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May 8th, 2012 2:55 PM by David W. Welch
If you are thinking of relocating to Florida, this is not a bad book to check out. Ryan does a pretty good job of covering many of the issues and concerns buyers have with a relocation to the Sunshine State. Ryan's background is that of a new home salesperson and it shows in the detailed description of the new home building process. If I have any complaint, it is that he spent over 40 pages describing all the stages of construction, and only two pages on the resales. I may have missed it in the new home section, but one of the obvious benefits of new homes is the energy efficiency they offer compared to most older homes.
There are a few additions or changes I would suggest for his next version of this if they are still applicable. In the "pros of resale homes" he mentioned that "in some cases" why a seller is selling could have an impact on how much they would be willing to negotiate. I would just take that out. In all cases the seller's motivation is key to their willingness to negotiate. In the section titled "Should you Rent?" I would add a warning that there are a lot of rental scams going on, and potential tenants should know they are dealing with the actual owner, and check to make sure the property is not in foreclosure. "Condominiums" should have in big bold letters NO FINANCING. That is pretty much the case throughout the state. Even if there is financing available in a particular complex, you probably will be beaten out by a cash buyer. Here in Orlando 95% of our condos the last few years have sold for cash.
There are also a few details in the property appraisal and homestead exemption sections that I don't completely agree with, but they are essentially correct. There are also a couple of sections regarding lending that are a bit outdated, but not really inaccurate such as the Good Faith Estimate. Most lenders now only provide a buyer's worksheet, because if they call it a GFE they have certain time frames and guidelines for notices and such that can actually cause delays. Also, mortgage brokers are pretty much irrelavent at this point.
Overall, if you are looking for a good resource regarding a Florida move, Florida for Boomers by Ryan Erisman would be a good choice. As a point of disclosure, Ryan did ask me to review his book, and wanted my honest opinion. I don't know how I did a book reviewer, but I did try to share my thoughts and suggestions.