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FLY 'N BUY PROMOTION
October 9, 2017


Effective today, we are introducing the hugely popular Fly 'n Buy promotion that will be in effect thru 3/31/18. For buyers that plan to visit the area and are seriously considering purchasing a property, you do not want to miss this opportunity!

As one of our homebuyers, you'll receive FREE airfare for two plus 2-nights lodging in a local hotel. Are there really any buyers out there that would prefer to pay for their own trip down instead of having us pick up the tab? I didn't think so.

If you're reading this and already have a place here, tell your friends & family about it and send them a link to this page.

And if you've participated in a Fly 'n Buy promotion in the past, you already know that this is not a gimmick and that it puts real dollars back in your pocket. We don't do gimmicks.

For specific program details, click on the Fly 'n Buy tab and submit your information. Upon confirmation, go ahead and make your reservation.

Then we'll see you in sunny SW FL real soon!


SEPTEMBER MARKET REPORT
October 1, 2017

September is routinely a super slow month for real estate sales in our area. So when you combine that with Irma's disruptive visit on the 10th, you get an exceptionally slow month for both realtors, and sellers.

As far as overall Paseo market activity during the past 30-days, there were:

- 7 properties that came on the market as New Listings.. shown as "Active" on the report below

[5 Casitas, 1 Townhome, and 1 Flat. There weren't any Twin Villas or Single Family homes that came on the market in September]

- 5 properties went Under Contract, but have not closed yet.. shown on the report as "Pending" or "Pending with Contingencies"

[2 Casitas, 1 Flat, 1 Townhome, and 1 Single Family home. No twin villas went Under Contract this past month]

- 1 property Closed.. shown as "Sold"

[A Santa Maria townhome listed on 6/2/17 for $215,000 that sold for $191,000]

At this time there are not any significant indications one way or the other as to how this upcoming season will fare. Showing activity is extremely light, but that in and of itself is not unusual for this time of the year.. especially considering that we are only 3 weeks out from Irma. October will hopefully give more insight as the month progresses and more and more folks start arriving.

Click here to view the September Market Activity report including photos, addresses and property descriptions.


​LIFE (& BUSINESS) GOES ON
September 19, 2017

It's now been nine days since Irma stormed thru the area on Sunday September 10th.

Without cheating and peeking at the answer below, if you were guessing, how many properties do you think have gone under contract in the SW FL marketplace during those 9 days?

Out of curiosity, I just performed that search in our local MLS and found that the answer is 137.. 62 of which went Pending between yesterday and today alone!

Think about that for a moment..

Most areas had downed trees and landscaping debris that had to be cleaned up, some localized street flooding and of course no electricity for a few days. Some in fact are still waiting for electric service to be restored. Yet even under these circumstances, combined with non-stop Irma images from the 24/7 news cycle still being endlessly featured, deals are being struck and real estate investments continue to be made in this immediate aftermath of the storm.

Here's the price points of the properties that went under contract:
- 4 are list-priced between $1,239,900 and $2,795,000
- 7 are priced from $519,000 - $689,000
- 6 are priced from $418,500 - $499,000
- 20 are priced from $300,000 - $399,900
- 47 from $204,700 - $299,900
- 53 under $200,000

If you think about it though, you probably shouldn't be surprised. There's a certain segment of the buying population that makes it a point to strike while they believe the iron is hot. They know that the sunshine's not going anywhere and that our winter weather absolutely cannot be beat! That combined with Florida's world-famous beaches and an extremely tax-friendly environment due to not having a state income tax. These are just some of the long-term intangibles that will continue to make Florida one of the most desirable places in which to own real estate.

Do you think these 137 buyers might be onto something timing-wise??


POST-IRMA
September12, 2017


Now that Irma has passed, it's safe to say that Paseo was so blessed to have dodged a super-serious bullet from this monster storm system that had the potential to strike with absolutely devastating force and effect.

From everything I know at this time, the extent of our damage seems limited to the loss of electricity, some torn screens, blown off roof tiles, downed trees and some streets that have water pooled in them.

This email was just distributed to Members:

Dear Paseo Members,
The Village Center survived Hurricane Irma intact. The Village Center was inspected this morning. There is no major, visible, physical damage to the building or the pool areas. There is some minor cosmetic damage such as small branches down in the pool area and in the Village Center Circle.
Once power is restored and the water is deemed safe, KW will work  quickly to open Member Services, the gym and the library. Preparations are in progress to clean & restore functionality to the property. The pools will take longer to open as the pumps and infrastructure need to be evaluated for potential damage.

Once it is determined the pool is safe to operate, the process of cleaning the water and preparing it for use will begin. We will send updates on the use of the pool as we go through the process. 

If power is restored by Thursday, KW will attempt to reopen The Tiki for Beverage service only this weekend.
The Board and KW have been in touch directly with FLP and the Sheriff's department for updates on reestablishing power and other emergency services. Power is being restored quickly to the area, but there is no estimate when it be restored to Paseo. Additionally, we have been advised that gas supplies in the area are diminished and that refueling gas facilities has not yet started.  Therefore, gas shortages are likely to continue in the immediate future and is a recurring theme throughout the State. 

