Yesterday, I met with a first time homebuyer looking to purchase a Sarasota bank foreclosure home in the greater Sarasota area. I wanted to comment on a few observations and thoughts I had during our excursion. If you are currently a renter, or someone who is thinking about an investment property, this may interest you!
First, there are some GREAT buys out there right now. Ok, lets preface this….most Sarasota foreclosures need work of some kind. That is to be expected. Usually when owners can no longer afford the house they live in, they tend to have neglected maintenance for some time before the actual foreclosure. Although this is common, I must say that we toured a few homes yesterday that were virtually turn-key ready to move in. Maybe the homes need some paint and carpet, however we saw some entry-level homes listed around $115,000 that were in good condition! That would have been unheard of just two years ago. ( ok, I will say we ALSO saw homes that had no kitchens, air conditioning was stolen, and basically, the home was a trainwreck) There is quite a mix.
Second, I was delighted to see that we saw some other agents showing the same properties. The reason I was happy to see this is because in the past several months, I have never run into another agent showing the same listing at the same time. It was refreshing actually and a good sign that activity is increasing. We are in our peak season of the year, and I know activity naturally rises January through May, however increased activity regardless of the cause should be refreshing for everyone.
Also, as noted in my November 2008 Sarasota Housing Statistics report, there are some interesting trends in the numbers that indicate November 2008 was far better than November 2007. Inventory levels are down, prices had experienced quite a correction, average days on the market is down, and average list price to sales price is up. There is so much negative economic news out there, we need to be reminded that there is actually some good indicators too. The next few month’s statistics will be interesting and I look forward to December’s numbers being released.
Third, the interest rates are just phenominal. This point goes out to the renters out there, particularly if you have a good credit history. (important for financing right now) In the past, you may not have been able to make the numbers work to buy rather than rent, however with the average median price down almost $60,000 from just a year ago, along with interest rate in the low 5% range, you may actually be surprised at what you can afford now for close to the same rent you maybe paying! If you would like more info, contact me!
Savvy investors buck the masses and stay ahead of the curve. When the market was going nuts, the skilled investor was selling and taking advantage of the chaos! Now that the market has been beaten up, prices have corrected, inventory levels are still rather high, buyer volume is low, and interest rates are extremely low, these same investors are now looking to buy again! Isn’t it time to try to be ahead of the curve?
I can say with confidence that there are nice homes out there for reasonable prices. I saw a few yesterday. Now, the days of flipping homes in 30 days are over, but the average home buyer lives in a home for several years, so a new purchase now make actually make a lot of sense.
I will leave you with a final thought which I borrowed, “With real estate in the current market conditions, It’s not timing the market per se, it is time IN the market”. If you buy now, and live in your home for 5-7 years which is average, (and the time it will take for this current market to be just a bad memory) in 5-7 years, you will very likely be considered “a savvy investor” by your friends and family. Woulda Coulda Shoulda.