Friday, January 28, 2011

Owners and Renters Agree: Owning a Home is a Smart Decision

People in Tampa, Florida know that home ownership is a smart decision. It is not just here either. According to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors®, “A substantial majority of both home owners and current renters agree that owning a home is a smart decision over the long term.”

“Home owners and renters agree that home ownership benefits individuals and families, strengthen our communities, and is integral to our nation’s economy,” said National Association of Realtors® President Ron Phipps. He added, “The results of this survey illustrate just how important issues related to home ownership are to people in this country.”

According to the survey American Attitudes About Homeownership 95 percent of owners and 72 percent of renters believe home ownership makes sense, especially over a period of several years. Although owners and are in agreement about this subject, there are some differences between them. The difference is important to note as it relates to the quality of life issue. The survey found that over half of home owners are “very” or “extremely” satisfied with the quality of their family life, while only a third of renters felt the same level of satisfaction. 63 percent of renters surveyed said they were likely to purchase a home in the future, with young adults having the strongest desire to own their own home.

An important component to home ownership is that of mortgage interest deduction (MID). The survey showed that 74 percent of home owners and 62 percent of renters say that is it “extremely” or “very” important that the MID remain in place. Ron Phipps agreed with this saying, “At a time when the middle class is under increasing economic pressures, both home owners and renters agree that the mortgage interest deduction should not bet targeted for change. Given strong public support of and aspirations toward owning a home, we need to keep policies in place that support and encourage responsible, sustainable home ownership for our future.”

One of the biggest obstacles to those who would like to purchase a home is job security. Given today’s economy, many potential home owners have a certain level of nervousness about purchasing a home due to their lack of confidence in their job security. Another issue is that of creditworthiness. Despite these factors, people still aspire to home ownership. Let’s face it…home ownership is still the American dream and will continue to be.

If you are interested in becoming a home owner, contact a real estate professional at SI Real Estate to discuss your options. You may be better able to afford a home than you think. The prices of rentals are going up and the prices of homes for sale on the market are aggressively, making them more affordable than ever. Maybe it is time for you to look into making the American dream your dream come true.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Real Estate Half Time Report – Just the Facts!

The papers and the television are filled with stories about the real estate market here in Tampa, Florida and elsewhere around the country, leaving most people confused and perplexed.

Well, how about an up close and personal look at what is really happening from an insider’s view…that of our Real Estate Broker who works in this marketplace every day. With so much press and talk about how questionable the real estate market is, you may be surprised to hear what is going on out on the streets of Tampa’s real estate market.

The drop in real prices has caused an interesting shift in the marketplace. Properties are selling like hot cakes. Local, national and international investors are buying properties like there is no tomorrow. They realize with the prices where they are now that they just can’t lose by putting their investment dollars into the real estate market. Investors with cash are gobbling up homes, townhouses and condominiums just about as fast as they come on the market. Buyers are presented with a new and interesting problem these days. How to get to the property and get an offer in before someone else does. Here is a real life example of that. Our Broker found a property that a client wanted to make an offer on recently. The property was in the Westchase area of Tampa. Upon calling the listing agent to see if any offers had been made, our Broker was told that 32 offers had already been submitted. Yes, you read that right. 32 offers. Unbelievable! This is only one illustration of the multiple offer scenarios that occur day by day – every day.

This situation is causing a new and unusual dilemma for first-time home buyers trying to buy their first home. First-time home buyers are in fierce competition with investors. Often times, investors are able to purchase a property with a lower offer than that of the first-time homebuyer as banks and even individual homeowners are willing to take less money for the property knowing they won’t have to work with a first-time homebuyer and risk not selling the property due to problems that may arise with the purchaser obtaining financing. Obtaining financing has become extremely tough and sellers know that.

First-time homebuyers need to work with a real estate professional who is watching the market constantly in order to find properties that have just come available on the market. Bank owned properties do have a short grace period where buyers who are actually going to live in the property get a chance to get an offer in prior to the property being available to everyone else. Everyone else meaning investors.

So, if you are looking to buy a home for yourself, don’t sit on the fence thinking that you will wait to make an offer on a place that you saw and liked. If you find something that you like, get an offer in and do it quickly. Otherwise, an investor is likely to buy that house right out from under you. It is happening every day. We see it.

For more information about what is happening in the Tampa Bay area real estate market, please give us a call at SI Real Estate at (813) 631-5144. We will be happy to discuss your options in what we call the “new normal” in the real estate market.