Buying a Florida home this winter, remember that you need to be strategic so you can find one that meets your needs and fits your budget.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at, explains:

“The key to making a good decision in this challenging housing market is to be laser focused on what you need now and in the years ahead, . . . Another key point is to avoid stretching your budget, as tempting as it may be given the diminished purchasing power.”

In other words, it’s important to be mindful of what’s a necessity and what’s a nice-to-have when searching for a home. And the best way to understand this is to put together a list of desired features for your home search.

First, get pre-approved for a mortgage. This can help you better understand how much of a loan you qualify for and that plays an important role in what you can borrow for your home. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a home that’s out of reach. Once you have a good grasp of your budget, you can begin to list (and prioritize) all the features of a home you would like.

Here’s a simple way to think about them before you begin:

Must-haves – These are the features you must have in a house (examples: distance from work or loved ones, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.).

Nice-To-Haves are features that you’d love to have but aren’t necessary. Nice-To-Haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these, it’s a contender.

Dream State – These are the features that make your heart beat faster. If you find a Florida home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves and any of these, it’s a clear winner. (examples: farmhouse sink, multiple walk-in closets, etc.)

Once you’ve created your list and categorized it in a way that works for you, discuss it with your real estate advisor. They’ll be able to help you refine the list further and find a home in your area that meets your needs.

Finding a Florida home that fits your needs can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Let us help you make this important step as fun and stress-free as possible. Contact us!