Additionally, we have been advised that due to the high demand for emergency and vendor services, restoring complete functionality will take some time. KW has preferential agreements with many of the Village Center vendors that give is this priority.  
We appreciate everyone's patience as we work to restore all amenities as quickly as possible. 
Board of Directors Master Association

I'm sure that most of us pictured much, much worse as we heard the forecast and watched the cataclysmic and dire predictions on TV.

Even though dealing with the aftermath and cleanup from a storm such as this is never a pleasant experience, we all need to find time for a quiet moment of reflection and thank our lucky stars.


IRMA
September 8, 2017

To each and every one of you that has reached out to me in one way or another, thank you so much for all of your kind thoughts and prayers.

Paseo is such an awesome community with so many incredible people that I am just so fortunate to call friends. It is times like this that you can't help but be reminded of the incredible folks that have chosen to call this wonderful place of ours home.

Please know that each and every one of you are so important to me and that you are all on my mind.

It is imperative that you be safe and that you be smart. Material things can always be replaced, life cannot. 

As long as we have each other, we will come out of this just fine. We can then face whatever we need to, as individual homeowners and as neighbors.

God Bless you, your family and your home.


ANTI-SOCIAL MEDIA
September 1, 2017

I know so many folks just can't seem to squeeze in enough SnapChat, Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter in any given day. But after a while, don't they miss interacting with some real live people? Like anything, it can have it's time and place and serve a purpose in today's ultra crazy busy always-connected world. But not everything related to one's life or community translates well to the internet, truth & accuracy often being the first casualties.

Years before Trump I had realized just how much fake news was out there and had stopped visiting these sites to get my info. I often found it amazing to see how the loudest and most frequent voices were routinely the ones that knew the absolute least.

What got me thinking about this was the email to the residents from the management company this past week addressing some community misinformation they've apparently become aware of that's been posted out there on some of these sites and forums. What a shame that it's got to a point that they feel they have to invest time and personnel in something like this.

If you have a question or concern about something, doesn't it seem to make sense to go directly to the source?  I always try to make it my business to connect with the one person I can think of that can give me the answers I know I can take to the bank. That's who we should be reaching out to and relying on. The entities and individuals that we believe are the most knowledgeable ones that are available to us.

Same if you have a complaint about something. Doesn't it only make sense to get it into the hands of someone that actually has a shot at being able to do something about it? Ditto with comments and ideas... get in touch with the person that has some actual power to influence the end-result.

It doesn't do anyone any good to be circulating inaccurate information. We have a lot of friends and neighbors working tirelessly on our multitude of HOA boards to continue to make Paseo one of the premier communities in the area. And I'd like to think we can all agree that one of the best ways to show appreciation for their efforts is to give them the respect they deserve by getting the facts straight before participating in online chatter.

Certainly that can't be asking too much.


CANADIAN VISITORS COULD STAY LONGER
August 2, 2017

I know a lot of my Canadian clients and friends are going to be interested in the fact that on July 27th U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Florida) and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-New York) introduced the "Canadian Snowbird Visa Act" into the U.S. House.

Under the bill – which would need to be passed by Congress and signed by the president to be law – Canadians would be allowed to stay an extra two months in the United States if they own or lease a home.

Deutch says the bipartisan measure would be good for business because Canadians visiting Florida add about $4.5 billion annually to the state's economy.

"If our chilly neighbors to the north want to spend more time on our warm Florida beaches, we should welcome them with open arms," Deutch says.

Canada is the top source of international visitors to Florida, but the numbers have been falling, according to Visit Florida, the state's tourism organization. Approximately 3.2 million Canadians visited Florida in 2016, down 15 percent from the previous year.

Existing law limits the amount of time a Canadian visitor may spend in the U.S. to 182 days per year – about six months. Deutch's bill would permit Canadians over the age of 50 who own or rent a U.S. residence to stay in the U.S. for an additional two months each year. They would be prohibited from working for a U.S. employer or collecting public assistance, and they would still be subject to the vetting process required by law.

Source: Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (07/28/17) Swisher, Skyler

© Copyright 2017 INFORMATION INC., Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688


WHAT HAPPENED TO MAY & JUNE??
July 10, 2017


Wowie-kazowie... can hardly believe it's July! Almost seems surreal.  When a friend of mine mentioned that I hadn't blogged since April, I could hardly believe it. Definitely time to put pen to paper... I mean keystrokes to keyboard.

Since my last post, Stock Development has now 100% sold out at Paseo. The sale of the last two casitas in Building 51 (the newly constructed building where the sales center was previously located) is what sealed the deal for them just a couple of weeks ago. As of this writing, they have only three new-construction properties left to close on.

As far as Paseo's resale market, we're now in our usual summer slowdown mode, as there's far less people looking this time of the year than during season. But the ones that ARE, are very serious about purchasing.

