Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays from SI Real Estate

The SI Real Estate team would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays! This time of year is truly magical as we get to spend the last days of the year with those who matter the most to us. As we look back on the year 2013, we should cherish all the wonderful moments and also know how to appreciate everything we have as many around us do not have the luxury of spending the last days of the year with our loved ones. As we are coming together to celebrate the holidays at the end the year, we exchange gifts, cook meals, decorate our homes, and partake in many other meaningful activities that bring us closer to our friends and families.

Our entire team wishes you all the best for the upcoming year of 2014 and we wish you success, prosperity, and most of all happiness in your personal and business life.  SI Real Estate has enjoyed a wonderful year and we know that without our customers and friends, we would never have been able to do so. No matter where in the world you are spending your holidays, we hope that you are spending the rest of 2013 with those who really matter and that you have a wonderful New Year filled with endless moments of joy and happiness.


Your SI Real Estate Team

Friday, December 20, 2013

Realtors and Home Builders Working Together

New home sales are an integral segment of the continual stabilization of the real estate industry, especially in recent years, and the relationships between home builders and Realtors are allowing for the increased volume of sales.

E.J. Atchner, Senior Vice President of Bank of America, notes that ‘many builders, regardless of their size, are taking a much more collaborative view of partnering with Realtors than in the past.’ An incredible 66% of all new homes sold in 2013 were original prospects of Realtors that were introduced to home builders, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2013 Buyer Profile Survey, and 88% of potential homebuyers said they will contact a Realtor to assist them through each step of the buying process. The regional marketplace expertise possessed by many Realtors provides clients with an added sense of comfort and security through the memorable, milestone purchase in becoming a homeowner. Many clients of Realtors are eager, willing, and able to make a purchase of a new home, and a Realtor with strong relationships with home builders is able to offer clients exactly what they are looking for.
With everything available for buyers in new home purchases like FHA and VA financing, it is often a much more attractive offering.  Many builders also offer to cover a significant amount of closing costs.  
In a recent article from Florida Realtors, a report showed that FHA’s Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund enlarged by $15 billion in the last year, moving closer to its optimum operational capacity. The president of the National Association of Realtors, Steve Brown, states that ‘[they] will continue [their] work with FHA to help make the dream of homeownership a reality for millions more Americans.’
SI Real Estate is proud of the wonderful relationships we have made with home builders including Lennar, D.R. Horton, Pulte, Beazer, and Standard Pacific over the last several years. A simple visit with a box of bagels and a smile has proven to create mutually beneficial relationships with home builders, and allowed for the sales of new homes to take place on many occasions. All parties involved understand that buyers gain a sense of security in working with an experienced Realtor, and that home builders can offer them a stunning new home designed specifically to meet their needs.  Homeownership in an incredible achievement, and we are all in this together to make it possible for our clients.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tampa continues to be most affordable Real Estate market in Florida

Home ownership has been always a big part of the American dream. Owning your home has a huge impact not only on you but also on people around you. For every sold property in the United States, jobs are being created; generated revenue is making the economy stronger, communities are becoming more stable, and all this contributes to the process of the housing market recovery across the country. SI Real Estate takes the educational part of homeownership very seriously and we believe that is extremely important for our clients to know the advantages of owning your home instead of renting.

Here in the Tampa Bay and anywhere else in the United States, being able to purchase your home has been always a sign of responsibility and a source of security for the American middle-class. After the financial crisis in 2008, many Americans have lost their jobs and their real estate went into foreclosure. President Obama and his administration made the housing recovery to one the main goals on his economic program.

·         Private capital at the center of the housing financial system
·         More responsible lender behavior to avoid future bailouts
·         Easily accessible fixed-rate mortgages in good and bad times
·         Affordable homeownership for first-time homebuyers

Tampa Bay area is a great place for homebuyers. It is the most affordable metro area in the state of Florida and in a recent study; it placed in the top 5 in most inexpensive metropolitan areas in the entire nation. In order to afford a $125,000 house, you need to have an annual salary of only $26,930. This does not include taxes, insurance, and homeowner fees but we can clearly see that the dream of having your own place is a very a attainable goal. Some think it was only a privilege for those with a high-income. SI Real Estate has a long-lasting experience with first-time buyers, move-up buyers, buyers who are relocating, and also investors who are taking advantage of the financial incentives that homeownership brings.

