Home Values

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This Month in Real Estate – April

Market Update

Home sales and prices confirm that a healthy recovery is continuing in the national housing market: sales have been above year-ago levels for 20 consecutive months, while prices have experienced 12 consecutive months of year-over-year gains.

“Even with rising home prices,” states NAR President Gary Thomas, “affordability remains historically favorable because home prices over corrected during the downturn. This means there is still great value for buyers in the current market.”

With a positive outlook on a recovering housing market and mortgage rates at historically low rates, now marks one of the most favorable times in history to buy or sell a home.

Interest Rates

Interest rates this month changed very little from last month, with rates at or around 3.54% for a 30-year mortgage. “In the history of mortgage interest rates since 1971,” states Gary Thomas, “the 30-year fixed rate has been below 4% in only 15 months, and those have all been in the past 15 months.”

Home Sales

Home sales in February are at the highest level since the homebuyer tax credit was introduced in November 2009, at 4.98 million units; sales are up 0.8% from last month and up 10.2% from last year. Distressed homes (which include short sales and foreclosures that traditionally sell for 15%-20% less on average compared to non-distressed homes) accounted for 25% of February sales. This figure is up from 23% last month, but down from 34% in February 2012. Regardless of the decrease in distressed sales from last year, these properties are still at above-average levels.

Home Prices

The current median home price rose slightly in February to a seasonally adjusted $173,600, which is up 11.6% year over year. February marks the twelfth consecutive month of year-over-year price gains, which last occurred from June 2005 to May 2006. This month’s increase is the strongest since November 2005 when it was up 12.9% year over year.


Housing inventory levels increased 9.6% to 1.94 million existing homes for sale, which represents a 4.7-month supply, a strong seller’s market. Inventory is down 19.2% year over year, when there was a 6.4-month supply.

For more information about what your home is worth or question the market, contact us Info@OrlandosGreatestHomes.com

Spring Cleaning

spring cleaning

Well its that time of year, the weather is warming up and everyone starts their spring cleaning. We have found some neat tips and facts to help you with the big task of spring cleaning.

Fact: Some types of metals can help with disinfecting. Brass door knobs or handles for example can disinfect themselves in just a few hours. Brass has an toxic effect on fungi and some bacterias its call the Oligodynamic Effect. The brass ions actually help break down the spores to disinfect.

Cleaning Tips:

Tip 1: Coffee Grounds…. Not just a good drink, use coffee grounds used or unused in the fridge to get rid of orders (yes its like putting a box of baking soda in the fridge but you don’t have to buy it)

Tip 2: Need to clean scuff marks? Use a sponge and a little baking soda and it will come right up.

Tip 3: Lemons to clean the microwave… Cut in half and squeeze into a bowl place in microwave for 5 minutes to get rid of bad odors and loosen up stuck on gram to just wipe away..

Tip 4: Toilet bowel need cleaning? or need to get rid of some rust? Use antacids or a can of coke, pour into the bowl and let sit for a half hour. The acid removes the rings and rust, all you will need to do is brush out.

Tip 5: Mold and mildew got your showering looking drab? Combined baking powder and lemon juice to create a paste, rub onto the tile and let sit for about two hours rinse off and you should have nice clean shower.

Tip 6: Vinegar… Use with your floor cleaner to have quick drying floors. Add to a rag to wipe down chrome or stainless-steel to keep looking shine. And many other possibilities.

Tip 7: Ketchup…. Add some to a rag to shine up brass. Don’t forget to rinse off with a little soap and water after.

Tip 8: Chalk…. Use to remove a ring from a collar. Rub chalk over the stain and let it soak up the grease for a few minutes, then dust off excess chalk and put in the wash as normal.

Tip 9: Dishwashing leaving spots? Add one cup of vinegar to the rinse compartment and run as normal.

Tip 10: Disposal Cleaner…. Use a half of lemon, cut and drop into disposal run tell chopped and then wash down the drain.


April Fools Day


April Fools’ Day History

The origins of April Fools’ Day are shrouded in mystery, experts say.

The most popular theory is that France changed its calendar in the 1500s so that the New Year would begin in January to match the Roman calendar instead of beginning at the start of spring, in late March or early April.

However word of the change traveled slowly, and many people in rural areas continued to celebrate the New Year in the spring. These country dwellers became known as “April fools,” the story goes.

Boese, who has studied the holiday’s origin, disagrees with that interpretation.

“[The French] theory is completely wrong, because the day that the French celebrated the beginning of the year legally was Easter day, so it never really was associated with April first,” he said.

“Traditionally it was only a legal start to the year—people in France did actually celebrate [the New Year] on January first for as long as anybody could remember.”

Boese believes instead that April Fools’ Day simply grew out of age-old European spring festivals of renewal, in which pranks and camouflaging one’s identity are common.

(Related: “April Fools’ Day on Mars: Scientists Post Yearly Photo Joke”) – National Geographic (website)

This Day in History


Great Investment

Completely renovated ground floor unit. Tile throughout, new black appliance with Granite counter top. Must see great investment. 24 hr security.

