Clearwater, FL was not a familiar place to me until I met Cyndee Haydon, Clearwater Realtor® years ago and with her blog site Sandbars to Sunsets it became clear (no pun intended) how Clearwater got it’s name. Love that clear water!

I am a Realtor® in Sacramento, the capitol of California where we have a Mediterranean climate and and rivers running through our city located in the valley floor and surrounded by mountains on the sides.

I was reading Cyndee’s article about how difficult it is for buyers to finance some of the ocean front condos in Clearwater and it brought to the forefront for me how difficult it is for home buyers in Sacramento to finance a condo, as well.

With mortgage financing restrictions so tight this makes buying high end condos difficult. Seems in 2011 we are still having the same issues that were discussed in this CNBC video where Diana Olick discussed loosening condo loan restrictions.

Many of the homeowner asssociations are experiencing foreclosures and short sales within their complex which has a direct impact on whether a buyer can even obtain a loan.  Many condo buyers in Sacramento are left with the option to pay cash when purchasing condos right now, especially on the low end side.

I foresee a great deal of issues in Sacramento real estate with condo associations since the funding of HOA reserves has been directly impacted over the past few years with the economy and the lack of homeowners paying their HOA dues.  Sacramento was a hard hit area that has experienced a great deal of short sales and foreclosures.



Where Clearwater FL has vacation condo buyers and investors, Sacramento CA has parents buying condos for their children attending Sacramento State University. Buying a condo for their college student comes as a huge savings due to the high cost of dorms and the low cost of condos in this real estate market.  Some of these condos are priced as low as $44,000. Parents are chomping at the bit to pick up on of these condos.

The luxury condo real estate condo market has also seen values drop. For a Sacramento condo purchased in say 2007 (and Cyndee tells me the same is true for your Clearwater FL condos), we are seeing a price drop of about half of the original purchase price.  This is a hard hit in real estate for these condo homeowners. Don’t get me wrong, the hit has hit all aspects of real estate not just condos.

There is an excellent array of condo buys for both parents, investors and those home buyers who are looking to downsize whether it’s a $44,000 condo or a condo over $450,000.

And yes, cash is King here too, but all Kings must be realistic with their offers!


We’d like to thank Gena Riede for sharing her real estate insights and agree to guest post here today. As we mentioned last week, we will be having top Realtors from around the country sharing here on Tuesdays. I enjoyed here article and was reminded that especially at this time of year, there are actually lots of parents looking to buy Clearwater FL condos for their kids since we have USF, St Pete College, Eckerd College, Clearwater Christian College and many other schools here in the Clearwater / Tampa Bay area. An old post we wrote about Clearwater and Tampa area colleges is still one of the most read posts here at Sandbars to Sunsets – while we specialize on waterfront properties we’ve also had more than one client have their kids attending college nearby be the boost they needed to purchase their own piece of paradise here.



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  1. What’s amazing to me is how similar our issues are even with the different idiosyncrasies. Changes in the economy have brought changes to every single one of our markets and those that bought and sold real estate over 5 years ago will have a tough time understanding the big changes. I love to hear about college buys because I’ll be there in just a couple of years.

  2. Condos are a difficult sell here in Indianapolis as well Some developments are non unwarrantable, which makes financing all but impossible. It takes knowledge of local lenders who carry their own paper.You can definitely get some great buys!

  3. Great article and yes, there are similarities in everyone’s market.

    One thing I would like to mention, I noticed Ines said she is interested in College condos because she will “be there” in a couple of years.

    Don’t wait until you “are there.” As soon as you have children, it is a good idea to purchase a condo. Rent it until they are ready to do to college. Even if they don’t end up going to the school where you purchased at least you will have an asset to sell when they do decide.

    Trust me, paying for college and housing at the same time is tough, but if you start early enough you will be so much further ahead of the game!

  4. Great post Cyndee! Homebuyers who consult to expert Clearwater Beach realtor like Cyndee, who is also one of the experienced Clearwater Beach Short Sale Agents, will definitely get them the most ideal homes in the neighborhood.

    Bob Hertzog
    Summit Home Consultants
    Phoenix Short Sale Agents

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