Tag Archives: South Florida

New Florida Bill Would Speed Up The Foreclosure Process

TALLAHASSEE — A “faster foreclosures” proposal that sparked consumer outcry and protest last year has resurfaced in a more moderate form, with a new bill filed this week by Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples.

The bill, HB 87, offers a slew of changes to the civil procedures governing foreclosures in Florida, where home repossessions are on the rise again.

Most of the provisions are aimed at speeding up and cleaning up the foreclosure process, which currently takes more 600 days to run its course in Florida.

“We need to make the sure the process is as efficient as possible while at the same time giving the borrower their due process rights,” said Passidomo. “Unfortunately, if you don’t have an income or you can’t afford to pay anything, the property can’t just sit in limbo forever.”

The bill — which proposes strict paperwork requirements for lenders, fast-track foreclosure procedures and a shield against some thorny legal scenarios — comes at a time when banks are beginning to rev up their foreclosure machines again after a two-year lull.

Foreclosure filings in Florida jumped 20 percent in the last year, and the Sunshine State now has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate. And even though the housing market is improving, there are plenty of foreclosures still set to take place in the coming years. One in five mortgages in the state are currently delinquent, and more than half of those have not yet entered the foreclosure process, according to Lender Processing Services.

Lenders spent two years cooling down their home repossession machines after news surfaced in 2010 that bank employees had been rapidly filling out foreclosure paperwork without properly reviewing it. The “robo-signing” scandal led to a landmark $25 billion national settlement between states and five major banks last year, clearing the way for a more streamlined foreclosure process.

But nearly a year after the settlement was announced, foreclosures continue to slog slowly through the court system in Florida.

Passidomo’s bill aims to speed things up. It requires mortgage lenders to certify that they have the correct paperwork proving they have the right to foreclose.

The measure also gives condominium associations the ability to speed up the foreclosure process when a bank is moving too slowly. Condo associations have been forced to shoulder significant maintenance costs while banks carry out foreclosures. Banks have been accused of purposefully slowing down the process in order to limit their costs.

For their part, banks get a bit of a gift in the bill as well. Currently, if a lender forecloses on a home and later is sued for doing so wrongfully, the lender can only be forced to pay monetary damages. That means the homeowner can’t get his or her house back — a proposition that could be especially difficult if the bank has sold the home to an unsuspecting third party. Passidomo’s bill would eliminate that awkward scenario, and free the bank from having to recoup a house it sold to another party after a faulty foreclosure.

Some consumer advocates are already speaking out against the bill. It’s the third attempt by lawmakers in the last three years to push for foreclosure reform — and each has led to consumer outcry, including a march on the state Capitol last year.

“Might be a good time to start contacting your Florida state representatives in the state House and Senate on this issue,” Lisa Epstein, a West Palm Beach foreclosure activist, wrote in an email to her followers. “The more Floridians who oppose this bill and the earlier they oppose it, the better.”

The bill sheds some of the controversial provisions of the 2012 proposal, which passed the Florida House but died in the Senate last year.

A provision that would have allowed for faster foreclosures on homes that appear to be abandoned has been scrapped from the new bill. The “apparently-abandoned property” measure faced backlash from consumer advocates who said people would be thrown out of their homes without proper notice.

The measure includes a provision that consumer activists supported last year to limit banks’ ability to go after homeowners for additional debt after a foreclosure.

Banks currently have five years to pursue a so-called “deficiency judgment” against a homeowner. The bill reduces that time-period to one-year.

“The bill has far more borrower protections than what is current,” said Passidomo.

New Florida Bill Would Speed Up The Foreclosure Process. By Toluse Olorunnipa. 2013, January 04. Retrieved from http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/04/3167640/new-florida-bill-would-speed-up.html#storylink=cpy.

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Shifting Tides Of Panama Real Estate Echo Miami Trends

Miami herald 1
PANAMA CITY, Panama — As a real estate agent shows off a model apartment — white leather sectional, stainless steel appliances, open concept, ocean views — in the 59-story Yacht Club Tower, and touts its fitness center and pool deck designed to mimic a ship floating on the sea, he makes a telling statement:

“We tried to emulate the Miami style in this building.”

Approaching this Central American capital from the air, the first thing a traveler notices is a skyline on steroids — gleaming towers jutting skyward like so many pickets on a fence. There’s even a Trump high-rise here — the sail-shaped 72-story Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower. And it’s not uncommon for those active in Miami real estate and development circles to try their luck in Panama or move back and forth between the markets.

Although Miami is nearly 1,200 miles from Panama City, the real estate markets of the two cities share certain similarities. Both went through booms and overbuilding and then had way too many empty condominiums. Wealthy Latin American buyers were a salvation in both cities when traditional segments of the market fell off.

“Now that things are starting to pick up in the States, they are picking up here too. Now that there’s not as much economic uncertainty in the United States, people feel more confident about Panama too,’’ said Morris Hafeitz, general manger of Emporium Developers. He used to work in Miami as a project manager for Odebrecht, the Brazilian conglomerate
Now Hafeitz is trying to sell Allure at the Park, a 50-story building Emporium developed in Panama City’s Bella Vista neighborhood. The building is chock full of amenities — gym, teenage game room, adult lounge, toddler playroom, pool, squash court and even miniature golf on the roof — but one of its main selling points is that it overlooks a park and two low-rise historic buildings. “In the heart of the city without the hassles of the city,’’ said Hafeitz.

