Florida boasts all kinds of housing for sale from small vacation condominiums to homes located on the beaches that sell for millions of dollars. Finding inexpensive real estate in Florida involves using tools from the Internet and real estate agents who are familiar with their markets. Local agents have tools that help them find the best deals on local real estate and may even know sellers who are willing to negotiate their prices to sell a home. The state of Florida also has programs in place for first-time buyers and others to help them buy a home.
Set your minimum standards before finding a real estate agent. Real estate agents normally tour homes that they have listed, and he will be able to let you know about how much work the homes will require to make them fit for occupancy. Foreclosures, in particular, may need some work, but they can also be significant bargains compared to homes that are in good condition. If you are willing to invest money in making a home more livable, buying a fixer-upper might be the easiest way to buy cheap Florida real estate.
Scour active adult communities. These communities are regulated by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) arm of the federal government and regulate how many people under 55 years can live in them. The law requires that 80 percent of the households have at least one member who is 55 or older. Sometimes when the remaining family is dissolving an estate, they want to sell the home as fast as they can and the easiest way to do that is to sell the property at or below market. The community may not let you live there, but you can use the property as a rental if and until you want to move into the home yourself.
Contact the city and county in which you want to buy a home to see if they have any programs that will help you buy a home. The government funds housing agencies to help people buy their first homes. Sometimes they can provide some or all of the down payments and closing costs. As of July 2010, the state of Florida has a State Housing Initiatives Partnership (SHIP) to help first time buyers overcome the hurdles of ownership.
Buy from a builder who participates in the Homeownership Pool (HOP) Program in Florida. This is a cooperative program between the state of Florida and home builders who can provide funds to home buyers with mortgages that will help them get into homes. While these homes may not be cheap Florida homes, the price of entry might be equal to or lower than buying a foreclosure in need of repairs.
Jackie Johnson is a published writer and professional blogger, and has a degree in English from Arizona State University. Her background in real estate analysis prepared her for objective thinking, researching and writing.