The Orlando Condo Blog

Orlando's Real Estate Pulse…

Orlando Condo Investor Update

By: Marcus Burke
With spring in Orlando already well underway, were seeing uptick in the number of enquiries we are receiving from our clients who are thinkng about either exiting the marketplace, or acquiring new properties. As those of you who purchased through our real estate division know, at Condo Metropolis, apart from managing our investors condos and town-homes, we also help with the acquisition of new assets, as well as the disposal (sale) of those that have done their job. So if you have any questions relating to the eventual sale your investment, feel free to call or email us at any time.

 

The Orlando condo market reached rock bottom a couple of years ago now and prices have been steadily increasing ever since, at the rate of about $10K per year on average. Perhaps more around downtown Orlando. Whether or not the time is right for you to sell, will depend largely on what you paid for the unit in the first place of course, as well as your personal circumstances.

 

For those of you who were lucky enough to purchase from banks in around 2008-9 you may have already seen a doubling in price. In other cases, you may need to hold for a couple more years to see the investment make the return you had hoped for as prices continue to rise. Certainly there is every sign that the market will continue to slowly improve and as lending comes back, prices are likely to rise further. In about 80% of cases, my advice would be to “hold” pending further price rises so that you can see real capital gains but also cover the fees and taxes associated with selling. Continue Reading »

State of the Condo Market

By: Marcus Burke

According to a recent report by Movoto Real Estate, the price for condos increased in October when compared to the same time a year ago. This increase, caused by a lack inventory, is good news for sellers. Nevertheless, while the current market favors sellers, month-over-month data indicates that more condos are coming on the market, which will adversely affect list prices.

In the past year, the median list price per square foot index for a condo increased from $200 to $222, or 11.4 percent. During the same 12 month period, inventory remained almost flat at about 29,200 units.

Nevertheless, inventory levels have remained flat or increased on a month-over-month basis since January. If this trend continues, buyers will have more purchasing power, as there will be more units for them to choose from and decreased competition.

Read the full report here.

Condo Amenities, Are They Really Worth It?

By: Marcus Burke

Do you love the sights and sounds of downtown Orlando and already see yourself on the balcony of a high-rise condo toasting with friends?  Of course you do, but you’re not sure if all the amenities are worth the extra cash you’ll be shelling out to live in a downtown condo. In this post we’ll go over all of the expenses you would be paying if you moved into a house instead of a condo and let you decide for yourself.

Most downtown condos have the following amenities gym, pool, hot tub, sauna, parking garage, security, upgraded appliances, and no lawn to take care of. So what would this cost you if you just got a house on the outskirts of downtown?

If you’re into staying fit a gym membership is a necessity, packages at LA Fitness start around $30 to $45 a month just for a single person, double or triple that for couples or families. Besides the cost you have to travel there, use the smelly locker rooms, and deal with overcrowding.

As for a pool, if you can find a house with one to begin with, it could cover the spread for amenity costs alone. A pool not including a hot tub or sauna could run as high as $400 a month factoring in a cleaning service, electric bills, and repairs.

While parking is free when you own a house, parking is certainly not free when you frequent the downtown area you enjoy so much. If you only visit downtown twice a week you are probably paying $30 a month in parking fees when you could be there everyday for free. Continue Reading »

Housing Market No Longer Your Enemy

By: Greg Whiteside

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is attempting to throw another prophylactic over the al­ready shrink-wrapped big-swinging mortgage industry (yes, that was a dick joke).  New regulations will provide stricter rules on loans with teaser rates, negative amortization, and a world of other fea­tures that basically no one does anymore.  They will also be offering a legal “safe harbor” that will bar any consumer lawsuits against the banks writing these loans so long as they are compliant.

You hear that?  If we play by Uncle Sam’s new rules you can’t sue us.  It’ll be like mooning the lions at the zoo.  They want to maul us but the bullet-proof 6-inch-thick plexiglass says otherwise.  And those dumb, furry cats thought they were at the top of the food chain.  Invent an iPhone and we’ll talk, Puddy-Tats.

For nine straight months, home prices have been moving up.  And the moves appear to be getting big­ger and bigger.  Am I shocked?  Nope.  Considering home values have been a drag on the economy for quite some time now, it’s about time my industry started adding to GDP.  Stocks have enjoyed a siz­able rally since their lows.  Global economic health has stabilized and, to this author’s knowledge, no one is trying to nuke anyone else at this time.  It’s about damn time that people started realizing the greatest investment on earth is earth itself.

