People move to new states because they start a new job, want to live closer to loved ones or desire to live in a dream location. Planning your move to a new state is exciting. You begin your journey to the next chapter in your life and prepare to take on new experiences.
In any state, the home buying process requires your time, research, and commitment to finding the perfect property. Adding the extra query of searching for out-of-state homes alters the experience. You’ll need to learn the area, understand the real estate market, and find a reputable Realtor® to help you with the entire process.
Can you buy a house in Florida if you live in another state? Yes! This guide to buying houses in Florida will give get you started searching for homes and investment properties in the Sunshine State from out-of-state. Check out these helpful tips and strategies to make your move seamless.
How You Can Move to Florida From Out-of-State
Florida remains a popular destination for people to call their new home. With warm weather, plenty of outdoor activities, world-famous theme parks and beautiful beaches, it’s a state that offers something to everyone. If you want to purchase a home in Florida but need some help navigating the buying process, check out some of the best ways to buy a house in Florida from out-of-state:
1. Do Your Research
The internet makes this easy to do from where you are now! We suggest starting with tourism websites like Visit Florida. In addition, check out the government websites for specific cities you are interested in. City websites contain information about parks and recreation areas, various services provided to residents, different businesses around the city, and specific laws and ordinances the city has in place.
Find the local chamber of commerce website or social media pages to see what types of attractions, events, and activities are going on in different areas. This information helps you familiarize yourself with the city and see what amenities are close.
Another method that can help you learn more about an area is reading local news articles. You’ll learn about local events happening in the community, businesses to check out, residents making an impact on the city, and any crime occurring in the area. This information helps you determine if the city is a good fit for you and your lifestyle.
Use search engines to your advantage and check out school districts, parks, grocery stores, hospitals, restaurants, and other attractions in the city.
2. Narrow Down Your Preferences
Once you find a city that’s a good match for you, it’s time to determine what type of home you want. First, decide on a realistic price range for your budget and the area where you’re searching. Median home prices vary across Florida. Houses closer to a big city or the ocean tend to cost more, while houses in towns far from bigger cities or in the suburbs tend to cost less.
You can research median home prices in your city of interest to help you gain a glimpse into the market prices. Additionally, if you go through the pre-approval process for a mortgage loan, you obtain a clearer idea of what you can afford in Florida.
Next, decide what type of home is right for you. Do you need a single-family home or a condo? A needs and wants list can help you decide on the types of homes that fit you best. List all of the features you need in your home, like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and other features that are a must. After you complete your needs list, make a list of the features you want in your home. These are features you would like, but it’s not a deal-breaker if they’re not included, like a screened-in porch, pool, garage, etc.
3. Network With People in the Area
What better way to learn about a new area than from a local? Networking with current residents is a great way to get the inside scoop on where to look for homes, what areas you should avoid, the best places to eat, great shopping locations, and more.
Do you know anyone that already lives in the area? If you don’t, you might have a family member, friend or coworker that knows someone. Ask around to see if anyone you know has a connection to someone in the town in Florida you like. Talking with residents provides you with an excellent opportunity to ask any question you have about the area.
Another connection you can talk to is a future coworker if you have a new job lined up. They likely know what areas are worth searching in for a home.
Joining social media groups is another method to connect with people in the community before you move. Many communities have groups on Facebook or Nextdoor that will give you some insight into what goes on in the area.
4. Hire A Florida Real Estate Agent
Hiring a reputable Florida Realtor® will help you out immensely when you’re buying a house in Florida from out of state. You might be surprised to learn that the real estate laws in Florida vary from those in your current state. Lean on your agent’s knowledge of the local regulations and their expertise in how to buy a house in Florida. A great real estate agent will look out for your best interest and guide you to properties that meet your prices range and needs.
Your real estate agent will also be the one to schedule showings, draft your sales contract, help with negotiations, and guide you through the entire home buying process. They know of the area and can send you homes for sale soon after (and sometimes before) they hit the market. Plus, brokerages like McCallion & McCallion go above and beyond to help you with virtual walk-throughs, attend inspections, and assist you on the ground, while you are in another state. That’s why it helps to have a tried-and-true real estate professional to ease the stress of the out-of-state home buying process.
5. Tour Properties Before You Purchase
Whether you’re doing virtual showings or scheduling a long weekend to visit multiple properties, it’s essential to give all your attention during these walk-throughs so you can find the best home for you in Florida.
