Senate Private Flood Insurance Hearing Update June 2016


September 2017 is the deadline for flood insurance reauthorization. This June 2016 Senate subcommittee hearing is a reminder that flood insurance should again be on our minds. Video courtesy of C-Span:

Private Flood Insurance Update June 2016

Palmetto: Short Sale #47

I inherited this listing from a Realtor who was a true professional. He knew a specialist was needed and earning a commission was of secondary importance. I respect Realtors who refer short sales. It is specialized work. A true professional is not a salesperson, they are a consultant. And for a salesperson it is tempting to want to keep all the commission even if you are not the best person for the job. This Seller accepted my representation as Realtor #3 after first listing their property for sale in April of 2015.  I listed this home around mid-January and we closed the transaction at the end of August 2016. I usually negotiate directly with lenders and servicing companies. On this one I worked with a Sarasota attorney and Paralegal who both did an exemplary job getting the approval with good terms very near to the listed price. The Buyer’s were represented by a Realtor who was also an Attorney and their work added the kind of steady professional approach that helps everyone reach a satisfactory outcome. My experience with mortgage loans and law firms helped me throughout.

Jim Hoffman, The Realtor’s Short Sale Specialist


Meant to send you a note before but we were buried with the moving situation. Things are pretty well settled down now. Great home in a great neighborhood.

Mrs. Realtor and I want to thank you for the outstanding professional help with the short sale. I appreciate your patience and putting up with me. It was very stressful process and a long time coming. I don’t know how you handle short sales. It takes a special kind of person with the right temperament to deal with that crazy stuff.

Best wishes for continued success. We may be contacting you in a year for a mortgage. Let’s see how it goes.

Thanks for everything,


Seller Alert: 48 Ways To Speed Your Sale Charted

Selling? Browse these tips and see if you’ve covered all the bases.



May Consumer Reports on Reverse Mortgages

If you are a fan of Consumer Reports and have questions about Reverse Mortgages then read the May issue. It has an article about HECM’s (Home Equity Conversion Mortgages) otherwise known as ‘Reverse Mortgages.

While I was surprised a Spouse was removed from a Deed because they were not yet 62 years old, there is good information in my view in the rest of the article.

There is a history to these mortgages and they have become a better product over time.

Still have questions?

Call or email and I will try to provide the answers you need.


From Florida Realtors: IRS Mortgage Tax Forgiveness Still On Hold

This post from Florida Realtors:

WASHINGTON – May 6, 2014 – The U.S. Congress has extended the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Relief Act (MDFRA) for the past few years, but a move to extend it through 2014 for sellers who have part of their mortgage debt forgiven in a short sale or foreclosure isn’t assured.

The Act expired on Jan. 1. Without it, the IRS looks at the loan money a bank forgives – money the seller agreed to pay when he or she first got a mortgage – as taxable income, since a bank is essentially “giving” the seller money forgiven on the debt. However, a home seller who was caught in the downward spiral of real estate values never actually saw that money and often doesn’t have enough to pay the taxes on it.

“There are some rays of hope,” says Evan Liddiard, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) senior policy representative, federal taxation, who still thinks it likely the Act will eventually be extended.

“The Senate Finance Committee approved a measure early last month to extend most of the expired provisions (including mortgage debt relief) retroactive to the beginning of this year and through the end of 2015,” Liddiard says. “And, the Majority Leader is talking about bringing it to the Senate floor next week.”

However, the initiative could hit some political roadblocks. According to Liddiard, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will try to limit the number of amendments that can be attached to the bill, and he may have problems doing that.

“In the most optimistic scenario, Reid will get an agreement next week, and the Senate will pass the … bill; then they will (add it to) a research credit extension bill the House will vote on this week,” says Liddiard. “Under this rosy scene, we could see the mortgage debt relief bill signed into law by June.”

But few observers now think the rosy scenario will happen. Liddiard considers its chances 20 percent or less.

“The worst-case scenario is that Reid cannot get agreement and thus does not bring the bill to the floor, so there is no conference before the November election,” Liddiard says. “If the Senate goes Republican in the election, as many now think possible, there might be little incentive for Republicans to want to have a lame duck session, or to do anything in it if there is one. So, it could be January next year before we see the extenders passed – or maybe even never.

“The most likely scenario, of course, lies somewhere in between,” Liddiard adds.

According to CoreLogic, short sales dropped 0.6 percent in January to 4.6 percent of total sales, down from 5.2 percent the previous month. In February, short sales are expected to drop as low as 2.2 percent of all sales, primarily due to expiration of the MDFRA.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

Pinellas Absorption Rate February 2014 Near 20%

Sales Absorption rate are just below 20% in Pinellas County for this past February. An average single family or condominium listing is taking about 5 months to sell. Some increase in closed sales to report year over year and a dramatic dip in closed short sales happened in the same period. I estimate single family absorption is lower on higher prices and fewer investors in the market than last year near the median price.


Realtor’s Pick Sink Misses By 2 Points

Alex Sink was the candidate for Congress endorsed by the ‘Realtor’s Political Action Committee’ and the Pinellas Realtor Organization. Ms. Sink’s bid for the office was not successful. The loss in Florida’s District 13 was by less than 3 points and as Maxwell Smart would have said “Missed it by that much!” Less than 3% is hardly a landslide but a win is a win is a win.  One thing is certain, the voters will be deciding this again next November. The election decided who would represent the district only until the end of the current term of Congressman Bill Young. Spending on the contest from all sources was about $10 million. That’s over $30,000 per ‘representative calendar day’ for a seat in Congress. On a Per Diem basis was this the most expensive Congressional campaign ever? Bet it was if you divide the expense by the number of days Congress is actually in session. Article here:

May Price Jump Is 12.2% – 7 Year High

CoreLogic is reporting the biggest price jump in nearly seven years. Nevada, California and Arizona led the way. Exuberant? Yup! But, it remains to be seen how the recent sharp rise in mortgage interest rates if persistent will affect markets. Notwithstanding, here in Florida on the Gulf Coast there are fewer listings and Sellers are once again able to ask for a higher price than a recently sold nearby comparable. Smart people are claiming the interest rate rise will not dampen the new enthusiasm for real estate. We’ll see. Want more? USA Today article reprint from AP here:

Welcome to Florida Property and Loan!