During the boom, many buildings in central Panama City went up practically on top of each other. “In the beginning of the boom there were no regulations on density,’’ said Mauricio Saba, a project manager at Zoom Development in Panama City and another Miami real estate alum. “I have a friend who said he could watch his neighbor’s TV from his balcony.’’ Continue reading

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Miami, Dubai and London Among Top Global Cities Enjoying Double-Digit Price Growth in 2012

According to a new Global Cities Report by London-based real estate consulting firm Knight Frank, fifteen of the 26 cities tracked by the Prime Global Cities Index (58%) recorded flat or positive price growth in the year to September, but over the last quarter 20 of the 26 cities (77%) have seen flat or positive growth – indicating an improving scenario.

The index now stands 18.7% above its financial crisis low in Q2 2009 with Hong Kong, London and Beijing having been the strongest performers over this period, recording price growth of 52.9%, 45.4% and 39.5% respectively.

Five cities recorded double-digit price growth in the year to September; Jakarta, Dubai, Miami, Nairobi and London – a city from each of the five key world regions.

Knight Frank Global Cities Report Highlights for Q3, 2012

  • The index rose by 1.1% in the three months to September, down from 1.4% last quarter
  • Prime prices across the 26 cities tracked by the index increased by 3% in the 12 months to September
  • Cities in Europe remain the weakest performers, recording a fall of 0.5% on average in the last 12 months
  • Jakarta (up 28.5%) was the strongest performer in the year to September
  • Economic uncertainty together with few strong-performing alternative asset classes is strengthening demand for luxury bricks and mortar

Although Asia heads the pack – Jakarta recorded 28.5% annual growth – the results this quarter suggest that demand for luxury homes is only loosely linked to the strength of regional economies (Asia Pacific has only two cities in the top ten compared to Europe’s three). Instead, the flow of international wealth and the attitudes of HNWIs are increasingly influential.

Cities such as Dubai, Miami, Nairobi and London are increasingly considered investment hubs for HNWIs in their wider regions. In the wake of the Arab Spring, Dubai has been seen as a relative safe haven for MENA buyers while Venezuelan and Brazilian investors have looked to Miami to limit their exposure to domestic political and economic volatility.

Not all prime residential markets are benefitting from the global economic uncertainty. In Paris, although prices held firm in the third quarter, sales activity was muted as buyers of all nationalities adopted a “wait and see” attitude. Vendors are unwilling to reduce prices until there is greater clarity from President Hollande and the Eurozone leaders in relation to the debt crisis.

Asia’s prime markets look to be entering a period of more moderate growth due in part to the regulatory measures aimed at cooling prices and improving domestic affordability.

James Price of Knight Frank’s International Residential Development team tells World Property Channel, “Aside from London, it would appear the other strong performers are either those established international markets that experienced a lull but are now ‘kicking on’ again (e.g. Miami, Dubai) or those that could be described as second tier international cities – strong established markets, but not global ‘gateway’ cities (e.g. Zurich, Vienna, San Francisco), where interest has driven price rises from a lower base.”

James continues, “While some of the more traditional prime second-home markets are recording negative movement, this should not disguise their long-term popularity and strength, instead it suggests a cooling from previous higher levels.”

Teresa King Kinney, CEO of the Miami Association of Realtors commented, “Miami is a truly global city that has experienced the positive impact of international buyers and investors unlike any other.  Miami’s global appeal resulted in a rapid and strong recovery that yielded an all-time sales record in 2011 and extraordinary inventory absorption.  Such demand has fueled more than 10 months of consecutive double-digit price appreciation in the Miami residential real estate market.  More importantly, Miami’s position as a leading global market will continue to generate demand from both U.S. and foreign buyers long into the future, adding great value to our city, our market, and our properties.”



Miami, Dubai and London Among Top Global Cities Enjoying Double-Digit Price Growth in 2012. 2 Nov 2012, Posted by Michael Gerrity, Retrieved from http://www.worldpropertychannel.com/north-america-residential-news/prime-global-cities-index-knight-frank-global-real-estate-report-best-global-property-markets-miami-real-estate-market-dubai-property-market-london-luxury-housing-market-hnwi-6248.php.

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Families Unite to Play Real-Estate Market

A growing player in the real-estate market is the so-called family office, in which an ultra-high-net-worth family joins with another wealthy family to buy investment property.

In life, two families can be joined by marriage. In real estate, two families can be joined to make money.

A growing player in the real-estate market is the so-called family office, in which an ultra-high-net-worth family — typically with more than $100 million in assets — joins with another wealthy family to buy investment property.

Despite having ample cash, these families are looking for partnerships in order to lessen their exposure to risk: If real-estate values were to tank, for instance, losses would be spread out over at least two parties, rather than one family incurring the entire hit. Some families are also concerned about future returns on equities and are investing more cash in tangible assets.

