From the time we committed to the idea that we were going to purchase a Florida home to signing the contract, a total of two days had passed. While I would love to say we found the perfect home in the perfect location all within our budget, that wouldn’t be completely truthful. I won’t lie, the current market conditions were intimidating for two West Virginia residents. Chasing your Florida dream takes compromise and learning to manage your expectations.
We certainly had some needs: a safe area, yard space we could fence in for our dogs, and four bedrooms. While we don’t have kids, due to the nature of our work, a home office for both of us was important as well as a guest bedroom for family visits. What we wanted was to live close to Disney World. We wanted a private pool and low HOA cost. There was a budget to stick to, and the market presented challenges. Looking at houses online, every home we liked had the same note attached: multiple offers. How could we compete?
The Moving to Orlando website became our bible. Using the Search Tool, we plugged in what we were looking for and came across an upcoming subdivision in Lake Alfred, Florida. It was a little further out, about 45-55 minutes from Disney World depending on traffic. However, several factors appealed to us. The area was safe, quiet, and within our budget. The homes had four bedrooms and a yard we could fence in for our dogs. Best of all, it was going to be a brand new home. By signing a contract now, we could lock in their current listed home prices. There would be no bidding wars, no stressing over what our highest and best offer could be. The price in front of us would be what we paid. This is true of most builders, but not all. Always do your research first.
We started the process. First, we got preapproved. Second, we found a REALTOR®. I can’t stress enough the importance of both. Regardless if you’re looking at sellers’ or builders’ listings, get yourself a good REALTOR®. You deserve someone in your court with your interest in mind. You need someone who can go to bat for you when you’re 1,000 miles away. It costs nothing and gains you everything. After filling out the contact form on the Moving to Orlando website, we received a call from Ruben Colon (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We explained to Ruben the exact home we were looking at on the development website. It was labeled as a “Quick Move-In”. This just means they have already made all the choices for the home and it’s scheduled to be built. Ruben made plans to visit the builder, scope out the area, look at the lot, and check out the home model. He helped us through the process and continues to be helpful with updating us.
There is a trade-off to going this route. Due to COVID, builders are dealing with materials shortages. Even though our home is scheduled to be complete in September, it will most likely be November or December once it’s all said and done. I can’t say this enough: Chasing your Florida dream takes compromise and learning to manage your expectations. We had to comprise that we won’t have a pool but will have a yard for our dogs. We will have four bedrooms as we needed and a low HOA, but we are much further from Disney than originally intended. Despite this, I’m sure we will still be happy.
It’s truthfully not the norm to get under contract so fast. There will be some give and take, some potential delays as the market is still navigating the effects of COVID. Some builders we looked at had a waitlist. This development didn’t at the time and (as of writing this) still have a few “Quick Move-In” homes available. We also didn’t see the house in person before buying. Ruben was our eyes until we could get down there. Our home is just a plot of dirt right now, but we did visit the model home a few weeks after signing our contracts. We are more than excited about our decision.
That’s our story. We decided to purchase a home in this crazy Florida market, and it happened in two days (sort of). We stayed within our budget, had some trade-offs, but are overall very excited. If we can make it happen, anyone can.
If you are interested in getting started on your Florida home purchase, our Moving to Orlando REALTORS are here to help you navigate the market. Take a moment to fill out our contact form, and someone will be in contact with you!