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If you've hit a wall in the search for a home, consider these ideas

David Lyons, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Home and Consumer News

Q: If you get into a bidding war, should you stick around or leave?

Gary Finkelstein: It depends. Let’s say you and I have had a prior relationship and you are a real estate agent. Knowing each other and knowing the way each other works, the deal holds a big value there. Knowing the other agents is going to help you in that bidding war, and yeah, you should stick around because you never know what happens.

Linda Bright: I think that if the house fits your needs ... some of it has to do with the length of time you’re going to stay there, if the property is right, and it’s what you’re looking for.

Q: How much longer will South Florida be a seller’s market?

Linda Bright: The indications are the [interest] rates are going to continue to stay low. The buyers coming from the Northeast and Midwest tell me their friends and family are coming. Based on the information we’re hearing, this is not going to change any time soon.

Q: Are more new homes and developments on the way in the coming year? Where are they?

Dee Emmanuel: They were slow coming in early this year. We saw new construction out west in Parkland, Coral Springs, Plantation and Davie.


Linda Bright: We’re seeing developments already starting. There are some things in Palm Beach Gardens and west of the Bee Line. But it’s as far west as Palm Beach Gardens would go. And we’re seeing development in Boynton Beach, Delray and Boca Raton.

They take quite sometime to go through all of the approvals. But there is not as much land left, and that includes Palm Beach County. If people are interested in new construction, they should go forward, with the [rising] cost of building supplies.

Renovated homes are just as desirable in these areas, particularly for people looking for something newer. Renovations are a great option.

Q: Is it better to rent now and wait for the available supply of homes to grow?

Gary Finkelstein: That’s a question that depends on the buyer. If it’s somebody who’s got a stable job and they have less risk, absolutely, pull the trigger on a house. If it’s somebody that’s working for $50,000 [a year], maybe it’s smarter to rent. For me I would buy with the 3.5% loan. For some people you’d be crazy not to purchase if you can afford it. But not everybody is going [to qualify] to get 3.5%. You’re just going to have to hang in there if you’re not able to do that. For those people I would tell them to rent.

Dee Emmanuel: It’s always a good time to buy against renting because the rents have not devalued by any means. They’re actually increasing every year — especially in certain areas where we are seeing rents going above $3,000 — that’s more than a mortgage payment. If you have money in the bank for the down payment and the closing costs, your job is stable and if you maintain your good credit standing, this is the time to buy. You just have to be motivated.

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