Solivita. A Baby Boomers Paradise

Posted by admin January - 29 - 2013 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS

I’m a Baby boomer. I’m one of over 68,000,000 million Baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964. I was born in 1957.

Baby boomers control over 80% of personal financial assets and more than half of all consumer spending. We buy 77% of all prescription drugs, 61% of over-the-counter drugs, and 80% of all leisure travel.

And……according to the 2011 Associated Press and surveys:

  • 60% lost value in investments because of the economic crisis
  • 42% are delaying retirement
  • 25% claim they’ll never retire (currently still working)

As a Baby boomer myself I can relate to each of the above. My wife and I lost just about everything during the financial crisis of 2008.

Retirement is a pipe dream. Mostly because I’m self employed and really have no reason to retire. I work from home and truly enjoy what I do.

The Lovely Wife and I moved into SoliVita, an over 55 active adult community in mid 2010. Our last house was way too big and keeping up with it was becoming a burden. So we downsized. We moved to one of Florida’s World Class Active Adult Communities, SoliVita.

Making the decision to downsize and move into a Florida over 55 active adult community was one of the best decisions we have ever made. Since moving here our lives have changed for the better.

We get more exercise, eat better and relax more. We spend more time outside enjoying all of the amenities in SoliVita.

At age 55 we are in the best shape of our lives.

Getting old does not have to suck. It can truly be the best time of your life.

Can we help you with your SoliVita Real Estate needs? New and resale homes available from low 100s to high 400s.

The Fear Of The Solivita Short Sale

Posted by admin May - 27 - 2012 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS

As you may know, I list and sell a fair amount of Short Sales in Florida. One of the many issues I face is Sellers who are all gung ho about doing a Short Sale and then they disappear.

At any given time I could have a dozen listing packages out there that I am waiting on to be completed and returned. The Sellers and I have spent time on the phone discussing their situation and the way forward. All that’s left is for them to complete the paperwork and get it back to me.

Then…nothing. Nada. Zilch. No response and no returned calls or emails.

Why does this happen?

My opinion is that it happens due to fear. Fear of losing their home. Fear of needing to move. Fear of incurring moving expenses and rent payments on top or an already bleak financial situation.

Some of these folks haven’t made a mortgage payment in a year or more. Once the Short Sale is completed the living for free is over.

Fear of uncertainty. Not knowing if the Short Sale will succeed. Knowing that once they make the decision to move forward they are venturing into the unknown.

Fear of taking action. Not taking action can be comfortable.

Fear of being looked down on. Doing a Short Sale means admitting you are in trouble financially. The neighbors will know.

These are just a few of the reasons why taking the next step towards doing a Short Sale can be difficult.

Having been through two Short Sales myself I can relate to each and every one of these.

Making the decision to Short Sale our properties was very difficult. It was humbling. We lived in a small town at the time and I was supposedly a successful Real Estate Broker.

I feared knowing that my peers would see my properties on the market as Short Sales.

I feared my business being affected because of it. Of course business was already in the toilet so it couldn’t have gotten much worse. So my fear was really just my ego getting in the way..

BUT……in spite of my fears I made a decision to move forward with the Short Sales. As soon as I made the decision I felt better. In fact I felt smart! Smart to be taking action and smart to be unloading a “thing” that was just harming me and my family.

It was freeing. I took control of the situation and conquered it.

Today, almost 3 years later, I look back and see that my decision to get my ego out of the way and solve the problem was the best thing I have done in a long time.

Being able to relate to others who are facing Short Sales because I have “been there done that” has caused my business to explode!!

There is life after a Short Sale. And I truly believe you will find life to be much more fulfilling than it was before. So set your fears aside and take the plunge.

Use the Short Sale as a fresh start. Truly explore why you are in this situation and then make changes so it doesn’t happen again. Don’t let your ego stand between you and your new simpler future.

And that’s all I have to say about that. What say you?

Should I Buy A Car Before Doing A SoliVita Short Sale?

Posted by admin December - 10 - 2011 - Saturday ADD COMMENTS

Hi folks. Recently I have had several SoliVita Short Sale sellers ask me the same question…..”We need to replace our car. Should we do that before we go through the short sale process?” The concern is that once they go through the short sale their credit will be dinged and financing an automobile will not be easy. One is even paying cash and is concerned how it will look that he went out and spent $15,000 cash on a car and then turned around and asked the lender to accept a short sale.

