Monday, February 8, 2010

Military Sellers Reimbursed for Losses, Orange Park FL

WASHINGTON – Feb. 8, 2010 – Using $555 million in Recovery Act funds, the Department of Defense has expanded a program that can reimburse employees up to 90 percent of the price they paid for a primary residence to avoid a loss when they go to sell. The Department identified Florida as having the most home sellers who qualify for the program.

The Pentagon’s Housing Assistance Program now applies to:

• wounded service members relocating for treatment or medical retirement and survivors of those who have died while deployed

• military personnel and Defense Department civilians affected by the 2005 round of base closings, as a result of the Base Realignment and Closing initiative

• military personnel moving to a new base

Previously, applicants had to demonstrate that the closing of their base contributed to the decline of the area’s real estate market and a resulting loss in sales. That requirement has been waived under the expanded program.

As of Jan. 18, 2010, almost 4,000 eligible applicants for the expanded program have been identified and 429 claims have already been paid for a total $32.8 million, according to the Pentagon.

After Florida, the Defense Department says it also expects applications from California, Virginia and Georgia.

For more details about the program, including eligibility and limitations visit and search for HAP.

Info pulled from

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Difference between a Condo & Townhome

The difference between a condo and a townhome is how the property was set up, legally, by the developer. Basically, in a condo, you own only the inside of the Unit...usually from the drywall in (that can vary according to your documents, though.) The owners, collectively, own the rest of the building, the land and any recreational ammenities such as a pool or whatever.

A "townhouse" isn't really a legal term, but it generally refers to a row of one story, or multiple story units, where owners share common walls, but no one lives above or below you. In what is typically called a "townhome" community, you own a piece of land, and the structure built on it. The HOA owns the common areas and any amenities. Even though you "own" the building in a townhome complex, the homeowners association usually has the responsibility to maintain the outside of the building, such as the roof, siding, etc.

It shouldn't make much difference to a buyer. You will want to look at what the HOA maintains, and what they charge in assessments. Also, check to see if they have reserves. A good HOA will reserve money for big projects, like replacing the roofs. If they have not done this, you could get stuck with a huge special assessment at some point. Good Luck

Sunday, November 8, 2009

New Listing! 3253 Carlotta Rd, Middleburg FL 32068



MLS 508310


4 BED, 2.5 BATH 2200 SQ FT

This home is move in ready, remodeled kitchen with 42" raised maple cabinets, huge fenced back yard, screened covered lanai, tile, shed, too much to list. Appraisal done and ready to move in. Close to schools and shopping.

Call or email me with any questions.

Tara Cornett - Realtor
Vanguard Realty Inc.
2245 Plantation Center Drive Suite 43
Fleming Island, FL 32003

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Get the most out of your homebuying tax credit

WASHINGTON – June 10, 2009 – When it comes to the $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, it seems there’s a new program every week to help tap that money today.The credit can be claimed on 2008 or 2009 tax returns. Homebuyers who get a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration can use the money to cover closing costs and other fees, and at least 10 states offer ways to use the tax credit faster.

Income considerations: The tax credit, for home purchases made through end of November, comes with income thresholds, $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for joint filers. After those limits, the credit begins to phase out. If you bought a home this year and expect your 2008 income to be lower than next year’s, it makes sense to file for the credit this year using a 2008 amended return.

Read more at:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Workshop to Help First-Time Home Buyers at UNF

I felt this was important and wanted to share.

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez has teamed up with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to offer a first-time home buyer forum to provide information about first-time home buyer programs. It says the program will provide information about first-time home buyer programs, FHA loans, tax credits, and credit counseling.

The forum will be held this Saturday, June 6th, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of North Florida.

An RSVP is required to attend the forum because of limited space. If you are interested in attending, please call (904) 398-8586 or email

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pending home sales jump 6.7 percent, Jacksonville Business Journal

Lower prices and attractive mortgage rates are breathing new life into housing, with one measure of sales posting its fourth increase in the last five months.

