Tag Archives: home seller

2013 – A Great Year for Real Estate

What a difference a year makes!  The numbers are in, and 2013 proved to be an excellent year for real estate.  Multiple Listing statistics reflect an increase of 24% in the number of sold transactions in 2013 as compared with 2012.  The total sold volume for 2013 was up 32% and the median sales price was up by 14%.  Our Jacksonville housing market has come back to life.

Why the rapid price increases in 2013?

  • A shortage of homes for sale – With new construction just starting to come back and sellers postponing putting their homes on the market until prices improved, our inventory of homes dropped from a peak of over 22,000 five years ago to under 8,800.
  • Fewer distressed properties – As property values increased, there were fewer short sales and foreclosures.  What foreclosures did hit the market were quickly gobbled up by institutional investors.
  • Buyer sense of urgency – Buyers now realize that not only are home prices going up, but interest rates are also likely to rise, as the government backs off its stimulus programs.

The net result was a tight inventory that created a competitive bidding market – supply and demand at work.  It is interesting to note that this competitive market extended across all price ranges.

Looking ahead towards 2014, we should continue to see a recovery of the housing market, but at a more moderate pace.  If you are considering a move, or just have a question about the market, just give me a call at (904) 386-9816, and I’d be glad to help!

Here are two reports:

RealtyWeb 4thQtr

2013 Annual Report


Real Estate Market Update

Temperatures are hot here in Jacksonville, Florida, and so is the real estate market!  As you can see in the Market Summary, there is good news on almost every front.  A few highlights:

  • Year to date Sales up 25% over 2012
  • Year to date Pending Listings up 31%
  • Absorption Rate (how long it takes to sell a house) down 34%
  • Year to date Median Sales Sales Price up 12%

And this one:

  • Number of Active Listings down 21%

Welcome to the new seller’s market!   Last year I wrote a blog post entitled “Where are all the homes for sale?”  At that time, I noted that our inventory in the Northeast Florida Multiple Listing Service had decreased from a high of around 22,000 during the recession in 2008 to 9,784  in June of 2012.  The number of homes for sale as of June 30, 2013 is 7,660.

This shrinking home inventory  is occurring throughout the country, and may be the biggest real estate story of 2013.

Market Summary

Another interesting statistic is the dramatic increase in the number of sales and pendings in the $250,000 to $1 million price range – up anywhere from 42% to 65% over this time a year ago.

Market Report

 You might ask  “What does this mean for me?”  Well, if you have been thinking of a move, now might be a good time.  Homes are selling quickly!  It is also a good time to buy a home.  Homes are still reasonable and interest rates are at a 60 year low.

Please give me a call at (904) 386-9816 or send me an email at LizPapenbrock@gmail.com if I can help!


Ask the Realtor

What is the most common home inspection item that can derail a closing?

That’s a great question!  And my answer, hands down, is HVAC issues.  HVAC refers to your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.  Here in Jacksonville, most of our homes are heated and cooled by heat pumps, consisting of an indoor air handler (located in the garage, an inside closet, or in the attic)  and an outside compressor (located on a concrete pad outside the house).

Repairs can be costly, and replacing a system can run between $3,000 and $8,000, or more.  Sadly, most of the items I see on a home inspection could have easily been avoided with just little maintenance.  Here is the minimum: Change the filter every month and have your unit serviced at least once a year.  That’s it!

Heat pumps offer an efficient way of controlling the indoor climate in our homes.  Just taking these 2 steps will go a long ways towards keeping your system humming for years.



Add a Houseplant to Your Home or Office Space

Indoor Plants That Filter The Air
Indoor plants can be a great asset to your Jacksonville, Florida  home or office space.  Not only are they a great aesthetic addition to your home, but they also help filter the air.  People are usually unaware that many harmful toxins are present in the air they breathe everyday.  In recent years, NASA has done several studies to determine which houseplants are best at cleaning the air inside your home. Even if you don’t have a “green thumb”, many of these plants do well under little care and are a great option for those who don’t have time to water a plant every single day of the week.
1. Snake Plant
This plant has strong, stiff, green-banded leaves that grow upward from the base. While it prefers moderate to bright light, it has been known to thrive in areas with virtually no light at all.  It only needs to be watered once a week, allowing the soil to completely dry in between watering.  The snake plant is the ultimate plant for those who do not have a “green thumb”.  The only way to kill this plant is to over water, or to completely not water at all.
2. English Ivy
This plant does great indoor, where it gets enough indirect sunlight.  It is an evergreen, woody vine that grows quite quickly.  It grows great in a hanging pot or in a pot that allows it to trail. Regular cutting and pruning will be necessary for this plant.  If your home is dry, this plant will do great in a pot with pebbles that can be watered each day to allow enough humidity to the plant.  It does not require regular watering, as the soil needs time to dry out between waterings. This plant is great at removing benzene from the air.
3. Spider Plant
This plant also tolerates neglect very well.  While it prefers bright light, it does well in dim lighting.  It also tolerates a wide range of temperatures, as long as it does not freeze.  During warm weather, it needs to be watered regularly.  In the winter, it only needs to be watered occasionally, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.  This plant is good at filtering carbon monoxide out of the air and is best kept in areas like the kitchen where carbon monoxide accumulates most.
4. Golden Pothos
This plant is leafy with varying colors of green and yellow.  It does very well in dim light; bright light will scorch the leaves.  This plant requires watering every other day or every few days, just so the soil stays moist.  The vines on this plant grow quite rapidly, so trimming from time to time will be necessary.  This is a great plant to keep in your house because it is great at filtering toxins like benzene and formaldehyde from the air.
Article by Tom Miller
<a href=”escapesomewhere.com“>Escape Somewhere</a>

Happy, Happy 2013


We are 9 days into the New Year, and there is already much to be excited about!