If you're currently on the market and seeing only sporadic showing activity, not to fret because you're right in line with everyone else. Season sees way more showing activity, but it usually takes a lot more showings to actually get an offer. Since "looking at houses" has always been one of the most popular recreational snowbird activities, lots more folks look at a property before sifting through the prospects to find the ones that are truly serious.

One of the single family homes that we put under contract mid-June hadn't had a showing for a few weeks before that. But then a current Paseo homeowner who was thinking about upgrading from their condo to a single family took a look at it and quickly made a cash offer with a 30-day close.

Same thing with one of our condo listings that was put under contract last Friday. VERY minimal showing activity, but someone looking at it went back twice in the same day and made a cash offer that closes by the end of this month.

So same scenario... very little buyer activity, but the folks that are actively out there searching have been extremely qualified and serious about finding and purchasing something.

The sales prices attained haven't been record-setting, but they certainly haven't been fire sale's either. The prices per sq ft considering their locations and floor plan desirability, have been right in line with previous closed sale comps within the community.

You probably know that we're not able to divulge the sales price of a property until it actually closes. But if it's our listing, once it does close we will post the info here on the website.

Regularly check back on the "Featured Properties" page for listings that have recently gone under contract and had their status changed to "Pending".

Once it closes, it will say SOLD where it once said PENDING. Click on the property address and it will take you to the webpage for that property. There it will give you the list price, closed sales price and the closing date.

Just another way to try to keep you informed on the market activity here within Paseo.

Here's to hoping you make some awesome summertime memories with your family... and stay cool!


PAT-ON-THE-BACK TIME
April 5, 2017


The stats are in for the First Quarter of 2017 and the personal production for Steve Zajas has again ranked him as the #1 producing agent in Paseo with a total closed sales volume of $4,679,000. (He also has $1,069,000 in pending Paseo contracts that are scheduled to close in the next couple of weeks, but are not included in this total as they did not close during the 1st quarter)

Of the Top 25 Agents that had sales in Paseo for Q1 2017, the personal production dollar volume ranged from $199,990 up to $4,679,000.

As far as the number of transactions, Steve Zajas was also #1 for Q1 2017 with 13 total transaction sides... 9 listing (Seller) sides and 4 sale (Buyer) sides. The Agent Rankings ranged from a low of 1 transaction-side, up to a high of 13.

Of those Top 25 Agents, 14 agents had 1 transaction-side, 7 agents had 2 transaction-sides, 2 had 3, 1 had 4, and Steve had 13.

And of the Top FIVE Agents, their total dollar production for closed sales along with the number of listing sides and sales sides that represents is:

Steve Zajas - $4,679,000   Transaction sides - 13 (List 9/Sold 4)

Agent #2 - $1,012,000   Transaction sides - 3 (List 1/Sold 2)

Agent #3 - $925,100   Transaction sides - 2 (List 1/Sold 1)

Agent #4 - $821,980   Transaction sides - 4 (List 2/Sold 2)

Agent #5 - $710,000   Transaction sides - 2 (List 1/Sold 1)

Please note that the combined closed sale production for these 5 Agents represents 50% of the business that occurred in the first quarter of this year.

At this time though, there are more agents than ever listing a property for sale in Paseo that never once closed a transaction in the community! Whether they are friends or acquaintances of the seller, or simply someone willing to take the job on for a cut-rate commission, it's unclear to me as to why sellers would make that kind of decision, in this kind of market. The facts continue to clearly speak for themselves... year after year.

Talk is cheap, and the numbers don't lie. The same 3-5 agents that have consistently been doing the vast majority of business here in Paseo, continue to get the best possible job done for their sellers, while the rest just languish directionless on the market.

Can ANY agent get every single one of their Paseo listings sold in 90-days? Absolutely not. That would be impossible for anyone to accomplish under current market conditions. Impossible.

But as a seller, why wouldn't you at least stack the deck in your favor? It just seems to make sense to do business with those that are actually DOING business, doesn't it??

And for those willing to work harder than ever for less money, I say go for it.

I've found that in life, everyone knows what they're worth.


EXACTLY HOW BIG IS IT?
March 26, 2017


That's actually one of the tougher questions to answer, because it totally depends on who you ask and who's doing the measuring. And when it comes down to it, who's opinion should you really place the most weight on. Discussions about size can definitely (and more often than not) end up being all over the map.

Case in point:

I was recently working wth single family buyers of mine that looked at several properties that could have potentially worked for them. We looked at the homes that were around the size and price range they were looking for. When it was getting closer to decision time and we headed back to one of them for another showing, the buyers decided that they wanted to measure some of the rooms in order to start furniture planning.

Keep in mind that this particular property was not a listing of mine and we were of course utilizing the information the agent had provided in MLS... the name of the floor plan, the home's overall square footage, room dimensions, etc.

