Bradenton Real Estate

February 24, 2013

FNC Report: Housing Recovery Takes Hold for the Long Haul


FNC Report: Housing Recovery Takes Hold for the Long Haul

Though home foreclosures continue to be a challenge in many hard-hit markets, a report released this week by mortgage technology company FNC indicates the ongoing housing recovery should continue for the long haul.

According to FNC’s Foreclosure Market Report, foreclosure prices have bottomed out in recent months and the foreclosure market has stabilized while underlying home values are rising. Foreclosure prices are at a 10-year low (when the sizes of foreclosed homes are factored in).

This trend of a rising underlying market accompanied by stabilizing foreclosure prices is the first encouraging development in the housing recession, according to FNC Senior Research Economist, Dr. Yanling Mayer.

“The fact that we are seeing a combination of rising home prices and a bottoming out of foreclosure prices is a very good sign the housing recovery is taking hold,” Mayer says. “This is the very first time in the long housing recession that the two are happening at the same time.”

FNC’s report shows that foreclosure price discounts, which compare a foreclosed home’s estimated market value to its final sales price, have dropped to pre-mortgage crisis levels at about 12.2 percent in Q4 2012. At the height of the mortgage crisis in 2008 and 2009, foreclosed homes were typically sold at more than 25 percent below their estimated market value. Additionally, the report indicates that the typical size of foreclosed homes is also approaching pre-crisis levels.

“If you look at the period of short-lived recovery under the first-time homebuyer tax credits, the foreclosure market was still in the midst of rapid deterioration with the influx of delinquent mortgages,” Mayer says. “This time, we are witnessing an entirely different development in the foreclosure market.”

FNC publishes the mortgage industry’s first market-valued based foreclosure price discount to gauge the degree of market distress. For more information about the foreclosure price discount, please refer to FNC’s March 2011 report located here.

More highlights from FNC’s Foreclosure Market Report:

• Single-family REO and foreclosure sales are 18.1 percent in Q4 2012, down from 26.5 percent in Q1 2012 and 24.2 percent in Q4 2011.

• The median foreclosure price is $93,000 or $65 per square foot. In comparison, the median price on non-foreclosure sales is $183,500 or $106 per square.

• Foreclosure price discounts are typically larger for low-tier properties, averaging 18.4 percent in Q4 2012. High-end properties, on the other hand, are typically sold close to their market value.

• Collateral depreciation – the difference between a property’s prior purchase price and foreclosure sale price – continues to decelerate, down to 6.4 percent in Q4 2012 from 8.4 percent a year earlier. Among the re-sales of non-distressed homes, homeowners typically broke even and many even realized a small price appreciation (+0.4 percent).

• Michigan has the nation’s highest concentration of foreclosure sales; 56 percent of homes sold in Q4 2012 are foreclosure sales. In contrast, foreclosure sales in judicial states such as New York, New Jersey, and Vermont only make up 5 percent of home sales.

• Foreclosure rates in a number of the hardest hit states are at or below the national average: Arizona (14.3 percent), California (19.8 percent), Florida (20.5 percent), and Nevada (13.0%).

• Midwest cities including Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, and St. Louis have the largest concentration of foreclosure sales.

• Las Vegas, Phoenix, Riverside, and Sacramento show rapid declines in foreclosure sales in the last 12 months.

• Foreclosure price discounts are much smaller in markets with fast-rising prices. Many buyers in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Sacramento, San Diego, and Riverside paid a price premium on foreclosure sales, meaning foreclosure sales price exceeded estimated market value.

• Judicial foreclosures are generally associated with the largest price discount in foreclosure sales: New York (30 percent), Boston (32 percent), and Philadelphia (32.8 percent).

• Of the cities identified by the Federal Reserve Board as the largest REO inventory markets entering 2012, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Riverside saw a significant decline in market distress during the year.

Phoenix is leading the nation in recovery with home prices up 26 percent in 2012 and foreclosure down from 29 percent to 12 percent.

For more information, visit

The Serena Group ~ Keller Williams Realty of Manatee

is here for you!  Contact Us Today!


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for foreclosures and short sales,

as well as traditional homes for sale  

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Contact The Serena Group anytime for assistance with buying or selling a Bradenton, Sarasota, Manatee county, or Sarasota County home!

