Investing from afar

The lure of the snowbird.......

A quick perusal through the Lee County Property Line Website reveals that a majority of the property owners in the plated communities in SW Florida are located afar. This distant ownership came as a result of the way the original developers like Gulf American Corporation marketed these communities.

What I find interesting is that the lure of affordable property in SW Florida is still very attractive to investors in other areas of the country where even the most basic home commands a king's ransom. While a $50,000 vacant parcel in Lehigh blows the mind of long-time SW Floridians, an investor from San Francisco, New York or Boston most likely views it in a very different light.

The question that I get asked repeatedly is "when do the escalating property prices top out and no longer lure folks to SW Florida?" Tough question to answer, particularly in summer, but a whole lot easier when the region is crawling with snowbirds.

The way I see it is that SW Florida is certainly subject to national real estate downturns -- but the lows will never be as low and a downturn won't last as long as regions that don't have the lure of the snowbird.

In Wall Street speak, I rate our market a "buy" at the right price of course.

Priced-out investors seek distant properties [The Washington Times]

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