If you’re considering buying a home in the Sarasota area, you ought to make a strategic purchase. Some homeowners buy because they have an emotional connection, like the location, or just found a property that nicely fit their budgets. While these things can be important, it’s imperative to take into consideration the future. You’re probably quite familiar with the adage real estate is about three things: location, location, location. Don’t dismiss this because it’s very true. When you buy a home, the neighborhood comes with it.
Right now, there are plenty of housing choices in Sarasota, and the market, though in recovery, still offers a lot. The median home price is about $190,000,while the median condo price, according to the latest figures available, is $185,000. Inventory levels have steadily increased, rising to 4,385 across the county, which means that sellers have to deal with more competition. This is great news for buyers looking to own a home in this tropical paradise.
Prices are affordable, but home values are also on the rise, making this the right time to buy a home. What you should also consider aside from price is the home itself. Being choosy is smart because it means that you’re thinking about the future. You certainly don’t want to purchase years of buyer’s remorse but do want to have a property that will strongly appreciate, making it a wise investment.
REAL ESTATE MARKET TRENDS
Though many people wish they had bought into the real estate market when it hit rock bottom, they now have a second chance. Just last week, the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stood at an affordable 3.93 percent, and, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages came-in at 3.16 percent. The same loan product had an interest rate of 4.5 percent over a year ago, but these low rates are expected to rise. The same 30 year loan product is .07 percent higher than a week ago, while the 15 year loan went up by .05 percent.
“Rates have stayed low for much longer than many in the mortgage industry had expected, but don’t think this trend will last forever. The Fed said it’s committed to keeping short-term rates low at least until mid year, according to the Federal Open Market Committee statement released Jan. 28. The increase will likely be gradual, but buyers who are sitting on the sidelines may be in for a surprise when rates rise.” —Bankrate.com
These rates also demonstrate that buying a home now and saving thousands of dollars over the life of the loan are driving sales, which in-turn, are driving up home values. In November of last year, home values increased by 4.7 percent. Such figures certainly indicate that a new policy from the Federal Reserve will take place. Buyers are qualifying for 30 year fixed loans with less than 5 percent down and changes in FICO credit score modeling, makes qualifying a bit easier. All of this, not to mention banks are more eager to lend to rebuild their books of business.
WAYS TO GUARANTEE PROPERTY APPRECIATION
When looking for a home to buy, you’ll see many properties and will begin to think of things like commute time. While these are important to you, if you’re going to sell in the future, you want a home that will appreciate in value. Here are six ways to guarantee property appreciation:
- Neighborhood. There are many things you can change in a home, like ugly paint, hideous decor, and worn flooring, but what you can’t change is the neighborhood. Consider schools the home zone for, even if you don’t have children. In addition, think about the neighborhood as a whole. If you see a lot of For Sale signs, that’s an indication it’s not a good place to buy.
- Size. Bigger isn’t always better, and you ought to seriously take this to heart when choosing a home to buy. If it’s the largest in the neighborhood, you likely won’t be to make many changes to improve it’s value. You’ll build more equity by purchasing a home that you can make improvements without making it out-value the neighborhood.
- Layout. Layout is very important because it defines the flow of the home. Think about the layout because when you market it in the future, this will be a big selling feature. The more it flows and serves functionally, the better.
- Exterior. Curb appeal is a big thing and you’ll take notice of it with every home you tour. Should you know that you will sell sometime down the road, think about how you can give it a little more pop without much upkeep.
- Condition. A home inspection will tell you much about a property’s condition and these reports can make or break a deal. The better the condition is, the less you’ll spend and that makes for savings that translate into future equity.
Finally, have an experienced and local real estate professional with you every step of the way. When you find a home that fits your wants and needs, there’s usually room to negotiate price to fetch a better deal.