by Karen Williams-deCastro- Realtor®, C2EX, RSPS, GRI, SRS, ABR, SFR, AHWD

It’s not easy being a first-time homebuyer right now. Not just in the Florida Keys, but everywhere. At the end of last year, housing affordability hit an all-time low.(1) Additionally, mortgage rates have risen significantly since 2021, while inventory remains tight for many property categories, but especially for starter homes. Even lower-priced condos are harder to snag these days, as investors and downsizers muscle out first-timers by offering stronger, often cash-heavy bids. (2)

In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, only 26% of last year’s homebuyers were first-timers—the lowest share on record and down from 34% a year prior. This underscores…

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