Tips for Understanding Historical Market Cycles in Real Estate

Tips for Understanding Historical Market Cycles in Real Estate

Thirty years, or even twenty years ago, you’d seldom find anyone talking about market cycles and market timing. Today, it’s a little more commonplace, but the finer points are often misunderstood. But whether you’re an investor or a real estate agent, understanding this concept can totally change how you see your marketplace.

In reality, you need all the tools you can get so you can have an educated view when it comes to buying and selling real estate. This can mean the difference in providing sound advice to a client or making the best decision concerning a property, for example. It can also mean the difference between tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. And as an experienced investor and agent, I want to share a few tips with you on getting a better understanding of market cycles.

The movement of the market

If you’re not familiar with market cycles yet, the basic concept is pretty straightforward. The idea is that marketplaces go through semi-regular trends over longer periods of time. For our purposes, these trends are the absorption, expansion, and decline phases. Obviously, the decline phase represents downturns and the worst time to buy. Yet, during the absorption and beginning of expansion phases, there are often a number of quality opportunities. For now, this basic overview will suffice.

Every market is different

As an investor or real estate agent, you’re likely aware that San Francisco is not the same as Southwest Florida real estate. Not only are prices different, but they may even be at different stages of a market cycle at the same time. Or, as was the case in 2008, experience a more pronounced impact during one of the phases. Once you understand this fact, you can start to see how and why real estate markets behave the way they do. You also get a picture of how different area market cycles may affect each other.

Knowing your marketplace

With that in mind, you can also see how knowing your marketplace is absolutely critical, whether you’re an investor or a real estate agent. After all, if you’re able to see the writing on the wall, as they say, as the expansion phase peaks and begins a decline, you can make more informed decisions. At the same time, if you’re experienced in one area of real estate, you may be less informed about another marketplace that’s not your own. And there’s nothing wrong with that! In fact, this forms the starting place for gathering information about the market cycles of any new city or region you want to work in.

Interested in knowing more details about market cycles? I regularly give seminars on the topic, and I’d be happy to answer any questions you have. All you have to do is send me an email.

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service




Waterfront Communities in Southwest Florida

Waterfront Communities in Southwest Florida

When it comes to buying Southwest Florida real estate, people often ask me where the best waterfront property is. But truthfully, with so many choices in our area, you can have your pick. Not only that, but each of them has their own charm, and even their beaches are different. Yet, one fact remains: if you want waterfront property, you can’t beat Southwest Florida. And today, we’re going to see a number of areas that might work for you!

Cape Coral

For Southwest Florida real estate, Cape Coral offers an incredible amount of access to the water. With endless miles of canals, it has been called the Venice of Florida. Many of the neighborhoods also offer affordable real estate as well, especially for boat access.

Captiva Island

On the other end of the waterfront spectrum is Captiva Island. This quaint and quiet island offers real estate primarily in the luxury market. And when you see the views… well, let’s just say that you’ll have some of the best and most pristine beaches in the entire world at your doorstep.

Bradenton Beach

Going back to more cost-effective Southwest Florida real estate with waterfront property, let’s talk about Bradenton Beach. This area isn’t often talked about but has a lovely beach with numerous properties along its shores. But the prices for many properties that are close to the water is reasonable. You’ll find a slower pace in regards to lifestyle here, if that appeals to you.

Charlotte Harbor

But let’s take a look at truly affordable local waterfront property. The price range for the properties in this area is very affordable, and many of the homes have tons of potential. And this area is one that people are starting to talk about more and more. In fact, I’m fielding questions from investors in this area on a more regular basis, and it may be one of those to take a look at for upcoming value.

Burnt Store Marina

And a short jump from Charlotte Harbor, along the same bay, you’ll find Burnt Store Marina. Another area that’s getting increased exposure, this spot is one of my favorites. As a waterfront community, it offers access to the harbor from some of the properties. And it doesn’t hurt that there’s a golf course in your own backyard either!

