Known as the Sunshine State, Florida is a highly desired location for those looking to buy a new family home. With a current population of 21.73 million (2020) and hundreds of unique attractions, it’s certainly understandable why people love it. However, if you’re thinking of making the big move, there are still many things to take into consideration. Buying a property is no light decision, and you want to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Below, we are going to discuss ten things you need to think about before buying a home in Florida.
Let’s get started!
Current Market Conditions
There are many different things that can affect current market conditions, so before buying a home, it can be wise to do a bit of research first. Certain economic changes, an increase in supply and demand, and even interest rates can all play a part in rises.
To get started, head online and compare previous prices to what is currently being offered. This will help you determine if now is the right time to buy or if you should wait a while to see how things pan out.
Choosing the right financing can certainly be the most daunting time when it comes to buying a house, but it’s essential to review all your different options. In Florida, you might be able to take advantage of the first-time homebuyer grant. There are also assistance programs for veterans and USDA guaranteed loans for low-income families buying in rural locations. Your real estate agent should be able to let you know what is available, but it can also be worth speaking to a financial advisor, especially if you’re still trying to save for a down payment.
Real Estate Agents
Since Florida is such a large place, choosing the right real estate agent can take some time. However, it’s vital as you don’t want to go into the situation blindly. You want to find a professional that is experienced in your chosen area, like this realtor in Miami Lakes, for example. This way, they have all the best knowledge and can help show you properties that suit your individual preferences. Alongside this, they can help with negotiations to get you the best possible price. You could potentially save thousands of dollars compared to if you were to do it alone.
Neighborhoods and Communities
There are so many diverse neighborhoods and communities in Florida, so to make sure you choose the best home possible, take time to find an area that you love. From new properties close to all the theme parks to city apartments and ocean bungalows, there is something for everyone. However, keep in mind that while there are safe places, there are also ones more prone to criminal activity. Check out these most dangerous cities in America for more information.
Chances are you will find a home that you like by walking through an open house. However, it’s important that you look a bit further before making a final decision. Contact your agent and organize a private walkthrough. This way, you can really take a look at the property in detail, without the distractions of others. Keep an eye out for any issues that may need fixing, and don’t forget to drive through the area. This will give you an idea of what the traffic is like and what facilities are available.
No matter where you choose to buy a home, getting a property inspection is extremely important. By letting a professional evaluate it inside and out, you can ensure there are no issues that make it unsafe. Alongside this, purchasing a defective home means you may have trouble selling it for profit in the future.
The right service should cover everything from erosion issues to pest infestations and structural damage. Trust us when we say it’s one thing you don’t want to skip.
While Florida certainly is blessed with sunshine, it is also very prone to hazardous weather conditions, such as floods and hurricanes. Choosing the right homeowner’s insurance is vital in protecting everything, so make sure you take time to review your policy options.
Not only will you need to cover the cost of your home and belongings, but you need to ensure that you can afford to pay it alongside your mortgage. Otherwise, you may be putting yourself in too much debt.
While you might not realize it at first, particular renovations and installations can actually be illegal, and you can get in trouble if they are found on your property. Before buying a home, it’s essential to check if any home modifications were done and if they were in accordance with local law. An inspection should also help identify this if you believe that the seller is not being honest about specific changes to the home.
Another thing to consider before buying a home in Florida is if you plan to make any changes to a property. Some houses are going to cost more than others to fix up, and you don’t want to be stuck with something you aren’t happy with. Alongside this, if you do find a home that you like, you need to think about whether you can afford to make these changes before moving in. For example, there’s no point installing a new carpet after you’ve placed all your furniture inside.
You’re probably aware of some of the extra costs of buying a home, which we discussed above, such as insurance and inspections, but there are actually other things that you will need to budget for. Florida is known as a high-closing cost state, so make sure you plan for it. Things such as interest rates, property taxes, maintenance, and your moving costs (such as hiring a truck, etc.) will also all add up. Make sure you write them all down so that they don’t surprise you later on. It’s always best to be one step ahead.