Part 7 – Money makes the World go round (Chapter 2: Cost of Real Estate)

Money is something to consider no matter if you are planning to buy a house, sell a house, or rent it out. As prices go there is no easy answer to that but what’s for sure is that a house in one of the most beautiful areas of Florida is a good investment.

Home prices depend on location, location, location. And please remember, you can always change the appearance of a house: you can change the exterior and interior color, the landscaping, the tiles around the pool …. but you can never change the location! The same quality house will be much more expensive if it is located on a gulf-access canal instead of on a freshwater canal; the house on the freshwater canal will be more expensive than the same house off-water. And then it depends if the house is located in one of the more desirable, more developed areas or in one of the more remote areas of town. Prices of course also depend on the size of the home and any specifications e.g. pool, over-sized lot, and extras.

Expressions like short-sale and foreclosure have become all too familiar in what was called the big housing crisis; however, the signs are set for recovery and prices are going up in most areas. Short-sales and foreclosures can be tricky; short-sales are usually time-consuming and there is no guarantee that after waiting a long time for news after making an offer the house will be yours. Short-sales work with multiple offers and prices can be adjusted upwards even during the process. Foreclosure houses may be in bad shape; an owner who was unable to keep up with payments does usually not spend the money maintain the house; this is a buy-as-is-deal which may have repercussions that outweigh the initial savings on the home price.

As a seller: please be realistic! If you put yourself in buyer’s shoes how much would you be willing to pay for your home? Buyers are usually looking for the best price (meaning cheapest) for the fanciest and most expensive looking home while sellers think their house, like their baby, is the most beautiful ever and set high prices. We have to meet in the realistic middle!

In regards to closing costs: it’s negotiable who pays what; usually the seller pays Realtor’s commission; the buyer is of course responsible for cost related to lending money; a title-company assists with splitting cost up accordingly.

This post is also available in: German

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