Buyer's Guide to Condos on the Gulf

Many out-of-state Buyers come to Florida looking for the dream home, a perfect piece of Paradise; the 2/2 condo preferably on the Gulf….(this sentence always ends the same; Directly on the Gulf). 

A good Agent will take the time to educate their Buyer.  Even now many Buyers are still under the impression you can purchase a condo on the Gulf and still be under $200,000.00.  Although that has been possible a few years ago, perhaps even last year, the price for Gulf front Properties (any Florida property) has been on a steady rise. 

No question, Buyers today are becoming more and more informed through different intranet sites such as, Zillow, or to some degree even Craigslist.  However, there is still conversation that needs to be had between Buyer and Agent.  Here are 10 points I make sure to cover with a Buyer looking for their vacation property (Gulf property or otherwise):

1. Will you be paying cash or borrowing?  Many Lenders today have very specific requirements for those who are looking to borrow to finance second homes.

2. If you are financing do you already have a relationship with an in-state lender?  It may not be required, but it is helpful to have a lender that knows how to read Condo financials,  Condo Docs, and understands what is happening with Florida Insurance, be it flood or homeowners.

3. Are you, the Buyer, planning on bringing a pet with you?  Many Condos do not accept pets. Even if the Association has passed that pets are allowed it is important to know how many pets the association will accept, which breeds may not be accepted, and what is the maximum weight limit allowed for a pet.

4. How much can (you) the Buyer afford in Condo Fees?  Most Condo fees or HOA fees are paid monthly.  It’s important to know how much those fees are and what those maintenance fees include.

5. While (You) the Buyer is touring the property, it is very important to tour the whole property.  Is there a pool, a sauna, a weight room,  a club room, or tennis courts?  What shape are these amenities in?

6. How about parking?  Is it important for (You) the Buyer to be able to park under cover, have your own designated spot in an open lot, or maybe you have an extra bike or motorcycle? Are bikes and motorcycles even allowed on the property? Make sure to read your Docs ahead of time.

7. Does the Association (Condo) require an Application for Approval from (You) the Buyer?  How much is the Application Fee?  How long does it take for a response from the Association in regards to the approval?

8. Also, I encourage my Buyers to read and understand the Condo Docs.  It is mandatory to sign off that you received them; please make sure you understand them.  They include important information such as the Rules, Regulations and Procedures of your new home.

9. Will the Condo allow you to rent your unit out, and if so for how long?  How many times a year?  For many Buyers this is important as it helps to subsidize their new vacation home.

10. Finally, when you are touring the property don’t be afraid to talk to the neighbors.  Find out what they enjoy about living there.  Do they have any suggestions or helpful hints?

There are many beautiful Condo’s, Townhomes, and Single Family Homes here in St. Pete Beach, and Treasure Island.  I would love the opportunity to show you around and find you your Condo on the Gulf.  If I can help in any way please reach out.
Katrina Herrell

Katrina Herrell

Decades of Local Experience
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