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Overall Polk County Existing Home Prices for July 2010

Polk County’s overall existing home sales still strong for numbers of homes sold for the Month of July with a total of 617 properties sold despite the declining home prices and the end of the first-time homebuyer tax credit. Prices continue to decrease downwards blaming it still widely on discounted distressed sales throughout the county from the previous year and years’ prior.

A look back in history:

  • July 2006 – median price $185,000 (-51.41%) – 721 homes sold
  • July 2007 – median price $180,000 (-50.06%) – 437 homes sold
  • July 2008 – median price $147,575 (-39.08%) – 462 homes sold
  • July 2009 – median price $108,000 (-16.76%) – 598 homes sold

617 existing homes sold – a decrease of 23.54% from the previous month (807 sold homes) in Polk County, FL.

Overall sales decreased marginally to $89,000 in Polk’s median price for existing homes from the previous month of $95,000, however, the Polk’s median home price from the previous year is showing a double-digit decline by 16.76%.

Take a look at the city you live in and see what the numbers are for July 2010 for existing home sales – single-family homes, condominiums, manufactured homes, duplex, villas, and townhomes -including distressed properties in Polk County.  Please take note only sales recorded by Realtors® are taken into account. The source for this data is Mid-Florida Regional MLS Service; it is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

City         Average Sold Price            Median Sold Price           # of Homes Sold

AUBURNDALE 92,681 85,000 26
BABSON PARK 546,000 546,000 2
BARTOW 120,315 64,500 13
DAVENPORT 120,018 110,000 144
DUNDEE 55,475 59,450 4
EAGLE LAKE 101,025 98,000 4
FORT MEADE 45,667 45,000 3
FROSTPROOF 34,667 25,000 3
HAINES CITY 100,743 70,100 27
HIGHLAND CITY 40,700 40,700 2
KISSIMMEE 92,031 69,000 16
LAKE ALFRED 88,806 98,475 8
LAKE HAMILTON 90,000 90,000 1
LAKE WALES 88,548 71,750 28
LAKELAND 115,453 98,950 170
MULBERRY 115,239 124,950 14
POINCIANA 86,853 74,750 59
POLK CITY 45,560 35,250 4
WINTER HAVEN 102,240 75,000 89

Let me break down July 2010 Polk County existing homes prices into various categories:

  • 520 Single family homes – median price $100,000 – 150 Average Days to Closing
  • 31 Townhomes, villas and duplex units – median price $55,000 – 138 Average Days to Closing
  • 37 Condominiums – median sold price – $70,450 – 119 Average Days on Closing
  • 30 Modular, manufactured/mobile homes in park/out of park – median sold price $39,000 – 176 Average Days on Closing

Let’s take a look at the distressed Polk County real estate market!

There were 215 existing Polk County homes sold, not categorized as distressed properties, at a median sold price of $125,000 with 169 average days to closing, which counted for almost 34.85% of our total sales. The distressed properties however; which includes Bank owned, pre-foreclosure, in foreclosure and short sales counted for 65.15% of our total sales in Polk County for the month of July.

  • 307 sold homes were Bank Owned – median price $73,000 – Average Days to Closing 94.
  • 95 sold homes were Short Sales – median price $95,000 – Average Days to Closing 280


Lakeland FL Homes for Sale – Real Estate Update for August 1st – August 14, 2010

Update for the Lakeland FL Homes for Sale! Newly listed homes for the period of August 1st – August 14, 2010.  A total of 143 Lakeland FL homes were recently listed with area Realtors®.  The average sales price of Lakeland home for sale increased to $161,693.03 from my previous report. The total inventory of Lakeland homes is 1994 as of 08/27/2010.

The types of homes and average prices for sale in Lakeland, Florida according to the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are as follows:

2 duplex listed with an average sales price of $59,200
3 condos listed with an average sales price of $43,633
12 manufactured/mobile homes listed with an average sales price of $67,758
4 townhomes/villas listed with an average sales price of $105,250
122 single family homes with an average sales price of $177,366

Lakeland’s newest homes for sale! The priciest home listed for this time period is a 2000 custom built home featuring 4 bedrooms 3 1/2 baths  with over 4,700 square feet of living space.  The  water front home is situated in the Lionspaw subdivision overlooking Lake Hollingsworth, it is offered at $1,000,000.  On the contrary, the cheapest Lakeland home listed for this time period is a bank-owned 3 bedroom 2 baths home in the Palmore C W subdivision.  It is offered at $21,000

All data for this report was obtained from the Mid-Florida Regional MLS, it is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  This report does not include “For Sale By Owner”.

