National Housing Market Projections Looking Up, Outlook Echoed for Florida Markets

Experts are saying the spring buying season of 2012 is projected to be the best it has been in “four or five years.” The number of sales for February was up 9% nationally from February of 2011. However, experts are saying, “not all market will move together.” Florida need not worry.

Although the number of home sales in Florida for February did not “match last year’s levels,” the number of homes sold did increase over January and the prices increased over January. The median price of homes not only increased from January to February of 2012, but they also increased from $125,000 in February of 2011 to $134,000 in February of 2012. The number of available homes, however, has decreased but some say that is a good sign.

“John Tuccilo, Florida Realtors Chief Economist, stated, ‘The overall picture that these statistics show is of a stabilizing housing market. While closed sales are down, so are listings and so is inventory. These are signs of a market that’s moving from being a buyer’s market to a balanced market.’”

So, while not all markets will move together in 2012, it appears that Florida’s housing market may be moving ahead.

Information for this article was obtained from http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/housing/story/2012-04-01/spring-home-buying/53935318/1 and http://loanrateupdate.com/mortgages/florida-home-sales-climb-in-february.

Sarah Gulati admitted to the Florida Bar

Boyer Law Firm is proud to announce that Sarah Gulati has been admitted to the Florida Bar.

The Florida Board of Bar Examiners is the entity charged by the Florida Supreme Court with assuring that only qualified persons will be admitted to the practice of law in this state. The Board of Bar Examiners investigates the character and fitness of applicants, develops and administers the bar examination for attorney candidates, and submits for Supreme Court approval the names of those qualified for admission to practice.
Miss. Gulati has successfully met the requirements of the Florida Bar and has been granted permission to practice law in Florida. This allows her to plead cases in Jacksonville, Orlando, Miami and all over Florida.

Miss. Gulati has worked closely with attorneys and other professionals on the firm’s domestic and international business contracts throughout her law school career and now continues to pursue her career after law school. She is actively involved in all aspects of litigation support, including drafting pleadings and correspondence, attending document reviews, investigation, legal research, and dealing with clients on a day to day basis.
Her previous experience with the Firm has equipped her to familiarize many procedures taken during complicated transactions. She has also had previous experience in the banking industry which has helped equip her to deal with managing risks and transactions often associated with litigated cases.

We invite you to contact her before making your decision to live, work, or invest in the U.S.

Florida is America’s Top Four States for Exports

Since 2008, Florida has remained in the top five for America’s leading export states and came in fourth for 2011.  In fact, Florida increased the amount it exported by 17% over the numbers published from 2010.  On top of Florida’s yearly gains in annual exports, Florida’s new exports accounted for $9.4 billion, which was higher than the national average.  These numbers include both products and services, of which Florida exported over $30 billion worth.  Florida’s export industry also provides thousands of jobs and is a major player in the state’s economy.  However, things may not go as well overall in 2012.

One of Florida’s major import/export partners has seen a drop in exports from Florida and an increase in exports to Florida.  Spain is dealing with an economic crisis, which Florida feels, mainly in the Miami area.  Florida exports to Spain in 2011 dropped “nearly 30%” due mainly to high unemployment in the country causing a drop in demand.  On the other hand, Spanish exports to Florida rose over 50%, which may be partially attributable to the United States’ ability to handle its own economic crisis.  Despite the drop in Florida’s exports to Spain last year, Florida was still able to finish number four in the country for exports, which speaks volumes about the strength of Florida’s import/export industry.

Florida Governor Rick Scott stated, “This ranking confirms that Florida is a great place to do business on a global scale… My team works every day to make Florida the No. 1 business state and a highly valued trade partner with countries around the world, especially those in Central and South America.”

Information for this article was found at http://www.sunshineslate.com/2012/03/26/florida-2011-exports/ and http://www.miamitodaynews.com/news/120405/story5.shtml.

Jacksonville’s Expanding Port is Paying Off

Jacksonville’s Port (JAXPORT) is saying hello to Carnival Cruises and goodbye to Honda, well hello and goodbye, that is.  JAXPORT is going to be the new “departure port” used to send Honda CR-Vs to the “Middle East, Africa, and Puerto Rico.”  The exporting of Hondas from JAXPORT is nothing new, however, as JAXPORT is already used to send Oddyseys, Accords, Pilots, and Crosstours out of the country.  Honda’s CR-Vs are the only new addition to the exports at JAXPORT.
JAXPORT is also now a place where people can leave the country for a short time.  For years, the residents of Duval County and the surrounding areas have had to make their way to Orlando, Miami, or another distant Florida city in order to board a cruise.  JAXPORT and Carnival Cruise Lines are changing that problem.  Carnival Cruise Lines is now offering cruises from Jacksonville to the Bahamas aboard the vessel named “Carnival Fascination.”  What is truly fascinating is that the plans to continue expanding JAXPORT this year already seem to be paying off and increasing Jacksonville’s place among the country’s busy ports.

If you have questions or matters regarding Imports and/or Exports, please call us today.

Information for this article was obtained from www.jaxport.com.

Bank of America to offer rentals as foreclosure alternative

Bank of America says it has begun a pilot program offering some of its mortgage customers who are facing foreclosure a chance to stay in their homes by becoming renters instead of owners.

The “Mortgage to Lease” program, which was launched this week, will be available to fewer than 1,000 BofA customers selected by the bank in test markets in Arizona, Nevada and New York.

Participants will transfer their home’s title to the bank, which will then forgive the outstanding mortgage debt. In exchange, they will be able to lease their home for up to three years at or below the rental market rate. The rent will be less than the participants’ current mortgage payments and customers will not have to pay property taxes or homeowners insurance, the bank said.

“This pilot will help determine whether conversion from homeownership to rental is something our customers, the community and investors will support,” Ron Sturzenegger, legacy asset servicing executive of Bank of America, said in a statement.

Among requirements to qualify for the program, homeowners must have a BofA loan, be behind at least 60 days on payments and be “underwater,” owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth.

The bank based in Charlotte, N.C., said it will at first own the homes, then sell them to investors. If the program is successful, it could be expanded to include real-estate investors who buy qualifying properties and keep the occupants on as tenants.

“If this evolves from a pilot into a more broadly based program, we also see potential benefits from helping to stabilize housing prices in the surrounding community and curtail neighborhood blight by keeping a portion of distressed properties off the market,” Sturzenegger said.

Nevada has the nation’s highest foreclosure rate as of last month, with one in every 278 households in the state receiving a foreclosure-related filing, twice the national average, according to RealtyTrac. Arizona ranks third behind California, while New York has not been as hard hit, with one in every 4,604 households receiving a foreclosure-related filing.

This program has not hit Florida yet, but there are some different alternatives that some banks would consider instead of a foreclosure which greatly impacts your credit. Please contact Boyer Law Firm if you are facing an upcoming foreclosure or would like to prevent it from happening.

Information contained in this article was obtained from: http://www.floridarealtors.org/NewsAndEvents/article.cfm?p=2&id=273424