Showing posts from January, 2012

Another Example of Government Intervention in Real Estate

A new article is out regarding FHA certification of condo buildings for buyers trying to obtain low down payment FHA insured mortgages. These types of mortgages attract mostly first time home buyers.  While the Sarasota area is not a mecca for first-time buyers, and our housing market is healthier than most, it's yet another example of supposedly well-intentioned government regulation putting a damper on the housing market. The FHA "certifies" a condo building for approval for FHA financing based on financial health of the condo association and a raft of other analyses of condo ownership and legal issues.  Of course, the burden of providing paperwork to the FHA falls on the condo association management, many of whom are already scrambling with owners in short sale or foreclosure.  To make matters even worse, the goverment apparently has not made rules and regulations for condo managers easily available.  Like the good public servants they are, the FHA hopes to actua

Sarasota Ranked Top 5 Florida School Districts 2011

I just read an article on Yahoo News about Florida school district rankings. Sarasota County is in the top 5 in 2011.  Read the article here: You can also view the rankings here: Top ranked beaches, top ranked place to retire, and now the top schools in Florida make Sarasota the best place to buy real estate in 2012.

Are Cash Buyers Driving Down Home Prices?

I saw another real estate article in my daily update from Florida Realtors that made me roll my eyes. In the article ( link here ), cash buyers are blamed for forcing down home prices, because a recent survey showed 1 in 3 buyers were cash investors. Since when does having cash translate into a bank or a private seller dropping their sales price?  Yes, it's a great tool to have in a negotiation to leverage terms or in a multiple offer situation (in which case, the property price is usually bid UP), but it's a bit of a stretch to blame the continued soft real estate market on investors. As Realtors we should be watching unwanted government intervention as the cause of unhealthy real estate markets to help speed recovery and rebuild confidence in the buying public.

Save Money on Foreign Exchange

Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange – Save Money on Currency Exchange In an effort to save save my real estate clients more money and provide value, I have negotiated special deals with Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange when you need to purchase US dollars with Canadian dollars.  Simply put, using them will allow you to get better exchange rates than the banks, and better exchange rates means more savings for you. Many Canadians don’t know that banks include a currency exchange margin hidden within the exchange rate they see when they purchase US dollars. This margin can be up to 2-4%. Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange guarantees to beat your bank’s exchange rate. The process is fast, easy, secure, and will save you money. I invite you to contact Knightsbridge Foreign Exchange at and mention David Barr as the referral code to receive preferred pricing and free wire transfers.

2011, adios!

Is anyone else out there glad 2011 is over?  Yes, it was a huge improvement over 2010, as we began to see the real estate market recover in the last part of the year.  It didn't kill me, so as the saying goes, it made me stronger. I get the impression that buyers in the market now are working with a mindset that's about a year old.  While other agents are touting our recovering market, I think this could discourage potential buyers from considering the Sarasota area if they think they can get better "deals" in cities like Tampa or Ft. Myers. Real estate in soft markets like Tampa is like buying stock in Netflix.  It's bound to go lower.  Is that a good investment? We are better off in our local real estate industry promoting the past and current demand for the Sarasota lifestyle.  There are plenty of recent articles and statistics to back this up.  As one recent client said to me, "Tampa prices looked good on paper, until I saw Sarasota and figured ou