Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Property tax savings with Homestead Exemption. Deadline to apply is March 1.

If you purchased your primary residence last year, don't forget to file for your Homestead Exemption Application so that you can take advantage of the 'Save our Homes' feature in the state of Florida. All Property Tax Exemption Applications are due on or before March 1st.

State law in Florida allows Florida homeowners to claim up to a $50,000 Homestead Exemption on their primary residence. The first $25,000 of this exemption applies to all taxing authorities.
The second $25,000 excludes School Board taxes and applies to properties with assessed values greater than $50,000. That means that amount is deducted from the assessed value before tax rate is applied.

To be eligible for a 2010 exemption, you must be on the title and your property must be your permanent residence as of January 1, 2010

To get your application, go to the following websites and follow the links. If you already have a homestead exemption and still reside in your property, you don't have to do anything.
Miami Dade County, go on to
Broward County, go to

I reminded all my clients who purchased their primary residence and moved in before January 1. If you bought your condo, townhouse or home in Aventura, Miami Beach, Hollywood, Hallandale or anywhere in Florida, and you are eligible if it is your primary and permanent residence. Time is running out. Click on the links above and go get your tax savings, today!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Real estate headlines

Every day real estate is in the news. Here is a smattering of this week's headlines and experiences:

Mortgage rates: 30 year fixed rate drops below 5% again. Expected to stay low in the short term. The Florida Association of Realtors reports that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke "said Wednesday he doesn’t expect the central bank to sell its securities anytime soon, easing fears the move would raise borrowing costs for home buyers. "

This just in from the Florida Association of Realtors: "Sales of existing single-family homes in Florida rose 44 percent in fourth quarter 2009 compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the latest housing statistics from Florida Realtors®. A total of 43,926 existing homes sold statewide in 4Q 2009; during the same period the year before, a total of 30,610 existing homes sold. It marks the sixth consecutive quarter that Florida has seen higher existing year-to-year home sales, according to the state association." Read more here:

With the number of sales so high, the inventory of homes and condos priced appropriately has declined. This should lead to a shift in the market and we already are seeing it turn into a buyer's market in some neighborhoods. Yes, some properties are receiving multiple offers. Location, location, location. It's important for buyers and sellers to be informed and up to date on market factors, what's happening with short sales and foreclosures and inventory in order to make informed decisions. Stay tuned or follow me here or on Twitter or call anytime to stay informed.

Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

HUD and CPSC issue guide on identifying toxic drywall

The Florida Association of Realtors posted an article on guidelines issued by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on how to identify the presence of metal corrosion, as well as other indicators of problem drywall in homes.

Here's what they wrote: "The guidance takes into account visual signs of metal corrosion, evidence of drywall installation in the relevant time period, and the identification of other corroborating evidence or characteristics.HUD and CPSC’s two-step guidance requires a visual inspection that must show blackening of copper electrical wiring and/or air conditioning evaporator coils; and the installation of new drywall (for new construction or renovations) between 2001 and 2008. " Click on link for more information.