Is this a good time for a European to buy a condo in Florida?

Asked by Jim, Norway (Europe) Fri Oct 5, 2007

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Lisa Spencer,…, Agent, Lithia, FL
Fri Oct 5, 2007
BEST ANSWER
Jim

Your question is broad and although the condo market is glutted right now, it still may be a good fit for you. Select a Realtor who will spend some time conducting a proper "needs analysis" interview and one that is not afraid to be a tough negotiator and you could make a condo purchase work. The strength of the Euro is in your favor and if a condo is the best match for your lifestyle ... Go For It! The link below is for an MSN Real Estate article on the Condo Glut, it may help you with your decision.
2 votes
Jaks, Home Buyer, Belleair Beach, FL
Thu Feb 14, 2008
Jim I am not a real estate agent yet but I may take my exams here soon.I was an estate agent for 15 years in London until I became a self employed developer.I came here to invest and with my entusiasm for the beautiful weather I did not read the small print.That is one of the reasons that I am thinking of doing my exam here to become an oversea investors real estate agency so that I can explain all of the pitfalls of investing in property here,dont get me wrong Florida is wonderful and the people too but real estate will certainly confuse us europeans.Buying a condo....watch out for service charges they go up and up and up I have a friend who bought one and moved here from NY expecting her life to be great but she didnt expect a 5000dollar improvements bill and a massive increase in her service charges.Another thing is taxes as an overseas investor you will not be able to homestead your taxes therefore you will pay 3 x what your US neighbour pays a fact.Closing costs around 10,000dollars to put on top of your purchase.Oh and if you want to sell it will cost you 6% you may be able to do a deal for 5%.Sorry but I have to tell you the truth. Good luck!!! that all said it is beautiful here.
3 votes
Theace, , Tampa, FL
Thu Feb 14, 2008
Ask and yee shall recieve.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Merrill Lynch: House Prices May Fall 30%

From MarketWatch: Merrill Lynch says U.S. nationwide home prices may fall 30%

Merrill Lynch forecasts nationwide U.S. home prices could decline 25% to 30% over the next three years ...
And Bloomberg quotes Rosenberg: U.S. 2008 Growth Forecast Cut in Half by Merrill
``Rising unemployment, $6 trillion in lost housing wealth combined with slumping equity valuations, and the lack of participation from the baby boomers for the first time in three decades likely will result in the worst consumer recession since 1980,''
From the Fed's Flow of Funds report, household real estate assets totaled $20.99 trillion at the end of Q3 2007. So a 30% decline in prices would reduce "housing wealth" by about $6 trillion (Merrill's number).
3 votes
Theace, , Tampa, FL
Thu Feb 14, 2008
Excellent response from Terry Molnar to which I'm in full agreement. However, I do believe that the gentleman from Norway was inquiring about Condos not Lots whose price's have been slashed by a whopping 67%.

Condos on the other hand are so over built in all of the major Florida markets that a 30% decline is as conservative as it is inevitably and therefore a 50% drop or greater in prices for Condos is highly likely. Personally, I would not buy a Condo for more than 40 cents on the dollar.

Furthermore, Merrile Lynch are predicting 30% home price depreciation "nationwide" and because Florida like California is ground zero for the housing bubble a 50% depreciation in Florida is quite possible.
2 votes
M, , Florida
Thu Feb 14, 2008
Thank you. The operative word in Merrill Lynch's report is "could". As stated earlier, have we hit the bottom yet? Who knows, however we feel along with most people in the industry that the bottom is near. Is that 5,10, 15 or 30%?? A 30% decrease in property values across the FL market would ruin the entire state. I think my point was, and remains that maybe a few areas will see some continue decline, however all indications are pointing to the fact that the bottom is within a 12 month window. Let's keep in touch and we can bet a soda on it!! Now is the very, very best time to be looking and sometime in the next 12 months would be a great time to selectively make very good purchases. For example, Palm Beach, FL. Lots in a Ginn Resort once selling for over 600K are now available for under 200K. Should you buy now or wait and take the risk of seeing these prices begin to increase???
2 votes
Theace, , Tampa, FL
Wed Feb 13, 2008
No matter the market conditions a Realtor (except this one) will always tell you that "it's a great time to buy" and indeed it is for the Realtor and there 6% commission. Wouldn't it be nice if just for once a Realtor looked out for the client's interest instead of there own and told them truth, that "now is the worst time to buy".

