Sunday, December 16, 2012
As new home construction ramps up in Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Nona, Saint Cloud, Altamonte Springs, Avalon Park or throughout Orange and Osceola counties, more people are looking towards upsizing or downsizing to a new home.
Experts agree -- these 15 questions are a great way to select the right builder for your new home.
Selecting the right builder for your new home is a key step in the journey that leads to your dream home.
Asking builders the 15 questions below will help you choose the right builder to create your new home and give you confidence in your choice.
These questions will also help you better understand key steps in the building process and the decisions you'll make, in partnership with the builder, to bring your new home to life.
- How many years have you been in business? How many homes have you built?
- Are you licensed (where required) and insured?
- How do you compare yourself to other builders? What are the most important benefits of the homes you build?
- What type of warranty do you offer?
- Can you give me references from prior home buyers? Do you build model homes I can tour? If not, can you help me make an appointment to see a home you built for another customer?
- What are the major energy-saving features of homes you build?
- Do you build only from home plans you supply? Or can I provide my own set of plans?
- What standard features do your homes include? What options and upgrades can I select?
- Who will oversee the construction of my home? Who should I contact with any questions I may have?
- How and when can I make changes or upgrades before and during construction?
- How and when will the final price for my home be determined?
- How often (and when) will I have access to the home during the building process?
- How long will my home take to complete?
- Does the community have a Home Owners Association and/or an Architectural Review Committee? If so, may I get a copy of their rules and the amount of any fees?
- What's your process for inspection at key points of construction, at final walk-through, and to address any matters that need to be corrected or finalized?
There are certainly other important questions you may wish to ask, so feel free to add them. However, experts agree the list above is a great starting point to select the firm to build your new home.
Congratulations, you've embarked on an exciting journey that will lead to your dream home. As you progress it is important to have an experienced Realtor by your side in the negotiating process. As a new home buyers agent in the Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Nona, Saint Cloud, Altamonte Springs, Avalon Park or throughout Orange and Osceola counties. I have negotiated for more appliances, by down rates, upgrades and more, and I can do it for you too. Paul Antonelli 321-443-4028
A significant drop in foreclosure starts brought down foreclosure activity in November, according to a foreclosure report from RealtyTrac.
Foreclosure starts were filed on 77,494 U.S. properties in November, a 71-month low and the lowest level since December 2006, RealtyTrac reported Thursday.
The decrease represents a 13 percent drop from October and a 28 percent decline from November 2011. Twenty-eight states experienced annual declines in foreclosure starts, with Oregon (-84 percent), Pennsylvania (-67 percent), and California (-63 percent) registering the significant decreases.
Eighteen states posted annual increases in foreclosure starts, with substantial upsurges seen in New Jersey (+538 percent), Arkansas (+455 percent), and New York (+209 percent).
The drop eased the number of foreclosure filings overall, which include default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repossessions. Foreclosure filings were reported on 180,817 U.S. properties in November and fell 3 percent from October and 19 percent from a year ago. The yearly decline is the 26th straight month of annual decreases in foreclosure filings.
While the worst may be over, foreclosures may still make a comeback.
“Foreclosures are continuing to hobble the U.S. housing market as lenders finally seize properties that started the process a year or two ago — and much longer in some cases,” said Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac.
“We’re likely not completely out of the woods when it comes to foreclosure starts, either, as lenders are still adjusting to new foreclosure ground rules set forth in the National Mortgage Settlement along with various state laws and court rulings,” he added.
While foreclosure filings and starts fell, bank repossessions rose annually for the first time in 25 months.
RealtyTrac explained bank repossessions have been trending downward since October 2010 when news began to surface of “robo-signing” practices from banks, causing some major servicers to delay foreclosures while their processes were being reviewed.
In November, 59,134 properties became bank repossessions, or REOs, an increase of 11 percent from October and 5 percent from a year ago.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia saw yearly increases in REO activity, with significant increases seen in Indiana (+96 percent), Arkansas (+88 percent), and Missouri (+87 percent).
States where REO activity saw a significant drop were Nevada (-64 percent), Oregon (-58 percent), and Massachusetts (-49 percent).
In Florida, one in every 304 housing units received a foreclosure filing, the highest foreclosure rate among any other state. The national average shows one in every 728 housing units received a foreclosure filing in November, according to data from RealtyTrac.
Even though Nevada saw its foreclosure activity decrease 54 percent from last year, the state had the second highest foreclosure rate (one in every 390 housing units). Illinois was a close third, where one in every 392 housing units received a foreclosure filing.
Among the metros with the highest foreclosure rates, seven of the top 10 metros were in Florida and the remaining three were in California.
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville had the highest foreclosure rate (one in every 158 housing units) and was followed by Ocala (one in 210 housing units).
Other Florida metros in the top 10 included Jacksonville, which ranked No. 4, along with Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach ( No. 5), Sarasota-Bradenton-Venice (No. 8), Port St. Lucie (No. 9), and Gainesville (No. 10).
The California metros were Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario (No. 3), Stockton (No. 6), Modesto (No. 7).