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Lake Mary : Real Estate Advice

  • All143
  • Local Info9
  • Home Buying53
  • Home Selling3
  • Market Conditions1

Activity 91
Thu Jan 20, 2011
Alan May answered:
On product Round Robin auction, oral approval is legally binded on both sides but RE always so invisible.
~~~~~~~~
I'm not sure what you mean by this statement. I know nothing about the product "Round Robin Auction", but I do know about real estate, and in a real estate sale, a verbal agreement is NOT binding.

And Real Estate is so invisible? Can you explain what you mean by that?
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Mon Nov 1, 2010
Dsignersny@aol.com answered:
Royal bank of canada in lake mary florida will finance the condo.

M Shariff
Realtor
cell 4075476772

note: I have units available for sale at nottinghill
0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Thu Sep 9, 2010
Nottinghillhomeowner answered:
I live in Notting HIll and have lived there since December of 2006. I see the sheriff's car there almost daily. In fact, the HOA has hired off duty officers to patrol as a result of drug deals, break-ins and other issues such as trespassing by non-residents. I've had officers knock on my door asking about the mid-day break-in of the unit across from me. I've had officers asking if I heard screaming in and around my building. I've had officers ask me if I've seen young men fitting certain descriptions. The police do patrol and for good reason.

I also lived there when the management office was raided by the FBI for it's investigation into to mortgage fraud perpetrated by the developer, preferred lender, preferred appraiser.

Before you buy I'd inquire into the HOA ongoing attempts to have an engineering certification done on the property to deem if the development was overturned to the HOA by the developer in proper condition. On going roof leaks and possibilities with A/C duct work interfering with the sprinkler system will give you the idea that it wasn't.
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Tue Sep 7, 2010
Sanibelgold answered:
Does anyone know about a million dollar lawsuit brought against the developer. What is that all about?
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Sun Sep 5, 2010
Home Buyer answered:
I attend to move in this community soon, I may rent and own, my kids love to live there two years ago, my kids convinced me to move back there again, and I like school zoning in this community and ONLY Notting Hill community can let your kid to enter Heathrow elementary, Markham woods middle school and Lake Mary high, those are the best schools around Seminole county. I am only concerned about the safety, is it really turn bad so seriously in this two years????? ... more
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Sun Jul 25, 2010
Mark LeMenager answered:
There have been 89 sales in Notting Hill YTD and 148 in the past 12 months. That means the 10 units on the market today constitute about a 25 DAY supply. I'm hard pressed to think of anywhere in the entire metro area that sells as fast as this place. While there may be some risks, this place is clearly very popular with investors and wiht 148 new owners in the past 12 months the condo assoc is obviously in much better financial shape than a year ago. ... more
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Wed Jun 2, 2010
Richard Shuman answered:
Fri May 28, 2010
Pam Bava answered:
Tue Apr 20, 2010
Sid Wasserman, CRS, GRI,CSP answered:
Notting Hill is doing very good as I indicated last December...Reduced taxes, Lowered HOA fee... and Bank owned properties are coming on the market at low prices that are causing multiple offers...A very good sign for the complex . ... more
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Wed Dec 30, 2009
Kathy Williams answered:
I live in Lake Mary and have been selling condos this years with a rapid speed. They are an amazing deal right now. I can find you a bank owned condo in Lake Mary for around 50,000, less of you are looking for only a 1 bedroom. Now, you have to have cash and your have to be ready to move fast and if you are then there are definately deals to be had right now!

If I can assist you in any way just let me know and I will help you find the deal of a lifetime and as always my services are completely free to you so you have no reason not to call me!

Kathy Williams
407-687-8712
Watson Realty
Lake Mary, FL 32746
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Mon Dec 28, 2009
Ronald Hobbs esq answered:
Your question is one about privacy and security, as well as the 'price' of those benefits.

Lake Mary is in general a very safe area, and security here is more about privacy and peace of mind, rather then due to any special need. That said, most all homes in the area do have individual electronic security systems, however this is entirely a function of the price-point and finish level of homes (larger more expensive homes today are all built with security systems). This not only adds peace of mind, value, and benefits like home automation, but it can also reduce your home owners insurance costs.

As for your question about ‘effectiveness’ and the need for additional security. The effectiveness of any gate, guards, and overall security is obviously dependant on a number of factors: the type, manned vs. unmanned; the quality of the employees; the security services which they perform, and how they are managed.

