FIRE SALE: Gratia Group Featured Package of the Week


255 rotonda blvd
marker rd

Looking for a no hassle, no haggle land investment package in Florida?  If so, the Gratia Group Featured Package of the Week is for you!  Take part in this FIRE SALE and SAVE!  These two Florida lots must sell now!  With an ideal location in beautiful Rotonda West, Florida, these lots are perfect for land investment or building your Florida dream home!  The exact location of the Featured Package of the Week is:

97 MARKER RD ROTONDA WEST FL 33947
255 ROTONDA BLVD S ROTONDA WEST FL 33947

 

Rotonda West is a peaceful, planned community situated near the beautiful Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida.  It is located between Sarasota and Fort Myers.  The community contains 8,000 home sites with over 5,000 homes completed and is experiencing rapid growth.  Residents are predominantly full-time homeowners and their families, as well as tenants and those who winter in the community.

There are six golf courses operated by Rotonda Golf and Country Club.  Thirty miles of picturesque canals, lakes and ponds wind through the community and offer fishing and boating opportunities for its residents.  Many exotic and beautiful birds call Rotonda West home, as it is a designated Bird Sanctuary.  Nearby recreation facilities, beaches, theaters, sporting events, and fine restaurants are available for all.

The Featured Package of the Week presented by Gratia Group is priced to sell at an incredible $31,400, a great price for Rotonda West home sites.  Additionally, these lots must sell together, as a lot package and cannot be purchased as individual lots.  To take advantage of this great deal, contact a member of the Gratia GroupSales Team at (239) 333-2221.

The Housing Market in Lee County is Back!

In February 2009, five years ago, The New York Times offered a story under a Lehigh Acres dateline: “In Florida, Despair and Foreclosures.”  The first sentence was not just a report but a harbinger of unhappiness still to come: “Despair has moved into this once middle-class exurb of Fort Myers.”  That sentence might have been written to introduce horror stories about other exurbs or suburbs or the cities of the Southwest coast themselves, Naples or Bonita Springs, Fort Myers or Cape Coral or Port Charlotte.  The real estate market, which had suddenly begun to resemble an unhappy rodeo bull, had thrown the economy of the region, the state and the country on its head.

But that was then. Now, the unemployment rate hovers around 6 percent and real estate statistics continue to rise as well.  From south to north the numbers have changed. Buyers, significant percentages of them, are “end users” as the parlance goes, not just investors, but whoever they are, many are buying land in Florida with cash.  Mortgages are secured only with solid credit, and now in each market here, slowly shrinking inventories have reached roughly a six-month supply, a comfortable base from which to do business.

But numbers are always tricky and sometimes even misleading.  Since inventory is down prices are rising at 8 to 12 percent, depending on where one is in the market.  If you want to sell a home below $200,000 (the sweet spot is $150,000) you will be happy to be in a seller’s market because the inventory is four to six months. If you are selling between $200,000 and $350,000, you’re in a pretty even market.  But if you own a home valued at above $350,000, the inventory is 12 to 18 months and buyers are still in control.

To learn more about the Lee County real estate and purchasing Lee County real estate contact a member of the Gratia Group Sales team at (239) 333-2221.

Purchasing Land for Long-Term Investment

Vacant land can be a great alternative investment to other risky investment scenarios such as stocks and bonds.  For investors that purchase land as a long-term investment, buying land in a growing area is as vital as the investment land itself.

Studying the direction of growth of a city or town highlights areas that have become populated over a specific timeframe and where this activity has been focused.  This information is beneficial to landowners and potential land investors for a multitude of reasons.

Successful long-term land investors are picky when it comes to where they purchase real estate for investors.  They study area growth and development closely.  The more developed an area becomes, the more profitable and desirable their property will be.  Highly developed areas attract more interest, whether it is for developing businesses or residential neighborhoods.