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August 16, 2012

Fighting Off Foreclosure

Thank you to the folks at eLocal for the following guest post relating to ‘Avoiding Foreclosure.’


As we hear about foreclosures in the news almost daily now, it is important to understand how the foreclosure process works and what some of the other options might be.

Foreclosure is an emotional and arduous process, as well as being catastrophic to your credit rating.  Foreclosure can stay on your credit report for up to 7 years and remains a part of your public record forever.

 eLocal asked their Legal Expert Network, which is made up of real estate agents and real estate lawyers, how to protect against foreclosure.They received many responses.   Using these responses, along with doing some further research on their part, eLocal compiled this information into a mini infographic foreclosure guide.


Fighting Off Foreclosure - Infographic by

Fighting Off Foreclosure – Infographic by

July 13, 2012

Bradenton, Short Sale, Agents… Another Successful Short Sale Transaction!

Bradenton, Short Sale, Agent, Agents, Specialist, Specialists, homes, properties

bradenton, short sale, short sales, sold, agent, agents, realtor, realtors, homes, properties, listings


For many Real Estate professionalsshort sales and foreclosures are the new “traditional” transactions.  REALTORS® who have earned the SFR designation know how to help short sale sellers maneuver through the complications, challenges,  and special situations that short sales sometimes  present.

It’s extremely important to have the help of a real estate professional who has earned the SFR (Short Sale, Foreclosure Resource) designation for these kinds of transactions.

Bob Serena, Team Leader for The Serena Group has earned this designation.

If you’re a homeowner who is in trouble  or underwater with your mortgage contact us today ► 941.928.1248.

For more short sale information, visit our short sale resource web page

March 21, 2012

Special Skills, Representation, Guidance, and Options for Home Buyers and Home Owners for Short Sales, Foreclosures, and Distressed Properties

Our team leader, Bob Serena, holds a special distressed property REALTOR designation, SFR (Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource).  This special designation, and the advantage & value that it provides to a real estateclient, pertains to both home owners who may be exploring the option of avoiding a foreclosure by selecting to do a short sale instead, and for home buyers who want to invest in real estate or take advantage of distressed property pricing for a home purchase.

Click here for ► More about Short Sale and Foreclosure agent representation for home buyers and home sellers …

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For more information send us a message… We’ll get right back with you!

February 8, 2012

Bradenton, Manatee County, Real Estate, News, Statistics, and Market Report

Welcome to the Latest Issue of The Serena Group Newsletter!

As a real estate professionals, we strive to keep in touch with our clients providing them with information that we hope they will find useful.

This newsletter is an opportunity to let you know about the state of the market & current trends. It may even touch on ways that you could enhance your home’s value.

We hope the market data & articles will help you with understanding real estate today & help you with your real estate decisions. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!

Robert Serena ~ Team Leader ~ 941.928.1248

Trend, Tips & Tricks

Manatee County in Florida Real Estate Sales Data

Average Listing Price (last 12 months)

Average List Price in January

Single Family Homes $444,390 Condos/ Townhomes $308,539 Multi-family $325,437

Home Improvements and Which Ones to Do

Home Improvements and Which Ones to Do

Whether you plan to sell in the near future, or just want to improve the value of your home, here is one low cost improvement you should consider. Give your home curb appeal!
Landscape the front yard. If the bushes are overgrown, the birds are dining on grubs in your lawn, and dandelions are the only flowers in the front yard, perhaps it’s time to get out the gardening tools.
Landscaping today doesn’t mean three evergreen bushes on the right and three evergreen bushes on the left. There are dozens of choices of plant materials that can add color and style to your front yard. Stop by your local landscaping center – they’ll have lots of ideas for you. Know the measurements and layout of your yard so a landscaper can advise you on how many plants or supplies you need.

