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Old 05-03-2009, 07:49 PM
 
24 posts, read 46,788 times
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Hello all,

First off, this board is great and I've gotten a lot of interesting info so far about the area.

We are starting the process of looking at homes in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, and are wondering if any realtors or people who've recently bought homes have any insight into the reality of actual sale prices in the area.

We've heard lots of stories of people getting homes for absolute steals right now, but those are just stories. Ultimately, we would probably be looking at homes in the sale price of $225-250k. One important detail is that we will want a pool. However, what does that translate to in terms of the asking prices we are seeing online? Should we be looking at homes advertised in that range or above? I.e., are homes listed at $300k actually going for $250k?

We are currently in Ohio and have a 4 bed/2.5 bath, 3 car garage, 2600 sq ft which is priced within that range as well. Looking online, it appears that many of the homes roughly within that range are either smaller, older or further away from amenities and schools.

Secondly, does anyone have an average price per sq ft for homes down there?

Finally, if it's allowed, does anyone have suggestions for realtors or who is the pro to talk to?

Thanks much everyone. Look to be joining you all soon!
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Old 05-03-2009, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,337,148 times
Reputation: 2846
Quote:
Originally Posted by xmetal View Post
Hello all,

First off, this board is great and I've gotten a lot of interesting info so far about the area.

We are starting the process of looking at homes in the Sarasota/Bradenton area, and are wondering if any realtors or people who've recently bought homes have any insight into the reality of actual sale prices in the area.

We've heard lots of stories of people getting homes for absolute steals right now, but those are just stories. Ultimately, we would probably be looking at homes in the sale price of $225-250k. One important detail is that we will want a pool. However, what does that translate to in terms of the asking prices we are seeing online? Should we be looking at homes advertised in that range or above? I.e., are homes listed at $300k actually going for $250k?

We are currently in Ohio and have a 4 bed/2.5 bath, 3 car garage, 2600 sq ft which is priced within that range as well. Looking online, it appears that many of the homes roughly within that range are either smaller, older or further away from amenities and schools.

Secondly, does anyone have an average price per sq ft for homes down there?

Finally, if it's allowed, does anyone have suggestions for realtors or who is the pro to talk to?

Thanks much everyone. Look to be joining you all soon!
There's a lot of variations in each of your questions. We're seeing about a 10% sales price under list price in that price range. It's really hard to throw out a number though because a lot of it depends on the price that the home is placed on the market. If like homes in the area are selling for $400K and a home goes on at $200K, obviously it's probably not going to go for 10% under list. But if you are looking to spend $250K or under then I think it would not be unreasonable to look up $300K.

The four bedrooms is really going to limit your search a lot. On the Realtor side of the MLS we can pull some variations like, 3 with a den or 3 with an office or 3 with a gameroom, etc. Sometimes this opens up more options.

There really is no average price per square foot. It can vary wildly from subdivision to subdivision, street to street, etc.

Sorry I couldn't be more specific on some of the questions. I have a few questions for you that might help people offer more suggestions for you.

1. Why are you moving to Florida?
2. Are you retired or will you be seeking employment?
3. Are schools important to you?
4. What kind of things interest you? Boating, golfing, beaches, etc?
5. Do you want a house or condo?
6. What are your top three requirements in a house/condo? What things do you absolutely not want?
7. Do you have any pets? Some subdivisions have restrictions on how many, size or breed.
8. What size home are you looking for? How many beds/bathrooms? What age? Do you want a pool?
9. How close to the beach do you want to live?
10. Do you have a specific town, city or subdivision in mind?
11. Do you want to be in a gated community?
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:39 AM
 
16,252 posts, read 34,828,802 times
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SoFlGal is very knowledgeable and always has good advice, so she will be the one who can really help you when the time comes.

For us, we purchased last summer for about 7% under list price. Since that time I always check to see what the market is doing, and to me, it seems to have kind of bottomed in a lot of areas. The neighborhood you decide to buy in will also determine what you will have to pay. Even in this economy, some neighborhoods (such as those West of Trail or near the Bay) did not lose that much in value, since they are and always have been desirable places to live.
Once you have answered SFG's questions, I am sure she can direct you appropriately.

Good luck, this is a FABULOUS area to live!
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Old 05-04-2009, 08:11 AM
 
24 posts, read 46,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFLGal View Post

Sorry I couldn't be more specific on some of the questions. I have a few questions for you that might help people offer more suggestions for you.

1. Why are you moving to Florida?
2. Are you retired or will you be seeking employment?
3. Are schools important to you?
4. What kind of things interest you? Boating, golfing, beaches, etc?
5. Do you want a house or condo?
6. What are your top three requirements in a house/condo? What things do you absolutely not want?
7. Do you have any pets? Some subdivisions have restrictions on how many, size or breed.
8. What size home are you looking for? How many beds/bathrooms? What age? Do you want a pool?
9. How close to the beach do you want to live?
10. Do you have a specific town, city or subdivision in mind?
11. Do you want to be in a gated community?

