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Old 11-13-2012, 03:44 PM
5 posts, read 6,086 times
Reputation: 10


Son is having a hard time narrowing down if now is the time to buy, what and where he wants to buy and what factors should be considered for a property to appreciate in value over the next 5 years. He works a 24hr shift in Bonita every 3rd day so commuting opens up possibilities, has a boat and loves the nightlife/gyms/people ect. in Estero but in his price range (130-140,00) probably only going to get him a 2/2 condo/townhouse when he'd rather have a house. Which will appreciate more in value a 2/2 condo in Estero or a 3/2 house somewhere else? He still has the option of staying at home to save up more money but he's not sure if home prices will rise? Also, what is your opinion, are homes in gated communities more desirable than homes in a deed restricted community? Just wanted to add that every foreclosure we've seen so far in his price range has had major issues with leaks on the ceiling, missing tiles or mold in bathrooms, cabinets that would have to be replaced ect. Any information/education would be greatly appreciated. Jody
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:10 PM
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
10,420 posts, read 9,200,588 times
Reputation: 23081
Jody, what your son needs is a good realtor. This is what they do and get paid for.
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Old 11-13-2012, 04:29 PM
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It normally takes 5 years or so to cover the cost of buying then selling a property. Make sure he is ready to stay in a property for that long or longer. Generally condos have a very limited upside. If you get into a foreclosure, fixer upper or often a new development money can be made but in most situations they are rarely better than an equivalent home purchase.

Gated communities can be great but only with the a 3/2 or better home. Families focus on gated communities more so than new couples. The other problem with gated communities is they are often builder driven which means a developer has bought a huge chunk of land and is selling lots/homes at fixed prices. You probably won't find any great deals there and will always be competing against houses that are pretty much the same as yours. However due to HOA restrictions as the homes age you don't end up with a crappy house next door and they tend to appreciate consistently. Generally speaking you want to look for the least expensive homes in a gated community.

That is my general advice but like all things only a single opinion. Oh and my personal opinion is that the real estate market today is lower than where it will be in 5-10 years. It will likely beat bonds and interest but not stocks.

Originally Posted by blueherons View Post
Jody, what your son needs is a good realtor. This is what they do and get paid for.
Realtors have a profit motive to sell you a house so while a good realtor will be knowledgeable about an area, they are probably not the best to consult about buying or not. If you decide to buy, that is when you should start talking to a realtor.

Last edited by Straegen; 11-13-2012 at 04:55 PM..
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:02 AM
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Thank you, both. He has a realtor but like Straegen pointed out there is a profit motive and a realtor will show a buyer whatever he wants to see no matter the location, and in fairness to the realtor my son should know whether he wants a home/lot, deed restricted community, house/gated community, townhouse/gated community, condo/gated community AND 2/2 or 3/2, right? There are pro's and con's-boat storage, HOA fee's, community restrictions, 0 lot line, pool and amenities, no yard work, ect. Son is overwhelmed, has only experienced living at home on acreage in rural north Fort Myers. So far, what we have gathered is 1. Buy the location not the house 2. Buy the least expensive 3/2 home in preferably a gated community. Sound advice so far?
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:16 PM
Location: Cape Coral, FL
154 posts, read 314,288 times
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Nobody on this planet can tell you whether prices will be higher or lower in the next few years. If you had asked someone in 2007 if it was the right time to buy, most would have said to jump on the bandwagon before the prices go any higher. For that reason, I think the decision to buy, or not to buy, needs to be based on factors other than guessing that the market is going to rise.

As far as choosing the type of property to buy, I think he should buy what he wants. Money is always going to be a factor but he needs to decide if he likes the lifestyle of a condo, gated community or a single house. I would rather have a house than a condo that is worth twice as much because I don't like that communal lifestyle, but that is just me.

The philosophy of buying a house has changed a lot over the last few years. It used to be that conventional wisdom said to buy the biggest house possible, with the least down payment, and spread out the payments over the longest time possible. Well, we all saw how that worked out. Today it makes more sense to buy what you need, with a large down payment. and have a relatively short mortgage term. If he can't do that then he probably needs to save up some more money before buying--who knows, the prices might start falling again before he is ready to buy, stranger things have happened.

