This Past Week has been Absolutely Gorgeous. The Weather has been Cool & Crisp in the Morning and has Warmed Up by Midday. The Beach was Wonderful and the Surf was as Calm as can be. Thanks for Watching and have a Great Week!!!
ORLANDO, Fla. ‚Äď Oct. 25, 2010 ‚Äď As big lenders‚Äô recent freeze on foreclosures begins to thaw, local real-estate agents worry that those bargain properties will now flood the market and further sink housing prices.
Just a few weeks after Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase and other big banks announced a temporary halt to foreclosures because of concerns about improperly signed documents, they are preparing to restart the process. The question is: How many of those stalled foreclosures will lenders put on the market at the same time?
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs the big question ‚Äď will they come back in a big thud or will they trickle in?‚ÄĚ said Winter Park real-estate broker David Welch of Re/Max 200. ‚ÄúUnfortunately, I don‚Äôt know anyone who knows what the answer is. I think if they come flooding back it obviously won‚Äôt be a good thing in the market.‚ÄĚ
Since the moratoriums were announced at the beginning of the month, 53 percent of the scheduled foreclosure sales in Orange County have been canceled ‚Äď creating a backlog of as many as 850 properties that lenders pulled from the process just prior to their hitting the market. In the three weeks preceding the freeze, only 38 percent of the county‚Äôs auctions had been canceled, primarily because of judicial requirements for mediation and for face-to-face conversations between lenders and borrowers.
In Orange County Courthouse Room 350, crammed with investors attending the daily foreclosure auctions, longtime buyer Jack Coughlin said last week that he sees banks sitting on a growing inventory of foreclosed houses just waiting to hit the market.
‚ÄúAre they going to release them all? If they do, there is going to be a 20 percent drop in values,‚ÄĚ Coughlin said. ‚ÄúPeople ask, ‚ÄėWhere are these properties?‚Äô They are sitting in banks‚Äô vaults.‚ÄĚ
Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for J.P. Morgan Chase, said last week his company is still reviewing cases and had not announced any kind of timetable for releasing foreclosed properties to the market.
Orlando ranks 10th in the nation for foreclosure filings, according to a September report by the real estate research company RealtyTrac Inc. The crash that followed the peak-market conditions of three or four years ago has dragged down Orlando‚Äôs median resale price from $264,000 in July 2007 to $105,000 last month. Bargain-basement prices already dominate the market: More than 70 percent of the area‚Äôs existing-home sales currently involve bank-owned or short-sale properties that sell for less than market value, according to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association.
Lenders‚Äô decision to halt foreclosures in early October did two things to Orlando‚Äôs real-estate market: drove up prices and drove down sales. The absence of those bargain properties from the market has caused the median price to spike about $10,000 in recent weeks, to about $115,000, said Welch, who continually tracks the market. And the inventory of active listings has dropped by about 3 percent, he added.
State attorneys general had stepped up pressure on lenders after it was revealed that bank employees had signed foreclosure affidavits without verifying that the documents were accurate ‚Äď a process known as ‚Äúrobo-signing.‚ÄĚ But after reviewing more than 100,000 documents in Florida and 22 other states, Bank of America announced last week that it was restarting the foreclosure process. GMAC Mortgage also said it was resuming work on its foreclosures.
The banks had never stopped litigating the cases; they had just canceled the foreclosure sales to give themselves time to investigate the suspect paperwork and signatures, said Orlando lawyer Matt Englett, whose firm handles tens of thousands of foreclosures. He said robo-signing can become apparent if the names of certain bank employees continually show up on certain documents.
People will still lose their homes, Englett said, but they may be able to walk away without a deficiency judgment against them ‚Äď without owing any additional money, in other words ‚Äď if it turns out their paperwork includes suspect signatures. Owners may also be in a better position to get their mortgage terms modified if their foreclosure paperwork has been tarnished in some way.
So far, local real-estate agents haven‚Äôt seen any signs of once-stalled foreclosures hitting the market.
‚ÄúI had more than a third of my listings pulled,‚ÄĚ Maitland real-estate agent Lee Acker said. ‚ÄúWe had a buyer ready to close on one. It‚Äôs just frustrating. These were properties ready to go to owner-occupants.‚ÄĚ
In the short term, Acker said, the moratoriums ‚Äúcreated an artificial demand for the property that‚Äôs left. What I‚Äôm afraid of is when they go back on the market.‚ÄĚ
Tourists and locals likely only have a few days left to take advantage of the Okaloosa County Tourist Development Council‚Äôs Emerald Money debit card program.
The TDC restarted the program last week. It offers a $200 debit card to people who book a minimum two-night stay at an approved lodging in the county.