Pretty awesome line?  You betcha.  And I totally stole it from someone more eloquent than me. Continue Reading »

Madison Condos New Website

By: Marcus Burke

The Madison Condos in MetroWest has a new website that reflects the condominium’s, new self-managed status. The site offers live MLS access and owners and would-be owners can see the inventory that is currently up for grabs, as well as competing units in the 32835 (MetroWest) zip code.

There are separate news sections for owners and tenants and the site includes diagrams of the various floor plans, as well as access to the Madison condo docs. The site went live December 1, 2012.

For more information on the Madison visit their new site and for information on units currently available or a tour, call Condo Metropolis on: 407-901-5161.

The Windward on Lake Conway Condos

By: Marcus Burke

Conway Crest condos are back – as The Winward on Lake Conway Condos.

For those who were wondering what happened to the 29-home condo community, they were purchased by a new owner/developer (Concord/Wilshire) and after a change-over period, they are now back on the market. Sales began last year and have been ramping up over the summer.

The new owners, Concord have been in construction / development for over 20 years all over the southeast. They have managed over 45 different assets and were involved in the design and construction of The Marriott Grand Lakes here in Orlando.

The Winward on Lake Conway condo community is already 60% sold out and qualifies for FHA financing, making them one of the few condos in Orlando that you could actually get a mortgage on (most condos don’t qualify).

Located on Belle Isle on the Conway Chain of Lakes, the Winward condos are said to be selling selling at 20% below replacement cost. Pricing starts from $224,000 and runs up to $299,000.

About 5 of the 29 condos have water frontage and of course these are the most popular. Construction of boat docks with 9 slips will begin at the end of 2012.

The Winward on Lake Conway is a new construction project and the homes have never been lived in. The condos feature hardwood floors, granite, and stainless steel as standard finishes.

For more information or a tour of The Winward condos, give us a buzz here at Condo Metropolis on: 407-901-5161.

Condos Versus Townhomes

By: Richard Thompson

Question: What is the difference between a condo and a townhouse? Can one be both a condo and a townhouse?

Answer: The term “townhouse” is often used to describe side by side common wall units which may or may not be condominiums. The definition of a condominium is about how real estate is held: All condo owners own or lease an undivided interest in all real estate. In non-condo HOAs, owners share an undivided interest in common real estate plus an individual interest in real estate below their unit or home. Continue Reading »

Investors: No, you can’t use the pool!

By: Marcus Burke


It comes as a surprise to some, but under the Florida Condominium Act, when an owner decides to rent out their condo, their rights to use the on-site amenities like the pool, gym, tennis courts etc. pass to the renter.

“Dual use” as it is referred to, is generally prohibited by the governing documents, meaning that owners who have tenants living in their homes can actually be prevented from using their own facilities.

Unfair? Not really. The amenities are developed for use by only a certain number of persons and in communities where most of the units are owned by investors who rent out their condos, that use could effectively be doubled, putting enormous pressure on the infrastructure. Just as you can’t live in your home once it’s rented, nor can you use the pool. Fortunately, in most cases, this never becomes an issue as most condo investors live out of state – or out of the country.

For more information on acquiring MetroWest investment condos, contact us here at Condo Metropolis on 407-290-3408. We look after the entire life cycle of your investment, meaning as your Realtor we will help you purchase a property, as your property manager we will find a renter for you and manage the unit, and finally, when you are ready to exit from your investment, we become your Realtor once more, listing and sell the unit for you!

Orlando Condo Penthouses in Demand

By: Marcus Burke

The Orlando Sentinel reports that “Five years after local real-estate professionals wrote off the downtown Orlando condominium market as a dark-windowed wasteland of half-empty towers, urban lifestyles and downtown views have sparked bidding wars on upscale units.”

However the piece fails to acknowledge the one of the key determining factors in the increased dollar sales. Limited supply and increased demand.

It’s not so much that there’s anything special about the units or the market, builders simply underestimated the demand for high end penthouses in Orlando and built only a couple in each tower.

Hardly surprising really. This isn’t Miami, or L.A. And who was to know in 2004 that the Amway Area would be built causing our local basketball players to seek high end accommodation in humble Orlando.

With financing options virtually eliminated, the only buyers with the ability to purchase Orlando condo penthouses have been well healed cash buyers, and there have been precious few of those – until recently.

For more information on the Orlando condo scene and penthouse options, contact Condo Metropolis on 407-290-3408 or email Info@CondoMetropolis.com

See also this post on one of the best post-condo-crash deals, a Solaire penthouse which sold in 2008.

HOA Liability in Trayvon Martin Case

By: Lisa Magill

So much for “gated communities.” Attorney Ken Direktor appears on CNN discussing potential association liability on the Trayvon Martin case. Interesting stuff. Orland condo buyers should worry more about the community itself rather than whether or not it is gated. Half the time, the issues are on the inside of the gate!