So during this follow-up showing, the Buyers brought up the subject of the size of the home. They had noticed that the square footage was listed in Zillow as 1649 sq ft, but the listing had it at 1809 sq ft. A quick pull up of the property on the property appraiser's website showed that it was also listed there at 1649 sq ft. At this point, there wasn't really anything all that unusual about the discrepancy, as I've noticed in the past that:

a) Zillow is not a consistently reliable provider of information, and

b) the property appraiser's website will often show square footage as a totally different number than what the developer's brochure will show for a specific floor plan.

But as more and more measuring was done, it seemed that none of the rooms were coming out that close to what was shown on the floor plan.

What first appeared could possibly be happening, was that the property had been disclosed as an 1809 sq ft "San Remo", but maybe in reality it was a 1649 sq ft San Remo I. We've had three different versions of that floor plan built in Paseo... San Remo I, San Remo II, and San Remo III.  All have variations from each other with changes to both room dimensions and overall size, as the design of the San Remo evolved over time.

So I went directly to one of my sources with the developer and asked if they could provide me with a copy of the actual floor plan that was used to build that home. When the information came back to me that it was indeed a 1649 sq ft home, the real news flash was that it wasn't even a San Remo after all.. it was a Verona! Both floor plans have the exact same layout and "feel" the same way inside. But nonetheless, it was being marketed as something that it was not.

The square footage difference was not what was of paramount importance to these particular buyers, as the home itself with it's 2/beds +den, lakefront location, southern exposure, pool/spa, and nice level of fit & finish were what they were looking for, and had found.

But it got me thinking about the whole square footage thing and how all these different entities end up coming up with different numbers when they're all measuring the size of the exact same property. There's the developer's brochure (after all, they're the ones who built it), the local taxing authorities, the appraiser that goes out during the financing process, and of course the multitude of public real estate related websites.

And almost as if on cue, a few days later my daily realtor email update had an article in it that dealt with this very subject. I decided to retain it so that I could use it in this column when I had my next opportunity to post a blog. It's just another piece of information for your knowledge-bank arsenal when you're out there looking at properties.

But when push comes to shove, only you can decide exactly how much size matters to you...


How to calculate a home’s square footage? No one really knows

 Appraisers, developers, builders, real estate professionals, tax assessors and architects all measure spaces differently, and no universal standard exists for calculating a home's square footage – and it also varies regionally.

For example, some pros calculate square footage based on the interior dimensions of finished living space. Some may count the garage or finished basement in the square footage; others may not. There's no universal agreement on whether to count the square footage of balconies, basements or garages. There's not even agreement on whether to count the walls or not, as some measure outside the home and others measure inside.

In a recent Houzz.com survey, 58 percent of 400 consumers said estimates of their home's square footage varied among real estate professionals.

However, square footage is an important number when it comes to buying real estate. Buyers may even narrow their home search online and compare homes based on price per square foot, and some may not even know a 1,950-square foot home exists if they search only for homes 2,000-square feet or larger.

"People want more space and have become very sensitive to that (square footage) number," says Robert Edelstein, a real estate and business professor at the University of California, Berkeley.

Real estate professionals, however, are not required to verify the square footage cited in the listings database, says Quincy Virgilio, chairman of the board of directors at MLS Listings. Real estate pros often draw from several sources, such as county records, developer floor plans and previous sale listings.

Buyers who want to know more about the home's true size need to ask more about how the size was computed. For example, they should ask the source of the measurements and what is included in that number, such as private outdoor terraces, the garage, basement, utility closets or even staircases.

"Developers tend to say, 'We are selling you this much square footage.' But is it really living area?" says Chip Wagner, a real estate appraiser based in Naperville, Ill. Wagner told The Wall Street Journal that he spots size discrepancies of more than 50 square feet about 20 percent of the time in the homes he appraises.

Encourage your buyers to look past the "big number" and instead focus on the dimensions of individual rooms, suggests home builder Brian Hoffman, a principal with Red Seal Homes, based in Northbrook, Ill.

Source: "How Big Is Your House? That Depends," The Wall Street Journal (March 10, 2017) [Log-in required.]

© Copyright 2017 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688


"THINGS STILL SELLING STEVE?"
March 3, 2017


That's got to be the #1 question I hear whenever I see one of my friends or clients in the community. Actually, I think it's replaced the more common salutation of "Hi Steve" or "How are you doing". I totally get it though. It's the #1 thing (or close to the #1 thing) on lots of homeowners minds. And if they're running into me, it's their chance for a quick synopsis of what the market temperature may be.

Even though we're barely into the third month of the new year, the past two months represent just about half of our prime selling season. So I figured it couldn't hurt to take a look at the numbers and give a quick rundown of Paseo's documentable sales since January 1st 2017.

Because I'm someone that just loves being busy all of the time, when things do slow down, it feels like an absolute eternity to me. But when I stop to reflect on the YTD sales statistics in the community, I have to say that overall I am quite pleased with production.

I just ran an MLS Broker Market Share Report and it showed that so far this year, I've personally closed seven transaction sides (5 listing & 2 selling) representing a total of $3,089,000 worth of Paseo real estate. Those numbers firmly established me as the #1 producing agent in Paseo, with no other agent in the Top Ten having more than two transaction sides or $730,000 worth of closed transactions in the community.

I also have five transaction sides (4 listing & 1 selling) representing another $1,378,890 of Paseo properties that have gone under contract since 1/1/17 and are now just waiting to close. That's a total of almost $4.5 million worth of personal production for the first 58 days of the year.

Those numbers are right up there when compared to the same time period in prior years. The difference now is that there are way more properties on the market, with each almost universally taking longer to sell than it would have in the past.  So for all involved, at times it can just feel  like not much is happening. But the numbers say that that's just not the case.

So when I'm asked how things are selling, in the grand scheme of things, I certainly can't complain...


SIGNS OF LIFE
February 23, 2017

This week is starting to feel more like a traditional mid-February one should feel in the SW Florida real estate business. Showing requests have definitely picked up, although not yet remotely rising to the level of our past statistical high-season norms.

Offers have come in on a couple of listings and there are other contracts mere inches away from being put together. Some of the offers have been very reasonable, while others have been quite un-reasonable and rejected by the sellers. With current inventory at historically high levels approaching 100 properties on the market in Paseo, some buyers are obviously going to want to see just how anxious the seller may be to get their home sold.

But if a property is priced right, there are still homes being sold for full price, or very close to full list price. In a market such as this, price can indeed be the most critical aspect of the offering. Condition and presentation also factor right up there. But when scrolling through the list of homes that are for sale, buyers and their agents are often going to select the ones that are the most appealing price-wise to go out and take a look at first.

That being said... there'll always be those unique properties that based on their location, views and floor plan desirability, sell quickly and for higher prices than others on the market will. No matter what the sales environment may be, trophy properties that define "location location" have built-in demand that tends to serve their owners quite well over the long haul.

So while there are currently lots of properties to choose from on the market, you should always select the best possible views and location that your budget will allow. The least expensive one of anything is often not the best performing one over time. Both from an appreciation standpoint, as well as liquidity.

One day, every buyer becomes a seller. And surely you want to buy something that someone else is going to want to buy from YOU!


TRUMP SLUMP?
January 29, 2017

It's starting to seem within the realm of possible that what Trump giveth, Trump has the power to taketh away. I doubt very much that it's because of any specific action that's been taken and just probably nothing more than waning enthusiasm.

There was about eight weeks of significantly more activity in our local real estate marketplace... an uptick in showing requests, offers and successful contracts that were negotiated and put together, some of which have closed and some that are yet to close.

But the same switch that was flicked on around Election Day, was flicked off about a week before the Inauguration. Inquiries and showing activity slowed down dramatically and with that, any offers or would-be contracts.

What has increased in the past few weeks is our inventory levels. As of this writing, there are now 94 properties on the market here. That's about 40 units more than the 5% of the total number of homes in the community being offered for sale that would define a balanced market.

Anything more than 55 properties for sale in Paseo creates a buying opportunity that puts downward pricing pressure on those homes. There's been a significant number of recent price reductions as the properties that have been on the market attempt to compete with those that are coming on fresh at lower prices than those that have been offered for sale and are as yet unsold.

Our total number of days on the market has also continued to increase within the community. As we are just about to enter the best two sales months of the year in our area, those properties representing the best value, in the best condition and in the best locations, are the ones that buyers will approach first when making their offers.

I'm anticipating that we will see our normal uptick in sales activity during February & March. And if combined with that we see a slowing down in the number of properties coming onto the market, we should be able to work our way through a good portion of this inventory and move towards a sales environment that is again conducive to rising property values.

Paseo is undervalued at this time.. make no mistake about it. There are some absolutely fantastic buying opportunities for the astute purchaser that understands the artificial and temporary market conditions that influence property values to the negative in a community that's just experienced the effects from over a year-and-a-half of extremely aggressive developer pricing in order to move the last of it's remaining new-construction inventory.

But on the positive side, there have just recently been some extremely significant high-end sales in Paseo, which in the past has proven to be a reliable predictor of the beginnings of a market shift within a neighborhood or community.

I've consistently noticed that the "smart money" appears to move first as they gobble up the prime properties, and then there's those that follow... sort of like a real-life version of Follow-the-Leader, but for grownups. They buy the best, but they buy it right!

And what a time this is to do just that!!


TRUMP BUMP?
December 17, 2016

It's definitely not my imagination, because someone absolutely flipped the Paseo real estate switch on Wednesday morning November 9th. And that would be from the OFF position to ON! Holy smokes!!

Since then, we've written contracts on over $3 million worth of Paseo-specific real estate, some of which had been on the market for up to 10 months!

And it's been a real nice variety and mix of things... not just one specific price range or type of property.  There's been everything from condos in the low $200,000's up to $500,000+ single family homes.

Is it the infamous "Trump Bump"? Rising interest rates? Or a combination of both. Can't be just the interest rates, because about half of our recent transactions have been cash with no financing involved.

Interestingly, buyers have been commenting about how they've been monitoring specific properties online "for quite a while" at places such as this website.  Many have only wanted to see just the one specific property that they've been watching. And that's the one they're now under contract on.

Whatever it is, there's no slowdown in sight. Not every property's been getting attention...yet. After all, season's just beginning.

But at current artificially depressed pricing levels, now is surely the time to buy. If you don't, please take note of today's pricing on the particular floorplan you like. Then compare that against the prices next year at this time.

Your choice... participate, or spectate.


FINAL SALE
December 4, 2016

 
There's only five left... total new-construction properties remaining in Paseo, that is. There's one single-family home for $640,000, a casita for $215,000, and three 2-bed townhomes ranging in price from $190,000-$205,000.

Do they represent good value for what they are? They sure do. Do you have to be flexible with floorplans, options/upgrades, location and view? Definitely. If you have specific things in mind on your must-have list, you'll need to spend some time looking at and comparing some of the resales     on the market that could potentially work for you.

The sales center has now been demolished and the final casita building that's being built where it once stood is well underway construction-wise.   Five of the six units in this building are now sold... one's available. As season ends, these homes should be completed, ready to be closed on, and    the last six families to buy a new-construction home in Paseo will begin the process of moving and settling in. How exciting for our community as construction is about to wind down and we transition into a finished neighborhood!

With almost 25 years of local real estate experience to reflect on, what comes to mind is how well so many past purchasers have tended to do that invested in communities that were at the exact same stage that Paseo is now. When you reach the point that new-construction is basically sold-out, often resale inventory is correspondingly high.

That's due in large part to the inability of private owners to be able to compete head-to-head with the developer's closeout pricing and the allure of "brand-new" with a builder's warranty. High inventory defines a buyers market with opportunities that often deliver rewards that can often seem like pie-in-the-sky at the time of purchase.

Trust your instincts, stake your claim, and just sit tight. I'm confident you'll be glad that you did.


SIGNS OF SEASON
November 14, 2016
 

The signs of season's arrival are everywhere... including a much-welcomed breath of life in our real estate marketplace. The summer has been exceedingly slow, but we've been watching with hopeful eyes to see how things start to "feel" by mid-November. Well here we are..

Be it ever so slight, there has indeed been a noticeable uptick in both showing activity and sales over the past two weeks. We put a townhouse listing of ours under contract that's been on the market for almost 10 months, listed a casita and had it under contract to a purchaser in 8 days, had a buyer that we sold a resale end-unit townhouse to, and yet another one that's currently negotiating on one of the two remaining new-construction single family homes. Also several listings that had multiple showings in a 7-day period... it's been a while since we've seen that occur.

I'd be the first to say that's not very impressive at first glance. But considering that there have only been 5 resales properties in all of Paseo that went under contract during the preceding five month period, a sale per month transitioning into a sale per week is huge! Two weeks does not a market make, but it's the exact kind of early sign that we were hoping to see as we started to approach Thanksgiving.

There's been no activity to speak of above the $300,000 price point, with the focus being mostly on properties priced at $250,000 or less. As of this morning there are 86 properties offered for sale in MLS, which is about 60% higher than it should be in order to establish a balanced market that's weighted neither in buyer's or seller's favor.

New construction homes in Paseo are just about sold out with right around 8 total units remaining available. The last multi-family building is currently under construction... a casita 6-plex. This season will surely see our full transition to an all-resale community.

With the election over and people starting to focus on their own lives again, we're cautiously optimistic about success for the upcoming season. If you're on the fence about buying, it's time to make your move. Time will show what an awesome opportunity this is to secure your place in paradise!

 

NEW WEBSITE LAUNCH
October 10, 2016

 
The launch of our new website is finally here.

In-between all of the seemingly endless editing and fine-tuning that's involved in a project such as this, a lot of the prior blogs were lost in the process. Some were able to be recovered, but most disappeared into cyberspace during this transition. Sorry to say that it's not a complete retrospect any longer, but it's just one of those "it is what it is" situations..

Other than the obvious visual differences, this website also functions differently. Most of the information and features that were on the old website are still here, while others are gone. Since Paseo only has a handful of new-construction properties remaining, all of the pages related to the building of a new community have now been deleted... the construction progress photos, pricing & availability, and developer promotions & specials. All content on this website is now related to the community and amenities, information on the surrounding area, and the specific resale or rental properties that are currently on the market. 

Each of our listings now has it's own showcase page on the website, which you can visit by clicking on any of the addresses on the "Our Listings" page. When one of our listings sells, it will be added to the "Our Sold Listings" page. Just click on the address and it will bring you to the property information sheet that will have the interior photos, the description and original list price, as well as the sales price that it actually sold for.

You should find that the pages will now load quicker, as the photos and content have been divided up over many pages vs all listed on one. The platform itself has also been upgraded, allowing for higher quality photos and what should also be an overall better visual experience for you.

Even though there have been many sets of eyes double and triple-checking for spelling errors, properly functioning links that take you to the appropriately requested pages, and photos and descriptions that correspond to the correct subject matter or property listing, you may still find an error here and there. I ask for your patience in advance if you find something that isn't completely accurate. It's been a huge process and it is most definitely still a work in progress.

