Florida Home Buying Tips

A Guide to Home Buying in Orlando

By kev
At May 22, 2017

Central Florida offers Unbeatable Value and Unrivaled Family Fun!

There’s a clear appeal to owning an investment or secondary property in Orlando.
Weather, attractions, lakes, golf, and much more ensure that everyone has an incredible time in Central Florida.

Luxury Real Estate Near Disney


Choose a great Realtor that suits your family’s needs

  • Check out several realtors before you move ahead.
  • All realtors will promise the earth, few deliver.
  • Ask them LOTS of questions up front to gauge their responsiveness.  If they are swift and reliable, you are making good progress.
  • A good realtor won’t be too pushy, but will listen very carefully first, then offer the best advice.
  • A good realtor will not be impatient!
  • A bad realtor will quickly try to market their ‘current projects’ whether they are suitable for you or not.
  • If you don’t decide to use us, no problem!
  • You are free to choose whoever you want to find that dream home!

TotalOrlando Realty guides buyers and sellers throughout every inch of the process, to ensure that the deal runs smoothly, at the best possible price, with the fewest possible issues.
Like any big transaction or purchase, there’s a lot to consider, and we are your eyes and ears on the ground here in Florida.
Florida home owners almost always live out of state, or out of the country, making trustworthy local guidance, the most critical resource to buyers.

Some things to have ready before you begin your search!

  • Buyers should have ‘proof of funds’ at the ready.  This could be a bank statement or a mortgage offer.
  • Don’t worry if you need a bit of time for the proof of funds, you have until you make an actual offer.
  • Copies of tax records are important if financing is required.
  • Up to date passports and driver’s licenses family members (you may need to visit Orlando to view homes etc)

Some things that might surprise you about buying in Orlando

  • The process can be quick and straight forward
  • Mortgages are often available for non USA residents at fair rates (Generally up to 60% loan to value)
  • Homes can be placed into profitable rental programs while you aren’t using it (offset running costs & mortgage)
  • Generally speaking, only the area South or Southwest of Disney World is zoned for short term rental
  • Many home owners go on to own multiple, profitable properties here in Orlando.

Making Orlando your Permanent Home

  • Many US Residents make Central Florida their permanent home thanks to the year round warmth.
  • Orlando’s attractions work wonders to entice family members to visit you regularly!
  • Overseas buyers often yearn to become US residents at some point.  The place simply grows on you!
    We warned you!
  • Immigration is not easy, but it can be achieved.  We can chat with you to find out how to help find you a reliable immigration attorney.

Costs of Buying a Home

  • Title fees
  • Closing fees
  • Home owner Insurances
  • Furnishing packages may be required

Costs of Running a Home

  • AC always needs to run at background levels to remove humidity
  • HOA fees may be required, depending upon your community
  • Yard maintenance or Landscaping fees
  • Insurances
  • TV / Cable / Internet
  • Gas for pool heat

Top Tips For Homebuyers!

  • Pick a target budget from the outset
  • Consider an ‘absolute maximum’ to keep a realistic limit.
  • Create a list of ‘must haves’
  • Create a list of ‘nice to haves’
  • What does your family like to do at weekends and on evenings for fun?
  • Try to think of activities ‘beyond the theme parks!’
  • A good realtor can work magic with your lists and find the best home in the best communities!
  • Try to think of the possible future needs for the home (rental market, retirement etc)

Things to watch out for when buying a home in Orlando

  • Pushy Realtors are often looking after their interests, not yours!
    Good realtors are rare and invaluable.
  • Focus on the location that’s best for you, not just how far it is from A to B
  • Many of the best communities are close to Disney, but other great homes might only be 15-20 minutes away!
  • Decide of you ‘might’ want to offset costs in a vacation rental program.
    Areas are zoned for residential or short term rental.  There’s no going back if you buy in a residential area!
  • Residential areas offer the best schools and community spirit.
  • Ensure the area you choose has great stores, bars and restaurants nearby.
  • Don’t buy a tired old home unless you have an expertize in construction
  • If a home needs remodeling, ask your realtor to research reliable builders for you.
  • Understand the full cost of any remodel projects before you buy the home.  Always allow for a few % of inflation!
  • Visit the community at different times of day and night to understand the community fully.
    A good realtor will know the community or research this for you!
  • Try not to ‘pre-determine’ the outcome.  It’s so hard to change your shortlist if your heart was set on one place already.
  • Ask your realtor to show price trends and explain what’s hot and what’s not in that community or Central Florida in general.

When things don’t go to plan!

  • Things happen, and sometimes unexpectedly.
    Don’t be disheartened if you miss out on a home.
    Take a few days to think things through and refocus your efforts.
    Don’t rush into making an offer on another home!