Interesting question. And one that certainly shows that we are in a different stage of the short sale wave. The Short Sale Sellers mentioned above do not have cut and dry hardships. They are current on payments and have great credit scores.

The first wave of short sellers that started mostly in 2008 were distressed sellers. Property owners that could no longer afford to make their mortgage payments. The next wave were folks that had adjustable rate mortgages that were resetting and they couldn’t refinance as promised when they took out their mortgages.

The current wave is made up of folks that just need to sell but can’t because their properties are too far underwater. They are current on their payments and are not in foreclosure. They could continue to make payments. BUT….they have to move.

Their family has out grown the property. They have a job transfer. Or they are strategic short sellers.

Their situations are different than the first two waves of short sales…

So……should they go out and replace their car prior to doing the short sale? It depends. My response to them is……..

  • “If replacing your car is something you would be doing even if you weren’t getting ready to do a short sale then, yes, go ahead and do it. If dependable transportation is needed for job purposes then, yes, go ahead and replace it now. Do what you need to do to make sure your family is taken care of. BUT…be able to defend your position if the lender ask you about it. Be able to show that buying a car was needed and not just wanted. And… prepared to make a cash contribution towards the short sale lender’s loss.”

This is my opinion. What’s yours?

Do you need help with your SoliVita Short Sale?

Do You Need A SoliVita Short Sale Specialist?

Posted by admin November - 27 - 2011 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS

Am I a Short Sale Expert? I don’t think so. Even though my new CDPE designation says I am!!! Yes that’s right I am now a Certified Distressed Property Expert (R).


As you may know, my partner Wendy Rulnick and I own the most active Short Sale Network in the World at and we have been teaching agents how to do short sales for several years now. BUT….we are not Short Sale Experts.

So…..we both decided to attend the CDPE classes and get our Certified Distressed Property Expert (R) designations.

Wendy took hers online and I attended the 2 day CDPE class in Orlando Florida this week. You’ll be happy to know we both “passed”!

I was the lucky one since I didn’t have to take a test. Just show up and be present for 14 hours of class and BAM!! you too can be a Short Sale Expert.

But Broker Bryant, how was the course? I’m glad you asked. I found it to be very good. The information being taught was relevant, accurate and fairly detailed. If an agent took the CDPE course, that had zero short sale experience, they would certainly be a position to help some folks avoid foreclosure. I would still recommend they have a mentor to assist with them with their first few short sales but they would at least know the process. And they would have the forms and materials to get them started.

CDPE has a very thorough package of Short Sale documents and forms that would help any agent. Lots of good questionnaires and disclosures to protect the agents and their brokers while at the same time helping to educate the Short Sale sellers.

Plus the CDPE Advanced Membership provides you with monthly marketing materials, website and continuing support for your short sale business.

So all in all my hat’s off to Alex Charfen for authoring a very excellent Short Sale Designation with CDPE. Well done Alex!!!

But please….don’t call me a Short Sale Expert. Just call me Broker Bryant, The Best And Hardest Working Short Sale Broker You Will Ever Find In The State Of Florida. Next to Wendy, of course 🙂

Do You Need To Short Sale Your SoliVita Home?

Posted by admin November - 6 - 2011 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS

You may even qualify for a cash incentive*** from your Lender to do a SoliVita Short Sale.

***These programs are not available to all Sellers and the incentives may vary from State to State.

Here are the Florida Short Sale Incentive Programs that I am aware of:

HAFA. Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternative. Lender will pay the Seller $3,000 as a Relocation Assistance. Only for primary residences.

FHA PFS. HUD Pre-Foreclosure Sale. Seller can receive $1,000 for relocation assistance. Just yesterday I received FHA PFS approval increasing the seller incentive to $4,000!! Only for primary residences.

Chase Short Sale Incentive Program for select Borrowers offering them up to $35,000 to do a short sale.

Bank of America Co-operative Short Sale. From $3,000 to $20,000 Short Sale Incentive.

