Vacation vs. Living
Florida has a lot to offer people on vacation, but living here can be very different in the day to day life. Research the area you are interested in with a mind towards traffic, crime rates, school ratings, health care systems etc. Find an area where you'll FEEL like your on vacation everyday!
Decide on a Budget
You can find homes for as little as 100k all they way up to tens of millions in this area. In addition to looking at what you want to spend on a home, consider what you want for a monthly budget. You can chose a neighborhood that doesn't offer much in the way of amenities, keeping your costs down. Or you can chose an amenity rich community where you need to factor in the HOA fees and CDD fees into your monthly budget.
It can sometimes be challenging to get financing for a home in Florida when you are leaving your job in another state. It's best to talk to a local lender who knows the Florida market BEFORE you make the move.
When you buy your Florida home, you want to hire a well trained expert to inspect the home well BEFORE you close. There are things to look for here that might barely come across your radar back home. Ask your Real Estate Agent for a list of reputable inspectors in the area.
Work with a REALTOR®
Real Estate is BIG business in Florida. Be sure and chose an Agent and Company that you feel comfortable with. A reputable agent will guide you through the process, answering questions and offering tips and strategies without pressure. They will provide you with local info as well as the names of inspectors, insurance companies, lenders, contractors and help you decipher the difference between HOA, CDD, taxes, homestead credits, amenities, deed restrictions and more!