We get asked this all the time, Is it time to buy or sell in SW Florida. We believe it’s time to buy. It is not a good time to sell unless your circusmtances dictate a need to sell. We’ll elaborate.
Over the weekend we were featured on MSNBC about the national housing market. We told their real estate expert, John Bendall, Fort Myers was a good place to buy. Prices have retreated and there are some great buys now.
We recently sold a lakefront pool home in Hawk’s Preserve for about $265,000 with the seller paying closing costs. Our buyer was elated as this same home 2 years ago was selling for well into the mid $400’s. This buyer has approximately $200,000 more buying power. They’re able to get a 2,400 sq ft of living area home, with a pool, and a gorgeous lake view for their family of four. They could not have done this even a year ago.
Affordablity is back in our market. In addition to shelter, the home is now once again a long-term investment, a financial asset. Homes have always been an asset, but not necessarily a good one when investors were paying Top Dollar and the bottom fell out. Our market was not healthy when short-term investors came in and bought up much of the market with the intent of flipping to someone else at a higher price. We saw much fraud in the process, and the end-user was hurt because they couldn’t afford to buy at the inflated prices.
Fast forward to 2007. Much pain has occurred, and many investors have either sold, rented their home, or faced foreclosure. We have several segments that have rebounded nicely, and we can say with confidence that some sectors bottomed awhile back.
Just because some homes bottomed, and in fact median prices have been on the rise 5 out of the last 6 months, we can’t say that the entire market is healthy just yet. We still have large degrees of inventory of condos on the market, and many subdivisions are still vacant and primarily investor owned. These will take time to balance with today’s market. Make no mistake, our market is healing itself right now, and the sectors that still need healing will continue to do so. With healing comes pain. Many have felt the pain and dealt with the situation, others still must come to that realization.
Regardless, it is much better to be a buyer in this market than a seller. It’s also wise to work with a Full-Time Realtor experienced in the ups and downs of the SW Florida real estate market. Good buys are out there, and you can do well. There are still some over-proced properties on the market, and you don’t want to purchase one of those. Always get with a qualified and professional full-time agent to guide you through the buying process.
We’ve always said, you make money in real estate on the "Buy", not the "Sell". Make sure you buy right. Believe it or not, the best priced properties are selling, and many have multiple offers. Those are the ones you want to jump on, and you may even pay full price because it’s a good deal. The over-priced properties you must offer less, and in fact you might be wiser to just pass on until the seller gets realistic.