Is it really a good time to buy a home in Stuart, Florida now?

As in most real estate related decisions, the answer is ‘it depends’. Most Realtors, like myself, are currently saying yes. One big factor in that answer is that the market has slowed and many Realtors are looking for business. So, let’s just ignore any possible personal motivations and look at the current conditions. The following current conditions are for the local market in Martin County, FL (including Stuart, Jensen Beach, Palm City, Hobe Sound and Hutchinson Island). Some of the following may apply to your area, but real estate is very local and conditions can be very different (sometimes even within certain towns and neighborhoods). For instance, Port St. Lucie, right next door to Stuart has completely different market dynamics and it would be a mistake to treat Saint Lucie and Martin Counties the same.

So, is it a good time to buy or not? It is not a good time if home prices are going down. And currently in most segments of the market in Stuart, prices are still declining. How long will it last? No one knows for sure, but our best guess is currently another 12 to 18 months. But prices aren’t the only factor in owning a home.

Mortgage rates and availability is a big factor of home ownership. We feel that rates will be going up in the future and this might make it less affordable to buy later than buying today. If you’re able to pay cash for a home with no financing, you may very well be better off by waiting a while.

Availability of homes. Our inventory in Martin County remains quite high by historical standards, but has been more or less steady for the past 11 months. This is a strong leading indicator that as prices continue to soften, inventory will gradually decline. Our current inventory of single family homes is around 2800. If you’re in the market for a specific neighborhood or area and have specific requirements, there is no guarantee that the home that fits you best will be available in six months or a year. Martin County is a limited growth area with not very much new construction coming on line, and where the new construction is, may not be where you want to be. So with a good choice of inventory at present, if a home is available that meets your needs, that same or similar home, neighborhood, etc, may very well not be available in the future. (I have clients now, that can’t find a home in the neighborhood of their choice for any price.)

So, is it a good time to buy? ‘It depends on your criteria and financial status’. If you’re thinking of making a move to or within Stuart – Martin County, Florida, give me or my partner, , a call or contact us from our web sites at or and we’ll let you know what and when can be the right time for you.

The best way to finance a home

There has been a lot of talk about adjustable rate mortgages, subprime loans, and the like and you might be wondering if it is actually hazardous to buy a home! But nothing can be further from the truth. Remember that more than 97 percent of homeowners pay their mortgages on time. Buying a home is the great route to financial security.

The rules of smart home buying haven’t changed. Simply put: Buy a home you can comfortably afford right now.

The first step is to get a loan with a good interest rate. To do that pay your bills on time to create a good credit rating. Next, save some money so you can make a down payment on your new home. The down payment combined with a good credit rating will give you an affordable interest rate and start you off with a little equity in your new home. Equity is the best insurance you can have against unforeseen events.If you want to buy a home in the next two years, don’t get yourself in a lot of debt with things like big new car loans.

If you can start off buying a home within that framework, you are doing the smartest possible thing. If you are buying what you believe to be your permanent home, a fixed-rate mortgage is best. The 15-year instruments carry lower interest rates than 30-year mortgages.

You can still buy a home if your credit isn’t perfect or if you have new car payments or if you don’t have a big down payment, but lenders will be tightening their rules and you will have a higher interest rate. Still, if you finance a house that you can comfortably afford right now, you will be making a wise move.

Interest rates also can be reduced by paying points (one point equals 1 percent of the principal). A new study by Penn State College of Business and economists at Freddie Mac, however, show that fewer than 1.5 percent of borrowers held loans long enough to make that decision pay off.

Many lenders offer better rates on loans that charge penalties if the loan is refinanced or paid off ahead of schedule. It’s standard practice for lenders to charge six months’ interest on 80 percent of an outstanding balance if the loan is refinanced or paid off within one to five years.

Advisers reporting in Business Week say the possibility of paying the penalty offsets any advantage of the lower interest rate.

FHA steps up to fill mortgage void

First-time buyers and those who have lower to middle income have an old way, now turned new, to find a mortgage on the Treasure Coast of Florida.

It’s a good time to investigate the federally-backed Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans. Mortgage applications increased from 41,530 in December 2006 to 73,444 in June of this year.

