The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) says that up to 60% of homeowners may be paying too much in property tax. Typically fewer than 5 percent of taxpayers challenge their assessments, even though the majority who do so win at least a partial victory when properly prepared. NTU also offers a Homeowner’s Checklist of helpful tips for appealing your assessment.
Here are some steps to take if you think you’re overpaying:
Finally, if you don’t want to do the legwork necessary to appeal, find a property-tax expert who will help you for a fee or on a contingency basis.
Always consult a tax advisor for tax information and advice.
280 West Canton Ave., Suite 400
Winter Park, FL 32789
Branch ID: 37395
So it's time to move and you're going to list your home for sale. You want it to sell quickly and maximize your selling price. Well let me ask you this, if your home was applying for a job, what would be the first impression it gave off? Would it be a torn t-shirt, dirty jeans and smelly shoes or would your house be dressed in a crisp business suit looking sharp and dapper?
Not only are first impressions critical in your professional life, they are just as vital when selling your home. In fact, the first 5 minutes can make or break the sale of your home. A buyer's sight and smell are the first senses used to determine if your home is right for them. Unattractive landscaping, clutter, pet smell, poor ventilation and lighting can doom your home in the first 5-10 minutes that a potential buyer views your home. Here are some simple staging tips when listing your home:
1. Less is more when it comes to decorations.
It's important to keep decor simple and only accentuating the home's best features to create an inviting setting. Try displaying fall foliage or festive bouquets throughout the home.
2. Warm up the walls.
A fresh coat of paint will always help revive the home's interiors. It's a great idea to keep the walls neutral yet warm and inviting. For the autumn season, pops of color with accessories in oranges, deep reds and yellows add a festive touch.
3. Keep rooms well lit.
Open blinds and plenty of tasteful lamps through the home add additional illumination and highlights the home's best features.
4. Make it cozy.
As the weather cools down, encourage home buyers to stick around during showings by providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Accentuate the sofas and chairs with plush throw pillows and cuddly throws.
5. Play up the seasonal scents.
Add to the welcoming atmosphere by burning seasonal scented candles throughout the home. Or, even better, simmer hot apple cider on the stove and offer it to potential home buyers.
6. Accentuate gathering areas.
Especially fireplaces if the home has one. A cozy fireplace is a fantastic feature to highlight during the crisp fall months. Arrange the furniture to make a focal point and set the scene for home buyers to imagine gathering with their own friends and family for the holidays and cold seasons.
7. Add a touch of luxury.
Layering the bedding with sumptuous fabrics and adding dimension with throw pillows will enhance the bedroom's comfort appeal. You can also display plush towels in the bathroom or drape a silky table cloth over the dining room table to give the home a more luxurious feel.
8. Curb appeal, curb appeal, curb appeal.
No matter how beautiful and inviting a home's interior, buyers won't make it inside if the exterior isn't welcoming as well.Especially during the fall season when the weather is turning colder and home buyers will want to move in and stay indoors. Sprucing up the lawn by raking up leaves and patching up brown spots in the grass will give home buyers the sense of a more turn-key purchase. They'll be able to imagine themselves hosting holiday parties and dinners instead of making a mental to-do list to rush through before the seasonal events begin.
For more information like this or questions about how we can effectively and successfully list your home, please e-mail Rob Sassos at Rob@SimplicityRE.com
The Florida Association of Realtors posted July's performance numbers last week. Here are my thoughts,opinions and observations about them.
Now before I freak you out with my headline, here is what Daren Blomquist, VP with RealtyTrac, said about the Orlando real estate market in a recent article:
"There's not bad news there for Orlando," Blomquist said. "The affordability levels are still below their historical average, and that indicates there's still room for price growth, even if interest rates go up a point."-Daren Blomquist, VP of RealtyTrac
That's right! The Orlando area is still one of the most affordable areas in the country to purchase a home (yeah!) BUT one of the LEAST affordable areas for renters (boo!).
Now not everyone seems to be paying attention: (Name is withheld to protect the guilty) in a local news article in June: "I think in the next 12 months, we're going to be pretty much flat," said real-estate agent. "With some good things happening in the Orlando area, we could see prices increase 3 percent, but we will likely see the median price soften at the end of the summer."
Now July posted numbers tied for the highest median price ($171,000) for the year, almost a 13% increase from this past January and the highest average price ($214,000) for the year which is an 8% increase from January. Interest rates were at 4.17%. Twelve months earlier they were 4.51%.
Another article I read said that sales are sliding too. Hmmm, if my math is right, which a teller at my bank is smirking right now, 1,889 sales in January to 2,431 in July is a 22% increase. Now did sales slide from this time last year? Yes, of course. It's called market recovery. The big boy cash buyers like Blackstone, Colony Capital and Waypoint are slowing their (cash)roll due to pricing themselves out of their ROI and meeting their saturation levels. Did they shut out mom and pop investors and first time home buyers during this spend? Yes...BUT...they also helped increase market value. Sellers, you're welcome!
