Clearwater Real Estate – Tips For Homebuyers

The first thing you’ll need to look into when you start your search of Clearwater real estate for a house is location. Yes the often quoted (and maybe even overused) first three rules of real estate – “Location, Location, Location”.Since Clearwater stretches from the Gulf of Mexico on the one side to Tampa Bay on the other and covers almost the middle third of the county, there are a lot of areas and communities to choose from. In addition to the type of community you’re looking for (older, newer, gated, etc.) you should determine what places and activities you want to be near.If you’re looking for a golf course community you have choices like the Countryside area, Feather Sound or Belleair (technically Belleair is not part of Clearwater but is a separate town). If you want to be on the water but not in Clearwater Beach, you can look at Venetian Point on the north end or Harbor Oaks on the south end. If you want to be close to a certain school you should look at which communities surround it.Most of the time I find that buyers have a certain type of house in mind and they begin looking at listings on the MLS and by doing that find different communities that have the type of houses they are look for and base their decision on that. I’ve found that can be workable but you should realize that you will sometimes find the odd situation like a recently built home that is very nice but is located in a rundown area. Your agent can help you find out if that is the case and to help guide you to the communities and areas that would be better suited to your needs.The next thing you’ll need to do is make choices regarding the type of house. The amount of choices you’ll have will depend somewhat on the price range you can afford, but there are certain basics that are important to understand no matter what price range you are in.The 2 most common types of construction for houses are cement block and wood frame with one-story homes being more common than two-story. There can also be a combination in the same home of the 2 types of construction and this is commonly found in two-story homes that are often block construction on the first floor and wood frame construction on the second floor.Block construction homes are usually more expensive than comparable ones which are wood frame so the wood frame homes can look like a better deal. However, there are a few things you need to be aware of when dealing with wood frame houses.The 2 main issues with wood frame houses are 1) potential or actual termite problems and 2) higher insurance costs.You should have a termite inspection on any house you buy and this will let you know if there is any current termite problems (which might mean you won’t buy it). But either way you should have a program in place with a reputable company to prevent termite problems from arising in the future. Do your research on this as the best known companies don’t necessarily give you the best advice on what the best treatment is.Insurance costs are higher for wood frame houses than for block construction houses – about 20-25% higher. I had to check on this for a client once and this is what my insurance agent told me. Apparently there is the issue of potential termite problems but also the structure is less sturdy.These are by no means the only factors to keep in mind when looking for at Clearwater real estate for a house but they are 2 of the key ones.