Monthly Archives: May 2011

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Irene Read, Tucson

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Tucson Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Irene grew up in Brooklyn, and learned a lot about life there. She worked in marketing and customer service for a… Read more »

Costa Rica: Affordable Beach Properties Available

In the right spots, Costa Rica’s beaches make smart buys today for Americans shopping for good-value retirement and vacation homes. Prices on beachfront properties along certain stretches of Costa Rica’s coast have tumbled. It means a window of opportunity has opened there for Americans anxious to “rescue their retirements” by looking for dollar-stretching opportunities overseas…. Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Mark Watson, Charlotte, NC

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly North Carolina Heartland Realtors and Real Estate Professionals I’m a native North Carolinian from the Appalachian Mountains. I have a great appreciation for our States rich Southern… Read more »

DE: Will Foreclosures Drag Down the Real Estate Market?

Compared with what’s happening across the country, foreclosure sales in Delaware make up a smaller share of total sales — even though those sales are being made at a sharper discount to overall sales, according to new research by RealtyTrac. In Delaware, foreclosed homes accounted for 18.5 percent of first-quarter sales, compared with 27.5 nationally…. Read more »

Pensacola, Florida Wants to Build a World-Class Downtown

The experts are always telling us that we need vibrant, diverse, active downtowns with personality to stimulate economic development and attract the affluent “knowledge workers” of the future, not to mention improve our own quality of life. But how, exactly, do we do that? Thursday’s speaker at the Florida Institute of Machine and Human Cognition… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Georgia Gantt, Asheville, North Carolina

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Asheville Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Georgia has lived in the Asheville area for over 43 years and knows the Asheville real estate market inside and out…. Read more »

AR: Real Estate Prices On Roller Coaster in 2011

Arkansas traditionally bucks the trend when it comes to declining economies and the same holds true for our housing market. “It is about location; it’s about what people are looking for at a given time,” says Amy Glover Bryant, Director of Communications for the Arkansas Realtor Association. Glover Bryant says the real estate industry has… Read more »

Oklahoma Bans “Wall Street Fees” on Home Resales

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin recently signed legislation to restrict Wall Street home resale fees, also known as “private transfer fees.” Sponsored by Reps. Steve Martin and Marion Cooksey and Sen. Brian Crain, the law places a ban on these fees. The Coalition to Stop Wall Street Home Resale Fees calls them “a dangerous new financial… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Jon Mumford, Fort Lauderdale

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Fort Lauderdale Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Jon offers top-notch service in the Fort Lauderdale real estate market. The market has become much more complex and competitive,… Read more »

WY: Casper Home Prices Dropped in 2011

U.S. home values have declined nearly 30 percent since peaking in June 2006, according to a firm that tracks real estate activity. … But Jill Kamber, president of the Casper Board of Realtors, said prices have dropped significantly in Casper, particularly among some higher-priced properties. An analysis by her company, RE/MAX The Group, indicates the… Read more »

Foreclosures Far From Over in Shasta County

April numbers from a national database suggest the foreclosure crisis that has rocked the local housing market is far from over. Foreclosure filings in Shasta County jumped for the second straight month to 412, RealtyTrac reported today. One home out of every 188 was in some stage of foreclosure in Shasta County in April. The… Read more »

Hawaii Governor Signs Law Giving Homeowners More Rights During Forclosure

For anyone facing the distressing reality of a mortgage foreclosure in the State of Hawai’i, a sliver of hope emerged at the State Capitol earlier this month, when Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed a new law that could make it increasingly harder for lenders to confiscate residents’ homes. On Thursday, May 5, Gov. Abercrombie signed into… Read more »

HI: Oahu Foreclosures Fall for Fifth Month

Home foreclosures continued to fall in April, marking the fifth consecutive month filings in Hawaii have been below the same month in the previous year. Experts, however, said the decline continues to be an artificial depression due to several major lenders holding back on new filings after their loan documentation practices were called into question…. Read more »

OH: Cincinnati Real Estate Recovery Beginning?

