Rebekah, Home Buyer in Martin County, MN

HI! My husband and I are looking for an agent/ broker to represent us in buying a home.

Asked by Rebekah, Martin County, MN Fri Feb 6, 2009

In the area of Howey In The Hills, Fl. We hear so much about now is the time for buyers to take advantage of this market. I've been keeping up with the sales, and houses are going for half thier asking price, in the entire surrounding neighborhoods in thislocation. Latest real estate news is you can offer 40% to 60% off of foreclosures.
Also would like to know of the areas out there that have the homes with the acreage, don't want to be in the golf community, we need acreage, we have horses. Thanks so much!!!

Help the community by answering this question:



I would be happy to discuss with you your preferences in a home and work with you in finding your new home. Now is definitely an excellent time to buy for qualified buyers who intend on owning their new home long term.

As far as the information on recent sales; you can look at it as the homes are going for half the asking price or more realistically the homes are being sold at their correct value. Unfortunately our area has experienced a significant market correction and with foreclosures the value of homes has decreased. For those sellers who have to sell due to job relocation, financial stressors or personal reasons they can only sell at the price the market will sustain.

As for foreclosures, once the bank owns the property it has to sell it in order to cover its losses. So the bank hires an area agent to come up with a "BPO" (value.) The bank usually will then market the property at that price. If there is no activity then the bank will start dropping the price until it gets activity. In my experience the banks do not really negotiate but set a price and sell it for close to that price.

Also note in foreclosures that these are As-Is sales in most cases. In other words you can inspect but it is extremely rare a bank will pay for any repair issues found.

I would suggest you talk to a mortgage broker or loan officer and find out exactly what you qualify for since the lending side has become very stringent in the lending criteria. If you would like some names of finance people in this area I would be happy to pass a couple along. Many homes in Lake County fall under a federal program that offers zero to low down payment due the rural nature of the county. A local loan officer will be knowledgeable about all your finance options.

There are many homes in the Howey in the Hills, Mount Dora area that offer acreage -- a majority with horse facilities already in place.

If you would like more information or answers to other questions, please feel free to call or e-mail me.

Thank You,
Web Reference:
2 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 6, 2009
My broker in Florida http://( specializes in equestrian properties ~ we are almost neighbors, in Mount Dora, and both love Howey's pastoral settings but also appreciate some of the neighboring communities ~ she's got great knowledge of Sumter County, just across US 27, if you think you'd like to expand the search ... best of luck, Vivian
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 7, 2009
What you have heard is true, REO (bank or lender owned properties) are about 50% to 60% of the 2006 prices. Banks get agents to do BPO (Broker Price Opinions) so that they have good idea of what the home will sell for, and what to list it for to move the property. I do about 15 to 20 of these a week for the banks. My economics back ground drives me to crunch numbers. I have see many discounts - largest was a lot sold in 2006 for $1,149,000 currently on market for $39,000.
And it is true some homes are going for far less than the asking, but these are often Short Sales or other miss-listed properties..
My Mother lives in Altoona on Demko road and Dianne has it exactly right about having great places to ride. She as a constant stream of riders passing her home. Have a really nice 10 acre with barn that adjoins Ocala National Forest. So many properties on the market right now.

As a friend of mine says, "It's not a buyers market unless you are buying!" And Rick has it exactly correct,
a good Realtor will be able to give you good ideas about the value of properties. This is done through doing a CMA (Comparative Market Analyst ) which is similar to a BPO.

I do not think offering 60% off REO listings will produce results, unless the REO listing is out of line. REO is driving the market and producing a lot of sales because they are normally listed near or at the bottom of the price structure. And Rick is correct, often REO are selling for more that the listing price, as the buyer is getting some moneys to affect needed repairs.

1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 7, 2009
It is true this is THE time to buy.
As far as buying homes that are bank owned offering 40-60% of the asking price. That is not correct. Nor would I suggest such a strategy.
Consult with a Realtor and let them know what you needs are.
Your Budget,Location and what is important to you.
You can find super deals out there but I have found that Bank owned properties are going for MORE than asking price in many instances.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 7, 2009
Hi Rebekah,

Howey is a beautiful location in the North Central Florida area. The rolling hills and pastoral views are unbelievably breathtaking. Another fantastic location for horse lovers is the Emeralda area and the Ocala National Forest. Homes in those areas would be located in the towns of Umatilla, Paisley, Eustis, Weirsdale and Leesburg, Florida. Is there a reason you chose Howey? If not, you would have riding access from the additional areas mentioned above to miles and miles of country riding trails, so you should definitely look there, also. You may have heard of Sharpton Stables in Altoona, where they have regular equestrian events. The equestrian events for the Olympics were held there once. There are a lot of areas in Howey and Groveland to ride - but the largest concentration of riding trails and public resource lands would be closer to the other area. You would have the Ocala National Forest to the North and East, Sawgrass Island Preserve to the South and and the Emeralda Marsh to the West. The Ocklawaha River Basin is also located in that area. Anything in and around Ocala to the East and South will give you a multitude of choices. I have owned land in Marion County near Ocala, and my personal preference is more into the Southern areas and into Lake County. Ranchlands tend to be pricier the closer you get to Orlando. There are certainly some deals out there to be had - it mostly depends on timing and location. There is a Eustis foreclosure right now that is a pool home for $210,000 with a huge barn that was once a training facility. It is only on 1-1/2 acres, but adjoins two additional parcels of 7 acres and 6 acres that are also for sale. It has a high elevation with vista views and has horse fencing. If you would like more information, just e-mail me and I will provide you with that information.

Best of luck to you, and feel free to contact me anytime.

Dianne Scott
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 6, 2009
I have a pocket listing in Howie that is 10 acres, fenced with a barn, really nice home.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 6, 2009
There are some wonderful homes for sale on acreage in the Lake County area. In additiona to Howey, there are other areas like Astatula, Eustis and Umatilla that also offer homes on acreage. I specialize in equestrian property as I live on horse property myself. If you are still looking for an agent, you can find my contact information on my website.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 11, 2009
Or you can just do it on you own.
Some people have jobs, Wanna. Jobs take up much of their time so that they have enough money to buy a house.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 9, 2009
Might be better off just looking over the internet on you own. That is where the smart money is these days.

John says: "a good Realtor will be able to give you good ideas about the value of properties. This is done through doing a CMA (Comparative Market Analyst ) which is similar to a BPO. "

Or you can just do it on you own.

REO's will deal with you directly and take 3% off the top if you do not need an "agent."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 9, 2009
and whoops have another listing just off 48 just West of Howie, maybe 4 miles from downtown Howie. will not have listing until Sunday as signing listing agreement tomorrow, but ready to show. Has Pool 4 bedrooms 3 baths

AND have another listing in Sorrento, 5 acres, 4,000 sf home fences just off Wolfbrach= Horses allowed, needs barn .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 6, 2009
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