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Advice for Buying SW Florida Real Estate

The SW FL Home Buying Process

How exciting that you've made the decision to go ahead - just making that decision is important. Let's walk through some of the steps you'll need to take for buying your new SW FL home.

Let's get to the "Heart of the Matter." Because buying a SW FL home, whether a family residence, a second or vacation home, or a retirement haven is thrilling, it also takes common sense. It's easy at times to feel overwhelmed by the process so selecting a professional with knowledge about the area, its schools, employment centers, and activities can make all the difference in the world.

The Most Important Things to Consider

Qualification - Search - Offer - Closing

When Gulf Coast Associates speaks about the heart of the matter, it's because we know that now is the time the real thinking cap goes on - you want to see everything - but of course not everything that doesn't match what your specific needs and desires are. We know that you pick a home with your heart, but you buy a home with your pocketbook. There is a happy balance between the two, and at Gulf Coast, we can confidently tell you that with so many styles, varieties, and price ranges for selection, we can help you find the perfect match.

Do I Need a Mortgage - How Do I Qualify?

This is a financial planning decision - even retirees are learning that using mortgage financing while their assets are working for them, can make sense in today's financial world. Paying all cash for a home can break anyone's pocketbook - and it's not always necessary - much less financially wise. For first time home buyers, or for a seasoned buyer, usually financing is the manner in which you will close on your SW FL home. So, be sure to get pre-approved before you do anything else. That way you'll be confident you can afford the SW FL home you ultimately select to purchase.

Searching for SW FL Homes for Sale

At Gulf Coast, we have access to every major SW FL MLS (multiple listing service) and to statewide MLS alliances allowing us to search our databases for exactly what you are trying to find. No more running from home to home, or neighborhood to neighborhood, this is where the real expertise comes in. You want to know ahead of time what a community or neighborhood offers and not waste your time on properties you know you would never consider, much less buy. Let us help you get the information you need before you start looking. What looks good on the "net," may in fact be in a neighborhood where you can't have your boat or your husband's oversized truck. Deed restricted neighborhoods can be that particular. Gulf Coast will answer all your questions about living in Southwest Florida - and probably many you have not yet thought of - because this area is unique and different from where you lived before.

Making the Offer to Purchase

Once you've found the SW FL home you truly would like to buy, we'll make sure you get the best possible price for that home by providing you with the current market data that supports its true value. Once you've taken into account the recent sales of a like home in that neighborhood - it's not too hard to determine a fair offering price. At Gulf Coast, we help buyers negotiate contracts every day and those contracts are comprehensive and will protect your interests. Therefore, we can help you avoid costly mistakes. Ask our clients. On the purchase of a home - nothing should be left to "chance" and experience counts in contract negotiations. Keep in mind that nearly everything is negotiable in a real estate contract and we'll make sure we point those "negotiating" points out to you in advance. There are hundreds of details that go into each real estate transaction, so we'll explain all those details to you and help you find just the right answers that are specific to your needs.

After Your Purchase Offer is Accepted

Once your contract is accepted, the clock starts ticking. And, what needs to happen is making sure you comply with the "effective dates" and "timelines" contained within your purchase contract. That means we'll help you with the vendor selection for home and termite inspections, the best way to handle repairs the property may need, set up your escrow instructions with the title or attorney's firm, work with movers, follow through on obtaining necessary documentation for your loan process, introduce you to insurance agents, and guide you to the closing table as smoothly as possible.

The Closing Table - Congratulations, You Just Bought a SW FL Home!

Just prior to closing, Gulf Coast will be in touch with the title agent or attorney to ensure all pertinent documents and invoices are delivered to the closing table. We'll review and revise the closing statement (HUD-1) to make sure it's accurate and complete before we go to the closing. Once at the closing table - we'll walk you through the myriad of documents - and why they are needed - to consummate your new SW FL home or condominium purchase.

After Closing

Once you have the keys to your new SW FL home you may think - hooray - it's done! At Gulf Coast Associates, experience tells us you may very well have some more questions or require some additional information, such as how to homestead your property. We're here to help and it doesn't stop the day you open the front door to your new SW FL home - you'll still be learning about living in Southwest Florida and we are available at any time to assist you in making this transition smoothly and with as few headaches as possible. Our service does not stop at closing, because we strive to make life long clients.

For more information on buying SW Florida real estate, call our office and speak with one of our Realtor® associates. We'd be happy to discuss all the options available for helping you buy a SW FL home. To ask a specific question about any SW Florida homes for sale, contact us directly. We'll be glad to help!

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Page Authored by Benjamin Dona of Gulf Coast Associates, Realtors