Last Thursday was Take Your Kid To Work Day, so my 8-year-old daughter, Jade, came with me. Other than the big breakfast of eggs, bacon, and rye toast with lots of butter, I asked Jade what she thought of the day. Jade said, “Dad, you work with a lot of stubborn people”. I laughed, as I never thought of it that way.
One example was a meeting we had with clients on an offer we had on their home. My reply to Jade was that the people were not stubborn, but it was my job to help them clarify the situation so they could make an intelligent decision. A home sale is a stressful event. Money is involved, people don’t know where they are going, etc. My worst fear is if they call me in a week to ask if the buyer is still interested, only for me to say that they purchased something else or felt it “wasn’t meant to be”. Clients end up regretting their initial ‘stubbornness’.
The offer on the house was lower then what my client wanted and their ‘bottom line number’ was not going to keep the negotiations alive. If they didn’t work out a deal, my clients would probably have to wait at least 6 months for another offer because their home was more of a seasonal buyer purchase. That becomes 6 months worth of taxes, insurance, cost of money, depreciation, HOA costs, and worry. I outlined those costs for them and asked them to fast forward a month into the future. Would they still be happy hanging onto the house, paying all of the costs, going through hurricane season, etc? They ended up countering at a number which ensured a better chance of a deal happening. Today the house went under contract! And thankfully there will be no regrets at having been too stubborn a month from now.
Nature is to be enjoyed to its fullest from this unusual pie-shaped lot located on a cul-de-sac. Situated on one of the largest lots on The Island at PGA National with a rare and desirable southeast exposure, 32 Cayman Place offers the best in beauty and luxury. No expense was spared with the finest in high-tech lighting and sound. Automated programing and one touch lets you set the mood for whatever your heart desires. Impact glass and hurricane shutters offer the peace of mind when you leave your home or a storm sets in. Luxury abounds with granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and top-of-the-line brand names such as Bosch and Grohe. Volume ceilings and dramatic arched windows let in lots of light. The outdoor living is phenomenal, with an incredible coral deck with cascading waterfall spa into a true lap pool and relaxing shallow end. Television, stainless steel outdoor grill, and 5-layer granite kitchen make this the perfect place for social gatherings and unforgettable evenings.
Sensational open plan home at 13917 Palm Grove Place in Eastpointe with lots of light and including a spacious patio is ideal for relaxing & entertaining. A beautifully-designed iron gate will greet you on the approach. Once inside, the bright & spacious great room with its soaring ceilings invites spending time with family or friends. The kitchen contains abundant cabinet & countertop space, perfect for the cook in the family. The den is perfect for setting up as an office space or for use as an additional relaxing spot. The open master has a nice-sized closet & matching bath. The split plan design offers guests a room with privacy when visiting. Ceramic tile & carpet throughout. The sliding glass doors lead to a large patio that makes entertaining outside a breeze. Beautifully landscaped & includes a hot tub.
The market is improving as of spring 2012 in Palm Beach County. We are seeing a slight increase in supply because of economic conditions, but a bigger jump in sales because of a 6-year slow drip of investment and must-sell inventory that has dried up.
2. Prices: This Year versus Last
In January of 2012 the average price was $296,000. The average sold price in February 2012 was $318,000. However, the average sold price in February of 2011 was $348,000, so prices are lower today than they were a year ago at this time.
3. Sales Volume
February 2012 home sales are up compared to last month. There were 797 sales in February 2012 versus 749 sales in January 2012. 752 sales took place in February 2011, so more sales are happening now than last year at this time as well.
4. Who is Purchasing?
Snowbirds, some first timers, and downsizers are purchasing. We are also seeing a trend of people selling their northern and small Florida home and then purchasing a medium-sized permanent Florida home. A few foreign buyers, but mostly from Canada. There are not as many Canadian purchasers as the last few years because many Canadians purchased from 2009-2011. Not much activity from Europe because their economy is weak.
5. Distressed properties:
163 short sales sold in February of 2012, which is more than the 128 that sold in February of 2011. There are currently 2621 short sales out of the 9593 homes available on the market. The Palm Beach County MLS has never kept exact track of foreclosures. Some lenders had their agents hide this for fear that agents would not show the property. However, that has changed in the past month, and going forward those properties must be marked in Palm Beach County MLS. Overall it has been reported that Florida, which takes a whopping 3-year time-span to foreclose on the average property, is starting to see that number go down. Banks are foreclosing faster as the overall inventory has diminished.
6. Can Buyers still get loans?
The people who want loans are not having trouble getting them. There is much more verification. I haven’t had problems myself with buyers finding financing. The problem lies more within the appraisal process of homes not appraising. Many times it is because the appraisal is not done well. Some of the appraisers hired are from out of the area, traveling from Miami or Orlando and don’t know the property well.
