Fannie Mae Extends It’s Buyer’s Incentives

Straight from Fannie Mae’s HomePath website:

Fannie Mae is currently offering buyers up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance through October 31, 2011. A $1,200 selling agent bonus is also available to selling agents who close on an owner occupant property and meet all eligibility requirements and terms and conditions.

Terms and Conditions:Buyers and/or selling agents (the agent representing the buyer) must request the incentive upon submission of initial offer.

Initial offer must be submitted on or after June 14, 2011 and close by October 31, 2011. Initial offers made prior to June 14 are not eligible for the June 14 – October 31 incentive.

Sale must close on or before October 31, 2011. No exceptions will be made to this deadline. (Note: Initial offers submitted after September 15, 2011 may not close by the incentive deadline of October 31, 2011.)

Buyers must be purchasing a HomePath property to use as their primary residence to receive closing cost assistance. Second homes and investment properties are excluded from the incentive.

Sales closed via the retail channel are eligible, including those utilizing public funds. Pool and auction sales are ineligible.

Buyers must sign the Owner Occupant Certification Rider to the Real Estate Purchase Addendum.

Buyers with total closing costs under 3.5% are not eligible to receive the difference as a credit.

Properties where Fannie Mae acquired the property in connection with financing under a reverse mortgage are not eligible. Ask the listing agent for details.

Buyers should consult their lenders for guidance on financing. Lenders and mortgage products may impose their own limitations on the use of the 3.5% incentive. For example, the lender may consider the incentive a Seller Contribution and limit the amount to 3.0%. In those instances, the remaining 0.5% will no longer be available to the buyer.

Fannie Mae reserves the right to remove any property from promotion or end the promotion at any time. Any dispute over the payment of the incentive shall be resolved by Fannie Mae in its sole discretion.

 If you are interested in receiving updates and lists of Home Path properties, please give me a call at 941.807.5950 or email me at

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2011 Hurricane Season is Here

Are you ready?  Here is the supply list that the National Hurricane Center publishes:

Check boxWater – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

Check boxFood – at least enough for 3 to 7 days
— non-perishable packaged or canned food / juices
— foods for infants or the elderly
— snack foods
— non-electric can opener
— cooking tools / fuel
— paper plates / plastic utensils

Check boxBlankets / Pillows, etc.

Check boxClothing – seasonal / rain gear/ sturdy shoes

Check boxFirst Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

Check boxSpecial Items – for babies and the elderly

Check boxToiletries / Hygiene items / Moisture wipes

Check boxFlashlight / Batteries

Check boxRadio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio

Check boxTelephones – Fully charged cell phone with extra battery and a traditional (not cordless) telephone set

Check boxCash (with some small bills) and Credit Cards – Banks and ATMs may not be available for extended periods

Check boxKeys

Check boxToys, Books and Games

Check boxImportant documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag
— insurance, medical records, bank account numbers, Social Security card, etc.

Check boxTools – keep a set with you during the storm

Check boxVehicle fuel tanks filled

Check boxPet care items
— proper identification / immunization records / medications
— ample supply of food and water
— a carrier or cage
— muzzle and leash


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Buying a Foreclosure?

So, you’re thinking of buying a foreclosure.  Here are some title issues you need to make sure are covered/cleared before you close:

  1. IRS Lien:  Make sure if there was a lien from the IRS that it has been released – they have up to 120 days from the date the final judgement in foreclosure was entered to redeem a property.
  2. Quitclaim Deeds:  If a lender uses this method of conveyance after foreclosing on the previous owner, this could create problems with the title, which creates problems if financing as the new lenders require a lender title policy.
  3. Junior Lien Holder:  Make sure all lenders (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) have been satisfied through the foreclosure.  If not, it could be costly if you have to go through the re-foreclosure process.
  4. Tax Deed Holder:  Did someone purchase a tax certificate on the property?
  5. Vacant Property:  Check for easements – there may not be room to build the home of your dreams!
  6. Existing Buildings:  Has the home had some recent building upgrades, i.e. room additions, new roof, etc.? Check for proper building permits for that work.  If no permits were pulled, it could be costly getting the local governments approval “after the fact.”
  7. Insurable Access:  Has the property been platted or properly subdivided? Just because there is a road to the property, it doesn’t always mean you have legal access to use it.
  8. Improper Lender Named:  Loans are sold so often, make sure the current lender was the one listed in the foreclosure suit.
  9. Code Enforcement Liens:  Did the previous owner incur liens for not mowing their lawn or some other code enforcement item? This type of lien usually survives a foreclosure suit and must be paid by someone.
  10. Unpaid Municipal Liens:  Some liens for unpaid utilities are not required to be recorded – Municipal Lien searches are becoming more common practice.

