If you’re a retiree looking to buy a place in Florida for the first time, it’s a good idea to research just what you’re signing up for. Though the state has endless options for homes that could be perfect for you, it’s best to know exactly what you want in your Florida home as you begin your home search.
What’s your house made of?
Unlike other areas of the country, the materials used to build your dream house in Florida matter, big time. For example, a house built from wood is not going to last in the Sunshine State thanks to termites, weather and water damage. Wood frame houses tend to need serious, intensive repairs within just a few years of buyers purchasing the house. This is why most newer houses are built as a concrete block rather than a traditional wood frame. The concrete block also allows for thermal massing, making the house warmer in cool weather and cooler in warm weather.
Selecting homeowners insurance
Choosing the right homeowners policy for your Florida home is perhaps one of the most important parts of your home buying journey. Florida weather can be unpredictably violent, causing damage to your home and valuables held inside of its structure. Below are a few tips in finding a policy that works best for you:
- Cost: Give yourself enough time to find a policy that works with your budget while also ensuring that your home and valuables are covered.
- Personal property: Build a policy that covers any and all personal items you would need replaced in the event of water damage, fire, theft or other perils.
- Loss of use: In the event that your house is inhabitable, will you be able to afford to stay elsewhere?
- Medical payments: For any injury that happens on your property to those who don’t inhabit it, be sure it’s covered in your policy.
- Wind and water and floods, oh my! These are the main causes of home damage in Florida, and are often included in homeowners policies. However, know the specifics of these coverages to ensure your preparedness.
Know the power of a home inspection
Just like in any other state, it’s important to schedule a home inspection prior to buying your Florida home. However, the possibilities for issues in a home here outnumber the possibilities in other states. Here are just a few things to check in your potential home:
- Termites and termite damage
- Structural integrity (e.g. past water damage, residual affects, etc.)
- Drainage or erosion issues
- HVAC status
No matter what kind of house you’re looking for, be sure to shop smart, know your options and know the right questions to ask and what to look for.
Read more information, home buying tips and about potential Florida communities at wheretoliveafter50.com.