Your trusted local Tampa real estate experts are here to help you every step of the way. We also work with a preferred group of lenders who pride themselves on responsible and professional way of doing business with our clients.  Allow SI Real Estate to help you with the questions you need answered; assist you with negotiating the best purchase price for you. Our goal is to make your transaction as seamless as possible and provide you with superior customer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today at 813.631.5144

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from SI Real Estate

It’s that time of year again! Thanksgiving is appreciated by many for the great family, friends, and feasts that come together on this special day. It is a time to be with the ones we love, cherish the relationships we’ve made, and reminisce on the good times we’ve had. In today’s day and age, it is far too easy to take all of the wonderful components of our lives for granted. The added stress and responsibilities of everyday life, ranging from financial demands to work deadlines, can make it difficult to remember the things that we are truly blessed to have. No matter the obstacles, always remember that there is much to be thankful for.
Here at SI Real Estate, we are so thankful for the relationships we have made with clients, colleagues, and friends from all over the globe.  We have created enduring friendships with phenomenal people that are sure to last a lifetime. We are grateful to live in a country that grants us freedom. We are honored to serve our community in this great city of Tampa Bay. Making a home purchase is big decision and milestone for many, and we are thankful for the opportunity to help people find the home of their dreams and be a part of the joy it brings. We are so appreciative of the love and support from our friends and family who have stood by our side since the very beginning, and we are very pleased to work in the industry that we are passionate about.
We wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving from your friends at SI Real Estate. We truly hope that this holiday season brings you more joy and happiness than imaginable. Please take this time to spend with those you hold dear, and don’t be afraid to give thanks more than one time a year.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Real People Delivering Real Results

The 21st century revolutionized the way we are living and everything around us and the Real Estate industry is not an exception. With introducing new ways of communicating with clients, auctioning properties online, marketing listings on the internet, and in some cases even working with customers living in other countries and purchasing properties they have never seen in real life, the Real Estate professionals had to adjust in order to stay successful. Here at SI Real Estate, we have managed to develop the perfect set of marketing efforts which enabled us to stay strong during the financial crisis and even evolve in a more successful entity during the recent years of the market recovery here in the greater Tampa Bay area. The year 2013 has been our most successful year ever and we are excited to see what the upcoming years will bring. 

However, with all great achievements and growth which we have experienced as a company, we have never forgotten about the group of people who made all this possible for us: Our Customers! As a trusted group of real estate professionals, we have realized that our clients are our best advertisement and that the superior service we offer to all our customers is an absolute necessity in today’s world. We do not hesitate to go the extra mile for our clients and Mary S. is a very good example of that:

“I recently hired SI Real Estate to sell my home in New Tampa. I could not have had a better experience. Both Nibal and Pamela Elsaadi couldn't have been more knowledgeable or attentive in getting the job done. I was recently widowed but with the Elsaadi’s beside me, I never felt alone in my plight! The two of them are a great team, just like a well-oiled machine.

I had furniture to be sold and Pamela graciously put my furniture on Craigslist and then screened the prospective buyers and made dates for them to look at my furnishings. On a night before some buyers picked up some Karastan carpets I was selling, Pam and Nibal arrived to move the furniture and roll the rugs and mats so it would be easy for the buyer of the carpets to remove them. That alone was above and beyond the call!”

Real success stories like this mean a lot for our team because they make us realize that in our industry helping people find the perfect solution is the highest priority and that our hard work will only reflect on our accomplishments. Developing a personal relationship with the customer is the key to success and here at SI Real Estate, we do not see our clients as a commission check but we sit down with them and find out what is it that they really want and make that happen for them. 100% dedication to our clients at any given time is a standard procedure in our office and our flexibility allows us to work around your working schedule.

SI Real Estate is a group of real people who deliver real results. We diligently work with first time home purchasers, move-up buyers, investors, renters, people relocating from other parts of the country, and anyone else who has real estate needs in the greater Tampa Bay area Our multilingual expertise enabled us to work with customers from all over the world such as India, China, Canada, Russia, and many others.

We like to think of us as “Global Real Estate in Every Way”. Feel free to visit our Zillow.com profile (http://www.zillow.com/profile/SI-Real-Estate-Inv/Reviews/) and see for yourself and don’t be shy to share your success stories with us because we would love to hear them!

Truly Yours SI Real Estate Team

Friday, November 8, 2013

Real Estate Pulse: The Decline of Shadow Inventory

For those that do not know, “shadow inventory” refers to the real estate property inventory that is either in foreclosure and has not been sold, or properties that have been withheld from the active market with hopes of a price improvement. 

