Lower-Priced Home Sales Spark Optimism

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A single mom saddled with a hefty mortgage of $1200 a month, Susan Perry put her three-bedroom home on the real estate market in Miami knowing it was going to be a tough sell, or so she thought.

Perry and her ex initially listed the home in south Miami-Dade County at $315,000 earlier this year, but were forced to lower it to $250,000 when no one stopped to take a peek. When the price changed, so did buyer interest. After two failed contracts, Perry finally sold her home for the asking price to a couple that a bank was wiling to finance.
She even made a small profit since she bought the home for $160,000.

"I was skeptical the sale would go through. I was trying to be realistic knowing what I had read about the market," said Perry, an executive assistant. "Until I got to the closing, I still had that tiny thought in my mind that I wouldn't go through."

Perry's story is surprisingly common in South Florida.

While homes listed at more than $300,000 aren't moving, lower-priced homes are perfect for first-time homebuyers and investors looking for a deal. The Florida Association of Realtors reports a 26-percent increase in homes listed under $300,000 in Miami-Dade compared to last year.

"People are starting to feel that the market has leveled out. And even if it does go down, it isn't going to go down much more," said Richard Strell, a realtor with One Place Real Estate in Miami. "I'm seeing people who are looking to buy and move in. And there are lots of investors that see the real estate market as a good investment."

Homeowers like Perry are relieved that their homes are finally deemed attractive to buyers.

"I'm thrilled it went through because it allowed me to move on to a new chapter in my life," she said.
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