Real Estate Prices in Perspective in the Tampa Bay Market

BourneHome prices are still very affordable in the Tampa Bay Market.  This is especially true for Spec” (speculation) homes, which are often the best places to get the best deals.  These homes are built by builders without an intended purchaser in mind (Hence the builder is speculating that they will find a builder to buy the home). For example, I have client that just purchased a new 3,210 square foot, five-bedroom, three-bath, three-car garage home for about $260,000 (a reduction of almost $20,000), or $81 per square foot.  This home was purchased with a VA loan, which was 100% financed with a fixed interest rate of 3.75% with a payment of only $1,455 per month (including principal, interest, homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and CDD fees totaling $262 per month).  The only additionally fee that is not escrowed would be a quarterly HOA of $184.   As of May 2015, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,161 per month.  The average apartment rent over the prior 6 months in Tampa has increased by $138 (13.4%).  Although the amount of rent paid for two-bedroom apartment is lower than house payment, the home is considerably larger with three additional bedrooms.  Since this is a new home from a new home builder has some advantages over a buying a presale. The new construction advantages include home warranties, lower building insurance, sales incentives (ranging from upgraded kitchens to bathrooms) and closing costs (most (if not all) of the closing costs are included if the builder’s approved lender is used).

Let’s put price into perspective in today’s real estate market and how it can help you in the long run.  It seems that everything has been increasing in price faster than you are making money.  The following exhibit illustrates the how some key items have increased:

Affordability in Perspective

Item 2008 2013 % Change
New Car $27,958.00 $31,352.00 12%
Gas $2.05 $3.80 85%
Hamburger Meat $3.99 $4.68 17%
Wages $40,523.00 $44,321.00 9%
National Avg. Home Price $238,880.00 $289,500.00 21%
Mortgage Rate 6.03% 3.98% -34%
Monthly P&I Payment $1,200.37 $960.18 -20%


As you can see in the exhibit above, today’s interest rates are one of the best benefits that we can take advantage of now!!!  If you buy a new home or an updated  presale with a warranty the risk is further reduced for costly repairs and/or remodeling costs.  You can even trade up for the same payment.  So, interest rates matter!!!

Thinking of buying real estate?  You should consider using a realtor.  If you are interested in buying real estate (new home, existing home, or commercial property), please contact me (Alan Lane with Keller Williams Realty at 2119 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, Florida  33511).  As a life long resident of Central Florida, I can help you find the right property for you whether it is in Lakeland or as far south as Sarasota.  The Keller Williams offices of  ”Suburban Tampa” include the offices in Brandon, Plant City, Fishhawk Ranch, and our newest office in Valrico.  My email address, or call me at 813.205.9280.  If you are just starting your search, you can search the MLS for real estate opportunities on my website at this link.


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