From our friend Marc in Sarasota:
Buying a Beachfront Condo
Have you ever wanted to own a condo on the beach? This could be the best time to buy one within the last 6 or 7 years. Prices have dropped dramatically compared to where they were in the market highs of 2005. There are plenty of options available for the person who has always wanted to live or own a vacation condo on the beach. Here are # tips to help you buy that beach front condo.
1) Hire a good Realtor
Experience does matter. Utilizing the services of a knowledgeable and professional agent can save you plenty of time and many headaches. A good agent could be the difference in whether you buy or not. Search around the internet or get a referral from a friend to find a good Realtor to work with. Don’t assume that the highest producer provides the best service to a buyer. Many of the highest producing agent are listing agents and do a poor job at representing buyers.
2) Establish your expectations
This goes hand in hand with learning the market. We all would like to buy a new condo on the beach with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2,000+ square feet with breathtaking views of the ocean, concierge, swimming pool, 2 car garage, large terrace, granite countertops, crown molding and other high end amenities for $200,000 but it probably just won’t happen. In fact, Sarasota beachfront condo and Gulf Shores Condos like I just described would cost in the millions. The first step in establishing your expectations is to understand the market. Once you have found a good Realtor sit down with them or get on the phone and discuss what you want to see if it matches your budget. Most of the time people want more than what they can afford. So make a list of the essentials and non essentials. Try to match your budget with the realities of the market. You will probably have to give up on some essentials.
3) Get financing arranged
This is a crucial piece of the puzzle. The lending world has been turned upside down lately. Make sure you speak to a lender before you start this whole process. If you can pay cash that is ever better. It puts you in a better negotiating position
4) Make a list of your favorite buildings.
After some legwork you will probably pick a few of your favorite beachfront condo communities. If you don’t find the right condo make your Realtor set up on an automated email program for you. This way you will receive an email anytime a condo comes up for sale in you favorite buildings. It increases your chances of being the first one through the door.
So far you have found a Realtor to be represented well, established your expectations, arranged financing and have learned the market. There is not much more to it than that. Once you have found the right place make your offer to buy. Over the years of selling real estate I have realized that there is never a perfect property, regardless of the price range. Even those buying luxury properties in the millions have to bend a little bit. Don’t wait for perfection. You probably will never find it. However, following these steps and being an educated buyer with good representation will help you make a wise investment.
Marc Rasmussen | Michael Saunders & Company | 1801 Main Street | Sarasota, FL 34236 | Cell: 941-812-6272 | MarcRasmussen@michaelsaunders.com | www.LuxurySarasotaRealEstate.com