Information is flowing from every angle about the local and national housing market.  Some of the info is good and some is completely false.  This is an attempt to debunk some of the more prominent Myths on the local Jacksonville Real Estate Market.

Myth 1:  Homes are selling at half price.

Realistically, homes are selling at 30-50% off from their highs in 2006, however they are not selling at half price from today's value.  If a home is listed on the market by an accomplished and professional REALTOR, chances are it's priced aggressively already.  Can you purchase the home for less, probably in most cases, but often barely less.  Realistically, you need solid representation to help you determine if the list price is a good deal or not.

Myth 2:  The banks are giving away homes.

Not true.  If the bank owned home or short sale home are in absolute worst condition imaginable, yes you can get a screaming deal.  That's the case in any market.  Worst condition imaginable typically scares away even the savviest of investors and contractors,  so the chances of you finding this deal and actually choosing to purchase it, are slim to none.  Banks will sell a home for today's market value in Jacksonville and maybe a little less, but not much more of a discount than that.

Myth 3:  Short sales take a year to close.

Again, make sure the listing agent is reputable, understands short sales, and make sure your agent has completed short sales as well.  Professional agents, like myself, prefer being paid for all our hard work.  Therefore, we want the short sale to close sooner rather than later.  The average time in Florida for an approved short sale is 90 days.  You close within 30 days after the approval date.  Total: 4 months.

Myth 4:  It's impossible to get a loan.

Lending guidelines have tightened, but the majority of my sales this year have been financed.  20% down conventional, 3.5% down FHA, and 0% down VA make up the majority of all purchases.  If you have a job, good credit, and some savings, you should be able to obtain financing.   What's changed?  You can't misrepresent your income - banks actually verify the income now.

Myth 5:  Sellers are desperate to sell.

Simply just not the case.  The sellers who have plenty of equity in a home are usually not the ones who find themselves in a desperate situation.  The sellers who have to move due to a financial hardship are usually in a short sale situation, and they aren't usually that desperate as it's their bank's choice to accept an offer and has nothing to do with what the home owners will or will not accept as far as a purchase price.  See myth 2 above.

Myth 6:  All the good deals have already been taken.

Jacksonville sees the normal ebb and flow of real estate sales around spring and summer, drops around major holidays, and spikes of random activity throughout the year.  Based on the last few years, Buyers are able to pick up great deals throughout the year as more and more distressed sales hit the market at a very steady rate.  To put it differently:  Distressed sellers aren't trying to time the market.  If you are just getting into the market and planning to make a purchase, you should have plenty of new inventory hitting the market through late Summer and well into the Fall.

Myth 7:  Nothing is selling!

Just ran a report looking at Single Family homes that have SOLD from January 1st, 2011 - July 28th, 2011 in Duval County.  4,538 homes sold in that time period!  This doesn't even include condos....

Posted by Brad Officer on
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