As the South Florida real estate market continues to heat up, local home buyers are encountering many challenges in the path to home ownership. Securing a mortgage loan has become difficult as lenders tighten their standards, and the rash of foreign investors combined with low inventory has created an interesting environment.
For those looking to sell their homes, the hot market has produced good and bad results. Sellers are unloading their homes in mere days or weeks, even when they include a long list of demands, including 10-20 percent down payments, large deposits in escrow, and quick closings, as well as declining offers with FHA loans and requesting the bypassing of an appraisal, which could potentially bring the sale price down if the appraisal doesn’t match the asking price. Sellers are also getting close to, if not more, than their asking price.
The influx of foreign investors with cash is also squeezing out a lot of buyers who can only purchase a home with financing. Sellers are increasingly enticed by quick, relatively simple cash transactions, rather than engaging in the waiting game of financed offers. But the swift sales are catching some sellers off guard and leaving them without enough time to find a new place of their own.
First-time home buyers might find this market especially frustrating, but experts say it’s important to do your homework ahead of time to figure out exactly what you can afford, and buyers using financing might also have to be prepared to pay the asking price or a little more to beat out cash offers, which typically come in below the asking price.
This market is a tough one for the average buyer, but preparation and patience are key when braving the choppy waters of home ownership.