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Old 06-18-2012, 01:24 PM
 
66 posts, read 144,403 times
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Hello,

My wife and are are visiting my sister in Estero next week to not only visit her but to also look at potential areas to retire to. We have looked at the Hliton Head area and will also be visiting Atlanta/Athens as well this summer. My sister will show us around the Estero and Naples area but we would like to see what Sarasota and Bradenton have to offer including Lakewood and Palmer Ranch as well as maybe a 55+ community.

My question is this - we know nothing about the area and if we decide to retire here, it would be for several years at the earliest. I would like to talk to a realtor but don't want to waste their time since we wouldn't be in the market for awhile. Could we get a good overview of this area without a real estate professional or should I contact a realtor (especially the ones that frequent this board.) Would a realtor be willing to show us around knowing that if we did decide eventually to relocate that we would use them? Are there any other areas that we should check out while we are in the area? We are in our late 50's and early 60's and while we enjoy children, we do like amenities and not necessarily being the "grandpa" of the block.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Rich
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Old 06-18-2012, 02:16 PM
 
1,235 posts, read 3,422,495 times
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Hi Rich, Honestly, with what you stated, I wouldn't expect a realtor to want to drive you around the entire day just to show you around the area. Nor would I expect them to show you homes when you won't be buying any- obviously, those homes won't be available when you are ready to buy in a few years. However, I would urge you to use this board to find out more about the area. Tell everyone what you are looking for- price range, lifestyle, etc.. there are many realtors on here who are really great about giving information. Once you have gathered that knowledge here on the board, drive around the area yourselves & check them out. Sarasota is an easily navigatible city. First, just visiting & getting a "vibe" from the area should tell you whether you'd possibly like to live here or not. Good luck

Last edited by PixiStix; 06-18-2012 at 02:34 PM..
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Old 06-18-2012, 04:42 PM
 
241 posts, read 438,132 times
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My experience was I contacted people on this board, asked for a rec and was told several names. You can tell the realtors on this board because they have that they are a realtor listed under their screen name. Anyway, we had decided to take a 4 day weekend to come down and look around just to get a feel and an idea if this was what we really wanted to do. I was in touch with SoFlaGal and she told me she would take us around and show us the various types of properties currently available and areas. We told her that there was no way we were going to put an offer on anything as it was a purely explorational trip...we had never even been in this area before!!! Also our house up north had to sell. She assured us it was no problem. Now also this was the middle of August, so it may have been pretty slow then. We viewed all different types of places in all areas and she explained a lot about the area as we drove around. Two things came out of this...it made us make the decision to go for it, and she got our business when we were ready,after our house sold about 18 months later.
So I would say get in touch with some realtors and see what they have to say, making your position clear. I'm pretty sure realtors know that people don't just buy houses everyday and that it is a long process. My realtor (back in PA) had a slogan...I want to be your realtor for life. She also got my business at various times over the years by being there when I needed her even if it didn't profit her at that particular moment.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:44 PM
 
943 posts, read 996,103 times
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I would suggest visiting Open Houses while here. Usually held on Sat/Sun it can give you an idea of neighborhoods, etc.
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Old 06-18-2012, 05:57 PM
 
1,235 posts, read 3,422,495 times
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Open houses are a great idea.. I just think it's not so nice to schedule a personal viewing of a house/houses when you know you aren't currently interested in buying. The owner/seller spends a great deal of time cleaning & making the house "show ready" for you. They sit & wait & anticipate "Maybe this is the one!" Only to hear "Oh, they are just browsing the area & won't be buying for a few years". Imagine how irritated you would be.

Again, 99% of the people can get enough helpful info on neighborhoods right here on the forum to be able to drive around & explore by themselves. No realtor needed for that
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Where the sun always shines..
1,939 posts, read 5,904,344 times
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I agree with Pixi

We are a pretty knowledgable bunch here-- use us to your advantage. What is your price range, interests, what kind of area are you looking for, close to what? Do you have pets, renting, buying, undecided. What are deterrents and pluses? Once you give us all the juicy details we can throw out ideas of where to avoid, what to look into.

For the most part we are a pretty classy group. We won't guide you to the slums or unsafe areas : )
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Old 06-19-2012, 07:56 AM
 
241 posts, read 438,132 times
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Oh wanted to add that going out to actually see houses made things very clear to me as to what places looked like and what areas were like when I saw pictures of similar places online. The 18 months of looking at the MLS everyday and reading the info here AND that 1st hand look when I was there enabled me to feel confident when I decided to jump on the home I have now. (After 1 showing and it had 2 other offers on it when I looked at it.)
To each his own as far as putting a seller "out" when they have to prepare their home for a showing. That is the way of the real estate world.You never know which one may be the "one" and so you have to prepare each time and present the home at it's best each time. After over 40 showings on the home I was selling I understand the frustration of "is this the one?" Since my home was on the market so long, who knew whether or not one of the lookie-loos might be the "one" later on down the road when they were ready? I did have one couple come back months later, but they chose another home anyway. But on the other end, had I not had the opportunity to go through homes the way I did that day, the process would have been much longer and I would have probably had to go through that many more homes when I was finally ready. Either way sellers would have been put out. Open houses are good to go to, but if your time here is limited for your look, they may not be available when you are. You have to figure out what works for you.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:16 AM
 
