I’ve always been interested in buying a Florida home. The sea breeze, the palm trees, the warm sun, what’s not to love?! When I was a child, my parents would take me to Florida every year for the whole month of March! My father and cousin would go to Daytona to race the motorcycle that my dad built and my mom and I would hang out at the pool at our timeshare in Orlando’s Vistana Resort. Some of my very fondest childhood memories are of my parents taking me to Florida, so now that I no longer have my dad, my heart longs to go to Florida since I have so many wonderful memories of him there.
Occasionally, my husband and I have taken our children to Florida for a week or two and I’m always sad to leave the warm weather and palm trees behind.
Of course, buying a florida home is a really big decision. Buying a new home or moving is often one of the most exciting times in a person or family’s life. Unfortunately, it can also be stressful and confusing, and it’s far too easy to get caught up in the size and location of your prospective new home, and forgetting about many of the practical issues surrounding this kind of major financial decision.
This can be especially true in places like Florida, where the housing market continues to be competitive and popular. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad time to buy–it simply means it’s all the more important to do your homework before signing on the dotted line.
Tips On Buying A Florida Home
Find Experienced Professionals
Even before looking into specific individual issues and practicalities, it’s essential to understand the importance of hiring professionals with experience in the Florida home market.
Anyone can do a quick online search for homes for sale in Sarasota, and it can be tempting to want to skip the relatively minimal cost of hiring professional realtors or opting for a less than stellar builder. But it simply isn’t worth the risk. Considering how much of your hard earned money will be tangled up in the home buying transaction, real estate is one area where you want an expert on your side.
Know Your Needs
Whether you’re looking for an investment property to rent out or a family home to raise a the kids in, knowing what you want–and don’t want–will help eliminate homes and neighborhoods that simply don’t work for you.
Ask About Sink Holes
While not exclusively a Florida problem, the Sunshine State does have more sinkholes than any other state. A sinkhole under any part of your home will have a huge negative financial, social, and emotional impact, as it will not only displace you and your family, but can possibly ruin your entire investment, as well.
Investigate whether or not the area where you’re looking to buy has a history with this nasty natural disaster.
Get Your Own Inspection
This is one of those areas where having a qualified realtor is a huge help, as they have access to lists of quality home inspectors. Regardless of what you may be told, don’t rely solely on the seller’s inspection–get your own thorough inspection done, paying special attention to potentially serious issues like cracks in the foundation, roof damage, or a faulty air conditioning system.
Know the Flood Plains
Heavy rains are a daily occurrence during the wet season in Florida. Taking the time to find out whether your potential new home is located on a flood plain and whether or not flooding has occurred in the area before can save you some heartache and property damage later on. Also, it’s important to know that insurance rates will always be higher in flood-prone areas.
Consider these practical tips, tricks, and ideas to get you started on the process of buying a Florida home. Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit!