A Summer of Rental Discontent

June 21, 2012

 A slow down in apartment construction, coupled with low vacancy rates and a rising millennial demographic will continue to fuel a rise in apartment rents this summer.

According to Trulia, a company that tracks rents and home prices, it now costs more to rent than to own a home in 98 of the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas.

Moody Analytics reports that demographics has become a leading factor in more people renting then buying, and “demand for rent will remain solid over the next two years.”  While the overall rental rate is 35%, the renter rate for those between the ages of 25-29 is nearly 65%, and for those under 24 years old, it is 77 percent, according to the Census Bureau.

On the single-family home stage, the rental craze has made it frustrating for the homebuyer. Inventory of “decent” homes is being depleted as investors snatch up single-family homes for the purpose of renting them out. Those left on the market are receiving multiple offers, resulting in bidding wars.  And prospective buyers with FHA loans are finding out that their loans may require sellers to do more home repairs than other loans. Subsequently, if a seller receives multiple offers, they may avoid the ones with FHA loans.

Prospective buyers are also losing homes to cash buyers and bidders with bigger down payments.

This is all playing into the hands of investors who surmised a couple of years ago:  “Accumulate hundreds or thousands of homes, rent to the 99% and make a killing when they dump them back on a property-starved market in three to five years,” according to Personal Real Estate & Investor.

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Miss Your Basement?

March 26, 2012

A new kind of home has opened in Florida: It’s theTransformation House in Harmony Transformation House and it comes with its own Spacement©, a flex space like no other, especially if you miss that basement you had up north.

By opening a door and stepping up to the Spacement©, you find space that can be used for air-conditioned storage (Florida basement), a bonus area (grandchildren’s space), bedroom(s), bathroom(s) or a mixture of all. This flexible space can include one or two baths and two or three flex rooms.  And no matter what configuration the homeowner selects, the static mechanical, plumbing and electrical design coincides.

 Built in the town of Harmony by Wetherington Builders, the 2,500 square-foot, energy-efficient home is being certified by Tracy DeCarlo of One Stop Green Home Certification.

For more information, visit http://www.homebuildinglessons.com/TDBlog/2012/02/20/transformation-house-energy-efficient-flexible-green-and-accessible-3/

 


Keep Your Pumpkin From Shriveling Up

October 29, 2010

Does your pumpkin need a facelift?

Let’s face it, once you’re done removing the orange goo Jack-O-Lanternand the ritual of carving the family pumpkin is over, old Jack can start to look a little tired within a few days, especially in the South.

Here are a few tips from Articlebase.com to keep your creation still looking good for the big day:

* Put your pumpkin in cold water after it’s carved; it will soak up the water and get firm.

* If your pumpkin starts to shrivel, put it back in cold water for one to eight hours.

* Add a very small amount of unscented bleach to the water to stop premature molding.

* Put a thin coating of petroleum jelly on exposed, cut edges to keep the water from evaporating and to preserve the cuts, as well as the pumpkin.

 * Spray your pumpkin with a plant mister to keep it from shriveling.


Orlando Real Estate Investing Alive and Well

October 19, 2010

Orlando real estate investor eyes investment market growth

Lenny Layland, founder, and broker/owner of Investorlando Realty based in Longwood, Fla., was one of 45 professional investors invited to attend the Investment Provider Leadership Summit in Phoenix, Arizona last month. For the past 11 years Layland has also run his own private real estate investment fund, Investorlando, Limited.  Layland says, “Real estate is alive and well, regardless of the recessionary climate.  In fact, it is one of the best investment opportunities in years.

“People don’t realize how big this is,” he adds. “It’s even a larger market than I thought, even on the international stage. For example, New Zealand investors at this conference see our prices as dirt cheap and are actively investing in the U.S.”

Layland, who graduated from Miami University with a degree in finance and turned down offers from Wall Street to become an independent investor and broker, has real estate investing in his blood. His parents retired to Florida after years of home investing in the small town of Eaton, Ohio.

Investorlando Realty, and the related real estate investment fund formed in 1999, provides individuals multiple, simple and diversified ways to invest in real estate.   The newly launched brokerage also offers property management, buyer representation, marketing, and consulting for residential, investment and commercial buyers and sellers.

Investorlando offices are located in the historic Longwood Village Inn, which opened as the Waltham Hotel in 1887. It is one of the few remaining 19th century buildings remaining in Florida today and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Is Florida Getting Snubbed?

June 3, 2009

First it was The Associated Press earlier this year that said by reviewing driver’s license applications in Florida, there was a drop of 175,000 applications between 2003 and 2008.  Then United Van Lines’ 32nd annual “migration” study, which tracks where its customers moved from and their most popular destinations over the past 12 months, showed Florida had as many people move out as move in. It made folks wonder whether Florida had lost its allure.

Well, yes and no.  It is no coincidence that following the 2004 hurricane season that saw at least three major storms crisscross the Sunshine State like  a crazed banshee in the matter of six weeks, people may have put off their plans to relocate. While the state’s population actually grew by 2.2 percent in 2005, net migration did fall 13 percent.

But the real reasons Florida has seen its border crossings full of more tumbleweeds than New Yorkers is related to the economy. Dr. Sean Snaith, director of the Institute for Economic Competitiveness at the University of Central Florida, says the recession and the fact that the Dow lost 43 percent at one point, caused retirees to delay plans of moving to the Sunshine State.  “They had to push back their decisions,” the economist explains. “The influx choked up.”  Even worse, the state, like many, stopped producing jobs, so those not at retirement age are also in limbo about their plans to relocate. Throw in the fact that the cost of living has increased since the boom days of Florida migration, and it is easy to see why Florida’s allure may be changing. However, it may be short term. “As the economy recovers,” believes Snaith, “it will pull more migrants into Florida.” He says population growth should soon return to a normal 1.5 to two percent a year.

In fact, Snaith forecasts 2011 and 2012 will be good years for the state, especially the Orlando area, which is predicted to have the highest job growth statewide. Because of that, net migration will not affect Orlando as much since people will move from the coast to the epicenter of growth.

Finally, I leave with this statement by Wayne Archer, director of the Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of Florida from a report this past winter in which net migration was being analyzed.  

“There are pessimists who think people are going to pack up and leave Florida, but when I stand outside on these clear winter days, I think ‘they’re not going far.’ As long as people keep moving here, the growth will bring us a correction that you won’t get in industrial states like Ohio, Michigan or Illinois.”

Besides, the beaches are still free, and the water is warm. Surf’s up!