If the past year and a half has you itching for something new, let us introduce you to your next adventure: Tampa, Florida!

This well-known Sunshine State city has no shortage of entertainment for you to explore, from bustling nightlife to a rich arts and culture scene. But even if you’re familiar with Florida, packing your bags and permanently moving south can seem a bit nerve-wracking, especially when it comes to navigating a new housing market.

Let the pros at Bungalo® serve as your guide as we dig deep into how you can find your perfect future home in Tampa.

Exploring the Tampa housing market

If one thing’s for sure, it’s that we’re all looking for some extra Vitamin D after spending so much time indoors — and the current state of the housing market in Florida just goes to show how true that is.

Although the Tampa area has seen its fair share of ebbs and flows when it comes to fluctuating demand, there’s never been a more popular time to buy in Florida. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported a 10% increase in the median price of a home in the Tampa Bay area since the first quarter of 2020, coming in at about $225,000. While the group is still generating its findings for the second half of 2021, the general consensus is that the market has only continued to grow during this time, with demand rapidly rising.

The report from the NAR also found that the economy of Florida has outpaced the rest of the nation at an annual growth rate of 22.8% with employment rates continuing to increase as more Americans turn their summer vacations into a year-round reality.

While the booming Tampa real estate market can come off as daunting, the long-term affordability of properties in Florida continues to be lower than many other local markets across the U.S. The ratio of monthly mortgage payment to annual income is about 11% in Tampa Bay —  7 points lower than the national average.

Long story short, if you’re looking for your new home or your next property investment, now’s a great time to start browsing the listings in Tampa.

Benefits of buying a home in Tampa

Still not sure if Tampa is right for you? With different museums, shops and restaurants to explore around every corner, Tampa is truly the perfect place for young professionals, recent retirees and everyone in between.

Just some of the unique benefits of moving to this popular Central Florida city include:

  • Consistent weather: No matter where you’re moving from, chances are your weather isn’t nearly as predictable as the sunny blue skies of Tampa. If you’re in the market for year-round sunshine, then we’d recommend you start packing your sunblock and swim trunks.
  • Easy travel options: Want to be central to all that Florida has to offer? Look no further than — drum roll please — Central Florida. Whether it’s a quick trip to a nearby amusement park or plans for a beautiful beach day, you’ll find that nearly every attraction is just a short drive away. Plus, if your travel plans take you out of the state, the Tampa International Airport is also close by and easily accessible.

  • Restaurants and new cuisine: Tired of ordering take-out from the same five places? We get that. In Tampa, there’s no shortage of new and delicious cuisine to try — the only challenge will be finding the time to taste them all! With fresh seafood and dishes inspired by the unique cultures that make Tampa the dynamic city it is, you’ll be sure to find your new favorite meal every other night.

If you’re ready to head down to Florida, there are just a few important things to keep in mind before you officially kick off the moving process.

What should you consider when purchasing a Tampa home?

Given the high demand versus the limited supply of homes in Tampa, it can feel difficult to find and close on the perfect home for you and your family. However, that shouldn’t turn you away from the Sunshine State. With a little bit of research, you’ll be well on your way to closing on your future home.

With that in mind, let’s go over some of the most common questions both new and experienced homeowners may have:

What should I do before I start the process of buying a new home?

Before you begin, put together a list of your must-have features, your nice-to-haves and any potential deal-breakers. Going into your search with a clear vision in mind will save you the inconvenience of touring a home you’re not interested in, and it’ll give your real estate agent a clearer understanding of what you do like.

In addition to creating your budget — more on that in just a second — you’ll also want to consider any outstanding loans as well as the mortgage on your current home. Creating and following a strategic repayment plan will ensure that you have the sustainable cash flow you need to buy the home of your dreams.

How long does it take to buy a home?

In a competitive housing market like Tampa, it may be a while before you’re able to close on your new home. Generally, you’ll want to start prepping for your search up to 12 months from the time you’d like to move in, with tours and walkthroughs starting six months out. After submitting an offer, you may still find yourself anywhere from one to two months out from your actual move-in day, depending on how long inspection and appraisal take.

At Bungalo, we help speed up this process with our transparent “No-Hassle” pricing structure. When you make an offer on your dream home, you can rest assured that you won’t be outbid by a higher offer or an all-cash buyer.

What should my budget look like?

As we mentioned earlier, the median price for a single-family home in Florida right now is about $225,000. However, depending on the specific features you’re looking for, you may need to plan to spend a little more than that.

While homeowners are likely to keep that final number and down payment in mind as they build their budget, there is one important value that often gets overlooked: Your monthly expenses.

As you plan your search and begin to explore your options, keep track of your weekly expenses to get an understanding of what your current spending looks like. You’ll also need to factor in any one-time expenditures such as moving trucks or new furniture.

The good news is that the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation has reported that the cost of living in Tampa Bay is lower compared to all other metro areas in the U.S., so once you’re settled in it’s smooth sailing.

Do I need a home inspection before move-in day?

In almost all cases, yes. A home inspection can reveal costly problems that you may be able to get the current owners to fix before moving in — without this, you may find yourself footing the bill in the months to come. An average home inspection generally costs anywhere from $350 to $500, however rates can quickly go up depending on the size of your home.

Pro tip: When you buy a home with Bungalo, you won’t have to worry about this step as we inspect every property from top-to-bottom. Plus, our certified homes come with a 90-day post-close protection warranty — if anything unexpected comes up we’ve got your back.

How do you plan to purchase your home?

If you’re not local to Florida, diving head first into buying a home can feel overwhelming. From trying to connect with a real estate agent that understands what you’re looking for to finding the time to fly or drive down to tour homes, the process can be an extensive one.

At Bungalo, we’re here to change that.

When you shop for your home with us, you’ll have a clear path and the guidance you need to close on your home as quickly as possible. With our virtual touring options and our stress-free lender policies, you can spend less time refreshing new listings and more time enjoying your new house.

Learn more about buying and selling your home with Bungalo and, when you’re ready, explore your options when it comes to living in Tampa. *This article is meant for informational purposes only and is not intended to be construed as financial, tax, legal, real estate, insurance, or investment advice. Bungalo always encourages you to reach out to an advisor regarding your own situation.

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