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®

Selling Real Estate in Tampa Bay? Utilize One of Our Professional Realtors® for the Job!

You want more money into your pocket, right?!

Well, what if we told you that hiring a professional Realtor® to assist you in your next real estate transaction could actually save you both money and precious time?

A question we often here from those trying to sell their homes on their own is “Using a Realtor® will cost me money and I’m sure I can figure it out on my own.” Some do attempt to sell on their own, but eventually end up looking to the expertise of a real estate professional to list their home after realizing the headaches and inconvenience of doing it themselves. At the very least, having a real estate agent as a “buffer” between a buyer and seller helps separate the emotions and stress that occurs during negotiations. Using a Realtor® ensures qualified buyers are actually viewing your home as no one wants to just let the general public walk through their house! We also build relationships with other Realtors® which makes it easier to have conversations with them about their buyers when they want to see your home. We are able to ask their Realtor®:

  • Has your buyer been pre-qualified with a lender?
  • What is their time line to make a move?
  • Do they have a current home they need to sell prior to closing on a new home?

The last thing we want to do is waste your time, taking your home off the market only to find out a buyer can’t financially purchase your home. Our job is to get your home sold, and for top dollar! We market your home on 400+ websites, utilize Facebook and Instagram targeted ads, host open houses, hire professional photographers, in many cases we also incorporate 3D viewing technology and video! Our mobile connect platform gives buyers instant access to details of your home before they even step foot inside. These are just some of the tools we use to get your home sold , taking the stress of selling a home off of you!

After you figure the cost of doing everything on your own, including time, energy and education, it’s not difficult to see how hiring a professional in the industry can go a long way…and likely increase your proceeds at the end of the day! Our licensed professionals do more than just put a sign in your yard. Check out the video below on some of the items a Realtor® will do on your behalf:

Realtors come fully packaged and equipped to handle your real estate needs with ease and professionalism. They’re educated in their field and beyond having a professional license, they are members of both local and national boards that provide standards of professionalism in serving you and education on current events taking place in the industry.

It’s all about finding the right Realtor®. Our team of professional and educated Realtors® will immediately relieve the pressure from you by putting their education and expertise to work for you. Buying or selling? Call us today!

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:

 

Why Do I Need to Know My Debt to Income Ratio?

 

 

Your debt to income ratio is a VERY important metric to know as it plays a big part in helping a lender determine if you will be able to make your monthly mortgage payments or not.

Click on the image below to watch this quick video explaining this critical metric and why you should also calculate it on your own (independently from your lender):

 

How much can I afford?
How much can I afford?

[VIDEO] Home Buying Process Step 4: Making the Offer

Presenting an offer on a home can be both exciting and nerve-wrecking. Your NextHome Discovery Realtor® will work closely with you every step of the way – reviewing comparable properties, home features and possible upgrades, location and other factors to help you determine an appropriate offer price. Do not hesitate to ask your Realtor® any questions or clarifications throughout this part (or any part for that matter!) of the home buying process. We are here to help you find your NextHome in Tampa Bay!