Fort Myers Beach

Finally, this choice for local property is great for its range of options. Of course, as you can imagine, it has countless properties with views of the water. And for savvy buyers, you can even find cute homes at a value in this area that’s getting more attention recently. What I love about this waterfront community is that the beaches are beautiful, and there’s plenty of places to grab a bite or just have fun.

Are you hunting for your next dream home in Southwest Florida and considering a waterfront community? I’d love to show you all of your options!

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service



Florida and SWFL Real Estate at the Start of 2018

Florida and SWFL Real Estate at the Start of 2018

As we saw at the end of last year, the Florida and SWFL real estate markets have seen phenomenal growth. Of course, when you compare it to places like New York City or San Francisco, our area also retains its attractiveness for affordability as well. And the fact of the matter is that we also have many excellent amenities to add to that strengthening value and cost-effectiveness.

But as your resource for all things Southwest Florida, I’m constantly reviewing the data. Why is that so important? Even though there are many Realtors throughout the country who are experienced, it takes a trained eye to see trends as they develop. Whether you’re investing or simply looking for your first home, this can make a big difference in the future value of your properties.

So, today, we’re looking at some of the Florida data that’s recently crossed my desk. This way, we can get even more perspective on which way the market is trending.

More closed sales and higher median prices

Ending 2017, Florida’s market saw higher median prices. At the same time, the state also saw more closed sales as well. The month of December, for single-family homes, saw tighter inventory in a market many were already calling a seller’s market. We also saw sellers getting a roughly 96% median on their original listing price.

These factors support increased growth

But let’s move beyond just the data to identify trends, before looking at it in totality. The first aspect I like to highlight is the shortening inventory. Anything below a 6 months rate is considered a seller’s market, and we have that here in Florida. This is also demonstrated by our higher list to sale percentage. When you consider these together, you get the sense that the market is enjoying strong increased growth going into 2018.

But this isn’t the whole story

However, I know that the subtle details also matter. In a way, they can even change your own perspective on what’s going on. For example, because we have far less foreclosures right now, we’re also experiencing a normal real estate market in Florida. Once you take out previous foreclosures from the data, the story changes a bit. In fact, it’s possible to see that any particular house may be less in terms of appreciation percentages than originally assumed.

The bottom-line and connecting the dots

What does this all mean for you? First, for first-time homebuyers, you may have heard that fast-rising prices for SWFL real estate could be an issue going forward. However, when we look at the data, we see that growth is there, but with affordability too. Still, if you’re a seller, you’ve probably enjoyed a solid amount of growth. But, as the market continues to trend in this direction, what can be right for you differs for each person.

And when you have questions about your real estate goals, I’m the Southwest Florida expert to talk to. I’ll dig into the data for you and provide you with an assessment that takes your property’s factors into consideration. It’s all about what’s right for you!

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service


More Beautiful, Famous Homes and Properties of Florida

More Beautiful Famous Homes and Properties of Florida

As a real estate agent in Southwest Florida, I love to appreciate all the beautiful aspects of our state. And there’s plenty to love! On the one hand, we have stunning landscapes, beaches, and outdoor amenities. On the other hand, we also have gorgeous properties at affordable prices. With growing dining, art, and entertainment options, you can see why more and more people are calling our area home.

Some people are surprised to find out we have our own share of famous homes and properties in Florida. In fact, we saw recently how several of these can serve as inspiration, whether you’re buying a new home or decorating your existing home.  So, with that in mind, I’m bringing you 4 more SWFL properties that you’ll simply love. Best of all, they each have a story behind them.

The Don CeSar

Last time, we looked at a few homes in Florida that are famous, so this week, I wanted to share something a little different with you. The Don CeSar, located on St. Pete Beach is a 1920s, Jazz Age hotel that is one amazing property in Florida. Sometimes called the “Pink Lady,” it offers a truly magical look against the sandy shores of our beaches. What I also love, and it’s a bit of a well-known secret locally, is that the restaurant at the hotel has been named one of the top spots in Florida. And it’s great for a drink too.

