The housing market is shifting. There’s less competition, and prices have dropped by 0.77%. However, when it comes to the luxury home market, it’s still a seller’s game, so knowing what to look for when buying real estate is crucial to landing the home you want, particularly for those looking for Tampa Bay homes for sale. Despite the available housing inventory being down 6%, luxury homes increased by 15.8%. Much of that is found in Tampa Bay, Florida, one of the hottest real estate markets for luxury home investing.
Why Tampa Bay?
Tampa Bay is a vibrant city filled with young families and professionals looking for Tampa Bay homes for sale. Although famous for its attractions like Busch Gardens, Bayshore Boulevard, and the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, there are multiple reasons why 150 people move to Tampa Bay daily. Some are attracted to the plentiful career opportunities offered by the Fortune 500 companies headquartered there; others are drawn to the lower cost of living as opposed to other big cities.
People spend up to 93% of their time indoors, and with increased remote work, most of that is spent in their home office, so finding a home that is the perfect style, fit, and comfort is crucial for both your permanent property and vacation home.
Working from home has allowed for more flexible vacationing, so perhaps you’re jumping on the second home trend, which has increased by 25% since last year as more people invest in vacation homes. Whatever your reason, now is the time to get in on Tampa Bays’ hot market.
When you want to know what to look for when buying a house, look to an experienced agent for help spotting properties that are move-in-ready and perfect for you, starting with these five steps.
- Get local with your research
- Nail down your style
- Future proofing
- Choose the right realtor
Your first step in looking for Tampa Bay Homes for sale is nailing down your desired neighborhood. While various gorgeous real estate options are available, certain areas will best suit your living standards, needs, and preferences. Make a list of necessities and amenities that are important to you. Do you crave nightlife? Maybe you require easy access to pharmacies or hospitals. If you’re outdoorsy, you may look to areas close to parks or beaches, like Cory Lake Isle, which is surrounded by woodlands. If arts and entertainment are top on your list, finding a home within Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park or downtown St. Petersburg is the perfect place.
Your proximity to schools may be crucial if you have young children. Hyde Park is an excellent choice for families, with 10 schools. There’s also Sunset Park, a family community with top-rated schools. If you’re looking for more quiet land, try Palma Ceia, where properties offer more space and multiple golf courses.
In addition to researching the amenities in the area, you should also evaluate the fluctuating value of your potential home’s future resale. Local government taxes vary depending on the neighborhood and services provided, like public safety and sanitation. Therefore, it’s a good idea to factor those taxes in to get a more accurate estimated property tax. You can do so through your agent by having them run a CMA, or Comparative Market Analysis.
Ensuring that your home is move-in ready goes beyond fresh paint and perfectly landscaped lawns. Hire a home inspector or contractor to certify that all significant house functions are operational and safe, such as electrical and heating systems, plumbing, and roofing. Meeting up-to-date building codes and ordinances is essential in coastal areas that may experience extreme weather conditions; therefore, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to assess your potential home’s flood risk. A licensed land surveyor will know what to look for when buying a flood-resilient house.
Consider which home style will best suit you and select the perfect type.
For the eco-friendly home buyer, a contemporary home is favored, as it’s typically built sustainably with nontoxic materials and an emphasis on efficient natural light. Mediterranean homes are popular in coastal climates and are designed to stay cooler. Ranch homes are famous for their mid-century charm and open floor plan but also appeal to elderly or disabled residents who want to avoid stairs and enjoy their single-floor feature.
Figure out the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and storage space you need. Don’t forget the outside; determine how large of a yard you desire and for what purposes if you need a covered garage or prefer a long driveway. Also, decide if you need an already furnished home or require updated renovations. The McIntosh Group will help you find the right style and ask the right questions when determining your immediate floor plan needs.
Although you’re planning to move into a completed home, you should consider the process of future renovations. Studies show that 10% of homeowners remodel their kitchen or bathroom every three years. Whether it’s a renovation project or you intend to add square footage for a family addition, such as a new child or a grandparent, make sure you have the proper permits and zone allowances. Referer to the CMA to see if you have an HOA that could affect those changes with zoning or regulations. Consulting an architect to assess potential additional building construction is also helpful
When it comes to knowing what to look for when buying a house, be sure to choose the right luxury home agent for you. Research your realtor to make sure they have the proper credentials and references. Vet their experience by evaluating their website for marketing skills, professional network, and knowledge of your local market.
Let the McIntosh Group’s expertise help you take these steps from home searching to unpacking in your new home.