It is true that you'll reap a nice benifit Euro verses dollar although not 2-1 more like 1.5 to 1. Regardless, why not wait a year or so and reap 3 to 1 as prices are projected to fall another 15% nationwide and as much as 30 to 50% here in Florida.
2 votes
Ronnie Shuma…, Agent, New York, NY
Wed Feb 13, 2008
Great question,

Overall, it is a great time to buy ANYWHERE in the US for a European.
Do your research well! There are certain markets which make more sense for the long haul, overall Manhattan, NY for example, is insulated from the sags felt by other areas in the US.

Your money is two to one roughly here in the US right now, so it really is a matter of your personal preference to whether the storm so to speak.

In FL, there may be a longer wait for appreciation, up here in NYC things are still steadily on the rise if not as fast as before. We are seeing less double digit increases up here than two years ago.
FL had a lot of condo development and thus some surplus.

Overall, you need to find out what would be the services and amenities for the area of interest, find comparables if any, then really examine the overall value of the place in question.
2 votes
Theace, , Tampa, FL
Sun Feb 10, 2008
No!

Wait another year by which tme prices will have dropped another 30% to 50%

"NOW IS THE WORST TIME TO BUY"

An honest Realtor
2 votes
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Fri Oct 5, 2007
It is a great time especially withe the ratio of the euro to the dollar. Be sure to connect with an International Property Specialist.
2 votes
M, , Florida
Thu Feb 14, 2008
I would love to see data that supports 30-50% decline in real estate in FL.. All the research we do agrees that we have hit the bottom, however we are very close. We are not advising our clients to buy right this minute, but to start looking and narrowing done your search. Work with someone that can help you with this, pick a price that you think is appropriate, make the offer and stand by. Deals are available, but most established developers have been through this before. They can wait it out also. Give Marian a call at 847-367-8773
1 vote
M, , Florida
Wed Feb 13, 2008
Jim,
This is a excellent time to purchase property in FL or anywhere in the southeast of USA. Developers have a lot of inventory, some are still putting a lot of funds into amenities and they need to keep the cash flow going. Dollar for dollar you are at least 46% ahead of the game already. Make such you work with someone is can help you find the best deal (usually you can do better purchasing currently owned inventory at a discount from developer inventory. Contact Marian Schaffer at http://www.marianschafferrealty.com. Good Luck!!
1 vote
Joe Manausa,…, Agent, Tallahassee, FL
Wed Feb 13, 2008
Jim,

You ask a great question. Unfortunately, you will get all ranges of answers based upon the local market conditions of the person answering the question. Generally speaking, it is a buyers' market for condos in Florida and values are still declining.

The key to buying and making money in Florida real estate is understanding the market cycles of the specific markets in which you are buying. There are many niche areas where you can buy a Florida condo and do very well.

Good luck.
1 vote
Heather Seitz, , West Palm Beach, FL
Wed Feb 13, 2008
yes, it is a good time to buy in Florida. You can get a great deal on many units. The one recommendation I would give you is to look in a place like Miami where there are a lot of tourists. Then, look for a building that has a rental management division in house. Then, you can make money while you're not here and have virtually no management headaches and hassles.

As long as the property can support the price, it's probably not a bad deal. You would of course negotiate the price no matter what.

Another thing to consider... the strength of the Euro versus the dollar. No one can predict what is going to happen in the next 12-24-36 months in real estate. It's also impossible to predict what will happen with the Euro/Dollar. Think about this... What if prices actually do go down another 5-10%? But what if the Euro goes from 1.46 to 1.10 in relation to the dollar. You still wind up ahead of the game. And if you DO buy below market value today, you've mitigated that risk some more.

