Estate Planning: How Florida Law Differs From Other States

Estate planning laws vary by state and Florida legal experts say that if you relocate, you definitely have to look at the law of the state you are in to see if your Florida will is still valid. At the same time, if moving into Florida from out of state, you need to have your will analyzed under the laws of Florida to make sure that it’s still valid. What’s valid in Florida?
To answer that question, we asked Sarah E. Peart, an attorney from Tampa Florida whose practice focuses mainly in the areas of wills, trusts, estate planning and real estate law. Here’s what she told us:
The general law in Florida is that a will is valid in Florida if it is valid in the state in which it was executed. There are some exceptions, however, so you should always have the will (or other estate planning documents) reviewed. For example, holographic wills are never accepted in Florida. A holographic will is basically a handwritten will. Oral wills are not accepted in Florida either.

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Best Naples Golf Courses – Top 5 Golf Courses in Naples, Florida

When it comes to finding the perfect destination for a relaxing vacation for the whole family, Naples has it. With delightful weather year-round, beautiful beaches, and activities for everyone, no wonder why so many Florida visitors make Naples their home base for their ultimate golf getaway.
Naples landscaping provides the perfect environment for unique and challenging golf courses for every golfing level. In fact, Naples has the most golf courses in the United States and some of the best in the world. Including golf courses that host golf tournaments including the PGA (Chubb Classic) and LPGA (CME Group Tour Championship). So without further delay here are some of the best golf courses in Naples! Read more

Where to Retire? WalletHub Ranks Florida No. 1

To determine the best state for retirement, WalletHub weighed 45 variables, such as affordability, quality of life and healthcare – and Fla. was, and is, No. 1.

ORLANDO, Fla. – For many people, a Florida retirement means warm year-round weather and no shoveling snow. But retirement living is a big decision. It’s not paradise if you run out of money. A state with good healthcare might have a high cost of living and high taxes. A state with affordable housing may have limited access to hospitals.

To determine which U.S. state was best overall for retirees, WalletHub weighed 45 variables, including affordability, quality of life and healthcare. Florida wasn’t the No. 1 state in many categories, but the study determined that Florida, overall, was the No. 1 U.S. state for retirees considering a move.

According to WalletHub, cost is a major concern for many retirees, and “Even in the most affordable areas of the U.S., most retirees cannot rely on Social Security or pension checks alone to cover all of their living expenses.”

But safety and healthcare also weigh heavily in relocation decisions.

WalletHub’s advice: “If retirement is still a big question mark for you because of finances, consider relocating to a state that lets you keep more money in your pocket without requiring a drastic lifestyle change.”

To determine the best places to retire, WalletHub compared the 50 U.S. states based on those 45 key indicators and came up with a score for retirement-friendliness.

In the analysis, No. 1 Florida had a total score of 61.09 compared to second-place Colorado. For affordability, Florida ranked fourth; for quality of life it ranked sixth; for healthcare, it raked 28th.

Colorado had a 60.94 overall score, but it ranked 13th in affordability and 16th in quality of life. It beat Florida only under healthcare at fifth.

New York and New Jersey hugged the bottom positions, with scores of 41.86 and 37.41, respectively. New York ranked 49th in affordability, 17th in quality of life, and 27th in healthcare. No. 50 New Jersey ranked 50th in affordability, 35th in quality of life, and 33rd in healthcare.

Source: WalletHub

BE IN THE KNOW – Should I Renovate My Home Before I Sell It?

Some Highlights
  • In today’s hyper-competitive market, buyers are often willing to overlook cosmetic or minor repair needs if it means snagging a home in their price range.
  • With so few houses available for sale today, you may be able to skip the bigger renovations before you sell and cash in on the current demand for your house.
  • Homes that are renovated to a high quality, better than average level and in neutral colors do command a lot of demand and quicker offer, but it may not always make sense to do the renovation and expect to recoup all of your cost or make a big profit.
  • If you renovate it might not be to the taste of the next buyers, for example flooring, kitchen cabinets, etc. Someone may love the home but have different tastes in colors and finishes than what you chose.
  • Some people do not want to buy a home that requires to many major renovations – like kitchens and full baths and flooring. So a renovated home is much more appealing to them than one that needs work. Others don’t mind doing home improvements.
  • It depends on your cost basis and market for your home if renovated. But as the graphs above show, in todays hot market it may be better to just sell your home and skip the headache of the renovations, and cash in on the demand for your house.
  • If you’re ready to move, let’s connect to determine your best next steps in this sellers’ market.