First, gated communities have privately owned roads and so offer significantly more privacy than homes on public roads, primarily by excluding all those who are not invited guests. So, you should never see a door to door salesman in a gated community, your personal property is kept private and more secure from prying eyes, and you can rest assured knowing your children are safe from ‘stranger danger’ when getting off the school bus, etc.... The right to exclude (exclusivity) is a very valuable benefit, and it is one more reason why real estate values have faired far better in Lake Mary area than in all other areas of Orlando, especially in our many private gated communities.

Second, if the gate is staffed rather then having keypad access, you also have a real human being providing a first layer of pro-active security by questioning every guest who comes into the community. It’s not intrusive interrogation, but it insures they are actually invited guests and that they are who they say. Guests must present ID, and state with whom they are visiting, so in addition to being vetted by a human that information is often verified and recorded. Usually the make and model of the vehicle and the licenses plates of the vehicle are videotaped, and sometime the actual occupants of the vehicle are also recorded. Manned security provided an excellent pro-active security interlock that is a powerful deterrent to criminals and interlopers.

Third, the security services can extend beyond the gate as well. In some communities the security staff also actively patrols the community, every street, every corner, both day and night. They watch the public areas, the parks, the playgrounds, and the ball courts in addition to the streets and the exterior of all the homes. Having an experienced human being who knows the neighborhood and intuitively can notice something out of place is a tremendous safety and security benefit, especially in the case of fire or other accidents.

So, in addition to providing real tangible benefits and bolstering property values, over time these services also reduce many of the ongoing costs of home ownership, such as insurance. Indeed both your home, auto, and liability insurances should all be less costly if you live in a gated community that is professional guarded and patrolled. You are right to weigh the fees vs. the specific services provided vs. the realities of the community in which you choose to purchase.

A suggestion for you: In general, both privacy and security in a smaller community with 100% manned access will be more effective as a matter of fact (such as in Alaqua, Heathrow Woods, Alaqua Lakes, and Magnolia Plantation). In contrast, Heathrow itself is a rather large community with much higher density, so while it has partially manned security there are also far more invited ‘guests’ and residents moving in and out on a daily basis which tends to compromise the effectiveness. I have heard comments about ‘gate runners’ due to the management and operation of the equipment, as well as entrances which are un-manned with electronic access.

While some may feel the need to pay an extra $40 per month for electronic alarm monitoring in Heathrow due to it’s higher population density and less privacy, in other communities those same folks may be factually more secure and have more peace of mind, without the additional monthly expense of alarm monitoring (and a lower HOA fee to boot). Heathrow is a very safe community, but less private than others in the area.

Ron Hobbs
Palm Springs Realty (Commercial & Residential)
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Approved Broker
Licensed Real Estate Broker, Mortgage Banker, CPA (inact.)

http://www.integramortgages.com
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1 vote 7 answers Share Flag
Sun Dec 27, 2009
Ronald Hobbs esq answered:
Michelle,

As a matter of law, a seller is required to disclose to the public "all know facts that materially affect the value of the property", both to you and to any subsequent buyer once the seller becomes aware. This situation must also be fully disclosed to any Mortgage Lender to whom you make application, at the time of application. WDO and termite damage (whether currently active or not) all properly fit into this category.

However, minor or major past damage that has been properly repaired does not necessarily affect the present value of the home, in fact it likely does not. Though past insurance claims for the same may. While it is good to over disclose, it is not always strictly necessary if the property has been fully and professionally repaired and the problem entirely corrected. WDO damage is Not a Scarlet Letter.

That said, if you fail to disclose and damage is then detected (as happened in your case when Buyer) then as a Seller you would likely be subject to liability for damages as a result of any lack of disclosure. For this reason many seller’s choose to over-disclose, though it may not be strictly necessary… though more often the issue is one of under-disclosure, for one reason or another.

My recommendation is to have all of the damage properly and professionally repaired and inspected. Based on the results, and your personal feelings, decide then how you should precede… if there is any doubt, disclose your concerns to all parties.

Ron Hobbs
Palm Springs Realty (Commercial & Residential)
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Approved Broker
Licensed Real Estate Broker, Mortgage Banker, CPA (inact.)
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1 vote 6 answers Share Flag
Sun Dec 27, 2009
Ronald Hobbs esq answered:
Michelle,

Your question seems to indicate that, while there is no live infestation, there is old WDO damage that pre-dates the current owner's deed. This could be a long time owner, or a bank that re-possessed the property last week.

