New home buyers want energy efficiency

New home buyers want energy efficiency  and according to a new survey from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), builders are listening.   It appears that energy efficient features and closet space were more important to new home buyers than two-story foyers, outdoor kitchens and whirlpools.

 The NAHB  asked builders which features they were most likely to include or not include in newly built 2015 homes. Here are the results.

http://floridarealtors.org/NewsArticle.cle.cfm.?p=4&.d=321714#

Least likely features included

  • Outdoor kitchens
  • Laminate countertops in kitchens
  • Outdoor fireplaces
  • Sunrooms
  • Two-story foyers
  • Walking/Jogging trails
  • Whirlpools
  • Carpeting as flooring on main levels

Most likely features included

  • Walk-in closets in master bedrooms
  • Laundry rooms
  • Low-e windows
  • Guest rooms
  • Energy-star rated windows
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Two-car garages
  • Granite countertops in kitchens

I must admit to being a little sad to see that whirlpools didn’t make the cut, but the energy efficient features are a perfect fit for Florida’s year round sunshiny weather. Besides, with the most beautiful gulf beaches just minutes away, who needs a whirlpool?

New home buyers want energy efficiency, but we would love to know what features our readers would consider important and which would you just assume leave out?

Visit us on Facebook and share your comments.

 

 

 

 

New Meaning For Cash Sales In Florida Real Estate

In May 2014, the percentage of Florida Real Estate closed sales that were, in fact, all cash sales for Pinellas County was 67.4%.  Up until recently, cash sales as a percentage of sales has been used to indicate the number of investors in the market.  Why?  Investors are far more likely to have the funds available to purchase a home up front, whereas the typical homebuyer requires a mortgage or some other form of financing.

Well… there is a new cash buyer!  Although mortgage rates are still at near an all-time low, people are paying cash to avoid the mortgage process altogether.  About 29 percent of non-investment buyers used cash to fund their housing transactions in the first quarter of this year – the highest level on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Who are they? Baby boomers make up a large bulk of these all-cash deals, says Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors®.

“Cash purchases are on the rise because older homeowners who have decades of home-equity accumulation don’t want the hassle of a mortgage,” Yun says. “With the economy improving and the stock market at record highs, boomers are the ones who are driving the market.”  Meanwhile, the share of investors – who usually use cash – is dwindling, dropping in the first quarter to the lowest level since 2010.

“The whole investor class, the ones doing most of the cash purchasing until now, is stepping back,” Yun says. “Baby boomers are taking their place.”  Baby boomers have more equity than previous generations because they may have owned a home during a 30-year “housing bull market.” In April, the median price of an existing-home was $201,700 compared to $67,800 in 1982, when many boomers had purchased their first properties, Bloomberg reports.

What’s more, about 16.3 million Americans older than 60 owned their homes outright in 2012, up from 12.1 million in 2009, according to Census data.  Baby boomers are expected to remain a strong presence in the housing market much longer than previous generations, too.

They “will be buying and selling well into their 80’s because they are going to be active and healthier for a lot longer than their parents,” says John McIlwain, a senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute in Washington. “They are a rebellious generation, and they’re not going to go along with the idea of traditional retirement.”

Source: “Cash Property Deals Reach Record with U.S. Boomers Retiring,” Bloomberg Businessweek (June 2, 2014)

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3 Tampa Bay Beaches Make Trip Advisor Top 25!

Water's Edge BeachTampa Bay Beaches are always on the favorite lists but this time Trip Advisor has added St. Pete Beach (#9), Caladesie Island State Park (#11), and Clearwater Beach (#21) to its 2014 Top 25 Beaches in the USA!

We pride ourselves about these pristine beaches that draw thousands of visitors to the area each year… sparkling white sand, azure sea, cool breezes – not to mention spectacular sunsets every night!  Congratulations Tampa Bay Beaches!!! No wonder sales are heating up!

http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Beaches

Ready To Live The Florida Lifestyle? You’re Not Alone!

Enjoying The Florida LifestyleAs a trend, when the real estate market suffers vacation homes are often the first to suffer.  People tend to put off purchasing a vacation or second home when the housing market struggles.  However, when vacation homes sales begin to perk up this is a positive sign the housing market is really on a comeback and people can once again look forward to their dream of “living the Florida Lifestyle”.

According to a survey by the National Realtor Organization, vacation home sales have risen by 10.1% compared to a 2.1% decline in investment property sales and a 17.4% increase in the sale of primary homes.  The median price for vacation homes is trending upward as well, at $150,000 up from $121,300.  Interesting that the motivation behind this increase is 1) lower prices (today’s market is still a bargain compared to several years ago) @ 38%; and 2)  the desire to have a family retreat @ 28%.  A vacation homeowner plans to use the property for their own enjoyment, whereas an investment purchaser is most likely looking at potential rental income.

Many of the baby boomers set to retire soon saw plans put on hold as the economy took its toll on employment, cost of living and decline of their real estate investment value.  That doesn’t mean the dream has ended.  The last several winters have been brutally cold with seemingly a blizzard around every corner. To an aging population there is a huge interest in retiring to a warmer climate… that is where Florida has such an edge.  Here in Tampa Bay, with its easy access to international travel, a temperate climate with a myriad of outdoor activities ready for an active or quiet lifestyle, and waterfront property in abundance throughout the bay area… we are seeing the same demand. However, the inventory is at its lowest in years.

It is imperative in this newly evolving market to use a professional realtor and The PURTEE Team has three of the finest.  Let us help you locate and secure the home that will set you on your own road to living the Florida Lifestyle!

International Home Buyers Focus on Florida

International buyers are taking advantage of real estate bargains in the United States. Last year, international buyers reportedly $41 billion on purchasing homes in the U.S. Of those purchases, over $13 billion were in Florida, with Tampa Bay one of the top destinations!

The PURTEE Team is seeing this trend very active in their business. Currently, we are involved in transactions with clients from Prince Edward Island, Canada; Hergiswil, Switzerland; and Leigh-on-sea, UK. We understand the implications of a home purchased by foreign nationals and the United States makes home ownership relatively easy. With the real estate prices as low as they are, and the currency exchange rate definitely in the favor of the Euro or Canadian dollar, this is the perfect time to find the Florida home or condo here along the beaches of Tampa Bay.

With pristine white sandy beaches, nightly breathtaking sunsets, and a long list of outstanding things to do in the area… plus the international access to the Tampa airport, this is definitely an area to check out! The PURTEE Team is here to help… simply fill out this Questionnaire about what you would like in your dream home, and one of us will be in touch with you shortly!