Living in Charlotte County Florida

Find the perfect home in sunny southwest, Florida

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What is the Florida Distressed Condominium Relief Act?

The Florida Distressed Condominium Relief Act became law on July 1, 2010.  It was designed as an effort to help Florida’s condo associations recover from a decrease in property values and occupancy rates due to foreclosures and budget shortfalls.  The Senate Bill associated with this act is SB 1196. 

What are some of the new condo/HOA (homeowner association) regulations associated with this law?  An association can either delay or discard some previously required upgrades to a building’s fire alarms, sprinkler systems, and elevators.  Associations can collect rent from tenants in delinquent units and homes without having to go to court.  Banks will have to pay up to one year’s worth of back dues when they foreclose.  Associations can also suspend the use of recreational facilities if assessments are more than 90 days past due.  Condo associations have record inspection obligations under this law as well. 

With this new law, condo associations will become more financially stable.  Fannie Mae will to able to approve more projects for financing and buyers can purchase with less risk.  More properties will meet the FHA guidelines.  This will help facilitate sales of a large inventory of distressed condos. 

You can find a Senate Bill 1196 Guidebook for Community Associations by going to the following link:, which was created by Katzman, Garfinkel & Berger Law Firm.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL –


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Florida Home in Punta Gorda

Wow, what a deal.  Don’t miss this nearly 2,000 sq ft home which offers 2 beds, 2 baths, and a 2 car garage for $89,900.  You will love the large kitchen with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, and cherry wood cabinets.  This is a very open floor plan.  It has  a living room, family room, and den that could be converted to a 3rd bedroom.  Master bath has dual sinks, garden tub, and shower.  Relax in the screened lanai.  This is in Creekside, a small deed restricted community in Punta Gorda.  The community has a pavillion, grill, and playground.  Nice location near I75 and 41. 

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL  941-276-6185

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Does an in-ground pool add value to a home?

In Florida an in-ground pool does add to the resale value of your home, but don’t expect to get 100% return on your investment.  On average an in-ground pool can increase the value of a residential property from 6 to 10 percent. An in-ground pool in Florida can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 depending on size, whether it is screened in, and the extra amenities. 

Some buyers prefer not to have a pool because of the added expense, maintenance, and safety hazards with children.  Pools can consume valuable yard space because in Florida most of the properties are pretty small.  Others wouldn’t have it any other way.  A pool not only adds hours of enjoyment but also can add to the aesthetics of a home if it is set in an attractive setting.  On those hot summer days it can also be very inviting and refreshing.  It provides a place to unwind and relax as well as a form of exercise. 

Another thing to consider is the neighborhood.  The value of that pool may depend on what other homes are selling for in the area and whether they have a pool or not.  If not very many neighbors have pools, then your value will not increase significantly.  Choosing to purchase a home with a pool or whether to add a pool to your home is largely based on individual preference.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL –

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Florida Townhouse for Sale

3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath Townhouse in Lakeside Planataion for $79,000.

Address:  2286 Mulberry Lane, North Port, FL  34289

Short Sale.  Very nice townhouse with a lot of upgrades.  All bedrooms are on the 2nd floor. The large screened lanai is great for entertaining or relaxing and has a wooded view.  It is located in a deed restricted family friendly neighborhood with a lot of room for children to run, play and ride their bikes.  The community has underground utilities, city water and sewer, and wide sidewalks and street lights for walkers.  The homeowners association ensures that your lawn is always maintained and neatly trimmed.  The community is beautifully landscaped with plants and flowers.  The residents of the community enjoy a club house, cabana, tennis courts, a library, a meeting room, a heated community pool, a card room, a playground, a community park, a billiard room, and a fitness facility.

This community is close to shopping, restaurants, beaches, boating, golfing, and more.   If interested in this property or the community, contact me today.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL.  941-276-6185 or by email at

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Government assistance for Florida home buyers

As you are aware, Florida has many foreclosures and short sales.  What is the government trying to do to assist buyers in purchasing a home?  There are a few options.

One is the Florida Assist Loan program.  Many buyers have a hard time coming up with enough money as a down payment.  This program will provide potential buyers with up to $10,000 dollars in down payment assistance.  In order to qualify, the applicant must have an income at or below the 80% area median income.  This down payment assistance is actually like a second mortgage, but the homeowner only has to repay the loan if they sell, refinance, pay off the first mortgage, transfer ownership or move out of town. 

Another option is Homeowner Assistance for Moderate Income (HAMI) Loan program.  This program will allow buyers to borrow up to $5,000 dollars to use toward a down payment or closing costs.  This loan must be repaid at 5% interest.

Some counties provide additional home buying incentives.  Check with your local area to see if any programs are available. For additional information on these programs and a free government mortgage help guide go to

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL –

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Investors, take your pick of homes

Southwest Florida is flooded with foreclosure (REO) and short sale homes that are ripe for the picking for investors.   Investors are seeing this as an opportune time to purchase homes below market value. It is definitely a buyer’s market.   Many homeowners have lost their homes, but still need a place to live.  They are being forced to rent. 

Investors can pick up a home, condo, mobile home, or townhouse at a low price.  Some of these properties need little fixing up other than cosmetic work.  They can immediately turn around and rent them.  Rental companies such as Rent Me Florida don’t always have enough homes to rent.  See their  web site at  Tenants are just waiting in the background for something to open up.

Investors can rent properties as annual, short term, long term, and vacation.  Investors can choose to manage the property themselves or hire a property management company to do some or all of the work.  This may include items such as  marketing the property, handling calls from tenants, collecting rent,  and maintaining the property.

If you are going to rent a property be sure to know Florida’s Landlord/Tenant Law.  You can find information on this at   Don’t miss your chance to buy these investments before the snow birds come back in town.  If you would like information on properties currently available, contact me today.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor, Sandals Realty, Punta Gorda, FL –