1,235 posts, read 3,422,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trbl39 View Post
Oh wanted to add that going out to actually see houses made things very clear to me as to what places looked like and what areas were like when I saw pictures of similar places online. The 18 months of looking at the MLS everyday and reading the info here AND that 1st hand look when I was there enabled me to feel confident when I decided to jump on the home I have now. (After 1 showing and it had 2 other offers on it when I looked at it.)
To each his own as far as putting a seller "out" when they have to prepare their home for a showing. That is the way of the real estate world.You never know which one may be the "one" and so you have to prepare each time and present the home at it's best each time. After over 40 showings on the home I was selling I understand the frustration of "is this the one?" Since my home was on the market so long, who knew whether or not one of the lookie-loos might be the "one" later on down the road when they were ready? I did have one couple come back months later, but they chose another home anyway. But on the other end, had I not had the opportunity to go through homes the way I did that day, the process would have been much longer and I would have probably had to go through that many more homes when I was finally ready. Either way sellers would have been put out. Open houses are good to go to, but if your time here is limited for your look, they may not be available when you are. You have to figure out what works for you.
So how does going to one particular house/houses that you don't intend to buy at the time, help you make a decision on the exact home you will end up buying a year from then? Houses right next to each other can be very different in terms of floorplans & finishes. Obviously, we have different mindsets as far as being respectful of other peoples time & feelings. The seller thinks you could be the "one" but you already know you aren't...Saying "that is the way of the real estate world" doesn't excuse common courtesy. Just my opinion...

Last edited by PixiStix; 06-19-2012 at 08:41 AM..
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:27 PM
 
241 posts, read 438,132 times
Reputation: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by PixiStix View Post
So how does going to one particular house/houses that you don't intend to buy at the time, help you make a decision on the exact home you will end up buying a year from then? Houses right next to each other can be very different in terms of floorplans & finishes. Obviously, we have different mindsets as far as being respectful of other peoples time & feelings. The seller thinks you could be the "one" but you already know you aren't...Saying "that is the way of the real estate world" doesn't excuse common courtesy. Just my opinion...
Upon seeing the interiors of the homes I was then better able to determine when I saw pictures online how the homes were set up. I am sorry if you cannot see how that helped me. I saw many styles of homes in the one day that I had available to look, some occupied, some not.

I fully explained to my agent that I would not be buying at the time of the showings and did not want to waste her or other's time. I am not trying to shift the blame to my agent. Selling a home is a process. Part of that process is having people come to your home to see it who have absolutely no intent of buying your home. Sellers who do not want people coming to view their home that are not serious at that moment can state this to their agent and only have serious buyers shown the home.

Apparently we don't have the same mindset and to me that's okay, everyone is entitled to their different view and opinion. What is not okay to me is that you stated here that I do not have common courtesy and am not respectful of other's feeling and time. Are you not in that same position right now by not having the common courtesy to respect my feelings and opinions and time I took to write my experience here? Of course I guess I should feel okay about it because you did write that it was: Just my opinion...

To the OP, please take the experiences and opinions of ALL who write here and determine what is best for YOUR situation. After all I believe that is what the idea of the forum is about and you will get many different views as there are people responding. Hopefully if you choose to share your experiences here you will not be put down by others taking a 'holier than thou" approach when you do so.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:25 PM
 
1,235 posts, read 3,422,495 times
Reputation: 972
Upon seeing the interiors of the homes I was then better able to determine when I saw pictures online how the homes were set up. I am sorry if you cannot see how that helped me. I saw many styles of homes in the one day that I had available to look, some occupied, some not.

I fully explained to my agent that I would not be buying at the time of the showings and did not want to waste her or other's time. I am not trying to shift the blame to my agent. Selling a home is a process. Part of that process is having people come to your home to see it who have absolutely no intent of buying your home. You're kidding right?! Sellers who do not want people coming to view their home that are not serious at that moment can state this to their agent and only have serious buyers shown the home. Actually it would be common sense that people brought into a person's home after having them spending hours to prepare it for them should be serious buyers-at least the sellers expect so.

Apparently we don't have the same mindset and to me that's okay, everyone is entitled to their different view and opinion. What is not okay to me is that you stated here that I do not have common courtesy and am not respectful of other's feeling and time. Did you not make several people prepare their homes to show you when you knew you were not going to buy any of them? Are you not in that same position right now by not having the common courtesy to respect my feelings and opinions and time I took to write my experience here? Of course I guess I should feel okay about it because you did write that it was: Just my opinion... You are right, it is my opinion. Not everyone will agree with me nor will they you..

To the OP, please take the experiences and opinions of ALL who write here and determine what is best for YOUR situation. After all I believe that is what the idea of the forum is about and you will get many different views as there are people responding. Hopefully if you choose to share your experiences here you will not be put down by others taking a 'holier than thou" approach when you do so. Because I disagree with you & stated my reasons why, I'm 'holier than thou". OK...

As I stated, we obviously have differing opinions about what's respectful & courteous & what isn't. Differing opinions-this board is full of them.

Last edited by PixiStix; 06-19-2012 at 06:44 PM..
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