Real estate is hopping!  Throughout the year, market statistics have improved across the board in every category.  Lender mediated transactions (short sales) are declining, while the prices of those homes have risen  New inventory, days on market, and months supply have all seen decreases.  Pending sales, average price, and properties sold have all seen positive gains.  Some homes are even receiving multiple offers and selling over list price!

As we begin a new year, I look forward to sharing more Things to Do and, as always, welcome your comments or suggestions.  Have a blessed New Year!


Where Have All the Listings Gone?

The October Year-to-Date Market Summary from our Multiple Listing Service  shows what most of us in Jacksonville, Florida and the First Coast area are easily able to see: our listing inventory is down!  There are only 8,365 homes for sale.  To put this in perspective, at the height of the real estate crash in 2006, we had over 22,000 homes for sale.  By 2010, that number had dwindled to around 16,000.

Here is the report:

 What is especially interesting is the increase in home sales in the $250,000 to $500,000 price range and in the sale of luxury homes over $1 million.

In summary, if you are considering selling,  now may be a good time to put your home on the market.  If you are thinking about buying, I would consider looking seriously now while interest rates are still at historic lows and before prices jump up.

For the complete report, personalized statistics in your area, or a list of great homes for sale, please call me at (904) 386-9816 or send me an email using the contact form on this site.  I will have the information right out to you!



What Makes a Good Home a Great Home?

Several aspects go into consideration when ranking a home as bad, good or great.  Not only should you consider the aesthetics of the interior, exterior and the actual durability of the home, you should also take into account these few aspects that can take a home from being good to great.

 1.    Location.   Location can make or break a house.  It could be one of the ugliest houses on the block, but as long as it is located in a nice area with a great school district, the house is golden.  Location is everything.  Remember this when you are shopping around for homes.

2.    School District.  Whether or not you have children, buying a house in an area with a great school district can play an important role in the worth of your house.  Great schools can ensure that there will be a consistent demand for properties.  Over time, this can help increase the value of your home.

3.    Neighborhood.   The type of neighborhood can greatly affect a home. You should see what the other homes look like in your neighborhood.  See how the neighborhood is during early morning, day and evenings.  Even if it is the perfect home, certain characteristics of the neighborhood can affect the house you want to buy.

4.    Crime.   Is the house located in a safe neighborhood?  How about outside of the neighborhood.  Is it located near a poor area where crime rates are high? Even if it’s a beautiful home, the probability of high crime rates can negatively affect the value of the house.

5.    Walk ability.   How close is the neighborhood to downtown?  Grocery and convenience stores?  How close are the schools your children will be attending?  In an ever-growing, green-conscience society, walking has become more and more popular.  If you are in close walking distance to places you visit on a daily basis or weekly basis, the homes value can increase.

Article by Tom Miller

<a href=”http://www.newhomesource.com/“>New Home Source</a>

Home Prices Rebound to 2003 Levels

More good news about the real estate market came yesterday when RISMedia reported that  home prices nationally had rebounded to 2003 levels.  That is the year started its journey towards the 2006 peak.

“Single family housing starts are well ahead of last year, existing home sales are up, the inventory of homes for sale is down and foreclosure activity is slowing”, said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P.

The recent S&P/Case Shiller national home price index showed that prices rose for the 3rd consecutive month in all 20 major markets followed by the index.  This also marks the first month that prices were higher than they were the previous year.

While Jacksonville is not one of the 20 markets followed, two other Florida cities hard it by the real estate crises, Miami and Tampa, were noted as having made dramatic comebacks.  It appears that great pricing and low interest rates are finally helping turn the real estate market around.

Here is a link to the S&P report.

National Mortgage Settlement Fund

Wondering how our National Mortgage Settlement $ are being spent?    I found an interesting graph this morning.

National Mortgage Settlement Fund

The majority of the funds are going towards short sales.  If you are having difficulty making your payments and do not wish to stay in your present home, a short sale is nearly always the best option.  Please contact me for more information, or visit my website at AvoidForeclosureinJacksonville.com.

The Disappearing Home Inventory

It’s no secret to anyone driving through our Jacksonville neighborhoods that the number of “For Sale” signs is way down from years past.  And many of those homes that do have signs are no longer available; they are homes offered as a short sale that now have accepted contracts awaiting bank approval.

This morning I read on Zillow that we have approximately 9,500 homes for sale in our Multiple Listing Service.  That’s down from over 20,000 at the height of the recession.

Where did the homes for sale go?  Zillow graphs show a direct correlation between negative equity (percent of homes underwater) and the change in inventory of homes for sale.  Simply put, many sellers who wanted or tried to sell their homes during the recession can no longer afford to do so, because they now owe more on their home than its value.

What does this mean for a home seller or home buyer?  For a home seller, a drop in supply means an increase in demand.  Homes priced competitively are selling quickly,  frequently with multiple offers.  For a home buyer, prices are still down and interest rates remain at a historic lows.

Finally, a great time to buy or sell!