There are a number of important considerations to make before buying a winter vacation home in Florida, such as location, property taxes, the option to rent out your home and tallying up all expenses.
If you travel to Florida more than once a year it can be cost effective to purchase a home in the area. This saves money on accommodations and gives you an actual investment you can rent out or sell at a later date for a profit. It makes even more financial sense if you live in a different state throughout the year, but come to Florida for the entire winter. Here some tips to consider before buying a winter home in Florida.
Here Are Our Tips For Successfully Buying A Winter Home In Florida
Location, Location, Location
The area that you pick is really important and varies drastically. What makes the most sense for you in regards to your wants and needs? Would you rather live in a quiet neighborhood or a more action-packed part of town?
Perhaps you want to avoid touristy areas, or you prefer popular tourist locations because it will increase the value of your home if you decide to rent it out when you’re not living there. Think through your priorities carefully in order to make the right decision.
Conduct Your House Search During The Winter
If you’re buying a winter home make sure to shop for it during the winter. This way you get the best idea as to what you are getting and what it will be like when you are living there. Looking between December and February offers the best representation of what the area is like during the peak of winter.
Sample Before You Buy
You may want to consider renting a home in the area for an entire winter before you invest in buying a property. This will help you to determine if you really do in fact want to live out your winters here.
Consider Renting Out Your Home In The Summer Time
A winter home gives you a sunny place to escape every year, but what about all of those times throughout the year that you aren’t living there? Instead of paying for unused living space you could rent out the house and make money on it. Understandably, not everyone is comfortable renting out their home to complete strangers. Yet, if that does sound like something you’d be interested in focus on finding a home close to tourist attractions where the demand for rental homes is higher. Some of the highest demand for rentals is during the summer, and since you’ll be there in the winter it works out perfectly. You don’t have to rent it out all of the time. You could open it up for rent during a big golf tournament or other local event in order to pocket some extra cash without renting it out all of the time.
Accurately Estimate All Expenses
It’s easy to get carried away buying a vacation home and forget about all of the additional annual expenses you are signing yourself up for. Make an accurate estimate and go over all potential expenses before deciding if it’s the right financial decision. Additional expenses include taxes, home repairs, insurance, gardening, and so forth. There are also travel expenses getting to and from your vacation home.
Don’t Forget About Property Taxes
Second homes tend to be more complicated in regards to property taxes. Property taxes in Florida tend to be higher on second homes than they are for primary residences.
Keep good records on all of your homes in order to prevent overpaying on taxes. Renting out your home, making home improvements, all of these things impact the taxes you pay. A professional tax preparer is your best friend when it comes to keeping on top of taxes and earning all of the credits and breaks you deserve.
Get Pre-Approved Before Starting Your Home Search
Before starting your home search get pre-approved on a mortgage. This gives you more leverage when you go to make an offer on a home and it also gives you an exact budget to work with. In order to get approved on a second mortgage you must have a low debt-to-income ratio, a strong credit score and a good track record of paying off all debts in the past. Lenders look even more carefully at borrowers that currently have another mortgage on their record.
Curri Properties is happy to help you find the perfect winter getaway in Florida! Contact us today to get started on your search.