St. Petersburg is known for its vibrant art scene and spectacular skyline views, as well as a stunning collection of waterfront estates and sleek art deco-style condos. The vintage glamor of the 1920s is on full display in the sophisticated architecture, while Old Florida’s wild beauty sparkles in the form of Gulf Coast waters, rugged dunes, and silky sand. 

St. Petersburg luxury homes are among the most celebrated on the market and offer luxe wellness amenities, magnificent vistas, and an elegant, resort atmosphere, making them the perfect stage for vacations. If you are in the market for a vacation home, St. Petersburg is an outstanding choice. Before you begin your search, however, there are a few key elements to consider. 

The first question is for your real estate agent and sets the tone for the remainder of your vacation home search. To put it plainly, is a second home in St. Petersburg right for you? Working with your agent, reviewing your financial portfolio, and considering the needs of your family will all help to answer this important question and get you on your way to a stylish holiday home. Consider these four things to look for when buying a vacation home and you’ll soon be on your way to paradise.  


Before embarking on an endeavor of this magnitude, you will want to ensure you can easily and comfortably achieve your goal. Both your agent and your financial manager are invaluable resources when examining your portfolio. There are a few considerations of which you should be cognizant when acquiring a second property, and a little extra attention here will save time, money, and headaches later. 


When considering a second home, you will want to get an overview of your entire budget. Do you have any large expenditures on the horizon? University tuition, new cars, and future planned investments will need to be accounted for before diving into the expense of another home. Your budget for your vacation home requires everything your current home does, and possibly more. You want to make sure that you are spending comfortably so you can enjoy the vacations in your new place. 


If you are financing your vacation home, you may be required to set down a larger down payment than usual. Lenders tend to pay closer attention to second home financing, as they want to ensure you can comfortably pay for everything associated with both properties. This means rather than the traditional 3%-20% down payment, you may be required to drop 30% or even 50% of the purchase price, so make sure you are fully prepared to fund this second purchase before you even begin touring homes.  


Vacation home property taxes can add a significant amount to your monthly expenditures, especially with luxury vacation homes. Property taxes are often calculated based on the property’s square footage or the value of the neighborhood – both of which tend to be high with vacation houses. Make sure you have clarity on the yearly tax amount and work that into your budget. 


From renovations and landscaping to simple tasks, extra expenses can add up quickly. If you are looking for a vacation property large enough for your family, as well as friends or extended family, you will want to consider every last detail involved in properly setting up your home – especially if you plan to rent the property. Quality mattresses, duvets, towels, and kitchen appliances add a surprising amount to the vacation home budget. 


closeup of a desk with a contract, small model of a house and 2 sets of hands

Working with a reputable real estate agent is a smart move no matter the type of property you are searching for, but even more so in the case of vacation homes. If you live outside of your area of vacation home interest, you will need a local expert to guide you through the logistics of buying in a new neighborhood or state.

Buying property from another state can be tricky, especially if you are buying remotely, so your agent plays an important role. Agents are bound to the code of fiduciary duty, meaning they are legally required to work solely for your best interest. This, along with their expertise and market savvy, can make the process significantly smoother. Agents can also strategize about what makes a strong offer, so you can be sure to hit a home run.   


This could also be called the “what do you want?” category. Does your family adore having private beach access or a dock with a sailboat at the ready? Or do you prefer the ease and luxury that comes with a glamorous high-rise condo? Do you crave the urban vibrance of city life, or prefer the tranquil beauty of a quiet beach?

Where you buy your vacation home is just as important as the kind of home you buy. Location is everything in real estate and the same can be true of your family’s holiday spot. If you know you want a place in St. Petersburg, the battle is half won – but now consider, what kind of vacations will you and your family love most? Once you have an idea of how your family likes to relax, your agent can help you find the best location to make it happen.   


You might consider this category an addendum to location. Again, your agent is an incredible resource when investigating the maintenance requirements of your new property. This is especially important if you live in a different area or state, as you’ll want to make arrangements for maintenance all year long. Speak to your agent about all 12 months of weather and any precautions you may need to take. Is the property on the water? How many weeks or months of the year will you visit? Do you need a property management team to ensure the dock is properly maintained and the boats are in good condition? Do you need special windows? Your agent can guide you on these matters and will likely be able to recommend top professionals for any maintenance services your new home requires.

Are you interested in exploring St. Petersburg real estate? Contact Andrew Salamone of The Salamone Group today to learn about moving to St. Petersburg and navigating the St. Petersburg real estate market.

Posted by Andy Salamone on
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