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Sticca says real estate is not all location, location, location

Veteran real estate agent, appraiser and real estate professor Larry Sticca (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

If you are looking to sell your house, real estate veteran Larry Sticca says in today’s pandemic world, creating space for a home office is a great idea.

“That has become the new trigger to improve your house resale value,” Mr Sticca said. “More people are working at home. And they don’t want to work in their living rooms.”

Mr Sticca, of Cranfields Property Bermuda Ltd, said shared areas in condo developments, such as a pool, garden or yard are also much sought after.

“You can’t be tied to your computer all the time,” he said.

But he did not see the price of condos going up in Bermuda very much in the coming year.

“There are a lot less people around to rent,” Mr Sticca said.

He also thought that with the pandemic driving up the cost of importing building materials — it can cost $20,000 to bring in a container now — more people will be looking to buy an existing home rather than build one.

“But that would not necessarily translate to a blanket rise in housing prices in Bermuda,” he cautioned. “I can’t see that correlating on every property. It depends on the property and its condition.”

He said the adage “location, location, location” needs to be updated to “location, construction and the condition of the house“.

Originally from Tampa, Florida, Mr Sticca has worked in real estate in Bermuda since 1981.

“I was a spouse of a Bermudian,” he said. “Now, I am an adopted Bermudian.“

He took the real estate exam in Bermuda not long after arriving.

One of his first jobs in real estate was working at the Bank of Bermuda as a real estate trust property administrator.

“That was back in the days when banks had licences for real estate companies,” Mr Sticca said. “I was limited to dealing with trusts, properties and estates and testamentary trusts.”

He jokes that people were “dying to see him”.

Mr Sticca also does appraisals, and has been teaching real estate and appraisal courses at the Bermuda College since the 1990s. His students range from 18 to 70 years old.

“You get some people who come in who want to sell real estate in their retirement,” he said.

He said how well they do really depends on their attitude.

He loves when a student lights up when they suddenly get a topic.

“Although you can’t see that spark as much over Zoom,” he laughed.

He also teaches regularly in Singapore, Belize and the Bahamas.

He was hard pressed to say which he likes better, selling real estate, appraisals or teaching.

“I really like all three,” Mr Sticca said. “Each one of them has a different challenge. Each one of them has a different audience or market audience. You teach the subjects you need to learn the most. I enjoy it. There is always something new. In this industry, if you think you know it all, forget it! You are buried six feet under. You can never say you know it all, or that you’ve seen it all.”

The St George’s resident is an avowed extrovert.

“You have to know how to deal with people,” Mr Sticca. “It’s a people business.”

He said right now, in terms of sales, things are unusually busy for the period between Christmas and the Budget Debate in March.

“There is activity,” he said. “There are sales.”

He thinks it is because some sales were put on hold during the holidays, or in the pandemic generally, and are going through now.

“A lot of things that did not close over the holiday are closing now,” he said.

Looking forward to the Budget Debate he hoped Government would not tax rental income.

“That would have a crippling effect, especially on grandma and grandpa,” he said.

Mr Sticca said many Bermudians, particularly the elderly, depend on rent from apartments for supplemental income.

To contact Larry Sticca e-mail larry@bda4sale.com.

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Published January 28, 2022 at 7:51 am (Updated January 28, 2022 at 7:51 am)

Sticca says real estate is not all location, location, location

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