Can the magic city of Freeport be revived?
By James Sarles - Coldwell Banker James Sarles Realty
Oct 10, 2012 - 9:20:42 PM
you talk to people around Freeport, or listen to the local news, you may think
that the sky is falling when it comes to our economy and the real estate
market. People feel Freeport will never get out of this slump and that the housing market will never recover.
Everyone is talking about Terry Gape's article that was released
Monday. ECONOMIC CRISIS IN FREEPORT: A CALL TO ACTION. I hope that this article
causes Hutchison, GBPA/DEVCO and the licensees to take action. It must be done
and if action is taken, I believe that change will happen. It will take work
but everyone wants Freeport to succeed and there is no stopping the WILL OF THE
PEOPLE. I believe that if everyone steps off the sidelines and gets into the
game we can bring the Magic City Back to Life. On the same day that Terry
Gape’s article was released the headline of the Freeport News was MAJOR
DEVELOPMENT ON THE WAY FOR GB. We are all waiting to see what that development
is that the government is talking about. Rumor is that that the announcement is
about a new hotel operator/owner for the old Holiday Inn portion of the Our
Lucaya hotel now called the Reef. Hopefully… Freeport will FINALLY be given the
attention that has been lacking for many years to give people hope again in
spite of the doom and gloom. If you believe that Freeport Real Estate will
never get out of the slump nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s
another way to look at it:
are 2 important points to consider regarding our current real estate market.
Unlike our neighbors to the North, we never really experienced the boom market,
which created the American housing bubble. In 2008 when the US housing bubble
burst and many homes lost almost 50% of their value, sleepy Grand Bahama prices
did not move very much— because they had never soared that much.Now sellers are starting to lower
prices to sell and homes that are well priced at current market value are the
properties that are beginning to sell.
seem to forget that real estate follows a cycle; we forget that history repeats
itself.Its like we all have amnesia and we have never seen down markets
before.There is a saying that what goes up must come down, and what is
down must come up.Real estate is no different.There were major
shifts or down real estate markets in 1979, then 1987, then 2008.According to top economists, the housing markets are slowly (very slowly)
recovering, so we are in a new paradigm—a new model for growth.
All About Timing
you wait for the markets to hit bottom or fully recover you might be waiting a
long time. Prices don’t really go up or down for logical reasons. Sellers and
buyers change their minds based on their confidence in the marketplace—that’s
what really causes prices to go up and down. Unfortunately, no one can tell you
exactly when we reach bottom, because when the market prices begin to rise,
it’s only then that you realize you missed the bottom!
is no doubt in my mind that if you are looking for motivated sellers and deals
in real estate, this is the time. It’s one of those times when the
aggressive people make a lot of money, and the more timid just look from the
sidelines and become what I call a “Would of, Could of, Should of” seller or
you are a potential homebuyer, condo buyer, duplex buyers, land speculator,
canal homebuyer, or commercial buyer get up off your seat and look around for
deals. The market is soft right now, so this is the time to get a terrific
value at the right price. Listing prices have not fluctuated on paper, but the
actual deals that are being made reflect reduced prices.
one knows for sure what is in store for the world economics, or Freeport, but
what we do know is that throughout history, real estate has proven to be a
great long term investment. While prices are down and sellers are motivated,
this may be the right time for you. If you have been thinking about real
estate, this is the time to get out there and start looking.
To Get Started
do you begin your search? First, find a real estate professional that will help
you identify and locate the features you’re looking for in a property. Ask your
family, friends and business contacts for referrals of real estate
professionals that they have worked with—people who helped them successfully
with their real estate purchase and sale. When you find the real estate
agent/broker, talk with them about your practical needs and describe the
property of your dreams. Work with a realtor you feel you can trust, who
communicates a clear understanding of your goals and shows you listings that
match your search criteria.
procrastinate. Do it NOW. If your realtor has a property to show you, go out to
look at it immediately. If you really like the home and can picture yourself
living in it contentedly, consult with your realtor about making an offer right
entering into negotiations for the home, ask the seller to fully disclose any
serious defects that may require repairs, particularly any that involve one of
the major systems in the home.
wait for interest rates to climb – initiate your home buying process now
because the future of Freeport might just surprise you. Many of us who have
been around Freeport for many years know that Freeport has always been the
bridesmaid—never the bride—but the time is coming that Grand Bahama may succeed
in spite of itself to fulfill its potential.
is a city with great potential. It will move forward. If the powers that be
listen to suggestions such as ones like Terry Gape has put forth and the
government actually brings Major development to the island than this sleepy
island can and WILL be transformed. If we make improvements in the airlift situation, create a
first class cruise port, develop tourism product, create more jobs, attract
more investors, beautify the island’s landscaping, control our energy costs and
have all of Freeport working together, these changes will create a major shift
in the economy and Freeport will be revitalized.
will of course change the real estate landscape, and the market could change
from a buyers market to a sellers market almost overnight. There are many
people working towards this change and we all need to pitch in to help our
community fulfill its promise. It will not be done for us. All of us in our own
small way must make it happen—and it will.
is time to bring the magic back to Freeport—a community that was once proudly
dubbed The Magic City. At Coldwell Banker/James Sarles Realty, we
believe in the future of Freeport.
Luck Buyers and Sellers.Until
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