I'd be happy to give some more information. Thanks for what you wrote so far, and thanks to any suggestions and tips!


1. Moving to escape the miserable weather. It affects our health and well being in a variety of ways and we need warmth. We also have friends in Sarasota.
2. We are early 30's. I will be doing my job remotely, and my wife will be taking some time with our daughter. Eventually she will get back to work.
3. Yes, schools will be important a few years down the road
4. We are outdoor people, and will go for walks, to the beach, bike rides, swimming, driving for pleasure
5. Probably would prefer a house
6. Top three not counting size/rooms: at least a small yard, 2 car garage, pool
7. No pets
8. Size, probably around 2000-2500. Minimum 3 bedrooms/2 bath. As to age, newer would be nice
9. Within a reasonable drive of the beach would be fine. If we can get on the beach, great.
10. Sarasota or Bradenton is the target. Do not want to go further south than Sarasota. No specific areas. Safe, close to schools and shopping, reasonable drive to downtowns/beach/freeways. Friends are in Palmer ranch which is nice.
11. Open to either gated or not. Depends on the location and home.

As my wife just put it: I guess at this point my big question is how we go about finding the “deals” that we hear about… We have been looking in a very traditional path, and what we’re finding in our price range is very consistent. I want to know how to find the underpriced gems that you hear about on NPR!

Last edited by xmetal; 05-04-2009 at 08:29 AM..
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,380 posts, read 5,551,365 times
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The selling vs list price has a wide range. As a rule the majority of homes sold will be in the low to mid-90% of list price to sell price. As far as what your max list price should be, the neighborhood comps should determine that. But using 90% as a rule with your max being $250k, I'd look upto $275k.

Your agent may suggest looking at homes that are priced above the $275k range, because you will find sales that were more like 80% of asking.

I always suggest narrowing the search by neighborhood first. A great price in a bad location is not the deal it appears to be. Also your question of price/sqft has a lot to do with neighborhood. If you look at new home construction, the price a basic house will be about $80/sqft under roof, so if a neighborhood is selling at $80 or less per sqft there is little "location premium". If the selling price exceeds the $80/sqft either the homes have a number of upgrades or people are willing to pay for the location.

When looking at the square footage of a home here in Florida realize that many homes here have a screened in lanai. The lanai will become your "family room", and your "dining room" for much of the year. So if your accustom to a 2600 sqft home in Ohio, a 2000 sqft home with a 1000 sq lanai will live much the same. So when you search online look to a bit smaller pool home and see if the homes are more in line price wise.
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,337,148 times
Reputation: 2846
Quote:
Originally Posted by xmetal View Post
I'd be happy to give some more information. Thanks for what you wrote so far, and thanks to any suggestions and tips!


1. Moving to escape the miserable weather. It affects our health and well being in a variety of ways and we need warmth. We also have friends in Sarasota.
2. We are early 30's. I will be doing my job remotely, and my wife will be taking some time with our daughter. Eventually she will get back to work.
3. Yes, schools will be important a few years down the road
4. We are outdoor people, and will go for walks, to the beach, bike rides, swimming, driving for pleasure
5. Probably would prefer a house
6. Top three not counting size/rooms: at least a small yard, 2 car garage, pool
7. No pets
8. Size, probably around 2000-2500. Minimum 3 bedrooms/2 bath. As to age, newer would be nice
9. Within a reasonable drive of the beach would be fine. If we can get on the beach, great.
10. Sarasota or Bradenton is the target. Do not want to go further south than Sarasota. No specific areas. Safe, close to schools and shopping, reasonable drive to downtowns/beach/freeways. Friends are in Palmer ranch which is nice.
11. Open to either gated or not. Depends on the location and home.

As my wife just put it: I guess at this point my big question is how we go about finding the “deals” that we hear about… We have been looking in a very traditional path, and what we’re finding in our price range is very consistent. I want to know how to find the underpriced gems that you hear about on NPR!

Haha! The deals, that NPR is gonna get in trouble. It's funny because we get lots of people from up north that watch the news or listen to the radio and hear all the stories about the over abundance of foreclosures in SW Florida. Right now we are seeing a lot of competition for the same foreclosure deals. The news has definitely done a good job of getting the story out.

One of the best ways to find the deals is to be put on an automatic search so as soon as a property gets listed that meets your criteria you will get an email with the details. If you can act quickly often that makes a difference. There are other things that come into play when offering on bank owned homes like if you are going to pay cash or getting financing. Obviously, cash is more attractive in any offer. Also the banks like the closing date a week before the end of the month. Many of the banks give out bonuses to the asset managers if they can get them closed out before the end of the month. There are several other ways to make your offer more attractive. We get a list of bank owned properties in the area before they come out then we go out and prepare the property for listing so we usually have an idea of what's coming out before it goes on the market.

