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Consider downsizing now before you retire

Are you cliff living? Jeffrey Christakos uses this term when you stay in your big house waiting for retirement, then to change work, finances and home all at the same time.

Should you wait to downsize? Too many people compare today’s prices to those at the market high and hope that by waiting a few more years prices will return to that level. Not so fast. If the value has dropped 50%, it now has to increase 100% to get back to that level. There’s no guarantee how soon the economy will recover nor how long low interest rates will continue.

New homes being built are smaller than a few years ago. There’s been some cutback in the extent of luxury options.

Would you buy your current home today? That’s the magic question. If, due to family size, location, finances, changing interests, you wouldn’t – then consider right sizing now. It may also reduce your expenses, helping you transition to lower income when you retire or semi-retire. There are many options from a downtown St Petersburg condo to a waterfront home, from Snell Isle to Costa Rica.

If you aren’t ready to move, you may want to consider buying your retirement home today while prices are low and renting it out in the meantime.

Want to talk abut these options? Call the Simms Team at 727-898-2582 or email us.

 

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How many condos in your building are rented?

Does it matter how many condos in your building are rented? Yes,it does. Almost all the condos in downtown St Petersburg have some renters, so the question is really “What percentage of condos in the building (or complex) are rented?”

From a value perspective, it matters because the percentage of rented units matters to a lender. If you’re buying a unit, you won’t be able to get a conventional mortgage on the property if there is a higher % of rentals than the lender will allow. If you own a unit and may be selling it, if prospective buyers can’t get a mortgage, then the number of potential buyers decreases and the value of the unit decreases.

From a lifestyle perspective, it matters because there’s a different feel to a building that is primarily owner occupied and one that is primarily renter occupied. There is no magic number. It will also affect the feel if the renters are mostly short term or whether they stay a year or more.

From another financial perspective, it matters because owners living in the building and absentee owners who are renting the unit out often have different view – and votes – on issues from building reserves to rental policies.

Your real estate agent should be able to give you a general idea of how many are rented. You can also check with the Pinellas County property appraiser and see what percentage of units have a Homestead Exemption.That’s not an exact determination, but is a gauge. Your relationship with your real estate agent shouldn’t end with the sale. Call your agent when you have questions, whether it’s about rentals in the building, changes to make to your home, or even where to find a pet psychoanalyst.

 

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Most expensive condo sale in Pinellas County 2011

It’s always interesting to see where and what were the most expensive sales in a year. The highest condo sale in 2011 in Pinellas County sold for over $4,000,000. It wasn’t on the Gulf of Mexico, it was in downtown St Petersburg in the Ovation condo. There were also sales at Ovation in 2010 that were over $4,000,000. All of the larger units and penthouses have sold. The developer has 5 units left, starting at $1,590,000. There are also a few resales available.

Contact The Simms Team at ALVA International for more information and for Buyer Representation.

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