City, Coronavirus

#Answered: Your questions about Lakeland’s real estate market during COVID-19 🏡

Exterior of a home in Florida
The local pros at S&D Real Estate are answering your Lakeland real estate questions | Photo via Unsplash

During this time of uncertainty, it’s reassuring to be able to ask a question + get an answer from a trusted pro.

We recently asked you to send us your questions about the real estate market and how COVID-19 has affected Lakeland’s home buying/selling industry – and now we have answers, thanks to Dee McDonough, Broker/Owner of S&D Real Estate.

Read on for the expert Q+A. (Shoutout to our readers who sent in these questions.) 

Q: Is it really smart to buy now when the home prices are so high?

A: Purchasing real estate has been and continues to be a great investment. Even when the real estate market slows down, it always rebounds robustly. Real estate is also important to our daily lives. We all need a place to lay our head down at night and a place to call home. 

Q: Should we expect to see a recession or drop in prices due to people defaulting on their mortgages possibly 6 months to a year from now?

A: No. We follow the trends in real estate closely and anticipate that we will most likely see a “leveling off” in home prices but not a recession or drop in prices.

Q: Why has the price of homes doubled/tripled in areas of Lakeland from just a few years ago?

A: We have been rebounding from the 2008 Recession which was also known as the subprime mortgage crisis. Because we have been in a “recovery” period, it can appear that home prices are doubling and tripling, when in reality they are just getting back to a normal level of where they should be.

Q: What is happening in the market of mobile homes and mobile homes in 55+ parks? Are they holding their value? Or which way are they going?

A: Mobile homes in parks (leased land) have slowed up significantly, primarily due to travel restrictions. Mobile homes on leased land typically depreciate – much like automobiles. Values go down as they age unless the owners continue to update or improve (ex: updated roof, AC less than 5 years old, granite countertops). Eventually, they will continue to lose value.

Q: Is now a good time to look for a home equity loan/line of credit?  

A: Absolutely – the interest rates are great right now for refinancing. We work with some excellent lender partners and would be happy to refer you to a local reputable lender.

Q: We are replacing our floors and then selling our house. What type of flooring are buyers looking for? Tile, hardwood or vinyl plank? Which adds the most value? Which is the most practical for pets and kids?

A: The majority of homeowners love the hardwood “look” in porcelain tile. Tile is great for allergies, pets, kids + everyday wear and tear. There are some great luxury vinyl planks (LVP) out there as well. LVP is hard to beat with durability and cost. Make sure you’re purchasing a good quality LVP to get the best “finished” look.

Q: Who are the principals at S&D Real Estate? What is their background?

A: Shawn & Dee McDonough are the owners of S&D Real Estate Services. They are both brokers and have been real estate agents in the Lakeland area for a combined 45 years. They have both been awarded Realtor of the Year and are extremely active in the community through donations of both time + money

S&D Real Estate has been in business for 5.5 years and won “Best of the Best Real Estate Office” for the last 3 consecutive years – reflecting their dedication to their clients and agents.