10 good reasons to have an experienced REALTOR® and real estate attorney helping you with your transaction!

(SOURCE:  Article written by Tyra N. Read for the FloridaRealtor® Magazine)

Looking to buy a foreclosure (a/k/a REO or Bank Owned)? As of this writing, there are 193 REO properties in Sarasota County listed in the MLS – here is a link for you to view them:  Current Bank Owned Listings

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Inventory Low and Sales Are Up

The number of available properties in the Sarasota real estate market dropped to a six-year low in February 2011, and sales were up 24.2 percent from the previous month. Median sales prices for both single and condominiums dropped as bargain hunters continued to grab foreclosures and short sales, which represented almost 47 percent of all sales.

Compared to this time last year, sales were up 27 percent to 673 total sales, from February 2010’s total of 528 sale. There were 472 closings on single family homes and 201 closings on condos last month by members of the Sarasota MLS.


In addition to the positive sales figures, pending sales also registered above the 1,000 level in February, with 1,023 total properties going under contract last month. In January 2011, 1,013 properties went under contract. This statistic is a strong indicator for the next two or three months of sales, as pending sales reflect current buyer activity.

Last February, pending sales reached 967. But that figure was pushed upward by the approaching April 2010 deadline for the homebuyer tax credits. This year’s upward trend is being fueled by buyers of all sorts – investors, second-home buyers, and those who realize that today’s lower home prices coupled with low interest rates present buyers an opportunity not seen in years. 


Lower median sales prices, which dropped slightly for single family homes (to $137,500 from $138,700) and condos (also to $137,500 from $142,500), were the only cloud. The decreases were likely associated with the continued price pressure of distressed property sales. Normal arm’s length sales still average nearly three times the price of distressed properties in the Sarasota market.

On the positive side, the drop to the lowest inventory level in six years (5,864) could mean upward pressure on sales prices moving forward, according to SAR President Michael Bruno.

 “Traditionally and historically, fewer properties on the real estate market usually causes price appreciation,” explained Bruno. “It’s simply a matter of supply and demand.  If there are more buyers competing for a smaller number of properties, selling prices are usually driven up. Hopefully, we’ll soon see a return to the traditional local appreciation levels of between 5 and 7 percent annually. That would represent a very healthy market.”

The higher sales totals combined with the lower inventory caused a sharp drop in the months of inventory to 8.0 months from 10.2 months in January 2011 for single family homes, and to 10.4 months from 14.1 months for condos. Only two years ago, in January 2009, there were 25.3 months of inventory for single family homes and 38.4 months of condo inventory. The market is considered to be in equilibrium between a buyers and sellers market once the figure reaches the 6 month level.


The median price for the last 12 months stands at $160,000 for both single family homes and for condominiums. The single family figure was exactly the same as a year ago, while the condo figure dropped from last year’s figure of $185,000.

Source:  Sarasota Association of Realtors

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South Gate Subdivision Market Update

Here is the market update for the South Gate Subdivision for the past 30 days. There are some great deals in this neighborhood and I am busy trying to preview them all for you!  Please give me a call if you’d like to see any of them or interested in selling your South Gate home!