The Henry M Flagler House

Also known as “Whitehall,” this Florida home is a mansion you have to see to believe. Located in Palm Beach, Florida, it boasts 75 rooms. Inside, you’ll find an atmosphere at this Gilded Age property that’s sure to make an impression on you. And like the Don CeSar in St. Petersburg, the exterior of the property is perfect for photos that “wow.” I especially love the tall palm trees that mark the way to the pillared front of the home.

The Oldest House Complex

But let’s switch things up a bit. Our other properties have ranged from quaint to opulent, but this one is different. In fact, in St. Augustine, Florida, you can visit the Oldest House, a property that’s been getting visitors since before 1900. Now, this property is very humble and modest. Yet, its story is one of colonial settlers and coquina limestone, pirates and restorations. It’s a reminder that Florida is a place rich in cultural history.

The Ca d’Zan

Finally, one of my all-time favorites, the Ca d’Zan is a Southwest Florida home that has plenty to see. We’ve seen before just how much inspiration can be drawn from this property when it comes to home trends. But it also highlights the popularity of Mediterranean Revival throughout Florida. It also doesn’t hurt that its story centers around the Ringling family. Oh, and the inside and exterior are wonderful to tour.

Are you ready to tour homes in Southwest Florida, so that you can find your next dream property? I’m always just an email away!

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service




More Tips for Your Busy Home Buying Season

More Tips for Your Busy Home Buying Season

From New York to North Carolina and Cincinnati to Southwest Florida real estate, spring often represents a time of increased market activity. And we saw recently, how there’s a number of ways you can get ready in advance for it. While it’s only February, if you’re purchasing a home in the next few months, this is the time to make several of your final preparations.

Of course, it’s true that for Southwest Florida real estate, we often see a good deal of buying activity even in the winter months. In fact, I’m looking at data right now that shows how our region had several healthy key metrics leading into 2018. But as springtime approaches, that trend will likely accelerate even more. And the last thing you want is to not be prepared when other buyers are going for the same property.

With that in mind, let’s look at more tips that can give you peace of mind during your home purchase and a busy market.

Review your options for loan programs

FHA, VA loans, and more. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to review loan programs yet, now is the time. There are several that are common and can even offer factors like 0% down payment.

Get pre-approved

Of course, you’ll also want to get pre-approved for your loan. This step starts the loan process, and remember, you’re allowed to shop banks for what works best for your situation.

Set your budget

Once you’ve had a chance to talk with any co-buyers, you’ll also want to set your budget. I recommend setting a budget range that gives you the flexibility to look at a number of properties.

Stay flexible

Speaking of flexibility, this is also the time to prep yourself on being able to adapt to what’s available. After all, one house may have some of the features you want most, while another has others.

Narrow in on your favorite locations

Although many buyers have an idea of where they might want to live, I also like to recommend narrowing in on a few locations. After all, for Southwest Florida real estate, for example, there are many areas that have wonderful amenities and affordable housing.

Get your paperwork together

Applying for loans, talking with inspectors, and comparing prices. These are just the start. And with many of these activities comes the need for paperwork. I like to recommend that you keep a folder with everything you’ll need.

Set your projects

Once you’ve started to hone in on which properties may be most worthy of your interest, you can start on something I love…and that’s considering the possibilities. From kitchen upgrades to backyard enhancements, your dream home will come with endless possibilities.

Meet with your trusted realtor

Still, one of the most important parts of preparing for a busy home-buying season is meeting with your Realtor. For Southwest Florida real estate, it can mean the difference between tens of thousands of dollars and finding the home you love.

And my real estate team is always ready to be your source for everything Southwest Florida. Give us an email for more tips!

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service




Additional Questions for When You’re Ready for Your First Home

Recently, we saw how there are a number of quality questions you can ask before you buy your first home. And really, asking these can prepare you for what could possibly be the biggest financial decision of your life. This is because buying your first property is just as much about making a smart decision as it is finding your next dream home.

