Buying and Selling Homes in Parkland Florida in 2019.  Here are our thoughts on home buying and selling in Mira Lago, Heron Bay, Grand Cypress Estates, The Landings, Parkland Golf & Country Club, Cascata, Watercrest and more.

 

 

Aug. 12, 2019

MOVING TO THE SUNSHINE STATE: YOUR GUIDE TO BUYING IN FLORIDA

 

Around 1,000 people a day move to the state of Florida. If you’re one of those people who is considering making a move to the Sunshine State, you might not be sure where to start your journey.

Relocating to Florida and purchasing a house doesn’t have to be a complicated process.

Here’s everything you need to know about buying a house in Florida.

Find the Right Florida Real Estate Agent

Finding the right realtor for your specific needs is incredibly important.

A good realtor will be able to help and guide you through every step of the home buying process from the initial search to closing the deal. They should be able to answer any of your concerns and questions and provide helpful tips on how to proceed.

This will take this possibly tricky and confusing process and make it smooth and understandable.

It’s best to find an agent who specializes and who is an expert in your local real estate market like this helpful realtor. This way, they’ll better understand and have knowledge of the local market and be able to find you the perfect home for you and our family.

Florida is a large state with many different areas and communities, so this finding a local real estate agent is crucial to find precisely what you’re looking for.

Financing Your Mortgage

Before you start working with your agent to find potential homes in Florida for you, consider getting a mortgage pre-approval if you aren’t paying in full with cash.

Having a pre-approval for your mortgage will increase your chances of actually being a valid contender for the home you want. Without approval, the seller will have no way of knowing if you can afford the house and go through with the sale.

An approval happens when your lender goes through and analyzes your financial situation thoroughly. This means they’ll look at your debt-to-income ratio and will check your credit score.

You also have the chance to get a pre-qualification. A pre-qualification is different than a pre-approval because the pre-qualification is an estimation of the amount of house you can afford based off of your family’s income and other possible financial commitments.

This will help you get a better idea of which areas and communities in Florida will work best for you.

Consider a Deed Protected Community

Florida is a state that has many deed protected communities. These communities are run by an active homeowner’s association that creates rules and regulations for the properties within.

This might be the perfect fit for you and your family. You’ll find that these communities usually have amenities like dog parks, community centers, pools, and planned community activities.

Some communities even offer security like gates, call boxes, or security guards.

Most homeowner’s associations will require a monthly fee. This will most likely go to help fund things like maintenance for all community areas.

Deciding if this type of living is for you will help you narrow down your home search.

Your Home Search

Your real estate agent will have access to all the MLS listings in your area. MLS stands for the Multiple Listings Service.

The MLS will have all active listings for the area you’re looking to move to.

Sit down with your real estate agent and compile a list of criteria with the specific wants and needs for your new home. This can be things like having a large backyard, a pool, proximity to the beach, or being in the school district that you want.

Make sure to note any lifestyle preferences that could affect the type of house your real estate agent might show you. This way, you aren’t wasting time viewing homes that don’t work for you and your family.

Another aspect of your search when moving houses will be your budget. You’ll find that maybe the dream neighborhood that you want to live in might not exactly fit within your budget.

This is when it’s best to listen to your realtor’s expertise of your area. They’ll be able to help you find an alternative location for you to look in.

Your agent will be able to set up showings by coordinating with the listing agent. You can also opt to go to public open houses of houses you would like to see.

If there isn’t any way that you can make it physically to the state of Florida to make showings, don’t worry. Here’s when having a knowledgeable and trustworthy real estate agent is extremely helpful.

Talk to your agent about going through the homes themselves and reporting back to you with all the relevant information and specs on the house. You can work with them to decide which house works best for you that way.

Your realtor will also be able to help you negotiating an offer, writing up the contracts, and closing on the home.

Think About Insurance When Buying a House in Florida

Florida is a state where there’s a chance you might experience different natural disasters like hurricanes and flooding while living here.

You’ll need to take into account these things when going to purchase a home in Florida. The house should be strong enough to endure the hurricane force winds that come with the storm.

The age of the home will often determine how up-to-code the build was.

You can also prepare in advance of any storms by investing in quality insurance monthly. Make sure to factor in the amount of money you’ll need every month for your mortgage and decide how much you can afford for disaster insurance.

One tip is to get in contact with a local insurance provider in your area. They’ll be able to help you get a better understanding of what each of your perspective homes will need as far as insurance coverage goes.

You can then compare the homes and make the best decision for you.

A Unique Market

As you can see, there are a few unique aspects when it comes to buying a house in Florida. You now know that finding the right local realtor with a good level of knowledge and expertise from the beginning of your search will help you navigate any of your concerns as they arise.

