TAMPA, Fla. — More than 16 million empty homes are sitting in the U.S. today, and more than 1.6 million of those homes are in Florida.
According to a study from LendingTree, an online lending marketplace headquartered in the U.S. that "analyzed the latest U.S. Census Bureau data," Florida ranked sixth among states with the highest vacancy rate.
The Sunshine State's 17.13% vacancy rate followed behind the following states:
- Tampa ranks No. 3 on list of where people want to move to
- Tampa outpacing California, New York for home price spikes
- Is your home building equity? Here's how to know if you should cash in and sell
Despite what many homebuyers have seen while looking for a new home, Florida's median home price, per LendingTree's study, is $261,500.
"Though areas with higher vacancy rates are often less expensive, that isn’t always the case. In fact, there are some notable instances where a state’s median home price and its vacancy rate can both be relatively steep," LendingTree explained.
Realtor Laura Bohannon-Myers with EXP Realty sat down with ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska to provide the following tips to homebuyers:
- Pay in cash, if possible
- Putting down 40%-50% should be the standard to outbid others
- If your home budget is $250K, find a home at $200K to build in a cushion to bid over the asking price
- Find a great lender and see what your best options are
- Try an emotional appeal to the seller
- Don't ask for repairs, closing costs, or any other concessions from the seller