Category Archives: Luxury

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Home Equity Stripped Away in 2008; Nearly $2 Trillion in Home Values Lost This Year

Source: Zillow.com
Posted: December 15, 2009

SEATTLE, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. homes are set to lose well over $2 trillion in value during 2008, according to analysis of recent Zillow Real Estate Market Reports (1). Home values declined 8.4 percent year-over-year during the first three quarters of this year, compared to the same period in 2007.

“Underwater” was the real estate buzzword of the year. U.S. home values (2) lost $1.9 trillion from the first of the year through the end of the third quarter, and were likely to fall further in the fourth quarter, leaving approximately 11.7 million American households owing more on their mortgage than their homes are worth. One in seven of all homeowners (14.3 percent) were underwater by the end of the third quarter.

“This year marked the acceleration of the market correction, and is likely to end with the eighth consecutive quarter of declines in home values,” said Dr. Stan Humphries, Zillow’s vice president of data and analytics. “In general, homeowners in most areas we cover are struggling with foreclosures pouring into the market, large amounts of negative equity and dropping home values. On the positive side, in the third quarter, some markets – particularly those hit hardest in the downturn – showed smaller year-over-year declines than in the prior quarter. Our optimism here, though, must be tempered by the knowledge that the larger economic problems that emerged in the fourth quarter will likely further challenge the real estate market.”

Thirty of the 163 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) covered in the Zillow Real Estate Market Reports showed gains in the Zillow Home Value Index (3), or median value of all homes in the area, over the first three quarters of the year, with the Jacksonville, N.C. region seeing year-over-year appreciation of 4.9 percent. The change in value was calculated by averaging the year-over-year change in each of the first three quarters of the year.

Also performing well were the Winston-Salem, N.C. and Anderson, S.C. MSAs, with year-over-year increases of 4.1 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, over the first three quarters of the year.

The Stockton, Calif. region fared the worst in the first three quarters of 2008, with home values sliding 32.3 percent year-over-year. The Merced, Calif. area followed with home values declining 31.2 percent year-over-year in the first three quarters of 2008.

View Link for additional information: Zillow.com

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For further information or if you wish to see your property featured here.
Please Contact:The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio at
(561) 445-2282

Luxury Resort Portfolio
Estate Specialists Representing Both Buyers And Sellers


The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Your Second Home – Buying & Selling

Timing A Market

By: STEVE BAILEY
Source: New York Times Online

Published: December 4, 2008

Are you thinking that this might be the time to buy a second home, that weekend getaway that you’ve always wanted? Or, are you struggling financially and feeling pressure to sell your own weekend home? How can a buyer know that he or she is getting the best deal, that the property you buy now won’t be worth less in a few months? And, how can a seller know that selling now is a good idea? What if the market starts to recover in a few months?

Neither buyer nor seller (nor any real estate agent) can see the future, but anyone can see that, right now, many properties aren’t selling, at least not at the prices sellers want. There are, however, strategies for making the most of this market.

Diane Saatchi, a senior vice president with the Corcoran Group in the Hamptons, said her real estate market has certainly felt the impact of recent sharp drops in the stock market. “When this all began in mid-September, some buyers backed out of deals not yet signed up,” she wrote in an e-mail message. “Some sellers offered better terms to keep the deals on course. In some cases, this worked, in others not. Many would-be buyers moved to the sidelines and/or lowered their price points in looking.

“Some buyers have become more price-oriented. For example, there are buyers more concerned about size of discount than they are about location and amenities.”

Though the market for vacation homes is not immune from economic reality, it does not shadow the total real estate market. “While the overall housing market peaked in 2005, the market for vacation homes didn’t peak until 2006,” said Walter Molony, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors in Washington. That doesn’t mean, though, that a recovery in the second-home market will lag behind the larger market. “A large number of our transactions are not subject to financing,” Ms. Saatchi said of second-home sales in the Hamptons, so a rebound could occur if consumer confidence rises ahead of a loosening of credit.

If you have a vacation home that you’re thinking of selling, this is almost certainly not the best time. “It depends on the seller’s needs,” Neil B. Garfinkel, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, said. “For example, if he needs to get out from under a mortgage, he may have to sell.”

The seller should be realistic about the market and realize that he is not going to get what he paid if he has owned the property only a short time. People who bought 5 or 10 years ago are more likely to see a profit, but nothing like what they would have realized a couple of years ago. A motivated seller can increase the odds in his favor by sprucing up the house to make it stand out among the many foreclosed houses, which are typically run-down, on the market.

