Florida Condo Law Changes Effective July 1st

New Condo Law Changes in Florida Effective July 1st, 2017 – What You Need to Know!

There were several changes made to Chapter 718, the Florida Statute governing condominiums, and all went into effect on July 1, 2017.

While not exhaustive, below is a list of July 1 changes that you may find of interest as you look to purchase a condo here in Tampa Bay:

  • 718.111(12)(c)(1) – A unit renter has a right to inspect and copy the association’s bylaws and rules.
  • 718.111(12)(c)(3)(g)(1) – by July 1, 2018, an association with 150 or more units (which does not manage timeshare units) must post digital copies of the required documents on its website.
  • 718.116(8) – The association must issue an estoppel certificate within 10 business days of receipt of a written or electronic request for said certificate.
  • 718.116(8)(a) – Any condominium estoppel certificate must contain specific assessment information, such as the regular periodic assessment and frequency; an itemized list of all assessments, special assessments and other moneys scheduled to become due; if there is a capital contribution fee, resale fee or other fee due and what the amount is; if there is a right of first refusal provided to the association or the members; and contact information for all insurance maintained by the association, amongst other things.
  • 718.116(8)(b) – The estoppel certificate (sent via hand delivery or electronically) has a 30-day effective period (35-days if sent by regular mail).
  • 718.116(8)(d) – If a requested estoppel certificate is not delivered within 10 business days, a fee may not be charged for the preparation and delivery of that estoppel letter. (this is a great change in addressing the timeliness the association has to abide by as time is of the essence!)
  • 718.116(8)(f) – The association may charge a reasonable fee for preparation and delivery of an estoppel certificate that may not exceed $250.00; if the certificate is requested on an expedited basis and delivered within 3 business days after the request, however, the association may charge an additional $150.00; an additional fee of up to $150.00 may also be charged for an estoppel certificate on a unit if a delinquent amount is owed.
  • The Florida Legislature also added other new condominium association rules this year. If a unit owner is denied docs and fraud can be proved, for example, it could be a felony; and board director terms are now limited to eight years with a few exceptions.

For complete info on July 1 condo law changes, refer to the bill, HB 1237, which Gov. Scott signed on June 26.

Source: Florida Realtors®

Hillsborough County Remains a Seller’s Market with Low Monthly Supply of Inventory in April

A key metric we like to monitor when looking at the health of the Tampa Bay real estate market is the Month’s Supply of Inventory (MSI). The generally accepted benchmark for a healthy market, one that favors neither the seller or the buyer, is 5.5 months supply of inventory. Anything higher than that would be considered a buyer’s market, anything lower – a seller’s market.

So how is MSI calculated?

You divide the current inventory in the market by the 12-month average of monthly closed sales. By dividing by the average of monthly closed sales, we eliminate seasonal effects such as the busy spring selling season or the slow winter season.

Looking at single family homes in Hillsborough County for the month of April 2017, we are currently at a 2.7 months supply of inventory. What this means is if no new single family homes were listed for sale in Hillsborough County, the current supply would be depleted in only 2.7 months!

 

Last 12 months monthly supply of inventory in Hillsborough County.
Last 12 months monthly supply of inventory in Hillsborough County.

Looking at the chart above you’ll notice that we have been at  or below 3 months supply of inventory for the past 12 months. In fact, check out the chart below and you’ll see we’ve been at or below 3 months supply since around September 2015!

 

MONTHLY SUPPLY OF INVENTORY SINCE 2013

So what does this mean for you if you are looking to buy or sell real estate anywhere in Hillsborough County?

With the steady low inventory over the past few years, seller’s are still in the driver’s seat. This means there are more buyers in the market bidding on the same limited supply of housing available. Simply put, this is still a great time to sell! We are seeing multiple offers on a daily basis on listings, especially those in highly desirable parts of Hillsborough County.

Now this isn’t all bad news for buyers. What it means is you need to be sure to align yourself with an experienced real estate professional skilled in negotiation, listening to your needs, identifying the right property for you, and moving quickly on it. It is also another reason why it is vital that buyers get pre-approved by a reputable lender so the pre-approval letter can be submitted with your offer. When it comes to multiple-offer situations, showing the seller you have the financial ability to close on their home goes a long way!

Have more questions about the market or looking to sell or buy in Tampa Bay? Reach out to one of our associates or email our office at connect@DiscoverYourPlace.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Tampa Bay is the place to be for Health Care Professionals

In case you haven’t heard, Tampa Bay is on the move! When it comes to the health care industry, we attract top physicians, nurses and researchers, not only because of our great area hospitals but also due to the great work done by USF Health. Our downtown landscape is changing and the relocation of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute to downtown Tampa is only going to make the downtown and Channel District a more vibrant, robust community.

