by Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA
Remember my friend who is moving to Miami? She called again last night, to report that she is flying down there this weekend to start looking at condos. She asked me to put together a list of things to keep in mind as she browses the market for a sub-tropical paradise of her own. Since she assured me she doesn’t mind if I post it in the blog, here you go!
- Think about what you need, not just what you want. It is, of course, of the utmost importance that you love the place – but the love is not going to last if you have to squeeze two of your children into the same bedroom or try to do your office work in the living room, to the tunes of American Idol.
- Set a realistic budget, keeping in mind that your expenses may change in the future. We have all seen during the past year what happens when we take on mortgages we cannot afford. By now, we should know better.
- Research the neighborhood – thoroughly! I am sure you have heard the saying that you should never buy the most expensive home on the block. It is true.
- Visit the house or condo more than once before signing anything – and if possible, have a professional look it over. This can protect you from unpleasant surprises down the road.
- Be proactive at closing. Check in with everyone involved frequently to make sure the process is running as quickly and smoothly as possible.