are currently 72 Riverside homes for sale, which equals about 6.6 months of inventory. There are 49 detached homes for sale, 1 townhouse for sale, and 22 condos for sale. In the past 30 days, there have been 18 new listings in Riverside, 22 price changes, 14 new contracts, and 11 home sales.


Some Real Estate Information about Avondale for November 2015:

The Avondale real estate market is entering a challenging period. As the holidays approach the average days on market will rise as there are fewer people looking to move or change during the holidays. The median list price in Avondale for homes on the market is $287,950 and the average home has been on the market for 80 days. In the past month, there have been 7 real estate transactions in Avondale, with a median sale price of $260,000, those homes were on the market an average of 110 days. The recent sales activity in Avondale represents a +10.6% change over the prior month.

There are currently 60 Avondale homes for sale, which equals about 8.6 months of inventory. There are 60 detached homes for sale, zero townhouses for sale, and zero condos for sale. In the past 30 days, there have been 22 new listings in Avondale, 24 price changes, 10 new contracts, and 7 home sales. The number of price changes has doubled since last month, signifying that buyers are not willing to chase the market in some instances. Riverside Avondale Real Estate


Why Zillow, Trulia and other online Real Estate Estimators are dangerous


I am still flabbergasted as to why the President of the United States of America would rather fly to California to meet with the President of Zillow, rather than to speak with the Oracle of Omaha on the status of housing in the US of A. It makes no sense to me that he thinks an online company that builds NOTHING is more important than a man who owns many businesses who employ thousands who build products and solutions for our great country. Especially when Zillow lies in its data presented.

Case in point, last Sunday, one of my new clients was interested in a house in Jacksonville Beach. It was a foreclosure that was listed by the foreclosure division of our offices, and the sign was still in the yard. The REO agents rarely return calls, just they way they "roll", so my client gets on "Zillow" and searches for information on the property. He finds it, Zillow shows it is still available and for sale. He asks me if we can go look at it.

I will give Zillow credit, often times they include the MLS number, which makes it easier to search on a 6 digit number than a long address which may or may not be in MLS correctly, again REO properties are all over the place in correctness. So I do the search on the property, only to find that the property was sold 3 weeks before and that the buyer has been lazy to remove the sign. Zillow, Trulia and other online sites that do not have direct access to listings and their data are doing harm to the Real Estate Profession.

With less than 8000 homes on the market in Jacksonville, we are under 5 months of supply of homes and an average days on market of only 79 days. The point here is that you cannot afford to look at crummy sites that are not current with data. If you are in the market for a house, work with your agent, they can send you a link to all the properties that come on the Multiple Listing Service, for your area just as soon as they are added. No cost, no fuss, and all in real-time. IF you must search, use the site, it is the best place for up to date data.


Zillow, Trulia and the others will have a day of reckoning, it may not be tomorrow, but their day is coming. They are not needed in the Real Estate business, their marketing is sloppy and ultimately hurts those who come to rely on their "data".



First Coast (Jacksonville, FL ) state (Florida) unemployment lowest since 2008


From The Florida Times Union -

By Drew Dixon Fri, Dec 20, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

The First Coast unemployment rate has fallen below 6 percent for the first time since 2008, according to a University of North Florida economist. Paul Mason, economist at UNF, reports the market survey area of Duval, St. Johns, Nassau, Baker and Clay counties saw a sharp drop in the jobless rate in November. The figure fell to 5.86 percent last month, down from the 6.3 percent jobless figure in October.

“It’s excellent news,” Mason said Friday. “I wouldn’t consider that full employment. But there are some at the national level that would consider that full employment — that if the national level got down to that would consider that full employment. … I would say we’re still 1 percent to a half percent from full employment.”

The Duval County jobless rate is still higher than the rest of the First Coast coming in at a 6.55 percent unemployment figure for November. That’s down from the 6.66 percent unemployment rate in October.

The total First Coast jobless figure is lower than the Florida unemployment rate for November, which is 6.4 percent, down from 6.7 percent in October. It’s the lowest state unemployment rate since July 2008.

All the local and state figures are below the national 7 percent unemployment rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Gov. Rick Scott said the news was good timing for North Floridians during the holiday season.

“The addition of more than 11,000 new jobs in Jacksonville means more individuals will be able to provide for their families during the holidays. While this is great news, we’ll continue working hard to grow jobs for families in Northeast Florida,” Scott said in a news release.

Mason said there was a reduction in the labor force on the First Coast in November. The number of workers fell by 180 people, dropping from 696,965 in October to 696,785 in November.

But the number of unemployed people on the First Coast dropped by 1,556, from 42,271 in October to 40,715 in November. The number of people employed increased from 654,694 in October to 656,070 in November.