Posted in Market Updates
March 6, 2019

Florida Bound: 7 Important Things to Know Before Moving to Florida

moving to florida

Are you thinking of moving to Florida? In addition to copious amounts of sunshine, oranges, and happiness, you'll also enjoy low taxes and a low cost of living. 

There's a reason that cities in Florida rank as the #1 family vacation destination the #2 best nightlife scene in America. 

If you're considering becoming one of the 21.6 million Floridians living down south, there are a few things you should know. In this article, we're breaking down the seven must-know things you should be aware of before making the move. 

Whether you're moving there to spend your golden years in the golden sunshine or eager to soak up the culture in Little Havana, you'll want to keep reading. 

Grab your sunglasses and a glass of orange juice; we're getting started.

7 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Florida

Before you pack your bags and head down to the sunshine state, let's go over some basic things you need to know. 

1. There's A Lot to Do Here 

If you're a golfer, you'll be happy to hear that Florida has the most golf courses than any other state--over 1,250 courses! It's time to grab your clubs and practice your swing. 

Do you like to gamble? If so, Florida just became your new heaven. There are many different gambling options that are legal here. Good luck!

You didn't think we were going to forget to mention Disney World, did you? Florida is, of course, the home to the Disney Empire, which stretches over 47 square miles of land. 

If you've got kids, grandkids, or are a big kid yourself, you'll want to take advantage of living in the same state as Disney World. Plus, it makes a good bribe to get people to visit you.   

2. It's Not All Beaches

Each town in Florida is very different, offering everything from culture, food, activities, and environment. The vibe in Miami is certainly a lot different than that of The Villages.

There's a lot of variety to Florida. From canals, swamps, and lush forest, there's more than just beaches. Take a trip through St. Augustine, America's oldest city or spend time watching the Daytona 500.

But if you did come here for beaches, we've got plenty of those too. 

3. Beware of Tourists

The curse of living in such an incredible state with dreamy weather and picture-perfect beaches is that people are going to want to share it with you.

After all, you're making the move for likely the same reasons they want to visit. You can't blame them. 

Thankfully you won't find yourself fighting off tourists in every city in Florida. You'll find them in the likely areas: Orlando, Miami, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, and Daytona. 

Spring breakers flock to Florida in February, March, and April so you'll want to prepare for that if you're in popular locations like Panama City Beach or South Beach. 

4. And Politicians

You should know that Florida is a swing state so your vote carries a lot of weight. Expect a lot of political ads, billboards, and campaigns everywhere you look when it's election time. 

With 4.4 million Republicans and 4.6 million Democrats, it's a close call. But what makes this state a swing state is the 3 million registered independents, which politicians fight for.  

5. Look Out For Nature

Hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, sinkholes, alligators...Florida's got them all. 

If you're making a permanent move to Florida, you'll want to brush up on your hurricane and tornado preparedness skills. Always keep emergency supplies readily available and keep in mind the best places to take shelter, should an emergency occur. 

Once in a while on the news, you'll hear a story about how a family found an alligator in their pool. It's not uncommon when you share the state with over one million of these scaley guys. 

Alligators will often ignore humans unless they become frightened. If you're bitten make a lot of noise and poke the eyes.

Sinkholes are making the news more and more these days in Florida but if you're not from the area, you've likely never heard of such a thing. 

A sinkhole occurs when water erodes bedrock causing the surface of the earth to collapse in on itself, leaving a gaping hole. This is most common in places with large amounts of limestone, like Florida. 

6. The Taxes are Low and Cost of Living is Cheap

Florida has the 2nd lowest taxes per capita, after Alaska. The Governor, Rick Scott, boasts that they've cut taxes 55 times!

This doesn't necessarily mean your taxes will be low (it's a result of many factors) but it's likely. 

The cost of living in Florida is also generally lower than most states, especially if you stick to cities like Kissimmee, Palm Coast, and Cape Coral. 

7. Not Everyone Is Old...But A Lot of People Are

You've no doubt heard that Florida is the home for old people, after all, senior citizens do make up one-third of the population. Maybe you're a seasoned American yourself and looking to make the great migration. 

The critical thing to know is, it's all about where you settle. Making Panama City Beach your home will be a very different experience to Ocala, for example.

Research and find your ideal environment first, then set up camp. We recommend you visit the area in every season before you move anywhere.

Still not convinced you want to move to Florida? Here are eight more reasons

Looking to Make the Move? We Can Help

If you're moving to Florida and looking for the perfect place, let us help.

At McKenna Realtors, we've spent the last 30 years eagerly helping people like you find their dream home in southern Florida.

Take a look at our gorgeous homes and let's make you an official Floridian. 

Posted in Market Updates
Feb. 12, 2019

Finding That Dream Home: 8 Reasons You Should Move to Florida

Are you contemplating packing up and moving? You aren't the only one. The average American moves more than 11 times during the course of their life.