As a matter of law, the seller is required to disclose to the public "all know facts that materially affect the value of the property", both to you and to any subsequent buyer once the seller becomes aware. This situation must also be fully disclosed to any Mortgage Lender to whom you make application, at the time of application.

In this case, $20,000 of WDO damage is quite extensive. If the damage is to the actual home, rather then outbuildings such as a barn, then it is unlikely financing will be available until after such time as ALL of the WDO damage has been professional repaired.

Termite bonds (insurance policies) are of dubious value... as is often said, ‘they are only as good as the paper they are written upon’, meaning the value rests mainly in the reputation of the company who issued the bond. If the bond is from 2002, then likely it specifically does not cover pre-existing damage, though it would cover subsequent damage, of which there is none.

Thus, it would be unwise to precede with the purchase until the seller has agreed (in writing as part of the R.E. contract) to make any and all repairs related to the WDO damage prior to closing (be it $1,000 or $100,000). You should have your own licensed contractor inspect the damage, and inspect the repair work. The finished work must then also be inspected and approved by your mortgage lender, prior to closing.

Ron Hobbs
Palm Springs Realty (Commercial & Residential)
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Approved Broker
Licensed Real Estate Broker, Mortgage Banker, CPA (inact.)
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1 vote 3 answers Share Flag
Sun Dec 27, 2009
Ronald Hobbs esq answered:
Jon,

If you are legally emigrating, with an acceptable work visa, then you do not need foreign national financing. To be clear, under federal law, as a legal emigrant to the US you will be treated as a ‘permanent resident alien’ which is exactly the same as any US citizen.

However, the difficult arises with establishing ‘credit history’. Assuming you have neither US nor Canadian credit history, you will need to fully document past credit and begin to establish a US credit profile.

Beyond generalities, in these cases the details become tremendously important, and there are indeed a number of things you can do before leaving your home country to make the process both easier and faster once you emigrate to the US.

That said, among other reasons, as you are moving to a new country it is likely best for you to rent when you first arrive in the US. If properly aware, in worse case, after 12 months of residency and employment you should have no problem obtaining a US, government insured mortgage loan.

For more detail and a relocation consultation, please feel free to contact us anytime.

Ron Hobbs
Palm Springs Realty (Commercial & Residential)
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Approved Broker
Licensed Real Estate Broker, Mortgage Banker, CPA (inact.)
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Sat Dec 26, 2009
Ronald Hobbs esq answered:
The ‘Price’ is only one aspect to consider when assessing the true ‘Cost’ of a home. You should understand that waiting for lower Prices may ultimately Cost you more over time.

The real question is, are you paying cash and will you be happy buying whatever home happens to be available at the ‘bottom’? Or, are you really looking for a good long term deal and to buy the best property for you, in a community that is right you and your family for the long run, but understandably trying to avoid the problem of “catching a falling knife”? Everyone has to live somewhere, and for most buyers looking for a stable home their answer will be the latter.

That said, your concerns about hitting bottom are not un-justified. Foreclosures are not likely to abate anytime soon, and values are likely to continue to decline y/y at a slowing rate, even here in Lake Mary. However, you should note that in many areas values have already deflated to a point where the replacement cost of the structure currently exceeds the purchase price in many communities. That is to say, the ‘Cost’ to rebuild the home may be $300,000 but the ‘Price’ is only $260,000… from a historical ‘cost’ perspective homes are significantly “on-sale”. By any measure, even if prices do decline a bit further, over the long term buying a good home that is “on-sale” and meets all of your personal needs and desires will certainly not be a bad decision.

Also, financing is still tremendously cheap, thanks in large part to Federal Reserve intervention into the mortgage bond markets. However, this support for low rates will not continue forever. As pointed our below, a 1% increase in the cost of financing is the equivalent of ~10% increase in the price of the home. So to say it another way, the interest rate of the mortgage debt is by and far one of the most important components of the true ‘cost’ of any home over time. Understanding this fact is particularly important right now.

Taken together, the already deflated “on-sale” prices coupled at the same time with historically low “subsidized” fixed interest rates makes this a perfect time to buy. Waiting for lower ‘Prices’ may ultimately ‘Cost’ you more over time.