Other observations on the First Coast economy from Mason include a consumer price index that increased by .46, going from 114.60 in October to 115.07 in November.

There were some increases in inflation, particularly in “food away from home,” meaning restaurant prices. Those prices jumped by about 7 percent in November.

Mason said that means more people are dining out and restaurateurs are confident in increasing prices.

Mason said the leading economic indicator and consumer price trends have been generally positive for the past six months and they point to an upbeat economic prognostication for 2014.

“It’s supposed to predict two or three months ahead. So, the fact that it’s been up five months in a row suggests that the first quarter and into the second quarter of 2014 should be positive, it should be a growth period,” Mason said.

This news should be good for every industry related to working with people. Job growth means wage growth and should allow more renters to move back into housing. Just in time for the holidays! #Jacksonville


Buyer and Seller Questions for 2014


Buyers and sellers have questions, yes they do! The largest single transaction most people will perform in their lifetime is bound to have many questions. My husband runs a dog grooming business and people have no problem spending $100 to bath, groom and fluff their dog every few weeks, but they cannot seem to pull the trigger on a purchase or sale of a $100,000 home. It is still a basic transaction, should we reverse the numbers so they can grasp that its not a colossal deal? Anyway, enjoy these, I did:

QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS.  Every buyer and seller has them – in fact A LOT of them. Curiosity is at an all time high during the home search as buyers and sellers try to size up each other and their motivations.  What are some of the most popular questions buyers and sellers ask during the home buying and selling process and WHY do they ask them?  Read on so you can be prepared no matter what side of the “For Sale” sign you may be on.


  • How long has the property been on the market?

This question is used to assess the seller’s motivation or to try to find out if something is “wrong” as to why the property is still on the market. Goodness knows that no one wants to stay in the house forever, so if they sell, there MUST be something wrong....The longer the marketing time usually means it lags as a result of price in relation to its condition and competition or the neighborhood may be overlooked by buyers.

  • Why is the seller selling?

Every buyer wants to know this and is another question used to try to determine motivation.   However, as a buyer you can’t assume that the seller’s reason for selling is going to make them any more motivated to sell the home for less than market value.

  • How long have they owned it?  How much did they pay for it?  What do they owe?

A good Realtor will have this information from property tax rolls, and from Realtor resources. Buyers always want to figure out how much equity sellers have in the property and how much room there may be on the price or asking for concessions like closing costs or repairs.

  • Is someone living here now?

Buyers are always curious – especially on furnished homes that may not look lived in. They love trying to figure out if the property is just sitting, potentially costing the seller money every month or if it is actually being used.

An array of maintenance, home improvement  and cost questions: – how old is the roof, the air conditioning system , can a pool be added, how much is insurance on the home, how much are utility bills, etc.

Answers to these questions may affect how much a buyer is willing to pay for the property or whether they will make an offer at all.  They are trying to figure out if they are going to be taking on the money pit and can they do what they want to as far as possible future expansion to the property, even if they have no intention of doing so in the future.


What type of financing are they doing – want to know so they can anticipate with handling an offer and how that could affect their obligations in the transaction with respect to any required repairs, appraisal, asking for closing costs, etc.

  • How much of a down payment will they be putting?   – Sellers want to assess the buyer’s financial viability  i.e., how much skin in the game will they have with this?
  • What other properties are they considering?  Want to know what their competition is and perhaps where they stand in relation to it. 
  • Are they local or from out of the area?  This may give an idea as to their timeframe  – relocation buyers typically make decisions in a shorter timeframe
  • What is their timeframe – when will they be deciding?  Sellers get nervous once a buyer returns multiple times for a showing and are anticipating a decision.

Do they have a house to sell first -  the proverbial question – sellers always want to know the answer to this one.  That may be less of an issue today than a few years ago when the market had experienced a slow down. So lots of good questions on both sides of the transaction. If you experienced some of these with a transaction, sorry we are late, but if you are looking and plan to buy or sell next year, keep these in mind for your transaction!


2013 may almost be over, but get a start on 2014 with these Realtor tips..


Holiday season - Time for Cruise Control in the Real Estate Business? uh, no!

Hey, we made it to the end of the year, ups and downs, but is it time for us to take the well deserved break? What's that? I have investors, because of their religious beliefs take the weekend off, and I asked myself, what is that? It seems +Realtors get together on a weekend or at #holiday parties seem to discuss Real Estate, yeah, we obsess, just a small bit.

