Miami is in a deep seller's market.
With interest rates and stimulus checks, a bag of money has been unleashed over America. Demand for homes has skyrocketed, and new families are looking to buy townhouses. Finally, Millennials are rich enough to afford a mortgage.
Sellers should rejoice too. Housing prices have been continuously appreciating for 112 months, marking nine years of the housing boom. The median home price grew 21.6% since February 2020. Standard family houses will now set you back almost $400,000, with median prices in places like North Miami Beach and Coral Gables comfortably holding above $3 million.
However, not everything is peachy in the Magic City. Good properties sell out fast, and homebuyers are looking at one obstacle too many before they can buy a dream home in Coconut Grove, Miami Beach, or Downtown.
With that said, good deals are always available for those who know where to look for them. Here’s how you can secure your dream house in Miami.
1. Distressed Properties
Discover distressed houses in affluent areas.
Earning a million dollars is the fastest way to bankruptcy. Many people get carried away with spending and lock themselves in real estate that they can barely maintain. Sure, many other reasons can be the culprits for a downturn in life. However, someone's misfortune could be an opportunity for both.
Instead of finding a realtor and going trying to compete with gazillion other home buyers, find a property that you can get for cheap. Then invest some money into the renovation to create that perfect home.
Owners of distressed properties are usually dealing with financial woes. And homebuyers can offer a win-win deal for both. You can find these properties by simply driving around the neighborhood and looking at broken windows, pealed and faded paint, overstuffed mailbox, notices on the door, and such.
If you’re not a fan of driving around, then county tax and court records can help you locate a homeowner in distress.
2. Buy on Foreclosure Auctions
Moneylenders usually own more houses than comfortable.
When you think about it, banks and mortgage institutions need liquid money, not real estate. If the balance sheet has too many houses, the bank could go under. We had seen this happen in 2008 when Lehman's brother declared bankruptcy after almost 160 years in business.
Banks want to sell out their collateral property, and they want to sell it fast. The prices on foreclosure homes can dwindle by 30%, and you may find a good deal at Miami’s many home auctions. Search for foreclosure homes.
3. REO Property
Foreclosure auctions usually don’t usually sell everything, and money lenders end up in direct possession of the unsold real estate. The banks and mortgage institutions now have to pay property tax and maintain the property. As you imagine, they’re not crazy about this process and want to sell out fast.
If you can satisfy the bank's need to repay the owned debt, you can buy REO property in Coconut Grove or North Miami Beach for almost 30% of the original asking price.
4. Homestead property
Real estate developers usually ride the housing boom to expand their business, resulting in houses that nobody wants once the music stops. These properties are usually located farther away from affluent areas.
Miami's agricultural suburb goes by the name Homestead, conveniently it's also the prime place to buy a homestead property. If you don’t mind living in a suburb or want to invest for the long haul, hoping that Miami could expand in-land over the next couple of decades, then homestead properties could be a good bargain.
5. Unclaimed property
Florida’s government has a website for unclaimed property where you can join Florida’s treasure hunt. One in five Floridians has a forgotten financial asset somewhere, totaling up to $2 billion in claimable accounts.
The process is free and easy. Visit FLTreasureHunt.Gov and check if you have a long-forgotten inheritance somewhere. The assets are rarely real estate. People mostly discover unpaid benefits, insurance proceeds, and forgotten refunds.
However, you never know what you may find on your treasure hunt.