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Sat Dec 26, 2009
Ronald Hobbs esq answered:
Your question is primarily a business decision, about maximizing your overall ROI, over whatever time period you intend to invest. Investment real estate is usually a longer term investment. So, while over time the calculation does include appreciation, in this case your primary concerns should be about generating cash flow and ongoing profits from rental operations, beginning on day one.

One of the main advantages to investing in real estate is the ability to leverage capital, and so increase the overall return on your invested assets. So, in addition to the general HOA issue raised, (including hidden problems such as inadequate reserves for replacements, commercial insurance, etc…), there is the additional dimension of financing to consider first.

Unfortunately, right now many condominiums, especially those purchased for investment purposes, do not qualify for low rate 'Agency' financing, or any financing at all. This is especially true here in Florida where many, if not most, condo associations are encountering problems related to non-payment of dues and fees…. which does and will continue to impact all of the share owners jointly.

While those problem can all be a benefit, in that the necessity for cash condo purchases has quickly deflated values and may present some attractive deals, it also increases your risk by tying-up more capital in only one particular property for an unknown period of time. There are always many financial, tax, and business issues to consider before making a purchase, but relying on appreciation is usually not a prudent or sustainable business model, a lesson many younger investors have only recently learned.

I suggest analyzing your decision by assuming low to zero appreciation for the next 5-7 years. That being so, especially in the current environment, rather then purchasing a condo I'd recommend purchasing 2x $100,000 single family properties and taking full advantage of low fixed rate financing. If managed properly, over time, a more diversified and leveraged portfolio should yield a higher overall return on your investment.

Whatever you decide, make sure you have your eyes-wide-open, and that you are working with someone experienced who understands, and can explain, all the financial issues which impact your investment decisions.

Ron Hobbs
Palm Springs Realty (Commercial & Residential)
Licensed Real Estate Broker & Mortgage Banker
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1 vote 4 answers Share Flag
Sun Aug 9, 2009
Louise Warring answered:
Hi Jim -- There are lots of great properties on the market at the present time in Seminole County. If you're already living in Lake Mary, I'd suggest you purchase the investment property in Lake Mary so it will be easy to keep an eye on.

My best advice if you're looking to purchase it purely for investment (i.e., you're not going to live in it, but rent it out), would be to buy a single family property, no pool, good neighborhood, under valued in today's market (either needing work or not, depending upon your tolerance for "fixing up"), and with the ability to rent at or near the monthly cost to you. I personally would not buy an attached home (condo or townhome) because that market is too soft for investors at the moment (you won't have enough control over the HOA fees).

Have you checked with a lender to see what sales price you qualify for? Remember that you'll need more money down to purchase a home that is not going to be your primary residence.

Best of luck to you. If you'd like me to help you find some properties that would meet your criteria, please click on my profile and give me a call.

Happy House Hunting!

Louise Warring, e-PRO, CSP, CNS
Certified Short Sale Professional
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
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Tue Aug 4, 2009
Monika Depalo answered:
Sure, I work in the Sanford/Lake Mary area regularly so I'd be happy to show her property. I usually start by e-mailing her searches once she gives me her criteria, single family home, condo, townhome, sq feet, rooms, pool?, etc.

Email me at : relocateisapieceofcake@gmail.com
Monika Depalo, Licensed Florida REALTOR
STAGER-INTERIOR DESIGNER
Adams Cameron & Co. Realtors
Company Listed in Real Trends 500
Web reference:
http://monikadepalo.adamscameron.com/ (cut and paste)
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Tue Jul 28, 2009
Kathy Phillips answered:
Hi Silk:

That is not a surprise if it is true. The prices in Fountain Park have dropped dramatically since they opened like most new home communities and they wouldn't sell any units in the next phase until all the existing inventory was sold. At least that is what one of my customers was told when she purchased late last year. No mention of them selling off Phase 2 was ever mentioned. Is the developer giving you any information as to what builder might purchase that phase and will the construction be of the same look and feel? How long before the new builder might start construction on that phase? What will happen to the HOA fees? Those are questions I would want to know and it certainly would give me pause for concern about purchasing there.

Kathy Phillips
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
Lake Mary/Heathrow
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Thu Jul 23, 2009
Bill Eckler answered:
Nave,

Probably the most often heard advice in this market is, "Don't quit your day job." If you are considering getting into real estate to make enough to live on without supplementing your income through another resource....you should revisit this plan.

The real estate profession is a good choice but one that requires a well thought out plan that includes your survival while you are growing your business.

Best wiishes
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