The local housing market finally has hit bottom. Now, the long climb out can begin. Buyers and sellers in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky can expect a bumpy ride, however. Local home sale and price data exclusive to The Enquirer show an uneven start to recovery across our neighborhoods. “Our city, like the rest of… Read more »

NE: Omaha Home Values Flat

The Wakonda area in northeast Omaha has seen changes over the years — white flight to the suburbs in the 1960s and 1970s, increased numbers of rental properties, an aging and dwindling population. Now the Douglas County Assessor’s Office has weighed in with its own take on the homes north of Sorensen Parkway between 42nd… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Michael Gallacher, Boynton Beach, Florida

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly West Palm Beach Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Michael is a Boynton Beach realtor who works in the Palm Beach County real estate market. His main focus… Read more »

MN: State Real Estate Sales Down in April

Housing prices in Greater Minnesota have weathered the real estate storm slightly better than the rest of the nation. While they’ve been down from their high a few years ago, home owners outside of the Twin Cities were faring better than most. Now that seems to be changing for the worse. The median statewide sale… Read more »

FL: Sarasota Real Estate Market Still Strong in April

The Sarasota Association of Realtors (SAR) reported 759 property sales were closed in the Sarasota market last month, continuing a strong spring surge that reached the 800 level in March. Sarasota’s real estate market is at its highest levels since late 2005 when sales started to decline. Prices also maintained their highest levels of the… Read more »

NJ: Asbury Park, Revisited

Cities change and grow with the times. Populations ebb and flow. Restaurants open, local bars close. You leave a city for a while, and return to a slightly different vibe or a once-familiar block you hardly recognize. Sure, you’ve seen cities change. But have you ever been part of a total revamp? Asbury Park is… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Bob McCranie, Dallas

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Dallas-Ft. Worth Realtors and Real Estate Professionals When Bob first earned his real estate license, he decided he wanted to be able to work with his clients… Read more »

US: Home Construction Stalled in April

We just got our latest look at home construction, and it wasn’t good. Housing starts plunged 10.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 523,000 in April from an upwardly revised 585,000 in March. That missed expectations for starts of 569,000. Building permits fell 4 percent to a 551,000 SAAR from a downwardly revised… Read more »

Canada’s Luxury Real Estate Market Surging

Canada’s growing band of millionaires and an influx of foreign investment are driving a boom in the luxury-property sector with six out of eight major centres likely to report new records by the end of the year, according to RE/MAX. Leading the pack was the greater Vancouver area, where sales of luxury properties priced at… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Gary Clark, Raleigh, North Carolina

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Raleigh, North Carolina Realtors and Real Estate Professionals I’m in this business because I thrill at being able to find the neighborhood and perfect home for my… Read more »

MA: Foreclosures Dropped Sharply in April

For the month of April, Massachusetts foreclosure activity remained at levels dramatically below those recorded last year, according to data released this week by the Warren Group, a Boston-based real estate data provider. However foreclosure petitions, which mark the first step in the foreclosure process in the Bay State, posted their highest number so far… Read more »

US: Real Estate Recovery Delayed Until 2014?

More than half U.S. homeowners and renters say housing won’t recover until at least 2014, reflecting a deepening pessimism about the real estate market, according to a survey by Trulia Inc. and RealtyTrac Inc. The survey, taken in April, found that 54 percent of respondents don’t expect a recovery for at least three years, up… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Wesley Gleason, San Miguel de Allende

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Mexico Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Wesley knows San Miguel inside and out, and would love to assist you in purchasing property here. He spent his first… Read more »

Repercussions of Real Estate Downturn Will Linger for Years

The repercussions of the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression continue to ripple through multifamily and commercial property markets, and real estate agents and brokers helping their clients manage their investments need to stay on top of economic, regulatory, and legislative issues affecting lending, tax policy, health care and energy. Charles Achilles, chief legislative… Read more »

Eastern Ontario Real Estate Sales Plunged in April

The bottom at least temporarily fell out of the local real estate market during what the president of the local real estate board called an unusual month. However, Doug Paterson said he remained confident the coming months would see a turnaround for local realtors. April featured a 100-unit plunge in property sales registered on the… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Travis Callstrom, Minneapolis

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Minnesota Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Originally from a small town in Wisconsin his relocation to the Twin Cities began with a teaching opportunity for a high… Read more »

NJ: Real Estate Rebound Postponed to 2013?

