StatelandBrown Blogs

Reverse mortgages: Myths vs. realities

Reverse mortgages: Myths vs. realities

There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding reverse mortgages. I've highlighted six here that seem to come up most often in conversations with clients. I hope these will help when considering whether a reverse mortgage is the right path for you.

Posted on: 2017-03-09 16:02:34

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Smart homes may be smart enough to spy on homeowners  

Smart homes may be smart enough to spy on homeowners  

Are your smart televisions, smartphones and smart fridges vulnerable to eavesdroppers? The WikiLeaks revelations that the CIA purportedly has the capacity to break into our everyday consumer electronics raises that troubling question.

Posted on: 2017-03-09 15:55:24

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Best social network marketing? People who talk behind your back

Best social network marketing? People who talk behind your back

Social networks carry a lot of weight in people's lives and even impact their real estate decisions. In a recent Realtor® University Speaker Series presentation, Dr. Johannes Stroebel presented research about the influence of social networks on buyers' home purchase decisions

Posted on: 2017-03-09 15:49:59

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Real estate investing: Who they are, where they buy

Real estate investing: Who they are, where they buy

Who is buying homes? A study by ATTOM and Clear Capital, "Landlord Land," analyzes the "who." It's a deeper look at the recent real estate boom that has seen home prices flirt with all-time highs even as the national homeownership rate remains near its 50-year low.

Posted on: 2017-02-24 21:38:07

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When does an investment become a second home?

When does an investment become a second home?

Question: My primary residence is in Florida. I have owned and rented a condo in Hawaii since 2004. If I stopped renting the condo and lived in it for half the year, would my condo be considered a second home? Would there be tax consequences? – Name not provided

Posted on: 2017-02-20 21:13:09

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Closing agent vs. escrow agent: Aren’t they the same thing?

Closing agent vs. escrow agent: Aren’t they the same thing?

In Florida Realtors’ contracts, there are spaces for the escrow agent’s information, including name, address and telephone number. Not only is this information required — 61J2 14.008(2)(b) of the Florida Administrative Code, aka your FREC rules – it also lets the buyer know where to place the deposit once due under the contract.

Posted on: 2017-02-20 21:07:21

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Yes, you really do need a Realtor. Here’s how to find one

Yes, you really do need a Realtor. Here’s how to find one

Realtor checklist Ask your prospective broker: 1. How long have you been licensed? 2. Where do your comps come from and why are they the most accurate look at value in this neighborhood? 3. What is the average number of days on the market in this area? 4. What is the five-year outlook for this neighborhood? 5. Will this home require hurricane insurance, and can you or a recommended insurance broker provide a range for the cost? 6. What percentage will you be paid for completing a sale?

Posted on: 2017-02-13 18:12:50

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Is there any leeway in over-55 community rules?

Is there any leeway in over-55 community rules?

While the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against protected classes, including families with children under the age of 18, federal guidelines permit exemptions for communities designed for older adults. The primary rule, among other things, is that the community's board must prove that at least one resident in at least 80 percent of the units or properties is 55 or older.

Posted on: 2017-02-07 18:04:32

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If condos ban smoking, does it include marijuana?

If condos ban smoking, does it include marijuana?

Question: In our condominium, we have a rule that prohibits smoking on the lanai. However, recently an owner told me that he is going to obtain a prescription for medical marijuana and does not believe he can be prevented from smoking it on his lanai. What do you think? – M.A., West Palm Beach

Posted on: 2017-02-07 17:53:42

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Real Estate Trends: Fla. ‘outperformed’ the U.S.

Real Estate Trends: Fla. ‘outperformed’ the U.S.

In 2016, Florida’s economy outperformed the nation in part because of better job creation, according to several economists who spoke to a standing-room-only crowd of about 500 Realtors® at the 2017 Florida Real Estate Trends event Thursday during Florida Realtors Mid-Winter Business Meetings.

Posted on: 2017-01-27 20:07:08

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