Sugar Mill Condos – Market Report
Sugar Mill Condos have been among the most popular condo developments in Mandarin over the past decade. During the real estate boom years, Sugar Mill Condos became a hot market for homestead purchases and for investment real estate. But then the recession came and Sugar Mill fell victim to steadily declining values like other condominium developments throughout the Jacksonville area.
Property values in Sugar Mill Condos are about 30% to 40% what they were at the peak of the housing boom. That’s the bad news. The good news is that values appear to have bottomed out and sales are brisk. In fact, as of today there are no active listings in Sugar Mill Condos.
Five condos have sold in the last six months and another seven are pending sale at this time. The average price per square foot for all is about $35. With bargain prices like this it is no wonder that investors and resident buyers are coming out of the woodwork to buy now.
For many people who bought a Sugar Mill Condo at the top of the market, the question asked is “should I sell my condo now or should I hang onto it?” This is a question that many homeowners are asking themselves and the answer varies depending on individual circumstances and needs.
My wife and I faced this question last year in regards to several of our own investment properties and we made the decision to short sell rather than hold on waiting for the market to rebound. Many others have made the same decision. What about you? If you are the owner of a Sugar Mill Condo or any other real estate, for that matter, here are some things to consider.
Although sale prices have varied a little bit in Sugar Mill, when accounting for condition, size and location the price per square foot is pretty consistent. As a seller, you set the asking price however the “market” determines the selling price and “appraised value.” It is imperative to set an asking price in line with “market value” in order to attract qualified buyers.
If you are like most sellers, the market value for your home may come as a bit of a surprise… even knowing that the market has been in decline for the past 5 years. The good news for you is that values appear to have stabilized in Sugar Mill Condos and many other Jacksonville communities.
That said, even the most optimistic predictions allow for only about a 2%-3% increase in value over the next 12-24 months, followed by a more “normal” appreciation rate of 4%-5% per year after that. This is why my wife and I made the decision to short sale all of our investment properties last year.
For instance, if a property were purchased for $160,000 and now has a market value of $80,000 (very typical scenario), utilizing the above optimistic predictions (3% next 2 years and 5% thereafter) it will take 17 years just to break even. That may be okay if the owner plans to hold the property for at least that long and has a positive cash flow over the life of ownership but for those who do not want to hold or who do not show a positive cash flow and struggling to make their payments, it may make more sense to cut losses now. Every situation is unique so each property owner has to assess their own situation and goals before making a decision.
The vast majority of people who purchased property between 2005 and 2009 are facing short sales when selling today unless they paid cash or made a substantial downpayment when originally purchasing their property. Short sales in have become the “norm” in much of our market and this is certainly true for Sugar Mill Condos. We negotiate short sales daily… in fact, my wife/partner works 40 hours per week with our attorney now in negotiating short sales with the banks.
More info can be found on our website in the Short Sale Center and Real Estate Attorney pages. I would encourage you to check the info on our site for answers to some basic questions. Consider the information carefully and call us if you have other questions or if you’d like to schedule a no-obligation consultation to go over your specific situation. We know from our own experience and working with many other sellers that these are not easy decisions to make.
We are here to help in every way possible. Call Tim at 904-568-4528 to discuss your options.
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