Home Buying in Tampa>Question Details

Richard, Other/Just Looking in

Looking for expert advice on the best approach to buying a home under current market conditions.

Asked by Richard, Thu Nov 13, 2008

How to avoid your hard-earned investment from going south in the near future if you purchase now. How to know the realtor you choose has your best interest as their goal. How to know the best area to buy in just outside of Tampa's east side.

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Richard, I do NOT know that market at all but some of your questions are common for any area. One thing that I find is that very few potential clients ask for and talk with past clients of mine for feed back. I wish they would. Interview a couple and ask for a few references of buyers they have sold to in THIS market. Make sure that they are not relying on your deal alone to make bills that month. Make sure they are full time since I really think you have to be full time to know a market. Don't buy anything that you don' t think you can rent if you have to move and the market is still tough. Don't buy anything that results in a high mortgage payment and make sure that you will have several months payment saved. In the end, only you will know what the best area is so spend a lot of time researching your price range in different areas. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2008
When determining what location is best it is important that your realtor be able to get local market statistics for the condos and houses in the surrounding area. These statistics would show based on each quarter broken down by cities or zip codes, how many homes have sold, amount of list price to sell price, time on the market etc. This into. is usually compared to the previous year, same quarter. These may give you a clue as to what zip code or city is most appealing to you. It will also show which city is appreciating more than others.These stats are usually easily available through the local multiple listing service which your agent belongs to. Now more than ever, your realtor needs to be a consultant more than a sales agent.
Steve Finn
References: Houses for sale in Edmonton
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 21, 2013
Richard, Interview several agents, just as you would do if you were to sell a property. When you find a knowledgable agent who knows the market inside and out and you feel comfortable that they have your best interest at heart, you will know it. At that point, you begin working together.Good luck in your search!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 21, 2008
The right time to buy is not at the bottom... because you really never know where the bottom lies. By the time you realize the market have bottomed, you're already too late, it's already on the rise. Nobody ever said, WOW this is a the bottom. I will buy NOW.

Make a decision based on logic. Quite simply, your return on investment. If it makes financial sense, then it's the right time to buy. Plus keep in mind, there's an opportunity in any market, whether it's up or down.

Fact: rental on a 3 bedroom 2 bath 1400 sq ft is roughly $1200 to $1400 a month.

Example: if you bought a property for $130K cash and rented it for $1300 per month you have a return on investment of about 12%. Minus taxes, insurance, fess, etc, let's just say 10% to be conservative. On a savings account or a CD you get what... about, 3%? So you're better off putting your money in a house.

If you have a mortgage on this property with a 10% down, your mortgage will be about $1000 per month. You still have a positive cash flow of $300 not to mention the tax advantages. If you are making money on a house, does it matter if the market is up or down? Actually, yes. It matters when you sell. But if you are making money on a piece of property, it will not be logical to sell at a loss.

TIP: Bank Owned Homes! some at 50 cents to the dollar. These are the best deals today... but banks are getting smarter and I've seen a slight uptick on pricing already.

Bank Owned Homes: http://www.tampa4u.com/bank-owned-homes.html
Bank Owned Townhomes: http://www.tampa4u.com/bank-owned-townhomes.html
Bank Owned Condos: http://www.tampa4u.com/bank-owned-condos.html

Good luck, I want to see you smiling all the way to the BANK! LOL.
Web Reference: http://www.tampa4u.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 21, 2008
Hi Richard,
Wait another year, save another 20%. I sounds like you're buying as an investment, to rent out. If you pay too much, the investor that buys cheaper next year, can rent cheaper. Wait for the bottom. Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Richard,

The best source of information is the knowledge you gather from your personal experiences.

Our recommendation is to plan a weekend to the Tampa area for only the purpose of becoming familiar with and gathering information that will help you to be more informed. We suggest that you plan on NOT previewing homes at this time. This can be accomplished after you have educated yourself on what the general area has to offer.

The key to protecting your investment is "buying smart." This means getting pre-approved for your funding, reviewing your budget, setting a maximum limit for your new home, learning about the area and committing to not rushing into anything.

Our suggestion is identifying possible 6 homes that will meet your family's needs. After ranking them in them in your order of preference, begin submitting you offers based on a review of the recently sold home comps for the area.

