What to Know Before Buying a House in Florida

If you want to make sure that you’re getting a fair deal when you’re looking to purchase a home in Florida, especially in one of our beautiful coastal communities, then the first thing you will want to do is find an experienced real estate agent with verifiable experience so you can trust the outcome.   Once you’ve met Scott Addison, you’ll be ready to take on the other key points you’ll need to know about to make sure that your real estate purchase really is a sound decision.  

#1. Stay up to date with current market conditions.

  The real estate market in Florida can be quite fickle. It tends to fluctuate in both directions, but generally moves in an upward direction. Talk with your representative about what the local market is doing instead of trying to track the generalized trends that Florida offers. You’ll find that some communities are experiencing steep increases, while others offer some tremendous values.   There are never any guarantees in the world of real estate, but you can take some actions to ensure that you’re making a good investment. Whether you want something on the beach or you’re looking more inland, buying a property at the right price is what will keep your finances healthy.  

#2. Know what your homeowner’s insurance will need to be.

  Florida is an incredibly beautiful state. Our coastal communities are the epitome of gorgeous. Warm sands, clear waters, and stunning sunsets are all part of the experience.   Unfortunately, so are homes that have roofing that is in disrepair. Exterior surfaces may be present that do not meet the current standards for wind mitigation. Some older homes may still be using galvanized pipes for the plumbing.   There is even the occasional property that lacks hurricane straps.   With these negative factors present, it can be difficult to obtain affordable homeowner’s insurance. Only a few insurers will take on these property challenges and it comes with an added cost that can be easily avoided.   Look for homes that were built after 2002 and you’ll have a property that is built to current code-compliance.   If you’re unsure about which properties you’d like to make your own, a quick call to your preferred insurance carrier can let you know what the costs of each may be. It is important to note, however, that this comparison is just an estimate.  

#3. Do not ignore the value of an independent inspection.

  Good properties can be scarce, especially in the coastal communities of Florida. When you find one that meets your needs, there is a need to move quickly.   Moving quickly doesn’t mean that you stop moving smartly. An independent home inspection should be conducted before you finalize any agreement. This inspection will help you identify any material defects which may need to be addressed.   For a Florida property, there are certain key issues you’ll want to look at before working with Scott Addison to close on the perfect home.  

  • Make sure that the structure and foundation of the home is sound.
  • Ensure there are no pest infestations that have been left unaddressed.
  • Check for any erosion, drainage, or similar soil issues.
  • Look at the HVAC system to ensure it is functioning properly.
  • Inspect the flooring, a basement, and any crawl space areas for moisture concerns or damage.

  Every home inspector must take a pre-licensing course and pass the NHI exam to operate in Florida. They must also complete a state-backed home inspection program.  

#4. Get to know the expectations of the homeowner’s association.

  Many of the homes that are available in Florida right now are within the borders of a deed-protected community. That means there is a homeowner’s association which will be governing the neighborhood. An HOA typically requires regular fees and will maintain the community to encourage rising property values in return for the investment.   If there is a homeowner’s association present for a property, you will want to thoroughly review all the details of the agreement before you close. Some HOAs may place limits on how many visitors you have, if you can turn the property into a vacation or rental property, and even what kinds of pets you can have.   Homeowner’s associations in Florida may also reserve the right to foreclose on your home if you aren’t paying dues. The Sunshine State offers numerous protections for homeowners against a foreclosure, even when in a bankruptcy, but this protection can be waived when dealing with an HOA governance.   It is a good practice to proceed with caution.  

#5. Don’t be afraid to discuss your closing costs.

  The closing costs for a mortgage in Florida tend to be a little higher than in other states. Taking a $200,000 mortgage loan in Miami as an example, the origination fees charged by your preferred lender could easily exceed $3,000. There may be third-party fees to pay as well. The mortgage tax tends to take some homebuyers by surprise as well.   In total, it could be more than $3,000 using this example. For our coastal property opportunities, these costs may be even higher.   That is why it is so important to develop a team that has your best interests in mind. You can start by talking with Scott Addison about the Florida real estate opportunities which are available right now.  

#6. Don’t just look at the structure… and don’t just look at the property.

  If you want to purchase beachfront property, then don’t just pay attention to the quality of the structure. What is the quality of the beach at that location? Is the sand full of pebbles? Is the water murky? How easy is it for you to access the beach? Do you have the privacy that you want?   It can also be easy to look at the benefits of the property and ignore the quality of the structure. At the end of the day, however, there is one rule that comes into play: you can’t change your location, but you can change the structure.   Florida offers properties that fit almost any lifestyle. Come to enjoy the sunshine and stay to enjoy the beaches from your new home. Contact Scott Addison today to start finding what might be the best investment you’ll ever make.