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If you can pull it off, buy a house

NEW YORK – Aug. 13, 2012 – Investment opinions are like, um, noses: Everyone has one. Buy stocks, sell bonds? Go long steel and short copper? Buy sheep, sell deer?

It’s pretty easy to see both sides of an investment argument. But it’s hard to argue against buying a house now, assuming you can get a loan.

The housing cycle is a long one, in part because buying a house moves at a glacial pace, at least compared with the time it takes to buy a stock or bond. If you’re not pre-approved for a mortgage, you have to submit to a credit check, which, these days, is only slightly less intrusive than a CIA background check. You have to get the home inspected. You have to figure out the various fees your bank charges, including the one marked “Just because we can.”

How long is a housing cycle? Pretty long. A relatively modest housing bubble, by today’s standards, occurred in Boston in the late 1980s. Average home prices, adjusted for inflation, hit $310,000 in October 1987. Home prices didn’t hit that level again until May of 2000. Someone who bought at the high had a long wait to get even – particularly in light of the broker’s commission.

Home prices bottomed, however, in March 1993 – roughly six years after the top. History doesn’t repeat itself precisely, but it’s interesting to note that the top of the last housing bubble was six years ago, in 2006.

Why be bullish on housing?

Prices. You can always buy low and watch prices go lower. But by many measures, home prices are still cheap. The median single-family home price – half higher, half lower – hit its nadir in January, dropping to $154,600, the lowest since October 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors. That’s down from a high of $230,900 in July 2006.

Existing-home prices rose in June to a median $190,100, up 8 percent from June 2011. Those are still 2003 levels.

Supply. The good news is that the enormous supply on the market is shrinking. It takes a wearisome amount of time for supply to shrink, in part because there are people who have wanted to sell their homes for many years, but haven’t been able to get the price they want. As prices rise, more homes come on the market.

Nevertheless, Ned Davis Research, a respected institutional research firm, estimates that excess supply of houses on the market should be eliminated by the end of 2013. When excess supply dries up, people start building more new houses, which has the virtuous effect of reducing the unemployment rate and increasing the economy generally.

Mortgage rates. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate is 3.59 percent, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac. That’s above the all-time low of 3.49 percent the week of July 26, but close enough. It’s conceivable that at some point in the next 30 years, your interest rate would be less than the rate of inflation.

Assuming you financed 80 percent of the median single-family home, or $152,080, your mortgage payment would be about $691, excluding taxes and other irritations. About $5,589 of your first year’s payments would be tax-deductible mortgage interest.

Thanks mainly to low home prices and interest rates, the NAR’s housing affordability index rose to its highest level on record. (The higher the index, the more affordable the average home. The index also takes into account average family income, which has been falling since 2008.)

What could go wrong? All sorts of things. You may not be able get a loan. Bankers are insisting on checking things that seemed far too troublesome during the housing bubble, like whether you have a decent credit rating, a down payment, or a job.

The other problem is that houses are leveraged investments – that is, you borrow money to buy them. Let’s consider the example above, where someone buys a $190,100 house and finances $152,080.

Your investment is $38,020. Let’s say that the worst happens: Home prices fall, and you have to sell the house for $175,000.

Unfortunately, the bank won’t split the loss with you. You’ll get back $22,920 from the sale, and wave goodbye to $15,100 of your downpayment. That’s a 40 percent loss, even though your house has fallen 8 percent in value.

There are other risks with homeownership, ranging from termites to ghosts in the hall closet. But if you’re planning to live in your home for a long time, you have the money, and you can get financing, it’s a fine time to buy.

14727 Clarkson Dr Orlando FL 32828

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aheAxZIslJU

Buying a Home

There are cracks in the foundation. Nothing structural. Nothing that’s going to threaten the stability of the home, but they’re there. Nooks, crannies and holes through which seeps an invisible threat. Colorless, odorless and undetectable by your average human, it is nonetheless the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States.

