In The News

Starting in 2020, No More VA Loan-Limit Caps

Fri, 6 Dec 19 14:12:43 +0500

Veterans may be eligible to buy larger homes in pricier communities – still without any down payment – after Jan. 1, 2020.


Q&A: Can Members Vote to Tell Condo Board What to Do?

Fri, 6 Dec 19 14:12:18 +0500

The board likes a landscaper; the residents do not. Is there a way to force action? Also: Can board members choose not to replace directors who leave?  


What Does Flood Insurance ‘Substantial Damage’ Mean?

Fri, 6 Dec 19 14:12:21 +0500

If a flood causes “substantial damage,” the cost of repairs is 50% or more of the property’s market value and a rebuild must follow local NFIP flood standards.


5 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle by Year-End

Fri, 6 Dec 19 12:12:45 +0500

A task without a deadline is just wishful thinking, and year-end is a good time to make sure loved ones wouldn’t face a financial mess if you died unexpectedly.  


Photos Are Intellectual Property But ‘Stolen’ All the Time

Fri, 6 Dec 19 12:12:44 +0500

Many Realtors consider photographs “part of the listing data” that they can re-use – but they’re not. Photos enjoy copyright protection just like written articles, and more Realtors and photo companies are pursuing their rights and even filing lawsuits for photo misuse.


‘Nightmare Neighbors’ Shift Owners’ Housing Priorities

Thu, 5 Dec 19 14:12:18 +0500

Some buyers who have experienced the stress of living next door to bad neighbors can consider good ones more important than granite countertops or good schools.


In Older Houses, a Trove of Lead Risks

Thu, 5 Dec 19 14:12:32 +0500

The EPA assumes that all homes built before a 1978 lead-paint ban contain the toxic metal that can harm brains, kidneys and other organs when ingested or inhaled.


Long-Term Mortgage Rates Unchanged at 3.68%

Thu, 5 Dec 19 14:12:04 +0500

Rates held steady, and while unchanged from last week, they’re still down more than a full percentage point compared to one year earlier.  


3 out of 10 Florida Homeowners Can’t Refinance Their Mortgage

Thu, 5 Dec 19 14:12:38 +0500

A LendingTree study found that 68.2% of Floridians get turned down when they try to refinance their home, making it second to last behind only New Mexico’s 66.5%.


Private Flood Policies Add Wrinkle to NFIP Extensions

Thu, 5 Dec 19 14:12:35 +0500

Data review: The National Flood Insurance Program could end up covering primarily high-risk homes that private flood insurers turn down. That makes it harder to create a financially stable, long-term federal program that wouldn’t need federal bailouts after major storm events.


FHA Loan Limits Going Up About $17K in 2020

Thu, 5 Dec 19 14:12:18 +0500

The limit for FHA loans in most Fla. counties will be $331,760, though it’s higher in a few areas. In about 70 U.S. counties, the loan limit goes to $765,600 or more.


Simple Ways to Start Using Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Wed, 4 Dec 19 12:12:56 +0500

AI can identify “homeowners likely to sell soon” leads, but it can also conduct simple tasks, such as turning on lights or summarizing tasks while driving to work.


Legal Q&A: Can HOA End Elevator Maintenance Contract?

Wed, 4 Dec 19 12:12:38 +0500

In the turn-over from developer to residents, owners discovered a 15-year contract in place. Also: Does federal law allow owners to install outside satellite dishes?


Study: Which Tactics Work Best in a Bidding War?

Wed, 4 Dec 19 12:12:20 +0500

No surprise: Cash offers are the top negotiating tool, and personal letters come in second. However, waiving the inspection contingency didn’t help very much.


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