Natural Laws of Supply & Demand at Work in the Housing Market
For the past six years, economists and politicians have argued about what to do with the housing market. We’ve heard all sorts of solutions, from bulldozing homes to giving huge reductions in principal to homeowners upside down on their mortgages. President Obama blamed President Bush, Republicans blamed Barney Frank, and everyone blamed Wall Street.Quietly, though, as we start 2012 in Palm Beach County, overall inventory is significantly down. There were 9,593 homes available in February of 2012 versus 10,883 in 2011, almost a 12% drop in inventory. I attribute the drop to a change in supply, not so much to a surge in demand. As evidenced by the amount of sales staying the same, there has been a slow drop in supply since 2006. In 2006 we had a perfect storm of excess inventory:
1) Investor purchases of new construction
2) Builder speculation homes
3) Over-confident Sellers who purchased first without selling
4) Sellers who were in a must-sell situation
While we still have many Sellers in the 4th category of ‘Must Sell’, due to a loss of income or loss of job, 80-90% of the first three categories that I outlined have sold since 2006.
Picture a slow dripping faucet as a sale. One drip doesn’t amount to much, but drips from 2006 to 2012 add up to an overflowing bathtub! That is what has happened in real estate over the last 6 years, and 2012 is the year the bathtub overflowed. The investor, builder, and over-confident Seller who got stuck with their good-looking homes have taken their 35% loss and moved on. These Sellers have gone though denial, trying to wait it out by renting their home, got angry at Wall Street, switched to 4 different real estate agents before they stopped blaming everyone and accepted reality. Finally, they have sold and moved on.
Now we are left with a just a bad economy and a lousy market. This market is stronger, though, because the one-time Investor/Builder Spec/Over-Confident inventory has dissipated. I’ve personally had 2 Buyers lose out on homes ranging from $500,000 to $4,000,000 in the past two weeks. Buyers are in disbelief thinking they can wait forever only to lose out. Pending sales for March and April are going to be way up and buyers need to recognize the bottom is here, not because the economy is strong, but because there are no more investors investing, spec buildings being built, and over-confident Sellers buying first without selling first.
The turnaround in housing has begun because of the natural laws of Supply & Demand. In 2007, I explained to my 7-year-old son Sam, to picture a town with 100 homes and 100 people. If one person moves to the town each year, then one new home needs to be built. What happened in housing is that builders constructed 7 homes in one year, giving the town an excess of 6 extra homes. After a 6-year-long wait with no homes being built we have hit equilibrium. We now have 107 homes and 107 homeowners. Supply and demand are smoothing out. Watch for the Republicans and Democrats to fight over who gets credit. Sam, now 13, can tell you that the credit really goes to the free market principals of supply and demand.
899 players and 195 coaches representing 291 universities in all 50 states will soon be on the move…..or won’t they? Rumors that the new College Football Hall of Fame might be “sacked” are just bad rumors. The new $82 million, 75,000 square-foot Hall of Fame building was scheduled to be completed in 2012 but was then pushed back to 2013. Now it’s back to the drawing phase.In the past few months there was talk that the facility might not take place at all due to budget shortfalls, but that rumor has been ‘spiked’ by the Hall itself. Phil Marwill, Director of Communication for the College Football Hall of Fame, in fact said just the opposite.”We are in the process of redoing all the Hall of Fame drawings, and we’ll make them available, which should be within the next two months. Major changes to the plans are in the works and we’ll be distributing them in the near future.Marwill said that “details will be put out when available” and promised that “they will be very cool.” It is not clear whether the 3-D theatre, tunnel entrance, or the third-floor interactive features will be slashed.The location for the Hall of Fame can be seen here in these new photos. The physical site is across the street from the Embassy Suites Atlanta at Centennial Hotel in what is currently the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) Green Parking Lot. This location is in the heart of Centennial Park and mere blocks away from the Coca-Cola Museum, Georgia Aquarium, CNN Center, Georgia Dome, and Phillips Area, to name a few.
The College Football Hall of Fame is presently located in South Bend, Indiana. It only attracts 60,000 people annually and is strictly a destination point. Atlanta Hartsfield attracts 75.9 million people per year and the city itself hosts over 16.5 million visitors each year. The exposure and the amount of visitors to the College Football Hall of Fame are enormous.Below is an alphabetical list showing all of the Universities represented and how many total players and coaches have been elected to the hall. Some surprising facts are how many Ivy Leaguers are in the Hall. For example, Princeton has 21 players and 5 coaches. The Ivy League schools were powerhouses in the early 1900’s. However, Princeton hasn’t had a member elected to the Hall since 1964.Brigham Young only has 5 players in the hall and 4 of them are quarterbacks, including Jim McMahon and Steve Young. Carlisle Indian School, which hasn’t been in existence since 1918, has 6 players, including 3 that transferred to other schools. Barney Poole was the player who represented the most Universities as a player (3), while Ara Parseghian coached the most schools (8). Ara Parseghian also is one of 5 coaches who represented Miami of Ohio, but oddly they only had one player who made it into the College Football Hall of Fame.