Frustrated with buying a home in Gainesville? Here are some tips


Having trouble finding a home to buy or rent?

The current demand to own a home in Gainesville is low—and broker Jeff Quigly says it there is a wide range of homes for sale that can fit every price point.

“There are homes in all price ranges in Gainesville,” says Jeff Quigley, vice president and broker with Codwell Banker.

Because it’s a college town, Gainesville’s home to a lot of young professionals – who aren’t necessarily in the market for one.

The U.S. Census says homeownership rates for millennials from ages ranging from 18-35 are at an all-time low compared to previous generations—because most of them are renting.

“The younger generation doesn’t seem to value homeownership like the other generations did,” says Quigley.

With record student loans and millennials waiting longer to get married, renting is often their first choice – meaning demand – and costs - is high for rentals in the area.

“It’s a constant turnover with the university and the hospitals, it’s a community where people are coming and going,” says Quigley.

The website Credit Sesame says U.S. millennials currently owe $1.26 trillion dollars in student loan debt--- meaning the average millennial owes approximately 20 thousand dollars in loans.

“We are seeing that people tend to wait a little bit longer to save up some more money to buy a home—that’s not uncommon,” says Quigley.

Instead of saving up for longer investments like homes, millennials are paying off debt—and inflation makes it worse.

“We struggle a bit with affordable housing, there are a few factors that influence that, the cost of land is expensive, infrastructure is expensive, and restrictions in the time frames all get added on the cost of building so that gets passed on to the consumer, so affordable homes get a little less affordable with those factors that add up”

Let’s look at the numbers:

Listed on Zillow, there is a house on the northwest side of Gainesville:

Beds: 3

Bathrooms: 3

SQFT: 1380

Price: $165,900

With the current interest rate of 4.4% and an average 3% down payment of $4,977 the approximate monthly payment would be $942.

There is another house for rent in the same neighborhood, same bedrooms, same bathrooms and square feet—but the rent is $1495 a month.

That makes it a $553 difference per month.

“The average homeowner can still buy an energy efficient safe home in Gainesville if you take the time to really look the market and see what’s out there” says Quigley. “If somebody is looking to own longer than a couple of years, buying makes a lot of sense, with the normal appreciation for homes—your money is going to grow—you are investing in yourself instead of giving your money to your landlord—and you also get tax benefits by owning your own property.”

If you are on the hunt for a home, here are a few tips:

1. The best time to buy a home in Gainesville is the spring and summer

2. get a good realtor and mortgage broker

3. Buy while interest rates are low

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