Are you guys ready for all the ghosts and goblins to come to your home and beg for candy ha ha ha ha ha ha! Halloween is such a weird but fun tradition. I find it so amusing that we dress our kids up and send them out to beg for candy from strangers but yet tell them not to talk to strangers or to take candy from strangers on any other day. But I do love all the fall festivals and the costumes that come with this tradition.
It has been a beautiful last couple of weeks with temperatures in the low 50s at night and mild 80s during the day. I just love Florida in the fall. Being in the North / Midwest part of Florida allows for some color changes on the trees and the river becomes a lot quieter and more serene.
The real estate market tends to pick up a little bit more in October after a brief rest from mid-August through September. Typically, kids are getting settled into school and parents into the new school routines and there is less activity in the rental and sales market. But we do tend to pick up a little bit in October and November and then slow down again for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Of course, we didn't have those slow times over the last two years because of the mad rush to Florida during Covid which was spurred on also by low-interest rates.
But this fall interest rates have increased to around 7%. The pandemic is over, and the sales and rental market is adjusting. Time on the market has increased to an average of 24 days from 20 days the month prior. We're no longer seeing multiple offers over the asking price and we're starting to see price reductions on both the rental and the sales side. Economists predict Florida won’t have as much of an adjustment as other states, but we are still experiencing some downward adjusting. I think it's mainly from sticker shock people were so accustomed to the low-interest rates that they're thinking 7% is high. However, I remember buying when 7% was considered low because 10% had been the average. With higher interest rates buyers can't afford to pay as much so the rate of appreciation on homes slow down. Remember Florida used to be around 6% annual rate of appreciation and we shot up to 16-26% and more in some places. So, there will be a lull in value appreciation as the market adjusts.
Keep in mind people still need to move and will become accustomed to the higher interest rates and activity will increase once everyone stops worrying that we're in a bubble and they get over sticker shock from increased rates.
We here at Secure Investments specialize in property management which can come in really handy at times like these when a seller has no choice but to move and can't sell their home for what they need to get for it. We're able to rent the home to good tenants at top value until such time that the market changes and the home appreciates in value. Often a would-be seller turned landlord finds they really enjoy the rental income that typically pays for all of the expenses of the property while it builds equity. Owning and holding investment property is one of the fastest ways to build wealth and you don't even need to know how to do it. A good property Manager will handle every bit of the details for you and just send you the money every month so you can use it to pay your mortgage. I didn't mean this to turn out to be a sales pitch but if you're interested and how much your home could rent for let me know. I do offer free rental evaluations.
This month I took a trip to Rhode Island with my sisters and our daughters. It was our first annual mother-daughter trip. We have family in Rhode Island on my stepdad's side, so it was fun to go and see places we used to live and go to school and visit aunts and cousins we've not seen for a very long time. It was perfect timing as we were treated to some really beautiful fall colors, festivals, and apple picking.
My oldest sister is a history buff and loves researching and studying past events and family genealogy. She found us a unique historic Airbnb home that easily fit all six of us ladies. It turned out to be the oldest home in Rhode Island, built-in 1677. It was reported that George Washington slept there once. You know the kind of old home where the floors are all different levels so you're constantly stubbing your toe. Doorways are different heights so, of course, I'm hitting my head every time I come out of the bathroom. Half of the house slopes due to settling over the years which has to make you wonder if you had one too many glasses of wine.
The bathrooms and kitchen were updated but the rest of the house maintained its era. When you walked into the living room (in the old days used to be the kitchen) you had one entire wall that was an open fireplace. It was quite beautiful, albeit a little smoky smelling.
We got to the home around midnight and as is the story with older homes it was not well lit and difficult to find lamps or light switches. In the first few hours, it was very eerie. We were using our iPhones for light huddled together climbing up the small staircase half joking but mostly serious, stressing about who was going to have to sleep alone in the bedroom downstairs. We decided to bar the door to the basement and save that exploration until the girls flew in and we could go as a group! Safety in numbers! Hahaha
By the time all six of us were settled in the next day, there was no longer anything eerie about the house and it definitely added some authenticity and character to our stay.
Honoring the Halloween season, we visited Salem, NY and did a historic/ghost tour. Downtown Salem is on the water and reminiscent of Saint Augustine with lots of historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and unique shops and restaurants.
On our drive back we stopped and had lunch on the river in sleepy Hollow and walked the famous Headless Horseman Bridge.
I had spent a few months prior connecting with volleyball players in Rhode Island through various Facebook groups and found a Sports Bar and Grill that had two sand courts and a 4's tournament going on. My sister, and fellow volleyball player SANDRA and I got out and peppered the ball around hoping to find stragglers after the tourney but got no takers. It was still fun to pepper and watch the tourney!
It was a very heartwarming and bonding trip creating fun and lasting memories. I think we kicked around Charleston or Savannah for next year. Time is short and it seemed to get a lot shorter after losing our mom, dad, and brother over the past few years so I'm Glad we're all very invested in making more time to spend with each other. It's funny that in my mind my nieces are still in their 20s or 30s but they're closer to being in their 40s! Ughh reality! There are not many things better than a girls' trip!!
Have a great time enjoying or hiding from, ghosts, witches, and trick or treaters!