Brite Girl

Have you heard of Brite Girl Magazine? It is a great publication geared towards the strong and professional woman. B.R.I.T.E. stands for Beautiful, Resourceful, Intelligent, Thoughtful, and Emotionally-connected. Read more about Brite Girl here.

I am going to be writing a column for Brite Girl called “Around Town.” I will be writing about different hotspots around Orlando, sharing both neighborhood and real estate information.

Brite Girl

Check out my article in the new Fall 2010 issue of Brite Girl here. In this issue, I talk about Lake Eola Heights, SoDo (Delaney and Lancaster Park), and the Audubon Park Garden District.

Let me know what you think and look out for future issues to come! 🙂

Short Sale=Long Sale

Most of the sales going on in today’s market are short sales and REOs (bank-owned properties). While they have become quite common, short sales are still a long and complicated process that is sometimes hard to understand. I thought I would clear it up a little for anyone who is confused as to what exactly a short sale is.

According to Realtor.org: A short sale is a sales transaction in which the seller’s mortgage lender agrees to accept a payoff of less than the balance due on the loan. Basically, a seller cannot pay his mortgage usually due to a hardship and wants the mortgage lender (the bank) to accept a payoff less than what is due on the loan. Examples of a hardship include: bankruptcy, unemployment, death, divorce, etc.

What is needed from the seller and listing agent for a short sale:
-Letter of authorization, which lets your agent speak to the bank.
-HUD-1 or preliminary net sheet
-Completed financial statement
-Seller’s hardship letter
-2 years of tax returns
-2 years of W-2s
-Recent payroll stubs
-Last 2 months of bank statements
-Comparative market analysis or list of recent comparable sales

The following is a typical short sale process at the bank (by Elizabeth Weintraub via About.com):
-Bank acknowledges receipt of the file. This can take 10 days to a month.
-A negotiator is assigned. This can take 30 to 60 days.
-A BPO (bank’s appraisal) is ordered. The bank probably will refuse to share the results of the BPO.
-A second negotiator may be assigned. This can take another 30 days.
-The file is sent for review or to the PSA (Pooling Servicer Agreement). This can take 2 weeks to 30 days.
-The bank may then request that all parties sign an Arm’s-Length Affidavit.
-The bank issues a short sale approval letter.
-The buyer accepts or cancels.

As you can see, it is quite a long process. Short sales are going quicker with the online transaction systems that are being put in place by the banks. Some banks are also quicker than others. However some banks, such as Bank of America, have halted all of their foreclosure sales. Read more about this here

There is a bill in the works that would speed up the short sale process if passed and require banks to give an answer within 45 days. Read more about this here.

You can often get a good deal on a short sale as long as you are patient enough to wait it out and understand that it is a long process that does not always work out.

There are also bank-approved short sales which move much more quickly because, the bank has already approved the property at the proposed selling price. I have worked with short sales that take a few months to one that took a year! The listing agent and I took it to the banks CEO’s office and corporate headquarters to get the short sale approved at the price that the property appraised for. I always want to make sure that my buyers are paying a good and fair price of what the property is worth and no more. I will not stop until I get the job done. It take a lot of following up and staying on top of things. I am a Certified Short Sale Professional and have worked with international buyers on short sales as well.

If you have any questions about short sales, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Basketball and Broadway

There is a lot of culture in this city that many people are not even aware of. Most of us know about the Broadway plays that come through at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center, but many people have never heard of the little playhouses such as the Mad Cow Theatre and the Theatre Downtown. Whether sports, plays, ballet or comedy clubs are your interest; Orlando has it all.

As far as sports we have our beloved basketball team, the Orlando Magic. With the newly opened Amway Center, the Magic games are sure to be more exciting than ever. Here is a schedule for the Magic’s 2010-2011 season. If you like football, you can watch the Predators play indoor arena football or the UCF Knights play at the beautiful Brighthouse Networks Stadium at UCF. See the Predators’ schedule here and the UCF Knights’ 2010 schedule here

I cannot wait for the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to open. It will still be another few years before that happens so, we will just have to enjoy plays at the Bob Carr until then. This Broadway season is going to be spectacular with the hit show “Wicked” coming to town! I saw it in New York and, I am telling you that you do not want to miss it. See the 2010-2011 season schedule here. Bob Carr is also the home of the Orlando Ballet. Check out their 2010 current shows here

Wicked

I want to mention a few of the smaller playhouses around town. There are the Mad Cow Theatre and Theatre Downtown located downtown and there is also the Breakthrough Theatre located in Winter Park. I saw a show at the Breakthrough Theatre and was very impressed. I would check them out next time you are looking for something different to do.

