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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

BUYING YOUR DREAM HOME - HINTS AND TIPS

Today, due to an increase in levels of disposable income, low interest rates, and an increase in the number of people who are approaching retirement age, the purchase of a rental home in Florida has never been more attractive. Or has it? Having had the recent experience of the ups and downs of buying a home, prospective buyers may wish to consider some of the following points before their heart rules their heads!

Probably the most fundamental question to ask oneself is “Why do I want to buy a home?” If it is because you love Florida and wish to enjoy the climate and lifestyle – brilliant – if it is purely for profit reasons, then please do think long and hard. The number of properties in the vacation home market is increasing year by year. Prices for homes, certainly new ones, are increasing well ahead of inflation and the cost of funding this purchase alone requires a significant expense each month.

If you are still attracted to ownership, then it is suggested that a sound base to proceed would be to use the following two assumptions. If your home in the sun will be used for rentals, firstly that you will be unable to achieve any bookings, and secondly, your home will decline in value after you have signed on the dotted line. If you have any doubts about your ability to finance the running costs of your home, without the assistance of rental income, it is almost certainly best not to proceed.

Do research the Florida Forums to obtain an estimate of the expenses that will be involved in running the home. Cross check information sources to ensure that you are as accurate as you can be prior to actually owning the home.

Do consider the fees and expenses associated with buying a home. These can be 3% or more of the purchase price.

When you are confident that your budgets are sufficient, spend time looking at the various communities around Orlando. As a guide, guests generally request a home that is situated within 15 minutes travelling time of Walt Disney World. Being near to shops, restaurants and golf courses is a definite advantage.

Do use professional help when you are starting to look around. A Realtor can prevent you making expensive mistakes. Recommendations of professional bodies or companies and individuals are usually available on the Florida Forum. Ask your Realtor to provide digital photographs of the construction (if it is a new build) in order that you can check the build is proceeding as you expected.

Remember that even after signing the purchase contract it can be twelve months or more before your home is built and finally handed over to you.

Do consider insurance on your new home. Hurricanes can and do occur and it is very necessary to have good levels of insurance cover.

Do select a reliable and trustworthy Management Company. Remember, when you are many miles away, they are your eyes and ears – you want them to be you essentially!

Lastly, it is strongly recommended that you are responsible for your own finances. Pay all your own bills whenever possible – automatic payments are very easy in the United States.

If you still think Florida home ownership is for you – Good Luck – and welcome to the growing band of Florida homeowners!

We aim to provide accurate and useful information, but if you feel anything provided here is not accurate or out of date, please email us with the address of the page concerned and any comments so we can amend as necessary.

Page added on: 27 September 2006
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