Despite all the uncertainty of the pandemic, the real estate market in Florida continues to flourish. Warm weather, a diverse population, competitive school systems, and a lively food scene are among the top reasons why people choose to relocate to the Sunshine State. For these benefits and more (like today’s record-low interest rates and tax advantages), you may feel compelled now more than ever to become a Florida homeowner.
If you’ve been considering a move, the new year might be the perfect time to close on your dream home in Florida. Even if you’re hesitant about making the move, here are three signs you may be ready:
You have enough in savings
Chances are you didn’t start saving for a new home overnight but understanding exactly how much you’re able to afford with your savings will help to determine where and when you’ll be able to move. After taking time to evaluate your financial situation, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you can afford a new home. If you determine that you have enough to cover a down payment and closing fees on a particular home, you can move forward in the home buying process with more confidence.
Based on the type of mortgage you secure; you should have enough saved up to cover all costs. If you decide to use an FHA loan to finance your home, you may be able to close with only a 3.5% down payment, but you’ll also have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI), which means you’ll need to pad your savings to account for that added monthly expense.
Meanwhile, if you have more in savings right now, you could avoid PMI by securing a conventional mortgage and putting down at least 20% on your home. Regardless of how you choose to finance your property, you can ensure you don’t end up house poor if you have more than what’s required at closing in your savings.
You have a steady source of income
Buying a home in a new city may not be the best idea if you have no consistent source of income. Prior to moving, be sure to communicate with your current employer to ensure you are able to work in Florida, whether it be in-person or remotely. If you already have a reliable job squared away, you could be in a good position to move. If you don’t, you should try to land a job before you move.
If you are searching for a new job, take time to research the job market in your neighborhood and note any employment trends as these may be indicative of your career outlook both now and in the future. If you are looking in an area where unemployment is on the rise, you may want to consider delaying your move until you actually have a position lined up, especially if you have a family to support.
Before you move, you’ll also want to make sure you’re able to provide proof of income. With proof, you’ll have an easier time qualifying for financing and ensure that you’re able to meet your monthly mortgage payments. Though you can still achieve homeownership if you have great credit or sizable savings, securing a steady source of income is vital for keeping up on ongoing expenses after closing.
You have outgrown your current home
Quarantine has forced many to spend more time in their homes than usual. During this time, you may have realized that you need more space for a home office or a learning center for your children while government restrictions are still in place. If you’ve taken time to reflect on your current living situation and have determined that your home is no longer meeting your needs, you may be ready to make a move to the Sunshine State.
Whether you’re aching to spend more time outside, bask in the sun year-round, want a lifestyle change, or would like to upgrade to a home that’s more comfortable and spacious during quarantine, your attitude toward your current place and the prospect of moving could tell you whether or not you’re ready to invest in a new home in Florida.
Evaluating your current situation can help provide clarity as to whether or not you’re ready to move. If you’re still hesitant or you’ve already determined that you’re ready, consider contacting a real estate agent to help you achieve homeownership. An agent with extensive knowledge on the market in your area will be able to point you in the right direction and help you find a home that fits both your budget and desires.