You just want to make sure you choose the right building in the right location and negotiate a great deal that works TODAY. Let me know if you have any questions and I'd be happy to help you out. This is NOT a time for quick turn.

Heather Seitz
(561) 459-9203
heather@performanceteamkw.com
1 vote
Ines Hegedus…, Agent, Miami, FL
Sun Feb 10, 2008
Jim - with the Euro as strong as it is, we have been dealing with a lot of Europeans in South Florida that are taking advantage of distress sales. Although prices are supposed to still drop a bit because the inventory is continuously increasing, there are some great deals in beautiful areas. (think long term when you invest in South Florida though)
1 vote
Elizabeth Bu…, Agent, Englewood, FL
Fri Oct 19, 2007
There are some great buys on Condos because the market is flooded with them. Some deveolpers have inventory and are giving incentives and prices lower that original offers when they rolled out. The european dollar is also strong so anything you purchase will be half price. Condos are easy because you can lock up and return to Europe. Make sure you do reasearch on the cost associated with the condo that being monthly dues, yearly taxes and insurance.


Elizabeth Burr
Michael Saunders and Company
941 855-1142
hyyp://www.BayToGulfHomes.com
1 vote
Raquel Zapata, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Oct 18, 2007
Yes check out some of these links. Not sure what price range your in.



http://www.wcicommunities.com/default.asp?pageID=homes_home_…

http://www.move.com/new-homes_florida/tampa.aspx?source=a161…


http://rzapata.mfr.mlxchange.com/?Page=903046









Raquel Zapata-Gonzalez
Licensed Real Estate Consultant
Cell: 813-294-7264
Fax: 813-655-1878
E-mail: rzapata@tampabay.rr.com
http://www.MajesticHomeRealty.com
1 vote
Katrina Made…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Mon Oct 15, 2007
My answer is yes. Forbes Magazine talked about Tampa in their July magazine. Here is more information.
1 vote
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Fri Oct 5, 2007
Just to add to the consensus, the answer is a resounding yes.

Buyers markets prevail through much of Florida and the exchange rate makes it even more attractive. You can choose a Realtor who is a member of CIPS, as they will have added education and information avaialble for you.

For more information about Certified International Property Specialists, or to find a member:
http://www.realtor.org/international/index.html
1 vote
ian cockburn, Agent, New Orleans, LA
Fri Oct 5, 2007
Definitely! Make good use of that Euro! Get a Realtor that can focus on your needs as an investor
Web Reference:  http://www.iansellsnola.com
1 vote
Antonio, Agent, Tampa, FL
Fri Oct 5, 2007
Absolutely....... altough I would reccomend a townhouse or single family, easier to re-market.
Talk to an European born, call me.
1 vote
Ines Hegedus…, Agent, Miami, FL
Fri Oct 5, 2007
Jim - all the answers are right on. What's important for you to know is that you, as a buyer, especially buying a condo, have the power. Depending on the area, you may be able to get some incredible deals. In Miami for example, beach front condos are holding their value much better than the rest. Make sure you work with an agent that knows the area and the amount of inventory.
1 vote
Myke Atwater, Agent, Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Fri Oct 5, 2007
With the value of the Euro now in the US, and the decline in prices for beach vacation property, it is a fantastic time to buy property, at least here in Destin, Florida. Prices have become more affordable, and the Panhandle of Florida has sugar white beaches, and emerald clear waters that get to around 88 degrees in the summer time. Prices continue in a downward trend, but we have seen significant movement both with high end properties as well as the less expensive properties. The properties in the mid ranges (4-6K) are the slowest in moving. While many people are upset with a perception of huge escalation of taxes and insurance, the prices of those are just becoming comparable to the rest of the coastal communities in the United States. Destin is still a bargain. Also, due to the proximity of major air force base reservation land, this part of Florida will not be seeing continuing parking lots and subdivisions like many other places. Also, there is a new International Airport capable of landing the Airbus 380 being constructed right here in the Panhandle to accomodate International as well as Domestic Travelers.
Web Reference:  http://www.myketriebold.com
1 vote
Jennifer De…, Agent, Orlando, FL
Fri Oct 5, 2007
I have to agree with Mark and Diane. The current market conditions have really created a dynamic environment for buyers whether domestic or international. I would only suggest buying a condo if you have a long term investment strategy, 2+ years or so. It is going to take a while for the current inventory to be absorbed and then start a normalized appreciation. I would also suggest looking at town homes or duplexes if you want less maintenance concerns. There are also some great opportunities in the single family home market, for example a community like Williamsburg right outside Orlando in the attraction area close to Seaworld and International drive is an excellent choice. It is a stable community of villa type homes that hasn't really been affected by appreciation drops we have seen in other parts of Central Florida. Plus the lawn maintenance is included. It would also make an excellent vacation rental due to its proximity to the attractions. For more on this area or other opportunities in Central Florida don't hesitate to call me at 407-921-1310
1 vote
Jeff Launiere…, , Tampa, FL
Fri Oct 5, 2007
With the value of the Euro versus the US Dollar buying now is a great time for Europeans to buy. With the way the home prices have gone down and the extra purchasing power you get with the Euro, you would be buying at a huge discount.

