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 Buy A Home In Florida - Pre Purchase Help and Assistance


If you're looking to buy a home in Florida, a consideration has to be whether to buy new or buy a resale. It is a question many people ask. There are advantages and disadvantages with both - it is a case of doing what is right for you and what can be bought within your budget.


New Versus Resale
When looking to buy a home in Florida, an important consideration when viewing new build homes in the States is what you see is not what you get! The homes will have many, many upgrades - i.e. the house builder will fit the show homes out with many top of the range specifications. So if you want to buy a home in Florida just be aware that upgraded specifications in a 5-bedroom home could cost you an additional $50k on top of the home's base purchase price! Add on the cost of your pool and the heater too, any  lanai (patio) extensions, a premium for the plot of land (e.g. one that overlooks orange groves or a lake or has an enlarged plot) and the resulting house price ends up a million miles away from the 'advertised' basic house price! Just some of the upgrades that you would typically find in show homes, include:

  • floor tiles

  • window dressings and curtains (sometimes blinds)

  • Jacuzzi bath

  • double shower units

  • some light fittings

  • ceiling fans

  • kitchen worktops

  • kitchen units

  • bathroom units

  • wall tiles

  • carpets

  • interior stucco wall covering

  • outside lighting

  • pool shower

  • hot tub/spa

  • palm trees (comes as part of a gardening package).

This is not an exhaustive list and upgrades will vary from home-builder to home-builder. Likewise, what is included as part of the standard/basic house price will also vary.

If you decide to buy a resale home, what you see is what you will get (bar furnishings unless it is a rental home for sale). But do bear in mind that it may not be the way YOU want it. Redecoration may be required, you will have to go and get all the furniture yourself and possibly replace worn carpets, fixtures and fittings etc. There are some nice properties available in the resale market. They also do tend to be cheaper than new builds. With new builds you get to choose how your villa will look e.g. the kitchen, bathroom, fixtures and fittings etc. that you want.  In today's market a further consideration is buying a 'short sale' or 'foreclosure'.  

Buying in which development will be determined by home availability, your budget and the market you are aiming at. Location wise, if you buy within the 'Disney triangle' it is, for geographic reasons, the best place to be. The 'triangle' is the area that lies within US Highway 27, the 192 and the Interstate 4 (I-4). Outside of this area is still rentable but is not as 'attractive' as it takes longer to travel to Disney (e.g. Southern Dunes falls into this category as it is in Haines City). That said, house prices further out do tend to be cheaper so you can get more for your money. Southern Dunes is about as far away as you would want to be. (It's distance from Disney is compensated by the fact that the 'Southern Dunes golf course has a good reputation.)

Purchase Costs
When you buy a home in Florida you will also need to budget for the purchase costs involved. You do not need to pay your realtor as he will get a commission from the selling agent/home builder. But you will have 'closing' costs. With regards to the amount, you need to have around 5% of the home purchase price for these closing (completion) costs. If you elect for a US mortgage you will have to pay a mortgage broker a fee (these tend to be factored into the closing costs. These costs have been included in our 5% approximate percentage costs alluded to earlier. When you buy a home in Florida the mortgage broker will detail all the admin/closing costs involved and these will include the broker fee.

Keep Funds In Reserve
If you intend to buy a home in Florida with a mortgage, if you can, have sufficient funds to pay your mortgage repayments for at least a year - unless you can afford to meet the repayments from your current income. The rentals in year one would probably take care of management and running costs. In reality, with the proper marketing techniques in place you could also cover most if not all your mortgage costs. It is better to be 'safe' than sorry and end up with a financial burden. 


If you wish to use our FREE services, before your inspection trip to buy a home in Florida we shall provide you with further important information regarding pre-purchase considerations and if you intend to rent out, what to look for to get a head start on the competition.

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