It continues to be my goal to bring you the most complete one-stop information resource that's available for all things Paseo.

Enjoy... and thank you for visiting!

 

CALLING ALL BUYERS
August 5, 2016

 
Buyers definitely have the upper-hand in Paseo right now. 
Market conditions are almost always defined by inventory levels. 
A "balanced market" in Paseo would be 50 or so properties for sale.
But as of today there are app. 80 properties on the market, 
thereby creating more supply than is being absorbed 
by the current ready/willing pool of buyers. 

Only 4 resale properties have gone under contract in the past 60 days. 
Of those 4, we represent the buyers, sellers, (or both) 
on 50% of the business that's been written. 
The list prices have ranged from $210k for a 2-bed town home 
to $445k for a lakefront single family home. 

The new-construction here is just about sold out.
There are app. four casitas that remain,
eight 2-bed town homes and
eight single family homes.
That's twenty new properties left
in an app. 1100 home community.
That's it.

If you are contemplating a purchase and 
have the option of coming down to the area 
prior to November, DO IT!! 
If you buy while few are looking, 
an offer will almost surely receive 
totally different consideration now, 
vs year's end. 

If you wait to come down to buy 
once everyone else has started to arrive, 
sellers know it is the beginning of season 
and your strategic advantage will be gone. 

And what opportunities there are!!
There are many properties on the resale market 
that are list-priced tens of thousands of dollars LESS than 
what the same floor plan sold for in a lesser location in 2015!
My strong advice is that buyers should be
all over this current market like "white on rice".

Sellers that are in a position to sit tight, 
should do exactly that and revisit the market 
at some future point in time. 
Use the inventory levels to gauge whether it's 
potentially a good time to come on the market or not. 

 In Paseo's case, 55 properties is the equilibrium 
that will define a balanced market 
with no clear advantage to either buyers or sellers. 
Much higher than that and the advantage goes to buyers...
much lower and the advantage goes to sellers. 

 Florida's historic norm for defining a balanced market 
is when 5% of the total number of homes 
in a neighborhood or community is available for sale.
In Paseo's 1100 home community, that number is 55. 

If for some reason you would prefer 
to have less properties to choose from
and pay more money for the same thing, 
waiting until season to pursue a purchase 
should be your course of action. 

Otherwise… 
make it a point to visit us before Thanksgiving.
You'll end up with something to really be thankful for!!

 

The End is Near
July 4, 2016

 
The Sales Center's last day will be Monday July 11th.
On the following day, the sales staff will be moving out.
There's only a handful of remaining homes & condos to be sold,
which will be done out of the San Remo model in Esperanza.
The current building is scheduled to be removed 
from the community anytime after July 13th. 

This is going to be a HUGE change from what 
the residents and clients have grown accustomed to 
over the last decade of development for Paseo. 
No longer will someone be able to just stop by 
and get a tour of the furnished model homes, 
pick up some floor plans, get pricing, 
and catch up on when the next building 
is going to be released for sale. 
All that will be a distant memory in the coming weeks.

Soon…
 if someone wants to be introduced to the community
  and tour the amenities and see homes for sale, 
they can only do that with the assistance of a realtor. 
Telling the guard at the gatehouse that you are 
"going to the sales center" 
will no longer grant access to our community. 

Shortly all of the available homes will be resales, 
and Paseo's market will no longer be influenced 
by the artificial ceiling of what the developer 
has priced their inventory at,
or what sale or incentive they might be offering. 

 Sellers will only be competing against other sellers,
not new-construction developer offerings!
The free market will take over and resale inventory will begin to decline. 
It simply has to…it's not like there won't be anymore buyers or sellers. 

 And every time someone becomes a new owner in Paseo, 
they will have purchased a resale home in order to get in here. 
That is what will cause inventory levels to decline and prices to increase. 
Simple supply and demand economics at work… 

Right now we are super bargain-priced at app. 50 cents on the dollar 
from what things sold for at the peak of the market. 
But the end of much of the reason for the price stagnation 
is literally right around the corner. 
The 2016-2017 season will be our first
as an all-resale community.

Very exciting times are ahead,
and personally I expect great things.

 Happy Independence Day, Paseo!!



What problems tend to derail a Closing Date?
June 6, 2016


 
WASHINGTON – June 3, 2016 – Watch out for financing, home inspections and appraisals – they're the three most commonly cited culprits for delays or even terminations at closing lately, according to the Realtors® Confidence Index Survey.


Those issues comprised more than a quarter of all the delays in contracts from the February through April. While 66 percent of contracts were settled on time during that period, 28 percent of contracts faced a delay. Six percent of contracts were terminated.


