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Old 02-08-2016, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee Area of WI
1,886 posts, read 1,293,855 times
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I found these websites that have good information for Potential New Home Buyers:



Cindy



Don

Is Your House in a Danger Zone? Look to Neighborhood Guides to Find Out - Real Estate 101 - Trulia Blog
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Ormond Beach, FL
1,354 posts, read 1,394,341 times
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Use Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com apps to find areas you might be interested. Then take a week vacation, preferably in August to the area you are most interested in. Why visit in August? You plan on living there year round don't you?

At the tail end of your August vacation, if you decide you want to move to that area, then find a realtor familiar with that area, that you can work with. Go back home and track the market using your favorite real estate app or website. Then several months before you want to buy start talking to the realtor that you discovered you can work with. They can make you a personalized list of listings. Give feedback knocking off listings you don't like and rating the listings. This is to train you to figure out what you want and how much that may cost and will give the real estate agent an idea of what to show you and what to skip.

We did something like what I described and we are very happy with our house and location. Our realtor ended up showing us every house in OUR market which was 3-4 bedroom beachside (zip 32176). We never wasted a moment mainland side and only looked at 3 houses outside our zip, by our request. Knowledge is good and apps like Zillow can give you excellent insight into markets. The real estate market where we live has some odd patterns that we could see on Zillow that were bizarre compared to the DC metro area market we were familiar with. Your research can pay off and good luck.
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee Area of WI
1,886 posts, read 1,293,855 times
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Yes, Thank you Fredesch!
That website I attached is from Trulia. I love Trulia and Zillow as well.
Have a lovely day
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Sarasota, Fl
809 posts, read 532,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fredesch View Post
Then take a week vacation, preferably in August to the area you are most interested in. Why visit in August? You plan on living there year round don't you?
Great advice, but I'd also suggest another vacation there in the height of the season. Maybe you'll enjoy the area when tourists/snowbirds are away, but then get a rude awakening dealing with March/April crowds.

To top that off, consider how the place might evolve down the road. My parents bought a home on Siesta Key in the early 70's. No traffic, a paradise. What they didn't look into was the fact that all the (then empty) beachside was zoned and slated for highrise condo's, and the main road could never support the in-season traffic.
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Milwaukee Area of WI
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I have been to Florida in August, September, October, December and May
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Old 02-11-2016, 10:15 PM
 
Location: Sarasota/ Bradenton - University Pkwy area
3,229 posts, read 4,614,686 times
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As to buying homes in FL, there are a few things here that you may find different from other states.

For instance, there are a number of CDD (community development districts) that were created in FL by builders of new homes. The primary function of a CDD is to construct and maintain infrastructure for a planned community development (PUD). This infrastructure may include roads, sidewalks, street lights, parks, recreational facilities, jogging trails, stormwater management, water mains, sewer lines, roadside landscaping and other such items. The developer typically obtains bonds which are paid off by the home buyers over a period of time, usually 20 or 30 years. Although in FL it must be disclosed if there is a CDD, the buyer does not have to be told that CDD can go up or that they sometimes pay for amenities that don't directly benefit the homeowners.

Most newer construction homes will be located within neighborhoods with deed restrictions and mandatory HOAs (homeowner associations). As with CDDs, it has to be disclosed if there is a mandatory HOA but it is the buyer's responsibility to obtain a copy of the deed restrictions. If you have concerns about things such as fencing, pets (many newer communities limit the number of pets per household), parking an RV, etc the time to read the deed restrictions is BEFORE you sign a purchase contract, not after.

Insurance is an important topic for FL home buyers. Here are some things that insurance agents take into consideration -- the age of the home, age of the roof (newer than 15 yrs old is better), style of roof(hip roof is best), how close the home is to a natural body of water or fire hydrant, how the roof is tied on, if the home has hurricane shutters or impact resistant glass, if the home has a Miami-Dade rated garage door, if the home is frame or block. These are just a few of the criteria they use to give an insurance quote. There are more but these are some of the biggies.

