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Renting a Home In Foreclosure

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

Longwood ForeclosureMany tenants have questions when they find out that the home that they are renting is in foreclosure. With so many foreclosures out there, I wanted to take a moment and address the most common questions that I recieve from tenants.

  Q: If the home is foreclosed on, do I need to move out immediately or will I be evicted by the bank?

  A: No, as long as you have a written lease with the former owner the bank has to honor that contract when they foreclose on the property. It is possible that the bank may negotiate with you for an early termination, but you do not have to move any sooner than what your lease says as long as you continue to make payments.

  Q: I just found out that the owner of the property I am living in has stopped paying their mortgage. Do I still have to continue making rent payments if the owner is not paying for his mortgage?

  A: Yes, if you do not pay rent your landlord may file for an eviction.

  Q: The Home Owners Association has started demanding that I pay them the home owners dues my landlord should have been paying, can they do that?

  A: Yes, in 2010 new laws were put in place that allow HOA's to collect from tenants when the owner fails to pay the dues. They cannot charge you more than your monthly rent payment and the remainder of the rent still has to be paid to the owner.

If you would like to ask a question, feel free to post it in the comment section or e-mail Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor at Erna@TheVikingTeam.com

This blog is not intended to give legal advice and if you feel that you have a situation that requires legal advice, please seek the assistance of a qualified lawyer.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Neighborhood Profile: Longwood Plantation, FL

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

Longwood Plantation, FL

Longwood Plantation

A quiet subdivision located off of Ronald Reagan Blvd in Longwood, FL. This neighborhood was built by Centex Homes in 1997-1999, there are 94 homes in the neighborhood, with a neighborhood dock to East Lake, there is a playground area that is appropriate for children 6 to 12 years old that also serves as a gathering area for events such as the Easter Egg hunt, HOA BBQ's and the monthly movie nights.

Longwood Plantation, FL map

The homes built in this neighborhood are either one story or two story homes, ranging from 1,687 sq. ft. homes to 3,524 sq. ft. homes which are anywhere from 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms to 6 bedrooms with 4 bathrooms, built with block and stucco with shingle roofs, all the homes in the neighborhood were built in the same time period with one builder which means all the homes are in the same style. There are 3 streets in Longwood Plantation, those are Freeman Street, Balogh Place and Kaiser Lane. Longwood Plantation was an actual Plantation before and the building at the entrance of the neighborhood that now serves as the legal aid office used to be where the Plantation owners home used to sit.

Longwood Plantation PlaygroundLongwood Plantation has several events that happen throughout the year, during the holiday season the neighborhood gets together and puts up luminaries that light up the sidewalks and people go for a walk to meet the neighbors and some neighbors offer egg nog and apple cider for their neighbors. At Easter the HOA puts on an Easter Egg hunt at the playground and every so often there is a community garage sale where those who wish to participate can have a garage sale with their neighbors.

Please visit the Longwood Plantation HOA web-site for the most up to date information about the neighborhood.

If you are interested in Buying a Longwood Home, fill in the form and we will e-mail you Longwood, FL listings as soon as they enter the market.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Case Study: Investment Opportunities in Seminole County

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

Recently the Orlando Regional Realtor Association reported that Bank-owned and short-sale properties account for a record 75% of home sales. (February 14, 2011) This is no surprise to us that live and breath the market. After the Real estate bubble burst more and more homeowners have become distressed and the real estate market has been saturated with distressed sales.
However in 2010 only 8% of home buyers bought a home in foreclosure. This is because foreclosures are in much worse condition than the short sales and normal sales and a lot of work has to be done to the property before it can be used as a home again. This actually presents a great opportunity for investors. It is difficult for home buyers to buy these homes because usually home buyers need a mortgage and when you are buying a foreclosure it may not even reach the minimum for the home buyer to get a mortgage on the property. When you find a foreclosure that is selling for $30,000, mortgage companies will not finance that purchase.

Case Study: We helped an investor purchase a property in Sanford in Seminole County, Florida

This property was a Fannie Mae property, it was 5 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 1,400 sq. ft. heated. The investor bought the property for $42,900, after iSanford Real Estate Investmentnspection and closing costs it was $45,000 to buy the property. This 2003 home had not been lived in for 2 years prior to the sale, with no A/C running inside the home humidity started building up inside, this lead the cabinets being ruined because they had become warped. The A/C unit outside was missing as well as the inside unit had been stripped, doors were missing, the thermostat had been ripped off the wall, the waterheater did not work and all the appliances had been trashed.

