28 Feb 2017

Front view of homes with white trim and green foliage  During the last quarter of 2016, the housing market in Florida began to slow down, although realistically, this area has always had a history of boom and bust because of the waves of retirees and investors. Starting in 2017 and onwards, the market is expected to change considerably in a positive way which will improve the value of houses in Florida.

So what’s happening in 2017?

According to Forbes, the Baby Boomer generation are entering their pre-retirement years and by 2020, the country will have an estimated 71 million citizens aged 55 or over. More importantly, a 2016 survey reaffirms Florida as the number one location for retirees because of the fair weather, reasonable cost of living, home prices, vibrant economy, favorable tax climate, security, and accessibility to medical care. In addition, the luxury housing market is taking a hit with luxury condominiums not selling as briskly as developers were expecting. In fact, some developers dropped their prices last 2016 several times in the hopes of being able to unload some properties but there is a glut in the market for luxury condominiums.

Taking into consideration these facts, one of the best ways to protect your investment and property in Florida is to do minor renovations so your property does not get “left behind” by the market. Look around!  Are there new houses or condominiums being built in your area? Newer structures with better amenities and addresses can affect the value of your property if it is not modernized in some way.

A good way to increase the value of your house is by changing the window and door frames from traditional shutters to storm-ready. You can also do some landscaping, painting, and upgrading your fixtures.

If you want to have extra income, you can renovate your home to accept a renter or two. In Miami, a little under half of the properties are being rented out. The renting population is expected to increase in the years to come. Naturally, renters are looking for presentable homes with practical amenities and accessibility to services, parks, or other outdoor activities.

One word of caution though: if you plan on major renovations, it is best to avoid construction loans. Rely instead on doing the renovation in stages so you don’t expose yourself to any danger with creditors because the mortgage and loan to value mortgage is still risky. Fortunately, with a growing population of at least 10%, the investment climate coupled with the number of retirees willing to rent even part of a house is improving.