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Old 03-22-2016, 09:43 PM   #21
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See if they have rental restrictions. If they do not, you may be near a bunch of snowbirds, or worse yet, year round renters.
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Old 03-22-2016, 09:51 PM   #22
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Although you didn't specify, i'll assume you'll be in a building with people living above you. When is the last time you lived in a place with neighbors above you? You may find the noise to be very bothersome like I have. I am planning to move soon and if I move to another multi-floor building, I will make sure i'm on the top floor. Try to visit the place when there are as many people home as possible to see what the noise level is like.
Top floor (of two-story), end unit... so only one common wall. We have had someone above us for the last 2 1/2 months.... no issues. Sorry you have been having trouble.
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:05 PM   #23
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My daughter was living in a house outside of St. Augustine, and it originally cost $250K. The house was on the retail market for $185K, and there have been no offers since it was put on the market 3 years ago. The whole development has had excessive foreclosures destroying property values.

Another big problem is that the property taxes and HOA fees are $5,500 per year--excessive. I have no idea how much the homeowners insurance would be, but you can bet it's a very high amount.

The HOA fees, taxes and homeowners' insurance should be very carefully considered when shopping for any property in Florida. The only good news is that the state has no state income taxes, but they make up for it in other ways including high sales taxes.
HOA fees (including basic cable), property taxes, electricity, insurance, and monitoring while we are away will be about $7k a year.... but during the season rents are $3-4k a month (plus 10% tax) so 3 months rent would cost me $10-13k

Actually tax rates here are quite reasonable compared to home.
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:48 AM   #24
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Top floor (of two-story), end unit... so only one common wall. We have had someone above us for the last 2 1/2 months.... no issues. Sorry you have been having trouble.
That's good. We share two walls in our townhouse, and we occasionally hear noise, but we are retired, so no worries.

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Need advice on buying condo in Florida
Old 03-23-2016, 07:35 AM   #25
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Need advice on buying condo in Florida

My previous landlord has a condo in Naples, FL. He has a renter from Germany who rents his place for three months every summer and that pays his maintenance fees, etc and he basically gets to use the condo for free the rest of the year.

According to him, there are a lot of renters from Europe in the summer months and will rent if the apartment is furnished with more modern furniture.

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Old 04-12-2016, 02:34 AM   #26
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Update.... we finally came to terms with the seller yesterday and are now working on a P&S agreement. Since it was an FSBO we ended up splitting the benefit of no agent commission. In fact, I think I did a bit better but it is hard to tell given variability in the sales comparables over the last 15 months.

What is customary for an earnest money deposit?

I talked with a friend who owns in the same association and the association is sound but I will be looking at financials as well. We plan to have an inspection and hire an attorney to handle the title search and closing.

I'll have to sell some stocks that I have sort of been wanting to sell anyway to simplify our portfolio. We'll have a nice gain but will not pay any federal capital gains tax but it will reduce what I can do for Roth conversion for 2016 in half.

We'll probably defer becoming FL residents until we are on Medicare in 5 years as health insurance is much more than any state income tax savings we would benefit from.
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:42 AM   #27
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Congrats PB! I am looking forward to escaping the Vermont winters once the kids are off to college in 2018.


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Old 04-12-2016, 07:37 AM   #28
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What is customary for an earnest money deposit?
Around here it's $1,000.

Good luck!
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:42 AM   #29
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Update.... we finally came to terms with the seller yesterday and are now working on a P&S agreement. Since it was an FSBO we ended up splitting the benefit of no agent commission. In fact, I think I did a bit better but it is hard to tell given variability in the sales comparables over the last 15 months.
Another snowbird ..

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Around here it's $1,000.
That's what I'd offer
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:11 AM   #30
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Another snowbird .. ....
Yeah, that's the rub though.... we'll be writing out a big check and paying monthly expenses but don't plan to use it for other than a couple days between now and next fall.... but the annual expenses are less than what we would pay to continue to rent so we'll come out ok.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:28 AM   #31
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We closed on our ocean front condo at the end of March. Starting moving in last Friday and awaiting furniture deliveries and some plumbing repairs scheduled for this week. All windows have ocean views and the neighbors are great. We made a good decision. Some updating is required but nothing is so bad it has to be done immediately, though wallpaper removal has taken top priority so we can paint on our next trip down. If I didn't have doctor's appointments up in PA next week, I may never leave.

We were asked for a 10% deposit, but we just laughed and put $15K down to show we were serious and wanted a quick closing. We've had $3k held in escrow to cover needed repairs, but they'll get half of it back pretty soon.


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Old 04-12-2016, 10:32 AM   #32
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Congrats PB! I am looking forward to escaping the Vermont winters once the kids are off to college in 2018. ...
Yes, that was the main motivation and depending on how it appreciates in value we could well come out better than paying rent for 3-4 months even after considering opportunity costs.

I have long said that our beautiful Vermont summers were our dividend for putting up with the harsh winters, but now I can get the dividend without owning the stock! Doesn't get much better than that.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:38 AM   #33
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We closed on our ocean front condo at the end of March. Starting moving in last Friday and awaiting furniture deliveries and some plumbing repairs scheduled for this week. All windows have ocean views and the neighbors are great. We made a good decision. Some updating is required but nothing is so bad it has to be done immediately...
That sounds wonderful. Oceanfront wasn't in the budget but we are 30-40 minutes to a number of nice beaches.

We're in the same boat... we can move in and use it immediately but some updating would be nice. Luckily I'm pretty handy so I can do a lot of the simple stuff myself.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:46 AM   #34
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Another question: In a FSBO transaction with no financing contingency (all cash deal) how long should it take to close? Is 30 days reasonably possible?
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:48 AM   #35
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Yeah, that's the rub though.... we'll be writing out a big check and paying monthly expenses but don't plan to use it for other than a couple days between now and next fall.... but the annual expenses are less than what we would pay to continue to rent so we'll come out ok.
Come down more often. As you visit more frequently, the cost per trip declines, so you are actually saving money.

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Another question: In a FSBO transaction with no financing contingency (all cash deal) how long should it take to close? Is 30 days reasonably possible?
Now it's all up to the seller. Are they ready to move? That's really the critical thing now.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:21 AM   #36
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Another question: In a FSBO transaction with no financing contingency (all cash deal) how long should it take to close? Is 30 days reasonably possible?
Are you in a hurry, as long as you have it by next winter you are happy correct. You will have a few less bills to pay in a slower closing.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:26 AM   #37
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Seller is ready to move as far as I know... they rent it and are selling it turn-key so the only thing they need to do is remove a few personal items that they said they want to take.

Good point on the bills. While I know that I don't have to attend the closing it just doesn't fell right to not attend and inspect the property until I arrive 6 months later so I planned to fly down for the closing and a few days of vacation. Since I feel compelled to attend I planned to try to time it with my 85 yo Mom flying back north so she doesn't have to fly alone (though she does it all the time).

Perhaps I'm overthinking it.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:33 AM   #38
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In my experience, the only time-consuming item is how long the title company takes to do its title search. BTW, I highly recommend buying title insurance if you haven't already arranged for that.
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Old 04-12-2016, 03:24 PM   #39
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I do plan to buy title insurance.... in fact the title insurance premium is about 2/3rds of our closing costs. Though I have to admit it is difficult to see much likelihood of title problems for a condo that was developed and first sold in 1989.

Around here a title search only takes a day unless there are complications.... which is rare.
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