Should I Buy in Fort Myers – Continued

SHOULD I BUY IN FORT MYERS

Originally being from St. Louis, I am often asked this question.  As with most questions there is no blanket answer.  For the most part I would answer YES.  Fort Myers FL homes are undeniable bargains.  As an investment vehicle or as a vacation or retirement home absolutely, YES.  My only reservation would be for those who want to relocate and find local employment.  The factors that have combined to depress real estate values include unemployment rates in excess of 13%.  The decline in real estate values and joblessness go hand in hand.  There have been record home sales in the past three months and I fully expect that as a result the first positive trend in unemployment in years is just around the corner.  This area has always been driven by tourism and construction and with those industries suffering the area’s economy suffers.

Until now the biggest segment of foreclosures has been low end homes.  Much activity has centered in Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres.  The trend is now moving to more expensive homes in those communities and in Fort Myers.  Investors were the first to fold as a result of over leverage.  Now the effects are being felt among those in primary residences. Anyway, you get the point.  Fort Myers FL homes are a true value for those with the ability to buy and own them.  Nobody has a crystal ball but I look at current prices, current rents, and the ability to cash flow on investment properties, along with the potential for gains in 3 to 5 years and find it hard to be pessimistic.

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