My first thought would be Lakewood Ranch but it's a bit far from the beach and certain communities in Lakewood have had Chinese drywall. Possibly Palmer Ranch, which is much closer to the beach, close to the Legacy Trail for biking/running, but not very close to the Sarasota/Bradenton line.

A few other ideas for areas would be Trillium, Amberlea, Ashley, Red Hawk Reserve, Tuscana. I'm trying to come up with some newer communities to start with.

Ok, just did a search on the MLS and used this criteria-in Sarasota, at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths, built in 2000 or newer, up to $300K, at least 2000 sq ft under air, single family home and no short sales. I came up with 21 homes.

Here's where they are located:
Summerwood-I believe most of these homes were built by Taylor Morrison-this builder has been named as one of the ones that used Chinese drywall in some homes.

Riomar-around University Park area.

Forest Creek-built by Lennar, again named in the Chinese drywall issues. Not saying this home has it but I would be cautious. There are several for sale in here.

Caryle at the Villages of Palm Aire, this is around the Whitfield area, Sarasota/Bradenton line. One good thing about this subdivision is that there are no CDD fees and the HOA is low.

Whispering Crane, off Lockwood Ridge, south of University PKWY.

A home not in a community off Fruitville on Simmons Rd.

Rustic Lodge off Bahia Vista St

Three Oaks-around the Ashton Rd area, according to the listing the owner is very motivated. I think someone that posts on this board lives in Three Oaks and really likes it there.

Deerfield, which is east on Bee Ridge past I-75

Laurel Meadows, which again is east on Bee Ridge past I-75

Pine View Terrace, which is off Sawyer Rd

Tatum Ridge-off Fruitville. This is a foreclosure with 2,902 sq ft., 4/3, for $299,900.

Oaks at Woodland Park, off Bahia Vista St, Again this is a bank owned home. 3/3/ with a pool, media room, lots of upgrades priced at $300K.

Good luck with your search and I hope this helps get you started
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Old 05-04-2009, 09:40 AM
NSX
 
869 posts, read 1,978,919 times
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I was wondering the same thing, since I will be purchasing a house in the Florida Gulf Coast area soon. I personally have known people who have bought for <70% of list price. I'm really not sure how much of a rarity this is. My guess is that this is due to sellers who have not refused to recognize the downturn in the market until this point.

My question to people more knowledgeable in this area than myself: In the Sarasota/Tampa area, how common is it for homes to actually sell for <80% of list price?
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:07 AM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
7,511 posts, read 21,337,148 times
Reputation: 2846
List price is really not super relevant. You can have under priced listings and you can have over priced listings. What needs to be carefully looked at is comparable properties. If you can pick up a home 20% under what comparable properties are selling for then you've got a pretty good deal.

Now, to answer your question about how common is it. For the past two or so months we have been seeing multiple offers on many of the well priced properties. Like I said in my previous post, I think the media has done a pretty good job of getting the word out that there are some good deals right now in SW Florida.

We have seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of foreclosures coming on the market and an increase in the number of homes selling lately as well. I know that one reason for this is because Sarasota county is requiring all banks or a representative of the bank to appear in court and state that they have tried to work things out with the homeowner. If they fail to do so, then the foreclosure is denied. Many banks are not showing up and lots of foreclosures are being denied right now. I don't know if they will eventually end up on the market or they will work it out with the homeowners. My guess is that many will end up in foreclosure anyway.

Also, many of the option ARM mortgages are going to reset in May. This might bring another wave of foreclosures coming. The banks that we deal with are saying that they are somewhat slow right now.
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:53 AM
 
24 posts, read 46,788 times
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SoFlGal, thanks for the info on those places. I'll have to do some searching. A quick peek around the net looks like many of the gated communities you mention are a bit north of our price range though (Trillium, Amberlea, etc).

Does anyone know of a resource online that shows on a map where all these various communities are? I couldn't locate anything like that at the moment...
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Venice Florida
1,380 posts, read 5,551,365 times
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SoFLGal makes a very good point, the list to sale price ratio is not important, sounds good when you want to impress people on what a good deal you got. But if you paid < 70% of list and right around the comps then you just bought at market.

I may be wrong but I think that the current slowdown that SoFLGal is reporting on new foreclosed listings may have something to do with the moratorium on new foreclosure filing that several banks instituted several months back. With the moratorium over I'm seeing an increase in lis pendens (notice of pending foreclosure) filed, up about 20%. Several months from now these new filing could bring additional REO listings. If the POAs (payment option ARMs) live up to their advanced billing....well I just hope they don't.
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