“Those who want to or have to sell now are pricing ‘tight,’ ” Ms. Saatchi said, meaning about as low as the seller can go. “Listing brokers are advising sellers to discount from recent closed sales to set asking prices. With a large inventory, sellers are wise to price competitively to drive the most potential buyers to their properties. The adage ‘you can always come down’ does not work in this market as, if no one comes to look, there won’t even be those low offers.”

Some real estate agents have found that pricing below market can result in a higher selling price because the low asking price attracts more buyers.

Many would-be sellers are waiting for prices to rise a bit; in the meantime, they’re renting their properties, though the National Association of Realtors says that only about 15 percent of second-home owners traditionally rent out their houses.

If you’re looking for a vacation home, you’ll most likely find bargains, though some of the more desirable properties may have been taken off the market. You might pay particular attention to properties that have been on the market for more than three months, a sign that the seller may be willing to do what it takes to make a deal. When you do find what you want at a price you like, financing might be a problem.

“Days of financing 90 percent are long gone,” Mr. Garfinkel said. “You’ll need to put down at least 20 percent plus closing costs.”

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For further information or if you wish to see your property featured here.
Please Contact:The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio at
(561) 445-2282

Luxury Resort Portfolio
Estate Specialists Representing Both Buyers And Sellers


The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Mortgage Fraud: New and Improved

Lenders Have Tightened Standards,
But Scam Artists Have Found New Ways To Beat The System

By: Les Christie
Source: CNNMoney.com

Updated: October 17, 2008

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The housing bust has not ended mortgage fraud – hucksters are just finding new ways to make dishonest bucks. The number of fraudulent loans issued during the second quarter this year increased 45%, compared with the same period in 2007, according to the Mortgage Asset Research Institute (MARI), a service of LexisNexis.

The group counts as fraud any misrepresentation intended to get a better deal on a mortgage or a home sale. During the boom, that might have meant a buyer who inflated his income to qualify for a bigger loan. Some went so far as to get a fake appraisal, invent a fake buyer, and after securing a mortgage, absconding with the cash.

Such ruses may not work in this environment, with lenders tightening up their standards. But several scams still are effective, according to Jim Ronan of Interthinx, a provider to lenders of fraud-prevention services, and Robert Hagberg, a fraud investigator for mortgage giant, Freddie Mac. “It’s a constant battle to keep up with the innovative ways that scam artists come up with to defraud others,” said Vincent Robago, an Arizona assistant attorney general who works on mortgage fraud cases, “especially in the real estate industry where transactions are very complicated.”

The New Appraisal Fraud

One modern gambit is under-appraising property values. These schemes involve short sales, which come up when a struggling homeowner is “underwater,” or owes more on his mortgage than the home is worth. When done legitimately, the owner sells the home for the lower market value, and the lender agrees to accept just that amount and forgive the difference. When illegitimate, fraudsters fake very low appraisals for the homes and use those appraisals to justify low short-sale prices – well below true market values. If busy bankers don’t check the appraisal closely, they may agree to sales of homes that should be worth $200,000, for $150,000 or even less. The buyers – in cahoots with the owner – then flip them for a big profit.

The New ‘Liar Loan’

Another fraud, one more often committed by average buyers than by career criminals, has also morphed into something new. During the boom, many borrowers misrepresented their income or assets with “no-doc liar loans,” approved on the basis of good credit scores with no documentation. After the mortgage meltdown, no-doc loans vanished, but applicants who lie have not.

“Liar loans are now fully documented – but with really good fraudulent documents,” said Hagberg. In one case investigated by Interthinx, a New York man buying an investment property in Georgia provided documents that showed double his actual salary. Advanced information technology and photocopying equipment have gotten so accurate that very convincing papers, including income statements, savings accounts and tax returns can be produced on demand. Ronan said there are Web sites that provide believable documents that scam artists use. “Because they say it’s for ‘novelty purposes,’ you can’t really do anything about it,” he said. “They don’t say it can be used to defraud.” Scams that misrepresent income or employment are still the most common type of fraud, according to MARI.

‘Buy and Bail’

This is a new scheme that had no equivalent during the boom years. You’re underwater on your mortgage and want a new, cheaper home down the block. You could just bail on the existing home, but no lender would give you a mortgage for the new one. So you tell the bank you plan to rent out the current home – even though you have no intention of doing so. “This is a very difficult scam to pin down,” said Jennifer Butts, a spokeswoman for MARI, because the rental agreements that borrowers proffer may not be scrutinized by lenders.

The Federal Home Administration announced in late September that it hoped to head off many buy-and-bails by no longer insuring mortgages if the homeowners had existing loans – unless they could show enough income to pay off both loans simultaneously. But don’t sell fraudsters short – they’ll probably find brand new ways to get around the policy.