For each offer you make, have you agent be candid about your process, your budget, and desire to find a home that is a true reflection of today's real estate market. Your purpose now is to identify the truly motivated seller(s). Give the seller your time frame to respond and then move on to the next choice. It is always a good idea to leave this seller with the door "left open" by telling them your offer remain open until you enter into contract on another home.

By taking this approach we have been able to save our buyers an average of $35,000 this year with as much as $95,000 savings on a single sale.

An important reminder....this is not a race, it requires time and patience. To become involved with a sense of urgency will only cost you money. You are essentially trying to create a new bottom for your own personal market.

We would be happy to share additional information if needed or assist you in finding a top agent that can support this initiative.

Best regards,
The "Eckler Team"
Michael Saunders & Company
billeckler@michaelsaunders.com
941-408-5363
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
I hate people who answer questions with a question, but here I go. Are you looking for a home or an investment? Which is most important to you? I counsel my clients that some of the best investments will take a lot of work to make them a home. These same great investments usually require funds to fix up. So without knowing your financial situation and your utlimate goals, it is hard to answer your question.

I hope I have answered it in one sense. Richard, it is very important to choose an agent who is concerned with your agenda...not theirs. I don't work the Tampa area, but I was asked to answer a question, and yours was the first that popped up!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Good morning Richard,

I know it's hard to decide when to buy....especially now. There are no guarantees with any investment but there are factors to take into consideration. One is: are we in a seller or buyers market? two: what are the current interest rates...just to name a few. Right now as a buyer you have many chooses in homes to purchase and interest rates are still very low.

I recommend you look for an agent you feel you can trust that has good reference. You should look for an agent you can talk openly to. The better your line of communication is the better they can help you. There are some excellent agents out there. Make some call, sit down with a few agents and you will know when you have interviewed the right agent for you.

If you would like to talk feel free to contact me. Good luck with your home search.

Sincerely

Gloria
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Hello Richard,

Buying under these conditions isn't much different from any other market. The key to making money in real estate is buying right, which isn't necessarily the lowest priced home in a price category. There are several factors which should be considered: Location being an important one; but so is size and number of bedrooms; as well as the status of the other homes around the home - if it is an older neighborhood, have any of the homes been replaced or renovated. When purchasing in a down market, one must be sure to have a complete understanding of the local market and its pricing (ie. the South Tampa is very different from, say, Carrollwood or Westchase). The other thing is, with so many homes available, you'll save lots of time if you use a realtor who is WILLING TO WORK FOR you. You will need someone who is not afraid to do lots of legwork, checking out homes on your behalf before you see them, to 'weed out' those that are not the best fit for your needs.

Bruce Bernstein
Pretty Dog Realty
813-944-3115
http://www.PrettyDogRealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 14, 2008
Richard,
When determining what location is best it is important that your realtor be able to get local market statistics for the Tampa and surrounding area. These statistics would show based on each quarter broken down by cities or zip codes, how many homes have sold, amount of list price to sell price, time on the market etc. This into. is usually compared to the previous year, same quarter. These may give you a clue as to what zipcode or city is most appealing to you. It will also show which city is appreciating more than others. These stats are usually easily available through the local multiple listing service which your agent belongs to. Now more than ever, your realtor needs to be a consultant more than a sales agent. If they are not "in the know" about important matters like these, they probably are not in touch with their marketplace.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2008
Richard,
First and foremost, determine if your time horizon. If you know you will have to move (e.g. be transferred, etc.) outside the area in less than three years, then you have to examine your finances and decide if you could carry a potential loss of capital or subsidize a renter. This is advice you should heed under any market conditions...or any investment. The shorter your time horizon, the more conservative your investment decision.

If your time horizon is futher out, or if you have the financial capability to handle a depreciation, then make a list of what is important in a home for yourself. Location? Size? Neighborhood? Number of bedrooms, baths, garage? Yard, large or small? Amenities? etc.

Find a good Realtor who is willing to listen to you and search for your criteria. If a realtor immediately tells you that you can afford more and should buy as much as you can afford, excuse yourself and move on to another. If you aren't sure how to locate a Realtor in Tampa's east side, just shoot me a message. I'll find you one, and no, I won't charge you for it.

Wish you luck and happy hunting.
Web Reference: http://tchurchwell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 13, 2008
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