Good luck...
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:28 AM
Location: Cape Coral
5,495 posts, read 6,320,802 times
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The first reason to buy a home should be for the quality of live it provides. I would avoid any property that has a HOA because you do not know if the fees will rise. In investing you always want to buy low sell high. Look at a graph of real estate values in SW Florida over the last 20 years. You will see that this certainly is not the time of high price. Another plus is that mortgage rates may never be lower. Lastly, your son will be paying back his mortgage with dollars that are worth much less than they are today. Homes generally do well in high inflation periods which we are heading towards. I would buy now.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:39 AM
111 posts, read 258,103 times
Reputation: 108
Check this out too
Home Tips
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:24 PM
Location: Cape Coral, FL
646 posts, read 1,470,689 times
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I'm a Realtor....ahhh everyone runnnn I have a motive. Just kidding

Jody, being your son is working long hours in Bonita, my guess would be for safety reasons he would want something close to work. (driving after a 24hr shift is tough..)

Bonita Springs is a beautiful place to live. The best thing for him to buy, is a home he can AFFORD. If that means he needs to save up for what he wants, then so be it. I don't mean, just saving up so he can put money down on a home....I mean, save up so he has a cushion in the bank so when he does eventually buy, he doesn't have to call you to help him replace his hot water heater or buy him a new AC.

140k and under, currently there are roughly 16 Single Family homes available in Bonita.
80 low rise condos(1-3 stories)
5 mid rise (4-7 stories)
0 High Rise (7+)

Gated communities are nice, as someone mentioned you have a homeowner's association that will not allow your neighbor to throw a couch on the front porch or grow his/her grass too tall. They come with fees. Some love the feeling of a gated community,the sense of community and getting to know your neighbors-generally speaking, most homes in a gated community are close to one another.

Condos are a great choice. They are low maintenance, but offer some privacy and other luxuries too.

How old is your son? when your thread is "very young 1st time homebuyer"..I am curious. If he is young and still likes to party, maybe a Condo isn't for him. Or if he is young, but eventually wants to buy a dog in the next month or so..maybe a single family would fit him best. There is just so many unknowns here. The best thing he can do is make a want/need list. Share that with his Realtor and have him/her sit down with him and go over alllllll the inventory. Have the agent show him what is available in his price range and under, to see if he can really buy the lifestyle he wants & afford to live without living paycheck to paycheck. If he is turned off by what he sees in the 140k and under, either go back to his want list and knock off items or really think if he wants to stay home to save up.

Another thing to consider, mortgage rates are at an all time low. I think I read the other day, 3.42 on a 30yr. (they fluctuate daily) That's insane and awesome for 1st time homebuyers.

If you have any questions to help your son, ask away.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:39 PM
Location: on the edge of Sanity
14,267 posts, read 16,474,437 times
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Bonita Springs is fairly expensive, since route 41 is an extension of North Naples. I am not asking or even making suggestions, but I didn't notice any mention of a downpayment or credit score. As CCRESI said (and put in bold) the most important thing is what a person can afford. There's an old expression "you get what you pay for" and it is still very true. If you look at several properties listed in Bonita and a couple of them are much cheaper, there's a reason. There are some very bad areas I wouldn't even want to drive by at night, although I never had any serious problems with crime when I lived there - one burglary in 1999. I really enjoyed living in Bonita, but it's a very mixed area where you can see a multi-million dollar home down the block from an RV unless you live in a gated community. The fees for gated communities are really high IMO.

Source: Lived in Bonita Springs for 13+ years from 1996-2009
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:00 PM
Location: on the edge of Sanity
14,267 posts, read 16,474,437 times
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Originally Posted by rikoshaprl View Post
The first reason to buy a home should be for the quality of live it provides. I would avoid any property that has a HOA because you do not know if the fees will rise.
Sorry, but I disagree. I'm not saying you're wrong, since it's a personal choice, but we all have different needs. Some people enjoy living in a community that has a clubhouse, pool, tennis, etc. There's a thread on this forum in which someone is having a big problem with his neighbors. I've lived in communities with an HOA and never had any trouble with the association. The only time I had problems with neighbors, barking dogs and unkempt lawns in Florida was when I lived in a community without deed restrictions and rules, so I learned to appreciate them.
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