Eventually, businesses and neighborhoods will expand throughout the majority of the town center and land for sale will be scarce.  Due to its popular location and scarcity, land that remains vacant throughout the growth of an area will become more valuable than it was in previous years.  This increases potential profit if and when a long-term investor sells creating a potential for high return on their original investment on the land.

To learn more about long term land investing, contact a member of the Gratia Group Land Investment Team at (239) 333-2221.

 

 

 

 

 

Lee County Home and Land Prices Jump 19%

Tight inventory in February continued to contribute to the ongoing rise in Lee County median home and home site prices according to February 2014 sales statics recently released by the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach.  The number of new listings (245) in February was 11.8 percent below January, but still showed a strong month in year over year comparisons.  The median price for single-family homes in February was $185,000, a 19.4 percent increase compared with the $155,000 median price in February 2013 and an increase of 27.3 percent (or $5,050) from January.  The median price of condos increased 10.7 percent to $155,000 in February compared with February 2013.

As prices continue to rise and inventory remains tight, desirable homes are selling quickly.  It is anticipated that this will be the case through April, as seasonal visitors are making the decision to purchase, which is challenging to Cape Coral and other Lee County residents, especially first time buyers, facing higher prices, rising mortgage rates and tighter credit.

Single-family homes of all types spent a median 52 days on the market before coming under contract in February and the average home sold for 93 percent of its listing price.  In February 2013, those numbers were 57 days and 93 percent, respectively.

Thinking of purchasing property in Cape Coral, Fort Myers or elsewhere in Lee County?  Gratia Group can help!  Give us a call at (239) 333-2221 to get your property search started today!

Florida Population Growth Returns to Normal Levels

After growth screeched to a halt during the recession, people are moving back to Florida.  Researchers project 192,091 new faces will arrive in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties over the next seven years.  The coastal stretch is already home to an estimated 1.1 million people.

Lee County leads the way, growing 20.2 percent, twice the rate of Florida as a whole, to reach 773,500 people by 2020.  Collier will absorb 49,537 new residents and Charlotte 12,421.

The projections from the University of Florida are based on past growth. They’re a conservative estimate between the lowest and highest estimates. Population increases fuel economic development but also pose infrastructure and environmental challenges.

Waterfront property and activities are top selling points driving people to Florida.  Water, for drinking, swimming, fishing, but first of all for our natural habitat, is key to a healthy economy.

People move to Florida for a wide variety of reasons. It’s known as a place where they come to retire or start over, for instance. And as more arrive, housing inventory is being reduced and construction is picking up. That in turn attracts new residents. There is also no personal income tax in the state.

Florida lost a small percent of its population because of the recession. Now the state is on track to surpass New York this year if it hasn’t yet already. That would make it the third most populous state behind California and Texas.

Through 2020, Florida is projected to absorb some 1.9 million new people, pushing the population past 21.1 million.

For now growth is trending steadily upwards in Southwest Florida, albeit not at the breakneck pace seen in the early to mid-2000s. Cape Coral, the region’s most populous city, grew by 6,764 people between 2010 and 2013, UF estimates show. Nearly 160,000 reside in the Cape.

Many homebuyers are baby boomer retirees from the Midwest and Northeast, but a surprising number are younger.

But with all the growth, is Southwest Florida gearing up for another precarious real estate bubble? Lee County especially Lehigh Acres was often cited as a “ground zero” for the housing meltdown that preceded the recession. Many economic forecasters feel the region is going to see sustained growth in more of a normal market. As once vacant homes and properties left untended during the recession fill up it makes it a lot safer for the buyer.

 

Long-term population projections:

 

Charlotte County

2013: 163,679

2020: 176,100

Change: 12,421

Percent change: 7.6

 

Collier County

2013: 333,663

2020: 383,200

Change: 49,537

Percent change: 14.8

 

Lee County

2013: 643, 367

2020: 773,500

Change: 130,133

Percent change: 20.2

 

Palm Beach County

2013: 1,345,652

2020: 1,465,300

Change: 119,648

Percent change: 8.9

 

Florida

2013: 19,259,543

2020: 21,141,300

Change: 1,881,757

Percent change: 9.8

 

To learn more about the real estate market in SWFL contact a member of the Gratia Group team at (239) 333-2221.