Citi Bank, Wells Fargo and Ocwen also have programs available for select home owners. Amounts vary from $3,000 to $35,000. Most are in the $5,000 range.

Folks if you are behind on your SoliVita mortgage payments be sure to open any and all mail you receive from your lender. It could very well be an offer to Short Sale your property. These offers are usually time sensitive and require immediate action on your part.

But why would my Lender pay me to do a SoliVita Short Sale? That’s a good question. For one, it less expensive, for them, for you to cooperate during the Short Sale process and maintain the property than it is for the Lender to foreclose and get an abandoned property back. Also, the Lender does not want you to continue living in the property for free. They would rather pay you to do a Short Sale now than have you live there for another year or so while deciding what to do. The incentive gets you to take action.

Whatever their reason is..…it’s a good opportunity for you. Any questions?

Are you under water on your Florida mortgage?

Do NOT be foreclosed on! Avoid foreclosure. Short Sales DO close.

Want to find out more?

***I am NOT an Attorney nor do I play one on TV.

Copyright © 2011 | All Rights Reserved

SoliVita Unveils New Model Homes

Posted by admin January - 30 - 2011 - Sunday ADD COMMENTS
SoliVita Model Home

SoliVita Floor plans

SoliVita recently hosted a Realtor(R) open house to show us their new model home park. All I can say is WOW!! The new homes are gorgeous and the prices are very reasonable. Homes starting at $126,990 for the 1,278 sq ft Marathon model up to $367,990 for the 2,980 sq ft Cordoba model.  And everything in between. 17 floor plans to choose from. Something for everyone.

The best part of course is living in SoliVita. SoliVita is Florida’s premier retirement community designed for active adults over 55. SoliVita offers 2 championship golf courses at Stonegate Golf Club. 14 heated swimming pools including the indoor aquatic center for year round water exercises and swimming.

SoliVita Amenities include: Numerous lakes and canals for boating and fishing. 2 fitness centers. Grand Ball Room. Computer centers. Library. Restaurants. Tennis courts. Pickle Ball courts. Ball field. Dog park. Shuffle board. Over 100 clubs to join. And so much more.

Folks, if you are looking to retire in Florida or just want to simplify your life then you owe it to yourself to take a look at SoliVita. I moved here in May of 2010 with my wife and have to say it has been the best place we have ever lived. I’d love to give you the tour!!

SoliVita Resales are also available staring in the 90s.

Looking for a Florida Retirement Home?

Posted by admin June - 16 - 2010 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

If so……why not check out Solivita? Solivita is a World class 55 and over active adult community. Solivita features single family homes from the low $100s to the high $500s. Two Championship golf courses including StoneGate. Beautiful Riviera Spa and Fitness center and so much more.

Each Solivita community has a 24 hours manned guard gate. Solivita is located in Poinciana Florida. 25 minutes from Disney World Orlando. By the end of 2012 we should have one of the most modern hospitals in Florida directly across the street from the entrance to Solivita. Buy now while the prices are good. We’d love to have you.

Now you are probably wondering what active adults do. Well check it out……

Don’t make me get mud on my face!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Clear to close. I love the sound of that. My three favorite words. It means all issues have been sorted out and within 48 hours my Sellers will be getting their check and I will be getting mine. I heard those words on Monday. I was so excited. I have been involved in a very difficult deal and my poor Sellers have been seriously stressed out. We had lost a deal on their house last month, the day before closing, so needless to say the Sellers have been very nervous. Well, Monday, the Mortgage Broker called to tell me the last conditions had been cleared by the underwriter and we had clear to close. The package would be delivered late Tuesday afternoon for a Wednesday closing. Excellent news! I couldn’t wait to pick up the phone and call my Sellers with the good news, so I did.

“Hey, Mr. and Mrs. Stress D. Out, I just received great news, the Mortgage Broker just called to let me know we have clear to close and we’ll be closing on Wednesday!” “What? No, no I know I’m great. Yes, I do appreciate you telling me that. I know, please don’t cry, it was my pleasure.”

Man, I am flying high now. My Sellers are happy, I’m happy. We made it. 48 more hours and this will be done. Another successful closing and “The Lovely Wife” can go shopping.