This is exactly the kind of property that the investor was looking for!

The cost of restoring this property was almost $10,000.

Once the property was ready, it was rented out immediately. We had found tenants for this property while it was still being fixed up.

This particular investor will have made back his investment in 6.5 years, in that time the property will also have appreciated.

Seminole County Investment PropertySeminole County Investment Rehab property

These photos show the before and after of the Kitchen remodel on this Sanford property. For more photos of this investment project visit our Facebook page.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Buying a home is a personal decision

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

I hear people frequently now a days talking about the fact that they bought their home a few years ago during the housing boom and now they owe more on it than it is worth. This is the message that first time home buyers are hearing. Buyers are afraid that the same thing will happen to them when they buy a house.

For Sale Sign Central Florida Homes for saleDuring the housing bubble when the homes would come on the market and have several offers on it in one day, no one was predicting the kind of backlash this would have on the market. It was the time to buy and that was everyones focus. The mortgage companies laxed their standards, allowing more people to buy a home and many people that should not have been allowed to buy were buying homes that they could not afford.

Now that we have gone through a recession, banks have failed because of the mortgage crisis, people are struggling with their mortgage payments and homeowners are finding it hard to swallow that the beautiful home that they bought a few years ago is now under water on the mortgage, we need to step back and think of the long term. Your home is not just a monetary investment, it is an investment in your family and for the long term. There needs to be a shift in thinking, people need to start thinking of their homes as their homes again and stop focusing on how much they have lost in equity, if this truly is a long term investment the equity will build up again.

If you are a buyer and you are working with a team of professionals, then you will be able to find the home that you want and within your budget. Try to find out why you really want to buy. Is it to build equity, because you want your kids to be growing up in a stable environment, because you are tired of giving your landlord a big rent check every month or some other reason. Once you have figured out the why, then work on the how. When you are ready to start looking for homes, you can sign up for a daily e-mail alert of Homes for Sale with up to date information on the latest Real estate listings fitting your search criteria. 

Central Florida Home BuyersErna Sigurdsson offers a Free Home Buyer Seminar for Central Florida buyers, this is a no-obligation, no-cost educational seminar perfect for buyers looking to buy within a year and even for those looking to buy sometime in the future, but need guidance about how to build your credit towards a home purchase.

 

 

 

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Seminole County Real Estate Market Statistics at a Glance

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

In the Central Florida area in the month of January 2011

Inventory was  14,398
Unit Sales 1,950
Pending Sales 8,777
Average Days on Market 96
Average Sales Price vs. Original List Price: 90%
The current pace of sales translates into 7.38 months of supply; January 2010 recorded 8.74 months of supply.

Months of inventory is used as an analytical tool in determining who holds the power in negotiations. Months of Inventory = # homes for sale/# homes sold
Supply and Demand
Months of Inventory <4 = Sellers Market
Months of Inventory =4 = Flat Market
Months of Inventory >4 = Buyers Market

With 7.38 months of supply we are currently in a Buyers Market.
This number is determined by examining at the rate of which homes are selling today, how many months would it take for all homes currently available for sale to be sold if there were no more homes to enter the market.

Median Sales Price in Central Florida:
Normal Sale $145,000
Short sales $94,500
Bank-owned $75,000


First-time homebuyer affordability in January increased to 197.98 percent since December 2010.
First-time buyers who earn the reported median income of $36,383 can qualify to purchase one of 6,193 homes in Orange and Seminole counties currently listed in the local multiple listing service for $159,783 or less.

For further information on affordability of the current Real estate market, follow the link to find out about our monthly Home Buyer Seminars and attend a no cost, no obligation educational event.

Central Florida Market Statistics

In Longwood East (zip code 32750) 19 homes were sold in January 2011, the average price was $129,482, 4 of those sales were bank owned and 4 were short sales.

