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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

COLD HARD CASH

Florida real estate companies say they're seeing more buyers use cash to obtain a home, rather than rely on mortgages. For example, NRT says cash transactions have risen from 25 percent of home sales in August 2007 to nearly 40 percent last month; and Michael Saunders & Co. says cash transactions have risen from 38.5 percent between January and August 2007, to 54.5 percent during the same period this year. Mortgage bankers have tightened their lending standards during the credit crisis, making it more difficult for consumers to borrow money. "To get a loan these days you have to have really excellent credit, a minimum 700 FICO score; some even want 720 or 740," says Jack McCabe, a real estate analyst in Deerfield Beach, who adds that these players "are able to command the best prices. When you have a cash buyer sitting across from you saying you don't have to worry about anything, this deal will close right away."

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