5 Tips for Buying a Home or Condo on Siesta Key

Lifeguard station on Siesta Key

Dreaming of living steps away from one of America’s best beaches? You’re not alone! The sand is soft and cool (yes, you read that right, the sand doesn’t get hot!), the water is warm and beautiful, and the sea breezes are just the cure to melt away stress.

Depending on where you’re from and the housing market you’re accustomed to, Siesta Key may seem reasonably priced or you may endure a little sticker shock. It’s always smart to work with a local real estate agent who knows the area, the market, the housing trends and opportunities and concerns that are specific to Siesta Key. Here are 5 tips to help you navigate your buying options on the key:

1. Proximity to the beach. Properties closer to the beach are generally higher priced, of course. Buying a few blocks from the beach will likely get you more house for the money, can help lower your property taxes, insurance rates and may give you more privacy.

2. Elevation and Insurance. Most condo associations have insurance to cover the building, which you’ll pay through your condo fees along with all of your neighbors. You’ll only be responsible, generally, for insuring “walls in” which means everything inside your condo from the drywall in. If you buy a single family home, you’re responsible for insuring it and that’s when elevation becomes very important. If the home and it’s systems sits even a few feet off the ground, you’ll save on insurance. Ask your realtor about flood zones and elevation certificates.

3. Gulf side vs. bay side vs. canal. If you love endless views of the water, you’ll love the gulf side. If you like water views, city lights at night, and beautiful sunrises, you’ll love the bay side. If you have a sailboat and need a dock that’ll accommodate a deep keel, talk with your realtor about homes on the canals.

4. Bring your boat. If you own a boat or are thinking of buying one and don’t necessarily plan to buy a property with a dock, there are several marinas and slips to accommodate your boat and have it ready for you when you’re ready to enjoy a day on the water. If, however, you want to purchase property with a dock, talk to your realtor about the best places for the size of your boat. Realtors with access to the Multiple Listing Service can perform very specific searches to help you find property that will accommodate your boat.

5. Renting your home or condo while you’re away. If you’re planning to rent your home or condo out to vacationers while you’re away, ask your realtor about rental restrictions. Most communities on Siesta Key have specific minimum lease periods and, for condos especially, renters may need to apply to the condo association for approval before renting. Of the islands in Sarasota County, Siesta Key has some of the shortest minimum lease periods, making it easier for you to make a little extra income while you’re away.

See homes and condos currently for sale on Siesta Key. The lifestyle is unbeatable!