Lee County Florida median home prices rose 1.6% in May to $265,000, up from $260,700 last year. Average home prices rose too, up 3.3% to $375,899. The average number last May was $363,829.
While home prices aren’t changing dramatically, this is good news for Lee County home sellers. Sometimes a steady housing market is better than rapidly rising prices which can lead to rapidly declining prices down the road.
As you can see by the graph, Lee County Florida median home prices and average home prices didn’t really participate much on the upside the past few years, so we didn’t have far to fall if the market shifted. We feel the market did indeed shift, and SW Florida for the most part fared well.
Of course, we know real estate is neighborhood specific, so some areas and price ranges can be doing better than others. Therefore, it’s always important to evaluate what your home or neighborhood offers relative to the market.
For instance, let’s say you have two golf course communities. Both offer a similar style, look good, and are in relatively the same part of town. The difference however is the mandatory fees. One has an equity membership fee of $90,000 plus yearly fees of $15,000 between golf, club house, HOA fees, etc. The other golf community has an equity fee of $30,000 and yearly fees of $9,600.
If both courses are similar, which one will buyers gravitate to? The same is true with non-golf properties. Buyers look at the total cost of ownership, and what they get for it. Some communities have gates, some don’t. Some have clubhouses, cable TV, swimming pools, tennis, you name it. Buyers look at the home or condo, and they also look at the amenities and what it all costs.
Let’s say you don’t live in a community. Do buyers still look at yearly costs? Yes, they do. They look at what are the annual projected maintenance costs. Does the home need renovation? Will the home need a new air conditioner or new roof soon? How old is the home? This affects the price of home insurance. Is the home in a flood zone? If so, what is the elevation of the home? This affects the yearly price of flood insurance.
Having answers to all these questions is critical for the buyer. The buyer won’t make a decision without these facts, or they’ll back out of a contract after inspection once they discover facts that didn’t fit in with their projected financial outlays.
Having the information upfront can temper expectations and keep deals together. Pricing your home to meet these conditions helps as well. If your home needs a new roof, you don’t want to price your home the same as homes that just had a new roof installed, all else being equal. The hard part is, all else isn’t equal. Each home is unique, down to where it sits. A good Realtor or appraiser looks at your land value relative to other sales. Additionally, they’ll look at age of home, features, replacements, and anything else that can affect value. You throw it all in the pot and come up with a value. Even then it’s difficult because all buyers don’t view value the same way.
Some buyers appreciate the view differently. Some value privacy while others may value beauty. One buyer may desire a lakefront lot while another may value a preserve view. Appraisers can set a lake value differently than a preserve view but, in the end, value is in the eye of the beholder.
Therefore, it’s critical to be honest and view your home like a buyer. You must take off the seller’s glasses and put on buyer glasses. If you tried to sell your home and it didn’t work, chances are you looked at it like a seller, didn’t have all the information a buyer needs to decide, or your home wasn’t marketed properly.
If you’re thinking of selling, call Brett or Sande Ellis 239-489-4042 Ext 4. Or, go online www.SWFLhomevalues.com to get a Free instant computer evaluation of what your home could be worth. Of course, we’d love to talk with you when you’re ready.
Good luck, and Happy House Selling!
See Last Week’s Article: Low Interest Rates Fuels Surge in Real Estate Closings