Lakeland, FL Real Estate News

By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Real Estate Housing for December 2009 Lakeland ended the year on a high note in sales. With 194 homes sold overall, the month of December proved to be the best month for 2009.   Lakeland Homes sold in December: 194 - previous month:  174 – previous year December 08: 136 sold Which zip codes represents the most sales activities since January 2009? Zip Code Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total 33801 20 12 15 21 13 16 17 12 20 27 20 31 224 33803 11 10 16 18 16 19 26 19 22 25 20 24 226 33805 12 11 12 9 5 10 14 14 8 14 12 14 135 33809 13 12 16 11 18 17 16 17 25 17 21 23 206 33810 25 31 34 31 46 37 40 33 42 46 43 40 448 33811 10 16 17 18 18 22 20 15 22 15 18 17 208 33812 10 5 8 13 7 9 16 15 10 9 13 14 129 33813 9 25 27 28 26 33 35 38 29 22 24 25 321 33815 5 3 7 5 7 6...
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By Damion Boyce
(The Boyce Team)
It's still an opportune time for buyers of Lakeland real estate. Inventories are high so the perfect home is just waiting for you to find it. Rates have been on the rise but still below what they were a few short years or even months ago. Let's see where average mortgage rates stand at the start of the new year. After hitting an all-time low in late December of last year, 2009, mortgage rates were on the rise. As of January 5th, 2010, rates for 30-year fixed mortgages had risen four weeks in a row, but have dropped again as of January 12th. Here are some statistics on the weekly averages in current mortgage rates being quoted for borrowers in the U.S.:  30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rates:  12/01/09: 4.62% (Lowest on record since April, 2008) 12/08/09: 4.67% 12/15/09: 4.72% 12/22/09: 4.77...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Real Estate Update - 12/16/09 through 12/31/09 Update for the Lakeland real estate market! Currently, there are 1878 homes for sale throughout Lakeland – as of 01/08/10. Newly listed homes for the period of December 16th through December 31st totaled 121 Lakeland homes recently came on the market. The average sales price of Lakeland homes listed with area Realtors® for decreased to $197,553 from my previous report. The types of homes and average prices just listed in Lakeland, Florida according to the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are as follows: 4 condos listed with an average sales price of $81,175 10 mobile homes listed with an average sales price of $64,720 1 Townhomes/Villas listed for $64,900 106 single family homes with an average price of $171,831 For a more detailed ...
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As we know, Florida is a mecca for retirees and snowbirds. Many of these people find themselves with lots of possessions and a big house they no longer need now that the kids have their own places. So one of the basics of retiring to Florida often includes downsizing from the previous home.  If you fit this category, here are a few tips that you may find helpful in deciding what to get rid of and how to go about it before your move to Lakeland real estate.  1. Determine What to Keep. If you know the size of your new home, or at least the range of square feet that you're planning on purchasing, you'll be better able to select what larger pieces of furniture to keep and what must go. If you have 3 bedrooms now and will only have 2 at the new location, pick and choose the best pieces to fi...
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Thinking of beginning your new-home search on the Internet? Here are a few statistics of what other Lakeland real estate buyers are doing these days:  In 2006, 80% of prospective home buyers were searching for homes on the Internet, in 2007, there were 84% and by 2008 the count was up to 87%.  Back in 1997, only 2% of home buyers found the home they wound up purchasing on the Internet while 50% found it through a realtor. In 2008, 32% found their home on the web with only 34% finding it through a realtor.  While all this Internet surfing can be a viable way of finding your new home, don't discount what a local realtor can do to help in your search. Here are some things you'll want to remember when searching for Lakeland real estate:  1. Remember There's More to Buying a Home than Just F...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Realtors® and Client Relationships - How is your Relationship with your Client? Early on in my career when first being employed in sales back in Germany, I always was told by my supervisor: “Der Kunde ist Koenig”, which translates to “The client is king”. To this day, it is stated as my motto on my Active Rain profile.    After reading Gary Woltal’s blog,  “Why being a little pregnant doesn’t work with serious Realtors®” , I commented on his blog that, “this should be rule number 1, but, yes there is a but, there is always exception to a rule. My exception is with a client that I have known for three years and worked with for the last two years.”   Actually it goes back three years ago when the family was looking for a home in Lakeland.  With Lakeland being centrally located between Tam...
