Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Real Estate Investing

I am getting several emails and lots of phone calls regarding investing in real estate. It is all over the place... is there a bubble?... did I miss the ride?....are prices too high?...

I have been doing real estate for 15 years and in 3 different states. Each being extremely different. I was in Washington when market times were at least 90-120 days and you had to "stage" the home in order to get it sold. I have been in NJ where you have a 4 day attorney review where the home is not "pending" for 4 business days after both parties have accepted the contract and in the mean time during those 4 days more offers are pouring in at higher prices and buyers getting bumped. A very frustrating market for buyers but great for sellers. The buyers would be paying well above list price and somehow they all appraised. Here in Miami it is a sellers market, no "staging" here (I just wish seller would at least clean their home) but once a buyer and seller agree on a contract it is pending and only back up offers are accepted so we do not get many that go above list price. Yet we still struggle with appraisals coming in lower than contract price.

Do I think there is a bubble? No. Not by any means. Do I think you missed the ride? No get on board. Do I think prices are too high. NOPE. Not yet anyway. If you compare prices with other Metro Areas such as NYC, Seattle, Chicago we are not there yet. Many markets in Florida were undervalued for years. In Brevard County for 10 years my mom's house was worth $95,000 just the past two years has it become worth just over $200 where it should be. So I think it some areas it there have been Market adjustments.

Those of you wanting to invest, there are a few great books I would suggest. Skip all those no down payment, seller to carry the contract etc. and read these:

Rental Houses for the Small Successful Investor by Suzanne Thomas
The Unoffical Guide to Real Estate Investing by Martin Stone and Spencer Strauss


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