Jan 08, 2016
Sarasota is Sizzling

(SARASOTA, FL) Florida is hot again. And we’re not just talking the weather. Perhaps no region was hit as hard as the Sunshine State by the real estate bust, but the market is coming back in a big way, especially in the Sarasota area. In fact, 2015 will go down as the region’s busiest real estate market ever. Sarasota Magazine reports that “Industry insiders are using phrases like ‘shattering records’ and ‘skyrocketing sales prices’ to describe the frenetic pace of resales and new construction. Homes are selling quicker, construction is strong, buyers are trending younger, and consumer confidence is on the rise. True, prices are still 25% to 30% off the highs of a decade ago, but they are trending upward. Realtors, developers, and sellers are practically giddy. To top it all off, the 9,600-acre The Ranch in the West Villages is making noise again. 18,000 to 25,000 new homes are expected to built there over the next three decades. In December, they broke ground on The Renaissance Neighborhood in the development.

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Jan 06, 2016
Top 10 Trends

(NEW YORK) 2015 wasn’t perfect, but it went a long way toward helping us forget those long years following 2007’s housing bubble burst. The Fiscal Times talked to the industry experts and put together a list of what we should be watching for this year. It’s a mixed bag, but decidedly positive. Here’s what they see coming our way in 2016. Click on the link below to read the reasons behind the top 10 real estate trends: 

1. Home prices will continue to rise…moderately.

2. Interest rates will inch up.

3. First-time buyers will continue to struggle.

4. Credit will get—a little—looser.

5. It will still be cheaper to buy than rent.

6. The suburbs will make a comeback.

7. Buyers will want green and smart homes.

8. Videos will be the new photos.

9. All-cash sales will continue to decrease.

10. New homes will come back big time.

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Jan 04, 2016
The Mogul has Landed

(PALM BEACH, FL) It’s all fun and games until the class clown in your dinner group makes an inappropriate joke in front of the Secret Service. The New York Post reports on their infamous Page Six that “Guests at the Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, Fla., were surprised when they arrived to Sunday dinner to discover metal detectors and Secret Service agents.” Turns out The Donald (code name “Mogul” among agents) and family showed up to enjoy one of the biggest nights of the year at the club’s Grill Room on the Sunday after Christmas. At the packed event, members dine on snow crabs, sushi, lobster and more. That meant everyone attending had to go through metal detectors first. “That’s never happened in all our years there,” one shocked club member told Page Six, adding, “Someone got patted down because he made a comment like, ‘Oh, yeah, I probably shouldn’t have brought that cocaine!’”

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Dec 31, 2015
New year, new luxury threshold

(WASHINGTON, DC) It’s hard enough keeping up with the Joneses. A new definition of luxury home may make that even harder. Take the Washington, D.C. housing market, for instance. According to a piece in The Daily Caller, about 18% of all home sales in the nation’s capital this year were for $1 million or more. When the percentage reaches that high, all of a sudden it’s not so exclusive a club any more. The article quotes a financial analyst at the D.C. Office of Revenue Analysis as saying, “It may be time to set the bar higher in terms of what constitutes luxury. This redefinition would also better align the DC market with other expensive housing markets in the nation where $1 million no longer carries the same cachet and exclusivity that it did ten years ago.” The suggestion is to up the luxury threshold to $1.5 or even $2 million. That would allow buyers to more easily identify the most exclusive neighborhoods. Doesn’t do much for the ego of all those folks living in measly million dollar mansions though.

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Dec 29, 2015
Charity Starts at Home

(SUNSET, SC) The Reserve at Lake Keowee made national headlines this past week for its homage to the Clemson Tigers. The Reserve’s grounds crew laid out a half-size football field featuring a Tiger paw painted with guidance from the same stencil used at Clemson’s stadium. The Reserve is Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney’s home golf club and the Tigers are playing Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Eve. But perhaps more impressive was the announcement this month that The Reserve at Lake Keowee’s Charitable Foundation nearly doubled its charitable contributions in 2015. A record $110,000 was raised to benefit the local community. (The previous high mark was $60,000 in 2014.)

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