You can fall in love with a home through photos, but a showing can tell a different story. Images can fail to show aspects like the size of rooms, the quality of the windows, the stain on the ceiling, and other faults within the home. When you’re interested in a property, your agent can schedule a virtual walk-through if you’re currently out-of-state or you can choose a weekend where you can complete a list of in-person showings with your real estate agent.
Homes can begin to blend together after multiple showings. It’s helpful to take notes during showings so you can have something to reference for each property. Also, make sure you ask your agent any questions that come to mind during the showing. They’re happy to answer your questions or contact the seller’s agent to learn more about the property.
When you decide on a home, it’s helpful to be there during the inspection if you can travel. The inspection is an important process to ensure all major areas of the house are in good condition. Your real estate agent will be there to view the inspection and go over the report with you once complete.
Buying Investment Property in Florida from Out-of-State
Investing in properties can help diversify your financial portfolio. Purchasing and upkeeping an investment property in the same state you live in has a set process, but buying a property out-of-state adds more steps.
The Sunshine State is an enticing option if you’re looking to buy a property in Florida to rent out or if you’re looking to buy a vacation home for your family. Whatever your reason is, it’s helpful to learn the best way to purchase an investment property in Florida when you live in another state.
Reasons to Invest
Florida is an excellent out-of-state investment choice compared to states like New York or California because the houses often cost less and offer more. Not to mention, Florida continues to be a popular destination for people to vacation and live, making it a great state to invest in property.
You’ll also notice that the return on investment (ROI) of properties in Florida is often better than in other states. In general, people purchase out-of-state investment properties based on the appreciation rates, purchase prices, taxes, rental market conditions, mortgage expenses, housing regulations, and other factors. Many find these factors to be favorable in several Florida cities.
Things to Consider
When you invest in property in Florida and don’t reside in the state, you’ll have a different experience than investors who have easy access to their properties. For starters, you’ll need to research the town your investment property is in to gain market insight. You can rely on a local real estate agent to inform you of any restrictions in place that might affect your ability to rent out a property. Consider networking in Florida to find high-quality realty companies and other local investors. Networking helps you find qualified and trusted individuals that can give sound advice about Florida investment properties or vacation homes that you might not find when researching online.
Before You Purchase Property
Before purchasing an investment property in Florida, always visit the property in person or have a real estate agent you trust to view the property. It’s highly advised that, if you can, you tour the place in person to ensure you’re making a wise investment. The last thing you want is to buy a property that will cost you more than you expect with hefty repairs. Make sure you hire a qualified company for an inspection and have the property appraised. The inspection report will let you know if the property needs any extensive repairs, and the appraisal will tell you if the property is worth the listing price.
Best Way to Buy a House in Florida
To ensure you have a smooth investment property buying process, consider the following:
- Looking at properties in an area you know: If you’re set on buying property in Florida to rent out or buying a vacation home, consider a city that you know. It can be your favorite vacation spot, a town you went to college in or a place you’ve traveled to for business a few times. When you know an area, you have a better idea of whether it’s a good investment area.
- Hire a trusted real estate agent: When you’re buying a house in Florida from out-of-state or an investment property, you want to have an experienced real estate agent help you handle the buying process. Research and interview real estate agents to find highly-rated and recommended agents that can help you find suitable investment properties and create a hassle-free experience for you.
- Consider the surrounding area: When you buy investment property in Florida, consider the surrounding area. You want to buy investment property in an area that offers plenty of amenities and attractions so people will want to live at your property. Additionally, if you’re choosing to invest in a property as a vacation home for your family, you want to ensure you select an area that offers plenty for you and your family to do, too.
How to Decide Where to Move
Choosing a city to move to in Florida is easy when you’ve narrowed down your preferences. Ask yourself the following questions to begin your search for the perfect Florida city to call home:
- Do you want to be close to the beach?
- Do you prefer a quieter town with fewer tourists?
- Do you want to be close to the theme parks?
- Do you want to be on an island?
- Do you want to be close to big cities?
These questions are great primers to help you think about where you want to live in Florida and what matters most about the location.
Check Out Sanibel & Captiva Islands in Florida with Sanibel Real Estate Guide
Are you still searching for the perfect place in Florida to purchase your new home or an investment property? Consider the island lifestyle and check out Sanibel Island and Captiva Island. These quaint beach towns are loved by locals and tourists alike. Search for your Florida home with the help of McCallion & McCallion Realty. Contact us today to learn how we can help you buy property in Florida and guide you to your new home on Sanibel or Captiva Island!