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®

Think You Need 20% Down to Purchase a New Home? Maybe Not!

According to a recent Zillow survey, 2 out of 3 renters consider the task of coming up with money for a down-payment the number one hurdle in buying a home. If you are currently in this boat, you are not alone… and just for your information, there are many resources out there designed to help you overcome this challenge!

Our team here at NextHome Discovery wants to help you discover them and get you into your dream home quickly!

Happy couple in front of sold sign

Take it from current home owners who took advantage of the programs and resources available to them to get them in their new homes. There are more ways than you think and your Realtor will gladly keep you informed.

Home-buyers are getting more and more creative these days, because quite frankly, times are changing. With average home prices higher now than they were in the past, 20% down just isn’t feasible to most, while it used to be what most home-buyers aimed to accomplish. In fact, the median down payment is now closer to 10% and has been since 2013 according to the NAR. It doesn’t change the fact that a 20% down payment helps to save money on the monthly mortgage payment and PMI (private mortgage insurance) costs.

Still, there are several loan options available to most future home-seekers. Down payments as low as 3.5% (with clauses to eventually remove PMI costs) can and will get people into their dream home these days. Also, little to zero down payment may be needed for U.S. military veterans, service members or residents of certain rural areas. Teachers, fire fighters, and other service job holders may qualify to receive additional down-payment assistance and there are over 2,100 funding programs available according to Downpayment Resource, who tracks home buyer down payment assistance programs.

Where there’s a will there’s always a way.

If saving up or tapping into retirement plans aren’t cutting it and you’re willing to look into other, less traditional methods of coming up with a down payment for your future home, you will likely stumble across many options! One company for example, although not yet in Florida, allows you to tap into your home’s future equity to double your down payment today.

The possibilities of home-ownership seem endless and promising. If you’re ready to start looking at your options today, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our knowledgeable and professional Realtors!

Check out this recent article for more tips on overcoming the down payment obstacle.

Buyer Beware

Tampa Buyers Beware! Wire Fraud Cases on the Rise [VIDEO]

If you are buying a home in Tampa Bay, please watch the video below ( put together by Florida Realtors® general counsel, Margy Grant) as wire fraud is on the rise. These sophisticated hackers watch your emails over time and strike right before you close on your new home. They also, in some instances, hack into the account of  your Realtor®, lender, attorney or closing agent and email you false wiring instructions. The whole time, you are under the impression it is a legitimate email. We must all be vigilant.

Please ALWAYS confirm wire instructions by a phone call to the title company or attorney handling the closing.

Our trade association has also created a Wire Fraud Prevention Notice that your NextHome Discovery sales associate will provide to  you early on in the home buying process to ensure you keep your sensitive data secure and are aware of this increasing problem when it comes time to wire funds at your closing. We want the purchase of your new home to be a pleasant, safe and happy experience – this is just one precaution we are taking to ensure all is secure as you purchase your #NextHome!

Below is an excerpt from the Wire Fraud Prevention Notice and a copy of the form can be found by clicking here: Wire Fraud Prevention Notice.

Never trust wiring instructions via email
Criminals/hackers are targeting email accounts of various parties involved in real estate transactions (e.g., lawyers, title
agents, mortgage brokers, real estate agents). These emails are convincing and sophisticated. Among other concerns,
this has led to fraudulent wiring instructions being used to divert funds to the criminal’s bank account. These emails may
look like legitimate emails from the proper party. If you receive an email regarding instructions that contains any
suspicious information, do not click on any links that may be in the email and do not reply.
Broker strongly recommends that Buyer, Seller, and their respective attorneys and others working on a transaction, refrain
from placing any sensitive personal and financial information in an email, directly or through an email attachment. When
there is a need to share Social Security numbers, bank accounts, credit card numbers, wiring instructions or similar
sensitive information, Broker strongly recommends using more secure means, such as providing the information in
person, over the phone, or through secure mail or package services, whenever possible. In addition, before Buyer or
Seller wires any funds to any party (including Buyer or Seller’s attorney, title agent, mortgage broker, or real
estate broker) personally call them to confirm the information is legitimate (i.e., confirm the ABA routing number
or SWIFT code and credit account number). Buyer and Seller should call them at a number that is independently
obtained (e.g., from this Contract, the recipient’s website, etc.) and not use the number in the email in order to be sure
that the contact is a legitimate party.

 

Below is the video featuring Florida Realtors® general counsel, Margy Grant:

 

Empowered in Tampa Bay

Why Tampa Bay is Great for Entrepreneurs

We are BIG fans of creating and retaining great talent right here in Tampa Bay. Our city has become a great hub with a strong support group for those looking to launch and grow their start-ups. We find many people who visit Tampa and end up falling in love with the weather, the people, the cost of living, abundance of activities and our wonderful schools and universities. This video demonstrates another great reason to live in our great city – a climate that nurtures and fosters the entrepreneurial spirit!

 

Tampa #1 Moving Destination and #3 for Millennials this Summer

Tampa, Fla tops the list for where people are migrating this summer.

Migration patterns for those moving this year.


We aren’t surprised but love seeing the data proving why Tampa, Florida is the place to be! A strong job market and affordable housing are key factors in Tampa topping the list.

Tampa, FL tops the list as the #1 destination for those on the move.
Tampa, FL tops the list as the #1 destination for those on the move.

 

With great neighborhoods like Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights, Hyde Park, NoHo district, Channel District and a revitalized downtown Tampa, it’s no wonder Tampa, Fla has worked its way up to #3 as a destination for millennials. That coupled with strong job growth and affordable housing, what’s not to love about moving to Tampa Bay! Oh, and let’s not forget about our top rated beaches and our great sports teams (Go Lightning!).

With strong job growth and affordable housing, millennials are flocking to Tampa Bay.
With strong job growth and affordable housing, millennials are flocking to Tampa Bay.

 

If you are looking to relocate to Tampa Bay, NextHome Discovery neighborhood experts are here to help! Feel free to reach out to us today to begin your home search. We’d love to help you #DiscoverYourPlace in Tampa Bay!

 

Source: “The New Hot Spots Where Americans Are Moving Right Now,” realtor.com® (May 23, 2016)