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For further information or if you wish to see your property featured here.
Please Contact:The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio at (561) 445-2282

Luxury Resort Portfolio
Estate Specialists Representing Both Buyers And Sellers



The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.
The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Mizner Country Club: Activity

Happy Fourth of July!

Welcome Back! We wish everyone a wonderful and relaxing holiday weekend. Since we would like to enjoy our day as well, here is a quick review for the week.

Mizner Country Club as of today has (62) Active Listings, (2) Pending, and (9) Total Solds for the year. One (1) new listing also came on this week. Lets Begin!

Just Sold By The Smiths



The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio, this week closed on 15975 Laurel Creek Drive (Model: Carrington). We had a successful sale on this property in only 137 days! (See Below)

Just Listed By The Smiths



16372 Braeburn Ridge Trail (Model: La Serena-Expanded)



List Price: $ 1,010,000

Magnificent golf fairway estate sited on a lush landscaped oversized lot with circular drive. Two story dining and living rooms, extensive millwork, expanded VIP Suite, French doors, tranquil pool and entertaining area with raised decorative tiled spa. 4 bedrooms, 5 full and 1 half baths, 5,120 +/- total square feet. (View Below)



Price Changes

8060 Laurel Ridge Court (Model: La Serena-Expanded)

Newly priced to $1,049,000 from their original list price of $1,139,000. Majestic customized Mediterranean estate sited on an oversized golf fairway lot with large side yard and expanded pavered driveway. Fabulous open floor plan with soaring 21ft ceilings, curved stair tower, gourmet kitchen, and extended VIP Suite. 4 bedrooms, 5 full and 1 half baths, 5,120 +/- total square feet. (View Below)





16208 Mira Vista Lane (Model: Carrington)

Newly priced to $1,149,000 from their original list price of $1,351,000. Statuesque mediterranean estate commands emerald vistas across the Arnold Palmer Signature links. Manicured tropical landscaping. Circular drive. Individual His/Hers master baths with gentlemen’s steam shower. 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 1 half baths, 5,588 +/- total square feet. (View Below)





16223 Andalucia Lane (Model: Segovia-Custom)



Newly Priced at $1,725,000. Magnificently customized and upgraded mediterranean estate with picturesque lake front and golf fairway vistas. Exquisite decorative travertine marble floors, box beam ceilings with inlaid crown molding and faux paint. Accordion hurricane shutters, gas back-up generator and fireplace. 5 bedrooms, 5 full and 2 half baths, and a 3-bay garage in 6,080 +/- total square feet. (View Below)





16217 Andalucia Lane (Model: Carrington)

Priced reduced to $1,579,999 from the original listing price of $2,199,000. The home was built in 2003. (View Below)



For detailed information on any of the above properties,

or if you wish to see your property featured here. Please Contact:

NOTE:

Remember to visit our corporate blog at

https://LuxuryResortPortfolio.blogspot.com

If you are subscribed to our corporate blog, you are NOT automatically subscribed to the Mizner Country Club – Real Estate News. They are two separate published newsletters. Please subscribe today and start receiving the latest updates in Real Estate News. Thank you again for all your support and best wishes!

Philip and Carla Smith

The Smiths – Luxury Resort Portfolio

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale. All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Even The Rich Are Feeling The Pinch!

Talk about Main Street problems meeting Money Street! These days it seems no one can escape the foreclosure mess that is plaguing this country. Did anyone take a look at today’s headlines? I couldn’t believe it! What does it say about us when even “Multi-Million Dollar Earning” celebrities and athletes are having a hard time making ends meet? Isn’t foreclosure an “Average Joe” problem? I guess not…even the rich are not immune to financial pitfalls.

Every media outlet today reported on the sad tale of Ed McMahon (legendary TV Personality), facing foreclosure and is about to lose his Beverly Hills Mediterranean mansion because he is in arrears on mortgage payments. I bet he’s wishing someone would knock at his door and hand him one of those “nifty” Publisher Clearing House checks; that sure would come in handy. Then I came upon an article on Jose Canseco (Major League Baseball Player) walked away from his $2.5 million dollar Encino, California estate because his mortgage payments “didn’t make sense anymore to keep paying”. Huh??? But the best celebrity woe is the one I saved for last… a legal notice appeared in the Fayette County, Georgia local paper that Evander Holyfield’s (Heavyweight Champion) home in Georgia is scheduled for a Bank Foreclosure Auction on July 1st. His expansive compound is a 54,000 square foot mega-mansion, with 104 rooms, and is estimated to be worth in excess of $10 million dollars. If not to make matters worse for the guy… the mother of one of his nine children filed a petition for contempt, claiming he has missed 2 months of child support for her 10-year old son. I guess being a celebrity guest on “Dancing with the Starsdoesn’t pay so well? You can’t help but shake your head in disbelief, and wonder how is this happening? Sad really…Today, homes in foreclosure topped 1million. This is not just a working class problem; this is quickly becoming an “Everyone” problem.