With seller uncertainty of the best time to list properties, this shadow inventory causes data on housing inventory to understate the actual inventory levels in the real estate market. High levels of shadow inventory, especially in the form of underwater, modified, and delinquent mortgages, pose as a significant factor to the recovery of the housing market, but refinancing and strong investor demand for distressed properties have helped bring many properties out from the shadows and into the sunlight.  Active, Pending, and SOLD!

As the largest quarter-over-quarter decrease since the beginning of the credit crisis, shadow inventory dropped from 3.28 million loans in Q1 of 2013 to 2.99 million in Q2. This represents a 35% drop based on annual computations, according to Compass Point Research & Trading. Other factors contributing to the decline of shadow inventory include recent unemployment rate decreases, increases in home prices, and improvements in mortgage credit quality. As of July 2013, banks and mortgage investors had recorded approximately 300,000 foreclosed homes in their accounts, which was the lowest level since 2007 and more than 50% below the foreclosure peak in 2008. As opposed to 3.28 million in Q1, an estimate 2.47 million mortgage loans are now considered seriously delinquent, which is an astounding 21% less than late 2012 levels. Efforts are also being made in the form of state foreclosure processing requirements to facilitate the continual decline of shadow inventory.

From what was thought to be primary delay of the housing industry recovery, worries of shadow inventory levels seem to be diminishing along with underwater mortgages.

Some things to pay attention to over the next several months are how sellers will react to the rising home prices, whether they decide to list their homes for sale, or wait, and the activity of institutional investors buying large quantities of real estate.  For more information on shadow inventory, the right time to sell, and any other desired real estate market information, please doesn’t hesitate to contact your SI Real Estate team today. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Amazon will have an enormous economic impact In Tampa and Hillsborough County

This deal is official. Tampa, Florida will be the next destination for the retail giant Amazon.  

fulfillment center of epic proportions is going to be built by the end 2014. “This is bigger than landing the Super Bowl, a national Convention or the Olympics. It’s a mega storm of growth that’s hitting our county with feeder bands that will create economic growth all over this area,” said Commissioner Sandy Murman.   An immediate investment of $200 million and creation of up to 3000 jobs are some of the notable benefits of this deal.

Amazon has been trying to build a distribution center in the state of Florida for the past 3 years and Tampa is always an attractive city for business. However, high property taxes and other obstacles were slowing down this Amazon goal from becoming reality. In July 2013, Hillsborough commissioners realized the potential advantages of an operation like this and voted on lowering Amazon’s property taxes which consequently sealed the whole deal.  The facility located near Interstate 75 and State Road 674 was bought by a real estate company for $14.6 million and it will be leased to Amazon for an indefinite period of time.  Out of the 1000 permanent jobs, 375 will pay more than $47,581 annually which is 15% more than the average state wage.  Commission Chairman Ken Hagan said, “I can’t underscore enough the tremendous economic impact that will be realized in the South Shore community.”

The idea behind this project is to make Amazon’s shipping capabilities more effective and efficient. A fulfillment center in Florida could make it possible for customers to receive the product on the same day they have ordered it online. So far, Amazon has 11 local express delivery markets across the country including Boston, Chicago, and Seattle. In the end, the Hillsborough County is thrilled to have one of the biggest online retail giants building a facility in its neighborhood. The possible economic impact on this area has no limits.

This also means that other mega companies could appreciate the strategic and geographic importance of the Greater Tampa Bay region and build more facilities.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Real Estate Recap: Tips to Know & Knowledge to Practice

The year of 2013 has proven to be quite eventful for the real estate industry, both in the Tampa Bay area and nationwide.  Over the last nine months, we have been carefully monitoring the market activity and headliners, and planning accordingly in order to stay abreast of real estate from all angles.
Starting Off Strong
At the beginning of this year, Tampa’s real estate market continued the upward trend that 2012 produced. Home buyers, and the affordability of housing, were finally receiving some serious recognition, and it was a strong way to begin the year.  The number of homes that were either in foreclosure, or were seriously delinquent, dropped by over 300,000 units from October 2011 to the end of 2012, and the market quickly transitioned towards becoming a seller’s market, which is in part where we are today.