    • 1432 W HOLDEN AVE # A
    • City: ORLANDO
    • State: FL
    • Zip: 32839
    • County: Orange
    • Price: $29,900
    • MLS #: O5145373
    • Property Type:Condo/Townhouse/Co-Op
    • Listing Type: Resale/New
    • Subdivision: LAKE TYLER CONDO
    • Status: Active
  • Property Information:

    • Style: Condo
    • Bedrooms: 2
    • Total Baths: 2
    • Full Baths: 1
    • Half Baths: 1
    • Year Built: 1971
    • Sq. Feet: 970
    • Lot Size: Non-Applicable
    • View: No
    • Garage: None
    • Taxes: 469
    • Air: Central
    • Heat: Central
    • Pool: None,Community
    • Construction: Block, Wood Frame
    • Exterior: Mature Landscaping
    • Waterfront: No
    • Interior: Blinds/Shades, Smoke Alarm(s)
    • Appliances: Range, Refrigerator, Dishwasher
    • Utilities: Electric, Public Sewer
    • HOA Dues: 240.79
    • HOA Description: Deed Restrictions, Deed Restrictions, Fees Required
    • Lot Dimensions: x
    • Lot Description: Close to Bus Line

Springtime Fun


Springtime Fun

Search for Treasure On shamrock-shaped pieces of paper, write clues — “Turn left at the rocking chair” or “Take five steps past the refrigerator” — that lead your little leprechaun closer to a pot of gold (aka chocolate coins).

Play in the Sand Make an indoor sandbox by emptying a large box of oatmeal into a plastic dishpan. Toss in spoons, cups, and toy cars.

Get Lucky Have your child find a stone in the yard or at the playground that fits perfectly in her hand, then let her paint it. Encourage her to carry the “charm” in her pocket, and tell her that every time she squeezes it, it will get luckier.

Taste the Rainbow Buy several packs of Skittles or Life Savers and ask your child to separate them according to color. Then glue the candies onto poster board to make a rainbow.

Be Cheery, Not Dreary Prepare for spring showers; buy cheap, solid-color umbrellas and have your kids decorate the outsides with fabric paint. Let dry for 24 hours before closing or taking them out in the rain.

Eat Dirt Scoop some chocolate pudding into mugs with crushed Oreo cookies or graham crackers. Tell your gardeners to mix them together to make “mud.” Then stir in a good helping of gummy worms and “plant” a lollipop flower.

For more ideas check out our latest magazine.

Information here came from parenting.com 

You don’t want to miss this deal!!!!!

  • MLS #: O5148605
  • Property Type: Single Family

Property Information:

  • Style: Single Family Home
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Total Baths: 2
  • Full Baths: 2
  • Year Built: 1965
  • Sq. Feet: 1900
  • Lot Size: Zero Lot Line
  • View: No
  • Garage: None
  • Taxes: 831
  • Air: Central
  • Heat: Central
  • Pool: None
  • Construction: Block
  • Exterior: Trees/Landscaped
  • Waterfront: No
  • Interior: Smoke Alarm(s), Washer/Dryer Hookup
  • Appliances: Dishwasher, Microwave
  • Utilities: Cable Available, County Water, Electric
  • Lot Dimensions: 68.0X125.0
  • Lot Description: Close to Bus Line, Cul-De-Sac, Sidewalk, Street Paved


Nice home close to golf and shopping. Three bedrooms with lots of light. Kitchen with dinette and large living room. Nice size back yard for out door fun. This home has a lot to offer you don’t want to miss this.

Can a Comparative Market Analysis Help You?

Can a Comparative Market Analysis Help You?


To get the most accurate estimate of how much you should list your property for, your real estate agent can provide you with a Comparative Market
Analysis (CMA). A CMA is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties in your area. It generally takes into account various aspects of your home, including size, features and annual costs. Reviewing comparable homes that have sold within the past year, along with the listing or asking price on current homes for sale, should help you determine a fair sale price for your property. CMAs can include homes that are currently for sale and those which have recently sold. They can cover areas as narrow as one or two streets surrounding your home, or as broad as an entire subdivision. Most real estate agents will give you a CMA for free, hoping you’ll list your home with them. Each CMA contains valuable information on several recent sales, including:

  • How long each property stayed on the market
  • How close the sale price was to the asking price
  • Notes comparing each home to yours, i.e.; number of bedrooms and baths, approximate square footage, sizes of major rooms, amenities such as fireplaces and pools, age of the home, property taxes and more.

The CMA is an informative selling tool, but like any tool, it doesn’t work by itself. For this reason, the CMA will always need to be interpreted by a professional or with complete objectivity by the seller or buyer.

Remember, too, that the CMA is also a buying tool; it is considered just as seriously by the buyer and his or her agent. As you and your agent are going to use the CMA to ask the highest possible price for your home, the buyer is going to use it to find reasons to either choose or eliminate your home, and to arrive at the lowest price possible.

Important Questions to Ask an Agent Before Listing Your Home for Sale

  • Do you have an active real estate license in good standing?