Ed McMahon-View Link: https://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/TV/06/04/mcmahon.foreclosure/index.html

Jose Canseco-View Link: https://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/2008/05/celebrity-forec.html

Evander Holyfield-View Link: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/06/05/evander-holyfields-mansio_n_105472.html

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Have You Done A Windstorm Mitigation Inspection On Your Home

Can you believe we are here again…”Hurricane Season”. According to tonights newscast it begins in June and we all are very familiar with the anxiety we all suffer until it ends.

Word is getting around about a way of cutting windstorm insurance premiums. You necessarily won’t have to change a thing, and you can save thousands of dollars.

The answer: A Windstorm Mitigation Inspection

By meeting the protection criteria of the F.W.U.A (Florida Windstorm Underwriters Association), Insurance companies will reduce your property insurance premiums accordingly. But to qualify, it’s up to you to contact your insurance carrier and request the inspection. Call your local insurance agent and they will provide you with a list of local inspectors that are approved by your insurance carrier to perform the inspection.

The requirement from state regulators to offer discounts apply to all residential windstorm policies, condo association policies however, are not. Many homeowners are not aware their homes have what it takes to receive these discounts… and surely Insurance companies are not going to go out of their way to tell you! So call tomorrow…and try to get through the season with a little less worry and a lot more money in your pocket.

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

Two Key Factors To Selling Your Home

We hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend with family and friends. Philip and I enjoyed having “one” day off from showing property (not by our choice). Never the less, a little well deserved “R & R” never hurts anyone and spending time with loved ones is always uplifting.

Showings have progressively slowed down since we are coming upon the dreaded summer months. However, we have noticed that real Buyers are out there in the market place, but as suspected, they are all out on a “Feeding Frenzy”. Today’s Buyers are looking for two main factors when making their purchasing decision: “Price” and “Appearance”.

  • Price: Price is #1, if not EVERYTHING!!! Buyers are savvy to the current state of the market, informed on what has sold in the area, and what things are really worth these days. Buyers realize it is absolutely a “Buyers Market” and come to showings with all this documentation in hand. People, I am not kidding you, Buyers have repeatedly thrust in our faces articles from local and national news sources to prove their argument that everyone in Florida who has their house on the market lives in “La La Land”. Last time I checked… our real estate licenses did not cover selling property in any such place… is that even in Florida??? But according to today’s Buyers, that’s exactly where all currently listed properties with unrealistic “List Prices” are located…”La La Land”.
  • Appearance: In today’s market, how your home presents itself is a major factor to potential Buyers. I’m sorry to say it folks, but its a serious “Beauty Contest” out there. With an increase in inventory and the abundance of competition with so many similar homes/models available, your home MUST stand out to make a lasting impression on the “deal seeking” Buyers. They are looking for properties that are not only the greatest financial deal, but best looking with the least amount to “undo” in the home. I know we all get attached to our own “personal style”, and think everyone is going to “love” what we’ve done. Sometimes we get caught up on how much we spent in upgrades based on our own personal taste… but the truth is “the more personalized your home is, the longer you can anticipate it being on the market”. Buyers react the most favorably to listings that are neutral in palette, with clean/well organized spaces, and if your residence happens to look like the sunny “Florida” vacation home they are dreaming of …well then you are one of the lucky ones… you have an advantage.

Seems simple enough…right? Sometimes the best answer is the most obvious one. We know that “Location, Location, Location” is the most important factor in real estate. Well, if the potential Buyer has decided on Mizner Country Club as their place for their future home… there’s your location factor! The good thing is that we all have that one key element going for us, and if you add “Price” and “Appearance” into the formula… There’s your recipe for getting one step closer to having your property sold!

These days Buyer’s are looking to make a deal and feel like they’ve made a “wise decision”. Volatile factors in the economy and real estate market today show that home prices continue to decline, with no foreseen end in sight. So our best advice is… “The offer you receive today, is going to be the best offer you’ll get…until who knows when???

Check back on June 1st for our latest article titled “May 2008 – Year To Date Sales”.

Please View Our Website: www.luxuryresortportfolio.com and see why we are “The Definitive Source for Luxury Real Estate In South Florida”

The information herein is believed to be accurate but not guaranteed and may be subject to errors, omissions and changes without notice. This is not to be construed as a solicitation of property presently listed for sale.

All information is derived from the Palm Beach County Property Appraisers website and the MLS.

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