BBB: HOUSING TIPS TO CONSIDER BEFORE RELOCATING TO TAMPA
It’s that time of year where people start contemplating relocation. Whether it be for a career move, a desire to make a change, or having a retirement dream come true, there are MANY factors to consider before making a big move.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER BEFORE RELOCATING TO TAMPA Consider Your Lifestyle Goals - As a local REALTOR® here in Tampa/St. Pete, I work with TONS of relocation clients and the first thing I always ask them is not what type of home they want but instead, what type of LIFESTYLE they enjoy. While a home is your safe haven, your lifestyle is a huge factor to consider when relocating!
What is Your Community Style? - Another topic to consider is what type of community are you willing to invest in? Here in Florida, it is common to have CDD’s, HOA’s, and more. These expenses will increase your bottom line but also offer extensive value.
New Construction or Existing Home? - Lastly, another HUGE impact that comes into play is your choice in buying resale or new construction. Here in Tampa, new construction has taken over a massive segment of the home buying market. Personally, I would estimate about 70% of my clients end up building.
In the first quarter of 2019, new home starts in Tampa were up 17.5% over Q1 of 2018. If that is how we started off, I can’t wait for the year-end stats to come out.
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty here: Maybe you CHOSE to move or maybe you had a job transfer. Either way, you still want to find a location that fits your needs.
Start Local - If you need to be near an office, my first suggestion is to start looking into areas nearby and seeing if they are a fit for you.
Consider the Commute - Next, search online to find some additional areas that seem like you would enjoy, keeping the commute in mind. The best way to do this is to ask locals, which is where social media comes into play. Join neighborhood Facebook groups, search Instagram hashtags, and watch YouTube videos that offer a full 360 view.
Find a REALTOR® - The next step is to find a REALTOR® who is familiar with the area. A good agent will map out your commute from areas of interest. They should also be able to offer some insight into the area you are interested in. For instance, is it a busy area with tons of traffic or is it a more sleepy part of town? Is it close to restaurants & shopping? What about walking trails & local parks? What if you prefer to be tucked away from the hustle & bustle? All of these factors come into play.
I have seen, more often than not, buyers falling in love with a home they found online, only to fall out of love upon seeing it in person. Like the old saying goes: “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover!”.
WHAT IS A CDD?
When it comes to the type of community you consider purchasing in, make sure to get full run-down of the fees & taxes. Here in Florida, I find many out-of-state buyers are not familiar with a CDD, which is very common here. A Community Development District is often formed to provide a bond so the developer of the community can finance the initial infrastructure (such as sewers, roads, & water supply) and provide ongoing operations & maintenance services to the community. A CDD is a tax that is rolled into a homeowner’s property taxes. Many buyers initially get sticker shock over a CDD but at the same time desire the amenities provided by it within the community. I always advise my clients: you get what you pay for. Other fees to consider are HOA’s, condo fees, flood insurance, to name a few.
ADVANTAGES OF NEW CONSTRUCTION New construction is a VERY popular option for relocation buyers. This option allows buyers to have a little more time to move, while they wait for the build to complete. For those who need to move immediately, builders often have inventory homes for sale, which have a shorter completion date. If you still want to build your dream home but need to move prior to completion, look for short term rental opportunities available via corporate apartments, apartments offering short-term leases, or even Air B&B’s. New construction in Tampa typically takes anywhere from six to nine months, depending on the builder.
At the end of the day, ESPECIALLY if you are relocating, make sure you find a local REALTOR® who is willing to be patient with you during your search. I personally find that my relocation clients need at least two VERY full days of searching to find what they ultimately want.
If you are relocating, or even thinking of making a move locally, I am an agent here in Tampa/St. Pete and I would be glad to help! You can reach me, Jen Wiggins, at 813-539-1678 or by searching “Let’s Talk Tampa” on Facebook & Instagram. If you are not local, I am still happy to refer you to a dependable agent in your area.