Your Goal is to have the best possible home that can get and don’t settle for anything less!

  • A smart purchase will serve you and your family for many years to come!
  • Work with and question your realtor to be as sure as possible that you have bought the best available home that’s on the market.
  • If not, wait.  The market is buzzing and new opportunities will surface in time!

If you like this article, we might be the perfect realtor for you!


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How to Choose the Best Investment Homes!

By kev
At Mar 10, 2017
Golf View Homes for Investments

Reunion Resort in Orlando – A well proven Investment Community

Wise investors place a lot of emphasis on research and planning before they commit their hard earned funds.
We take a look at the big factors to consider, and some to avoid.

But first, lets look at some general advice from the acclaimed investor Warren Buffett;

  • Fear in others is an opportunity for you.
  • Invest in what you understand.
  • Concentrate in long term results.
  • Maintain a healthy margin.

Some other great advice from general investors;

  • Don’t let emotions drive your investment, stick to the facts and figures.
  • Use leverage wisely to maximize Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Don’t over borrow!
  • Watch out for fees!
  • Obtain the best possible finance deal, don’t settle for the relief of the first offer!

How do those investor tips affect home buying decisions?

Taking those pieces of great advice will serve you well, but has anyone ever bought a home without emotional influences?
No, we guess not!
After all, just about everyone buys a home because of its intrinsic appeal, the location and even the romance.
It is best to avoid emotion in buying a home, but its always beneficial to design and furnish it with every ounce of passion that you have!
The advice however, is a nice reminder that we don’t ignore all of the other pieces of sound advice too.
The numbers have to add up, it has to be affordable, and you really need to consider the longer term investment.
For us though, the goal of our team is to provide the best possible home that meets every possible requirement.
We have a long track record of making great homes for families and investors.

Understanding communities and locations

The age old saying of location, location, location rings in every experienced home buyer’s ears.
It truly is a fundamental of successful real estate.

  • Write down your wish list of features and facets of your dream community.
  • Do that before you visit the first community (if you can) to avoid swaying your vote!
  • Schools, restaurants, leisure, shopping, kids play, safety, tranquility/liveliness are great starting points!
  • Consider the things that your current community lacks.
  • Consider the things that you love about your current community.
  • Remember that excessive commuting distance is one of the most common ‘triggers’ for a house move.
  • Create a shortlist of possible neighborhoods (ask a realtor for help too!)
  • Visit the neighborhoods on your shortlist at various times of day and night
  • Traffic, hustle and bustle can all look different on a sleepy Sunday than a rushed Monday morning stuck in unexpected commuter traffic!
  • Once you’ve assessed your wish list and short list, try to be fair to all of the members of your family
  • Be prepared to compromise, but never sacrifice any essentials when you make your final choice
  • Consider what the future will bring to a community.  It may develop briskly with new amenities adding value, or taking away the feel.
  • Great research is almost as good as that magical crystal ball, a key to any great investment!
  • Experience the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of your next potential neighborhood.
  • As previously mentioned, experience as many hours of the day that you can!

Only pay for what you and a future buyer would appreciate!

Ensure that the home has everything that you might need, but don’t go crazy adding specialist features that may be of value to you alone.

  • That loft conversion with a built in model train track is going to detract value for a future buyer.
    The new owners will incur costs ripping it all out to make the house ‘normal’ again and that will be reflected in their offer.
  • By all means make the house yours to use, but consider the future buyer when adding upgrades and extras.
  • Keep the materials and decor as neutral and tasteful as possible.  Perceived quality can be much more affordable than many people think.
  • Consider how other homes in your area are designed and finished.
    If you go too high above them, you might not realize that additional expense on resale.
    If you go too far below them, you may not get a resale at all.

Keep some money aside for a few upgrades in year one!

Unless you are buying a custom built home, chances are that you will move in and quickly realize things could be better.
Avoid doing too much in the first 6 months.
Live with the home and hold onto your cash for as long as you can before making those upgrades or additions.
What might seem a problem during move in, can dissolve away rapidly as you become accustomed to the property and its character.
Having those funds available will ensure that any unforeseen issues or more valuable upgrades can be dealt with swiftly.

Keep the home in great shape at all times!

Always also bear in mind that there’s no substitute for keeping the home in good order throughout its useful lifetime with your family.
Try and avoid waiting until resale time.  The repair bill might be too big to execute in time for those first viewings.
Fresh paint, baking bread, vases of flowers and hot roast coffee are all magical tricks to sell that home at a great price!

View our list of homes for sale in Reunion Resort, Orlando

If you like this article, we might be the perfect realtor for you!




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