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Old 12-28-2009, 06:18 PM
 
913 posts, read 873,224 times
Reputation: 171

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After a series of offers and counters, we've almost agreed to a price. Make no mistake, the place is a very good deal (circa 1998 prices). Having taken a bit of time off for the holidays however, I've started to take a bit of notice to what is going on around me as opposed to running around like a headless chicken. What I see is giving me a serious case of the jitters.

For a start there are the ghost malls. Hundreds of strip malls with 25% occupancy. It's insane. Then I spent a few days shopping for gifts at Citrus, International and Countryside malls. In some cases the stillness was almost eerie. Drove around the neighborhood and looked at the amount of stuff with overgrown lawns (reos and foreclosures) and 'for sale' signs. Much of this inventory is not even listed on Realtor.com or the MLS.

I then think about all those construction jobs which are gone and all of the retail jobs which also went down the tubes with all the ghost malls and I ask myself what is going to replace that it all. It makes me wonder whether today's bargain is tomorrow's negative equity.

Very worried, Samm
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:46 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
10,967 posts, read 21,998,069 times
Reputation: 10685
Very real concerns. What are the trends in that market, quarterly breakdowns for the last 2 years, etc.?
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Old 12-28-2009, 07:49 PM
 
4,399 posts, read 10,676,593 times
Reputation: 2383
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammbriggs View Post
After a series of offers and counters, we've almost agreed to a price. Make no mistake, the place is a very good deal (circa 1998 prices). Having taken a bit of time off for the holidays however, I've started to take a bit of notice to what is going on around me as opposed to running around like a headless chicken. What I see is giving me a serious case of the jitters.

For a start there are the ghost malls. Hundreds of strip malls with 25% occupancy. It's insane. Then I spent a few days shopping for gifts at Citrus, International and Countryside malls. In some cases the stillness was almost eerie. Drove around the neighborhood and looked at the amount of stuff with overgrown lawns (reos and foreclosures) and 'for sale' signs. Much of this inventory is not even listed on Realtor.com or the MLS.

I then think about all those construction jobs which are gone and all of the retail jobs which also went down the tubes with all the ghost malls and I ask myself what is going to replace that it all. It makes me wonder whether today's bargain is tomorrow's negative equity.

Very worried, Samm
Those are legit concerns. Ask around and research about the local economy outlook.
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Old 12-28-2009, 08:03 PM
 
1,087 posts, read 1,948,926 times
Reputation: 1316
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammbriggs View Post
After a series of offers and counters, we've almost agreed to a price. Make no mistake, the place is a very good deal (circa 1998 prices). Having taken a bit of time off for the holidays however, I've started to take a bit of notice to what is going on around me as opposed to running around like a headless chicken. What I see is giving me a serious case of the jitters.

For a start there are the ghost malls. Hundreds of strip malls with 25% occupancy. It's insane. Then I spent a few days shopping for gifts at Citrus, International and Countryside malls. In some cases the stillness was almost eerie. Drove around the neighborhood and looked at the amount of stuff with overgrown lawns (reos and foreclosures) and 'for sale' signs. Much of this inventory is not even listed on Realtor.com or the MLS.

I then think about all those construction jobs which are gone and all of the retail jobs which also went down the tubes with all the ghost malls and I ask myself what is going to replace that it all. It makes me wonder whether today's bargain is tomorrow's negative equity.

Very worried, Samm
Banks have more inventory on their books than we know about, so it is difficult to ascertain true inventory because they are holding on to those short sales, which creates a false sense of recovery, but those shortsales will eventually become foreclosures and things will be alot worse before they get better... Unemployment is at its highest in Florida, and before Florida sees any stability and growth, jobs will have to be created in order to find people to buy these homes. It's a good time to purchase a home in terms of price, but it will be a while before you see any stability. JMO
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
13,258 posts, read 22,860,532 times
Reputation: 16417
If you're looking to buy in Florida right now, I'd stick with established areas where there's a 'real' local economy outside of people buying and selling homes to each other. Inner ring suburbs of Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and such with acceptable crime numbers= good; Ft. Myers, the Tampa exburbs 70 miles north of town, much of the area between Brevard County and West Palm Beach= will continue to be iffy for a while.
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Old 12-29-2009, 06:11 AM
 
913 posts, read 873,224 times
Reputation: 171
The question I'm really asking myself is whether I'll continue to be in a position to afford my mortgage. I know many people who have lost their income via failed business ventures or lost jobs. Taking my current earnings into account, my mortgage payments would be a breeze. Looking around it seems to me as though my situation could unfold rapidly as it has for thousands of others.

Anyone else suffering similar anxieties?
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:33 AM
 
1,087 posts, read 1,948,926 times
Reputation: 1316
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammbriggs View Post
The question I'm really asking myself is whether I'll continue to be in a position to afford my mortgage. I know many people who have lost their income via failed business ventures or lost jobs. Taking my current earnings into account, my mortgage payments would be a breeze. Looking around it seems to me as though my situation could unfold rapidly as it has for thousands of others.

Anyone else suffering similar anxieties?
I think most people have the same concern. After you factor in your mortgage payments, property taxes, hoa fees, utilities, food, insurance, etc. and it is still a breeze, then you have nothing to worry about. It's a great time to buy but location is equally important, Beachmouse suggested buying in more established areas, where the property values may have not been affected as much.
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,584 posts, read 40,460,388 times
Reputation: 17498
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammbriggs View Post
The question I'm really asking myself is whether I'll continue to be in a position to afford my mortgage. I know many people who have lost their income via failed business ventures or lost jobs. Taking my current earnings into account, my mortgage payments would be a breeze. Looking around it seems to me as though my situation could unfold rapidly as it has for thousands of others.

Anyone else suffering similar anxieties?

How does rent compare to the mortgage?
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:00 PM
 
913 posts, read 873,224 times
Reputation: 171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
How does rent compare to the mortgage?

Rent is downgradable. If TSHTF I can always move into a smaller rental or worst case with the in-laws. Buying in this market makes me a little more vurnerable. Bearing in mind that the property I'm looking to move on has been on the market for over 3 years.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,548 posts, read 30,409,606 times
Reputation: 88951
Quote:
Originally Posted by sammbriggs View Post
The question I'm really asking myself is whether I'll continue to be in a position to afford my mortgage. I know many people who have lost their income via failed business ventures or lost jobs. Taking my current earnings into account, my mortgage payments would be a breeze. Looking around it seems to me as though my situation could unfold rapidly as it has for thousands of others.

Anyone else suffering similar anxieties?

You have very good reasons to be concerned.

Do you work in that area? How stable is your job? If you have any fear of possibly losing your job or losing work I would not buy if I was you.

How well do you know the neighborhood? There are a lot of areas in this country that went through bad times in the past and have never recovered even during the boom. I can't remember the town but it was on the FL coast between Ft. Pierce and Pt. St. Lucie. The place looked deserted 3 years ago and that was during the boom. It was spooky like everyone just left it.

Be careful. Usually if I start to get nervous about something or worry too much then it's time to step back. Take a breather and reevaluate. You don't want to put yourself in a bad situation. Good luck.
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