  • How long have you been licensed as an agent?
  • Why do you think I should list with you?
  • What professional designations do you hold?
  • What party will you represent — the buyer or the seller?
  • What services do you offer?
  • Do you belong to an online homebuyer’s search service?
  • Have you listed or sold in my neighborhood lately?

  • How will you price my home?
  • How will you market my home?
  • How will you keep in contact with me during the selling process, and how often?
  • What is your fee?
  • Will you cooperate with buyers’ brokers?
  • What share of commission will you offer a cooperating broker who finds the buyer? 
  • What awards have you won?

If you want more information on listing your home or you would like a CMA done on your home visit our site HERE or e-mail us at INFO@OrlandosGreatestHomes.com

This Month in Real Estate – March 2013

This Month in Real Estate-

March 2013

March 2013 Market Update

The national housing market is showing positive improvement. The main trend to call attention to is the seller’s market. Home prices continue to rise steadily above year-ago levels, and housing demand has strongly picked up, resulting in low levels of inventory in many regions across the country.

“Tight inventory is a major factor in the marke,” states NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady. In fact, buyer traffic is 40% above a year ago.” Inventory is low for a number of reasons: Housing demand has picked up, banks have slowed the pace of foreclosures, and many homeowners who wish to sell their homes simply cannot because they do not have enough equity to make a down payment on their next home. However, as home prices continue to rise and more people can afford to sell their homes, inventory levels will increase.

NAR President Gary Thomas claims, “The typical home is selling nearly four weeks faster than it did a year ago.” Now marks one of the most favorable times in market history to buy or sell a home. There is an urgency to buy now while mortgage rates are at record lows and before home prices increase more significantly.

Interest Rates

Mortgage rates are still low, but have risen slightly this month to around 3.56%. Last month, NAR President Gary Thomas stated that even though interest rates should gradually rise as the year progresses, they are still expected to stay below 4% during the first half of the year.

Home Sales

Home sales this month increased slightly by 0.4% from last month to a current seasonally adjusted rate of 4.92 million units; sales are up 9.1% from year-ago levels. Distressed homes (which include short sales and foreclosures that traditionally sell for 15%-20% less on average compared to nondistressed homes) accounted for 23% of January sales. This figure is down from 24% the previous month, but down from 35% in January 2012. Regardless of the decrease in distressed sales from last year, these properties are still at above-average numbers.

Home Price

The current median home price fell slightly this month to $173,600, but it is still 12.3% above year-ago prices, marking January as the eleventh consecutive month of year-over-year price increases, which last occurred from July 2005 to May 2006. The increase in the median home price this month over January 2012 is the strongest year-over-year gain since November 2005.


Housing inventory fell again this month to 1.74 million existing homes for sale, representing a 4.2-month supply-the lowest housing supply since April 2005. When inventory supply is below 6 months, the market is said to favor sellers. This level of supply has not been seen since 2005 offering some of the best opportunity sellers have seen in years.


What is an FHA Insured Loan?


Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured loans are made by private
lending intuitions such as banks, savings & loans, or mortgage companies to
eligible borrowers for the purchase of a home. To secure an FHA loan, a
borrower must apply and qualify with a certified FHA Lender. Additionally,
eligible borrowers must be able to pay a minimum of 3.5% of a home’s
purchase price. If the loan is approved, FHA will insure a portion of the loan’s
value to the lender.

This insurance protects the lender and allows them to offer favorable financial
terms to the borrower including:

  •  Low required down payment
  • Competitive inte rest rates
  • Lower closing costs
  • Easy credit qualifying


After finding your desired home and negotiating a purchasing price
with the seller or selling agent, you will sign a purchase contract
conditioned on approval of an FHA insured loan.

Select a lender and complete their loan application. The lender will
obtain all your relevant credit information and request FHA to assign a
licensed appraiser to determine the reasonable value for the property.
You will be responsible for paying for the credit report and appraisal
unless the seller agrees to pay instead. Either FHA or the lender will
issue a value for property for loan purposes based on the appraisa.l

If the established value is acceptable to all parties and the lender
determines that you are credit and income qualified, the loan may be
approved. Most lenders are authorized to make this decision.

You (and any co-borrowers) attend the loan closing and sign the
note, deed of trust and other related papers. The lender or closing
agent will explain the loan terms and requirements as well as where
an how to make the monthly payments. (The loan closing procedure
may vary in some states.)


FHA insured loans offer a number of benefits for both lender and borrowers. Since 1934, the program has insured over 35 million home mortgages.

In addition to the favorable financial terms, FHA insured loans offer the following benefits:

  • Equal opportunity for all qualified borrowers
  • Required down payments as low as 3.5% of the purchase price
  • Ability to finance up front Mortgage Insurance Premium
  • Ability to finance the cost of repairing and/or improving a property in need of rehabilitation
  • Right to p repay without penalty
  • Credit Improvement in the qualifying process for some borrowers
  • Availability in all areas of the country
  • Default assistance and foreclosure prevention