With housing sales moving so quickly, your real estate professional may ask you to consider a short sale.

If that term is new to you, a short sale has nothing to do with the time it usually takes to buy a home or a condo. Think of it more like a rescue. 

In a short sale, you’re offering an asking price that’s less than the amount due on the mortgage. If the mortgage lender accepts your offer, then and only then will the deal move forward, and you’ll be helping the owner avoid foreclosure. The lender will get all the proceeds.  

Here’s what you should ask before you proceed with a short sale: 

What to know about buying a short-sale home?  

Do your own homework and follow the lead of your real estate pro who has the short-sale expertise.…

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Buyers will be happy to know the old term ‘retirement’ has retired, and South Florida’s famous 55+ lifestyle has evolved into “active adult” communities.  

Even savvy developers are building new 55+ residential communities, adding to hundreds of existing homes and condos at every price point, most in suburban Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, and further north into Port St. Lucie.

If you’re new to this designation, you’ll want to know if anyone can buy over 55 properties before you start looking.

55+ means exactly what the name implies. At least one resident must be at least 55 years old to satisfy federal and Florida legal housing requirements. Condo and homeowner associations that oversee these…

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when to hire real estate agent

They’re popular for good reasons:

Beautiful sunny weather, of course. This is the Sunshine State. Inviting clean beaches. Spacious properties. Waterfront views. Outdoor living with screened-in swimming pools. Safe, gated communities. Amenities from marinas to clubhouses with a fitness center and planned activities.

Even a dog-friendly atmosphere, from dog parks to dog beaches to outdoor restaurants that encourage dining with your dog.

Let’s not forget easy access to three airports: Palm Beach International, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport.

And three trains, local Tri Rail commuter, private hi-speed Brightline and long-distance Amtrak stations. 

So, when is the best time to see what Lang…

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When you formally agree on a price to buy a house or a condo, and the seller has accepted your offer, you’re now officially the buyer. But it’s not a done deal yet.

What does under contract mean?

Legally in Florida, real estate brokers including Lang Realty agents have standard residential contracts. The terms include specific procedures and timelines that must be met by buyers and sellers. They range from an offer to buy and the offer acceptance, to proof a mortgage or funds are available. Here's a link to the Florida Bar and Florida Realtors association “as is” contract.

What happens when a house is under contract?

The initial deposit is held in escrow. The contract is contingent on approval of a conventional, VA, FHA or other mortgage…

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Once you’ve decided to house hunt here, your next question will be… ‘when is the best time of year to buy a house in Florida?’

Online searches only help you refine what you’re looking for, so connect with your professional real estate broker in advance to arrange for go-sees. Sales of townhouses, one-story villas, single-family homes and condos are moving fast.   

And always ask your Realtor these questions:

When is the best time to buy a house in Florida?

Is it a good time to buy a house in Florida?

Continued population growth means Florida’s housing market is no longer seasonal. The old days when “snowbirds” were just here for the winter continues to decline with tax advantages for full-time residency and more companies relocating. 

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Q&A with real estate market expert Dawn Forgione, GRI, ePRO, SRES Realtor

Q: Real Estate negotiation tips for buyers

A: Get preapproved for a mortgage. This shows the seller that you are a qualified, serious buyer ready to make a deal.

  

Q: Real Estate negotiation tactics

A: Make sure you have insight into the seller’s motivation. Is the seller a “have to” or a “want to”? Is the seller in a hurry to move because of financial trouble, a death or divorce? 

 

Q: Things to negotiate when buying a house

A: Make a reasonable, competitive offer taking into consideration recent sales, what you can afford, and a little room for negotiations. 


 Q: What to negotiate when buying a house

A: Be quick to respond to a counter offer. Time…

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If you’re here checking out the beaches, you’ll see yellow tape through October. Locals know that means be very careful to avoid disrupting sea turtle nests.

The nesting season starts in March, and south Florida residents take this ritual very seriously. There are even ordinances that keep lights low or dark along A1A, the beach highway, to keep their new-borns, called hatchlings, from going the wrong way and getting smooshed by drivers instead of ocean waves.

Like homing devices, the humongous reptiles always return to the beach where they were born to lay their eggs, and local marine life specialists and even governments are very protective.

“Litter on beaches can entangle sea turtles, birds and other wildlife. What can you do to help? …

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No worries about air-conditioning SoFla house or condo…utility bills getting cheaper

You read that right. If you’re contemplating moving, the state’s major utility company Florida Power & Light just asked state regulators to approve charging customers less in May to reflect lower fuel prices. 

That’s on top of rate reductions already set in April that would charge the average residential customer nearly $7 less, according to FPL. 

So, a typical 1,000-kilowatt residential customer's bill would be at least $14 less in May than it is today, once Florida Public Service Commission approves FPL’s request. The reduction will reflect lower projected prices for natural gas used in FPL’s power plants, the company said. 

A customer’s monthly bill…

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Surprise…There’s a culture scene here, too

Especially in the winter months, famous names come here in droves to perform…and warm. But locals know the best-kept secrets are concerts by a chamber orchestra, spring and summer ballets with national dancers and Festival of the Arts BOCA. 

Lang Realty/Lang Management was a sponsor of the 10-day, 18th festival that just wrapped with a jazz orchestra’s ode to 100 years of “Rhapsody in Blue.” Headliners were Kennedy Center honoree and opera superstar Renee Fleming, who sounded and looked dazzling in gold sequins, famous designer Isaac Mizrahi in his cabaret persona coming off his two-week stint at Café Caryle in New York.  And Monica Mancini with an orchestra homage to her late dad Henry Mancini’s…

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Developers in desirable areas like south Florida are offering an array of brand-new communities with sample townhouses, single-family homes and even condos with private marinas. Some older communities have new spec homes for sale, too. So, house-hunters are encouraged to do their homework and check with their real estate professional to see what’s coming online or already for sale.  

Essential Tips for Buying a New Construction Home

  • Hire a real estate professional, in this case Lang Realty, who’s an expert in that marketplace. 
  • Choose your lot if the home is not already built. Some communities are so desirable, the builder may even have a lot lottery. Some lots have waterfront views on a man-made lake. Those lots are always more…

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