Searching for a Orlando/Central Florida home? Play the game of nines.

Home Puzzle

When you’re searching for a new home here in Orlando/Central Florida you have a fair idea of what you want and don’t want, so take the time to really nail it down. Sit down with those who will share your new home and come up with three lists of nine.

Home Puzzle

  • The first list is things you either must have or “really, really want” in your new home.
  • The second list is for things you’d like, but they aren’t truly necessary.
  • The third list is things you don’t want at all.

For instance, you may absolutely need an extra room to use as a home office. You might also need an oversized garage to house toys or an antique car. Perhaps you’re an avid gardener and “must have” sunny space in the yard for a garden.

Put those at the top of the first list, right along with the number of bedrooms and baths you must have. And do think that over carefully – if you have 5 children, do they really need separate bedrooms or could you substitute 2 or 3 large bedrooms? And what about you – do you really need a separate bathroom all your own – or space for an easy chair and table in the corner of your bedroom? Or can those features go at the bottom of the list?

The second list might contain things like a bay window, storage under the stairs, or a skylight.

Then, the things you absolutely don’t want. For instance, you might not want a location in the flight path of the local airport or within smelling distance of a feedlot. I met a man once who absolutely didn’t want an extra bedroom, because he didn’t want to make it convenient for guests to spend the night.

Perhaps you won’t be able to list 9 items on each list. If that’s the case, finding your new Orlando/Central Florida home will be much easier.

Before you begin viewing homes, make several copies of your lists and take them along when you tour. Make notes as you view each home. This will help you avoid confusion as you compare one house to another and try to remember the various features and benefits of each.

Do be sure to give your agent a copy of your lists ahead of time.

Because we know the area and because we’re out showing homes every day, we know the inventory and will be able to save you time by eliminating homes that are missing things on your “Must have” list or that contain things on your “absolutely don’t want” list.

When you’re ready to find a home in Orlando/Central Florida, call me. I’ll be happy to work with your needs, wants, and “don’t wants” to find you the perfect home.

What Orlando Home Buyers Should Consider First

When you want to buy a home in Orlando you have quite a few things to consider, but two things should be primary:

  •  The Price
  •  The Location

First, the price. It can be oh-so-tempting to spend all your lender says you can afford. But should you do it?

The lender doesn’t know anything about your life and what you like to do with your money. He or she doesn’t know that you love to go to concerts or attend sporting events. He doesn’t know that you’re taking piano lessons or that your daughter is in a pricey private school. She doesn’t know that the week at the beach or the ski mountain each year is vital to your well-being.

Take what the lender tells you and then scale it back to leave room for the other things that are important in your life. If the lender says you can spend $X and your payment will be $Y – ask what you can spend when your payment is $Y minus the dollars you want to keep for enjoying life.

And then the location. Location is vital to quality of life for a couple of reasons.

First, you want to be able to enjoy your home. Part of that is enjoying the neighborhood, and the neighbors.  By law, your agent is not allowed to steer you toward a neighborhood with people who share your interests, values, family make-up, etc. But you can do some driving around and look for yourself. You can even stop and talk to some people and ask about the neighborhood.

Second, you want to be able to spend time in your home rather than on the road.  Look for a location with a fast commute to school, work, or the recreational pursuits you enjoy. The dollars you might save in choosing a home 30 miles out will be more than used up in the gasoline you’ll buy over the years – to say nothing of the hours of “home time” you’ll miss.

When you’re ready to find your new Orlando home, get in touch. I’ll be pleased to help you find a home that fits the budget that you determine, in a location that suits your lifestyle.

Need to sell your Orlando home before you can buy? Avoid this mistake

Do you need to sell your home in Orlando before you can buy?

If so, you naturally need to know what a new home will cost and whether you’ll qualify for the payments. You don’t want to let go of your present home only find that you can’t purchase a new one! That said, you should do a little looking on line and speak with a mortgage lender before going any further.  Looking on line will give you a good idea of pricing on homes of the size you need in the neighborhoods you want. You’ll likely see a wide range, because some of those homes will be in top condition and some won’t. Assume that the home you’ll choose will be at the high end of the range.

 

Speaking with a lender will tell you whether you’ll qualify for a purchase at that price.  BUT – Don’t make the mistake of shopping for that new home just yet! Wait until you’ve listed your present Orlando home and have accepted an offer from a qualified buyer.  Shopping for a new home before you have the ability to make a purchase can cost you money and lead to disappointment.  Very few sellers will accept an offer contingent on the sale of a house that is not yet under contract. It just doesn’t make sense for them to take their house off the market on the chance that your house will sell and you’ll be able to close. Of course, a few will do it if you’re willing to put down a sizeable non-refundable earnest money deposit.  Even if you do already have an offer on your current home, sellers are wise to be cautious and will perhaps counter with a “bump clause” allowing them to accept a different offer if you can’t close within the specified time frame.  If by chance the seller does accept your offer, you’ll have put yourself in another difficult situation – that of needing to sell your present house quickly. That, in turn, means you’ll be more likely to accept a low offer just to get it done.  The need to hurry could cost you thousands of dollars.

 

So what else will happen if you shop too soon?  The worst case: You’ll find “the perfect house” and you won’t be able to buy it. And after that, no other house will measure up. Even if you find a different home that in reality is a better fit for you and yours, you’ll always think the other one would have been better.  

 

My advice: Exercise patience. First, list your home at its current market value. Then do all you can to make it attractive, appealing, and accessible to qualified buyers and their agents. Then negotiate reasonably and get that home under contract.  Once your house is under contract with a solid buyer, start shopping for your new Orlando home.