Tallahassee real estate grows

In the face of rising real estate prices and Tallahassee’s shifting demographic, Hinson Realty is helping students interested in purchasing homes realize the American dream.

“It’s wiser to buy and build equity for your future,” said Terence Hinson, owner of Henson Realty.

There are several benefits of purchasing property versus renting. For parents who assist in the purchase, the purchase is a tax right off. Additionally, if you buy a two or three bedroom dwelling and rent the unoccupied rooms, the money collected in rent can pay the mortgage.

New home prices are up nationwide. Part of the reason for this “housing bubble” is the sheer lack of supply of new homes. Whenever the supply of new homes drops, the price of new homes soars.

It’s Economics 101.

Gregg Bishop, a 30-year-old graduate student at Florida State University and operations manager for WANM doesn’t feel that the bubble has affected Tallahassee although he admits that he, “capitalized on it” during a recent sale of property in New York.

“The purchase price (of the New York property) was reflective of the area and the community, but the price I sold it for was not,” Bishop said. Bishop recently purchased two residential dwellings in Tallahassee with the proceeds from the sale of his New York property. Bishop rents his properties to pay the mortgage.

Since 2000, Tallahassee has experienced an average 2.5 percent annual increase – adding 7,000 to 8,000 new residents per year.

Tallahassee’s population growth is being partially attributed to a steady growth in employment.

“I deal with a lot of families who are moving to the Tallahassee area because of work,” said Renee Fryar, a 20-year-old political science student from Orlando and realtor at All Points Realty in Tallahassee.

Most of those new residents however affluent and in their 50s. From 2000 to 2004, the Leon County population of those 55 to 64 grew by 5.6 percent – double the increase of the population as a whole.

Proof of that can be found in the condominium explosion of the downtown area. Several condominium projects are under construction or in planning stages.

Hinson reassures however that, “there are still properties at reasonable prices for the student market.”

“The term ‘affordable housing’ has become an oxymoron in the Tallahassee,” said Kay Freeman, executive director of the Big Bend Homeless Coalition, to the Tallahassee Democrat.

Bishop disagrees, however.

“I think things are fairly priced, except for Southwood,” Bishop said.

Hinson explained further, ” what you could’ve purchased two years ago for $75,000 now will cost between $105,000 and $110,000.”

Increased prices over the past three years have made it more difficult for students and parents to purchase. “Because of the market frenzy, we just have to be more creative,” Henson said.

Hurdles for student buyers aren’t limited to rising prices. Credit is also often an issue.

“Don’t let credit be a hindrance,” Bishop said. “Bad credit doesn’t mean that you can’t get property. It just means your monthly payments may be higher.”

Hinson agrees. “Banks are in the business of loaning money. If your credit isn’t good, banks look at you as a high credit risk.” Contrary to popular belief, this does not mean that banks think you won’t pay them back, it simply accounts for possible late payments, he explained.

Establishing ownership for FAMU students is something that Hinson takes seriously.

“I want to see African-Americans participate in the wealth of the country,” explained Hinson. ” It’s important to me as a black man.”

Visit hinsonrealty.com for more information. Visit their office at 1600 South Monroe St. or call 850-224-4775 for an initial consultation.