Top 5 Florida Home Buying Tips


In a competitive real estate market, a local top real estate expert offers this advice:

 Get a Team!

Don’t do it alone.  Your key team member will be a local realtor.  Take the time to interview several realtors and find one that exhibits key knowledge of the area both from statistical and lifestyle standpoints.  Ask plenty of questions, and find someone you mesh well with.  A realtor is a great friend to have in a new area. If you need financing, ask your realtor for some recommendations for a lender. Local mortgage brokers and bankers know the landscape and know what insurances and inspections are needed for the type of loan you need to acquire for the purchase of your new home.

2. The Florida Market is Hot.

If a particular home is desirable to you, you are probably not the only one who thinks so.  Positioning is everything.  Position yourself successfully by doing a little home work.  Get preapproved by a lender.  Doing this is the next best thing to a cash offer.  Having a letter of preapproval will almost certainly put you on top of the list.

3. It May cost you Less than you think.

Putting 20% down on the purchase of a home is recommended, but it is not necessary.  If you are buying a home as your primary residence, you can put as little as 3% down of the purchase price.  If you’re buying a second home, you can put as little as 10% down.

4. Inspections are important.

Whether you are buying new construction, a condominium, or a historic home, it is recommended to have an inspection.  While inspections are optional, it will generally only cost you a few hundred dollars, and may bring you peace of mind.  The inspectors look at the condition of the home beyond cosmetics, and if something are found, it will allow you to renegotiate with the seller to fix the problem or possibly lower the price of the home.  Depending on the age and location of the home, a four-point inspection and a wind mitigation inspection may be necessary, but can provide you significant savings on your insurance.

5. Florida is a Homestead State.

If you purchase your home in Florida as your primary residence, you can file for a Homestead Exemption worth up to $50,000.  The exemption reduces the amount of property taxes Florida homeowners are required to pay, and limits how much the taxes will increase each year.  This means if you qualify, and your property is worth $100,000, you would only be taxed as if it was worth $50,000. 

Tips provided by JD McClintock, Broker Associate, Principal Ownership with Global Real Estate Agency, Keller Williams Realty.  For More information please visit

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