The Mortgage Man

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Archive for Florida

Gustav Threatens The Gulf Coast

Here we go again!

Well, we don’t get wildfires or mudslides or earthquakes, but we do stand in the way of nature’s fury in the way of tropical hurricanes.  Just as most of Florida is still wringing out their shorts from the deluge of rain in Fay, we are again squarely in the cross hairs of Hurricane Gustav.  Many didn’t take Fay seriously because it never reached hurricane status, and yet it set records for rain fall and is the only named storm in history to make landfall 4 times in the U.S.

Gustav, however, commands out respect from the start.  Already reaching hurricane status before it even gets into the gulf, Gustav threatens to be a category 3 before making landfall somewhere along the gulf coast early next week.

In keeping with the theme of this blog, we will focus on the potential implications of this storm as it relates to real estate and the economy.

If you are purchasing a home, make sure that you have your insurance in place immediately.  A Citizens policy (in Florida) will not write new coverage, increase coverage, or make any policy changes “when a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch or  Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for any part of the State of Florida.”  Other insurance companies have a map of the Gulf of Mexico and draw a dotted line border around a certain geographic area called “The Box”.  If a named storm (tropical or hurricane) enters that box, they will not write new policies or make changes to existing policies until the storm hits land.  In some situations, this could delay closing for a week or more until the storm runs its course.

If you already own your home, now is the time to prepare.  Even with the number of hurricanes that we are exposed to on an annual basis, there are a shocking number of people that do not prepare.  Preparing your house means:

  • Check the trees around your house for dead limbs, these are the first to come down
  • Make sure that you have adequate protection for doors and windows.  Taping the windows is a waste of time.  Either board them up, or spend your time on other things.  Tape will not stop debris and it will not keep the glass from shattering.
  • Take photos of your property for insurance purposes.  If you happen to be the minority that keeps receipts for everything you own, this may be less important.  Be as specific as possible, and a video recording of everything is the preferred method.
  • Pack up anything that can not be easily replaced.  This would include family heirlooms, photos, jewelry, etc.  Also take insurance forms and important paperwork such as deeds and wills.
  • Assume that when you get back to your home, there will be no power and no water.  Fill a bath tub full of water to use for flushing toilets and possibly boil for drinking water.

There are many more resources on how to prepare your family and pets at NOAA.gov .

Perdido Key Condo Deals – Purple Parrot

Purple Parrot Village Resort in Perdido Key gives you the feeling you have just stepped onto a carribean island.  With its unique cottage style bungalos and huge lagoon style pool, it is hard to believe that you can get a piece of this paradise for little more than $100,000.

Lagoon style pool at Purple Parrot

With the rise in foreclosure rates, and a sluggish economy, vacation properties such as Purple Parrot have had challenges recently.  The good news is that because of this, a unique buyers opportunity has been created where you can own one of these island living gems for half of what they were selling for just 3 years ago.

Tropical cottage at Purple Parrot

You can find several of them listed as preforeclosure short sales at www.PreForeclosureFSBO.com.  If you are in the market for an investment property within walking distance to the beach, this is possibly the best deal available on the key right now.

For a local real estate professional specializing in beach properties on Perdido Key, go to SteveOnTheKey.com.

Perdido Key Condo Deals – Windemere

Windemere Beachfront Condo for $288 / square foot.

Gulf View from the balcony of Windemere

There are some amazing deals on beach front real estate on Perdido Key, and here is an example of one that is currently listed.  At $329,000, this 1176 s.f. unit in Windemere (directly on the gulf on Perdido Key) is one of the lowest price per square foot units available on the market.

Located in a building built in 2004, this unit has 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths and a very spacious balcony that is so close to the water that you can smell the salt in the air.

For questions about financing availability, or to get more information on other deals available on Perdido Key, Contact Me directly and I will be happy to help.


Friday May 16, 2008

The Bond Market Rallies Leading The Way For Mortgages Rates To Plunge.

Bond Market Rallies

Strength in today’s mortgage bond market could lead to a great opportunity for home owners looking to refinance.

As usual, what is good for the economy is good for stocks and bad for bonds and vice versa. And, what is good for bonds is also good for mortgage rates. This morning, the bond market was lumbering along without much going on…and then the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment report came out with the worst reported numbers in 26 years. This triggered a buying frenzy in the bond market, and mortgage bonds are currently trading at 70 basis points higher than the open.

On the surface there was good news in the housing market with Housing Starts for April up to 1.038 million, up from March’s 932,000 and significantly higher than the projected 940,000. I say on the surface because even though housing starts and building permits are up, it is yet to be seen how oil prices hitting record highs on a daily basis will affect the costs to build later. (Oil hit a new high again this morning at $127.43 per barrel).

Goldman Sach’s (one of the world’s leading securities firms) said today that they expect oil to hit $141 per barrel by the end of the year, and as much as $149 in 2009. If this is true, you better dust off the solar panels and check the air in the bicycle tires because this may be a bumpy ride.

As far as mortgages go, the bond has soared past resistance levels at the 25, 50 and 100 day moving averages. With strength like that, we may see push in the refinance market soon. If you are even considering refinancing, get your ducks in a row as movement like this will correct itself quickly, and the window of opportunity will be short.