Recently, we sat down with Jen Dollar, owner & broker of Realty Executives Florida. We asked her a handful of FAQs that we receive almost on a daily basis from people looking to buy homes in the Orlando area.
What are some of the BEST neighborhoods to live in in the Orlando area?
This is a tough one. For me, in the downtown area would be College Park and Delaney Park. Then, if you go north of Orlando into Seminole County, Heathrow, Steeple Chase, Lake Markham Preserve or the gated neighborhoods down Markham Woods Road. Then in the southwest part of town, Dr. Phillips is a popular area and also, Windermere, and now Winter Garden is becoming very popular with the new home developments.
If I was a younger family moving to Orlando area for the first time and we're looking to get the best bang for our buck when it comes to homes, what's the best area for us if we're looking into the $500,000 range?
In the $500,000 range I would say the West Orange area, Winter Garden is where you're probably right now going to get the most for your money at $500,000. Oviedo, in East Orlando, would also be an option to check out. These areas right now are where you can get the most square footage, newer homes in that $500,000 sweet spot.
Why would somebody want to work with a Realtor in Orlando versus trying to buy or sell themselves?
Working with a realtor will save you money, time and energy. Realtors have the most accurate information which gives you an advantage vs. finding old information off the internet. In a competitive market, which we are in currently, it is imperative that you use a Realtor who is knowledgeable and who will help you make a wise investment.
There is a misconception that you can get a better deal by calling the owner directly or calling the Broker whos name is listed on the for sale sign but more than not, this puts you at a disadvantage because you have no one representing your best interests. There are specific contingencies in contracts and Realtors are trained to understand the complexities of these agreements so that we can protect our clients.
You mentioned the College Park earlier, tell me a little bit about that area and why would somebody want to live in that area.
I live in College Park and it is one of my favorite places in Orlando. It’s a neighborhood where you can walk to restaurants, parks and grocery stores. While it is not a gated area, it's a close-knit community, and it's very convenient to all the highways, downtown Orlando and Winter Park.
There is a new construction boom right now in College Park, mostly due to families who have outgrown their current homes and need something bigger but don't want to leave the area. It has been really exciting to watch all of the new housing development and the new restaurants and businesses who have opened up over the last few years. College Park is a great place to call home.
What are the estimated closing costs I might encounter when buying a home?
Closing costs are different depending on if you're buying or selling. When you are purchasing a home, the majority of your closing costs are derived from your mortgage. It is critical to work with a well-respected lender because these fees vary from bank to bank. Don't jump on board with the first lender that advertises "no closing costs" because often they bundle up these fees and it ends up costing the buyer more in the end.
The majority of closing costs for a seller come from title insurance premiums and real estate commissions.
You do not pay any commission when you are a buyer. The real estate commissions come from the seller, that's often a detail that first time buyers or buyers who haven't been in the market for a while forget.
What are some things that would help me get approved for a bigger Orlando home or what are some things that might keep me from getting approval?
It all depends on what you qualify for if you are not paying for your purchase with cash. Once you determine what you can afford, then you want to focus on the most important features that you need in a home, and that will more or less dictate your location. I would also like to point out that what you qualify for may not be what you can afford. You don't live in the down payment you live in the monthly mortgage payment, so make sure you are comfortable with the payment.
Have a question? Call us at 866.466.3427 or chat with one of our support agents today!