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Once the Boyce Team helps you find that perfect home on Lakeland real estate, it's time to get to work finding something else - a down payment. There are several avenues that you should wander down in your quest for down payment dollars. Here are six ideas to get you started.  1.  Get Money from Family. If you have relatives with money, see if you can talk any of them into giving you some cash for the down payment. Hopefully, they'll do this as a gift and not a loan or you'll not only have a new mortgage payment, but a down payment loan as well.  2.  Sell Some Assets. Do you have an extra car or a boat or other asset that's paid off and not used much any more? Why not sell it and use the proceeds for your down payment? Plus you'll no longer have to insure it or spend money on maintenan...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Homebuyers that finance their newly purchased Lakeland real estate will be signing a new version of the HUD-1 Settlement Statement beginning January 1, 2010.  While the new form resembles its old form, there are significant changes on page 2 from lines 800 through 1300 in which certain charges that a Lakeland borrower was shown on the Good Faith Estimates given by their lender are carried over to the updated HUD-1 Settlement Statement.  This will give Lakeland home buyers and those looking to refinance Lakeland homes a clearer picture of what they have been quoted by their lender to as opposed to what they are actually paying for it at the closing table. The biggest change in the HUD-1 Settlement Statement is the addition of page 3 which states that certain charges can and cannot increa...
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By Highland Homes, Building Dream Homes in Florida Since 1996
(Highland Homes)
Highland Homes is happy to announce high sales numbers over the past three months. We were ecstatic to finish out October with a total of 41 new contracts and were even more delighted to finish November with over 45 new homes sold. And, we are happy to report that onsite traffic is remaining steady during the month of December, and we should finish out the year on a high note! We have many central Florida new home communities that are popular among home buyers. Andover and Mystery Ridge are always popular due to their close proximity to Orlando and the Disney theme parks. Ayersworth Glen in Hillsborough county is another favorite. And, we have been very happy with the success of Oakford Estates in Lakeland. The community is located in the high-demand area of the Highlands and offers som...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Update for the Lakeland real estate market! Currently, there are 1901 homes for sale throughout Lakeland – as of 12/21/09. Newly listed homes for the period of December 1st through December 15th totaled 126 Lakeland homes recently came on the market. A 16% increase from the my previous report. The average sales price of Lakeland homes listed with area Realtors® increased to $200,409. The types of homes and average prices just listed in Lakeland, Florida according to the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are as follows: 1 duplex listed for $119,900 4 condos listed with an average sales price of $119,925 16 mobile homes listed with an average sales price of $79,284 1 Townhomes/Villas listed for $49,500 104 single family homes with an average price of $174,525 For a more detailed report such...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Real Estate Housing for November 2009 Despite Polk County’s unemployment numbers in the double digits, Lakeland Florida sales activity continued strong for the month of November. Lakeland Homes sold in November: 174 - previous month:  177 – previous year November 08: 106 sold   Which zip codes represents the most sales activities since January 2009? Lakeland Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Grand Total 33801 20 12 15 21 13 16 17 12 20 27 20 193 33803 11 10 16 18 16 19 26 19 22 25 20 202 33805 12 11 12 9 5 10 14 14 8 14 12 121 33809 13 12 16 11 18 17 16 17 25 17 21 183 33810 25 31 34 31 46 37 40 33 42 46 43 408 33811 10 16 17 18 18 22 20 15 22 15 18 191 33812 10 5 8 13 7 9 16 15 10 9 13 115 33813 9 25 27 28 26 33 35 38 29 22 24 296 33815 5 3 7 5 7 6 4 3 5 2 3 50 Grand...
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How do Floridians celebrate the new year? Well, one way seems to be with football bowl games. Beginning with the St. Petersburg Bowl in, you guessed it, St. Pete on December 19th, Florida is hosting a total of six bowl games this year.  And why not? Who wouldn't prefer to watch football in the Florida sunshine at 70-degrees-or-better than huddling in sub-freezing temperatures with a bitter wind?  After the St. Pete Bowl on the 19th, fans in Florida will have to wait till December 29th for the next bowl game which is the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando. Then there are three on New Year's Day, the Outback Bowl in Tampa, the Capitol One Bowl in Orlando and the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville.  For those still interested in seeing more Florida football after these first five, the Orange Bowl wraps...
