Monday, March 30, 2009

Early Spring Market Update

I agree with the national news stating that real estate sales have picked up. They have picked up in our area because buyers are finding deals good enough to make them act. Seven of the properties on my Top 25 on have sold or gone under contract since my last newsletter. Port St. Joe Realty is currently the #1 company in 2009 for the combined areas of Mexico Beach/Cape San Blas/Port St. Joe/North Gulf County. We have an impressive market share with over 25% of total sales volume for these areas and 4 of the top 10 producing Realtors thus far in 2009. I am The Top Producing Realtor for sales volume on MLS from 10/1/08 until 3/18/09 for the combined Mexico Beach/Port St. Joe/Cape San Blas Area. It's been great to help sellers and buyers and more of my listings have sold this year than any other Realtor’s in this area. If you are thinking about selling, it’s time to get your property on the market. Every year, the most potential buyers are looking and purchasing property from March through August. I would appreciate the opportunity to talk with you about your situation if you are considering selling. Please feel welcome to call me on my cell anytime: 850-819-0833

While the foreclosure crisis is dragging property values down, more and more buyers feel that it’s time to cautiously enter the market to take advantage of the situation. Another interesting type of buyer is emerging in people that bought at the top of the market and were not able to get exactly what they wanted because of the high prices. I know of 4 people looking to move up into what they want, and they plan to put their other property on the healthy vacation rental market until the market recovers. It has been fun helping buyers close on some of the best deals seen in years. I enjoy doing everything I can to find potential buyers an even better deal than the one they were looking for. Click the new testimonials tab on my website to read what some of the people I have worked with say about working with me.

Ce rtain banks are listing their foreclosed properties at aggressive prices to sell them quickly. These are the prices setting today’s market that other sellers must compete with if they want to sell. On a positive note, rates are looking great this week with a 30 yr fixed in the 4.875% range. Vision Bank has only had a small handful of foreclosures in this area, but they’ve been extremely professional to work with due to the fact that they’ve brought in experts like Jim Haag to handle assessing their inventory and getting it sold. I appreciate the opportunity to work with Vision Bank. Fortunately, we were able to get our first listing with them under contract in 12 days and closed 3 weeks later.

There’s still no great sense of urgency making buyers get off the fence. The exception continues to be when they find what they think is such an awesome deal that somebody else will buy it if they don’t. There continues to be more of these deals on Cape San Blas. That market has more properties under contract than the Mexico Beach market even though there are more people looking to buy in the Mexico Beach Area. There are
12 properties under contract on Cape San Blas/Indian Pass
and 8 in the Mexico Beach Area . Between all of the Realtors working with people in the Mexico Beach area, I would say there are at least 50 serious potential buyers ready to buy. I’m working with about 12 myself, and it’s interesting to me that there are only 8 properties currently under contract. I put 1 more property under contract which was the newer $299 K house in Mexico Beach that I mentioned last month while writing this newsletter. I am very close to having 2 more properties under contract) If these work out, all 3 buyers will be getting very solid deals.

There is a condo project on the Mexico Beach canal called Tranquil Harbour that looks to have sold only one out of 36 units. 35 out of 36 units that the developer controlled have been foreclosed on. These units are brand new and come with the coveted private boat slip. The bank that owns them has them on the market well above market price, but banks usually reduce until they find the market. (The are now advertising an absolute auction for 10 of the units on May 2nd. If this is legitimate, these may get cheap) Click here to see the 35 on MLS.
Tranquil Harbour
Another Mexico Beach project with multiple foreclosures is Waterside Village . These units originally sold in the $649 K -$749 K range. These were almost all purchased at the top of the market by speculating individuals that are being foreclosed on. The banks selling these will have to compete with other banks by reducing to stay the best deal and attract buyers. There are currently almost identical 3-4 BR units listed on MLS with asking prices ranging from $324,900 to a very optimistic $789,900.

As many of you know Toucan’s, and three adjoining properties, went up for auction on March 12. Turn out was good, with three or four bidders biding over 3 million with a high bid of $3.45 million plus a 10% buyer’s premium. The deal has not closed yet, but the buyer and seller are working toward making that happen. The very nice gulf front house and additional vacant lot had a high bid of $780,000 accepted, which I think was an extremely good deal.
This link will show a pretty cool video taken at the auction.

What are some great deals on Cape San Blas? A gulf front lot similar to ones that sold for $1.6M for $399 K , a bay front lot purchased for $595 K on the market at $199 K , and a brand new 2nd tier pre-construction house for $317,500. The pre-construction packages are becoming more and more popular as buyers become more educated and cautious about the market. Instant satisfaction is great when you can buy a house and enjoy it that weekend. Most people don’t want to wait 6 months for a house to be built. However, buyers are starting to see that they can build exactly what they want and pay hundreds of thousands less than what the homes on the market are still selling for. Most of the homes that have sold on the Cape recently could have been built on comparable lots for much less. This trend should continue to increase in popularity as buyers demand more for their money. The best deals can be found when a builder owns the lot, and they will sell it at a great price and build at a discounted rate to get the deal done. Click here to see deals like this.

Windmark’s restaurant, School of Fish , has found new management and is scheduled to open in early April. “The Fuss”, a women’s clothing store, has now joined Joseph’s Cottage on the retail side in Windmark Beach . The two best deals, by far, in this development are located in Phase 1. The house that originally sold for $1.4 is now down to $494,900 and
the gulf front lot I listed hours ago for $299 K that originally sold for $1,000,000 is already receiving offers. Check out the sunset picture below taken from this lot Tuesday afternoon.

Port St. Joe is also seeing a little activity with four properties under contract. I still think that the Port St. Joe market has a chance to recover the quickest when the employees for the new hospital and port start moving to town and buying up the best deals. PSJ has the lowest inventory of properties, it has the most jobs, it has primarily full time residents, and it has the most affordable market with homes from $79 K to very nice homes in the $250’s, perhaps, because less speculation occurred during the boom. I think some of the people getting good newer homes in the $150 K range will have the opportunity to sell for a profit once the hospital opens. There are relatively few newer homes in Port St. Joe. I think that will be a product that many of the hospital employees and other new industry employees coming to PSJ will want and be able to afford in the low $200 K range. This link will show some of the best deals in Port St. Joe : listings.asp?ID=1206224000

Have a Great Weekend,

Zach ChildsBroker-Port St. Joe Realty850-819-0833WWW.MEXICOBEACHSALES.COMWWW.PSJREALTY.COM

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