More young people looking to buy Bay Area homes

Posted at 6:03 PM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 18:28:04-05

If you're looking to buy a new home, you're not alone. Areas like Wesley Chapel are expanding every day.

Tuesday, Pasco County leaders learned the county's population is expected to nearly double by 2040, and that more people are looking to buy a new home in the next six months.

Eileen Gachette loves spending time in the yard of her new Wesley Chapel home.

"I can just go outside and reset throughout the day," Gachette said.

Her family just moved here from Orlando.

"We wanted to take advantage of that and lock something in so that we could have a mortgage at a low interest rate," Gachette said.

Realtors say Gachette isn't alone. They say Florida remains one of the only home markets considered undervalued, making it very attractive to families looking to buy.

"The fact is that affordability is really very important to both young people and baby boomers," said Pat Scimone-Almasy, a Wesley Chapel realtor.

Experts said with gas prices falling and unemployment nearly at pre-recession levels, consumers are feeling more confident to buy a home.

In Pasco County, single-family home values are on the rise, averaging around $144,000. This comes as foreclosure numbers are trending downward. Nationwide, investors said they expect economic growth to continue.

"I think that there are more people out there feeling like, 'Hey, this is a good time to buy,'" said Rosemarie Gabriele, who flips homes in the Pasco County area.

As it stands now, Pasco and Hillsborough counties are seeing more young families, while counties like Sarasota and Citrus are seeing more retirees.

But before you buy, realtors say get pre-approval on a home loan so you know exactly how much you are able to spend.

"In addition to that, you need to have a tremendous amount of persistence and tremendous amount of patience," Scimone-Almasy said.

Realtors also said some families may need to put offers on more than a dozen homes because of a lack of inventory.

But Gachette said it was all worth it because she loves her home.

"Perfect for me," she said.

She says with more new development on the way, the area is only going to get better.