Tag Archives: Florida real estate

How To Buy a Florida Waterfront Home

If your mind is currently set on buying a luxurious Florida waterfront home, you should know that there is a long, demanding, and highly stressful decision-making process ahead of you. There are numerous tasks you will need to complete before you eventually organize a housewarming party at the new address. As you might assume, professional ass

istance is a critical factor in this endeavor as a guarantee that your investment will not turn into a complete fiasco and a set of bad, unreasonable decisions. To help you understand what to expect once you set off on this mission, we offer you a brief guide to buying a luxurious Florida waterfront home.

Contact a lender first

When buying property, the first step is always to contact a respectable lender and prepare a pre-approval. The lender will help you understand the stages of the buying process and give you advice on how to select the best loan given your circumstances. Having a pre-approval is a sure sign for the sellers that you are serious about buying a waterfront property. Thus, you should receive preferred treatment over other potential buyers. On the other hand, a pre-approval shows clearly the price range you can afford and this significa

ntly restricts the list of properties you will be interested in. So, to conclude, before you even start looking for a luxurious Florida waterfront home of your dreams, consult a lender. 

Define the location you are interested in

When looking for a home in general, it is immensely important to find a balance between your requirements, needs, and wishes, and the reality of the real estate market. The sooner you realize you will have to compromise about certain elements the better. Make a list of top priorities you will not give up on, but also be aware of those qualities that are less important. 

When buying a luxurious Florida waterfront home is in question, there are a lot of options at your disposal. A growing number of people choose Hillsborough County as their new home location, not just due to its strengthening economy and continuous development but also 

because there are many Hillsborough County specialists to provide safe relocation of your household items. 

Hire a reputable realtor when buying a luxurious Florida waterfront home

Hiring an experienced and competent realtor is a crucial step in this process. Ideally, you need the assistance of a waterfront specialist who will be able to advise you on how to buy waterfront real estate that suits your needs and meets your expectations. Realtors who have spent years in this business are acquainted with the real estate market very well. They can suggest attractive areas and find a Florida waterfront home that will meet your needs and will be the best value for your investment.

When you meet your realtor for the first time, it is vital for you to define the main aspects of your cooperation. How often will you meet? How often will you get updated information on the real estate market and properties for sale? Request the information about the steps in the buying process, all the financing options available, and the necessary paperwork. Also, make your realtor well aware of what exactly you are looking for – the price range

, the size of the home, the locations that are acceptable, and your specific home feature requirements. This will significantly narrow down and shorten the search for your dream home.

Hire a professional to inspect the property you are interested in

Once you find a property that might be appropriate for you, we strongly advise you to hire a professional to inspect it thoroughly before you conduct the purchase and contact 

a business like bigmansmoving.com to relocate your possessions. Necessary repairs sometimes can add up a considerable amount to your expenses and be a very unpleasant surprise. When you get the inspection report, study it carefully with undivided attention, and make the final decision whether the property in question is the right choice for you. 

Do not neglect the importance of proper insurance

Waterfront homes are severely affected by the elements. Thus, under no circumstances 

should you neglect proper insurance of your new waterfront home. Make sure you have coverage for wind, flood, and general hazard insurance. Only this way will you be entitled to proper compensation in case your Florida waterfront home gets severely damaged.

What are you allowed to do with the property?

While it is true that you are purchasing a luxurious Florida waterfront home, chances are you will still want to introduce some changes and add a personal touch to your new living space. Hence, gather the information about what you can do with the property. For example, can you build a dock or a seawall? What kinds of alterations are allowed on the property you are considering? This will affect your purchasing decision and can add or detract substantially from the value of the home.

Understand a waterfront homeowner’s responsibilities

Finally, having a waterfront property comes along with a set of responsibilities on behal

f of homeowners. If you are a member of the Homeowners’ Association, you will have to gather enough information about the type of upkeep and maintenance that is required from you. Your realtor can provide you with more details on the subject and you can consult relevant websites.

A few more suggestions

Buying a luxurious Florida waterfront home is a serious investment and your chance to live the water view dream. When examining properties you like, remember to consider the whole property and not just the house built on it. For example, is the water is good for swimming? Do you like the views? Is the property secluded or might it lack privacy? What is the access to the water? Take your time and do not rush your decision. Then, you can be sure you will make the right choice.