As residential real estate advisers, we come across many physicians who come to Tampa Bay to do their residencies. We find that many of them fall in love with Tampa Bay – the low cost of living, the great schools, proximity to many outdoor activities – and end up staying after their residencies are done! They are eager and excited to make Tampa Bay their #NextHome.

Here is a wonderful video showcasing the new USF College of Medicine and the impact it will have in the area when it opens in 2019. If you are in the health care field and considering making Tampa Bay your next home, give us a call or shoot us an email as we’re here to help you make it reality!

It’s Closing Time, What to Expect!

Buying or selling real estate in the near future? Here’s a few things to consider!

Ever wonder why a title company is typically part of your real estate transaction? Although you may only see them once in the transaction – at closing – believe us, a good title company plays a pretty crucial role in the success of buying or selling real estate! They facilitate the closing with both the seller and the buyer, file and properly record documents, work with your lender and insurance companies, review your title commitment and issue your title insurance. Arguably the glue to your transaction, title companies generally play the neutral party in your real estate transaction.

businesswoman outside officeSome of the most frequently asked questions about title and closing are answered below. We’re all about helping you understand the “why” behind the what.

Why is title insurance needed? Like possessing the title of your car means you own it, possession of a clear title of a property means it’s yours, right? Well… let’s hope so! Title insurance provides a layer of protection to your right of ownership. In other words, if someone approached you with claim to the title of your property, you’d want some assurance that they couldn’t possibly have a case, right? From unknown heirs, forged signatures on deeds, liens, fraudulent or innocent documentation errors, title companies provide a necessary blanket of protection to you through the issuance of a title insurance policy. Title insurance isn’t just something YOU will want, but you guessed it, your mortgage lender is going to require it as they too will want their interest in your property protected. Bottom line: Title insurance protects buyers from loss of value from defects to the title of real property.

How and when do you pay for it and how often? How long does my policy last? Thankfully title insurance is typically a one-time premium paid at the closing table, in the form of a typical closing cost. Your policy will last throughout your entire ownership of the property and will be passed along to your heirs.

Closing costs? What are they? Closing costs are considered all the costs required to close your transaction and will vary per party in the transaction.

AS-IS PC

Your FAR BAR As-Is Purchase Contract has a neat break down of who can expect to pay what at closing time, but usually it will include everything from the balance of your down-payment, loan origination fees, discount points, to pro-rated taxes and agent fees, etc. It’s a good idea to shop around a few recommended lenders so you can estimate what you’ll be paying in closing costs ahead of time, like before putting in an offer on a home with your agent! Also, before closing, be on the look out for a closing disclosure with the numbers ready for your review. You’ll want to communicate with your agent to make sure the title company’s calculations of credits and debits are correct per the agreed upon terms outlined in the contract.

What forms of payment are accepted for deposits (earnest money) and closing? Cash or credit cards are never acceptable forms of payments. Limitations and restrictions apply to personal checks, money orders, and cashier’s checks. Wires are always accepted and most common, however, be aware of a rise in wire fraud in recent years. Check out our WIRE FRAUD PREVENTION NOTICE and always remember to call the title company to confirm wire instructions. Hackers are getting sophisticated by hacking email accounts and sending incorrect wire instructions to their accounts while you unsuspectingly assume it was sent by your agent or the title rep. Again, always call and speak to the title company before wiring any funds.

We hope you find this information helpful.  If you’re looking to buy or sell a home in the near future, our team of knowledgeable Realtors will provide you with the service you’re in search of. NextHome Discovery promises to make your real estate experience memorable. We’re reliable, informed, and trustworthy. Don’t just take our word for it either… See for yourself. Contact us today!

Children's Cancer Center

NHD Empower Tour of The Children’s Cancer Center this Friday

Every quarter, we take our NextHome Discovery agents on a tour of a local non-profit. We call these our NHD Empower Tours. We open up these tours to all local Realtors and affiliates as we ALL benefit by being aware of all the needs and resources in our community so that we can find ways of getting involved and EMPOWERING others.

As part of this quarter’s NHD Empower Tour we are scheduled to tour the Children’s Cancer Center on Friday, April 21st ( http://childrenscancercenter.org/) to raise awareness on how they are serving families of children who have cancer or chronic blood disorders… And how best we can get involved.

The tour is scheduled for 10am and should be wrapped up by 11am. We welcome you to join us this Friday.

PLEASE RSVP to Heather@DiscoverYourPlace.com to let us know if you can attend!

NHD EMPOWER TOUR_APRIL 21 2017