Existing-Home Sales Rise 0.7% in December, Annual Sales See Highest Level Since 2006

WASHINGTON (January 22, 2021) – Existing-home sales rose in December, with home sales in 2020 reaching their highest level since 2006, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Activity in the major regions was mixed on a month-over-month basis, but each of the four areas recorded double-digit year-over-year growth in December.

December 2020 Existing-Home Sales

Total existing-home sales,1 https://www.nar.realtor/existing-home-sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 0.7% from November to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million in December. Sales in total rose year-over-year, up 22.2% from a year ago (5.53 million in December 2019).

“Home sales rose in December, and for 2020 as a whole, we saw sales perform at their highest levels since 2006, despite the pandemic,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “What’s even better is that this momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market.”

Yun predicts a continuation of the strong activity that’s currently taking place in the housing market and in the overall economy.

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Here are some tips for Test-Driving and Learning about a Neighborhood without leaving your home

Viewing and Purchasing Your Home Virtually

In a year when we’re learning to do so much remotely, homebuying is no exception. From going to work to attending school, grocery shopping, and even seeing our doctors online, digital practices have changed the way we live.

This year, rather than delaying their home purchases, buyers – alongside their trusted real estate professionals – turned to the Internet to do more than just a typical home search. In some cases, they bought homes without even stepping foot inside. Jessica Lautz, Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights at the National Association of Realtors (NAR), says:

“People really didn’t buy houses sight-unseen, traditionally. It’s still not a huge number, but it has gone up, and we have definitely seen that trend accelerate.”

According to NAR, throughout the coronavirus pandemic, one in every 20 homebuyers purchased a house sight-unseen.  That’s actually a high percentage!

 

Digital Home Search Preferences y NAR 2020 Home Buyers Survey

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Real Estate Is a Driving Force in the Economy

Housing Market is Playing Leading Role in the Turnaround

As the economy recovers from this year’s health crisis, the housing market is playing a leading role in the turnaround. It’s safe to say that what we call “home” is taking on a new meaning, causing many of us to consider buying or selling sooner rather than later. Housing, therefore, has thrived in an otherwise down year.

Today’s high buyer demand combined with low housing inventory means we’re seeing home prices appreciate at an above-average pace. This demand is being driven by those who want to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates. According to Freddie Mac:

“The record low mortgage rate environment is providing tangible support to the economy at a critical time, as housing continues to propel growth.”

These factors are driving a positive impact on the economy as a whole. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the real estate industry provided $3.7 billion dollars of economic impact to the country last year. To break it down, in 2019, the average newly constructed home contributed just over $88,000 per build to local economies. Across the country, real estate clearly makes a significant impact.

In addition, last week, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced the U.S. Gross Domestic Product increased at an annual rate of 33.1% in the 3rd quarter of this year, after decreasing by 31.4% in the second quarter. There’s no doubt the growing economy is being fueled in part by the soaring housing market. Experts forecast this housing growth to carry into 2021, continuing to make a big impact on the economy next year as well.

Bottom Line

The American Dream of homeownership has continued to thrive in the midst of this year’s economic downturn, and “home” has taken on a new meaning for many of us during this time.  Best of all, the housing market is making a significant impact as the economy recovers.

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Real Estate listings

Four Ways That You Can Advertise Listings As a Realtor

There is an opportunity to sell real estate right now, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic stress that has come with it. Millennials in particular remain interested in real estate for sale; in fact, 96% of millennial investors report real interest in investing in real estate, in contrast to Boomer investors at 83%. But the fact is that you probably aren’t the only person making these considerations. Others also want to sell to those millennial investors, and that means that you need to do something to stand out. If you’re a qualified realtor, you know that under normal circumstances you would probably be hosting an open house and having groups of people see the property in person. But that simply isn’t an option right now, which means that you might need to think outside the box. With that being said, there are some key steps that you can make to improve your real estate listings and ensure that people notice them.

