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Buying a Second Home in Florida: What to Know

Home in Fiddler's Creek

Owning a second house in Florida has quite a few benefits. If you currently live somewhere cold, you’ll have a place in a warm climate to go to. Or, if you want to have somewhere to go for vacations, there’s that too. Then there’s an investment approach: buying a second home to rent it out and earn money. Whatever your intent is, there are quite a few things to consider before deciding on getting a second house. And to help you out, we have put together a list of what to know when buying a second home in Florida, so we hope you find it helpful.

Should you buy or rent?

When it comes to buying a second home in Florida, you need to consider whether you want to buy it or rent it. What the better option for you comes down to a few factors:

  • What do you intend to do with the property?
  • How often will you be staying there?
  • What can you afford?

If you want to use the property as a vacation home, then renting might be a better option. Homeownership comes with many responsibilities, such as maintenance, repairs, and a mortgage. On the other hand, if you intend to invest in the home and then rent it out, you need to own the home. Either way, you should consider the benefits of working with a local real estate agent to find your new home. They will be able to help you find the perfect home quickly.

a modern home with a garage
Consider what you want to do with the property carefully and decide if renting is a better solution

Caption: Consider what you want to do with the property carefully and decide if renting is a better solution.

Alt-tag: a modern home with a garage

Figure out if you can afford to own a second home

It’s a fact that homeownership can have a lot of unexpected expenses and costs. Before you decide on buying a second home, make sure you can afford to own it long-term. This isn’t as easy as merely figuring out monthly payments, insurance, and taxes. You also have to consider maintenance costs and repairs if something goes wrong. First, you want to make sure you have enough income to keep your primary home well maintained. Then, you want to have enough income to cover the costs of a second home and still have enough to direct to your savings. Then, you can start thinking about moving costs and which furniture you want to move over to the new place. Of course, remember that when hiring long-distance movers in Florida, you want only reliable professionals to help transfer your possessions. Remember to account for these costs as well.

Familiarize yourself with the area where you plan to buy a second home

If you are buying a second home in Florida to use as a vacation home, you obviously want to make sure it’s close to some good vacation spots. However, it would help if you familiarized yourself with the real estate market in the area before making any plans. Being unfamiliar with the market can lead to many problems, even if you work with a real estate agent. So, take the time to do thorough research before deciding on an area. Keep an eye out for market trends, local and state-specific closing costs, accurate estimations of taxes, mortgage rates, fees, insurance, etc. Once you figure everything out, you will be ready to step into the process of finding a second home. Then you can start considering the emotional benefits of owning a new home, as well as the physical benefits.

green palm tree
Research the area where you intend on buying a second home in Florida before making a decision

Caption: Research the area where you intend on buying a second home in Florida before making a decision.

Alt-tag: high rise buildings at night

Mortgage requirements for owning a second home

There are several restrictions on getting a mortgage for a second home. For example, you can’t profit from a second home to qualify for a second home mortgage. This limits your options quite a bit if you want an investment property. In that case, you’d need an investment mortgage. Additionally, mortgage rates for a second home are typically higher, and the down payment requirements are higher. When getting a second home mortgage, there is a minimum 20% down payment requirement in Florida. And since you will most likely want the home to be in a good position, for example, if it’s going to be a vacation home, you need to consider the area carefully since it needs to be closer to the best Florida vacation spots. And houses close to good vacation spots are typically much more expensive than anywhere else, so consider your finances carefully.

Other things to consider about owning a second home

You need to consider another set of factors before buying a second home. Firstly, you need to think about travel arrangements to and from the property. This is especially important if you plan to use it as a vacation home. Especially in Florida, it’s important to remember hurricane insurance, as Florida faces a higher risk of hurricanes than any other state in the US. Home security is paramount for a second home since you will be away most of the time. Property maintenance costs for your second home should always be on your mind when thinking about this. When it comes to general upkeep, garage cleaning and other such activities are easy, but you need to think long-term when talking about a second home. Because you will be away most of the time, maintenance isn’t easy to organize.

Waterfront home watching sunset
There are a number of factors you need to remember before making a decision about buying a second home

Buying a second home in Florida: what to know – wrap up

There are many things to consider when thinking about buying a second home. And while a lot of it has to do with various costs and expenses compared to your primary home, some of the factors are more personal, from your intention with the property to the area it is in. We hope you found this list of what to know when buying a second home in Florida helpful.

Article provided by Tanya Douglas;

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