New Jersey real estate pros are reading tea leaves, searching for positive signs — anything remotely positive, really — that point to a rebound in the state’s tortured housing market. They want to tell home buyers and sellers there is hope, so they point to trends ticking slightly upward: low mortgage rates that indicate it’s… Read more »

Southern California Home Sales at Lowest Level in 3 Years in April

Southern California home sales fell to the lowest level in three years for the month of April, according to DataQuick who monitors real estate activity nationwide. Distressed sales, Foreclosures and Short Sales, were down slightly. April marked the 10th consecutive month in which Southland sales fell year-over-year. The median price paid for all new and… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Andy Kogan, Kansas City

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Missouri Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Andy is a Realtor with Weichert(R), Realtor’s, Sharon Sigman Five Star. He is a Kansas City native, and is very experienced… Read more »

Lots of Real Estate Inventory on Vancouver Island

Slow and steady wins the race. At least, that was the lesson from The Tortoise and the Hare, and it might be the only consolation for Vancouver Island realtors and home sellers comparing their market conditions to those of the Lower Mainland. While sales activity and prices in Greater Vancouver are surging, the market in… Read more »

Renting in Toronto’s Gay Village

It’s the kind of day photographers love. A soft, grey, late afternoon light gives the view of downtown Toronto from Sonja Scharf and Kelly Kyle’s south-facing, 20-by-20 foot deck a haunting glow reminiscent of photographer Bret Culp’s show, currently featured in the gallery at their year-old business, Akasha Art Projects, a framing and installation shop… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Marjorie Fiorenza, Carmel, CA

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Central California Coast Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Marge has worked in the California real estate market for over twenty seven years, and would love to be… Read more »

Affordable Vacation Properties Not Without Risk

Home prices continue to fall across the country, and vacation properties are no exception. Thanks to the real estate bust, bargains abound in many popular vacation and second-home markets. Although these properties are available at attractive prices – close to their five-year lows in some areas – the bargain prices may come with adverse trade-offs…. Read more »

Toronto Home Sales Down from Last April, But Prices Up

Greater Toronto realtors reported interesting results this past April. Deals were completed on 9,041 homes, representing a 17% decline compared with April 2010 when sales spiked to a new record. Looking at April 2011 sales from a longer-term perspective, the level of transactions were in line with the April average over the previous five years…. Read more »

San Francisco: As Gay Businesses Close, is The Castro Going Straight?

There’s an old saying in San Francisco: Market Street is straight, until it reaches the Castro. Cartographically true, it refers to the city’s famously gay mecca. But these days, there are concerns that the neighborhood is becoming slightly less bent. A Different Light Bookstore, which specialized in gay and lesbian literature for 26 years, shut… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Brian Elder, Toronto

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Location Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Brian has been successfully assisting clients buy and sell homes within the many unique and exciting neighbourhoods of Toronto since 1991…. Read more »

Canada: Quebec Foreclosure Rates Drop

The number of properties that went into foreclosure, or were seized by mortgage lenders because of non-payment of debt, fell by 15 per cent in Quebec last year to 2,356. That compared with 2,782 properties seized in 2009. The findings were reported recently by economist Paul Cardinal of the Quebec Federation of Real Estate Boards…. Read more »

NC: Coastal Real Estate Market Improving

Area businesspeople are looking forward to more activity this summer. Some are even confident enough, or at least venturesome enough, to invest in more merchandise and even remodeling. Meanwhile, real estate sales have also improved. … Along with the retail side of business, prospects have also been improving for the real estate market. According to… Read more »

VA: Hampton Roads Real Estate Stagnant

Peninsula-area home sales in April were flat, compared to April 2010, while the median sales price dipped nearly 9 percent to $178,000. About 40 percent of last month’s sales across Hampton Roads were distressed sales, such as bank-owned homes and short sales, according to the Real Estate Information Network Inc.’s monthly report. And that’s an… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Jose Castillo, Fort Lauderdale

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Fort Lauderdale Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Jose takes great pride on his knowledge of the Fort Lauderdale real estate market, and of the inns and outs… Read more »

CA: Sacramento Real Estate Continues Decline

Around this time last year, a number of experts said the housing market had finally hit bottom. Turns out those were just branches on the way down. New figures released this week show that median sales prices continue to fall across the region and nationwide as distressed properties maintain their grip on the market. So… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Ron Redder, Austin

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Austin & San Antonio Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Ron is an Austin area real estate agent, and is the broker/owner of Presidio Group Realtors. He has… Read more »

US: What’s Next for Home Prices?

