Affordable Funding for Starter Homes: Just Ask Your Friendly Realtor


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, March 9th, 2016 – Don’t think that first-time home buyers are being left out amid the current excitement in the record-breaking pace of the Southwest Florida residential property market. Purposive efforts have been taken recently by the Realtors Association of Manatee and Sarasota (RAMS) to make its membership more knowledgeable in affordable housing solutions in order to help entry-level home buyers.

Thanks to RAMS’s recent course tackling in full the Florida Housing Single Family Bond Program, for instance, prospective buyers of starter homes for sale in Sarasota and Manatee can have access to professional realtors’ advice on the affordable home financing alternatives available. These options, which a local pro agent can walk clients through, include competitive rate on first mortgages and assistance in down payment and in closing costs to qualified Florida families. A development that surely is in local realtors’ radar screen too is the recent reduction of Bank of America on the down payment requirement to as low as 3 percent to qualified home borrowers.

Cracking the Condo Market

Affordable Funding for Starter Homes: Just Ask Your Friendly Realtor

Another area that RAMS has equipped local realtors with is tackling the hurdle of obtaining condo financing in Florida, which is considered as one of the most challenging amongst U.S. markets. Through a course that the association conducted last year on the fundamentals of condominium financing, aspiring buyers of Manatee or Sarasota condos for sale can get realtor insights on the major government and private capital sources that have lately been creating affordable funding for the condominium market.

The importance of the expert advice of realtors on affordable funding sources cannot be overemphasized. A recent research by the National Association Realtors (NAR) indicated that home affordability is being eroded throughout the U.S. The main cause NAR cited for this erosion was that construction of new homes has failed to keep up with the robust job growth.

For December 2015 alone, government statistics showed that 292,000 new jobs were added. This surpassed the 284,000 monthly average hiring clip for the third quarter of last year which was already the fastest pace ever in a year.

Coupled with a dwindling supply of low-priced distressed properties, NAR said new home construction lagging behind employment gains has kept home market inventory well below balanced levels, resulting in a stronger price appreciation that hinders first-time home buyers.

The American Dream Lives

NAR’s eleventh Housing Pulse Survey released late 2015 shows the wisdom of Manatee and Sarasota realtors equipping themselves with the professional capability to help first-time home buyers engage the market. According to this survey, most Americans believe that a home purchase is a sound financial decision and that their property could later be sold at its original purchase price.

In its reading of consumers’ attitudes and concerns on housing issues, NAR found out that the top three reasons for owning a home are as follows: living in a safe and stable environment; freedom of choice in the neighborhood; and building equity.

Its survey also showed that the number of renters who are currently inclined towards buying a home has increased to 39 percent from the 36 percent recorded in the last NAR poll in 2013. The survey respondents, in addition, affirmed the current upbeat mood of the real estate market, with 89 percent of them expecting to see continued real estate sales improvement or at least staying at current vibrant levels.