Home Values Soar
In the first few months of 2013, Tampa experienced an astounding 22% increase in median home sale prices, while the average price per square foot edged up almost 50%. These increases in home values were a direct result of the extremely low levels of housing inventory available for home buyers.  This provided homeowners with an immediate increase in home values and equity, and allowed for additional seller leverage in getting the sale price desired. Multiple-offer scenarios and bidding wars resulted from the increasing demand for housing, and new home construction gained noticeable momentum.

Decreasing Inventory brings Increase in Demand
By the time March rolled around, the housing inventory levels in Florida were at the lowest point we had seen in years.  Interest in new home construction homes spiked dramatically due to the market conditions and strong demand for attractive interest rates. The owner occupant buyers were choosing to buy new because of low interest rates and incredible buyer incentives that new home builders were able to offer.  With the increased activity from buyers, sellers, and new home construction agencies, the future looked bright for the real estate industry.

As the year progressed, home prices continued to climb higher.  In fact, sales, pending sales, median prices, and closings all saw increases!  Single family homes, townhomes, and condo properties experienced increases in median sales price, which was the 15th consecutive month that we had seen such increases in Florida. All of this real estate activity continued while housing inventory and mortgage rates remained extremely low, at least for the time being. 

Investors Play Vital Role in Real Estate Recovery
Florida’s speedy housing recovery in 2013 caught the attention of more than just its own residents.  International investors from neighboring and distant countries have significantly contributed to our real estate recovery, both on a local and national level. Individuals from a variety of countries increased U.S. homeownership to around 36% from 2000 to 2010 and by 2020, it is expected that 50% of all home buying will be fueled by international home buyers. If you are questioning the significance of these statistics, just consider that 100 billion worth in mortgage loans is expected    to come from international investments.

Monitoring Mortgage Rates
In May of 2013, prices of homes in the U.S. rose by more than 12% since the previous year, which was the highest increase that the real estate market has seen in over seven years! This, as you might imagine, provided homeowners the motivation necessary to finally list their homes for sale.  It is prudent, however, to understand the impact home prices and interest rates have in the long run and how they affect the recovery of our real estate market, especially in our Tampa Bay area. 

One potential effect of mortgage rate fluctuation could cause for a slight reduction in borrowing power of buyers.  A sense of urgency was seen on the part of buyers and sellers as rising rates sparked a new flurry of real estate activity for those who desired the attractive mortgage rates. 

Real Estate’s Largest Consumers
Over the summer, we noticed Millenials receiving a surplus of recognition from the real estate industry as the next largest group of potential homeowners. While many people pointed out that student debt and credit standards could keep these potential homebuyers on the sideline, even more held high expectations that the largest demographic in the nation’s history would continue to act as a major player in real estate market for quite some time.

A survey by a national home builder showed that over 65% of renters, ages 18-34, had an income of more than $50K. The same survey showed that 30% of home sales were to first time home buyers who fell into the 18-34 year old age group. Tampa, Florida had seen increased building permits and home starts this year as inventory continued to evaporate and a large portion of our property inventory was being purchased by this younger demographic.

Real Estate Boom: Buy-to-Rent

The “buy-to-rent” market was predicted to be the next big boom in real estate, and has the potential become a $100 billion industry within the next few years. With financial obstacles preventing homeownership for some, others have taken advantage of lower home prices to turn into buy-to-rent properties. Investors can easily expect their return on investment to reach over 10%.

Boomerang Buyers
Previously, home owners who experienced a foreclosure or bankruptcy had to wait for three years before they could apply for a new mortgage. The new regulation by the Federal Housing Administration is now making it possible for those who have repaired their credit score, verified their income, and have recovered financially, to be eligible for a new mortgage loan in as little as one year. Moreover, this new rule also applies to former homeowners who made a bank-approved short sale for less than the amount they owned.


Monday, October 14, 2013

The housing market recovery is ready to outburst in 2014 and 2015

The year 2013 has been a very positive year when it comes to the recovery of the housing market. We have followed the rising prices of homes, increase in newly build constructions sold,  homebuilders regaining trust and increasing the inventory, and we also witnessed people who went through a bankruptcy rejoining the housing market after rebuilding their credit. It is obvious that we still have work to do in order to reach the country’s potential but analysts agree on the fact that we are heading towards a bright future. According to David Crowe, chief economist for National Association of Home Builders, “the cards are in play for a decent and fairly strong recovery in 2014 and particularly in 2015.”

