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Are you looking to purchase a home in the United States with the most beautiful beaches along the Emerald Coast this spring or summer? You’re definitely not alone! As we all know, spring and summer are incredibly popular seasons. It is often the best time for people to try and make their dream of homeownership come true. But with so much competition out there for the perfect house or condo on the sunny beaches of Destin, it is essential to arm yourself with some knowledge before taking your hunt further. 

In this blog post, we will discuss several tips that will help guide you through buying a property during this time of year. From market insider secrets to getting pre-approved by your bank or lender on your second home beforehand – we have got you covered! So let’s get started on how best to prepare and find success when searching for a slice of paradise here in Destin this Spring season!

Tip #1: Get Pre-Approved Before Searching For Your New Home

Get Pre Approved

Many home buyers need to realize it, but it’s best to do this before starting their search. It helps them establish their budget and decide on vacation rentals or investment properties. Getting pre-approved lets buyers know what they can afford and the benefits when they’re making an offer on the ideal home. 

Knowing an approximate maximum mortgage payment range based on credit history and income gives home buyers a negotiating advantage when other interested buyers may not have this information. In short, getting pre-approved saves time and money in the long run.

Another thing to note while looking for a vacation rental is that not all lenders can do a condotel. This requires a different funding method because it is a non-warrantable loan. The loan can not be sold to the secondary mortgage market (like Fannie Mae, Sallie Mae, etc.). Unfortunately, you cannot use services like Rocket Mortgage, Wells Fargo, Bank Of America, etc., for these loans.

Check out our preferred lenders here!

Tip #2: Find Your Real Estate Professional Before You Come To Visit

Find a Real Estate Professional

When finding that perfect property, having the right real estate expert makes all the difference. During spring time, especially when there are many prospective home buyers ready to pounce on an opportunity, a good and reliable broker can really guide you through this daunting journey of house hunting with ease! Additionally, try getting along well with your agent since they will be your companion throughout this process – after all no one wants awkward vibes while negotiating prices or filing paperwork -so make sure their values align with yours. 

And remember: Your local board of REALTORS® usually has its online directory for easy-access reference when choosing who’s best suited for you and your family’s needs!

Tip #3: Find Your Budget

Find Your Budget

Finding your best budget when purchasing a new home in the Destin area can feel daunting. Between the beautiful vacation homes, rising property values, and all the best offers, it can take time to know what price range you should stick with. 

It’s always a good idea to look around first and better understand the market and current trends so you can make an informed decision when submitting an offer. With some research and expert help, you should find a budget that best fits your needs – one that won’t break the bank but will still provide you with an excellent long-term investment.

Here are some things to consider when budgeting for your new home:

  • How much can you afford?
  • Estimated monthly payments
  • Consider your HOA
  • Taxes
  • Insurance
  • Electric bill (or other utilities that are not covered by an HOA)
  • Determine your income from the rental property

Tip #4: Determine Your Needs And Wants

Determine Your needs and wants

When looking for a new home, it is best to determine your needs and wants beforehand. Consider the number of rooms you need, if you’d like a guest room, your preferred neighborhood, and your price range —all of which can help narrow down your best place to live. 

Suppose tennis courts or parks are important to you; best to seek out rental property options in such areas. The good news is that with the proper research and commitment, finding the best place for you won’t be too difficult.

Here are some common things to consider when looking for your next home:

  • What neighborhood or resort?
  • How many bedrooms and bathrooms will you need?
  • Do you want a waterview location?
  • What amenities are important to you?

Tip #5: Shop Online Before You Come To Buy

Shop Online Before You Come To Buy

Shopping online is a great way to find what you are looking for, such as full kitchens, hot tubs, beachfront condos, and other amenities you want in your new home before even coming to buy. There is no need to waste your hard-earned beach time scrutinizing listings in the Destin area when it can be done from the comfort of your home. After all, everyone wants their dream beach house at a great price! So take full advantage of what technology has to offer by shopping online and making that dream beach house into a reality without ever leaving home.

Tip #6: Ask For A CMA- Comparative Market Analysis

Ask for a CMA

When selecting a home, it’s crucial to take into account the actual value of the house and not rely on what is being asked by sellers. Your agent can provide you with an analysis of comparable sales to grasp its true worth better – as sometimes asking prices don’t match up with reality! If you find yourself at the list price or higher, remember that this minor difference won’t have any significance over time; five years later, when your dream has been realized, money wouldn’t even cross your mind!

