Home Buying First Steps – Where,What, How Much?

Home Buying First Steps – Where,What, How Much?

When you are thinking of buying a home there are so many things to think about. It can be overwhelming to say the least. Try starting out with three questions…Where? What? and How much?

Where?

Everyone has heard the saying “location, location, location” when it comes to real estate. If you are planning a move, then knowing where you want to live is the single most important factor. You will want to research areas of town and neighborhoods. Water views, downtown proximity, or nearby shopping may be important to you. Also taking into consideration commute times to work is a big thing. Research areas online, visit the areas in person, and asking lots of questions are great ways to learn about different locales.

What?

You will also want to know what you want in a home? Do you want a house, condo, or townhouse? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? Do you want a single level home or do you prefer multi-story? Knowing what you want specifically will help to narrow your search down considerably. Making a list of what you want and need is a great first step in determining your needs.

How much?

Knowing how much you can afford is an important first step. Take a look at your personal financial picture and determine what you feel comfortable with. Then you will certainly want to contact a mortgage professional to get a pre-qualification. Remember to let the mortgage professional know what you are comfortable with because the amount you qualify for may not match what you want to pay.  Check out our post on pre-qualifying for a mortgage by clicking here. 

Having this info will go a long way in making your home search a success!  Let us know if we can help with any questions regarding … well… anything about real estate or moving to Florida!

 

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The Marbella Condominiums – Jacksonville Beach, Florida

The Marbella Condominiums – Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Location – 917 1st Street South in Jacksonville Beach

Year Built – 2005

Style – High Rise

Amenities – Swimming Pool; Club Room; Fitness Room

Unit Types – 2, 3, & 4 Bedroom Units

Parking – Assigned parking

Description – This gracious oceanfront 12-story building offers lovely views. The elevators open onto private foyers for the units.

If you have questions on condo living in Florida (or anything regarding relocating to the Sunshine State) please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

Costa Verano Condominiums – Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Costa Verano Condominiums – Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Location – 1031 1st Street South in Jacksonville Beach – Main Tower
1032 1st Street South – Townhome Section

Year Built – 2006

Style – High Rise (Main Tower) / Low Rise (Townhome Section)

Amenities – Swimming Pool; Fitness Room; Club Room

Unit Types – 2, 3, & 4 Bedroom Units

Parking – Assigned parking

Description – This large condo complex consists of a 14-story tower (including under building parking) and a 2 story townhouse section. It has a mediterranean look and feel.

If you have questions on condo living in Florida (or anything regarding relocating to the Sunshine State) please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

Jacksonville Beaches – Area Overview

Jacksonville Beaches – Area Overview

Jacksonville’s beaches are comprised of Jacksonville Beach (of course), Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Ponte Vedra Beach.

Lay Of The Land

Atlantic Beach is the furthest north. Just south of that is Neptune Beach, then Jacksonville Beach. Ponte Vedra Beach is the furthest south of the area’s beaches.

The Beaches

Jacksonville’s beaches are wide, clean and very pretty. There are a lot of public access areas (except in Ponte Vedra Beach which has fewer public access points). In the central area of Jacksonville Beach there are lifeguard stations.

Tourism

The height of the tourist season is during the summer. Ponte Vedra Beach is popular with golfers as well. This area has a lot of visitors during the Spring and Fall as well due to the golf courses.

Businesses

The area has numerous hotels and resorts. There are also many restaurants, bars, and shops along First Street and A1A which are the main roads along the beaches.

Overall

Jacksonville’s beaches tend to be less crowded as some of the beaches further south. It’s a great area to visit as well as live.

If you’d like more info on Jacksonville’s beaches (or any other areas of Florida) let us know.  We’d love to hear from you!

Considering A Relocation To Florida?  Do Your Research!

Considering A Relocation To Florida? Do Your Research!

Are you thinking of moving to Florida but are unsure about where you’d like to live? Florida is a large state and different areas have different feels to them. You will want to consider factors such as weather, cost of living, things to do, etc.

It is best to research your potential new city (or cities) prior to deciding on a move. There are numerous resources to obtain information about various areas.

Online

Just doing a search for terms like “move to Florida” will turn up a lot of resources. Look for local Chamber of Commerce sites, tourism sites, and general tips shown online (such as this blog).

Books

There are lots of travel related books for the Sunshine State. A visit to your favorite local (or online) bookstore should turn up a vast number of travel guides for popular areas in Florida.

Social Media

Check out pages on Facebook with area info about Florida. Also general searches on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest can provide a wealth of info.

Videos

YouTube has numerous videos on moving to Florida. Click Here to check out our YouTube channel with relocation tips. Also doing a general search for “relocate to Florida” in the search bar should give you a lot of videos to check out.

Personal Visits

Of course, making a research trip is the best way to check out areas first hand. Just a visit to one of the Florida Visitor Centers will provide you with a lot of booklets, brochures, etc. about the state. And visiting an area first hand really gives you a feel for it.

Florida is a great place to live! Doing your homework prior to deciding on which part of the state you’d like will help to make your planning easier.

Let us know if you are interested in a move to Florida and would like more information. We’d love to hear from you!

Condos, Condotels & Timeshares – What’s The Difference?

Condos, Condotels & Timeshares – What’s The Difference?

Condominiums are very popular in Florida.  Most people are familiar with a traditional condo development, but are less so with other types such as condotels and timeshare condos.  Here’s some basic info on each.

Traditional Condos

With a traditional condo you own the unit from the walls, floor, and ceiling in.  The exterior of the building along with the common areas (hallways, lobbies, club rooms, fitness rooms, swimming pools, etc) are jointly owned with all owners in the development.  Upkeep of the buildings and common areas are paid through maintenance fees paid by the homeowners.

Condotels

Condotels (Condominium Hotels) are popular in resort areas of Florida.  These are often converted from a traditional hotel.  They offer ownership similar to a traditional condo but have onsite management that runs the property as a hotel. The amenities are often similar to what you find in a hotel (swimming pools, restaurants, etc). Unit owners usually have the ability to either rent their unit to individuals  through the onsite management company or on their own.  Some choose to live in the units full time but this isn’t as common as owners who use the units part time and rent them out the rest of the time.  Some condotels also restrict the number of days a unit owner can use their unit during the year as opposed to renting it out, so be sure to check if the usage requirements are in line with your needs.

Timeshare Condos

Timeshare condominiums are also popular in resort areas of Florida.  These allow numerous owners per unit.  There are a variety of timeshare ownership opportunities (such as fixed week, floating week, point systems, etc.) which we won’t get into here. These are designed for vacationers, but if you are planning to only spend a month or so a year in the Sunshine State than this may be an option worth checking into.

So there it is…a quick “411” on some condo ownership options in Florida. 

If you have questions on condo living or any other aspects regarding relocating to Florida please let us know!

South Shore Condominiums – Jacksonville Beach, Florida

South Shore Condominiums – Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Location – 1551 1st Street South in Jacksonville Beach

Year Built – 1984

Style – High Rise

Amenities – Swimming pool

Unit Types – 3 Bedroom Units

Parking – Assigned parking

Description – This rather small 8-story building has a lovely beachfront pool and beach access.

If you have questions on condo living in Florida (or anything regarding relocating to the Sunshine State) please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!