Finally, I want to mention the new SAK Comedy Club downtown. The improv shows there are hysterical. A little know fact: On Tuesdays at 9:00 pm you can see a show for $2 and Wednesdays for $3! What better way to spend your weeknight then with a few laughs for a few dollars? Click here for more information about SAK’s shows.

I hope I have shared some new spots for you to check out around Orlando. If you need any more suggestions, please contact me and I would be happy to help.

Halloween is Upon Us!

It’s my favorite time of year…Halloween season! The weather has been beautiful and, there are many fun Halloween events around town that can be enjoyed with family and friends. I wanted to share a few of my favorite picks.

1. First, there is Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. This event runs certain dates through November. I went for the first time this past Sunday. I ran Mickey’s Halloween 5K through the Magic Kingdom. Running through the Halloween decorated park with before it opened to the public was a great way to start my Saturday morning. My friends and I dressed as Ninja Turtles for our costumes.

Ninja Turtles

Included in the race price was a ticket to Mickey’s Halloween Party for the next night. Most of the rides were open for the event and there were no lines which was great. It was so much fun to see all of the children and families dressed in their Halloween costumes.

Halloween Parade

Special entertainment throughout the park included:
*Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade—including Disney Characters and the stars of the Haunted Mansion attraction. The parade begins with a spook-tacular ride by the Headless Horseman.
*Happy HalloWishes—a spectacular fireworks show where the Disney Villains go trick-or-treating in the sky.
*Many favorite Disney Characters and Disney Villains in special Halloween costumes.
*Special lighting, music and theming effects transforms special areas of Magic Kingdom theme park into happy haunted hollows.
*Candy stops throughout the park to trick or treat at.
Click here for more information

2. The second event of interest is Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios. This is always a big event in Orlando and runs certain dates throughout October. I have not been yet this year but hope to. You can get discounts with certain Coke cans, Burger King coupons and for being a Florida resident.

The theme this year is Twenty Years of Fear:
Experience Halloween Horror Nights® XX: Twenty Years of Fear, only at Universal Orlando® Resort. On select nights in September and October, Universal Studios Florida® theme park is transformed into the nation’s premier annual Halloween event. During this 20th anniversary edition Universal takes terror to a whole new level. You’ll venture into a nightmarish maze of all new haunted houses, electrifying scare zones, and outrageous live entertainment including the ever popular Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure.
Click here for more information

3. The Enzian is having their 2nd Annual Haunted Swamp Walk of Terror. I did not get to attend last year but heard great things about it.

Here is a description:
In the fetid jungle behind the old theater, a toxic swamp has spawned the evil forces of hell. Unleashing the hippest, most terrifying Halloween party in Central Florida, Enzian’s 2nd annual Haunted Swamp: Walk of Terror 2010 is over a thousand feet of fright through Eden Bar’s tangled disemboweled backwoods.
Inhabited by maniacs, mutants, and worse – the unknown, those lucky enough to survive with their sanity and limbs will enter Eden Bar for the opportunity to order demented drink concoctions, sinfully delicious food, and specials so good it’s sick! Come party all night – and don’t worry, we won’t turn out the lights ‘til after 2am…

Swamp Tours Run 8PM – 1AM
Friday 10/22
Saturday 10/23
Friday 10/29
Saturday 10/30
Sunday 10/31

Ticket Prices:
$8 Day of event
$6 Advance purchase
Click here for more information

4. Finally, I have saved the best for last. I attended A Petrified Forest Haunted Village last year and was blown away by the amazing job that they did with this haunted attraction. If you are a fan of haunted houses, I would highly suggest paying this attraction a visit.

Description:
A Petrified Forest is an all-original interactive Haunted Village of hand-built rooms, each with a uniquely frightening theme, imagined by a dynamic local team of artists.
Follow the path through a dilapidated school bus and a bloody slaughterhouse, and lose yourself in the real-life fear that screams at you from around every nook and cranny.
Click here for more information, dates, and tickets

There are many more events, those are just a few of my favorite picks. I hope everyone finds something frightful or not-so-scary to enjoy this Halloween!

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