Thursday, August 29, 2013

Broward Real Estate Classes

A new session of Broward County real estate classes start on September 8, 2013 in Coral Springs. This Sales Associate Pre-Licensing course is held on six consecutive Sundays from 9 AM - 7 PM. The fee is $400 which includes the cost of the text book. Students are given a free copy of the state exam study manual when they pass the class exam.  On-line licensing classes are also available at deeply discounted prices.

Interested parties can register online at

Monday, August 26, 2013

100 Practical Tips for Buying and Selling Real Estate

Pat O'Connor, the owner of The Veritas Real Estate Group, has just published her latest book "100 Practical Tips for Buying and Selling Real Estate."

Whether you’re interested in residential or commercial property, 100 Practical Tips for Buying and Selling Real Estate can help you negotiate the best deal, avoid paying unnecessary fees and maximize your profits. Learn about the possible pitfalls of foreclosure auctions, and ways to obtain creative financing for your purchases. Read about tax deductions and tax shelters. The author generously shares what she’s learned from years of working with the public and other real estate licensees. Pay attention to her advice and warnings and then proceed more confidently in your real estate transactions.

In addition to providing helpful advice to the public, the author shines a light on some questionable practices that are common in the industry. In her opinion, the majority of these occurrences arise from greed, laziness or criminal intent. Her opinions are likely to cause a backlash from licensees who actively engage in these behaviors, but that’s OK. Discussion is a good thing, and her motives are pure. Once consumers are aware of the policies, they are in a better position to decide if they wish to tolerate the status quo. Knowledge is power, and the public is in the driver’s seat.

Click here to see all of Ms. O'Connor's publications.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

ExpressCopy Adds Bogus Fee

ExpressCopy prints beautiful postcards, but it has recently begun charging customers an additional 10 percent of their postage costs to load the truck and deliver the material to the post office. This is absurd and an insult to their loyal customers. I can only imagine that the management team expects the charge to go unnoticed. Let them hear your objections! Send them an email at and let your opinion be known!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Getting Started In Commercial Real Estate

Getting Started In Commercial Real Estate: Ten Step Program to Success is a newly published book that clearly explains what is needed to transition from residential real estate sales to commercial real estate. Ideal book for real estate agents who are looking to broaden their income and earn higher commissions! Both Kindle and paperback versions are available for sale here on Amazon.

Pat O'Connor of The Veritas Real Estate Group, Inc. is one of the authors.

Coral Springs Real Estate Licensing Classes

The next scheduled class for the Florida Sales Associate Pre-Licensing course starts Tuesday, August 27, 2013. This session is held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 pm - 10:30 pm for 6 weeks.

The next  all-day Sunday class starts on September 8, 2013 and runs from 9 am - 7 pm for 6 weeks.

Online real estate classes are also available for all Florida real estate licensing needs.

Visit for more information and to register online for a class.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Renters say homeownership a top priority

WASHINGTON – July 26, 2013 – Americans overwhelmingly believe homeownership is a good financial decision, and a majority of renters say homeownership is one of their highest priorities for the future, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR)’s 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey.

The survey found that renters are thinking more about purchasing a home now than they have in past years, and the number of people who say they prefer renting has declined.

“Due to high housing affordability and today’s interest rates it makes sense for people to consider homeownership over renting,” says NAR President Gary Thomas. “In fact, in many parts of the country it’s cheaper to own a home than to rent one.”

The survey, which measures consumers’ attitudes and concerns about housing opportunities, found eight in 10 Americans believe buying a home is a good financial decision and more than two-thirds (68 percent) said now is a good time to buy a home.

Since the last survey in 2011, more renters are now thinking about purchasing a home, up from 25 percent to 36 percent, while those who say they prefer to rent dropped from 31 percent to 25 percent. Half of renters say that eventually owning a home is one of their highest personal priorities, up from 42 percent to 51 percent.

Attitudes toward the housing market have also improved over the years. Nearly four in 10 Americans (38 percent) identified an increase in activity within their local housing market in the past year, compared to just 22 percent who reported a slowdown in activity. In 2011, some 51 percent reported a slowdown in activity. There was also less concern than in the past about the drop in home values; a majority said housing prices in their area are more expensive than a year ago.

In addition to improved attitudes about the housing market, respondents also showed an improved outlook about the national economy. Just under half (48 percent) said job layoffs and unemployment are a big problem, down from 61 percent in 2011. The concern over foreclosures showed a steep decline from 2011 when 47 percent characterized distressed properties as “very” or a “fairly big problem”; today only 29 percent say it’s a problem.

For many Americans, the perceived obstacles to homeownership have remained unchanged over the years: low wages, student loan debt, and little savings for a down payment and closing costs. Respondents across the board – young and old, college graduates and non-graduates – consider student loan debt to be a large obstacle.

“Buyers with student loan debt may find it difficult to access mortgage credit, as well as save for a down payment,” says Thomas. “Pending mortgage finance regulations requiring higher down payments could also contribute to the already tight lending environment. Realtors are working with regulators to address this issue.”

When asked why homeownership is important, respondents’ top reasons underscored basic American values and freedoms: building equity, a stable and safe environment, and the freedom to choose where to live.

Those reasons have remained virtually unchanged since 2011, though they vary slightly according to demographics. The top scoring reason for African-Americans and Hispanics was that homeownership provides stability and a safe environment; women also placed more emphasis on environmental factors than men. Non-college graduates placed stronger emphasis on public schools, owning a home before retirement, and living in a safe and stable environment.

American Strategies and Myers Research & Strategic Services for NAR’s Housing Opportunity Program conduct the 2013 National Housing Pulse Survey. The telephone survey polled 2,000 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®

Home prices to stabilize or fall in 6 Fla. cities

IRVINE, Calif. – Aug. 1, 2013 – CoreLogic released an analysis of home price trends during the first quarter of 2013 in more than 380 U.S. markets based on the CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indexes and data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA).

In the report, home prices increased 10.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2012. It’s the first double-digit gain since the peak of the housing bubble seven years ago.

However, the analysis also predicts that prices will stop rising as quickly in 2014 as an increase in mortgage interest rates make demand and supply more balanced. As more homeowners consider selling to lock in capital gains, upward price pressure will subside.

In four of six Florida cities included in the analysis, price increases in the first quarter of 2013 beat the national average. The year-to-year increase in Orlando was 14.6 percent; in Miami it was 14.2 percent; Tampa was 11.9 percent and West Palm Beach was 11.4 percent.

The remaining two Florida cities in the study still had year-over-year price increases in the first quarter, however. Jacksonville recorded a 9.9 percent increase, while Fort Lauderdale logged 9.5 percent.

The report goes on to predict what will happen to home prices by the first quarter of 2014. Nationwide, CoreLogic foresees an increase of 6.5 percent.

However, all six Florida cities would fall short of that forecasted price rise by 2014’s first quarter, according to CoreLogic. Tampa tops the list with a 2.6 percent price growth predicted, but only two other cities are expected to see price increases: Jacksonville at 1.4 percent and West Palm Beach with 0.6 percent.

The report predicts the three remaining cities’ home prices will drop slightly in value by the first quarter of next year: Miami by 2.7 percent, Fort Lauderdale by 2.6 percent and Orlando by 1.6 percent.

“Although double-digit gains usually indicate unsustainable appreciation and, possibly, bubbles in some metro areas, there is less need for concern now since home prices remain 26 percent below their peak nationally and are even lower in many metro markets,” says Dr. David Stiff, chief economist for CoreLogic Case-Shiller.

© 2013 Florida Realtors®