So today, Wednesday, I wake up and call my favorite closer Cara, to confirm that she has received the closing package and ask if she can send over the HUD, for me to review. “Uh, Broker Bryant, I haven’t received the package yet, let me call the Lender and see when I can expect it, maybe they sent it to the wrong place, that happens sometimes.”

Yeah, that’s it, a little confusion on the delivery. No sweat, Cara has been handling my closings for 12 years and will sort this out quickly. About an hour later Cara calls me back. “Broker Bryant, I just got off the phone with the Lender and they don’t know what I am talking about. There is no clear to close. This file has not even been reviewed yet and is fourth in line. He was actually laughing at me. He said it will be hours before he has a chance to review the file and doubts very seriously that it will be clear. He has been battling with this Mortgage Broker for weeks trying to get her to provide the information he has asked for. There will be no closing today but maybe by the end of the week if we are lucky.”

End of the week! If we’re lucky! That’s not clear to close! That’s not even close to being clear to close! She told me clear to close! I even made her repeat it and asked her if she was certain! “Yes, Broker Bryant we have clear to close”. She said that. She said that to me and to Cara. And I repeated it to my Sellers, Mr. and Mrs. Stress D. Out. They told me they loved me. I really liked hearing that. “Broker Bryant we love you.”

Why do people lie? Why not just tell the truth? If I know what the problem is, we can work together to solve it. Now I have mud on face. Mud, mud, mud. I used to like mud. But I’m not a child anymore. I’ve already called my Sellers. They still love me. But they didn’t say it this time and that sucked. But I know they do. I talk to them everyday. How can they not love me? I’m adorable.

Anyway, after all this I still feel this deal will close. The Buyers are highly qualified and very motivated. They have been living out of a U-haul for 10 days already. What difference can a few more make? It’s not their fault they hired a liar. The Sellers will wait too. After all, they do love me.

Folks, please be honest in everything you do. Let’s all work together to get deals closed. And please…………….Don't make me get mud on my face!

Let the games begin!

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Let the games begin! Ok, so I just received a call today. I’ve kind of been expecting it but was hoping it wouldn’t come for a while. The call I received was from an Appraiser. Now, since I sell a lot of properties in my market, I get one of these about every week, asking me about a recent sale, so they can use it in their appraisal. I always try to answer any of their questions and try to be as helpful as I can. Why? Because I want to be the “go to guy” in my market. Also, Appraisers buy and sell houses. I usually get a couple of listings a year from Appraisers wanting to sell in my market area, Poinciana Fl. So having them call me is a good thing.

Today was different. Today, he was asking me about one of my pending listings. He had plenty of sold comparables but the few he had, that were pending, were listed for about 10% below recent comparable sales. I spoke to him for a few minutes and he explained to me that he was making downward adjustments based on current market conditions. Did you catch that? Downward adjustments. As in, discounting the value of the sold comparables. Folks, this is not a good thing. This means lenders are checking and double checking house values and are wanting to see “true” market conditions as opposed to just recent sales. It also means values in Poinciana Fl are coming down. I already knew this but was hoping I was wrong.

Poinciana is one of those Florida markets where you can still find affordable housing. Most homes are in the $185,000 to $250,000 range. What happened over the last couple of years, was that, all the “investors” from S. Florida and NY were feasting on Poinciana real estate. They were here by the hundreds and purchasing vacant lots and new construction like crazy. Because of this, houses that were selling for $100,000 in 2004 were selling for $225,000 by mid 2005. Lots that could be bought for $10,000 in 2004 skyrocketed to $60,000 to $70,000 by early 2005. Fortunes were made in Poinciana during 2005. But, and this is a big BUT, if you didn’t get out of the investor market by December 2005, you are now stuck. As of this morning, there are 1,500 houses on the market in Poinciana. 800 of these are less than 18 months old and most of them are vacant investor owned properties. They are flips that have flopped. Not only that, but builders have pre-sold hundreds of houses that they have just now started building. These houses were sold at 2005 prices.

