Tips for Buying a Home in Orlando, Florida

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Now that you’ve determined what price range you can afford as you begin the process of buying a home in Orlando, Florida, and your real estate agent is ready to show you homes, how do you decide what home to buy ? We have put together a few tips that should help you in buying your home.

Tip #1: Neighborhood Research

When you are buying a home, you get the neighborhood and all that’s in it. Be sure you’ll be happy in your home and neighborhood. Orlando has many diverse neighborhoods to choose from. Whether you are buying a home in downtown Orlando or in one of Orlando’s suburbs or surrounding areas, important considerations when researching a neighborhood include proximity to, or information about, the following:

• fire department

• police department

• shopping

• parks / recreation

• transportation

• freeway access

• school location and quality of learning

• crime statistics

demographics

Much information is available online. The local Orlando area chamber of commerce, police station, library and real estate agent will have much of this type of information available. There is no substitute for spending time walking and driving around the neighborhood during different times of day. Pay attention to noise sources and levels (thoroughfare, freeway, airport, park, business, etc.). Talk to your potential neighbors. The more people you talk to the better you’ll understand the community. Buying a home is a big step so you need to have all the facts.

Tip #2: How Much Should You Offer?

When you find a home you’re interested in buying, part of your real estate agent’s job will be to determine its value. If a recent property appraisal exists, your real estate agent should be able to obtain a copy of it for you. If the property of the home is customized, or otherwise hard to appraise, your approval of a professionally prepared appraisal should be considered. If the home is in a tract of similar homes, your real estate agent can prepare a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA). A CMA is a survey of relevant, recently listed, sold and unsold (MLS-expired) properties. It includes comparable property data and valuation adjustments relating to the home you’re considering buying. Can you offer more or less than the market value suggested in an appraisal or CMA? Yes. But without knowing the value of the home you’re thinking about buying, you’ll likely pay too much for it.

Tip #3: Where In The Neighborhood Is Best?

Desirable home locations include cul-de-sacs and interior streets. These are subject to the least amount of traffic. It’s hard to avoid every potentially adverse condition, but here are a few to consider. The closer you are to arterial streets (neighborhood entrance), the more traffic there will be. Corner lots may be larger, but have traffic on two sides. Is the home you’re buying too close to a school, park, recreational area, business, airport, flight pattern, thoroughfare or freeway? Any train or trolley tracks near by? Additional considerations may influence your choice of unit in a Planned Unit Development (‘PUD’–condominium, town home, co-op).

A unit overlooking a pool or courtyard may be subject to excessive noise. A ground- or top-floor unit may be quieter than a unit sandwiched between floors. End units are generally quieter. Views command higher values. A low-rise PUD may require the use of stairs – a challenge when carrying groceries. This short list of important considerations is designed to get you thinking when buying your home.

There are numerous other tips one should consider when beginning the buying process for a home in Orlando. Buying a home in Orlando is a big and important decision. So make sure to look for a real estate agent who will represent you and your best interests. You, the home buyer, pay nothing for a professional real estate agent. The fees are paid for by the seller.

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