Manatee County in Florida Real Estate Sales Data

Days on Market (last 12 months)

Current Average Days on Market in January

Single Family Homes 176 Condos/ Townhomes 207 Multi-family 288

Monthly Trivia articles


Valentine’s Day (February 14) has been associated with romantic love for centuries, but modern day Valentines are often expressions of non-romantic love. Originally celebrated on All Saint’s Day in May, Valentine’s Day was moved to February in the 1400s.
February is named after the Latin word februare (to purify), in recognition of the Roman festival for forgiveness of sins on February 15. But not for sins committed on Valentine’s Day as the Roman festival was many centuries before Valentine’s Day moved to February.
The birth flower for February is the Violet or the Primrose. The modern birthstone is the Amethyst (security, sobriety, spirituality and wisdom) and the traditional birthstone is the Onyx (relaxation and comfort).

Manatee County in Florida Real Estate Sales Data

Price Reduction (last 12 months)

Recent Price Reductions in January

Single Family Homes 6.4% Condos/ Townhomes 6.3% Multi-family 11.8%


short sale and foreclosure resource for home sellers and home buyers
Our team leader, Bob Serena, has completed the necessary education & training necessary to obtain his SFR (Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource) REALTOR® Designation.Not familiar with that acronym? What does that mean to you?It simply means that Bob has taken the time, energy, & expense to further educate himself on how to provide home buyers (as well as home sellers) with the very best real estate service with respect to Foreclosures & Short Sales.REALTORS® who have earned the SFR (Short Sale, Foreclosure Resource) certification know how to help home buyers pursue short sale & foreclosure opportunities. SFR Agents know the best ways & strategies to negotiate with lenders, protect buyers, & limit risk for their clients involved in short sale and foreclosure transactions.
Please use the form below to let us know how we might assist  you with your Real Estate plans!

May 11, 2011

Just listed: 7123 27th Ave Dr W, Bradenton, FL 34209 for $39,900

October 22, 2010

Looking for Foreclosures? Free Search Tool!

Looking for foreclosures? Use our free search tool here!

search for foreclosures, bradenton, sarasota, manatee, sarasota, county, search tool

October 7, 2010

Bradenton, Manatee County, Real Estate, Bank Owned, Distressed Property, Foreclosure, Short Sale, Statistics, Reports


Bradenton, Manatee County, Real Estate, Distressed Property, Foreclosure, Short Sale, Statistics, Report

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Facing Foreclosure? What to Do Right Now!

Facing Foreclosure?  What to Do Right Now!

A record high 2.8 million properties were hit with foreclosure notices in 2009. That’s the bad news. The good news: About two-thirds of notices don’t result in actual foreclosures, says Doug Robinson of NeighborWorks, a nonprofit group that offers foreclosure counseling.

Many homeowners find alternatives to foreclosure by negotiating with lenders, often with the help of foreclosure counselors. If you’re facing foreclosure, call your lender right now to determine your options, which can include loan modification, forbearance, or a short sale.

Foreclosure process takes time

The entire foreclosure process can take anywhere from two to 12 months, depending on how fast your lender acts and where you live. Some states allow a nonjudicial process that’s speedier, while others require time-consuming judicial proceedings.

Once you miss at least one mortgage payment, the steps leading up to an actual foreclosure sale can include demand letters, notices of default, a recorded notice of foreclosure, publication of the debt, and the scheduling of a foreclosure auction. Even when an auction is scheduled, however, it may never occur, or it may occur but a qualified buyer doesn’t materialize.

Bottom line: Foreclosure can be a long slog, which gives you enough time to come up with an alternative. Meantime, if your goal is to salvage your home, think about keeping up with payments for homeowners insurance and property taxes. Otherwise, you could compound your problems by getting hit with an uncovered casualty loss or liability suit, or tax liens.

Read the fine print

Start by reviewing all correspondence you’ve received from your lender. The letters—and phone calls—probably began once you were 30 days past due. Also review your mortgage documents, which should outline what steps your lender can take. For instance, is there a “power of sale” clause that authorizes the sale of your home to pay off a mortgage after you miss payments?

Determine the specific foreclosure laws for your state. What’s the timeline? Do you have “right of redemption,” essentially a grace period in which you can reverse a foreclosure? Are deficiency judgments that hold you responsible for the difference between what your home sells for and your loan’s outstanding balance allowed? Get answers.

