Most homebuyers in search of a property automatically assume buying a foreclosed home means they’re getting the best deal out there. However, this often isn’t the case. Purchasing a foreclosed home truly can be a great investment, but it could also be an eye-opening experience for those not aware of the process and problems that can arise along the way.

One of the reasons a foreclosure may not be as good of a deal as it appears to be on paper is that distressed home sellers may have more debt than just their home mortgage. They may have a lien or loans against their property, which the bank could factor into the sale price. Another issue could be the amount of work and repair needed on a home, if the sellers had stopped maintaining it. A home may sit vacant for months, which could be problematic in a tropical climate such as ours, where hot and humid temperatures can cause serious damage. Foreclosures typically take a lot longer to close on the sale, therefore buyers need to be flexible on their timeframe. Securing property prior to a foreclosure can mean the difference in having a move-in ready home versus a bank-owned home typically stripped of its contents. Buyers need to be aware of these types of concerns when pursuing a foreclosure, but if the price is right and the home is free of these types of issues, buying a foreclosed property can prove to be a very wise purchase.

Establishing a relationship with a knowledgeable Horizon Realty International agent and sharing what you are looking for up front will allow you to get a jumpstart on finding the best property for you. Knowledge of the local real estate market and access to a network of resources are invaluable in finding a great real estate opportunity. More often than not, in our market, the best real estate deals are found prior to a property facing foreclosure. Being aware of new inventory before it hits the market, monitoring shifts in the existing inventory (i.e. price reductions) and the ability to act quickly are all key strategies. A reputable Horizon Realty International agent should be able to offer insight on an ideal opportunity if it arises, as they’ll be in tune with a home’s value and current financial situation, both of which will help to determine the true value of the deal.

Our team of Realtors® is out in the local market every single day, networking with our contacts and working together for our clients so we can best represent their needs. Horizon Realty International has a proven track record and longstanding success to best represent you. Contact your Horizon Realty International agent today to learn more about great deals in the area and how we can help you find your next home, 941-238-0953



5 Things that Will Make Potential Buyers Lose Interest in Your Home

If you are selling your home, then you probably have read all the tips for staging a home. However, you should also evaluate your home for things that could make a potential homebuyer leave your home quickly.

1. Not–so-nice DIY projects.
You may have saved thousands by remodeling the kitchen or adding on an entire new room yourself. However, if a potential homebuyer can walk into your house and know immediately that the work was done by the homeowner and not a professional, he will start seeing dollar signs as to how much it will cost to remodel the kitchen or repair the extra room. If you are not a professional contractor, reconsider any major do-it-yourself home improvement projects before putting your house on the market.

2. Oops! The buyer just fell into the pool.
You may have spent long summer days enjoying your backyard pool, but a pool is not always an asset when selling a house. That’s especially true if the pool takes up most of the backyard or doesn’t have a safety fence. If a buyer steps out into the backyard and almost steps into your pool, you can easily lose that buyer. If you have a large pool and a small backyard, you will have lost many potential homebuyers. This can include those who have small children, plan to have children, have dogs, and those that just don’t want the hassle of keeping up a pool.

3. Maybe hire a house cleaner?
The goal when selling a house is to make buyers feel comfortable and want to stay in your house exploring for as long as possible. The longer potential buyers are in the home, the more likely they are to make an offer. However, if your house is a mess with dirty laundry flung on floors and showers or toilets that have not seen a scrub brush in many weeks, then the potential buyers are going to rush the viewing. They will not feel comfortable looking in every closet or cabinet but instead want to get out as quickly as possible.

4. What’s that terrible smell?
Even the best pets with attentive owners can make mistakes. However, if your cat’s “mistake” involves marking the carpet, then do not try to cover up the smell. Adding scented candles or plug-in air fresheners only make the entire house smell worse. Mixing chemically made rose scents with the powerful scent of cat urine really will not make your house welcoming or help others picture themselves living there. They’ll be too distracted wondering where that smell is coming from. If your pet has damaged any floors or other parts of the house, do not try to mask the smell. Remove and replace the damaged flooring.

5. Wish away the wallpaper.
You may have carefully selected the wallpaper for your favorite room. However, wallpaper is out of fashion and not popular with most homeowners. Like the do-it-yourself project, potential homebuyers see wallpaper and begin calculating how much time and money it will take to remove it. When choosing between two well-liked houses and one has wallpaper and one does not, the house without the wallpaper will often win the buyer’s bid.

Some of these are home features that you just can’t change, such as a large pool. If that’s the case, then have reasonable expectations when selling the home. It may take longer to sell the home or you may have to lower your asking price.

Should I Buy A Home Now?

The Zillow Home Value Index fell 26% since its peak in June 2006. That’s a greater decline than seen in the Depression-era years of 1928 to 1933.
According to, “November marked the 53rd consecutive month of home value declines, with the Zillow Home Value Index (ZHVI) falling 0.8% from October to November, and falling 5.1% year-over-year.”
But the news isn’t all bad. If you’ve gathered around the office water cooler to catch up with colleagues, maybe you’ve noticed a bit of optimism blossoming. It’s not just a feeling, it’s real. According to Zillow Research, the economy is improving. The improvement is expected to gradually increase “household formation and consumer confidence”. But the housing market may still face greater declines due to “excess inventory of homes, high negative equity and foreclosure rates, and weakened demand due to elevated unemployment,” reported
However, if you’ve been watching, waiting, and wondering, when to buy …. now’s the time to take note. While no one has a crystal ball to predict what will happen with the housing market, some experts are reporting that an uptrend will occur later this year. They’re basing their beliefs on the job market (some predictions indicate it will improve half-way through this year), and “Homebuilder exchange traded funds are above their 200-day moving averages,” according to
If all these things have you confused, a simple way to look at real estate is to understand your specific needs, wants, and long-term goals. Do you need a place to live? Are you planning to stay in your home for at least a couple of years? (Most buyers live in their home on average seven years). Does owning your home matter? Have you saved money for a down payment?
Answering these questions will help point you in the right direction. Assuming that buying a home is the best scenario for you, how can you rest easy that you’re getting the best price? Ah, the $64-million question. You can’t.
Timing the market is like trying to win the lottery. There is no absolute way to know when it’s the bottom of the real estate market. That’s why you must know your specific needs, wants, and long-term goals.
If your needs include a home to live in for a lengthy period of time, then homeownership will likely rank higher on your priority list. If building credit, potential of appreciation–yes, there is still appreciation–especially when you buy a sensibly priced home in a good location. However, the appreciation may be slower and not shoot up into the double digits that we saw in some areas.
Consider this, with high inventory, sellers are motivated. You can scoop up a home at a perfect price and you can minimize your potential for low appreciation. If you choose a home that is in the lower-tier of prices (and still within your target price), your home will be less vulnerable in down markets and better situated in up markets because the higher-priced homes help elevate your home’s value.
Homeownership has many benefits including tax deductions, the opportunity to make your own creative changes to your home, and the potential for income if you later rent it out.