The real estate market in South Florida continues to be one in which there is high demand with supply lagging behind. As a result, many buyers are having to rethink their home ownership plans, becoming more flexible with their ‘must have’ lists and perhaps reconsidering their desired neighborhoods. Because South Florida has a wide range of attractive property, buyer flexibility is helping people realize their home ownership dream. In the quest to find the right home at the right price, here are a few problem areas to avoid.
Be realistic about what you can afford.Start with a good mortgage pre-approval and begin your house hunting at the low end of that approval. Don’t be tempted by properties touted as a ‘great buy’ with all sorts of wonderful features that may be hard to resist.A ‘great buy’ is what you really like and can afford, taking into account your financial safety cushion for unforeseen situations. Once you have mortgage pre-approval, avoid doing anything to change your financial status, such as buying a big-ticket item, taking out a loan or co-signing a loan or being late on paying bills.
Do not overbid. Bidding a lot more than the asking price can cause problems with the appraisal, and may affect your mortgage approval, and later, your ability to sell the house. Do work with a realtor and be guided by him/her and comparable sales.
Know your DIY skills. In today’s market, a fixer-upper might be just the right house in the right location. The big plus with a fixer-upper is that you can have the house redone to your tase and your lifestyle needs. Further, you can do the work on your own schedule, living with some inconveniences while working on the most urgent repairs.
Before deciding on a house that needs work, do some research into the local cost of repairs and renovation and be realistic about your own do-it-yourself skills. Then draw up a budget for the work that must be done by professionals, such as plumbing, electricals, roof. For repairs you will do yourself, also work out a budget for the materials and consider the time you will be able to devote to a renovation project.
Do not forego an inspection. The house may look flawless but an inspection my prove otherwise. While an inspection is a must for any house sale, an inspection is particularly important when considering a house that needs work. Serious structural problems might mean you walk away from that house. But a realistic budget for repairs and renovations might still make the house more desirable and affordable than a similar property with a heftier price tag.
In the hunt to find a house you can see yourself living in, at a price you are comfortable with, it is important to be realistic about real estate.
While there are some challenges facing buyers, the benefits of homeownership far outweigh the challenges. South Florida has very varied real estate offerings in types of housing, price range and neighborhoods. Older neighborhoods are being re-vamped and newer neighborhoods continue to offer wide choices for all age groups — young singles and couples, new parents and empty nesters, college bound and active retirees. Even if you encounter a few set-backs in your house hunting, with so much variety in the local market, you will find your very own Florida home.
Buying or selling your Florida home?Call me today at 954-295-9282.