Pick up the phone

Don’t give up because you missed a mortgage payment or two and received a notice of default. Foreclosure isn’t a foregone conclusion, but it’s heading in that direction if you don’t call your lender. Dial the number on your mortgage statement, and ask for the Loss Mitigation Department. You might stay on hold for a while, but don’t hang up. Once you do get someone on the line, take notes and record names.

The next call should be to a foreclosure avoidance counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. One of these counselors can, free of charge, explain your state’s foreclosure laws, discuss alternatives to foreclosure, help you organize financial documents, and even represent you in negotiations with your lender. Be wary of unsolicited offers of help, since foreclosure rescue scams are common.

Be sure to let your lender know that you’re working with a counselor. Not only does it demonstrate your resolve, but according to NeighborWorks, homeowners who receive foreclosure counseling are 1.6 times more likely to avoid losing their homes than those who don’t. Homeowners who receive loan modifications with the help of a counselor also reduce monthly mortgage payments by $454 more than homeowners who receive a modification without the aid of a counselor.

Lender alternatives to foreclosure

Hope Now, an alliance of mortgage companies and housing counselors, can aid homeowners facing foreclosure. A self-assessment tool will give you an idea whether you might be eligible for help from your lender, and there are direct links to HUD-approved counseling agencies and lenders’ foreclosure-prevention programs.

There are alternatives to foreclosure that your lender might accept. The most attractive option that’ll allow you to keep your home is a loan modification that reduces your monthly payment. A modification can entail lowering the interest rate, changing a loan from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate, extending the term of a loan, or eliminating past-due balances. Another option, forbearance, can temporarily suspend payments, though the amount will likely be tacked on to the end of the loan.

If you’re unable to make even reduced payments, and assuming a conventional sale isn’t possible, then it may be best to turn your home over to your lender before a foreclosure is completed. A completed foreclosure can decimate a credit score, which will make it hard not only to purchase another home someday, but also to rent a home in the immediate future.

Your lender can approve a short sale, in which the proceeds are less than what’s still owed on your mortgage. A deed-in-lieu of foreclosure, which amounts to handing over your keys to your lender, is another possibility. The earlier you begin talks with your lender, the more likelihood of success.

Explore government programs

The federal government’s Making Home Affordable program offers two options: loan modification and refinancing. A self-assessment will indicate which option might be right for you, but you need to apply for the program through your lender. A Making Home Affordable loan modification requires a three-month trial period before it can become permanent.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have their own foreclosure-prevention programs as well. Check to determine if either Fannie or Freddie owns your mortgage. Present this information to your lender and your counselor. Fannie and Freddie also have rental programs under which former owners can remain in recently foreclosed homes on a month-to-month basis.

The federal Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives program, which takes full effect in April 2010, offers lenders financial incentives to approve short sales and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure. It also provides $1,500 in relocation assistance to borrowers. Again, talk to your lender and counselor.

Source: ~ Jerry DeMuth has written about mortgages and other financial issues for more than two decades for trade publications, major newspapers, and consumer magazines. His writing has received four awards and has been included in eight non-fiction books.





The Family That Welcomes YOU Home!

April 8, 2009


Home Improvement Made Easier
With 203(k) loans!

You can take advantage of a “fixer” home and make repairs with FHA 203(k) Rehabilitation mortgage. With one loan that combines the cost of buying the home with the cost of making repairs, the 203(k) could be ideal for qualified buyers interested in purchasing a home in need of repairs or updating!

The 203(k) advantages:203k-photo

 Refinancing existing liens on eligible primary, owner occupied residences and rehabilitate such a dwelling
 Qualify with as little as 3.5% down
 Cash needed for repairs is built into the loan amount
 Loan amount is based on the “as-improved” value
 Owner occupied, FHA approved condos can qualify

For homes needing limited repairs, qualified buyers may opt to use the FHA Streamline 203(k), featuring all of the advantages of the 203(k), except that up to $35,000 of loan proceeds can be applied toward repair / rehabilitation.

For More Information:

At Countrywide, you get direct access to local home loan experts so that you can turn that “fixer-upper” into a cozy, comfortable home!

Call Bill McGowan for more information or visit us on the web at:

Bill McGowan
Home Loan Consultant


Office 941.708.3137 ( Ext. 225)
Mobile 941.720.5665
Fax 866.409.5182

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