Whether you are empty nesters, retirees, snowbirds, millennials or others, desiring a lifestyle change, are propelling many people to consider condominiums as an alternative to owning a single-family home. One size never fits all, single family homes and HOA master planned communities all have their pros and cons, but it’s all about what you want from a lifestyle standpoint. If you’re wanting to live in close proximity to restaurants, pubs, shops etc. and afford more time for yourselves to travel or enjoy a stay-cation in a managed maintenance-free community, just close your shutters, turn off the water, lock up and walk away, condo living is for you. It could be a move up or down, but the question always is, when and how to do it because timing is everything. Depending on your goals, timeframes and what you’re wanting to accomplish, ask yourselves; do I want water views, gulf access with or without dockage, golf course location, exercise facilities, pool and clubhouse amenities, no stairs or elevator access, walking and biking trails, etc. Instead of yard work and home maintenance, go out and enjoy all that SW Florida has to offer.
Unlike people who are buying for the first time, others making the transition from owning a single-family home have to adjust to abiding by the home owner association (HOA) rules and regulations. The loss in autonomy that comes from condo living could be a potential roadblock for those accustomed to the freedom of managing on their own terms. Fees can range from a few of hundred dollars a month to over a thousand dollars a month. Prior to previewing or going to contract, do your homework; investigate the HOA financial stability, rules and regulations and make sure you are going to like the Location, amenities and the lifestyle of that particular HOA is going to offer you. Be prepared when you purchase to allow the management company to collect fees for credit and back ground checks; this is normal procedure for HOA per the declarations or by-laws and to be obtained prior to closing.
MAKING A MOVE
Do I need to sell what I have before, or do I buy what I want first? It depends on your particular financial position and timing. Remember to make time to clean out, get rid of stuff and de-clutter prior to selling. A well-presented home is the key factor for obtaining top dollar for your existing home. (Price, Terms and Condition.) I am readily available to give you an opinion of value and how best to prepare then and assist in staging your home to get ready for sale. You may want to purchase first and take your time selling what you have, obtain a line of credit from your personal home or obtain a pre-approval letter to purchase prior to going out to purchase. The initial offer will demand a letter from your lender or proof of available cash, just part of the drill when buying or someone else purchasing your own home. I can help you streamline the process and recommend reputable lenders.
Whether buying or selling in SW Florida, there are many possibilities, such as beach access, pool homes, boat access, golf, community pool, or any type of life style you may want or desire. The Cape Coral area offers many diverse locations and types of condos from low to mid rise (up to 8 stories) or high rise (over 8 stories) to main floor living single story to apartment type living, with many you would never know your inside a condo. The Cape has not built many HOA homes since 2006 but there are many to choose from and many on the drawing board to be approved and built in the next 2-3 years, including 7-Islands as the big high end, to 84 acres west of Sandoval, to several hundred in NW/NE Cape areas. Existing low rise to high rise homes are very plentiful in the older areas of the South Cape near the river with some having good gulf access, views and close to downtown, Cape Coral prices vary from just under 200K to over a million and up. With many newer apartment type condos in the mid SW & SE that are spacious and roomy in the 200-300K price range, and a few newer locations on the river at 600K and up, further north or mid Cape in the 300-450K range, all about locations and amenities.
Year to date sold comparables “low rise to high rise” in all Cape Coral; 726 sold and 262 active condos available, with an absorption rate of approximately two and half years of homes available to sell. Breaking the current inventory down there are 178 units under the price range of 250K, and 39 units over 500K. That only leaves 45 in the hottest and most demanding price point of 250-500K for 2-4 bedroom condo home in the 1,500-2,200 sq. ft range, and always hoping for a two-car garage, a view or maybe a dock. Stats as of today.
I look forward to hearing from you and helping you with all your real estate needs.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author.