Your Perfect Home Awaits!
Buying an affordable home in Florida's real estate market today can be a bit of a challenge. But if you take the items below into account along your journey to find that home, it will make things easier.
And as always, if you get stuck, don't forget that I am here to help you. I always offer a free consultation together with a personalized buying blueprint to welcome people to Florida. It's been my lifelong home and I can use that familiarity and my years of real estate experience to help and guide you. Just as I would my family members. Feel free to give me a call at 863-412-1340 to talk about your special situation.
1. Florida’s Current Market Conditions
The Florida housing market has been on the uptake the last few years, but market conditions always fluctuate on a consistent basis. Suffice to say, the only constant is change, and this is particularly true with real estate, not only in Florida, but all over the US. Buying a house at the right price is key to staying afloat no matter what future economic conditions look like.
- Homeowner’s Insurance In Florida
Florida is a beautiful state. We have miles of shoreline paradise, but don’t let our usual picture perfect weather make you think we don't have bad weather. Floods and hurricanes are not uncommon in Florida and the best ways to prepare for these types of disasters are to buy a home that is built to withstand high force winds and invest in the right homeowner’s insurance. And it is priced accordingly. You should get a few quotes to be sure it's as economical as possible.
Insurance is typically going to be lower if you purchase a home built in 2002 or newer because it was built to the latest building code regulations.
A few items that will make property insurance more difficult and expensive to buy include:
- Age of the roof or those that do not meet current wind standards.
- Older plumbing, for instance, galvanized pipes.
- Electrical Service Condition or Age. If you have fuses, for instance, it's an issue.
- No hurricane straps.
- HOAs & Deed Restricted Communities
A deed restricted community means the division is governed by a homeowner’s association. All owners pay regular fees and in return, the association maintains certain rules and standards and usually provides community maintenance to one degree or another.
It can be ideal, but prior to buying in a deed restricted community, you need to understand the fine print to sure the local rules don’t interfere with your way of life. For instance, HOAs can dictate how many people can live in your home at one time, if you can rent the home out, what kind of pets you can have, as well as how the property is allowed to be used. Some are as restrictive as dictating how many items you can have on your patio.
Florida property laws can protect your home from foreclosure, even in a bankruptcy situation. In an HOA community, you may lose this right because the homeowner’s association has the right to foreclose on your home.
4. Fast Foreclosures/ Short Sales
In Florida, foreclosure can take over a year to complete. And it can offer many opportunities to the Real Estate buyer. Many home shoppers see listings on Zillow & such sites that are often wildly inaccurate, wrong prices, homes for which there is no listing yet, or they have already been sold.
Tracking down a bank that may or may not own a particular REO property to make an offer can be challenging at best. You most often have to wait until the property comes on the market.
While it's a good tactic, it does require the expertise of someone familiar with the process. And as a shameless plug, I would like to tell you that it is one of my specialties. I would be happy to talk it over with you. Call Reta Stead on my cell phone at 863-412-1340.
5. Closing Costs And Other Expenses
Florida is considered as a “High Closing Cost” state. It is often more expensive to close on a house here than some other states.
That's not to keep you from buying a home in Florida, rather to realize how urgently important it is to have a Professional Broker on your side.
In addition to closing costs, you will find utility deposits required as well. Check with local utility companies to find out just how much they are. And don't forget the Water Authority. Just to prepare you.
- Florida is a Homestead State
As a Florida homeowner, you can file for a homestead exemption up to $50,000 on your property tax billing.
The good news is this exemption reduces your property taxes accordingly and limits how much your taxes can rise each year
As always, some rules & restrictions do apply, but generally, it's available to every homeowner who lives in their home.
There are also other exemptions for certain situations which your county tax office will be able to help you with.