If you are like many home buyers who are trying to break into the real estate market in Tampa Bay, you know there are some amazing deals out there. Homes that sold in 2005 for over $200,000 are now selling for $100,000 or less in some areas! This makes buying a home a lot of fun today, you would think!
Many buyers are frustrated, 70% of the homes sales in recent months in the Tampa Bay area are distressed properties, short sales and pre-foreclosures. Getting these homes closed it just too much for some buyers. Often by the time it takes to get a short sale or pre-foreclosures approved by the seller’s lender, 50% of the buyers have walked before getting lender approval.
Most short sale deals take at least four months or more to get approval from the seller’s bank and if they have a PMI or MI insurance, a second mortgage or HELOC you could be looking six to twelve months or not getting approved at all! After the seller gets the lenders approval, the seller than has to agree to the lenders terms of the short sale. Which could include them signing a note for the balance or bring cash to the closing table. If the seller isn’t willing or able to accept these terms the deal could be dead! The buyer is then out 4-6 months of waiting.
Adding to this, homes under $100,000 are now starting to see bidding wars. Buyers used have been able to think about a home overnight but these days you need to move quickly to snatch up a good deal!
Home sales in the Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater areas rose 28 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, and the median sales price hit $138,800. That’s down 42 percent since prices peaked at $239,600 in June 2006.
Time is also running on federal tax credit for 1st time and move up home buyers, putting a short sale under contract at this point and getting it closed in time to meet the dead lines may not be possible. Buyer’s must be under contract by 4-30-10 and close no later than 6-30-10 to get the tax credit.
I’m telling my buyers at this point they need to make a decision, if the tax credit is the big reason they want to buy a home this year they many need to focus on REO (bank owned properties) or look for homes where the seller has equity so they can close in time.
If you don’t care about the tax credit, and you are focused on just getting the right home for you and your family as the market is returning from the bottom then short sales and pre-foreclosures should be on your list.
If you are looking for a newer community, taking the trip across the Skyway Bridge could get you more than you could dream of. I’ve been showing property in Manatee County over the past few weeks, where newer homes that were selling in the $500,000 range that can be purchased at a 50% discount. I’ve shown property built in 2005 with 4 beds 2.5 baths 2 car garage and 2,500 sqft selling for only $180k. Pulte Homes will build you a new 3,000 sqft home for just $212,000 WOW!
Let me know if I can help you with your home search!