Bonita Springs Fl First Responder & First Time Home Buyer Crisis
Housing is officially expensive in Bonita Springs, again. If you are financially comfortable or financially fortunate, take a step back from your life for just a moment and try to put yourself in the shoes of some of the younger folks in the area; the newly married, young families or those just starting their careers after school or college.
Here’s what’s going on with Bonita Springs real estate right now. Under the price pointe of $200,000 there are merely 1/2 dozen homes on the market with three bedrooms/two baths and at least a one car garage. Only one of those homes has a two car garage. Some of the homes are in such bad shape that they don’t qualify for conventional financing. That is offically a crisis for those who want to live in Bonita Springs.
In particular, I’d like the Bonita Springs residents to consider, for a moment, the first responders who work for the fire department, rescue, ambulance or the sheriff department and their inability to afford to live in the city in which they work. It’s happening right now. I know first responders who want to live in Bonita Springs and they can’t find a home to purchase due to low inventory … the prices are rising by the minute. There are bidding wars on houses!
So, why are home unaffordable at entry level in Bonita Springs? First, we’re about 70% gated and deed restricted homes. Beautiful to look at, these gates are, but very painful to the pocket book. The average home buyer who is a first responder, besides the other debts of life, student loans, car payments, children, etc. simply can’t afford the debt of the homeowner association fees or condo association fees. That added $200-400 per month in fees for an HOA besides being expensive actually skew the debt to income ratios for many of todays borrowers and that means that it puts them over a debt limit that qualifies them for a mortgage or home loan.
Another reason there is difficulty is the down payment. Even if a home buyer “goes FHA” which is a loan program that allows very little down, there is a cost for that. It’s about $200 per month in mortgage insurance, over an above the principal and interest. Are you getting the picture with the difficulty of affordable housing in SWFL?
Those in law enforcement in Bonita Springs or Lee County Florida often have a military back ground. A VA loan is very helpful for them but many home sellers and even their listing agent do not understand the program and think that it is going to cost them excessive amounts of money to sell to a veteran leveraging the VA loan program. The program has changed, trust me I just closed a VA loan with a local mortgage broker. (It has to be a local mortgage broker, too.)
Last but not least, it would be remiss of me to not make a plea for an entry level single family home right now. If you own a home that is in the entry level priced segment of our real estate market and you’d like to make sure a first responder or a first time home buyer buys it, please call me. I know more than one sheriff waiting to get into a home in 34135 plus other first time home buyers just waiting for a chance at owning a home in Bonita Springs, Florida.
If you’ve been holding onto your home because you’ve been upside down, consider this and finish this sentence: “If I could get $ ____________for my house. I would move.” Call or text me to see if you’re above water. No strings attached. I’d be happy to help a first responder or first time home buyer take that home off your hands at a fair price. These folks just need an honest shot at a house and to not be out-bid by a cash buyer.