Short Term vs. Long Term Land Investments

Investors looking to build a robust, dynamic portfolio of low-risk, high yield investments should consider buying land investments.  When deciding to purchase land an investor should ask themselves a few questions.  First, are you looking for a quick profit or do you want to make improvements on and use this property over several years?  Perhaps this is simply a moneymaking investment or maybe an investment for you and your family’s future?  Let’s look into the differences between investing in land for the short term versus the long term.

Purchasing investment land in the short term is less common and a little trickier than a long term investment, although it is possible. The pros to a quick flip are:

1) Cash in hand, and who doesn’t like that?

2) Using the money to make more investments (preferably in more land!).

3) Paying very little in property taxes, depending on how long the property is in your name.

Long term land investments are much more commonplace.  Some pros of holding onto your land investment include:

1) Securing the future of your family.  Land is a stable investment and can be passed down to future generations of family.

2) Using the land as a cash generator.  Some examples of ways to make money with your land are a vacation rental or agriculture (crops and/or livestock).

3) If you wait longer to sell the land, it’s likely the value will have increased even more than if you sold in the short term.  You will see the most increase in value if a big company offering many jobs has moved into the area or if the population has increased significantly over time.

4) Being able to make improvements on the land that will increase the value significantly.  The improvements can be simple, such as having the land surveyed, or more involved such as digging a well or building a house.

To purchase land for investment purposes contact a member of the Gratia Group Land Sales Team at (239) 333-2221.  Our large selection of Florida land for sale is waiting to be added to your investment portfolio!

2013 Lee County, FL Real Estate Wrap Up

Lee County permits to build new homes in 2013 spiked up 40 percent while foreclosures fell 45 percent in 2013 as the area’s given-up-for-dead residential construction industry roared back to life.  But with the burst of activity came some old worries: a tight labor market, ever more expensive building materials and the prospects of higher interest rates.  For the year, builders pulled permits to put up 2,386 single-family homes compared to 1,707 in 2012.

Meanwhile, statistics released by the Southwest Florida Real Estate Investment Association showed that foreclosures fell from 7,600 to 4,212 in the same period as the firestorm of failed mortgages by homeowners and investors gradually burned itself out. All in all, builders were happy with the sudden availability of work.

The market in Southwest Florida is picking up pretty good and of course there are more new builders that have taken the opportunity to break into the building market buying up most of the available Southwest Florida land for sale.  Still, as the market heats up issues are arising. There’s not a large enough labor force in the area and there have been price increases for materials as well as wages.

Several factors combined to create a more energetic market.  Chief among them was the cheap money for mortgages and the fear that they would be going up, so you have a lot of buyers, particularly young and first move-up buyers, concerned that if interest rates went up much they’d be out of affordability.  Many of those buyers had the down payment and had gone through the two-year period they had before they were allowed to apply for a mortgage again after a foreclosure or short sale destroyed their credit.

That trend was amped up by the fact that there’s pent-up demand for new housing because few new homes were built in the years since home prices collapsed at the end of 2005.  It’s not a situation that can last forever.  Clear interest rates will eventually have to increase as the Federal Reserve scales back its efforts to keep money “cheap”.  For every point the interest rate goes up, say for an average house in Lee County, a $250,000 house, that’s $20,000 less borrowing power the buyer has.  For bigger houses the effect is dramatic.

One problem that isn’t coming back soon is the prevalence of foreclosures that drove down prices as foreclosed homes came pouring back on the market after prices fell apart.  Most of the people vulnerable to a foreclosure have already lost their homes.

But ongoing economic uncertainty may have an effect on how strongly the baby boomers’ retirement plans continue to support this market as boomers decide how long to work before retiring and buying a home or lots and acreage for sale in the area.

To buy into the robust Lee County, FL real estate market contact a member of the Gratia Group Land Sales Team at (239) 333-2221.