When the FHA was established in 1934, it provided a way for lower- and middle-income buyers to get a home of their own. At the time, many banks required a down payment of one-third of a home”s purchase price.

Today, FHA requires a 3 percent loan down payment.

As many mortgage companies came up with innovative financing plans in recent years, the number of buyers turning to FHA fell significantly. Meg Burns, FHA’s director of the Office of Single Family Program Development says, “Given how many borrowers really could benefit from FHA financing but how few of them do, I would say we are still in the doldrums.” But the situation is changing.

Though there are still nothing-down loans available, most require the buyer to have a high credit rating and above- average income to get one.

The FHA system needs some updating but still works for many people. Current limits are for a maximum loan of $362,790. But with recent legislation this may soon increase. But, even with the current limits there are some tremendous values available in Stuart, Jensen Beach, Palm City and in Port St. Lucie where an FHA loan may just make the difference.

Because some lenders don’t like the FHA paperwork, often a mortgage broker handles the loan. It can take from 90 to 120 days to get approval. Buyers should know what the entire cost of the mortgage will be including the broker’s fee.

Please contact me here or call 772-323-6996 if you need a list of current FHA lenders/brokers.

Homes for sale in the Pines, Jensen Beach, FL

Spacious Estate Home

3001 NW Windemere Drive, Jensen Beach, FL 34957

Enjoy life in real “Florida-Style” in this spacious family home with room for everyone. Three separate bedroom wings offer maximum privacy. There is a cozy sitting room off the master bedroom. A huge 14′ x 18′ “bonus” room (5th bedroom!) upstairs shares space adjacent to a 12′ x 22′ bedroom & bath. The heated self-cleaning pool provides hours of fun & relaxation as does the spa. All are enclosed in a 60 ft. screened patio. There is an outdoor shower as well. Surround sound system provides musical enjoyment and a 13′ x 22′ covered lanai offers a perfect retreat on a rainy day. The irrigation system uses reclaimed water & the rear area of the house has accordion shutters. The Pines is located between the new High School and charming downtown Jensen.


Asking Price:



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The Pines

Year Built:


Property Amenities

    – Range/Oven
    – Sink Disposal
    – Full Refrigerator
    – Microwave
    – Washer/Dryer
    – Dishwasher
    – Kitchen Island
    – Vaulted Ceilings
    – Deck

    – Grass Lawn
    – Yard
    – Swimming Pool
    – Jacuzzi/Whirlpool
    – Secluded Setting
    – Central A/C
    – Central Heat
    – Walk-in closet

    – Tile floor
    – Family room
    – Living room
    – Bonus/rec room
    – Office/den
    – Dining Room
    – Breakfast nook
    – Laundry area – inside

Community Amenities

    – Basketball court

    – Lake

    – High-speed Internet

Contact Info

Gabe Sanders &

Main 772-287-1777 Ext 242

Cell 772-323-6996

Dir 772-323-6996

Email | Website

Other Shows

Is it really a good time to buy?

You constantly hear it in the news how bad the housing situation is. And should you talk to a Realtor®, you hear what a great time it is to buy now. Is this really so?

The short answer is that it depends a lot on where and what you’re looking for, your motivation and necessity and your financial situation.

Location: Some pockets of real estate in the Martin and Saint Lucie County area have most likely bottomed out and will now hold their value until prices start to rise. Other areas, due to the large inventory are continuing to show reducing prices.

Type: Older frame homes and Condos are currently some of the worst performing properties in re-sale. While some mid-aged CBS homes and newer homes are doing very well.

Motivation: If you need to move to the area and you find a good match for you, it doesn’t really matter if the price drops another 5 or even 10%, because you’ve found the right place to live. It very well may not be available a year from now. Or even unaffordable, if prices turn around or more likely, if interest rates go up.

Financial Situation: If purchasing a home will strain your finances, or if you can only qualify for a loan with high rates, it may be a good solution to rent and save money. But, don’t go overboard. Find something as inexpensive as possible and save for a down payment religiously. If you don’t get in soon, you may miss the chance to be a home owner.

I don’t have enough space here to go over the different scenarios for what can be right for everyone. But in conclusion, it can be a great time to buy a hoe now if you think it out and purchase wisely. This is where a good Realtor® can help advise you on the right decision. Give me a call and I’d be glad to discuss your options.