People move for all sorts of reasons--new job opportunities, better cost of living, or simply for a change of scenery. 

Are you thinking about making a move to Florida? Check out these 8 reasons why it is a good idea.

1. There's a Wildlife Scene

Alligators and the Everglades get a lot of attention in Florida. In fact, anyone with only a casual knowledge of Florida may not be able to tell you what other wildlife is plentiful in the area.

But there's far more to the wildlife scene in Florida than just alligators. 

The state is home to very diverse ecosystems full of life. Keep your eyes peeled for Florida panthers, black bears, manatees, skunks, many species of bats, otters, dolphins and much more.

2. The Beaches

Beaches are abundant in Florida. It almost doesn't matter where you live, you'll have easy access to at least one, if not several, beaches. In addition to all that ocean wrapping around the state, there are 4,308 square miles of rivers and lakes to explore in the interior.

Enjoy spending some time in the sun on your day off. You can simply relax and work on your tan, or have fun joining in on the numerous water activities that are available. 

3. The Jungles and Swamps

Just like there's more to the wildlife than alligators, there's more to Florida's nature scene than just the beach. When you (eventually) get tired of lounging on the beach and gallivanting in the waves, be sure to check out the interior. 

Of course, the most famous place to start is in the Everglades. Take a tour through the park for your chance to see alligators, pythons, iguanas, and many more animals.

The park itself is a testament to the diversity of nature in Florida. Inside you'll find not only see the famous estuaries but also prairies and forests. If you move close to the park it warrants more than one visit!

4. Theme Parks Galore

Of course, you're probably well aware that Disney World is in Florida. Even if you don't move close to the famous park, take a weekend trip to go and enjoy the magic. 

But Disney World isn't the only fabulous theme park in Florida. Orlando also boasts fun places like Legoland, Universal Studios, Discovery Cove, and Wet N Wild. If you end up moving closer to Tampa, be sure to check out Busch Gardens and Adventure Island. 

These are only a drop in the bucket. There is a myriad of other theme parks scattered throughout the state. You'll never have an excuse to say that you don't have anything to do on a given weekend! 

5. The History

If you're looking for a calmer sort of adventure, take some time to tour some historical sites. The state boasts the oldest city in America, St. Augustine. The Spanish first established the settlement back in 1565. 

Entrepreneurs in St. Augustine have capitalized on the cities long and rich history. You'll find entertaining ghost tours on every corner in this historic spot. Needless to say, it is well worth your time to take a trip to St. Augustine.

Due to its geographical position, Florida has a long and colorful history of the highly romanticized pirate's life. Though being an actual pirate wasn't a comfortable life, joining in on the pirate festivals sure is a great way to have fun. So, dust off your eye patch, find a pet parrot, practice your "arrgh!" and head out to look for hidden treasure. 

6. Sports

Are you a sports lover? Florida offers plenty of excitement in that department as well. 

Spring is the time for baseball in Florida. You can check out the Grapefruit League baseball teams as they train. The best part is, the games are relatively affordable so you can enjoy quality sports without paying top dollar.

Baseball isn't your thing? That's okay, there's also plenty of football action in Florida. Choose your favorite team from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Miami Dolphins.

If fast cars are more your speed, Florida has something for you too. The famous Daytona 500 is a state staple and something you should check out regardless of if you are a car racing fan or not. You might just become one after moving to Florida.

7. Diversity

Florida's position has made it a uniquely diverse section of the country. Is it your dream to learn Spanish? Living in Florida will give you lots of opportunities to practice. In some parts of South Florida billboards and store signs are written in Spanish and the cashiers will even speak to you in Spanish.

Latin American cultures aren't the only ones you'll find in Florida. Other Caribbean cultures like Jamaica and Haiti are a strong presence in Florida. Plus, people move to Florida from all over the United States, bringing with them their own cultures and diverse ideas.  

8. Delicious Eats

With all these different cultures mixing together, you can bet the food in Florida is pretty amazing. Enjoy a Cuban sandwich for lunch and have a spicy Jamaican dish for dinner. Or go for a "Floribbean" dish, the resulting mix of flavors coming together from a variety of cultures.

We can't mention food in Florida with mentioning the seafood. Fresh seafood abounds in the state and they certainly know how to make it delicious. Go on an adventure one day and search out a seafood place in a little beach town to discover the amazingness that is true Floridian seafood.

Ready to Move to Florida?

Has this list piqued your interest? Maybe it has sealed the deal and you've decided that it's time to move to Florida.

You're going to need a place to live once you get there so check out these amazing options!

Posted in Market Updates
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

Get Local Market Reports Sent Directly to You

You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates