|My New Home in Venice|
I have received several requests for posts on house hunting in Florida from folks thinking about moving to this area. I posted previously on all the animals and wildlife here - something I really love. Today I am posting on how I researched and evaluated prospective homes i.e. how I found my perfect home researching online/social distancing/house hunting in the age of corona.
First, I wrote a list of the most important elements for me. My list included -
1. Classic exterior style - not Tuscan
2. Great zip code - the best IMHO for home appreciation and lifestyle
3. One level - best for resale here and I can stay in it forever hopefully
4. Great view - it could be a pool, lake, golf course, or preserves
5. Nice yard
6. Great location - close to beach, restaurants, shopping
7. Great community - amenities, gated
8. High ceilings
9. Lots of light
10. Flooring - important to me and a big ticket item to redo them all
11. Condition - I did not want to do a reno
12. Details - high end finishes and detailing
13. Three bedroom/two baths
I first researched and found my target zip code in Venice - 34292. I started looking online every day using the listing photos and virtual tours and bookmarked a dozen homes. I rated them all on each of these elements on a scale of 1 to 5. Only one got a perfect score. Then one after another they went pending very quickly because Venice is an incredibly hot market. My house was my only perfect score house. I called my realtor and said we have to see it. Immediately. It was the first house I looked at it person. It was love at first sight. We sat down and wrote an offer. I knew it was right because.......
My house checks off every single box for me.
*The exterior looks more Palm Beach to me than this area which is very Tuscan. Tuscan is not for me.
*The best zip code in Venice.
*One level with a great floor plan.
*Stunningly gorgeous view of preserves and ancient palms. When you walk in the door you literally gasp.
*Yard has lovely palms, lawn and room for me to enjoy my gardening, but small enough it will not be a full time job.
*Minutes to the beach, shopping, restaurants, bars, a brand new hospital, and the interstate.
*Stunning community, very sought after, gated, all the amenities.
*12 foot and 10 foot ceilings in every room.
*Filled with light, sliders all across the back, lots of windows, beautiful plantation shutters.
*Really high end stone floors on every square inch including closets, pantry, laundry room.
*In perfect move-in condition.
*Crown molding, chair rail, wainscoting, limestone, granite, stainless steel, plantation shutters, tray ceiling, built-in desks and bookshelves, surround sound, walk-in showers - lots more detailing than is common here for sure.
*Three bedrooms/2 baths.
For me, my scoring system was very effective, because it did not allow me to focus on a home that was amazing in one aspect, but lacking in many others. For example, one home I loved had a pool, was on a lake, overlooked preserves, and the yard was incredible. The setting temporarily blinded me to the fact that the house itself needed at least $100,000 in work. Using my scoring system, it did not do well even though the setting was truly fabulous. I eliminated it. Don't get distracted by a barn door or a freestanding tub or marble counters. You can add those features you want. Come up with a scoring system of your own and pick the house that scores the best.
I hope this system might be useful to others - it is obviously applicable to evaluating a home anywhere, not just in Florida. I think my approach led me to the perfect home and the right decision after seeing one home - my new home! And the home was vacant which was an even bigger plus with this pandemic. Online research is the key, especially now. I did 99% of my looking online.
I must say that I never intended to move to Florida. Golf Guy wanted to move here to play golf (LOL) and I wanted a fresh start. But now that I'm here, it really is paradise. The journey might have been a strange and winding one, but I'm glad where I landed. Things happen for a reason.