What does this mean for people who have real estate needs but are not sure if it is the right time to enter the housing market? With a better inventory and more options on the market and with stricter but also more secured mortgage loans, the customers will realize that the market conditions are very positive and steady and that there are no signs of a bubble being created like we have experienced several years ago.  NAHB is expecting the single-family production to rise by 17% next year and 31% by the end of 2015. In addition, by the end of next two years, we are expecting the housing recovery to reach 93% of normal. SI Real Estate has an experienced team of professionals who keep up with the newest market trends so we can secure you the best rates no matter if you are trying to buy, invest or rent properties in the greater Tampa Bay area.

On the way to the full recovery, there will be obstacles such the government shutdown or running out of cash to pay its bills. However, Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics believes that “lawmakers will get it together because the private economy has done a marvelous job of reducing leverage and getting their balance sheets in order. American companies are in a very good shape and they will do well going forward, with continued strong export growth which will be a strong source for economic growth for a long time to come.

What about the state of Florida and the real estate market conditions? Florida and especially the Tampa Bay area were hit hard when the bubble burst. If we compare Florida with the state of Texas, the number of mortgages is roughly the same. However, Florida had five times as many foreclosures during the crisis and today it has less than double.  According to Robert Dank, NAHB’s assistant vice president for forecasting and analysis, “now that a new stage of healing process begun, local conditions are dictating the pace of the recovery and that is why bubble states like Florida are no longer on the bottom and have moved ahead of states in the industrial Midwest.” It is more than obvious that Florida is getting back to normal really fast and with the business leadership and commitment, the entire state will get back on the top of the real estate market once again.

Here at SI Real Estate, we have experienced the highs and the lows in the greater Tampa Bay market and thanks to our clients who appreciate diligent and honest work; we have managed to stay profitable and retain loyal customers during the tough times. When you talk to an SI agent, you are not only talking to a real estate professional but you are also talking to someone who sets your satisfaction as the highest priority. We will work with you no matter what your needs are and we will always represent you with respect and dignity because our customers are our best advertisement. We are a group of real people who delivers real results for our clients. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Construction Spending Reaches New Heights

Real Estate Pulse 2013:   It continues to be a promising year for the real estate industry in the U.S., especially in the Tampa Bay area.  We are seeing irrefutable signs of housing recovery.  The latest excitement to make headlines is the blossoming new construction occurring in today’s market.  In July of 2013, construction spending increased to the highest level in the last four years here in the United States. With the recent low inventory levels, this is exactly what some buyers have been waiting for.  Spending increased as much at 5.2% nationwide since July of last year according to the Commerce Department figures.  As for private homebuilders, spending increased .6 %, which is the greatest change we have seen since September 2008.  Private residential construction wasn’t the only category to boast large improvements, with non-residential and factory construction also climbing to 1.3% and federal spending increasing by 1.1%.

What can be expected from these new increases in construction? Well for starters, continual gains in employment opportunities, and residential and non-residential housing construction should continue to improve throughout the end of the year. These factors alone should contribute significantly to the strengthening and expansion of our economy, providing new jobs and new real estate.  The real estate industry and current economic conditions go hand-in-hand with each other, where improvements in one category reap positive results for the other.  It is important, however, to be mindful of the tight land inventory levels.  It is extremely beneficial to become knowledgeable of the current market conditions in order to make the right decisions regarding your housing needs.

To learn more about what’s going on in the real estate industry, locally or nationally, please don’t hesitate to contact our Tampa team of committed real estate professionals who have your best interest in mind.  Whether you are looking to sell your home, purchase a new home, invest, relocate or even rent, SI Real Estate | Tampa Bay has you covered. Pick up the phone and make the call; you won’t regret it.  Real People, Real Results!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Real Estate Boomerang Buyers: Home Buyers who went through financial distress are back!

1.5 million potential buyers
There is new hope on the horizon for those who lost their homes due to the recession. The current administration has created a new rule regarding the waiting period for obtaining a new real estate mortgage backed by the Federal Housing Administration.   Previously, home owners who experienced a foreclosure or bankruptcy had to wait for three years before they could apply for a new mortgage. The new regulation makes it possible for those who have repaired their credit score, can prove their income, and have gone through a full recovery, to be eligible for a new mortgage loan in as little as one year.

