"Florida Will Be The Next California"
The St. Petersburg Times reports that around Tampa, everybody wants to be a landlord. "Of the people who bought existing homes, townhomes or condos in Hillsborough County last year, an unprecedented 40 percent didn't move into them. It was 30 percent the year before."
"'The returns have been unbelievable,' said Alan Schreier, who buys rundown houses. 'A lot of people are jumping into the business.'"
"Sammy Tuffaha has lived in Tampa Palms but coveted historic Hyde Park. But when Tuffaha shopped for a condo there, he couldn't stomach the prices. For two years, he watched the market and stewed. This year, Tuffaha concluded that prices will keep climbing. 'It's at least double what I would have been willing to pay two years ago,' Tuffaha said. His faith in the market extends to New Tampa. Tuffaha is keeping his house there, seeking a tenant."
"Wanda Vann of Cheval also is becoming a first-time landlord. She paid $132,000 four years ago for a home in Cheval West. She couldn't bear to part with it. As for being a landlord, she said, 'I'm getting a little brave."
"Linda Nowicke a real estate agent, entered the business after moving here in 1998 from Michigan, where she owned a day spa. 'I help people all the time with investment properties. They've been burned by the stock market, and they're looking for places to protect assets.' In the process, Nowicke began buying investment houses for herself. Nowicke prefers houses she can see. 'My firm opinion of this market is, it's crazy.'"
"Wayne Spencer noticed movers loading a van in the driveway of a doctor's home. Spencer bought the house with his fiancee. He said, "I believe Florida will be the next California."