Florida is well known for its wonderful lifestyle pleasures of sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and now cheap real estate . Home to a large population of over 18 million citizens, according to US census bureau 2010, it has a variety of demographics that attract people of all ages from around the globe. During the housing boom from the 90’s into the new century an abundance of real estate was built to keep up with the huge demand. Many found it possible to finance a second home or vacation property with the liberal lending criteria at the time. Those days have all but dried up leaving a wake of vacant and foreclosed homes, empty shopping centers, and a higher than average unemployment rate.
We are several years into the great housing crisis and it appears that the utter freefall of housing prices are beginning to level. Depending upon the statistics that you would like to use, we may be on the road to recovery others feel that perhaps another year or more. Whatever the case, it is almost certain that Florida real estate will once again be desired by many in the future. In turn, this desire to live in the only state in the U.S. that can boast to have the southern most point in the Continental U.S. (Key West, Florida) and contain the infamous Disney World, Sea World, Kennedy Space Center, Daytona Speedway and the list goes on…What many have not discovered outside of the outstanding tourist attractions is the everyday lifestyle. There is culture here that fits just about everyone depending upon your desire: boating, fishing, auto racing, beach activities, horseback riding, antique/thrift store shopping, and so on…
In years past the opportunity to own a piece of the Florida ‘paradise’ pie had moved far out of reach. However, the home bargains are available in almost every area of the state. These bargains have brought many cash buyer investors looking to make a profit on these unbelievable prices. The conventional wisdom that it is possible to buy real estate right now for often times less than half of what it originally cost to build makes it a no brainer for investors that can afford to buy. While there has been skepticism in the media that Florida is not currrently a good place to invest, stating that the current inventory will take years to be brought back to levels that would make it worth while for them. They are often referring to the ability to ‘flip’ their investment (meaning to buy low, fix it, and resell quickly) then no this may not be the market for them. However, the investors that are taking advantage of the housing inventory right now are finding that while it may not be so easy to resell at a huge profit quickly, it is very easy to make some repairs and rent the properties often for a very lucrative return. Additionally, almost all areas of the state have outstanding property management companies that can do some or all of the work for the absent property owner. They typically charge a small fee to what is collected for rent and will send the property owner the bulk of the tenants payments. Many of these management companies are finding it very easy to fill their listed properties, some claiming no current vacancies and a backlog of potential tenants. Therefore, while the owner is waiting for the market to return to more lucrative levels they are not losing any money and requires very little involvement. Once the original investment is recouped it is largely net profit. Lastly, depending upon the structure of purchase any interest and depreciation will typically work in favor for the owner on their annual tax return.
Many would be homebuyers may not know the availability of home loans, while more stringent, are certainly NOT out of reach for many. The government backed FHA loans are great for first time home buyers, offering a low down payment of 3.5% of home price vist this website as a guide for government backed loans:http://www.hud.gov/buying/loans.cfm . With single family homes in Florida starting as low as $20,000 in some areas the down payment could be potenially under $1000. Another program that is OFTEN overlooked are the USDA Rural Development Loans that tend to have a misleading name. Yes, these loans are administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, however there are literally thousands of homes in the suburbs of metropolitan areas that would fit into the eligibility requirements of these loans that require zero down. It is still possible in this day to receive a 100% financing loan. Depending upon credit and amount available for a down payment it is certainly possible to own a piece of Florida paradise.