Beach Front Property 50% Off

Beach At Sunset

Beach At Sunset

This weekend, we showed beach condos to a couple from Louisville, KY (my husband Bill’s home town). They, like lots of other folks outside Florida, have the impression that they can snap up waterfront property for 50 cents on the dollar. That is true….across the street from the beach, on a canal, inland waterway or the bay. But NOT directly on the beach. Times are tough, but this is still real estate, the cardinal rule of which is:  LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.  Beach front properties have always been a good buy because they hold their value.

It’s still a great time to buy beach front condos because the sale of distressed (bank owned or short sale) properties sold nearby have put pressure on prices of all property.  What’s interesting is that many of the gulf front condos carry little or no mortgage, and few of the owners pulled out their equity during the boom.    A surprising number are owned by Tampa residents, and many have been quit claimed to other family members.

Out-of-state buyers expect to find condos that sold for $1,000,000 & now can be bought for $500,000.  Since there was such minimal turnover of properties facing the Gulf, there are few such opportunities. Across the street? Different story. During the boom, that is where the Mom & Pop motels were bulldozed to make way for brand new hi rise condos. Buyers who couldn’t touch a gulf front condo for under $2million, bought across the street for $1million, and are now selling for $500,000.

We looked at condos from St Pete Beach to Indian Shores.  Their #1 choice was in St Pete Beach. It’s a 2/2 with a KILLER VIEW. I mean K-I-L-L-E-R !! When you walk in to the living room, the first thing you see out the window is ocean, ocean, ocean.  From the balcony, you see an oasis – a little stretch of private beach abutting a garden of native plants traversed by a walking path dotted with benches.  But…the interior is dated, and the date is 1977. Foil (yes, I swear, FOIL) wallpaper in the kitchen, dark kitchen cabinets, cheap ’70s Florida prints…you get the idea.  It was purchased in 2000 for $250,000 and listed in early 2006 for $795,000, withdrew in August 2006 @ $670,000.  The market had peaked, but the sellers didn’t know it. Heck, nobody knew it. So now, it’s listed for half what they would have gotten at the peak, and will likely sell for less than $300/sq ft.

Jennie Blackburn

Realtor®, CDPE©

Main (727) 322-2900 Cell (813) 951-0618 Fax (727)499-9584


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