Lakeland FL Homes for Sale – take a look at the breakdown by zip code:

33801 – 21 with an average sales price of $67,893
33803 – 14 with an average sales price of $246,886
33805 – 07 with an average sales price of $142,757
33809 – 17 with an average sales price of $141,682
33810 – 33 with an average sales price of $157,611
33811 – 12 with an average sales price of $130,192
33812 – 08 with an average sales price of $222,550
33813 – 27 with an average sales price of $226,537
33815 – 04 with an average sales price of $42,925

Update on Lakeland FL Foreclosures and Short Sales:

A total of 693 Lakeland homes are currently actively being marketed that are facing foreclosure. There were 69 Lakeland homes newly listed in the distressed category as Bank Owned and Short Sale with an average price of $109,010 or $62.21 per square foot.

August Update on “Sold & Pending” for Lakeland real estate

134 Lakeland homes so far sold in August with an average sales price of $112,270  There are currently 516 Lakeland homes in “pending” status awaiting to close according to the Multiple Listing.  Check back soon for my detailed market report for Lakeland homes sold for August.

Looking for your next Lakeland FL home currently for sale, it is all right here with the click of your mouse – just click away!

Lakeland Florida Short Sale and Foreclosure Market Report – July 2010


For the month of July, the Lakeland real estate market of short sales and bank-owned (REO) properties increased its market share from 54% the previous month to 60%. There were a total of 102 properties sold, compared to 117 in June and 71 distressed Lakeland homes sold the year prior, according to Mid-Florida Regional MLS.

Currently there are a total of 1,976 Lakeland FL Homes for Sale and 513 homes under contract (8/20/2010). By calculating total inventory, homes that are under contract which are included in my inventory share because these properties have not closed in which a buyer could walk away at any given time.

  • Bank owned properties – Inventory share is 15.95%
  • Short sale properties – Inventory share is 26.67%

The Graph below compares sold homes in all categories – Traditional Sales (None Distressed), Lakeland Foreclosures (REO) and Lakeland Short Sales.

  • Average days to Closing for bank-owned properties are 99 days
  • Average days to Closing for other distressed properties are 261 days.

25 Lakeland Short Sale properties sold – average sold price $123,776 – median sold price $120,000

77 Lakeland Foreclosures (REO) sold – average sold price $68,209 – median sold price $57,500.

Looking for a great deal on Lakeland Short Sales and Lakeland foreclosures, feel free to contact me at petra@petranorris.com or click the search button below.


Lakeland FL Overall Real Estate Market July 2010

Lakeland real estate Update – So far for this year overall Lakeland Home prices averaging around $117,000 and July’s average overall home price was $116,042.  However, only 169 Lakeland Homes sold last month, producing the third lowest numbers of Lakeland Homes sold for this year.  Average and median prices declined sharply from the previous year by double digits.  Distressed properties continue to be a major contributor in determining market values for Lakeland FL homes with over 60% of the market share.

Lakeland Homes sold in July: 169 – previous month:  216 – previous year July 09: 189 sold

July – average sales price $116,042

Previous month: $118,182 (-1.81%) – previous year July 09: $148,233 (-21.72%)

July – median sales price $99,000

Previous month: $109,200 (-9.16%) – previous year July 09: $130,000 (-23.85%)

The graph below represents average and median home prices in Lakeland for various categories. When our media provides us with a real estate market reports, generally these reports outline only Single Family Homes and Condominiums. Lakeland Florida has a variety of homes, such as manufactured homes, townhomes, villas and duplex units.

What are the various average prices in each Lakeland zip code?

Take a look at my spreadsheet below. I’ve separated the report by zip code instead of school zones; it gives you a more accurate report in my opinion. The data and graphs for this report were obtained from the Mid-Florida Regional MLS, it is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. This report does not include “For Sale By Owner”. The numbers highlighted in pink represents the zip codes where average sold prices have exceeded.

A total of 2492 Lakeland homes are for sale and under contract resulting in a 12 months supply, noticing that our inventory increased suggesting that supply continues to be greater than the demand

Let’s break it down for you to see the supply and demand for traditional homes for sale versus the distressed market in the Lakeland real estate market.

Traditional homes only – Inventory active and pending 1427 homes resulting in 24 month of supply.

Distressed properties – Inventory active and pending 1065 homes resulting in a 11 month of supply.

Distressed properties in Lakeland, Florida

For the month of July, Lakeland’s real estate market of distressed homes had a market share of 60%. There were a total of 102 homes sold in July, according to Mid-Florida Regional MLS.

Check back soon for July’s detailed Lakeland Florida real estate report that highlights bank-owned properties (REOs) and Lakeland Short Sales.

If you are interested in a specific area or neighborhood, feel free to contact me at petra@petranorris.com or click the search button below.

