Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Market Is Changing for Buyers

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Market Is Changing for Buyers

Article excerpt

Rosemary Mahoney of RE/MAX Palm Realty in Port Charlotte worked as a mortgage processor in a local bank before getting into real estate in 1989. She covers the area from North Port to Punta Gorda, including Port Charlotte and Englewood. Recently, she was recognized as "Member of the Year" by the national chapter of Women's Council of Realtors in Washington, D.C. Correspondent Chris Angermann interviewed her when she visited the RE/MAX Platinum Realty offices in downtown Sarasota.

Q:What has the real estate market been like in your area?

A:Our market got hit hard. I think we went up early and fast, and when the pendulum swung the other way and kind of overcorrected, our recovery also started a little earlier than everyone else's.

There was a lot of speculative building in North Port, but not so much in Punta Gorda. Punta Gorda Isles, which has a lot of waterfront, is a large portion of that market, and there weren't many foreclosures because of the kind of clientele that purchased there. Are some of the people upside down on their homes? Yes, unfortunately; but they're going to stick it out, especially if they bought with cash.

Right now, we have low inventory, and it's going down each week, so that's a shift. I'm not even sure at this point we have a buyer's market any more. We're almost at a transition point, except for interest rates, which are phenomenal. Having been in real estate as long as I have, I've seen this before -- when property values start to climb upward again -- and I'm hoping it's not too fast. I hope we're back to nice, normal gains, under double digits.

Q:How are your areas different from Sarasota?

A:Punta Gorda is quieter. It has beautiful communities on and off the water, and several new developments. Punta Gorda Isles is well established. And we have a wonderful downtown, which is incredibly different since Hurricane Charley -- the revitalization has been beautiful.

Port Charlotte is much younger than it was when I moved here, and getting younger all the time. You see soccer and baseball games and young kids everywhere, so there is more of a mix of families in the communities. …

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