Closed sales in Manatee County were down 30% in January compared to the same month a year ago  File photo from 4/21/2020.

Closed gross sales in Manatee County had been down 30% in January as opposed to the similar month a yr ago  File picture from 4/21/2020.

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It’s the 18- to 40-year-old demographic that’s among the hardest hit by skyrocketing housing costs in the Bradenton area.

By popular demand from its members, Manatee Young Professionals, a program of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, presented its first home buying 101 panel on Tuesday.

A key takeaway from Tuesday morning’s session for Mitch Lomazov, 26, of Excellence Performance, was don’t stay in your “silo” when considering buying a home.

Be involved the process. Talk to your real estate agent. Talk to your insurer. Talk to your mortgage broker. Communicate frequently.

Home buying is often a topic of conversation among member of MYP, who want to know more about the roadmap to home ownership, Lomazov said.

Monday morning, Brandon Terry of Mortgage Team, Brooke Mailloux of Florida Suncoast Real Estate and Katie Rose Howard of Insurance Time of Bradenton offered some suggestions at the Chamber’s Lakewood Ranch office.

Never too early to start

So, where to start?

Know your credit score and get pre-approved for a loan, Terry said.

Getting pre-approved a year ahead of time is not too early to start. That helps the buyer know what they can afford and helps the agent know what homes to show that fit the budget.

Also suggested:

Gather your pay documents. Your W-2 form, your most recent pay stub and your tax return.

Know your debt-to-income ratio. What is your monthly gross income and your monthly debt?

What would your down payment be? Is it a conventional loan, FHA or VA loan?

What are your closing costs for lender, title and recording?

Housing market has cooled

At the height of the pandemic when so many home buyers were moving to Florida, it was not unusual for the seller to get more than their asking price, to have buyers bid each other up.

But now that the market has cooled a bit, more inventory is available, sales are taking longer to close, and buyers sometimes back off their asking price.

In some cases, the buyer might even agree to pick up some of the closing costs as a condition of the sale, Howard said.

Closed sales in Manatee County were down 30% in January compared to the same month a year ago — 537 sales versus 764 — but prices were up 10% to $507,000.

Consider insurance costs

Monday’s session also touched on homeowners insurance and flood insurance — two different things, homeowner association fees, community development district fees, negotiations, inspections, home warranties and the hometown heroes program.

The Florida Hometown Heroes Housing Program makes home ownership affordable for eligible front-line community workers such as law enforcement officers, firefighters, educators, healthcare professionals, childcare employees, and active military or veterans, according to Florida Housing Finance Corporation.

‘One of the best investments’

While some of those attending Monday’s session were prospective first-time homebuyers, others, like Kellie Spring, already own a home and were looking into investment opportunities.

Takeaways for Spring include looking at your budget, not getting your hopes up and looking at properties you know you can afford.

Buying a home is not an impulse buy.

Mitch Lomazov started working on having good credit when he was 17 and in a collaborative effort with his parents, bought his home at age 21.

It may take a lot of work, and patience, but the payoff is worth it, Brandon Terry said.

“It’s one of the best investments out there,” he said.

Competition still fierce

Neither home buying nor renting in the Bradenton area is a cakewalk.

Competition for apartments in the Bradenton-Sarasota area is among the fiercest in the United States, according to a study by, a nationwide apartment search website.

For each apartment that becomes available, there are 16 potential renters, resulting in 96.1% of units being rented at any given time.

Apartments typically stay vacant only 31 days a year, according to

Closed revenue in Manatee County have been down 30% in January as opposed to the similar thirty day period a year ago  File picture from 4/21/2020. Tiffany Tompkins file image [email protected]

Manatee Youthful Professionals offered a homebuying 101 panel on Tuesday. Revealed higher than are, from remaining, Brandon Terry of Property finance loan Crew, Brooke Mailloux of Florida Suncoast Real Estate and Katie Rose Howard of Insurance Time of Bradenton. James A. Jones Jr. [email protected]

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