Deadline to Appeal your Property Assessed Value in Lakeland FL and homes throughout Polk County is fast approaching.
The property appraiser mails out Truth in Millage or TRIM Notices to Lakeland FL homeowners and homeowners throughout the State of Florida in mid-August.
Are you in disagreement with the assessed property value of your Lakeland Florida home?
The Value Adjustment Board notices include three values
  • Market value
  • Assessed value
  • Taxable value

If you don’t agree with the market value, you have the right to appeal your tax assessment by filing a petition to the Value Adjustment Board.

An informal meeting is encouraged to have your estimation of the market value from the assessor’s property appraisal reviewed by going to the Polk County Property Appraiser’s office and discuss the matter.

Filing a petition
You must file a “petition” in order to appeal before the Value Adjustment Board can hear your case.  Completed petitions must be filed with the Value Adjustment Board.  The non-refundable filing fee is $15 related to a single parcel, plus $5 for reach contiguous parcel.  The petition filing for single parcel in Polk County may also be filed online.

Timely Filing of Petition:
Petitions related to valuation issues may be filed at any time during the taxable year on or before the 25th day following the mailing of the TRIM notices of proposed property taxes. The Value Adjustment Board must receive the petition by the 25th day.
If a representative is acting on your behalf he or she must have written authorization from you the taxpayer, which also applies for immediate family members if their names are not on the deed.

Bartow Office
255 N. Wilson Ave Phone: 863-534-4777
Bartow, FL 33830 Fax: 863-534-4753
Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm (M-F)

Lakeland Office
912 E. Parker St. Phone: 863-413-2549
Lakeland, FL 33801 Fax: 863-413-2550
Hours: 8:30am-5:00pm (M-F)

Winter Haven Office
3425 Lake Alfred Rd. Phone: 863-401-2424
3 Gill Jones Plaza Fax: 863-401-2428
Winter Haven, FL 33881 Hours: 8:00am-5:00pm (M-F)

The phone rings a desperate voice asking me what should I do?  Should I make my mortgage payment or should I stop making my mortgage payment?

This is one of the most toughest question a client or a consumer can ask me and this question comes up every time when talking on the phone, emails or at a listing presentation.

There are quite a few myths floating around with regards to making mortgage payments when considering doing a short sale. One of them is that you do not need to be in default with your lender in order to do a short sale.

While I am not a lawyer and can’t give you legal advice, I am well versed in Short Sales and this question when asked should be answered by a real estate attorney who specializes in foreclosures and short sales.

Reasons to take into account on whether or not to continue making mortgage payments should you consider a short sale

You may not have a choice because of your financial hardship where you have to put the monthly mortgage payment towards food and utilities.

You may save the monthly mortgage payment for moving expenses.

While it is not required to be behind on the mortgage, lenders may act upon to approve a short sale quicker than if you are current on your mortgage payment.

You may stand a better chance in getting the deficiency waived by your lender due to financial hardship.  Why would a lender spend their resources chasing an empty wallet?

Your credit score will definitely have a major impact whether or not you do a short sale or your home will be foreclosed on.  While a foreclosure has generally the most detrimental impact on your credit score usually 200-300 points a short sale on the other hand drops generally 100-200 points depending on your credit history.

You will not be able to receive a Fannie Mae backed loan for two years now to purchase another home while doing a short sale.

Making your monthly mortgage payment during a short sale

Afford to continue with your mortgage payment during a short sale will able you to protect your credit to some extent while doing a short sale and therefore allowing you to get FHA loan if you were not late on any of your mortgage payments.  Less negative impact on your credit is the most important reason to continue making your mortgage payments.

Lender guidelines constantly changing and getting approved for a new mortgage is much easier when no mortgage late payments on your credit report were reported.

Since short sales require lender approval and there is never a guarantee, your credit is not affected should your lender rejects the short sale or you decide to cancel the short sale because your situation has improved.  No foreclosure if your home does not sell because you stayed current on your mortgage.

Short Sale an emotional roller coaster.  Whether you decide to continue with your mortgage payments or not, make no mistake, the whole short sale process is an emotional roller coaster, your option may be far better than letting the home go into foreclosure.

For a more detailed understanding of the process when buying or selling please visit Lakeland Short Sale.

Do you need to sell your home as a short sale in Lakeland, Auburndale, Bartow, Winter Haven, Polk City, Highland City, Mulberry or Bartow? Call or email me for a personal and confidential consultation.

Lakeland FL Homes for Sale – Real Estate Update for July 16 – July 31, 2010

Update for the Lakeland real estate market! Newly listed homes for the period of July 16 through July 31, 2010.  A total of 208 Lakeland FL homes were recently listed with area Realtors®.  The average sales price of Lakeland home for sale increased to $154,161 from my previous report. The total inventory of Lakeland real estate is 2014 as of 08/05/2010.

