What is the condition of the real estate market in Orlando, FL?

The government contract project my husband is working as a software engineer on in Huntsville, AL will be ending in 2 – 3 years. Sometime during the next few years we will need to relocate to either Dallas, Texas or or Orlando, Florida. I was browsing real estate listings on Yahoo and found over 4,700 properties in the city of Orlando alone for $ 150K and under. There were A LOT of beautiful homes for very modest prices in those listings. I want to know how long are those bargains going to last. I can’t foresee the costs going up dramatically within the next few years but it would be nice to have some forecast of the market conditions. We can’t move until next year at the earliest because I have an SSDI case that’s going to court here in Alabama early next year. The company my husband works for has a very strong presence in the Orlando area so we’re not worried about lack of job stability. Plus, we have really good credit so after we sell our modest starter home in Alabama, qualifying for a mortgage is not an issue. Even if we couldn’t sell our house immediately, we could easily purchase a small condo for much less than the cost to rent a similar apartment. 800 square foot condos can easily be had for under $ 60K; that’s a roughly $ 360 a month payment. Our current mortgage payment to gross income percentage is 13%; the recommended ratio is no more than 30%. The only other debt we have is student loans and those will be paid off once I get my disability. I was thinking that after we sold our house in AL we could either sell the condo or rent it out.

Sorry about the rambling, I’m just wondering if the real estate market is going to take a major upswing in the next few years. It seems like nearly every property I looked at was either a short sale or a foreclosure. I know some people won’t buy a foreclosure because of the possible repairs involved but cosmetic repairs minor plumbing/electrical problems and missing appliances don’t bother us. When we bought our current house it REEKED of cigarette smoke so bad that we couldn’t stay in the house for more than an hour without our allergies acting up; we had to replace all of the carpets and repaint the whole house but because we scored it for $ 15K to $ 20K below market the $ 2000 we spent on updates wasn’t a problem.

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