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August 2017 Market Update

Can't Find the Perfect Model Home to Build? - We Have Solutions
 
Too often we hear from clients that they can't find the exact model home they want, but don't want to pay exorbitant prices to a custom home builder. There are three builders that we have confidence in that can build a reasonably priced home to suit our client's specific needs. Many builders in the area have several model homes, and if you like their floor plans you can get a home built in a reasonable period of time and at a fair price. But, we now have good options if you want to build a custom home
 
Up to now we really only had one builder that we felt could accommodate specific floor plans and features, and not gouge buyers. After much research we are now  comfortable with two more local builders. Sue: We've prepared an informative  report titled " Important Considerations When Choosing a Builder". Contact us if you would like a copy. 
 
 
One of our Builders Has Models With In-Law Suite
 
One of the builders mentioned above has a very nice, affordably priced home with an in-law suite. It has a private entrance, separate bath, small kitchen area and option to have an adjoining sitting area or office. This floor plan works great whether you actually have the need for an in-law suite, or if you simply have lots of visitors....which many of us do have during the winter months.
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Investors Focusing on Build-to-Rent Homes
 
Following the financial crisis, investors purchased foreclosures on the cheap and then rented these single-family homes for profit. But now there are few foreclosures to buy, home prices are on the rise, and there are far fewer homes in general on the market. That has prompted more investors to turn their focus to build-to-rent homes. Landlords believe there are a lot of people who want to live in a single-family home, but can't afford (or qualify for a loan) to buy them.
 
Tom: Sue and I have built new annual rental homes with much success and satisfaction. Depending on whether you buy via cash or loan, you can produce a 7 to 10% cash return, as well as mortgage pay-down (if loan purchase), depreciation tax-write off, and a healthy appreciation rate - for a combined estimated annual return of 15 to 20%. The reason we like to invest in new rental homes are:
 
1. Renters love new homes and will pay a higher rental rate
2. Very low repair expenses for the first 5 to 7 years (and a one to two year builder warranty)
3. New homes attract top-level renters, who tend to keep the home in excellent condition during their tenancy. We've had a choice of 4 to 6 quality renters on our new homes, with no late-payment issues.
4. The homes are still relatively new and in good condition when we decide to sell them in 5 - 8 years
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Cape Coral in Top 100 Cities For First-Time Homebuyers
 
We've long known that Cape Coral has been a mega-draw for retirees and second-home owners, who like to enjoy our waterways and great weather. But in a new report by WalletHub, Cape Coral ranked No 95 in the top 300 cities for first-time homebuyers. WalletHub looked at several key metrics, including: Affordability, Real Estate Market, Weather, Crime Rate, Quality of Schools, Recreation-friendliness and Quality of Life.
 
26 Florida cities made the top 300 list, including Tampa, Orlando, Port St Lucie, Boca Raton and St. Petersburg joining Cape Coral in the top 100 cities for first-time buyers.
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Thanks to our fantastic clients (and some hard work on our part  ) we were able to achieve Top Producer for July, which is supposed to be in the slow real estate season! Thanks so much for helping us with a very productive month of sales.
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US Real Estate Market At A Glance
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Facts & Stats
 
Ho-Hum - Cape Home Prices Continue to Rise, etc: July home prices rose over July 2016 by 7%. Available inventory was below 3.5 months, DOM (days on market) remained low, and list-to-sale home prices stayed near the 97% mark. All factors favoring a continued "seller's market". Surrounding towns in Lee and Collier Counties also experienced comparably strong home sales stats.  
 
Credit Scores Hit Record High: Moody's Analytics reports that credit scores among U.S. consumers hit a record high of 700 this spring. These higher credit scores could be a huge boon for real estate sales. Part of the reason for the improved scores is the huge number of foreclosures falling off consumer credit reports. More than 6 million U.S. consumers will have bankruptcies disappear within the next 5 years, further boosting real estate's future improvement.
 
South Florida Homeowner Equity Hits 10 Year High: Attom Data Solutions reports that South Florida homeowner equity increased an average of $77,900 (45.3%) since they purchased their home. This is the highest increase in 10 years and surpasses the national average of 26%. Cape Coral/Ft Myers had the third highest equity increase at 37.5% ($60,000). Naples-Marco Island owners have an increase in equity of 26.2% ($67,500)
 
Homeownership Rate Bottomed Out in 2016: The U.S. Census Bureau reports that homeownership rate was 63.7% in the second quarter of this year - nearly a full percentage point increase from a year ago when the homeownership rate plunged to a 50-year low of 62.9%.
 
Investors Own About 1 in 4 Single-family Homes: According to REAL Trends Inc, about 23% of residential homes are owned by investors. The majority of these are owned by individual investors as opposed to institutional investors. Tom: I estimate that if Cape Coral seasonal owners (many who rent out their homes part of the year) are added to investors, the figure is much higher than the 23% of U.S. homes owned by investors.
 
More Lenders Easing Credit Standards: Fannie Mae reports that lenders have eased credit standards recently, and further easing is expected in the coming months. Competition from other lenders combined with decreasing mortgage volume is responsible for loosening of credit requirements. There is also a loan program now designed to allow student debt to be rolled into a mortgage. Tom: this is great news for young people who have recently graduated college, and great news for our real estate market, as these are the buyers for starter homes. Real estate is always generated from the bottom up, so when entry-level homes are sold it energizes the entire real estate industry, including new construction.
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Tom & Sue Demogenes

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