Monday, December 23, 2019 / by Kristin Vincelli
CLEARWATER — Last year, Clearwater increased property tax rates for the first time in nearly a decade.This year, city officials announced that decision won't be the start of a trend.
Clearwater budget manager Kayleen Kastel announced a recent City Council meeting that the maximum property tax rate will stay at the current level under the city's proposed 2019-2020 budget: $5.95 per $1,000 of assessed, taxable property value. A homeowner with a house assessed at $250,000 with $50,000 in exemptions would pay $1,190 in city property taxes. Even without a rate change, most homeowners will see higher bills because of increasing property values.
The rate freeze comes amid good financial news for the city. Property values shot up 6.8 percent in 2019, Kastel said, citing figures from the Pinellas County property appraiser. Total property values stand at $11.9 billion, meaning the city has fully recovered from the Great Recession.
The elevated property values mean the city is ...
Sunday, December 15, 2019 / by Kristin Vincelli
A new regulation allows more homeowners with a mortgage to use private flood insurance coverage rather than only the national flood program.
On Jan. 25, federal banking regulators released a final regulation clarifying lender acceptance of private flood insurance. The regulation will soon appear in the Federal Register, and it goes into effect on July 1, 2019.
The new regulation generally requires lenders to accept private flood insurance policies that meet a strict statutory definition. Prior to the announcement, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was the gold-standard for lenders and not all lenders accepted private coverage.
The final regulation implements Section 239 of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 and:
· Adopts the same definition of private flood insurance as the statute; this definition has been a source of confusion, particularly for smaller lenders.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 / by Kristin Vincelli
Would you like to save time and have an edge buying a hot property in Florida?
Although it sounds simple, a pre-approval letter from a bank is the first step, ideally from a lender in Florida, not out of state. Realtors and sellers shy away from out of state banks. It’s common knowledge that they make big promises but lack the understanding of flood insurance and loan requirements in Florida, especially for waterfront condos. When competing against cash offers, you want to prove you are qualified and a pre-approval letter from a Florida lender will give you that edge.
When you contact us, we can supply you with names of reputable lenders who specialize in condo financing. After reviewing your income and tax documents, they can usually approve you within a few days.
If you’re planning to pay cash, you’ll need a page from your bank statement or a "proof of funds" letter from either your bank, CPA, or stockbroker. The statement should include your name, address ...
Thursday, August 1, 2019 / by Kristin Vincelli
In many markets, the outdoor spaces of a home are as important as the indoor spaces. Indeed, in some areas, outdoor spaces function as additional rooms of the home. They provide opulent areas for additional seating, dining, cooking, and entertaining. Find out about how the latest outdoor living trends for luxury properties can add value to your home.
OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES
Whether it’s an open-air terrace, screened lanai, or sheltered by a pergola or cabana, the best outdoor living spaces can feel and function like their indoor counterparts. Consider adding luxurious furniture, the latest electronics, potted plants, and upgraded lighting to be among the elements to create your beautiful outdoor space.
In order to maximize your enjoyment of the space, think about how it can function at different times of the year. Outdoor rugs, a fireplace or firepit, and storage with extra blankets and throws can help you extend your use in the cool evenings of early Spring and la ...
Monday, July 22, 2019 / by Kristin Vincelli
We’re halfway through 2019, so what better time than to look at how some of the market predictions made at the beginning of the year are faring in this month’s Luxury Market Report. While this report seeks to give an overall view of the luxury market and concurs that luxury real estate is firmly entering into a year of changing demand, it is still important to recognize that individual markets must be viewed separately too – certainly one of the most significant observations is that there are many markets in the ‘change’ process and the trends described above are causing a variety of influences that are often in contradiction to current expectations.
PREDICTION #1: GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS WILL NEGATIVELY IMPACT THE MARKET.
FALSE: In late 2018, many were predicting that government regulations along with tax increases, would negatively impact the high-end housing market. However, the reality is that so far in 2019, government r ...