Fort Myers is becoming an increasingly popular place for people to move. According to WalletHub’s annual list of fastest-growing cities, Fort Myers ranked numbers six, with two other cities in Lee County landing in the top 10. This means if you’re thinking about moving to the area, you’re not alone.
However, with the right real estate know-how, you can make smart moves and avoid a few common mistakes that come with moving to this city. Check out these five tips for buying property and relocating to the area.
1. Evaluate how much space you really need.
Any time you move to a new location, it’s worth the effort to review your current needs. Is it time to buy a larger home that has an office and rooms for the kids? Are you ready to downsize and give up a few rooms to be in a good area?
If you aren’t sure how many square feet you need, consider renting for a few months when moving to Fort Myers before you buy. You can keep your belongings in a storage unit in the short term and then either bring them out when you decide on a larger home or sell the extra beds and furniture when you don’t need them anymore. This can make your real estate decisions much easier.
2. Make sure your home meeting hurricane safety standards.
While there are only a few major hurricanes each year (and most of them stay away from Fort Myers), you still need to make sure your home can withstand a storm. A quality home inspector should be able to tell you what constitutes a hurricane-grade building, including the durability of the structure, window wind-resistance, and strength of the roof shingles. These features can help you survive a hurricane and reduce the amount of rebuilding you need to do.
3. Learn about the geography of the area.
Fort Myers is unique because you have the Gulf of Mexico and its stunning beaches to the west along with the Everglades to the east. This means you have the opportunity to buy a property with easy access to outdoor activities.
If you want to live on the water, look into a condo that overlooks the Caloosahatchee River. If you want to move to a rural area (but still enjoy the benefits of living near the city), look around the various nature preserves that surround the area.
Living away from the city can be enjoyable and help you save money, but you may need to invest in reliable mosquito control products, especially during the summer rainy season.
4. Look for areas that are still in development.
Many people try to move to the most popular areas in a town. These are also the areas that have the highest property values. As you explore Fort Myers, look for areas that are up-and-coming or in development. These are neighborhoods where the property values are still low but are likely to rise in the next few years.
Opting for one of the less popular neighborhoods is particularly important if you are considering an investment property Buying an affordable house or rental property now before the neighborhood becomes popular will increase your return on investment by a great deal.
5. Get to know your neighbors beforehand.
Before you move into a neighborhood, learn about the people who live there. It’s the best way to familiarize yourself with the area. If you have young kids, you might not want to move to an area with a large “snowbird” population. The snowbird demographic will be older and most people living there will be gone for six months out of the year. Consider moving to large areas that are known for nightlife or are built near local schools if you are looking for something family-friendly.
Many people who move to Lee County find that the people are nice and the natural beauty is stunning. By knowing what you want, you can get the property you need at a great price.