By Robyn A. Friedman
City & Shore Magazine
If you follow the real estate market – and hey, who in South Florida doesn’t? –
you’re probably aware that things are changing. Mortgage-interest rates are rising, and the inventory of homes on the market is starting to creep up, making things a little easier for buyers who otherwise might have found themselves with a limited selection or, worse, in a bidding war for the home of their dreams.
The new tax laws that kicked in on Jan. 1, 2018 limited the deductibility of state and local taxes, a factor that makes Florida oh-so-desirable to those in high-tax states such as New York and New Jersey.
“South Florida may be an enormous beneficiary of this new law,” says Michael Silver, a certified financial planner with Baron Silver Stevens Financial Advisors in Boca Raton. “Many high-income earners could save a fortune declaring residency in Florida.”
But are there deals to be had here on real estate? According to the experts, that depends what you’re looking for – and where.
“There still are great buys to be had in the local real-estate market, as long as you know where to look and think outside the box,” says Andy Weiser, a real-estate agent with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Florida 1st in Fort Lauderdale.
Weiser is particularly bullish on Oakland Park and western Fort Lauderdale, where he says buyers looking for “non-luxury” single-family homes can find good deals. “They’ve been undervalued for a very long time,” he says. “Some of the neighborhoods just west of 95, if you don’t want luxury, are phenomenal values.”
He also singled out Weston, where he said “an awful lot” is on the market right now, so buyers have a lot of choices — and potentially a competitive advantage – when searching for homes.
On the luxury side, buyers looking for condominiums in Fort Lauderdale can find the best deals on older units, Weiser says. “The downside is that you may have to do a renovation, and you won’t have all the bells and whistles that the new projects have,” he says.
Senada Adzem, executive director of sales at Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Boca Raton, says buyers can find great deals “anyplace there is an oversupply of product.” She singled out the areas west of Boca Raton and Delray Beach, where there are a lot of luxury homes on the market. “There is so much new development there that people coming in are getting great deals on re-sales,” she says.
Adzem also suggests that buyers check out downtown Delray Beach, where there is a lot of new multifamily development. Buyers looking for non-oceanfront condos may be in a good position due to the ample supply available, she says.
“It’s all about perspective,” Adzem says. “If someone wants to get a great deal, look at new developments where sales have been shifting downward or in areas where the market is softening. It’s a tradeoff. Do you want to drive a little bit longer and have a brand-new big home, or do you want to be in the middle of everything but have to compromise on what you want for the lifestyle and convenience?”