What are the most frequently-asked questions are from clients seeking our free advice? We’ve listed just a few below, covering a number of years, and some of these are now outdated, as you will see. So use this Contact page to ask us for the latest information.
Are there bargains to be found right now?
Yes. There are many, many homes for sale, equivalent to almost a full year’s sales in the Orlando area (Note: this was true at the time it was written – but as of 2015, we’re down to around 3 or 4 months’ supply). Sellers are increasingly realistic in setting prices and accepting offers. Builders are immensely more flexible than they were one to two years ago. Added to that, the dollar/pound exchange rate means that homes represent even more value-for-money than they have done for a long time. (Also not quite the same advantageous level right now!).
So every seller is prepared to accept a big price cut?
Not all owners, by any means. The old rules still apply – “special” Florida property (e.g. with water or conservation views) is still scarce and these sellers still drive a harder bargain. Some are even prepared to hold on until the market changes rather than take a low price now. So if you’re coming to Florida soon: by all means expect to make offers below the asking price, but don’t be too surprised if the owners of that especially-exquisite home are tougher to bargain with than you’ve been lead to expect.
What is the likely trend in prices?
There are opposing views. Some pundits believe we’ve reached the bottom and now is the time to buy. Others believe that the weaknesses will continue into 2008. One point to bear in mind: be careful that, by the time upward trends are obvious, it’s not too late to find a bargain. (Note: times have indeed changed – in the 24 months ending December 2014, the Orlando area median price increased by 28%).
After all of this year’s mortgage problems, is US financing available?
Lots of lenders have now abandoned the vacation home market, but some lenders are still actively servicing international buyers, although they are looking for higher (25% or more) deposits than before and they apply more rigourous conditions.
Is it cheaper to raise finance in the UK or the USA?
The answer will vary with individual circumstances, but it it may well be less expensive to raise finance in the UK – rates are coming down in US but premiums for overseas borrowers remain. In addition, fees and “closing costs” are generally reduced if a Florida property is purchased as a cash sale.
This is of course only an overview of conditions at the time that the answers were written. For free help and guidance tailored to your own individual plans for buying Florida property, check out our Home Page and read more.