Many agree on the fact that this is a very positive sign for the real estate market and states such as Florida Nevada, and Arizona, have already taken advantage of this opportunity by redesigning their marketing campaigns to attract clients who have proved themselves to be financially stable after going through a foreclosure. These so-called “boomerang buyers” are entering the market and there could be as many as 1.5 million potential buyers by the beginning of 2014. This could boost the recovery of the housing market even more and also help people who suffered financial setbacks during the recession by qualifying for a new FHA-backed loan and building equity in their new home.  Moreover, this new rule also applies to former homeowners who made a bank-approved short sale for less than the amount they owned.

Some people are still concerned that we might be returning to risky lending practices which caused the financial crisis. However, according to Shaun Donovan, the secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, “What we are talking about is getting back to responsible lending and we believe that these low-risk loans can be made safely. Furthermore, Logan Mohtashami, a mortgage broker in Irvine, California, believes, “that these new practices cannot be compared to bubble-era excessive spending because the problem back then was that nobody was verifying anything.”

So what does this mean for Tampa Bay homeowners who went through a foreclosure, bankruptcy, or a short sale? There is a really good chance that if you have repaired your credit score, went through a income “full recovery”, completed housing counseling, then you might qualify for a new mortgage on a newly built property. Home-builders are aware of this situation and they have already started increasing their inventory to be able to satisfy the demand of today’s real estate market.

Here at SI Real Estate, we utilize our years of experience while working with clients in all possible situations. Our personal relationship with each customer makes us a very valuable asset in the search for a new home. No matter if you are a first time buyer, if you experienced financial distress, or if you just try to get more information about the current market conditions, SI Real Estate will take the time to go over all the possibilities with you to make sure that you are 100 percent satisfied with our services. Our team is a trusted team of professionals in the greater Tampa Bay area and we will support you throughout the entire process of satisfying your real estate needs.  Real People | Real Results!

Friday, August 23, 2013

August Real Estate Pulse: Existing Home Sales Spike in July 2013

Since 2009, existing home sales have never been so high. July 2013 recorded and increase of 6.5% in comparison to June of the same year. A seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.06 million in June went up to 5.39 million in the month of July. This indicates a double-digit year-over-year increase in the real estate market. The median price for existing homes was $213,500 in July which was 13.7 % more than in the previous year at the same time. Also, 15% of the July sales were distressed homes foreclosures and short sales which indicated the lowest share since October 2008.  “The size of the increase was a surprise,” given the number of people applying for mortgages has dropped sharply since rates began to rise in early June, said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight.

The increasing mortgage rates also play a big role in this.  According the Freddie Mac, “fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.37% in July from 4.07% in June; being the highest since July 2011.  Despite the fact that the interest rates on mortgages are on an upswing, the real estate market is clearly indicating that we are heading towards a positive future. Moreover, Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, believe that “Mortgage interest rates are at the highest level in two years, pushing some buyers off the sideline.  The initial rise in interest rates provided a strong incentive for closing deals”.  As new jobs are being added to the economy and the mortgage underwriting standards are going to become more buyer-friendly, the economy will continue to rise and so will the housing market. There will be more qualified buyers which will ensure that the increasing inventory will be provided with enough demand.

What does this mean for normal consumers?  The recovery of the housing market is responsible for a stronger overall economy. The fact that people are spending more by buying homes is supporting consumer spending and increases the confidence of homebuilders and buyers, and partially avoids foreclosures. Also, as the homebuilders watch the continuing signs of recovery, they are starting to build more in new construction and new communities in order to satisfy the big demand on the market.

Here at SI Real Estate, we will work with you to meet any of your real estate needs. From buying your first house or selling your home, investments or property management,  with any builder on new construction, our team offers its years of experience in the Tampa Bay area to ensure that you will be represented in the most respectful and efficient way. Our team of trusted real estate professionals will not be finished until you move into the property of your dreams.  Real people | Real Results! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Deal-Maker or Deal-Breaker: The Importance of a Good Appraisal

Homeowners are thrilled to see the values of their homes continue to increase as the real estate industry is recovering and stabilizing.  The strong demand for housing and the low supply of inventory have continued to drive up home prices in the Florida real estate market, as well as nationwide!  Buyers are expected to be prepared to make strong offers due to the rising prices and mortgage rates. We have been witnessing multiple offers and bidding wars taking place in today’s market too. This appears to be great news for sellers, as they are now receiving offers equal to or above their listing prices. Sellers do, however, need to be mindful of how an appraisal can create challenges in closing their real estate transaction. 