Pending sales of existing homes, or contracts signed but not closed, rose 6.7 percent in April, according to the National Association of Realtors. April's pending sales were up 3.2 percent from a year ago, the NAR says.

The biggest increase in April was in the Northeast, where pending sales jumped 32.6 percent from the previous month.

The NAR's pending home sales index is a forward looking gauge, and the group cautions that it is more volatile than actual closed sales.

"The relationship between contracts on pending home sales and closings on existing home sales is taking longer than in the past for several reasons," said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun.

"Mortgage processing time has increased, it is taking many months to close on those homes requiring short sales with lender approval, and some sales are falling through at the last moment."

Still, Yun believes the housing market has already bottomed out in some areas.

The group last week reported closed sales of existing homes rose 2.9 percent in April.
The NAR's housing affordability index was also at its second-highest level on record in April.

Information from Jacksonville Business Journal, June 2, 2009

Monday, March 2, 2009

Florida's existing home, condo sales rise in January 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. - Feb. 25, 2009 - Florida's existing home sales rose in January, making it the fifth month in a row that sales activity showed increases in the year-to-year comparison, according to the latest housing data released by the Florida Association of Realtors® (FAR). Existing home sales rose 24 percent last month with a total of 8,450 homes sold statewide compared to 6,810 homes sold in January 2008, according to FAR. "Many people are looking at today's market and seeing opportunities to find the home or business they've always wanted," said 2009 FAR President Cynthia Shelton. "With a range of available housing options, historically low mortgage interest rates and affordable prices, buyers who may have been hesitant before should take a closer look at the current opportunities for homeownership. As real estate professionals who know all aspects of their local market conditions, Florida Realtors are here to help counsel consumers making sound long-term decisions for their homes and their businesses."Florida Realtors also reported a 13 percent gain in statewide sales of existing condominiums in January, making it the fourth recent month (following September, October and December) that statewide existing home and existing condo sales were higher compared to year-ago lev els. Thirteen of Florida's metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) reported increased existing-home sales in January while 11 MSAs also showed gains in condo sales; it marks the seventh consecutive month that a number of markets have reported increased sales.Florida's median sales price for existing homes last month was $139,500; a year ago, it was $206,900 for a 33 percent decrease. According to industry analysts with the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), there remains a significant downward distortion in the current median price due to many discounted sales, including a large number of foreclosures. The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less. The national median sales price for existing single-family homes in December 2008 was $174,700, down 14.8 percent from a year earlier, according to NAR. In California, the statewide median resales price was $281,100 in December; in Massachusetts, it was $275,000; in Maryland, it was $267,925; and in New York, it was $220,000.NAR's latest housing outlook shows that home prices continue to fall, but also notes a trend of increasing sales activity in the Florida, California, Arizona and Nevada markets. "It appears some buyers are taking advantage of much lower home prices," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "The higher monthly sales gain and falling inventory are steps in the right direction, but buyers will continue to have an edge over sellers for the foreseeable future."In Florida's year-to-year comparison for condos, 2,556 units sold statewide compared to 2,266 sold in January 2008 for a 13 percent increase. The statewide existing condo median sales price last month was $113,400; in January 2008 it was $190,200 for a 40 percent decrease. In the latest data available at press time, NAR reported the national median existing condo price was $181,400 in December 2008.Interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averag ed 5.05 percent last month, down from the average rate of 5.76 percent in January 2008, according to Freddie Mac. FAR's sales figures reflect closings, which typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written. Among the state's large to medium-size markets, the Daytona Beach MSA reported a total of 419 homes sold in January compared to 321 homes a year ago for a 31 percent increase. The existing home median sales price was $131,800; a year ago, it was $179,100 for a 26 percent decrease. In the year-to-year comparison for the existing condo market, a total of 77 units sold in the MSA last month, up 43 percent compared to 54 condos sold the previous January. The market's existing condo median price was $167,800; a year ago, it was $230,000 for a 27 percent decrease.© 2009 FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF REALTOR