By Tad Hunter
Now that summer has ended, families and investors are looking for homes to buy. It is a great time to list your home for sale. How strong is our local Miramar Beach marketplace? And what about for those looking to buy?
The inventory of homes and condos in our local market is down from a year ago by 4%. Current inventory has also decreased from 10 months to 8 months within the last year. The time a home spends on the market has also shortened. New listings were roughly equal to sales in July. The list price of the median home for the first 7 months of the year is up just 5% vs the same time last year. The median sales price in July vs a year ago is also up 4.1%.
The data reveals a healthy market that is growing at a reasonable pace. There are more buyers than sellers. If you are thinking of selling, now is a great time as the demand is strong. Many buyers I’ve worked with recently have had concerns about buying high or having missed the market. However, the statistics continue to indicate that the market is generally in balance. Prices have not skyrocketed or spiked unreasonably. High quality homes when priced correctly are selling quickly.
Buying a vacation property in the Fall can give you both the time to update your home before Spring and have your management company start marketing. Ask for a Cost to Own (CTO) worksheet from your Realtor when making your investment decision. The CTO worksheet is essentially a mini income statement for your property. Your rental estimate is your top-line income number. From your income subtract property taxes, property insurance, HOA fees, property management expenses, and all utilities. Each property and neighborhood is different so remember to check what items are included in your HOA fees. Does your HOA fee include a resort fee, garbage collection, electricity, and check to see if it’s a monthly or quarterly expense. If you are looking at a single family residence, don’t forget cable/internet, lawn care, and pool maintenance. When accounting for your management expense ask if there are extra marketing or monthly maintenance charges. Your Realtor can help you get these numbers organized quickly.
One of the most cost effective ways to increase your top-line income when selling or renting is with a fresh coat of paint. Vacationers book by looking at pictures online. Cool coastal tones are more popular with buyers and renters. The yellows and maroons of the 2000s are not as appealing when compared to the up to date neutral colors. These colors also make your space feel larger and more liveable.
Tad Hunter is a Realtor serving families in the Miramar Beach and South Walton area. He is a partner in the RealJoy Vacation company which provides property and vacation management services in the area for 8 years. Tad and his family are residents of Sandestin. For more information: Tad Hunter