As an investor and Southwest Florida real estate agent, I recommend viewing your first home as a strategic investment for years to come. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that our real estate is beautiful and affordable. Factor in the positive value growth we’ve seen recently, and you have a regional market that’s worth taking a look at. And we haven’t even mentioned the amenities yet!

So, today, we’re going to review a few more questions that can help you purchase your first home. And you can use them whether you’re buying a home in Southwest Florida or beyond.

How long have you been at your current job?

When you’re thinking about buying a home, you’ll be considering all sorts of financial factors. Most people know to focus in on their credit reports. But there are also other aspects of your situation that are important too. One of them is how long you’ve been at your current place of employment. Lenders will often want to see at least 2 years of steady employment.

What are you paying in rent?

This is one question that I love to ask potential home buyers. As a real estate investor, I’ve seen how your first home purchase can be set the stage for future financial success. But some renters assume that with a house comes other financial obligations. And while that’s true, rent can often be more costly and for less. Getting that extra perspective can help you decide if buying a home is right for you.

How do you feel about upkeep?

Now, I also like to ask my potential clients how handy they are. It’s true you can always hire someone to do the big stuff (or even the small stuff). As a real estate investor, I’ve done that many of times and even have a team to handle much of it for me. Still, it pays to know something about what’s required for the upkeep of a home. Being able to identify issues and bring in the experts before a problem grows bigger is a big plus.

Do you love the beach or the city?

For Southwest Florida, another question I recommend asking is whether you love the beach or the city. Of course, in our neck of the woods, you really can have a bit of both. After all, you’re never far away from downtowns with amenities, sleepy coastal cities, and some of the best outdoors in the world. Even so, it’s good to ask how close you want to be to the beach or if being right in the middle of it all is more important to you. This can help give you perspective on exactly what kind of lifestyle you’ll love here in Southwest Florida.

Are you starting the process to buy your first home in Southwest Florida? I’d be happy to help you have a wonderful experience!

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service



Famous Homes and Properties of Florida

Famous Homes and Properties of Florida

Throughout the state of Florida, there are numerous famous homes and properties. And many of them don’t just have a story behind them; they’re also incredibly attractive. From quaint Southwest Florida homes by the water to hidden writer’s quarters in Key West, you’ll find that these can be truly inspiring. This is true whether you’re buying a new home or getting decorating ideas for the one you already own. Of course, as your source for everything Southwest Florida, I wanted to share with you 3 of the SWFL properties that excite me most.

The Hemingway House

Let’s start with an incredibly popular stop when it comes to Southwest Florida homes. Right in downtown Key West, the Hemingway House is a quaint, rustic property that’s also pleasing to the eye. And this residence was once home to one of the world’s most famous authors. What I love most about it is all the lush landscaping that surrounds the home. When you enter this property, you feel like you’re stepping into an oasis, where little paths take you to quiet sitting areas and a hidden pool dazzles your eyes with crystal clear waters. You’ll see why I love it right away, and because it’s so down-to-earth, it provides plenty of practical inspiration for your own home.

The Edison and Ford Winter Estates

We’ve seen before how this Southwest Florida home is rather magical. This Fort Myers favorite has a number of aspects that I really love.  First of all, the Edison and Ford families called this spot “home” for many years as they choose to be snowbirds in our state. With a spectacular view of the water, it also has a garden and landscaping that can’t be beaten. For me, I love to draw inspiration from the architectural details within the home, as well as the plants around the property.

The Villa Vizcaya

Located in Miami, this opulent home is something right out of a storybook. Right on Biscayne Bay, it also has a pretty impressive view of the water, and from an outdoor area that’s decadent and attractive. The Italian gardens also provide a wonderful landscape that enhances the Mediterranean Revival style of the home even more. When you see this home, you’ll appreciate that even in the 1920s, it took about $15 million dollars to build. It even boasts a mythic story about a legendary robbery! Today, the home is a lovely museum, where you can casually walk the halls and take in everything this beautiful home has to offer.

Are you looking for a home in Southwest Florida and want something attractive at an affordable value? I’d be happy to help!

Terry Records

Records Results Real Estate
Residential Sales and Property Management Service