Radon gas – even the name sounds ominous, evoking images of radiation and nuclear devastation. Radon gas is created when uranium in the soil decays. The gas then seeps through any access point into a home. Common entry points are cracks in the foundation, poorly sealed pipes, drainage or any other loose point. Once in the home, the gas can collect in certain areas – especially basements and other low-lying, closed areas – and build up over time to dangerous levels. The Environmental Protection Agency of the US Government has set a threshold of 4 pico curies per liter as the safe level. As humans are exposed to the gas over a period of years, it can have a significant and detrimental effect.

Selling Your Home

Downsizing, upsizing, looking for something new, or any reason in between, you’re considering selling a New York property and we’re ready to help you with 23 full-time Sales Executives, a full-service support staff, legal department, and in-house marketing department. WP Estate invests over $2 million each year marketing properties on New York only, targeting qualified buyers. That’s almost $5,000 per listing. No other company invests in New York like we do.

Choosing to sell your house is a big decision that brings with it a variety of challenges. From attracting buyers to negotiating contracts, it’s helpful to have a professional real estate agent on your side to help reduce stress and lead to the best possible outcome. Finding the right real estate agent can present a challenge in itself, however, with the high quantity of qualified Australian agents out there. To get started with selling your house, you’ll want to compare agents carefully to find an individual who will be most effective in helping you with your particular needs.

Images in post

On the topic of alignment, it should be noted that users can choose from the options of None, Left, Right, and Center. In addition, they also get the options of Thumbnail, Medium, Large & Fullsize.

Image Alignment 580x300

The image above happens to be centered.

Image Alignment 150x150The rest of this paragraph is filler for the sake of seeing the text wrap around the 150×150 image, which is left aligned.

As you can see the should be some space above, below, and to the right of the image. The text should not be creeping on the image. Creeping is just not right. Images need breathing room too. Let them speak like you words. Let them do their jobs without any hassle from the text. In about one more sentence here, we’ll see that the text moves from the right of the image down below the image in seamless transition. Again, letting the do it’s thang. Mission accomplished!

And now for a massively large image. It also has no alignment.

Image Alignment 1200x400

The image above, though 1200px wide, should not overflow the content area. It should remain contained with no visible disruption to the flow of content.

Image Alignment 300x200

And now we’re going to shift things to the right align. Again, there should be plenty of room above, below, and to the left of the image. Just look at him there… Hey guy! Way to rock that right side. I don’t care what the left aligned image says, you look great. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently.

In just a bit here, you should see the text start to wrap below the right aligned image and settle in nicely. There should still be plenty of room and everything should be sitting pretty. Yeah… Just like that. It never felt so good to be right.

And just when you thought we were done, we’re going to do them all over again with captions!

Image Alignment 580x300

Look at 580×300 getting some caption love.

The image above happens to be centered. The caption also has a link in it, just to see if it does anything funky.

Image Alignment 150x150

Itty-bitty caption.

The rest of this paragraph is filler for the sake of seeing the text wrap around the 150×150 image, which is left aligned.

As you can see the should be some space above, below, and to the right of the image. The text should not be creeping on the image. Creeping is just not right. Images need breathing room too. Let them speak like you words. Let them do their jobs without any hassle from the text. In about one more sentence here, we’ll see that the text moves from the right of the image down below the image in seamless transition. Again, letting the do it’s thang. Mission accomplished!

And now for a massively large image. It also has no alignment.

Image Alignment 1200x400

Massive image comment for your eyeballs.

The image above, though 1200px wide, should not overflow the content area. It should remain contained with no visible disruption to the flow of content.

Image Alignment 300x200

Feels good to be right all the time.

And now we’re going to shift things to the right align. Again, there should be plenty of room above, below, and to the left of the image. Just look at him there… Hey guy! Way to rock that right side. I don’t care what the left aligned image says, you look great. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently.

In just a bit here, you should see the text start to wrap below the right aligned image and settle in nicely. There should still be plenty of room and everything should be sitting pretty. Yeah… Just like that. It never felt so good to be right.

And that’s a wrap, yo! You survived the tumultuous waters of alignment. Image alignment achievement unlocked!