Courtesy Shutterstock – Image by Andy Dean Photography
The Florida real estate market is hotter than it has ever been in recent years, and because of this, real estate values are rising, and with it interest rates in the state.
While the market certainly supports Florida’s appeal, the main reason people want to live in Florida is because of the year-round warm temperature and proximity to some of the best beaches in the world.
If you were looking to move to the Sunshine State, you would not be alone. Florida is home to the second largest population of non-native residents, with nearly 36% of residents born elsewhere, according to a 2018 report by Carolina Demography.
So if you are returning to Florida or planning to move here for the first time, here are some things to keep in mind.
Top Tips Before Buying in Florida
Understand the market and know your region
- As with any major purchase, you want to know what you’re buying, what it’s worth, and a list of more details about the items you’ve purchased. Why should a house be any different? Home due diligence is a must regardless of where someone is buying property, but Florida is a special case.
- Understand the Florida market and research potential areas before moving to the largest or smallest city possible. If you’re relocating for work and are willing to live outside of your place of work for more social convenience and family-oriented activities, take a look outside the general work area and find a place that is not too big, far, but somewhere where you will enjoy.
- Afraid of the big city? Fortunately, outside of the big cities in Florida like Miami / Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, and Jacksonville there are many other small towns less than an hour away from the glitzy and bustling downtown areas that are more affordable and a cheaper escape from city life, but still give a Florida feeling.
- Before you make the jump, do your research and check out which cities are up and coming and look for new developments, local attractions, and potential growth. This is an important step that takes a lot of time and commitment and can later affect property value.
Find the right real estate agent
- Another big step before moving is finding the right real estate agent. If you are unfamiliar with the area and are happy to pay a higher price for a reputable agent who is certified and reputable, check out bigger companies. Like anything else, do your research before dealing with someone you don’t know. If you need help, ask a friend who has previously dealt with an agent and see if they can find a connection for you within the state that could make the transition easier.
Understand Florida property taxes and insurance rates for weather
- Just as Florida has the best weather and beaches, it must also have to do with the hurricane season. Depending on the weather the state has experienced in a year’s time, it could send insurance premiums through the roof, depending on proximity to the ocean, legal costs for claims in the state, and much more.
- Florida is also a homestead state. This exemption allows Florida homeowners to claim exemptions of up to $ 50,000 on their primary residence property taxes. Property taxes vary by state and can be a deal breaker depending on where you live. Look for alternatives and check the locale before deciding on a locale.
Save with a large deposit
- Be ready to take out your wallet. Because Florida is so popular and often expensive, foreclosures are threatening every corner. That means private mortgage insurance for standard loans is not available everywhere in the state. If you want your single family home sale to be approved, you will likely need a 20-25% deposit.
Prepare for higher closing costs
- Closing time … Unfortunately, Florida has one of the highest costs of closing in the country. To avoid these costs, buyers may want to pay in cash, include the cost in the mortgage, or negotiate with the seller to cover some of the cost. There aren’t many ways to close the cost, but there are a few.
Know your salesperson
- When dealing with a salesperson, ensure constant and open communication. The process of buying a home can be difficult, and sometimes the homeowner is not even a resident in the state. Papers and contracts can be a mess too; Therefore, it is important to know and develop a relationship with your seller before buying.
Ask about HOA / Deed Restrictions
- Another important step is to know if the property you are buying has any deed restrictions or hidden homeowner association costs associated with it. Many Florida communities have restrictions on how the exterior of the property, zoning, permits, etc. can be handled. and more. If you’re ready to adhere to an HOA and pay their maintenance and rules fees, you might not need to worry. If not, make sure you find an area where such restrictions or fees don’t apply.
End here. Florida has a lot to offer new homeowners and first time buyers. The weather, night life, nature, and the activities that it has to offer also make it a great place to live for any individual or family. However, as with any purchase, the buyer must ensure that proper due diligence is carried out before moving. Knowing what to expect and following the tips above will make your Florida home purchase a lot easier.
Are you interested in Florida real estate? For stories like this and much more: Florida insider is dedicated to educating, entertaining and informing its readers about everything in Florida. Easy to read content in the palm of your hand and cover of important stories.
Chris began writing as a hobby while attending Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. Today he and his wife live in the Orlando area with their three children and their dog.