We noted earlier this year that appraisers were finally beginning to place higher values on homes, allowing for more sales to go through and for the market to gain strength. Recently, however, it appears in some cases as though appraisers are not quite keeping up with the fast-paced recovery of the real estate industry. Sellers should take caution before over-investing in remodeling and upgrades prior to selling, because there is no guarantee that the appraiser will value them to the same degree as potential buyers.

When appraisal values come in under the contract price, agents will often make efforts to re-negotiate the sales price in order to save the deal. It is important to remember that most banks will only finance the appraised amount, not the amount listed on the contract, and a potential buyer could need to come up with any additional needed funds upfront to salvage the sale.

Low appraisals pose as obstacles for buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals everywhere. The best course of action to protect your home sale from falling through, or missing out on your dream home, is to surround yourself with a team of real estate professionals who possess an abundant knowledge of the Tampa real estate industry and have your best interests in mind. At SI Real Estate, our dedicated team is purposed to help fulfill all of your real estate needs and to provide valid information of the right steps to take when facing the inevitable obstacles involved in home sale transactions.

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Next Real Estate Boom: Buy-To-Rent

The year of 2013 has been proven to be an eventful time for the real estate market, especially here in Tampa, Florida. So far this year, we have discussed: the impact of international investors on the recovery of the housing market, the significant presence of Millenials as first-time home buyers, the recent mortgage rate activity with predictions of what to expect, the low housing inventory levels, and the encouraging signs of home value increases. So what can we expect to see as the next big move in real estate?

The latest headline to grab the attention of the Tampa market came from a CNN Money article labeling Tampa, Florida at third place out of the top ten cities with highest percentage of all-cash home sales throughout the country. This is a positive sign of correction and stabilization returning to our real estate market. An astonishing 58% of all home sales in Tampa last month were settled in cash. This group of purchasers is made up of both international investors and individual buyers who have other plans than actually living in their new homes.

In a recent research report conducted by Morgan Stanley, the “buy-to-rent” market is predicted to be the next big boom in real estate, and could become a $100 billion industry in the next few years. With financial obstacles preventing homeownership for some, others are taking advantage of lower home prices to turn into buy-to-rent properties. Investors could easily expect their return on investment to reach over 10%.  

At SI Real Estate, we have anticipated this movement and have been working with loyal clients for years that have been actively reaping the financial benefits of buying-to-rent, especially as home prices are increasing. As the market continues to improve and stabilize, investors can decided whether it is the time to sell or continue renting. Our responsibility at SI Real Estate is to be there for you each step of the way in order to provide you with the most accurate and informative knowledge possessed by our team of real estate professionals.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Housing Industry On a Steady Rise

In the last two years, there has been an unstoppable positive turn in demand for real estate. This resulted in increased home buyer’s motivation to purchase. In addition, this newest trend boosted builder’s confidence in the real estate market as well.  According to Mr. Jay McCanless, an analyst for Sterne Agee, “Housing demand, whether its rental or ownership, is a positive indicator,” the main reason for this is a steady job creation over the past three years which especially helped the private sector. Tampa Bay area is no exception; there has been a larger demand for multi-family and single family rentals and ownership.

What does this mean for potential home buyers or sellers? The overall positive attitude amongst the members of builders associations and customers seeking new homes caused an increase of six points in the Housing Market Index in July 2013. This was the strongest increase since January 2006 and it also showed that builders are being more confident in building new single family or multi family houses. Future homebuyers do not need to fear a tighter inventory of existing homes since the builders have regained their trust in the real estate market. In 2012, we have experienced a household growth of 2.4 million which easily passed a 65-year average of 1.2 million. McCanless also mentioned in his report that continuing job growth is creating a similar household formation environment for 2013 which should support our positive housing outlook.

What will the future bring? The rising job creation and the growing house inventory are very good signs for the future.  Also, McCanless believes that rising number of housing permits, housing starts, and resales is going to continue at least throughout 2015. This positive attitude has mushroomed in all parts of the country including the Tampa Bay area.

The SI Real Estate team is here to guide you step by step in the purchasing and selling process to make sure that you are 100% satisfied with your transaction. Our number one priority is the highest possible customer satisfaction. Do not hesitate to contact us so we can find you the house of your dreams, or to assist you in selling your home.  The SI Real Estate professionals have an extensive knowledge base of the local area, which will help you in purchasing the right property or selling your real estate.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Tampa Real Estate Hot Topic: Mortgage Rate Predictions for 2013

Last week we discussed the importance of understanding the effects that rising home prices have on mortgage rates and the buying power of consumers in the market to both buy and sell.  The recent mortgage rate activity has caught the attention of the nation, and of course our local Florida real estate market.   Since May 2013, the average rate on a 30-year mortgage rose from approximately 3.3% to 4.87% according to Freddie Mac.  Executive vice president of McCue Mortgage, Kim Neilson, states that the market hasn’t seen an increase of this magnitude in years.  Despite the recent jump, however, rates are expected to remain steady between 4-5% throughout the remainder of 2013. 

There are two main reasons for this situation on the market. Firstly, the Federal Reserve chairman Fred Bernanke indicated in mid-June that he might slow down the purchase of mortgage-backed bonds. These were designed to strengthen the secondary market for lenders and also to keep interest rates low.  Secondly, the improving economy is another cause for higher mortgage rates. 10-year U.S. treasury bills go hand-in-hand with home loan rates which explains the recent yield increase of almost 0.25%.

So what does this mean for potential SI Real Estate buyers and sellers?  Joanne Carroll, spokesman for the Home Builders Association of Connecticut, believes that the rising mortgage rate will not have a serious impact the on real estate market unless it passes the 6% mark.  In addition, she believes that this trend could ignite more activity amongst buyers who are mortgage worthy, sellers who need to get their homes in front of buyers, and in some cases investors who are planning to enter the market before the rates increase even more. 

What will the future look like for Tampa Bay investors?  Robert Bischoff, publisher of the Connecticut Bank Rate Recap, is expecting a significant rate increase over last week. However, he believes that the rising mortgage rates will not scare off potential home buyers because the conditions to invest are still remarkable.  Moreover, this increase could also boost the rates certificates of deposit and saving account which have been experiencing a setback in the past years.  Collectively, all of these factors are indicative of economic stability as we have come out of the darkness into the shining light of recovery.  

Friday, July 5, 2013

Real Estate July Pulse: Monitoring Mortgage Rate Activity

In today’s real estate market, we are seeing more and more home buyers come forward in part from the low mortgage rates and increasing job stability.  The demand for home ownership continues to increase.  An increase in home prices is expected to continue throughout this year while our property inventory continues to be at an extremely low level.
Prices of homes in the U.S. rose by more than 12% since May 2012, which is the highest increase that the real estate market has seen in over seven years.  For most, this appears that the market is continuing to gain strength.
It is prudent to understand what impact home prices and interest rates have in the long run and how they may affect the rapid recovery of our real estate market in our Tampa Bay area.  

Potential effects of recent mortgage rate changes may include a slight reduction in borrowing power of buyers.   However, it is possible that the rising rates could spark a new flurry of real estate activity for those who need to take advantage of today’s attractive mortgage rates.  

A sense of urgency could be seen on the part of buyers and sellers.   This newest real estate trend could prove to be yet another boost of home sales. 

Staying current on the recent activity of the market in your area is a great way to assure your home buying and selling goals are being met.  Here at SI Real Estate, we are always happy to assist you in meeting every real estate need.

SI Real Estate offers highly personalized, multilingual, full-spectrum real estate purchase and sales services. We are a boutique for sophisticated investors, select owners or renters who may be upgrading locally, or those making traditional relocations. We also provide turnkey landlord and tenant management. Blending comprehensive insight into the Tampa Bay area with international perspectives for a worldwide clientele, we like to think that “SI Real Estate is Global Real Estate in Every Way!”

Friday, June 28, 2013

Pending Sales Reach New Heights

Pending home sales rose last month to the highest level since 2006! Contract activity is also out pacing the December 2006 levels. While this activity is great, we should also be cognizant of interest rates and the pace at which they are rising. Some buyers are racing to the closing table so they can lock in current rates. At the same time, some sellers are doing whatever is necessary to secure a sale, even if that means taking a lower purchase price. The pace at which home prices are rising cannot continue forever as it is healthy when prices, sales and contracts are fluctuating in the right direction. Call us today to ask how you can take advantage of your local real estate market.

SI Real Estate offers highly personalized, multilingual, full-spectrum real estate purchase and sales services. We are a boutique for sophisticated investors, select owners or renters who may be upgrading locally, or those making traditional relocations. We also provide turnkey landlord and tenant management. Blending comprehensive insight into the Tampa Bay area with international perspectives for a worldwide clientele, we like to think that “SI Real Estate is Global Real Estate in Every Way!”