So to answer my article title, no, the end is not nigh or tomorrow nigh or next month. Will the big investors be missed? Sort of. Are lending restrictions too tight right now? Please, I'm a real estate broker! That's like asking Willy Wonka if the world needs more candy? Seriously though, maybe they could lighten up a little, but programs are there for first time home buyers and qualified home buyers. And another thing, don't think doom and gloom if you did a short sale on your last home or had a bankruptcy discharged. There are recovery programs and lending options that you will be qualified for quicker than you think AND you may even qualify for them now. E-mail me if you'd like to discuss this more.
So what's my predictions for Orlando real estate? Continued recovery through the "slow and steady wins the race" method. Hiccups here and there but Orlando, in my humble but biased opinion, is the place to be. Just look around at all the new and future building plans and community projects.
Buyers just need to understand that the $50,000 almost new homes have gone the way of the Yugo (remember those?). Communities are stabilizing, new construction can be seen in once abandoned shell communities. Home values are rising but the quality of life and community is improving as well. More conventional sellers with well cared for homes are listing their homes for sale now. Which, in turn, creates a larger pool of qualified buyers. So getting a 'deal' is more of a change in paradigm than it is a thing of the past me thinks! Now finding a deal, making a deal and closing a deal...well...those are the things that require trained,proven and experienced professional on your side. They're called Realtors and I happen to be one. Just sayin'.
But enough about my opinion. What do you think?
Thanks for reading! Stop by my website: www.SimplicityRE.com and say hi or hit me up on Facebook,Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Active Rain, Word Press, Swarm, Google Plus, Instagram or LinkedIn. Wow! I need to get out more. :)
Kudos to Orange County for having the largest percentage of residential properties valued at $500,000 and above. 14 of the top 20 zip codes reside in Orange County. CLICK HERE for the list of zip code rankings. The report also has Seminole County and Osceola County with three and two zip codes in the top twenty respectively.
The report, done by Esri and reported by the Orlando Business Journal, also breaks down the zip codes by demographics. Here is the chart of demographic definitions as used and defined by Esri: CLICK HERE
Now this report is all fine and dandy but recently I was chatting with another broker over coffee and the question was posed about the inventory of #HomesForSaleInOrlando now and in the immediate future: If a seller has an attractive mortgage rate on their current home (say, obtained in the Great Recession), why would they want to sell and finance the purchase of another home at a higher interest rate? A fair question for sure and one that got me to do some thinking and research.
Recent studies by NAR (National Association of Realtors) suggests that only a small fraction of people who sell their home (approx. 10%) factor in the gain or loss of financing rates in the process of selling their home and buying another. I also found out that a third of all home owners do not have a mortgage at all!
The primary reasons why people move have everything to do with family, job and quality of life. Upsizing or downsizing because of family, a change of job location or status or just looking for a change in community and/or neighborhood, climate, etc. are the primary factors for buying a new home.
However, a new phenomena that is having somewhat of a factor on homeowners retaining their current homes is the dramatic increase in rental income. Homeowners are finding that it may be more financially beneficial to retain their old home and rent it out than it would be to sell the property out right. It should be noted that if this is an option for you, that you have an understanding of landlord/tenant responsibilities and obligations in the state of Florida or have a qualified property management company assist you. CLICK HERE for more information.
So it's a sunny day in #OrlandoRealEstate in terms of overall home values, renting properties and buying homes. Especially if you're buying new construction! Yes, we specialize in that!
If you have questions about buying or selling a home in Orlando or require property management solutions for your rental properties please CLICK HERE or call us at 866-642-2052.
Simplicity: A Real Estate Brokerage Company is a full service residential and property management company servicing the Greater Orlando Real Estate market.
Professionalism, Integrity: Simplicity
Remember your last car purchase? For most of us the response to that question is “Remember?! How can I forget?! Many times it seems like your playing poker against the house with the cards stacked against you! But what if you had to opportunity to bring into the negotiations your own auto-sales professional who knows what you want and what you can afford and protects your best interests? How much easier and less stressful would that be?! Having an advocate in your corner is a great feeling. More people might actually like to go car shopping if that was the case. Now unfortunately, as far as I know, this is not available in auto-sales but these buyer advocates are available in #RealEstate where, on average, the deals are more complicated and expensive. Yet some people still choose not to use them! Why you ask? Because for some buyers, they feel they can get a better deal if they don’t have an experienced representative protecting their interests. I know, right?
Now “ A fox in the hen house” may be too drastic an analogy but keep in mind the first word in listing agent; “listing”. That is what the agent represents as well as the seller behind the listing. Even in a transactional agent situation, where the agent has limited representation to both sides as it pertains to the transaction, the agent still has a primary familiarity with the seller that may cause some challenging relationship dynamics during the negotiations no matter how professional the agent or broker may be.
Here are some reasons why should have your own agent representing you when buying a home in #Orlando or anywhere for that matter.