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Friday, January 18, 2013

Getting the 411 on the Orlando Condo Housing Market

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When the real estate bubble burst, Metro Orlando was regarded as the hardest hit area in the country.  To get completely clear, accurate Orlando mortgage info, it is advised that you do some online research and find a fully licensed and experienced Orlando mortgage broker who can skip over the housing market’s potholes without blinking or missing a beat. But for now, this article will arm you with a basic picture of facts to help prepare you for that must-have conversation.

What happened in Orlando?

For many, trying to obtain a mortgage in Orlando is about as fun as standing in line at the DMV. Trying to obtain one in Orlando is even harder. And trying to obtain one for a condo is harder yet. Because the Orlando market was hit so violently, many lenders in the have been notoriously combative in offering mortgages. To make matters more complicated, getting a mortgage on a condo is a process that has even more hoops to jump though and hurdles to clear. Back in 2006, nine out of ten condos purchased were financed through traditional mortgages. However, last year nine in ten condos was purchased with cash. In an article published by The Orlando Sentinel, the author gives an explanation for this flip-flop. Readers are informed that government-backed mortgages that helped fuel Orlando’s overheated apartment-to-condominium conversions have all but disappeared, despite the growing number of would-be owner-occupants who are looking at condos as being potential starter homes. The article continues to state that despite the troubled finances of many homeowner associations, condos have lost their mortgage backing in part because federal lending policies discriminate against multifamily properties, as reported by a number of real estate brokers and agents. HARP 1.0 (Home Affordable Refinance Program) was launched to help Orlando’s and other struggling housing markets, but it only aided roughly one fourth of the targeted number it had its sites set on. Under the Obama administration, government officials went back to the drawing board and launched HARP 2.0 which has met some success and continues to excel in helping homeowners get their mortgages (or to refinance on their current one).
Another factor that helped push the Orlando market along happened in 2010 when Fannie Mae launched a program with Florida specifically in mind. This program made exceptions to its rules so it could back mortgages in condo projects that would have previously been denied. Fannie Mae did this by granting certain condo complexes in Florida “special approval” delegations, despite the fact that many of these properties failed to meet one or more rules involving delinquent HOA fees.

Going Forward

With notable improvements and gains, housing experts predict good things for Orlando’s real estate market in 2013. The Wall Street Journal says that while credit remains tight, rising prices could usher in an egress for regulations to lock in some defensive underwriting tactics, while impeding capital rules may encourage banks to pare their lending footprint. The market has certainly improved over the past few years, but this is not to say that there still aren’t challenging hurdles to overcome. Continue to learn about your local market, and contact an experienced mortgage broker who can take your hand and lead you into being one of those statistics we are all looking to see on the rise—people who got their Orlando condo mortgage.


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