Top reasons why Florida beach property is a good investment

Are you considering getting a second home? Well, Florida is definitely one of the best places for investing in such a thing if you are financially and emotionally ready for making this step. Yes, it’s not going to be easy nor cheap, but there are many reasons why this is a good idea. You will be able to rent it out and make this a source of your income; you can also use it for your getaways and family vacations which should now be significantly cheaper; and, this can be a potential retirement plan for you. After all, there is a good reason why so many people are moving to Florida each year. But, if you need some more persuading to help you make the decision, here are other top reasons why Florida beach property can be a good investment.

Having a Rental Income

Probably one of the biggest reasons why people decide to invest in beach properties in Florida, or anywhere else in the world, is because of potential rental income. We say potential because there are many factors that will determine whether this investment will be a success or not. First, you have to consider all the expenses associated with renting a property. So, before you rush in and make a purchase, take into account expenses like mortgage, insurance, taxes, maintenance, and remodeling. All these things can easily break the bank if you have not thought this decision through. It would be a good idea to talk to an accountant and other landlords in the area to see how you can make your investment bring you a steady rental income.

So, if you are investing in a beach property for the sole purpose of renting it out, you have to make it appealing to renters. Make your beach property stand out. It must be unique and interesting. For example, you can create the ultimate coffee set up on your patio, or create children’s playground to attract families. Do not forget that you may have to remodel, as well as maintain your property at all times. 

Having a Second Home

However, if you are not concerned about maximizing your income and you want to do something special for yourself and your family, you are in for a treat. We all know how boring and monotonous living in one place for the rest of your life can be. So, if you already have a chance to own a second home, go for it. You will be surprised how much this decision will spice up your life. You will start to belong to another community, make new friends and neighbors, and start new traditions with your family. Just imagine how much your children can benefit from this. Every day will be filled with new experiences and memories. So, if you think that you can cover all the expenses that come with owning a second home, go for it. Just make sure to fix up your waterfront home before you move in.

Having an Easy Getaway

When moving in your area, you are probably going to end up in an environment similar to the one you had lived in so far. But, as we previously mentioned, if you have a chance to buy a beach property, do it to make things more exciting. This goes for houses on the beach, near a lake, on a mountain or in the countryside. These will become your families’ getaway and there are many reasons for that. First, you will not have to worry so much about the money as you will not have to pay for the accommodation, which is usually the most expensive part of any trip. Then, you can decide how often you wish to stay. And, most importantly, you will be there alone without any other guests or tourists. It will be completely up to you who you will invite. Also, you can play music, invite people over, make parties, celebrate your holidays and many other things without worrying about bothering a stranger in an adjoining room.

No More Vacation Planning

Yes, many people are thrilled when planning a vacation. But, if you are one of those who want to have a stable plan every time, then owning your own beach property is probably the best idea. You will not have to make complicated preparations for the trip. The keys are yours, so all you have to do is pack light, go to your second home and the vacation can begin. You will not have to spend days planning for it, looking for a vacancy, nor even looking for a place that is pet-friendly if you plan on going there with your furry friend. Also, if you plan on spending a lot of time there with your dog, make the most out of it and look for the best waterfront locations for dog owners too. Not every Florida beach allows pooches, so do some research before you buy.

Having a Retirement Plan

You probably know that retirees love Florida. So, buying a Florida beach property can be a good investment and preparation for your retirement. Just think about it. You will not have to worry about finding and relocating to an entirely new place once you are retired. Then you will not have to worry about preparing your new home for living there. Everything will be in place already. Most importantly, you will not have to pay rent or live in a senior residential facility for the rest of your life. Your second home will be waiting for you. The transition will also be eased because you will know your neighbors and where everything is located. So, once you retire, the only thing you need to do is throw an ultimate housewarming party and then go to the beach and enjoy the Sunshine State. Life is going to be so much easier knowing that you are all set for retirement. 

Private Until Proven Public: New Law Restricts Public Access to Florida’s Beaches

Private Until Proven Public

 

For many Floridians, there’s only one way to spend the Fourth of July – at the beach. Each year, thousands commemorate our nation’s freedom by flocking to the roughly 600 beaches of coastal Florida.  As fireworks paint the sky shades of red, white, and blue, friends and strangers sit shoulder to shoulder on the shores below – a fitting celebration of the hard-earned rights, majestic natural lands, and solidarity shared by fellow Americans. And Floridians have long taken public beach access as a right.

best fireworks shows

Cape Coral: the largest 4th of July fireworks display in Southern Florida.

On Independence Day this year, however, those in the Sunshine State will have a bit less liberty to celebrate – and a lot less beach on which to do so.  