I would only recommend a condo if it is a high-end purchase (for example high-rise or beachfront), otherwise look at buying a townhouse, villa, or single family home. Mid and lower priced condos are a tough sell right now, and likely will have much more downward pressure on prices.
1 vote
Mark Zabilow…, Agent, Lutz, FL
Fri Oct 5, 2007
Jim,
I think its a good time to invest in the US market here in real estate. The question about condos may pose several return questions. Are you looking for a long term investment? The market is saturated in condos and will take quite some tiome to adjust itself. If this is a shorter term, you may want to consider a single family home.
1 vote
Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Fri Oct 5, 2007
It's a great time! With the value of the euro/dollar and the declining prices, it doesn't get much better for you. I bought a 2nd home in Sarasota in April and bought for $50,000 less than the previous owner did 2 years ago. I had a fabulous agent. If you would like her information with the Michael Saunders Company, email me.
good luck! It's a really beautiful place to live or just visit.
Web Reference:  http://www.dianeglander.com
1 vote
Josephball, Other Pro, FL,
Tue May 17, 2011
I am a professional full-time real estate investor. I buy wholesale for many buyers all over US and Europe. I buy in several Florida counties. In my opinion, if you buy right, this is a time we will look back on in years to come as "The Time". I buy several condos each month and will continue. Excellent market, if you buy right.
Joseph Ball
Central Florida
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Sat May 17, 2008
Jim,
There hasn't been a better time in a long while.... get an agent, find a property, and put it in writing. Sellers are ready to make deals and smart buyers can cash in on these opportunities.

Don't miss the boat... get started

The "Eckler Team"
0 votes
Michael J. C…, Agent, Hillsborough, NJ
Tue Apr 29, 2008
The general Florida real estate market is one of the most volatile markets in the country. However, shore property values throughout the country, including Florida, are still holding up. Does Norway subscribe to the European currency system? With the Dollar-Euro differential being what it is currently, it may be a good time to explore that market, depending on where you would like to buy--shore or inlancy
0 votes
M, , Florida
Fri Feb 15, 2008
Jak,
You have a very interesting story. Most people in American do not understand the "estate agents" and how europeans purchase and view purchasing/owning property. You should be able to truly provide an excellent service to the overseas investor. I'd love to talk with you more about working with someone who is established in properties, not just in FL but throughout the southeast. We have been in this market for over a decade, truly care first about our clients while still making a reasonable living. We love this market...so many opportunities for people!!
0 votes
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