Check out Plant City homes when you’re in town for Strawberry Festival shortcake, music stars
Looking for a home around Tampa Bay can be extremely frustrating these days. House prices are high, availability is low, and a new listing in the morning may be contracted before lunch.
Take some cleansing breaths, relax, and maybe plan a little getaway, like attending the upcoming Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City. Tony Baroni, who leads the Tony Baroni team at Keller Williams Realty, said the 11 days of rides, attractions, livestock shows, concerts by national artists and, of course, strawberry shortcake and other berry delights, are terrific. Amusing. It runs from March 3-13, and while you’re in town, check out Plant City, the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World. It could also be fertile ground for house hunting.
A few miles east of Tampa on I-4, Plant City may be known for its rich soil and sweet red berries, but it’s also becoming popular among homebuyers, Baroni said, adding that many of his buyers had discovered Plant City while he was in town for the festival.
“It happens all the time,” he said. “The Strawberry Festival put Plant City on the map; people come and that’s how they experience Plant City.
Baroni gets calls from buyers moving to Tampa Bay for work, and they ask about Plant City homes because they remember them from a past visit to the festival, he said. He recommends anyone looking for a house and coming to town for a day or two to see the festival to take some time out. Discover historic downtown (currently an ongoing revitalization project of the city’s Main Street America branch) and surrounding neighborhoods and countryside.
They’ll see older farms on land where cows and chickens are allowed, said Angel Miller, who along with partner Natalie Sweet leads the Sweet Team with Keller Williams. If they look around the town center they will see restored period buildings with quaint shops, restaurants and cafes. The residential areas surrounding the town center are made up of historic homes and restored cottage-style bungalows from a bygone era. Walk a bit away from downtown and they’ll see something that Miller says has got us “all excited” – new communities like North Park Isle rising just north of I-4, or Lantana Groves to the south. from the city.
“We’re excited about this because of the low inventory issue,” Miller said, adding that the 2,000 new homes planned for North Park Isle are badly needed to meet demand.
That demand has increased in recent months, according to Miller and Baroni, as more people discover the charm and country atmosphere of the Plant City area, which in the far east of Hillsborough County can be a bit off the radar.
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“It’s a growing place with lots of restaurants and things to do, but it still has that small-town feel,” Baroni said.
Many are looking for homes on oversized lots or acreage in more rural areas, real estate agents noted, while others are happy with modern planned communities and lots with far less grass to mow. Plant City has both. Some are looking for something in between, like Walden Lake, a 30-year-old community just south of downtown.
Homes there range from small models on small lots to luxury executive homes on large lots priced north of $1 million, Baroni said.
Miller said some of his Walden Lake buyers were those who originally shopped in Valrico or Brandon but pushed east to find out what Plant City had to offer. Some fell in love with the small town vibe, friendly people and big school district, she said.
Miller likes buyers to budget $300,000 to $500,000 for single-family homes. A 1986 home she listed now is a remodeled 3/2/2 with 2,817 square feet and sits on a quarter-acre lot. Its price is $575,000, a price that takes into account the oversized lot and the waterfront.
Many of its buyers ask about Walden Lake. Villas there can start around $240,000, but inside the “gated gated community” of Polo Place, larger homes can cost $900,000 or more, she said, but there are many houses between these two prices.
This does not mean that there is a lot of availability. Home inventory in Plant City overall isn’t much better than anywhere around Tampa Bay, said Baroni, who said current estimates are that Plant City is less than a month old. supply of houses. A healthy number is enough to meet demand for six months.
Miller and Baroni agree that means buyers need to be prepared to make quick, competitive offers and settle their finances.
“Market demand is high and supply is low,” Miller said. “We can get 12-13 offers on day one (one house is listed).”
Baroni said the competition is such that a whole new phenomenon has emerged – multiple offers on homes priced at $1 million or more.
“I haven’t seen him in 16 years,” he said.
Baroni likes a budget of at least $300,000 for a single-family home in Plant City. For someone who wants a typical 3/2 home in the country on an acre or two, the number should be $400,000 to $500,000.