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December 2011

There are 7 blog entries for December 2011.

Florida Real Estate: Heading into 2012

Saturday, December 31st, 2011 at 3:47pm. 1,831 Views, 3 Comments.

Florida Real Estate: Heading into 2012After our last post reviewing some of the major stories that affected the Florida real estate market in 2011, we thought we would give you a rundown of some additional news items as we head into 2012 here in Southwest Florida.

  • The website TripAdvisor.com has named Fort Myers the No. 3 destination in its list of "Destinations on the Rise." Their review cites the deep-sea fishing, white beaches and golf courses as major reasons for travelers to choose Fort Myers. It also notes the renovation of the downtown area has helped to make the city a more prominent choice for visitors.
  • The Fort Myers area was also ranked in the top 5…

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Top Florida Real Estate Stories of 2011

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 at 5:10pm. 1,618 Views, 0 Comments.

Top 10 stories that affected the Florida real estate market in 2011 and what may be on the horizon for 2012.What stories impacted Florida real estate the most in 2011? Our guess is it depends on your perspective; were you a buyer or a seller? Did you lose your job or find a new one, were you looking for a rental or did you need a place to locate your existing or new business? All these scenarios were impacted one way or another in 2011. So, let's take a look back at just what occurred and see if any will continue into 2012.

The following review includes excerpts from a summation of the top stories that was put together by the Florida Realtors Association along with our own views and some of our blog posts from a Southwest Florida…

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Florida Crosses 19 Million Population Mark

Sunday, December 25th, 2011 at 11:57am. 1,079 Views, 3 Comments.

Florida Crosses 19 Million Population MarkEven with the headwinds of the downturn in the housing market and the economy, the population in Florida has continued to grow. And, while the growth has slowed significantly in terms of percentage (1.36%), it still added 256,000 new residents from April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011. That ranks it ninth in the country in terms of percentage growth behind the District of Columbia, Texas, Utah, Alaska, Colorado, North Dakota, Washington and Arizona.

In terms of actual residents, Texas gained more people (529,000) than any other state, followed by California (438,000), Florida (256,000), Georgia (128,000) and North Carolina (121,000)…

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Red Sox Set New Spring Training Ticket Sales Record

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 at 8:59pm. 906 Views, 2 Comments.

Red Sox Spring TrainingThe Boston Red Sox set a new spring training ticket sales record over last weekend for their inaugural season at JetBlue Park at Fenway South in Fort Myers. Naturally, the grand opening of their new 106-acre spring training complex off Daniels Parkway helped spur major fan enthusiasm.

The number of tickets sold on December 17–18 was 34,705. That breaks the old record of 34,315 tickets sold for the 2007 spring training season. Tickets are still available for the March 10, 15, 17, 22 and 24 games. To purchase tickets you can visit www.redsox.com or order by phone at (877) 733-7699.

You can read more about the new stadium here at…

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Florida Supreme Court Ends Mandatory Foreclosure Mediation Program

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 5:05pm. 963 Views, 2 Comments.

Florida Supreme Court Ends Mandatory Foreclosure Mediation ProgramFlorida courts will no longer require mandatory foreclosure mediation after the Florida Supreme Court announced it will close down the two-year-old program yesterday. Citing reports the program didn’t work as well as hoped and that the court system could no longer justify the cost, Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles Canady said "new foreclosure cases will no longer be referred to mediation."

The mandatory program, established in 2009, was created to ease pressure on the court system and speed up the foreclosure process. However, according to many Florida homeowners facing foreclosure during its tenure, lenders did not take the…

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FIRPTA: The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act

Thursday, December 15th, 2011 at 10:36am. 1,858 Views, 0 Comments.

FIRPTA: The Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax ActThe following is a brief review of the requirements of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act. Known as FIRPTA, the act requires that a buyer of real property in the United States must withhold 10% of the gross sales price and send it to the IRS if the seller is a "foreign person."  A foreign person is described as a non-resident alien or a foreign corporation that has not made an election to be treated as a domestic corporation. It does not include a resident alien that holds a "green card."

Under the Act's guidelines, a seller of real estate must furnish the buyer with a "non-foreign affidavit"  stating that the seller…

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Florida Real Estate: Appeals Court Rules on Seller Disclosure

Friday, December 9th, 2011 at 5:33pm. 1,295 Views, 4 Comments.

Florida Real Estate: Seller Disclosure RulingOnce again, a Florida Appeals Court has upheld the current standard for seller disclosure requirements that apply to Florida real estate transactions. Citing the landmark disclosure case, Johnson vs. Davis, the appeal court found that the law requires a seller to "actually"  know about a problem in order to be held liable for a material defect.

While sellers are obligated to disclose known defects that materially affect the value of the property and that are hidden or unknown to the buyer, the case at hand focused on whether a seller can be held liable for not disclosing a material defect they "should have known"  about. The…

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