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) identified the most common problems that delayed contracts or cancelled contracts


Top problems that delayed closings


Issues related to obtaining financing: 38%
Appraisal issues: 22%
Home inspection/environmental issues: 12%
Titling/deed issues: 11%
Contingencies stated in the contract: 10%
Issues in buy/sell distressed property: 5%
No problems encountered: 5%
Top problems that terminated closings


Home inspection/environmental issues: 28%
Issues related to obtaining financing: 21%
Appraisal issues: 12%
Contingencies stated in the contract: 12%
No problems encountered: 5%
Titling/deed issues: 4%

 Source: "Contract Settlement Issues in February-April 2016: 
Financing, Home Inspection, and Appraisals Are Major Issues," 
National Association of REALTORS® Economists' Outlook blog (June 1, 2016)


© Copyright 2016 INFORMATION, INC. Bethesda, MD (301) 215-4688


May Sales Activity
June 1, 2016


As you can see in the May Sales Reports 
(found under the "Properties For Sale" tab), 
there were 12 properties in MLS 
that went under contract last month. 

What you can't see, is that of those 12 
we were either the Listing or Selling Agents 
on EIGHT of those transactions. 
That's 2/3 (or 66%) of the Paseo MLS transactions! 

So even though sales have definitely slowed down,
the proof is there that we continue to do
the lion's share of the business here in Paseo…
just as we've consistently done year after year.

And speaking of sales…
SIX new-construction condos 
were sold over the holiday weekend.
That means only 17 new condos are left!  

 The sales center is scheduled for removal in July 
and the very last casita 6-plex will be built in it's place. 
We are now just inches away from being sold out 
and becoming a "resale only" community.

So if you want something "new", 
it is totally down to the wire 
and you need to contact us today!!



Sell your home, rent it... or BOTH??
April 30, 2016


Anyone that's been involved in the same business in the
 same area for close to a quarter of a century has
obviously experienced all kinds of market cycles.
The ups...the downs...the thrill ride of it all!

 And real estate is one of those businesses 
that certainly never fails to disappoint!!

When the day comes that it's time to sell,
owners basically fall into two distinct groups of sellers:
those that NEED to sell, and those that WANT to sell!
A few will fall into a kind of middle-ground
and don't really have to sell (but might like to),
with neither end-result considered life-altering.

If a property hasn't sold in a certain period of time 
and a Seller really needs (or wants) to sell,
chances are that they will reach a point when 
"options" start to be explored and discussed.

  Often a price reduction alone can't do the trick
if a viable pool of buyers just isn't there 
during the slower market cycles.
So the concept of leasing for a year or so with the 
anticipation of a better market down the road
  may be one of the strategies that "cash-flow needs" 
begin to make sound more appealing.

If and when a seller who's property
is currently on the market for sale
reaches a point that renting is considered,
first and foremost have that conversation
with your current listing agent...
whoever that may be.
After all, they know your particular situation best.
That includes first-hand knowledge of
the market dynamics and intricacies
as to why it is that your home hasn't sold.

 They're also familiar with your needs, wants,
(and probably some of your specific personality traits), 
thereby best-positioning them to 
help you decide as to whether renting is 
truly a viable option that could work for you!
Not everyone is cut-out to be a landlord...
no matter how "hands-off" you 
may hope the experience will be.

If your listing agent or the brokerage firm they work at
offers rental & leasing services to it's clients,
this is probably the first avenue for you to explore.
If the agent or company does offer rental services,
more often than not they are usually willing
to simultaneously list it for sale, and for lease.

 There is also usually an understanding 
and agreement that whichever occurs first
(the sale or the rental of the property),
the listing contract for the other will be terminated. 
If there's another company that does get involved, 
there is no obligation on the part of the original listing firm 
to terminate their listing contract for the sale of the property,
since contract termination is by mutual agreement of the parties. 

So if you're tossing around the idea
of whether you want to rent or sell...
it only makes sense to explore all your options first,
before signing a contract for the sale of your property.

But if you make the decision to list your property for sale
and your plans or needs evolve as time goes by,
having a conversation with your current listing agent
is your most logical and sensible next-step.

If they can't help you and you therefore need to have
another company involved with the rental aspect,
be sure to ask questions about how your
current listing contract for the sale of the property
will be handled if it rents before it sells...
which in all likelihood is what will happen.

 It's obviously much easier to find a renter
for a couple thousand dollars a month
than it is to find a buyer who's willing to make
a multi-hundred-thousand dollar commitment.

Also the logistics planning and comfort-level with two
different companies and their individual showing agents
coming and going from your property.

Morris & Hunt Realty does offer rental services via our rental agent,
but we cannot accept a listing contract for the leasing of a property
if another firm has an Active listing for the sale of that same property.

There are way too many potential issues that could arise
related to the security and ultimately the responsibilities
that come along with having access to somebody else's property.

So even though we may have the
#1 Rental Agent in Paseo on our Team,
regrettably we will not be able to help you lease your property
if it is actively listed for sale with another brokerage firm...
a position we're confident you'll see
takes everyone's interests into consideration. 

We definitely appreciate all the opportunities you present to us...
even when it turns out that we aren't the company best equipped
to assist you with some of those specific real estate needs.