This, my friends, is a recipe for disaster. Property values are plummeting. Poinciana is in trouble. My Sellers know this. I have told them we must sell and we must sell now. It is going to get worse before it gets better. Our peaceful little town has been raped by over zealous builders and fly by night investors. And frankly, it *&^%* me off! But what do you do? It is what it is and I have to deal with it. My strategy is to become the short sale and foreclosure expert in my area. I want to be the “go to guy” if you are in a distressed situation. I can’t change the market but I can try to position myself to help as many people as I can to get through this and hopefully still have a shirt on their back.

I expect to be very busy. I expect to make a lot of money. I expect it to be a “bitter sweet” success. Let the games begin!

Clip art courtesy of art)

Commission advance companies, loan sharks or helping hand?

Posted by admin December - 31 - 1969 - Wednesday ADD COMMENTS

Commission advance companies. Loan sharks or helping hand! Nine years ago when TLW and I opened Tutas Towne Realty, Inc., we did it on a shoe string. Actually, I guess it was more of a goose egg, than a shoestring, since we didn't have any money. We opened our business on pure determination and a prayer. We had a lot of confidence, since we had both been in the business for a few years, working for a management company. TLW and I were the only Realtors in the company. Since the company we worked for did short term vacation rentals they did not need a Real Estate license. They had an out of area "rent a Broker" who did nothing more than qualify the company. So TLW and I were on our own. I did all the sales and she took care of all the marketing. We were pretty smart from day one and did a lot of advertising for ourselves and just had the company name in fine print as required by law.

Anyway, a few years into this, we tried to purchase the management company, with the backing of several investors. Unfortunately, this deal fell through, at the last minute, so we decided to leave and do our own thing. So we left and opened Tutas Towne Realty, Inc., in our home. The good thing was, I took all of my listings with me. At that time I had 20 houses and about 50 lots on the market. So we were up an running. The only bad thing was, all the money we had, was spent on incorporating and getting signs. Most of this was put on credit cards. So here we were, new business owners with lots of listings, lots of signs in the ground and no money. But you know, it was very exciting and we were up to the challenge.

Still, we had bills to pay and we needed money to continue our advertising. Our goal was to run our little business as a big corporation and spend lots of money on advertising. We knew this would payoff in the long run. Well, needless to say is was a struggle. We knew if we could just hold on and sell some of our listings we could make it over the hump. We needed cash. As anyone knows that is in business for themselves, cash flow is a must. No cash. No flow. It's as simple as that.

That's about the time I saw an ad in Realtor magazine for a commission advance company. Now this sounded interesting. If I could write a deal and place a property pending, this company would advance me 80% of the commission, for a price. It would cost us, but we could get a check within 24 hours. I liked it. I liked it a lot. There was light at the end of tunnel. Over the next couple of days I wrote a deal on a duplex, I had listed, and decided to test out this commission advance scheme. Well folks, it worked! I sent them a copy of the purchase contract and the next day we received a check for $4,000. We were off and running. We ended up doing this a couple more times, and before we knew it, we were over the hump. Our pipeline was full and we never looked back. Without this company we may not have been able to get our business jump started. So for us, they were a much needed helping hand.

There are quite a few commission advance companies available to Realtors. Some require no qualifying and some you have to complete an application and credit approval process. The non qualifying programs obviously charge the higher fees. The fees vary, but you can count on paying between $300-$500 on a $4,000 advance if it is paid back in 30 days or less. The fee structure varies with the length of the loan. If for some reason the deal doesn't close you can normally substitute another property closing or you have a certain amount of time to pay them back the money. These are basically paycheck advance companies for Realtors. The money is very expensive but can offer a short term solution to a cash flow problem. Here are some links to a few different companies if you are interested in getting more details.

Now folks, just so you know, the interest on these advances, if you figure it out, is real, real high. Like 100% to 200% annually. So they are not a long term solution to money problems. They can, however, be a viable short term solution to cash flow management. They are not for the faint of heart. So read up on them and see if it may be something that can help you get over the hump.

So, commission advance companies, loan shark or helping hand? What say you?

About us

I am a licensed real estate Broker in the state of Florida. My opinions on real estate have been formed from my experiences and 15 years of working in the business. My opinions are in line with Florida Real Estate laws and the REALTOR(R) Code of Ethics. Your State’s laws may differ. So do your own homework before implementing any of my business practices into your business.