The Tuskawilla area certainly has the kind of house you are looking for, but like you said, right now they may be out of your price range (what range is that by the way?) As far as finding homes, is your friend assisting in the search in anyway? There are a ton of little neighborhoods you may not know of in that area, so if you are just driving around and looking or browsing here, you may miss the perfect home. An agent with full MLS access can find everything in the are quickly and easily. If you are only going to buy through your friend ask them for help in the search too!
As far as pricing goes, unfortunately the market is what it is. Yes homes that may have sold for 150K 3-4 years ago may be worth 250K today, but to put in in perspective those same homes were probably selling for 300K last year. It's a roller coaster out there! Like you have been hearing the market is likely to see some further declines...how far no one knows. So if you are set on buying today you either have to purchase a home that needs some fix up, or have a competent agent that can negotiate the heck out of motivated sellers and banks for you.
You are right in....."not wanting to miss the boat."
It sound like you need to adjust your approach. Instead of contacting your realtor friend when you find something, it might be a good idea to develop a relationship with an agent who will provide you with sample properties to review.
Your concern about not wanting to over pay for property in this market is one also shared with many, many other buyers....a good agent will be able to provide you with information that will help you make an informed decision relative to this important issue.
Additionally, sometimes it is not good to do business with friends...tell your friend you want to continue to work with them but will be contacting other agents for information. As a buyer, you can work with more than one agent...this might help to get things moving.
The "Eckler Team"
Century 21 Almar & Associates
Venice, Fl 34285
you are correct
i will quote you
"I don't want to spend $250,000 on a home that was worth $150,000 three years ago. Is it unrealistic to want to find a reasonable property?"
some stuff from Pamela
"If you are serious about finding your dream home ...you need to contact me"
"If you find something you like and fall in love with the house, now is the time"
"Visit my website for more information."
some stuff from mr virginia
"you won't miss the boat "
"you don't want to spend your hard earned money on lost equity "
see the difference?
housing is a mess
prices not going up anytime soon
market will probably "over correct" as it has in the past
some estimate that it will over correct to 2000 level house price
you don't want to spend your hard earned money on lost equity
renting is the best deal and they are competing for your business because there are so many foreclosures
a 3/2 with a yard and 250K budget. I found one in winter Springs. It is listed for 245K. 1500 sq ft, with a 1/4 to 1/2 lot. It is a short sale. Now is a great time to buy. Also did you know that FHA has increased its loan amount.
Let me know if I can help.