Active and Pending

Address Bedrooms Baths Sq. Ft. List Date List Price Status
2815 Rosewood Pl. 3 2 1,342 09/21/10 $119,000 Active
2511 Botany Ave. 3 2 1,623 09/10/10 $129,000 Active
3011 Bougainvillea St. 3 2 1,353 09/20/10 $129,500 Active
2404 Hibiscus St. 2 2 1,271 09/28/10 $139,500 Active
2490 Hibiscus St. 3 2 1,466 09/14/10 $149,900 Active
2903 Homassassa Rd. 3 2 1,553 09/22/10 $224,900 Active
2465 Foster Ln. 3 3 1,973 08/30/10 $275,000 Active
2812 Woodcrest Dr. 3 2 1,946 09/07/10 $  82,000 Pending
2504 Fruit Tree Dr. 3 2 1,200 01/19/10 $  84,900 Pending
3035 Bougainvillea St. 2 2 1,089 09/18/10 $  89,900 Pending
3246 Elmore Pl. 2 2 1,144 09/23/10 $99,900 Pending
2706 Grove St. 2 2 1,287 05/18/10 $149,900 Pending
2735 Hibiscus St. 3 2 1,586 09/03/10 $179,900 Pending



Address Bedrooms Baths Sq. Ft. Sale Date Sales Price
2415 Foster Ln. 3 2 1,546 09/23/10 $110,000
2124 Alpine Ave. 3 3 1,593 08/27/10 $123,500
2848 Pinecrest St. 2 1.5 1,168 08/27/10 $125,000
2711 Sunnyside St. 3 3 2,067 09/23/10 $141,300
2240 Valencia Dr. 3 2 1,372 09/17/10 $160,000
2623 Bougainvillea St. 3 2.5 1,937 09/07/10 $165,000
3310 Mineola Dr. 3 2 1,818 08/27/10 $276,000

Information obtained from MLS • This is not intended to solicit properties already listed.

Reneé Marquiss, REALTOR®
Xena Vallone Realty, Inc.

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Filed under Market Update, Sarasota, South Gate Subdivision, Subdivisions

Search for a home like a Realtor®

With a free (but by invitation only) LISTINGBOOK ACCOUNT you will have access to the same MLS information that a Realtor® has for finding your dream home in Sarasota, Manatee or Charlotte Counties, or, if you are a seller, staying on top of the competition. LISTINGBOOK gives you the most detail you will find anywhere.

LISTINGBOOK not only gives you current, up to the minute results, but it gives them to you on your own time, at your convenience.  You can identify your favorite properties, leave a note for me (your agent I hope!) and schedule a showing – all with a few clicks of your mouse. 

If you change your mind and want to change your search parameters, it’s easy to do…you can adjust your criteria at any time, without waiting for me to do it for you. You can be notified immediately of prices increases, sold properties or pending contracts…in other words, you will be searching much like an agent searches.

So, tired of checking multiple websites only to find one of your favorites is really already sold and the website hasn’t updated the information (LISTINGBOOK is updated every 30 minutes)

So, want to get your own, absolutely free, absolutely no pesky salesperson will call LISTINGBOOK  account and start searching for your new home? Send me an email (see my signature line) and I will get you set up ASAP.

Reneé Marquiss, SFR
Xena Vallone Realty, Inc.
Licensed Real Estate Associate

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Fall in Sarasota, Florida

So I have seen posts on facebook about how my friends and family “up north” are looking forward to the cooler weather, pumpkins, apple cider, hay rides, etc. – all this while I’m sitting on my lanai under a fan with temps in the low 90’s.  How Floridians know that fall is in the air is our humidity goes waaaaaaay down – which we have experienced for a few days now.  The past couple of mornings I haven’t even needed the fan on the lanai!  How cool is that 🙂

As a Realtor® I get a lot of emails from many different sources and lately those emails have been filled with “preparing your home for fall” and I was curious to see what the difference was in preparing for fall in Florida – so here goes:

1.  Prepare the lawn for falling temperatures:
Seed and Fertilize – check
Mulch – check
Plant spring bulbs – check
Bring container plants in – not so much

2.  Patio furniture:
Clean – always a good thing year round
Cover and store – not so much (well unless there is a hurricane near by!) Floridians can now sit outside at night and not get heatstroke!

3.  In the garage:
Store beach and camping gear in the back of the garage to make room for leaf blowers and snow blowers – store beach gear???  That’s sacreligious!

4.  In the entryway:
Carve out a space near the entryway for those coats – coat? what’s that 🙂 Floridians dig out their hoodies because if the temp goes below 70 degrees we’re cold!

So, how do YOU prepare for fall? 

Siesta Beach

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