Home Buying 1 Month Before Covid – Whats My Home Worth Now?

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Isn’t she lovely?

February of 2020 seemed like a decade ago, right? The world was much different and I, like many others, took simple pleasures for granted in a pre-Covid world. Real Estate not excluded. Covid hit the market differently, and it reminded me of a saying that the first real estate broker I ever worked for always said:

“The demand for Florida real estate never changes, it’s simply the price of the home that affects how many transplants we receive.” 

As a new Realtor but native Floridian, I knew she was right. We live in paradise, with tons of exciting things to do *ahem, EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival* fantastic weather, and low taxes. But the demand we’ve seen post Covid was even more surprising. More on that in just a minute.

When Covid Hit

I like to be as transparent as possible – It’s easier to sleep at night that way. I signed for my new build home in February of this year. When Covid entered the US a month later, I was reeling. “Would business dry up? How do I get out of this contract? Why am I moving in the middle of a pandemic? What’s the age limit to ask your parents for help?” But I pressed on, mostly because I’m stubborn.

I bought the last home Taylor Morrisson Home Builders had available – a cheap 4-bedroom home available in July. I couldn’t make any cosmetic or structural changes (more on my experience here) and decided to proceed. I purchased the home for $252,000 which I thought was a bargain for a new build home. 

The Orlando real estate market averages about a 3% increase year over year, based on home stats from the last 10 years. I figured that buying a modest 4-bedroom home would be easy to sell in a few years in a worst-case scenario. 

My new home was also much cheaper monthly than my last home, so I proceeded with the contract. Even though I do this for a living, I still went through the same emotional stages as a buyer. That might be my next article, because, wow, what a roller coaster it is!

Back to my Broker’s quote “The demand for Florida real estate doesn’t change” is so true. I really believe that people will always want to move here.

Covid’s Affect on Orlando Housing

And Covid provided prolific motivation for many Americans. People who could now work remotely and those who lived in densely-populated areas now realized they could make their Orlando dreams come true. 

So how did an influx of buyers affect the market? Firstly, there were less homes to choose from. Inventory declined 23% from September 2019 versus September 2020, and home prices have increased 10% in that same amount of time as well according to the Orlando Regional Realtor’s Association. 

Inforgraphic from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association – September 2019 V September 2020

My New Build Home

My home, built just 4 months ago, is valued about a 10% price increase as well. However, that’s due in part to the commercial real estate developing around my subdivision. 

If you haven’t yet bought a home in Florida, I know what you’re thinking “Wow Eric, that’s great for you, but what about me?” The good news for buyers is that Orlando typically has our slowest season around thanksgiving extended into the holiday season, so with the help of a great Realtor *ahem I know a great team that would love to help you* and coming into a slower season, there are lots of opportunities! 

To work with myself and the Magical Moves team, the quickest way to get ahold of us is to send me an email at Eric@magicalmoves.com or to text our office at 407-900-4220. If you’d like, you can also follow us on instagram here.

I write this article to help future buyers understand through my personal home buying experience. Thank you for your kind thoughts and comments!

Eric Gross

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