In Longwood West (zip code 32779) 20 homes were sold in January 2011, the average price was $228,523, 9 of those sales were bank owned and 6 were short sales.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Neat things in our backyard - Einstein Academy

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

Einstein Academy, Longwood FloridaA few years ago, a local business opened up just down the street from where I live. It was actually just what I had been looking for. In 2008, when so many businesses were cutting back, shutting their doors and going out of business, this brand new daycare opened up. Having had problems with daycare centers in the past, I was immediately impressed when I walk in the door on my parent visit and find that there are no carpets. As a parent with asthmatic twin daughters who had been born prematurely, this was the perfect place for them. I was further assured by how knowledgeable the staff was, how the owners had many years experience as educators before starting their own child care, the way they saw it should be.

The economy was doing poorly at the time, however it was a great business model, in an environment that supports business growth, this great business has not only become a great local Longwood business, but has grown to three locations in just a few years.

Infant room at Longwood Daycare

Their open floor layout, child-centric design, use of colors and plenty of educational activities, this child care center continues to attract parents to a new kind of a child care. The kind where everyone involved matters and is taken into consideration. Not only are the children valued and encouraged to grow, but the employees are treated well, which translates into better care received by the children as well as great communication between staff and parents.

Longwood Classroom

If you are looking for the best and an affordable child care center in Longwood, I highly recommend Einstein Academy. Tell them that you were referred by The Viking Team and you will have your registration fee waived and 50% off one week child care dues after 4 weeks.

Einstein Academy is located at 1030 N Ronald Reagan Bl # 1160, Longwood, FL 32750. Phone number is 407-647-6000

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Neat things in our backyard - Seminole State's Planetarium

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

As part of the United Arts of Central Florida's ArtsFest festival, Seminole State College Planetarium had a showing this weekend called StarTalk Live! It was an incredibly witty, zany and fun show featuring Derek Demeter and Michael McConville debunking some astrological myths such as the moon landing was a hoax, life on mars and *dum dum dum* the destruction of Earth in 2012.

This reminded me of how many neat things we have in our backyard and I want to share more of these fun things to do with you (my readers, or at least I pretend that you exist).

The Planetarium is run by Derek Demeter, who has done a great job of making science fun, he is frequently seen dressed up in his crazy science guy outfit for shows, events on campus and even to direct students to class. If you do go to one of his Planetarium shows, you will not only learn something, but you will have so much fun it won't even seem like you are learning. Toss aside your myths about science and astronomy being boring, this guy will prove you wrong.

Seminole State College Planetarium

In October the Planetarium hosts Owlpheratz School of Science and Spooks which is a fun event aimed for children to learn about science and a bit about cultural and historical information surrounding it. The event has grown substantially since it began and for my family has become an annual tradition.

 

 

The Planetarium is also home to the Central Florida Astronomical Society. If you are very interested in astronomy, their meetings are open to the public.

If you live in Seminole County or at least somewhat close by, you should check out the Planetarium. It is state of the art. The full dome video equipment they have is unmatched by anything in the area. You will be able to watch on screen just as if you were looking up at the sky.

You can find out more about the Seminole State's Planetarium at their web-site, including the upcoming show dates and times. Also you can fan them on  

To find out about the upcoming show times for Seminole State College Planetarium, call 407-708-2360

The "Edwin Heimerschmidt, Traveling Planetarium Salesman" parody infomercial from the planetarium show, "StarTalk LIVE!" Starring Edwin Heimerschmidt.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Regular Maintenance vs. Expensive Repairs

by Erna Sigurdsson, Realtor

As a property manager sometimes I have to take care of calling for a maintenance request or a repair of a property and find the best price for those services.  

I have seen firsthand the difference between a property that is maintained and properly taken care of and properties that have come to me under management in varying conditions and how expensive it gets if it has not been taken care of.

Seminole County Maintenance

The best way to take care of a property is to do regular maintenance and occasionally check to make sure all systems in the house are working properly. Just like your car, the equipment and systems in your home need regular maintenance or you will end up with major repairs. You wouldn’t drive your car without having an oil change and filter replaced; likewise you should not run your A/C without a filter and adding Freon to it once in a while.  There are simple ways to make sure that the property is in good condition, for example, between tenants vacuuming the coils on the back of a refrigerator will keep it lasting longer and also vacuuming the dryer vent to clean out lint will minimize the risk for a fire and keeps the dryer running longer.

Erna Sigurdsson is a Property Manager at The Viking Team, Realty

If you need a professional property manager for your investment property in Seminole County (Including Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Winter Springs and Sanford) give me a call today.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here. 

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8