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USE A REALTOR(R). A PROFESSIONAL TO REPRESENT YOU.
As a buyer, it usually costs nothing to hire a real estate professional to help you find and purchase a home–your Realtor will likely get a portion of the commission the seller pays to his Realtor. When choosing an agent, get referrals from friends, relatives, and co-workers, and then interview as many agents as possible. Pick an agent that works in the neighborhoods you’re interested in. Listen to your agent, but make your own decision.
DON’T BUY A PROPERTY THAT WILL BE DIFFICULT TO RESELL.
Normally, most of a property’s value is not in the house, it’s in the land. You would do well to heed the old adage of buying the worst house on the best street, not the best house on the worst street. If you buy a house that is overdeveloped compared to neighboring houses, you may think you’re getting a great deal when you buy it, but you will probably have a hard time getting back what you paid for it when it’s time to sell.
THE UPSIDE OF FLORIDA REAL ESTATE: 15 MARKET POSITIVES
Let’s take a look at some of the opportunities and positive indicators for the future of Florida’s real estate market.
1. Great prices. Statewide, home prices have fallen about 20 percent in the past year. Florida Association of Realtors® statistics show the existing-home median sales price was $185,400 in the third quarter of 2008, compared with $233,200 in third quarter 2007. By the way, those numbers are still significantly higher than in the early years of the decade. In 2003, the third-quarter sales price was $163,700, which reflects an increase of about 13.3 percent over the five-year period. (The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less.)
2. The time is right. Home sales volumes are rising again — a signal that the market recovery may be underway. In third quarter 2008, statewide sales of existing single-family homes were up 5 percent compared to the same period last year, according to FAR statistics.
3. High inventory levels. Conditions are ideal for buyers to find their dream home. Inventory is plentiful in all price ranges. But as sales volumes increase, inventory levels are likely to shrink. That reality translates into this advice for buyers: Don’t wait too long.
4. Low mortgage rates. Mortgage rates are still at the lowest levels since the 1960s. Lower rates multiply a buyer’s financial power. Even half a percent can make a sizeable difference. For example, on a $200,000 home, half of 1 percent could save the homeowner about $815 a year. Buyers can get more home for the money, which is a perfect scenario for families looking to upsize.
5. Incentives to buy. Federal, state and local housing programs can help buyers make that big purchase. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has increased the First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit from $7,500 to $8,000 for purchases on or after Jan. 1, 2009, and before Dec. 1, 2009. Talk to a local mortgage lender about state and federal incentive programs.
REQUEST BELOW If you want to receive the full 15 market positive indicators such as 6- A long-term-growth state; 7- A migration magnet; 8- A favored retirement destination; 9- A diverse economy; 10- . Investment outlook; 11- Homeownership has value; 12- Greater sense of well-being; 13- Beneficial for kids; 14- Community involvement; 15- An unsurpassed lifestyle.