Tuesday, March 25, 2008

To Buy or not to Buy

People ask me this question nearly every day. Buyers want to know if the market is picking up, and in effect, if it is ok to buy Florida real estate now (the implication being that there might be a better time, perhaps in the summer).
To give the best answer, I need to understand who the Buyer is. If the Buyer is a real estate investor, then the answer is “I don’t know.” Historically, the Longboat Key area has been enjoyed by primary homeowners, long-term vacationers and second-home owners. The short-term investor only came to our area in the 2004/5 time period; they were looking to make quick profits by purchasing and selling quickly into a rising market. For those investor buyers, we may be at or near a bottom, but I cannot say we are in a quickly rising market.
If you are a long-term buyer, the kind of buyer we have been used to on Longboat Key, then most certainly this is the time to buy. If you wait for a confirmed bottom, you will certainly miss it. This not only has financial implications (you will end up spending more), it will also influence your choices. Homes are not like other investments, stocks for example. You can always buy a share of IBM stock, it might big trading at a bottom or 5% above the bottom price; but you can’t be sure that the Longboat Key property you have found will be available when you decide the market is ready for your purchase.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Setting the Record Straight

It is important to remember, and I say it repeatedly, real estate is a localized business. What this means to Longboat Key -area buyers is that we have a good market. Yes, we do have higher inventories available….this means great choices for Buyers. And guess what? Buyers are making their purchasing decisions right now. As evidence, I submit:
There are currently 12 single family homes on Longboat under contract awaiting closing. There have already been 5 closed sales since January 1, 2008.
There are currently 29 condominiums on Longboat under contract and awaiting closing. There have already been 19 closed sales since January 1, 2008.
I have personally closed/contracted $15,000,000 for 2008.
I am directing this information primarily to potential Buyers. I want you to know that the abundance of good property sliming, and if you are still waiting on the sidelines, its
time to get off the fence!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Focusing on the Numbers.

When our real estate market was at its weakest (let’s call that the bottom), I remember people asking me if we were in a Buyer’s market. I ‘d tell them we would be, if there were any Buyers! Well guess, what? There are Buyers out there today.
In fact, the Sarasota Association of Realtors just released the following information:
December 2007 sales were UP 22.7% over November 2007 sales
Overall sales in 2007 were down only 5.8% compared to 2006; last year was still the 7th highest sales year ever, with 6113 homes and 2,166 condominiums sold (of note, condominiums sales were actually up last year over 2006).
2007 was the fifth highest year on record for sales in Sarasota County

Declining interest rates are drawing Buyers back into the market. Once again rates are near historical lows, and mortgages are plentiful and obtainable here in Sarasota County.
I am personally seeing the New Year start out with much activity. My listings are being shown often, we are getting offers (some good, some not), and I am working with Buyers who are making value purchases.
The numbers look good for 2008.