This is Emily from The Seamitchell Team at http://www.seamitchell.com to talk with you about investing in Alabama and Florida's Gulf Coast. These are some simple steps you should take to make sure you find the right property.
Before you take these steps, contact us to be your Realtors at the Beach!
1st GET PRE-QUALIFIED. Why? The bottom feeders are out there and they are scooping up the "steals" faster than you can imagine. Financing is obtainable, but sometimes can take longer to get then it did a few years ago. If you are pre-qualified you have taken a very important step toward establishing a relationship with your lender AND you know what you can spend. It may be fun to look at 2 million dollar condos, but if you can only afford something in the 200k range, you may miss the right opportunity.
2nd BE HONEST. Be honest with your self and your Realtor. You may think that by talking to several different Real Estate agents you will get the "best deal." Most likely, you will offend each of the agents. We will be loyal to you if you are loyal to us. I have never gone to someone's condo after a storm to check and make sure things were okay if they purchased the condo from someone else. I will do it all day if you purchased it from me. As far as being honest with yourself, think about your needs and wants. Are you going to use the property, or is it just for rental income? Do your kids hate the beach and love the boat? Maybe the bay would be a better fit. Will your 17 year old be comfortable in built in bunk beds in the hallway? Know your needs.
3rd ASK A LOT OF QUESTIONS. If you don't ask, you won't find out. Find out what? Well for starters: Insurance assessments, HOA dues, rental history, upgrades, building construction, law suits/liens against the building or HOA, maintenance of the grounds, AND I CAN GO ON AND ON! Now, I don't want you to ask me these things about every unit that I show you. BUT once you have found a complex or two that you are really interested in and they fit your criteria and are in your price range...ASK!!! You are working with a Realtor because they have or can get this information.
FINALLY: Don't be afraid to make an offer. An offer can be dependent upon any variety of things that will allow you to "get out" if you need to. Keep in mind, if you don't write an offer, you CAN'T purchase a condo. Case in point: I sent a guy 43 listings on Tuesday. By Thursday 3 were pending and 2 were under contract. By next Tuesday, who knows what will still be available. I am NOT telling you to make offers willy-nilly. I AM saying that if you find something that fits you and your needs ACT!
Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you with your condo purchase in Orange Beach, Gulf Shores or Perdido Key!
p.s. these are just some of the steps you need to take when thinking about investing in the condo market here on the Gulf Coast. Some other steps to take may include and are not limited to: talking with your spouse, talking with your CPA, pay your kids college tuition bill, get a hair cut, visit the area, talk to your neighbors, eat a pizza, go bowling...just kidding...just use common sense and act in a responsible way!