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Posted by Laura Wolfart on Sep 9, 2015 6:32:56 PM
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Buying a home in Central FL? Start with the community, not the home

Buying a home in Central Florida. Step 1: Choose a community

Many people start their home search by looking at real estate online.


The best way to start your home search is by finding the right community for you.

Next, you should find a neighborhood that fits your needs within that community. Only then, should you start looking for your “perfect” home.

Here’s why.

If you are buying a home in Central Florida, you might have a city in mind that you would like to call home. That is a great start. Now, you need to find a community within that city that meets your needs and that you love.

There are dozens of communities within Central Florida to call home, and it’s important to do your research ahead of time to choose one.

Picture this scenario. 

You walk inside a home and you instantly know that it will be yours. It is not in the ideal community and neighborhood, but surely, you can get over it, right?

You put a solid offer on this home, and guess what? You get it! You move in and life couldn’t be better.

A few months later you start getting tired of your daily commute. It’s taking up so much of your time that you don’t get to do the things you love.

Your neighbors are into things you are not. You can’t connect with them, and making friends is not easy. You soon realize that your dream home doesn’t make you as happy as you have imagined.

No one should have to go through this situation! That’s why it is so important to find your ideal community and then your ideal neighborhood before you start looking at Central Flrorida Real Estate.

That way you won’t risk falling in love with a home, in the wrong location.

Finding the ideal community starts with YOUR Needs!

Think about you needs now and in the future. How can they change?

If you are buying a home with your partner, you two should sit together and talk about your needs and wants. What are your priorities, and how do you think they will evolve over the years? What do you expect from your ideal location?

Make a list with 3 categories: Must have, would like to have, and can’t deal with.

In a perfect world you would find a home in a community without any of your "can’t-deal-withs".

But we don’t live in a perfect world, and a list of those 3 categories will help you prioritize what is really important to you.

Tip: If you are having a hard time coming up with your list, think about your current community.

What do and don't you love about it? 

If you like commuting raise your hand

I am not surprised that you didn’t. We all have way better things to do!

Establish what your commuting time limit is. Now, you know what the perimeter of your search should be. And don’t go over it!

New or established communities?

Do you get excited with the thought of new homes and business being built around you? Or are you looking for an area that's growing and will hopefully improve your property value? Then, a growing community might be ideal for you.

However, if you're looking for a community where you already know what to expect, consider an established neighborhood.   

Talk to your Realtor and learn more about what’s planned for a community.

Surround yourself with what you love

In Florida, we are lucky to have so many diverse communities that make enjoying our favorite accitivites convenient. 

If you enjoy water sports, you can find a community famous for its lakes - like Leesburg, FL. If you’re looking for a community that celebrates art festivals, take look at Mount Dora. If you’re looking a “Modern Day Mayberry,” Winter Garden fits the bill.

Your Realtor will be a great resource to help you find a community that works for you!

I think I found my community, now what?

If you found a community that checks all the boxes, take time to explore the area. While you're there, speak to locals to get the full picture.

It’s also important to keep in mind that you might not find a perfect place.

Real Estate, not only in Central Florida, but anywhere else, is about finding a place you love despite its flaws. It’s like your best friend, not perfect but you love it! 

Now, onto finding your neighborhood so that you can get one step closer to finding your new home! 

Find a Realtor

What do you look for in an ideal community? Is location or charm more important to you?

Topics: Tips for Buyers