Hello South Florida,
When I wrote most of this post over the holiday weekend, the audience I had in mind (and the ones that will likely benefit from this post the most) were buyers - regardless of the price point. Nevertheless, this is still sound advice for anyone. Renters, sellers, and even those not looking to buy/sell anytime soon can benefit from some of the tips I mentioned below. The core idea that I hope everyone takes from this blog post is to exercise restraint, have clearly defined goals, and to think about the future and not just the present.
We're approaching our busiest time of the year and new listings are starting to hit the market. My team and I are available as we've always been to schedule a time to discuss real estate. Below are some tips I wanted to bring up that I find indispensable and have brought much relief to some of our customers in the past.
1 - Your Budget Matters
This fundamental goes beyond real estate, but I can't stress how important it is in today's market to have a budget in place before starting a search. In most initial consultations with buyers, this is the first subject I bring up for discussion to further reassure that financial goals and buying real estate should be one and the same. I'm aware that calculating expenses may not be as fun as house hunting, but neither is being "house-broke" due to improper financial planning. This also applies to renters, sellers, or just about anyone looking to make better financial decisions in the future, not just buyers.
For buyers who need financing in order to purchase, the pre-approval process is an excellent time to have this conversation. An experienced lender will help determine an estimated price range based on down payment, carrying costs, and income. With cash buyers, the loan is out of the equation but other costs such as property taxes, maintenance fees, and utilities, are broken down into monthly or annual expenses.
Most importantly, it is important to remember that despite Miami's current overall lack of inventory, there are still thousands of properties available across all of South Florida. Once a budget is in place, buyers can focus strictly on asking whether or not they like what they see rather than whether they can afford it or not.
2- Setting up Parameters
Once a budget is in place and there's a price point in mind, I move on to the step most people know best: Asking lots of questions about the wants, needs, and musts of the home search. My past experiences have taught me that being extra thorough during this part of the process has dramatically shortened the number of showings and the time it takes to find the perfect home for that buyer. Some of our past success stories involve buyers finding the right home after seeing less than five homes.
Some of the questions you might get are the ones that will be asked anywhere in the world, i.e. which areas interest you, how many bedrooms and baths, and size. The questions I like to also ask, such as whether you're afraid of heights, if there are any pets in the family, and lifestyle questions are the ones that help make my job (and the buyer's search) much easier.
Taking the time to go through these questions with me is sometimes perceived as impractical to certain customers, but it absolutely saves a significant amount of time in the long run and is what helps us create a more curated list of prospective homes.
3- Thinking Ahead
Real estate, like an old pair of shoes or jacket, can also be outgrown, even if you can't physically wear the home you purchase. Versatility and longevity are key in this case. As life unfolds, your real estate should adapt and serve a variety of purposes. Below are some examples:
- If selling a pied-à-terre condo, it's worth checking the condo rules to see if the unit can be leased and how flexible the leasing terms are, even if the prospective buyer is buying the home for personal use. If down the road, that buyer decides it's no longer a large enough space or moves away, it can still be used as a second home or as an investment property.
- I have no personal issue with two-bedroom homes, but if a three-bedroom home exists at the same price point, I will always recommend checking that home out as well. More space is usually not a bad problem to have in today's world.
- Even when working with buyers looking to purchase for themselves, I've talked before about how I'm not a big fan of homes that don't allow leasing, ever. I'm still not a fan because it's nice to know that the option to rent your home exists.
- Location still matters immensely, even if the buyer I'm working with works from home.
- If the layout doesn't work when first showing the unit, it probably won't work indefinitely. It's time to move on.
These are some suggestions that should come in handy as we approach what will likely be a busy winter season of Miami real estate. Every case is different, but these tips are a great head start that should be of help to anyone, regardless of the budget or search criteria. I hope it helps, thank you as always for reading.
Thank you for reading our latest post! For more information regarding this property or other Miami real estate, please contact us today! We can be reached at 305.674.4127 or via e-mail at [email protected]