Gratia Group Featured Plots of the Week: HUGE 22 Lot Package for Investors

GG PhotoAre you an investors looking to break into the SWFL real estate investment scene or are you an expert investor in the regions robust investment market?  If, so the Gratia Group  Featured Plots of the Week will make you jump to buy!  The Featured Plots this week are an incredible package of 22 ready to build lots for sale in Florida’s Charlotte and Sarasota Counties.  These two counties are currently experiencing the highest rate of growth in all of SWFL, making investment purchase ideal.

With over 28 miles of white sand beaches, over 20 world class golf courses, access to some of the best fishing and boating opportunities in Florida, over 70 parks, nature preserves & recreation areas; Sarasota and Charlotte Counties are perfect places to call home making your investment property apt to be sold quickly and at a high ROI.

Act fast!  With an average lot price of only $3, 940, builders purchasing at a rapid rate in both counties and prices slated to rise in February 2014, the time for investors to get in on the Gratia Group Featured Plots of the Week is running out!  To take advantage on these inexpensive Florida lots for sale, contact a member of the Gratia Group land sales team at (239) 333-2221.

Buying Land for Home Building vs. Investments

People generally buy land for two reasons; to build a home for their family or for investment purposes.  This week’s Gratia Group Land Investor Blog highlights the differences between these two main types of land buyers.

Buyers of land for the purpose of building a home actually require a bit more work than buying for investment purposes.  Many investors will never even set foot on their purchased land, while buyers looking for a home lot will be buying a piece of land that many will reside on for the rest of their lives. 

Check with local authorities (city, county and state) to determine zoning ordinances and whether you can build the type of home you want before committing to buying available land for sale.  Ask about future zoning, whether there are plans to put in shopping centers or airports, or to change nearby land uses that could also devalue your land and cause future headaches.

Buyers that are looking for purchase land or lots for sale for investment purchases will want to look for parcels that are being sold low prices in communities and areas that are currently seeing an increase in their local real estate markets.  Look for properties that will increase ROI when you choose to sell in the future.  Consider buying parcel packages that include 3-5 lots in hot areas. 

To learn more about purchasing land for home building or investment purposes contact a member of the Gratia Group land sales team at (239) 333-2221. 

Housing Market in Florida Continues to Grow

Florida’s housing market continued its upswing in October 2013, with more closed sales, higher median prices, more new listings and a stabilizing supply of homes for sale, according to the latest housing data released by Florida Realtors.

Statewide closed sales of existing single-family homes totaled 18,728 in October 2013, up 6.5 percent compared to the year-ago figure, according to data from Florida Realtors Industry Data and Analysis Report.  Closed sales typically occur 30 to 90 days after sales contracts are written.

Meanwhile, pending sales, contracts that are signed but not yet completed or closed, for existing single-family homes last month rose 3.4 percent over the previous October, and new listings increased 16.4 percent.  The statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes last month was $169,000, up 16.6 percent from the previous year.  The median is the midpoint; half the homes sold for more, half for less.

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the national median sales price for existing single-family homes in September 2013 was $199,300, up 11.4 percent from the previous year.  In California, the statewide median sales price for single-family existing homes in September was $428,810; in Massachusetts, it was $325,000; in Maryland, it was $256,672; and in New York, it was $230,000.

Looking at Florida’s year-to-year comparison for sales of townhouse-condos, a total of 8,598 units sold statewide last month, up 3.1 percent from October 2012.  Meanwhile, pending sales for townhouse-condos last month eased slightly, down 3.6 percent compared to the year-ago figure, but new listings rose 9.8 percent.  The statewide median price for townhouse-condo properties in October was $130,000, up 22.1 percent over the previous year.

Inventory was at a 5.5-months’ supply in October for single-family homes and at a 5.6-months’ supply for townhouse-condo properties, according to Florida Realtors.

According to Freddie Mac, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.19 percent in October 2013, up from the 3.38 percent average recorded during the same month a year earlier.