A newly passed state law allows Florida’s waterfront property owners to restrict public access to the sandy shores that fall within their property lines.  Signed a few weeks ago by Governor Rick Scott – despite the impassioned opposition of thousands of activists and beachgoers from throughout the state – House Bill 631 effectively strips the people of Florida of their right, which has been protected since the state’s inception, to recreational access to the state’s coastal lands.  

Public Access to Florida Beaches: A Brief History

The relationship between public beach access and private property rights is a sticky, often complicated issue that has been the subject of countless legal disputes between private owners and municipal or state governments.

Public trust doctrine – the ancient legal principle that governments may protect certain natural resources for public use – has long maintained the common law right of state governments to hold in trust all beaches for public use. Today, each individual state is responsible for articulating, interpreting, and enforcing the particular guidelines that determine which beach land may be designated as public.

In Florida, coastal land below the “mean high water line” – all parts of the shore that become awash during high tide – have been arduously defended by municipal governments as open to the public, irrespective of private property lines.  Wet sand has always been treated as belonging to the public domain, and while many beachfront property owners have fought to restrict public encroachment on their land, public trust doctrine has routinely been used to maintain the right to public access.  

Local governments have often adopted “customary use ordinances” to preserve these rights, by identifying the state’s long and storied tradition of public use.  In a landmark ruling in 1974 – City of Daytona Beach v. Tona-Rama, Inc. – the court enforced the public’s right to access a privately owned stretch of Daytona Beach by citing the deep, long-established connection between Florida’s coastal lands and its inhabitants: “No part of Florida is more exclusively hers, nor more properly utilized by her people,” the ruling proclaimed, “than her beaches.  And the right of the public of access to, and enjoyment of, Florida’s oceans and beaches has long been recognized by this Court.”

The case also established a legal precedent that would yield enormous influence in similar disputes in the decades that followed.  “If the recreational use of the sandy area adjacent to mean high tide has been ancient, reasonable, without interruption and free from dispute,” the court reasoned, “such use, as a matter of custom, should not be interfered with by the owner.”  The case of Trepanier v. County of Volusia, in 2007, helped establish a means by which customary use could be systematically proven, through “eyewitness testimony, expert testimony, and aerial photographs of the general are of the beach.” Often, just a longtime local’s testimony, together with old family photographs of a trip to the shore, would be enough to establish customary use, and public beach access, within a contested beach region.  

But those days are over.  With the passage of HB 631, it is no longer in the hands of municipal governments to proclaim customary use; now, that capacity belongs solely to judges.  Under the new law, customary use can only be proven in court, on a case-by-case basis, using ample and convincing evidence. Local governments no longer have the legal right to enforce public beach access to private beaches by passing customary use ordinances; the process has been moved to the judicial realm.  

Public beach access

While private property owners previously had to build their case, the onus is now on members of the public to obtain judicial affirmation of customary use.  To put it another way: for years, Florida’s coast was regarded as public until proven private, but now, it is private until proven public. Beachfront owners are now legally allowed to prohibit the public from walking along the sands above the high-tide line, whether by roping off parts of their beach property, constructing fences, or putting up signs.  

Opponents of the new law assert that it benefits a few at the expense of many.  Public beaches, they argue, are the heart of Floridian culture, extending all the way back beyond the state’s beginnings.  Others warn that the ruling will cripple Florida’s tourism industry – the lifeblood of the state economy.

Private beach

Florida Beach Laws Change

It is no coincidence that we celebrate our nation’s freedom and solidarity all along our coastal lands.  In commemorating our nation’s independence, we celebrate the rights afforded to us as a result of our freedom – the hard-fought liberties it is our obligation to preserve.  Chief among them is our right to enjoy the beautiful shores of our nation’s coasts.

As thousands of Americans descend upon the shores of the Sunshine State this Fourth of July – just three days after HB 631 officially goes into effect – we may do well to remember what it is we are celebrating.  We may do well to remember the words to an old folk tune we know so well – a Woody Guthrie song that has been hailed, appropriately, as a national anthem in its own right – and which has become, to many Americans, synonymous with Independence Day celebrations:

“This land is your land, this land is my land

From California, to the New York island

From the Redwood Forest, to the Gulf Stream waters

This land was made for you and me

And we may do well to remember an earlier version of the song, with a lesser known but particularly timely verse:

“There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me.

The sign was painted, said ‘Private Property.’

But on the backside, it didn’t say nothing.

This land was made for you and me.”