Thinking of buying property in Florida? You’re not alone. Last year, nearly 8,000 people moved to the state every single week, and it’s not hard to see why. The state’s abundant sunshine and stunning coastline make it a captivating choice for those who cherish warm weather and the allure of beautiful beaches.
Florida undeniably holds an irresistible appeal for both vacationers and prospective homeowners. If you find yourself in the midst of choosing a location to call home, Florida presents itself as a compelling option that may align perfectly with your preferences. Already asking yourself “What Do I Need to Buy a House in Florida?” This quick guide to both the ins and outs of buying property in Florida.
The Benefits of Buying Property in Florida
The benefits of living here are enormous. There are lots of different places to choose from across the state. You can live in the fast growing Tampa on the Gulf Coast. It has a number of different jobs in both healthcare and finance to choose from, as well as some of the most beautiful beaches in the state within driving distance.
You can also choose places like Miami, the cultural and economic center of the entire state. In a diverse city, you’ll find stunning options when it comes to what to do and where to live. There are also multiple economic opportunities across the city.
Maybe one of the biggest benefits of living here, though, is the climate. Across the state, you’ll find a warm, tropical atmosphere with mild winters. The sun seems to shine here almost every single day, and because the natural landscape is so diverse and exciting, there’s always something to do outside here.
It’s also financially advantageous to live here. Florida is one of the few states in the US with no state income tax, and the investment opportunities and job growth is enormous. Buying property in Florida is an investment you won’t regret.
As stunning as it is to live in this state, there are a few drawbacks. Remember that Florida is vulnerable to natural disasters, including hurricanes, tropical storms, and occasional flooding. Additionally, the high humidity during the summer months can be uncomfortable for some individuals.
Because of those climate extremes, you may find higher housing insurance costs and property tax rates, so think about your living expenses carefully before you make a move.
Finally, Florida is a popular place! In densely populated areas, traffic congestion can be a challenge, particularly during peak hours or tourist seasons. This can impact commute times and daily travel.
What You Actually Need to Buy a House Here
Still ready to join the Florida property market? You may be asking “What do I need to buy a house in Florida?” Fortunately, buying a home here works a lot like it does in every other state. It starts when you get your finances in order. You’ll want to order a credit check to make certain that a lender will be willing to work with you. If your credit is in fairly good shape, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage.
Mortgage pre-approval starts with you gathering the documentation you’ll need to work with any lender. These may include your proof of income (pay stubs, W-2 forms, or tax returns), bank statements, employment history, and information on your assets and liabilities. Then you’ll want to shop around and compare different lenders and mortgage options.
Consider factors such as interest rates, loan terms, fees, and customer reviews. Eventually, you’ll want to choose a lender that offers competitive rates and meets your specific needs. Once you choose a lender, they’ll give you a pre-approval application and ask for all of the documentation you gathered. They’ll verify that, and if your application is approved, they’ll give you a letter of pre-approval that you can use when you go to make an offer on a house.
The next two steps are interchangeable. You need to figure out what you want in a home and exactly where you want to live. Start by making a list of your essential needs in a home. Think about things like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, desired location, proximity to schools or work, accessibility, and any specific requirements for you and your family.
Prioritize that list based on importance. Don’t overlook things like layout, style, the size of your yard, and any amenities you might want like a backyard pool. Also, think about your long term plans. Is your family still growing? Will you need extra space in the future? Do you intend to work from home at some point?
You’ll also want to think about the perfect neighborhood to meet your needs. Do a bit of research. How close are those neighborhoods to work and school? How close are they to the weekend activities you want to enjoy most in Florida like the beach, kayaking, or amusement parks? Think, too, about affordability. Most homes within a given neighborhood fit into a particular price range, so look closely at your pre-approval offer to understand what you can afford.
Once you’ve done those two things, it’s time to choose a real estate agent in the area who can help. If you have friends or family members in the area, be sure to ask for a few recommendations. If you don’t, you’ll want to compare real estate agents online. Read the reviews, take a closer look at their websites, and look at their online branding as a whole.
How knowledgeable are they about the area? Are they going to be able to help you (someone from out of state) find the perfect home? Feel free to interview a few different agents to figure out more about how available they’ll be to you and how responsive they can be to your needs.
Finally, start your search for a home. Remember that the Florida real estate market is hot. There are thousands of homes to consider, and if you’re having a hard time choosing one that meets your needs, you may need to think about whether working with a custom home builder like Synergy Homes is a better option. Your real estate agent should be able to send you plenty of options to consider, and he or she should set up tours to help you better connect with the homes.
When you find a home you love, you’re ready to make an offer. Remember that you want to move fast because very few homes last for a long period of time on the Florida real estate market. Don’t wait to make an offer. Most homes are on the market for less than 90 days. Make your best offer. If they don’t accept it, feel free to make a counter offer. If you’ve never made an offer on a home before, your real estate agent can walk you through the process.
If your offer has been accepted, the next step in the process is to notify your lender and schedule an inspection. That will help you make certain the house is really as perfect as it looks from the outside. If all looks good, the final step is to work through your lender and the title company to transfer the home and the money to your name.
The Bottom Line
No matter where you choose to live in Florida, you’re going to find the perfect place in this beautiful state. If you’re looking for some great home choices, browse our complete selection now.