So what should we be doing as we wrap up 2013? This is a good article to get you ready for 2014:

  1. Review your November credit card statement and go through it with a fine-toothed comb. Are you spending money on real estate services that you haven’t used in more than six months and have no intent on using? Are you paying for things that are not generating growth for your business? Stop it.
  2. Clean up your contact database. 2013 was blissful mayhem for many agents, but the side effect of a hot real estate market is often sloppy lead management. Get that shovel out and start digging through every lead you acquired and make sure they are loaded in your contact management system, aka your customer relationship management (CRM) system.
  3. Remember how long the typical buying cycle is, or DOM (Days on Market) — it is entirely possible that you’ve got some hot leads hiding in there. 
  4. A local Realtor added - “Our databank is our bank of business for now and the future. It requires constant addition, nurture and contact, or it dies.” Also, remember the touches you have of those on your databank, call, post card, coffee, lunch, you never stop touching those on your list!
  5. When was the last time you looked at your own real estate website? Time block an hour to read every page on your website to make sure the information is both current and visually appealing.
  6. Time for the annual cleanup and dump, go through your office, what can you toss, what do you need to keep, do you really need to keep that?  Tame those dust bunnies and hit the recycling bin while things are a bit more quiet.

Holiday prospecting is not limited to Christmas cards.....

Real estate is a face to face business, and you need to make your presence felt with eggnog and cookies. Or skip the eggnog and bring Champagne for celebrating! Attend as many holiday parties in your community as your digestive system can handle. Without fail someone at the party or event will ask how the real estate market is going.....and you thought that reruns of sitcoms were your plan for the season....

Door knocking. You didn’t think we would take it there, did you? A one-page informational flier on the market with some splashy color graphs (and NOT about yourself). Everyone is interested in local numbers. Use minimal text. It is just a way to get to know someone. Spread some holiday cheer, wish others a happy holiday season, more of a reason to see others!

It’s never too late or early to reconnect with industry peers. Ask others about their year both at the office and in the area. Your broker may be able to show you statistics and get an idea with others how to expand your business for 2014. Maybe you can get a jump by taking additional Real Estate classes. These things can help you learn more about current methods of customer service.

Lay the groundwork for 2014

When was the last time you Googled yourself? Odds are good that when a buyer or seller searches for your name online, he is going to find your profile on Google+, Trulia, LinkedIn and other national websites. Update your online profiles on these sites during the holidays to make sure those prospects get a great first impression of you.

Write your 2014 business plan. In a nutshell, your plan just needs to say how many transactions you need next year and where that business is going to come from. What will you do different this year, that you did not do last year? Perhaps contacting more investors? Perhaps more networking with others?

Re-examine your market niche. As a real estate agent, you can’t be all things to all people. You’ll get the most bang for your marketing buck if you choose a specific niche like luxury homes, investment properties, first-time buyers, historic homes, etc. If your marketing still revolves entirely around distressed properties, it may be time to to shift your focus to a new niche.


So how do you feel about Realtor listings that are missing key parts of data?


I wanted to post something and ask my friends on Google+ what they thought about Realtors who post listings that are supposedly investor properties, but the amount of rents or the number of units appear to be missing. Investors are a funny breed, some like to look at cash flow as their basis, others look at MAO=ARV*.7-repairs, where MAO is the maximum allowable offer = after repair value * .7 (realtor costs, time value of money, what ifs) minus repairs. Then there are some looking for the CAP rate on the property, this is simply found taking the rents divided by the sale price.

Now if you are trying to sell an investor property and you know it is investor property because its a duplex or quad-plex or has 6 buildings each with a duplex inside, you would think that showing the details on the number of bedrooms, the number of baths, the amount of rent would all be important. My fellow Realtors, get off your lazy butts and figure this out, why do I have to call you out? (I wish allowed me to put a question mark or highlight next to each listing in the MLS).

I want to sell your properties, I have a cash buyer from South Florida and he wants to buy properties. Don't make this hard, make it easier on us all. Add the rents for the property, if there are no renters, find out the rents using rentometer dot com. This is NOT rocket science. Ask property managers in the area. Find out from other investors the criteria they use, as investors like to buy with confidence, and for pete's sake (sorry Pete), know what the heck you are talking about! My investor asked the listing Realtor questions about how to access the attics in the 6 properties, she said she had no idea. She did not know which buildings' AC units are using R-410 as refrigerant. Basic stuff about the property, there are sooooooooooooooooo many bad Realtors out here in the world. We need to get rid of many of them.

Till then, fill out the Investment properties so the other Realtors who want to sell property can do so without having to look around for data in an hunt. Easter is still months away, no need to repeat the Easter Egg hunt yet.


Are the Ultra-High End homes next to hit the foreclosure system?


I found this from a friend in the real estate business. Hence the reason you see the references from Houston. But the cities referenced, with Houston, are or were some of the hardest hit during the recession and had some of the largest inventory of distressed properties. So if you are on the hunt for the Ultra-High End properties in Jacksonville, call me to see if there some available in Historic +Avondale +Riverside +Sanmarco +Springfield +Ortega.

Looking for eight bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and 23,000-square feet in Houston?

For a cool $6.3 million you may be able to take it off the bank’s hands since it repossessed a house fitting this description in April.

According to RealtyTrac, foreclosures on ultra-high-end homes — those with a value over $5 million — are up 61% over last year, defying the trend in the overall market that has seen foreclosure activity down 23% through October.

Panoramic ocean views, stunning architecture and landscaping — even putting greens — are some of the hallmarks of these luxury properties.

And although they account for a tiny part of the market — less than 200 total in 2013 so far — they can cost a foreclosing lender a sizable amount.

However, as Emmett Laffey, CEO of Laffey Fine Home International in New York City, said, “Any foreclosure properties in this kind of ultra-luxury market get purchased very quickly since there is one thing all super-rich buyers want — an outstanding deal on a real estate transaction, and in most cases foreclosures of this magnitude come with several million dollars of built-in value.”

According to RealtyTrac the top market for foreclosures in the $5 million-plus range is in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area, followed by Los Angeles.

Rounding out the top five list are Atlanta, Ga.; Orlando, Fla.; and the New York City/Northern New Jersey area. Although Los Angeles made the top-five list, foreclosure activity in California as a whole is down compared to last year.



I know we are all looking forward to the holidays in Historic #Avondale #Riverside #Springfield #Sanmarco and #Ortega. But, it would be prudent to at least plan on some of these tax issues NOW, rather than when we have had too much egg nog.....




Dozens of tax laws are set to expire at the end of 2013. Many of these provisions are quite popular and may be extended by Congress. Exactly when or how lawmakers will get around to doing this is unclear.


The situation is complicated by the fact that both the White House and Congress want to enact serious tax reform in 2014. Key members of Congress and the Obama administration have proposed that extending or making permanent some of these expiring provisions be made part of the overall tax reform process instead of being done piecemeal though special tax extension legislation.


The expiring provisions of most importance to the real estate industry include:


Mortgage insurance premiums deduction: Since 2007, qualifying homeowners have been able to deduct premiums for mortgage insurance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Federal Housing Administration, the Rural Housing Service, and private mortgage insurance. Homeowners whose incomes are not too high can treat such payments the same as mortgage interest payments. Unless the law is extended, no deduction will allowed for amounts paid or accrued after Dec. 31, 2013.




Discharge of indebtedness on principal residence exclusion: Since 2008, homeowners have been allowed to exclude from their taxable income up to $2 million of debt forgiven on their principal residence by a lender in a short sale, mortgage restructuring, or forgiven in a foreclosure.


Unless this provision is extended, the exclusion will not apply to indebtedness discharged after 2013. If this provision does expire, the impact will vary from state to state.


Tax credit for qualified energy efficiency improvements to principal residence: Homeowners have been able to claim a maximum lifetime tax credit of up to $500 for installing energy efficiency improvements in their main homes, including the cost of insulation, windows, doors and roofs. The credit expires at the end of 2013.


Since 2008, homeowners have been allowed to exclude from their taxable income up to $2 million of debt forgiven on their principal residence by a lender in a short sale, mortgage restructuring, or forgiven in a foreclosure."




Section 179 expensing deduction: IRC Section 179 allows small-business owners to deduct the cost of business property in a single year instead of depreciating the cost over several years. Section 179 is subject to an annual dollar limit. During 2010 through 2013, the annual limit was $500,000. The limit is scheduled to go down to $25,000 in 2014.


Bonus depreciation: Since 2007, businesses have been able to take advantage of special “bonus depreciation” rules that permit them to deduct in a single year 50 percent of the cost of qualifying business property. Bonus depreciation will end on Dec. 31, 2013, unless extended by Congress.


Energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction: Since 2006, a special deduction has been available to commercial building owners who upgrade their existing buildings to make them more energy efficient, or design more energy-efficient new structures. A deduction of up to $1.80 per square foot was available for energy upgrades to a building’s interior lighting system, 
heating, cooling, ventilation, and hot water system, or building envelope. This deduction ends in 2013, unless extended.




Credit for construction of new energy-efficient homes: Since 2006, certain contractors have been allowed an efficient-home credit of $1,000 or $2,000 for constructing or manufacturing qualifying energy-efficient homes. Like the other energy efficiency deductions, this is set to expire at the end of 2013.


With all of this, it looks like the government may not be raising taxes, but essentially doing away with deductions, which kinda sorta looks like a tax increase. Hopefully Congress will be able to save some of these for the consumer, especially the energy efficiency programs.


Happy Holidays



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