WOKV’s real estate expert tells us that Jacksonville’s home prices are on the rise, and homes are selling quicker.
Paul Gruenther, a realtor with The Moves Brothers at Watson Realty Corp. in Jacksonville Beach, says inventories are becoming depleted, and there are a lot of active buyers who are qualified and want to buy a home.
To put it simply, he says, demand is outweighing supply.
“So you’re tending to see people are pushing,” Gruenther says.
These days when he puts in an offer for a home, he says he’s competing with anywhere from two to ten other buyers.
When the market was down, he says people tended to offer anywhere from 85 to 90 percent of the asking price.
Now, he says they’re offering anywhere from 95 to over 100 percent of the asking price.
“It’s difficult to find a home for under two-hundred thousand dollars in any of the communities here.”
Gruenther says three years ago it may have taken someone about 120 days to sell a house.
“Today the homes are coming on the market, and they’re going under contract within a couple of days.”
He says homes that are being sold “as-is” (without repairs and maintenance) are stressing out some buyers in this market because it limits purchases of FHA and VA mortgages. Those homes tend to take longer to sell than homes in “decent condition.”
“The lenders are scrutinizing the buyers a lot more,” Gruenther says. “So you have to be prepared as a buyer. They’re going to ask you for a lot of things…that’s what they’re doing these days. And that’s because the standard is higher than it was five years ago.”
He says some people who are interested in getting into the market should start their research now, as the process can take a while. The first step is to talk to a lender to find out what they can afford.
Gruenther predicts at least another year of rising house prices in Jacksonville. He says the beaches, the Southside, and World Golf Village are some of the areas doing consistently well these days.