Issue #2

Now is a good time to buy a home
by Ruth Lorenzen

It’s a good time to buy a home in Clearwater, Florida. There are a lot of homes on the market, so you can look around and pick and choose your new home — whether you want a fixer-upper to work on and really make your own, or whether you want to find a solid and well-maintained home to move right in to. Some sellers are now willing to negotiate prices, whereas last year there was such a frenzy of buying and selling that almost no seller had any reason to negotiate on price. Like they say in the stock market: “Buy when everyone else is selling, and sell when everyone else is buying.” That’s how you get the really good deals and make the best investment for your money in the end.

I know some people are expecting prices to drop when in fact prices are up 4% in August (per the Florida Association of Realtors). Don't delay too long to purchase that "great deal" home, or you may find yourself trying to purchase in the middle of the next housing boom in Florida. Even interest rates have gone down to the lowest level in 6 months.

Ruth Lorenzen

Home buying seminar: “Dream of Home Ownership”

There are also programs for home buyers regardless of your income (high or low). They are excellent seminars that cover the entire process of looking for and purchasing a home. We are attending one on October 21st and we are inviting all of you along with your friends and family to attend. I’ve heard rave reviews about this seminar and I’m told that you’ll learn something even if you’ve purchased a home before. The seminar is all day (9am-4pm) and a box-lunch will be provided. If you would like to come with us to the seminar, please call us to make a reservation and get more information and directions.

Down payment assistance programs

There are several programs available for buyers in Pinellas County, Florida. Some are for first time home buyers, but note that “first time home buyer” often means that you haven’t purchased a property within the last three years. These programs are intended mostly for low- and middle-income families to help them get into a home. For example, the CDC (Community Development Corporation) offers downpayment assistance in the form of a second mortgage — interest free, and no payments for the first five years. You can get $10,000 up to $35,000 with this program depending on which home you select to buy. Note that the purchase price of the home cannot be over $190,000, but in today’s market there are plenty of nice homes that will qualify. Call us for more information about this program and we’ll put you in touch with the right people to get you on your way to purchasing your new home.

Hot Deals

Congratulations to Igor and Vera

Igor and Vera recently purchased a 2-bedroom townhome in a community with a private beach for an unheard-of $179,000! Well done, Igor and Vera, and I wish you well with your many vacations here in sunny Florida!

© 2006 Ruth Lorenzen. All rights reserved.