1. Use Social Media

Social media is key to invigorating real estate listings, especially in an era in which a lot of people want to begin their hunts online. Even before the pandemic, people liked looking on social media for listings, and that practice has only increased. Now, there are social media groups, especially on Facebook, for realtors who can easily share their listings for people actively seeking out properties. But there are also neighborhood and community groups that you should become a part of. While some have rules against promotion of any kind, others welcome advertisements from local professionals, which of course is what you will be. Someone may be looking for a property, or know someone looking for a property, and stumble upon your listing without even actively searching for it. You have no idea how much traffic social media can pull; and for that matter, a lot of it is completely free. Oftentimes an initial post or listings costs nothing, though you can often pay fees to further promote it.

2. Offer Virtual Tours

Right now, everyone is afraid of catching the coronavirus, and therefore we’re all more careful about going out in public than we were mere months ago. Advertising that you’re offering virtual tours can really take down a lot of boundaries for people. For that matter, many who would generally dismiss a listing outright may feel that they might as well check out a virtual listing. What begins as a casual look at real estate listings could very well lead to a sale down the road. And again, the input for you as a realtor is relatively low. All you really need to do is film a video of a property and post it on Youtube or another video streaming site. Of course, some buyers may be interested in a live virtual tour; but thanks to video technology, this is fairly easily as well. Think about offering this on your listings; it could make a major difference.

3. Hire A Professional Photographer

Again, now more than ever, it’s important that real estate listings are shown off to their best possible advantages. Therefore, you as a realtor should seriously consider hiring a professional photographer who knows everything about staging and lighting a listing properly. While you may fancy yourself a good photographer, you should very much consider that a professional photographer has the experience necessary to make a difference and create not only interior appeal, but curb appeal as well. Yes, this requires some financial investment from you, but that investment could very well pay off in the long term.

4. Use Email Lists

There are so many ways through which realtors can collect emails. Once you have those emails, you need to let the people who have those emails know about your current listings. Take advantage of email lists and periodically send mass emails about your listings. Now, don’t overdo it; you need to make sure that people don’t feel so overwhelmed that they unsubscribe from your list. But this can be a greatly effective way to reach a lot of people at once.

It’s difficult to be a real estate agent today; but with a few tricks, you can still reach the right buyers at the right time.

What is a Real Estate MLS Search?

 

If you are searching for waterfront homes for sale, your real estate agent may have said they were going to perform a real estate MLS search. That may have left you wondering exactly what a real estate MLS search is.

If your realtor is performing a real estate MLS search, they are doing everything that they can to help you find the perfect property. The MLS system is not a new-fangled way to search for the property, but it is one of the most reliable ways to find property for sale. Unlike online listings available to anyone, it can only be accessed by a real estate professional.

Investors and Home Buyers Use the MLS Through Their Agents

Your agent may have a wealth of real estate knowledge and may be at the top of their field. It’s likely they have gotten where they are by using the MLS. Investors know the value of this system. About 89% of investors will reinvest in real estate — and the MLS will very likely be a part of that transaction.

The MLS is a very important part of the real estate trade. Understanding what it is and how it can be beneficial will help you to make your mark in real estate.

What Does MLS Mean?

The acronym “MLS” stands for Multiple Listing Service. The term dates back as far as 1907. Realtors would meet at conferences, meetings, and conventions and share property information about properties that were being listed for sale. The MLS was formed as a way for realtors to share information with each other.

Today, the MLS is still being used to share information among realtors about properties being sold. For example, the Naples real estate MLS will have listings of properties being sold in Naples, FL. There are some cases that a property owner prefers not to market their home in any way other than through this MLS. The only way you can find some exclusive property listings is to do a real estate MLS search.

How Does a Real Estate MLS Search Work?

Realtors will place real estate listings on the MLS system that is shared with all real estate agents. The listings will include details like the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, size of the home and the property, and location.

When an agent does a real estate property search using the MLS, they can narrow down the search by typing in search parameters. For example, if you are searching for a four-bedroom waterfront house in Naples, then those would be the search parameters used to find the ideal home.

Can I Use the MLS to Search for Property?

The MLS is used strictly by real estate professionals and does not include public access options. Connecting with a trusted real estate agent will help you find the real estate for sale that fits your budget and your needs using the MLS.

Interested in learning more about exclusive properties accessible through a real estate MLS search? Contact us today for additional information.

McCarty Market Report Quarter 2, 2020