Tip #7: Best Day To View Properties

Best Day To View Properties

If you are looking to invest in a vacation property or a vacation home in the Destin area, it is important to know the best times to view properties. Ideal times to view vacation rentals would be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, as this is when vacation rentals typically turn over. 

Speaking with agents and gathering information these three days can be invaluable for home buyers looking to spend quality time checking out investment properties. Having your agent schedule appointments that fit within this ideal time frame can ensure you can see all pertinent offerings in the area for vacation homes or rental properties.

Tip #8: Research Owning Versus Renting


Owning property in Florida comes with some important financial obligations to remember, such as monthly payments for your mortgage and other expenses like property taxes, insurance premiums, and any maintenance needs. For second homes specifically, you should be aware that the tax rate may be higher than what it is on a primary dwelling – so budget accordingly. 

When living in a homeowners association (HOA), you want to be sure that your hard-earned money is being put to good use! Such dues typically cover insurance and maintenance of the exterior building structure, as well as costs for landscape upkeep, irrigation systems, and even security services. Depending on where you live, though – monthly fees may also include access to a community pool or cable television — so it’s important to know what exactly each one covers before signing up.

To save costs further down the line, consider evaluating pre-existing furniture or appliances at purchase; significant repairs like roof work or HVAC units can often become expensive if not addressed upfront. 

Lastly – remember flood insurance rates which also need to factor into your overall cost of ownership. Some HOAs provide flood insurance, while others do not. Some mortgage companies will require you to have additional flood insurance.

Tip #9: Have Your Documents Ready 

Research Owning Versus Renting

Ready to make a swift move on that offer? Have your paperwork prepared and ready for action. The process of collecting all required documents can be tedious, so give yourself an edge by having your materials organized ahead of time – you’ll thank yourself later!

Here are some typical items that lenders ask for:

  • Picture Identification 
  • W2s
  • Pay stubs
  • Bank statements

Bring your checkbook! You may want to put down an earnest money deposit (EMD) while in town. This eliminates you having to pay any fees for a bank transfer on the down payment.

Tip #10: Make a Plan

Make a Plan

Now that you have nine home buying tips, it is time to get serious and begin your home buying process. The most popular time of year to buy a home is during the spring time when the weather outside is perfect and inventory tends to be at its highest. 

  • Plan your vacation first. Are you going to visit Crab Island? Is there a day you are going to the Destin Harbor? Are you going to Harborwalk Village to shop or listen to live music? Are you going to experience dolphin cruises or a fishing charter? What day are you going to the beach or the pool? Set up those days and times to enjoy yourself while on vacation.
  • Ask your real estate professional if you can attend any open houses while in town. 
  • Plan to view vacation rental properties that are turned Friday through Sunday timeframe.
  • Try to do as much from home before arriving in the Destin area. Get pre-approved, search online for homes that meet your criteria, and gather all of your necessary documents.

But regardless of when you choose to buy your new abode, great resources like real estate professionals or even smart investments such as purchasing vacation properties can help point you in the right direction. Whatever decision you make, there are plenty of tips and tricks out there to set yourself up for success in the home buying market.

Now that you have all the information about buying a home or investment property in Destin during the spring and summer, it’s time to take the steps necessary to make your perfect real estate investment. Contact a qualified real estate professional for additional advice and guidance as you look into this process. Take your time and be thorough with your research so that you end up with the best possible decision for yourself and your family. 

Don’t forget to enjoy the process along the way – it can be an exciting time if you allow it! Whether you are looking for a short-term or long-term home in Destin, understanding what’s available is key. With some extra knowledge, hopefully, it won’t feel quite as intimidating when beginning your home search this spring and summer.

Sandpiper Cove Realty would love to help you during your home search this spring or summer. Our local real estate agents are licensed in the state of Florida but specialize in the green waters along the gulf coast. So we serve from Okaloosa Island to Panama City Beach and everywhere in between (Miramar Beach, Sandestin, 30A, Seaside, Watersound, etc.). The best way to contact us is by calling 850-654-2357

You can also search for emerald coast properties by following this link!

Here are more buyer tips!