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 realtor.com, 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!