The types of homes and average prices for sale in Lakeland, Florida according to the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) are as follows:

1 duplex listed with an average sales price of $59,000
7 condos listed with an average sales price of $98,800
17 mobile homes listed with an average sales price of $64,194
10 townhomes/villas listed with an average sales price of $108,020
173 single family homes with an average sales price of $168,459

Lakeland’s newest home for sale just listed! The priciest Lakeland Real Estate listed for this time period is a 1998 pool home that features 4 bedrooms 4 baths  with over 5,000 square feet of living space.  The home is situated on an approximately 3/4 acre on Forest Hills Drive and is offered at $999,000.  On the contrary, the cheapest Lakeland home listed for this time period is a 3 bedroom 2 baths home in the Weswego subdivision.  It is offered at $9,500 – home is scheduled for demolition.

All data for this report was obtained from the Mid-Florida Regional MLS, it is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.  This report does not include “For Sale By Owner”.

Lakeland FL Homes for Sale – take a look at the breakdown by zip code:
33801 – 20 with an average sales price of $93,920
33803 – 26 with an average sales price of $150,027
33805 – 12 with an average sales price of $147,391
33809 – 33 with an average sales price of $128,976
33810 – 38 with an average sales price of $126,034
33811 – 17 with an average sales price of $162,012
33812 – 16 with an average sales price of $152,819
33813 – 41 with an average sales price of $244,812
33815 – 05 with an average sales price of $47,119

Update on Lakeland FL Foreclosures and Short Sales:

A total of 686 Lakeland homes are currently actively being marketed that are facing foreclosure. There were 89 Lakeland homes newly listed in the distressed category as Bank Owned and Short Sale with an average price of $112,309 or $65.13 per square foot.

July Update on “Sold & Pending” for Lakeland Real Estate

168 Lakeland homes so far sold in July with an average sales price of $115,176.  There are currently 485 Lakeland homes in “pending” status awaiting to close according to the Multiple Listing.  Check back soon for my detailed market report for Lakeland homes sold in July.

Looking for your next Lakeland FL home, it is all right here with the click of your mouse – just click away!

Are you thinking about walking away because the math don’t add up anymore – Contemplating Strategic Default vs. Strategic Short Sale in Lakeland, Florida?

During the housing boom the lender thought it was a great business decision to provide you with a loan based on your financial situation and the value assessment of the lender’s appraiser so you could purchase your Lakeland FL home. In return you put up your house as your collateral and signed a promissory note – promising that you pay back the mortgage.  More and more borrowers come to the same conclusion that it is their business decision to either strategically default or doing a strategic short sale.


While this decision is totally up to you, I’m not here to criticize or judge your action. I’m here to explain your options and hopefully convince you to look at Strategic Short Sale first.  The lender is only looking at their bottom line and is less concerned with the hardship.

What is a Strategic Default?

A Strategic Default is basically walking away from your obligation to pay your mortgage because your home is underwater; hence the mortgage is more than the current market value of your home.  This may work in Arizona, Alaska and other states because the lender cannot come after the borrowers other assets, since it is a non-recourse state. The State of Florida on the other hand, is a recourse state and the lender has the right to go after the deficiency judgment. Before you decide to walk away thinking you may be eligible for another loan through Fannie Mae in five years, think again!  Fannie Mae recently announced a new waiting period of 7 years and start to crack down on borrowers who elect to strategically default.

Fannie Mae’s filing for a deficiency judgment is the next step it will take.  The news release on June 23, 2010 said, “Fannie Mae will also take legal action to recoup the outstanding mortgage debt from borrowers who strategically default on their loans in jurisdictions that allow for deficiency judgments. In an announcement next month, the company will be instructing its servicers to monitor delinquent loans facing foreclosure and put forth recommendations for cases that warrant the pursuit of deficiency judgments”. Click here to read the whole news release! Not a good option in Florida

What is a Strategic Short Sale?

If you’d asked me a few months ago about a Strategic Short Sale, I would not have taken a short sale listing if there was not a hardship that could not have been supported by documents.  The difference between a short sale and a strategic short sale is the borrower may financially be able to pay for the mortgage but is essentially making a business decision to unload the house.

The process of a strategic short sale is essentially the same as a short sale with a verifiable hardship. The amount of the balance you owe may be negotiated to a smaller amount on which the lenders ask you to sign a promissory note.  Again, if it makes financial sense for the lender that their bottom line generates more money in a short sale than a foreclosure they will more likely approve the short sale.

I’m not an attorney or a tax advisor and therefore highly recommend anyone reading this article, contemplating Strategic Default and Strategic Short Sale to discuss options and ramifications with a real estate attorney and a Certified Public Accountant.

Foreclosure can be avoided through Short Sale! If you need to sell your home in Lakeland Florida as a short salehiring an experienced real estate agent who is knowledgeable on both sides of the transaction is basis for a successful closing.