How to Shop for a Seasonal Florida Home

Are you a seasonable Florida resident or wannabe?

Once summer humidity retreats and leaves began turning brilliant colors, do you dream of bicycle rides on the beach? Shirtsleeve weather in January?seasonal home

Do you vacation for extended periods in the Sunshine State, or frequently, and dread leaving?

Sounds like seasonal residency might be for you.

Whether you’d like to become a snowbird or just pop down any time you like without reservations, second-homeownership is a great way to go. The hassles of renting or hotel stays are no more, and you can create your own home away from home. The key is owning instead of renting and how to make that switch.

Here are our tips on becoming a seasonal Florida resident.

No more money down the drain

After making the dream of establishing seasonal residency come true, this may be the next biggest reason to make it happen.

All the weeks, months and perhaps even years of paying rental fees will be no more, as long as you understand that monthly rental fees will be replaced by monthly mortgage payments. Since buying a home of any size is a careful investment for almost all of us, you’ve probably prepared for the financial side of establishing seasonal residency.

There are ways to ease the process, such as becoming a landlord yourself. If you want to enjoy your second home in Florida during the winter season, odds are good you’ll find vacationers who can supply your mortgage payments during the summer months.

No more putting up with someone else’s place

A hotel is one thing. You sort of know what you’re getting. But a long-term rental townhome may not turn out to be what you’ve paid for, even with a website, photos and glowing reviews.

If you’ve had satisfactory seasonal Florida rentals, congratulations. Even if you’ve been pleased with those rentals, wouldn’t you rather enjoy your own decor? Use your own furniture? Not panic over spills, breakages or pet accidents?

House-hunt while you vacation

We know. Vacations are for rest, relaxation and doing fun things. Definitely set aside some time to do them. But on-the-ground house hunting can’t be beat, especially if you know the area and can focus on the ICI Homes communities you like.

Familiarity breeds speed, which means you can see a lot of model homes, take care of in-person financial and business transactions, and even pick out building materials and interior design elements, all on vacation time.

One tip. Smaller homes in master-planned communities with resort amenities often work well as seasonal residences.

Keep the future in mind

You might want to turn your seasonal place into your full-time home someday. Is it big enough? Will your master-planned community have all the amenities you still enjoy?

Don’t buy something you don’t need, but would one extra bedroom would be a good idea? Even if it sits empty or holds only a treadmill for a few years?

Also think in reverse. Is buying a smaller second home, nurturing its equity and then using it as a steppingstone to a later, full-time Florida residence the way to go?

These are questions only you can answer. But asking them is a big, positive step.

Ready to find your seasonal Florida home? Talk to ICI Homes here.