The news today is that the value of your most valuable asset is in trouble again. A report from website Zillow, which lets you look up what your house is worth, says that home prices in the US fell 3% in the first quarter. Worse, Zillow says housing prices could fall as much as 9%… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Jeff Escher, Rockville, MD

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Maryland Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Jeff Escher is a full-time Realtor who specializes in working with first-time homebuyers and move-up sellers in Montgomery County and NW… Read more »

Vacation Rental Market May Not Recover For Years

The buyers’ market for vacation homes is likely to continue for years, with activity largely limited to buyers with enough cash to circumvent a tighter, post-recession lending environment. Thirty-six percent of all vacation-home buyers in 2010 did not use a mortgage — versus 29 percent the year before — while more than half of them… Read more »

Mortgage Buyers Losing Out to Cash Buyers

For home buyers who need to finance their purchase using a mortgage, a cash buyer can be their worst enemy. That’s because when a buyer makes a cash offer, the seller knows it’s a solid deal–and that financing hiccups won’t delay a closing. Sometimes, that’s enough for the seller to accept a lower bid for… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Bonnie Roseman, Portland, Oregon

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Portland, Oregon Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Bonnie was born in Philadelphia, and grew up in Berkeley. She moved up to Portland, Oregon in 1990 and has… Read more »

NH: Condo Sales Lead Sluggish Seacoast Real Estate Market

April sales of single-family condominium units led a lukewarm Seacoast spring real estate market, according to monthly statistics of the 13 sample towns released by the Seacoast Board of Realtors this week. The sample towns are Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, New Castle, Newington, North Hampton, Portsmouth, Rye, Stratham, Exeter, Newfields, Newmarket and Seabrook. Condominium sales,… Read more »

MI: Madonna’s Childhood Home For Sale

Madonna’s childhood home in Michigan has been placed on the market for a paltry $48,600. The pop superstar spent her youth in the four-bedroom Rochester Hills house with her parents and six brothers and sisters before relocating to New York in her search for fame and fortune. At Gay Realty Watch, we look for news… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Tim Singer, Fort Lauderdale

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Fort Lauderdale Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Tim is a Fort Lauderdale area realtor with a staff of full-time Ft. Lauderdale real estate professionals, and is very… Read more »

Seattle Real Estate Sales, Prices Slipped in April

How did King County’s real-estate market perform in April? That depends on where you look — and whom you ask. Countywide, the number of houses sold and the median price they fetched both fell nearly 7 percent from April 2010’s figures, according to statistics released Thursday by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. Last month’s median… Read more »

New Jersey High-End Real Estate Top Heavy

WHEN a newly built house beside the beach in Sea Girt went into contract for $3.6 million last month, it was sort of a good news-bad news occurrence, in the eyes of real estate brokers and agents. The good news — obviously — was the handsome price, fetched in a market overflowing with expensive homes… Read more »

Connecticut’s High End Real Estate Showing Improvement

CONNECTICUT’S housing market went into hibernation during the first quarter of 2011 as sales took a dive and prices continued to deteriorate. Blame the harsh weather, says Candace Adams, the president of Prudential Connecticut Realty. “There’s always the unpredictable,” Ms. Adams said, “and for us, what I will call the Black Swan of 2011 was… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: John Giardina, Pasadena, CA

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly os Angeles Area Realtors and Real Estate Professionals John has always loved music, and has sung professionally around the United States, the United Kingdom, and Thailand. John… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Tim Tanz, St. Louis

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Missouri Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Tim received his Missouri real estate license in 1997, and he gives his St. Louis real estate clients superior customer service… Read more »

Calgary: April Sales Down Year Over Year

MLS sales for single-family homes and condos fell in April compared with a year ago, according to the Calgary Real Estate Board. In releasing its monthly data on Monday, CREB said single-family transactions were down nearly 10 per cent from April 2010 to 1,217 sales. However the average sale price rose by almost 4.2 per… Read more »

Featured Gay Friendly Realtor: Ken Calhoun, Fort Lauderdale

Periodically we’ll feature one of our real estate professionals here to let our readers know about some great Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and Other Real Estate Professionals. Gay Friendly Fort Lauderdale Realtors and Real Estate Professionals Ken can help make your Fort Lauderdale real estate experience happier and almost stress-free. He listens to what his clients… Read more »

NY: Rochester Real Estate Prices Steady

As many housing markets across the country struggle mightily in the aftermath of the 2007-09 recession, home prices in the Rochester area remain solid and the real estate industry expects a pickup in activity this year after a mild slowdown. The fact that Rochester came through the recession in better shape economically than most metropolitan… Read more »

US: Pending Home Sales Rose Again in March

March saw another increase in pending home sales, with contract activity rising unevenly in six of the past nine months, according to the National Association of Realtors(R). The Pending Home Sales Index,* a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 5.1 percent to 94.1 in March from a downwardly revised 89.5 in February. The index… Read more »