‚ÄúThe debit card promotion is going very well and smoothly,‚ÄĚ said Mark Bellinger, executive director of the TDC. ‚ÄúEverybody‚Äôs extremely happy we did the restart. Everyone was for it. It was the right thing to do. It is helping out our economy. When you take a million dollars and put it right back into the community, it helps a lot of private businesses.‚ÄĚ
The program is designed to increase fall tourism to make up for a dismal summer because of the BP oil spill.
The promotion initially kicked off last month, but was stopped after only two days when it was discovered that some lodging properties did not follow the program‚Äôs guidelines. After some adjustments, including having guests reserve their debit card online rather than the lodgings, the promotion restarted Oct. 7.
The program had 3,793 cards remaining from the original 5,000 that were available at the beginning. As of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, 1,660 cards remained.
About 315 cards are being reserved each day. If that rate holds, they will be gone in about five days.
Some 200 establishments that collect bed taxes in Okaloosa County have signed up to participate.
‚ÄúWe were real excited to see that start up again,‚ÄĚ said Eric Outzen, director of sales and marketing for Dale E. Peterson Vacations. ‚ÄúIt started off pretty well for us a couple weeks ago when they initially launched. We were disappointed they had to shut it down temporarily. So picking back up, it has been beneficial to us in increasing our bookings for this fall.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs been a successful campaign,‚ÄĚ Outzen added. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre glad to have the help. I think it‚Äôs going to do what it was designed to do, which is improve the area‚Äôs economy, at least in the next month.‚ÄĚ
The cards are available on a first come, first served basis to people who book and pay for a minimum two-night stay until Nov. 7.
Today was another gorgeous day in Destin.¬† The water was crystal clear and the sand as white as can be.¬† The weather is cooling off and fall is just around the corner.
The Debit Card Promotion started back up on October 7th.¬† This will continue till November 7th or while supplies last.¬† This program offers a $200 debit card to people who book a minimum two-night stay at an approved lodging in the county.¬† For more details, please click on the following link:
This week was absolutely gorgeous. We had a bit of rain over the weekend, but it brought in cool weather and a clear sky. The beach and gulf were beautiful today, and we are glad we can share how wonderful Destin can be this time of year!
The Destin Fishing Rodeo is a little over a week away, so get your line & tackle ready.¬† Established in 1948, The Destin Fishing Rodeo is the ultimate fishing tournament for saltwater anglers of all ages.¬†¬†The Rodeo¬†will be going on from October 1 to the 31.¬† Weigh-ins everyday on the docks at A.J.’s Seafood & Oyster Bar from 10am until 7pm.¬† Check out their website for more information at http://www.destinfishingrodeo.org/.
The Holiday Isle Beach Restoration is a Little Over Halfway Done with an Estimated 80,000 of the 140,000 Cubic Feet of Sand Placed. Jetty East Already Looks a Thousand Times Better Even with the Piping Still on the Freshly Laid Beach. The Restoration Project is Scheduled to be Complete Wednesday or Thursday. Thanks for Watching & We will Continue to Keep You Updated!
Here are some before and after shot…Enjoy!!!
Jetty East Looking East – Before
Jetty East Looking East – After
Jetty East Looking West – Before
Jetty East Looking West – After
Jetty East Pavilion – Before
Jetty East Pavilion – After
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Today Kicks Off the 32nd Annual Destin Seafood Festival. It is being Held in a New Location at The Fisherman‚Äôs Wharf and Down on the Harbor. There is plenty to do including Concerts, Food, Shops, and a Children‚Äôs Play Area. Here are Some Pictures from Today. We Hope You Enjoy and Get a Chance to go Check it out.
The 32nd Annual Destin Seafood Festival is this Weekend, Sept. 17-19!!!¬† The Seafood Festival has a new location and will setup shop on the Destin Harbor at the Destin Fishing Fleet Marina, City of Destin Royal Melvin Heritage Park, and Fisherman‚Äôs Wharf.¬†
¬†Friday @ 8pm:
Starship ‚Äď Performing hits by Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, and Starship.
Saturday @ 8pm:
LOVERBOY ‚Äď Performing hits including ‚ÄúWorking for the Weekend,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúThe Kid is Hot Tonight,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúTurn Me Loose,‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúHot Girls in Love.‚ÄĚ
Other Entertainment includes Black Eyed Blonde, The Blackbirds, Donnie Sundal, The Sal Salaz Project, Jones and Company, and The Forrest Williams Band.
The stage will be located by the docks, facing east, near Dewey Destin and will have room for 8,000 to 10,000 people.
The festival will also feature arts and crafts vendors, prizes and a kids‚Äô area with rock climb, inflatable‚Äôs and more.