Acquiring a home (whether for vacations or for retirement) in Naples, Bonita Springs or any other Florida city for that matter, can be daunting process, especially if you have never done it before. Second home and retirement home purchases can involve different issues than other homes you may have purchased previously. Fortunately, we're here to guide you throughout the process.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can quickly and effortlessly buy your ideal Florida luxury house.
1. Establish Homebuying Criteria
If you want to buy a vacation home or to relocate to Southwest Florida, it generally is a good idea to develop specific homebuying criteria. Any journey is easier when you have a plan. There are many options to choose from here, which means many decisions to make. Making those decisions is a lot easier if you have thought about the questions in advance, so its best to think about what matters most to you.
First, think about where you want to live. Would you prefer to live near or on the beach? Or woild you prefer to live more inland? Would you prefer to live in a single family home or perhaps a villa/ duplex? We also have many very appealing communities with condominium options. What sort of neighborhood or community would you like? A gated community or a more traditional residential neighborhood? Would you like a community with many planned activities, or would you prefer to live in a more laid-back environment where you make your own fun?
There are many more issues to consider, from deciding "first or second floor," "elevator or no" to valet parking or indoor parking or outside parking. We have a long list that we go through with clients when we first meet. Its trite, but "knowing what you are looking for makes it much easier to find it."
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Depending upon your financial resources, you may want to buy with a mortgage or with cash, perhaps with the cash proceeds from the sale of another residence. Most Sellers in our area would like Buyers who are making offers to submit pre-approval letters or proof of funds from financial institutions along with their offer. We can help with the form of such documents.
If you are financing, we recommend that you meet with a variety of mortgage lenders. We can provide you with a list of providers we have had favorable experiences with. This will allow you to explore a wide range of mortgage options and find one that enables you to acquire your ideal home on the best terms possible. We also work with and have lenders who can help international buyers, something many brokers and institutions do not have experience with.
Don't hesitate to ask lots of questions when you meet with lenders. Asking questions enables you to learn about all of your options and make an informed decision. We are glad to visit lenders and brokers with you or to answer any questions you might have along the way. Just let us know.
3. Meet with a number of Real Estate Agents and select the one you feel most comfortable with.
A real estate agent is a ""must-have for a Southwest Florida homebuyer. Southwest Florida is a diverse and complex real estate market, so experience matters a great deal. It is also important that you find an agent who enjoy spending time with, and with whom you feel a sense of rapport. It can take a while to find the perfect place. We work with clients who have very particular needs and wants; sometimes, there is not enough "real estate inventory" to find the perfect home right away.
We do extensive research basd on client preferences and if there is an appropriate property on the matrket, we will find it. But sometimes, the ideal place is not available right away. As a result, we have visited as many as 50 properties with some Buyers, even after extensive online research, before finding the gem they are looking for.
That can mean a lot of afternoons riding around town, having lunches and talking about "wants and needs," renovation options, school districts, etc. So, it is important that you get along well your agent and enjoy "going through the process" with them. You also need to be able to talk to them freely about your reactions to properties. And most important, you deserve an agent who listens to you and integrates what you tell them into their advice to you.
A good real estate agent also provides plenty of support after your offer is accepted. He or she will guide you through the home inspection, HOA approval and appraisal processes. Your agent's willingness to work hard to make sure the process moves along quickly and smoothly is very important. It's also very helpful to work with an agent whose office has an experienced transaction manager capailty and back office.
These are the main points, but they are necessarily summary in nature. We really love what we do and would be glad to talk to you any time about amy questions you might have, even if we are not yor agent. Please feel free to call us or email us any time.