“It’s really in the last 18 months that I’ve seen families articulate this and some of them act out on it,” says Charlie Grace, a senior consultant for the Family Office Exchange, a membership, research and consulting organization for family offices and their advisers.

Globally, 82% of family offices that invest in real estate purchase actual properties, rather than solely investing in real-estate funds, according to Preqin, an alternative-asset data provider. That is slightly up from a year ago. Numbers are scarce for joint ventures, though Regis Metro Associates, a national real-estate investment and advisory firm for family offices, projects that hundreds of these deals will be signed through early next year. Continue reading

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Florida 15-year-old buys second house.

The fame from her first purchase may land her a reality show. In the meantime, she hopes to buy 10 investment homes by the time she’s 18.

Remember that Florida 14-year-old who bought a foreclosed home for $13,000 back in March?

Now 15, Willow Tufano has closed on a second property and set a goal for herself of owning 10 homes by the time she is 18 and legally old enough to take title.

Not only that, but she also has put together a “sizzle reel” and may end up the subject of a reality show.

Willow buys the homes in partnership with her mother, Shannon Moore, who runs a real-estate brokerage with Willow’s grandmother, Roxanne Moore. Willow developed her interest in real estate from looking at property with her mother and raised the money to buy her investment homes by selling stuff she salvaged from foreclosed homes.

Willow’s second property cost $17,500 and is in Port Charlotte, Fla., where she bought her first home. It was a short sale for which they submitted an offer last spring.

Since the story of the teen real-estate would-be mogul hit the news circuits last March, Willow’s life has changed dramatically. She was interviewed by National Public Radio and ABC News and appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” DeGeneres gave her $10,000 to spend at Ace Hardware and a new dryer. Willow was also invited to speak to 200 people at a college in Alabama.

If you’d like to see how she fixed up the first house she bought, The Huffington Post has a before-and-after slide show.

Willow has already learned a little about the realities of being a landlord: According to NPR, her first tenants skipped out in the middle of the night without paying their rent.

Willow likes the idea of a reality show, but notes that it will include her mother, her grandmother and her younger sister, Iris, all of whom have worked with her on her homes.

“I don’t want to be fake,” Willow, who attends an online high school, told NPR. “I’m going to be one of those people that loves their fans. If I have any.” Continue reading

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Top Miami Real Estate Broker Leading the South Beach Real Estate Recovery

Howard Chase Real Estate, LLC a luxury real estate brokerage in South Beach reports another Continuum South Beach townhouse sale, its third since last year.

Howard Chase Real Estate a luxury real estate brokerage in South Beach reports another Continuum South Beach townhouse sale, its third since last year. TH-2, a 2,544 sq ft oceanfront unit replete with a private rooftop deck sold for a whopping $2.9 million and was under contract after just 1 day on the market. This sale comes on the heels of the sales of TH-13 and TH-15 for $1.5 and $1.425 respectively. Howard Chase Real Estate re-listed TH-15 for $2.75M earlier this month.

Broker Howard Chase remarks, “The market in the highly revered South of 5th Street neighborhood in South Beach is ripe for sellers. I can say with confidence, our market is back and as strong as ever.” Chase goes on to say, “My clients are flipping again, the market is on fire.” These sales accompany another monster Continuum sale closed by Howard Chase Real Estate, the combined units 1106 and 1107 that sold for $5.2M at the end of 2011. A New York buyer, who saw the opportunity recommended by Howard Chase Real Estate, capitalized on the South Beach luxury market recovery and purchased the combined units. Chase sees the entirety of the market growing as well, not just South of 5th.

HCRE also represented the buyer on the sale of 5763 North Bay Road, a highly coveted neighborhood in which you can find the homes of Alex Rodriguez, Jennifer Lopez and recent addition Chris Bosh of the 2012 NBA champions, the Miami Heat. The sale was recorded for $2.55M, more than 20% higher than the last sale of the same property at the end of 2009. The luxury real estate market continues to lead the South Florida recovery, and it does not appear to be slowing down as we head into the busy winter real estate season in Miami.

About Howard Chase Real Estate

Combining knowledge with dedication, Howard Chase Real Estate provides the finest in Miami and Miami Beach real estate services. Sales, rentals and property management, both residential and commercial, highlight the brokerage in the areas of Miami, Downtown Miami, Miami Beach, South Beach, South of Fifth Street, Palm Island, Hibiscus Island, Star Island, Lincoln Road area, Mid-beach, Millionaires Row, Surfside, Bal Harbour, Sunny Isles, North Bay Village, Bay Harbor Islands, Aventura, Sunset Islands, La Gorce, Allison Island, Pinetree Drive, The Venetian Causeway, The Venetian Islands, Fisher Island, Key Biscayne, The Central Business District, The Upper Eastside, The Biscayne Corridor, Brickell, Mary Brickell Village, South Miami, Coconut Grove and Coral Gables.

For more information please contact HCRE at 305-532-7470 or visit us at http://www.howardchaserealestate.com.


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P: 305 532-7470
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Address: 1354 Washington Avenue Suite #220
Miami Beach, FL 33139

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