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Last week in my post, Basic Mortgage 101 for Lakeland Buyers, we discussed the two categories of mortgages, governmental and conventional, and three mortgage types, the fixed-rate mortgage, adjustable rate mortgage, and jumbo loans. As promised, this week we're looking at some alternative financing of Lakeland real estate for when these types of mortgages just don't quite fit the bill.  The first one we'll discuss is the Pay-Option Adjustable-Rate Mortgage. Just like the ARM we discussed last week, after the great rate that was locked in for the first few years of the mortgage ends, the rate can then be adjusted to a new higher rate. With the Pay-Option ARM, the rate will still be adjusted, but the mortgagee can opt for a locked-in monthly payment amount. This sounds like the best of bo...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Update for the Lakeland real estate market! Currently, there are 1906 homes for sale throughout Lakeland - as of 12/07/09. Newly listed homes for the period of November 16th through November 30th totaled 109 Lakeland homes recently came on the market. A 28% decline from the previous my previous report. The average sales price of Lakeland homes listed with area Realtors® increased to $202,841. The types of homes and average prices just listed in Lakeland, Florida according to the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are as follows: 2 condos listed with an average sales price of $189,950 6 mobile homes listed with an average sales price of $46,116 7 Townhomes/Villas listed with an average sales price of $94,925 94 single family homes with an average price of $180,829 Lakeland's newest homes li...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
First Friday in Lakeland Florida – Local Event “Holiday Happenings” – December 4th, 2009 C’mon down – Downtown Lakeland is all decked out with Holiday lights! Enjoy the sounds of holiday music that will be performed around downtown Lakeland; take your picture with Santa at the General Store and much, much more during Lakeland, Florida’s First Friday local event “Holiday Happenings”. Get some holiday shopping done, stores will be open late! Did you miss Thursday’s annual Lakeland Christmas Parade? You don’t want to miss this special occasion with your family and friends. With all Lakeland First Friday events, Downtown Lakeland Partnership has always done an outstanding job organizing, which it only gets better with each and every month. Folks coming to downtown Lakeland comingling, shopp...
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By Damion Boyce
(The Boyce Team)
Whether you're buying Lakeland, Florida, real estate or a home in Logansport, Indiana, there are two main categories of mortgages. One type of loan is governmental and the other is conventional. The main difference is that governmental loans are guaranteed by the government, although the money still comes from participating lenders that are the same lenders making conventional loans.  The governmental programs are administered by government agencies, including the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and the Veteran's Administration (VA) for home buyers who are also veterans. For home buyers in rural areas of the country, there is the Rural Housing Service (RHS) or the Farmers Home Administration (FmHA).  There are three main types of mortgages. They are the Fixed-Rate Mortgage (FRM), t...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Real Estate Housing Report for October 2009 Lakeland Florida sales activity remained strong for the month of October, which goes along what is being reported nationally and at state level for October. Lakeland Homes sold in October: 177 - previous month: 183 – previous year October 08: 137 sold Which zip codes represents the most sales activities since January 2009?   Lakeland Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Grand Total 33801 20 12 15 21 13 16 17 12 20 27 173 33803 11 10 16 18 16 19 26 19 22 25 182 33805 12 11 12 9 5 10 14 14 8 14 109 33809 13 12 16 11 18 17 16 17 25 17 162 33810 25 31 34 31 46 37 40 33 42 46 365 33811 10 16 17 18 18 22 20 15 22 15 173 33812 10 5 8 13 7 9 16 15 10 9 102 33813 9 25 27 28 26 33 35 38 29 22 272 33815 5 3 7 5 7 6 4 3 5 2 47 Grand Total 115 ...
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In Lakeland and all of Polk County, foreclosures are a big deal. In 2008, 9,467 cases were filed; numbers for 2009 are expected to be about the same. Many homeowners, with their homes at risk due to unemployment and rising mortgage payments, need an alternative before the situation gets that bad. A short sale is becoming a popular way to approach the problem. About half of Polk County's current sales are short sales or bank-owned homes, which means the foreclosure went through and the home is on the market again.  Ever wish someone would explain a "short sale" to you? Well, let's give it a try right here.  A short sale can be defined as a sale wherein a home is sold for less than the current mortgage balance. There are some qualifiers to this type of sale, however. First, the lender has...
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By Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale
(Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.)
Lakeland Real Estate Update - 11/01/09-11/15/09 Update for the Lakeland real estate market! Currently, there are 1943 homes for sale throughout Lakeland – as of 11/19/09. Newly listed homes for the period of November 1st through November 15th totaled 153 Lakeland homes recently came on the market. A decline from the previous my previous report. Average sales price of $176,647 or $89.01 per square foot with area Realtors®. The types of homes and average prices just listed in Lakeland, Florida according to the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are as follows:  3 duplex listed with an average sales price of $93,276 6 condos listed with an average sales price of $152,183 7 mobile homes listed with an average sales price of $72,614 6 Townhomes/Villas listed with an average sales price of $92,8...
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By Damion Boyce
(The Boyce Team)
If you're thinking of buying Lakeland real estate in the future, why not think about buying now? Here are five good reasons you may want to take that step toward home ownership sooner than you might have originally planned.  1. Historically Low Interest Rates. With the economy in its present state, interest rates have been going lower and lower. You may never see interest rates this low again, or at least not in the near future. So this reason alone may be why you'll want to become a homeowner now.  2. Great Tax Benefits. With the renewal of the Home Buyer Tax Credit, you now have until the end of April, 2010, to find the perfect home in Lakeland and sign a purchase agreement. Meet some other requirements and close on the home by June 30th of 2010 to take advantage of this bonus. Read m...
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