Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Florida Property Tax Gridlock


"TALLAHASSEE -- Legislative negotiators officially declared gridlock Tuesday on the radical idea of abolishing all property taxes on resident homeowners by raising sales taxes - the centerpiece of House Speaker Marco Rubio's reform.
House Republicans have refused to budge from their demands to give a whopping multibillion-dollar relief plan to voters, while the Senate has steadfastly refused to consider a sales tax increase."

It sounds to me like Governor Christ's more conservative plan of rolling back property taxes and then capping them has a better chance of meeting with both House and Senate approval.

Read the full story here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Zillow Under Fire in Arizona, the home pricing service I talk about in Florida for Boomers, is coming under fire in Arizona. The Arizona Board of Property Appraisers has just issued cease and desist letters to Zillow.

The service has drawn the ire of many real estate professionals because they fear it may undermine their stranglehold on home price information. Now Appraisers are jumping on the bandwagon. But with a reported 4 million users a month and lots of venture capital, look for Zillow to put up a pretty strong fight here.

Read the full story.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007 "When you buy before its built"

The New York Times has been coming through with some good (relevant) articles for boomers relocating or buying second homes. Today, they tackle the process of buying a new home or condo before its built.

"Buying into a development before construction has begun is not a new phenomenon, but with the slowdown in the real estate market — and in condo sales in many areas — the rules are changing. A few years ago, the incentive to condo buyers was clear: You would buy early, sit back and, by the time the building was in place, be pretty certain that the unit’s value had increased substantially. But the days of buyers lining up for a condo in a building that might be years from completion are long gone — and developers are facing a new reality."

Read the full story

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Possible Flood Insurance Reform

There's a whole section in my new book Florida for Boomers about flood insurance and how important it is to have flood insurance regardless of where your home is located. There may be some changes to the National Flood Insurance Program coming up:

"Currently, homeowners can obtain up to $250,000 in coverage for their houses or condominiums, plus up to $100,000 in coverage for their contents. But last year, the House voted to raise those limits to $335,000 and $135,000, respectively."

It's anybody's guess whether or not these changes will be enacted by Congress, but the wheels are in motion. Read the full article