Size matters, but location is key

By Ali St Cyr, Broker/Owner at Tomlin St Cyr

The pandemic changed how we live, work and play, and it’s changed what we want in our home. Whether it’s two home offices and a personal gym, or a spacious yard with a pool, homeowners are now resizing their home. Perhaps empty nesters are looking to replace their 3,000 square foot home, in the top school district, for a 3,000 square foot condo with sweeping water views, full-service amenities and easy, convenient living. Or young families may be trading their posh, but small, townhouse near downtown for a larger home on a larger lot, in the suburbs, now that commutes are less of a worry.

Living in the area you desire, rather than where your office is located, is now a possibility. A condo overlooking the St. Pete Pier can cost more than $1,000 per square foot vs. less than $200 per square foot for a large, single-family pool home in Carrollwood. For those moving from the North, particularly those in areas prone to hurricanes and tornados, they’re finding that homes in Florida are typically hurricane resistant with hurricane-rated windows, roofs and doors.

With many spending more time at home, homeowners are looking to add upgrades like a pool or an outdoor kitchen, renovate their kitchen and bathrooms or build other additions.

With pool sales up, in addition to new construction demands with so many moving to Tampa Bay, supply is significantly lagging. In fact, there has been a 400% increase in permitting applications in Tampa Bay in the last year, meaning it’s a much longer wait, with a much higher price tag, to invest in home renovation projects on your current home. Many pool contractors are not taking new orders until 2022.

While we continue to see a normal influx of people from the North, we are also seeing increased migration from the West. Of those relocating to Florida, 28% came from Texas, 15% from New York (this is typical) and over 6% came from California. More and more, people are wanting to establish Tampa Bay as their primary residence and have hired experts to guide them on how to establish Florida domicile. From the sunshine, beaches, leisure activities and championship sports teams to no state income tax and a lower cost of living, people are choosing Tampa Bay because they can now work from anywhere.

Tampa was just named the No. 1 city in Florida. According to Resonance Consultancy, a tourism and economic development agency that releases annual reports ranking cities, Tampa is ranked 22nd in the U.S. based on factors like weather, economy, infrastructure, culture and entertainment. Nearly 330,000 people have moved to Florida during the past year (No. 1 state for migration) which is expected to continue through 2025.

Many Tampa Bay homeowners are taking advantage of lower interest rates, and increased demand, to take the equity in their current home and apply that to the home of their dreams – whatever, and wherever, that may be.

Ali St Cyr, Broker/Owner at Tomlin St Cyr, is among Hillsborough County’s top 1% for total sales production. A proud, life-long resident of Tampa Bay, she spends her time volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Junior League and on the Lions Eye Institute Board. Tomlin St Cyr is recognized as one of Tampa Bay’s fastest growing companies, according to Tampa Bay Business and Wealth Magazine.

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