Another thing that's important to look at when talking insurance is the mysafefloridahome.com program. If the home was built before 2003, it is important to have a wind mitigation report done on the home, it can save you $$$ on your insurance policy.

Property taxes can be confusing for buyers from out of state. In FL we have the homestead exemption that reduces the assessed value of a qualifying, owner occupied residential property by up to $25,000 -- and if the property has an assessed value of more than $50,000 there is an additional $25,000 exemption. So if you have a home worth $150,000 the property taxes will be based on $100,000 of value if you qualified for and obtained a homestead exemption before the start of the tax year.

In FL we also have the Save Our Homes cap. If you have qualified for the homestead exemption, the value of your home for tax purposes is capped at 3% per year, regardless of the appreciation of home values in the neighborhood.

Prospective buyers need to understand that while you can look at homes in a specific price range to get an idea of what to expect for property taxes, a buyer should not rely on the seller's current property taxes as staying the same in the year following your purchase. A sale triggers a reassessment of the property -- if the new assessed value is higher, the taxes will go up. Property taxes will typically go up the most if the property has had a Homestead Exemption for a number of years under the current homeowner. If you plan to owner occupy the home you will have to file for your own Homestead Exemption for that property after the purchase as the old one expires at the end of the year after the sale.

Last but not least, flood insurance. Due to substantial changes to the National Flood Insurance Program, you should verify whether any home you are interested in is located within a designated flood zone. If it is and you will be getting a mortgage, the lender will require you to carry flood insurance for the life of the loan. The cost of flood insurance varies substantially, so you will want to know the BFE (base flood elevation) of the property if it is located within a flood zone.


Living here year round is different than visiting for a couple of weeks in the winter months. I agree with what others have said, be sure to visit in late August or early September to experience summer at it's most humid to see if it's something you can tolerate or not. Another thing worth mentioning is that we have bugs, lots of bugs of all shapes, sizes and colors. But humidity and bugs can be dealt with, as can most other issues, if FL "speaks to you" the way it has to many of us.
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:52 AM
 
Location: Milwaukee Area of WI
1,886 posts, read 1,293,855 times
Reputation: 1988
Thank you for that Great Info "Sunshine Rules"!!
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:44 AM
 
474 posts, read 365,738 times
Reputation: 1442
Quote:
Originally Posted by CindyRoos View Post
Yes, Thank you Fredesch!
That website I attached is from Trulia. I love Trulia and Zillow as well.
Have a lovely day




Zillow DOES NOT have accurate appraisals for what homes are worth. If you plan on buying a home, do NOT try to get the home at what Zillow says it is worth. If you do a google search, you can see tons of stories about the inaccuracy of Zillow and also how a lot of realtors don't care for that site.
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Ormond Beach, FL
1,354 posts, read 1,394,341 times
Reputation: 1234
Quote:
Originally Posted by upgrader View Post
Great advice, but I'd also suggest another vacation there in the height of the season. Maybe you'll enjoy the area when tourists/snowbirds are away, but then get a rude awakening dealing with March/April crowds.

To top that off, consider how the place might evolve down the road. My parents bought a home on Siesta Key in the early 70's. No traffic, a paradise. What they didn't look into was the fact that all the (then empty) beachside was zoned and slated for highrise condo's, and the main road could never support the in-season traffic.
This is great too! If you are considering beachside Daytona Beach area and you don't like bike week.

Zillow may not give you accurate values for houses not on the market, but you can see what folks are listing houses for and how many houses are on the market. You can also see unique patterns that don't exist other places. We have a blue hair pattern in our area where a listing will come out at a unrealistically high asking price and then they drop the price $5000 a month like its a game show. By the way Fannie Mae does something like that in markets where they have a large inventory and are trying to avoid dumping a lot of houses all at once.
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