By Sandy and Gary Elliott
This week there are 327 condos listed for sale on the Marco Island MLS. They come in all different sizes, building types, prices and locations, and all have differing amenities. Finding just the right one can be a daunting and time-consuming task. To help make efficient use of your time while you are here consult with one of our local realtors. The search tools and photos available to realtors on the Marco Island Multiple Listing Service are invaluable to your search.
The first thing to decide is a price range. Giving your realtor a budget price plus or minus 10 percent will narrow the search to a few dozen condos. To eliminate another half decide if you want a pet-friendly condo or one that does not allow pets. Next, pick a location you’re interested in on the island, such as on the beach, on a canal, inland, on a golf course or on the Gulf. If you’re already familiar with areas like Hideaway Beach, Cape Marco, the South end of the island or Smokehouse Bay, tell your realtor that is an area you would consider.
You can specify newer condos or any range of years that interest you. You should identify the number of bedrooms and bathrooms you need. If you’ve been to a few open houses, you’ll have a sense of the square footage that feels comfortable to you. Some people want to be on lower floors of condos among the palm trees; others like a mid-height floor; and others like the top floors of a condo building for the expansive views they provide. You can also look for balconies or views that face north, south, east or west.
If you want to keep your boat at your condo, look for ones with docks. Some condos have deeded boat slips, and others you rent by the season for a nominal fee. Fishing from a pier is available at a number of condos along the Gulf or on a bay. Tennis and exercise rooms may be a consideration, and look for condos with pools that are located so they get plenty of hours of sunshine during the day. Many condos have guest suites so you might want to check that out in lieu of paying for an additional bedroom. Buying a condo furnished can save a lot of aggravation during your first season, but most people add their own style preferences over the years.
If you are interested in renting your condo to support the annual expenses, be sure to let your realtor know. Some condos allow only one or two rentals per year while a few allow weekly rentals. Some condos have restrictions on the minimum number of days you can rent — 90, 60 or 30 day minimums, for instance.
Check out your condo for accessibility. Even if you can make it up that flight of stairs now, the time may come when you would like an easy entrance by elevator or a ground floor unit.
Once you have identified a short list of condos, it’s time to go shopping to get a first-hand feel for the floor plan, the ceiling height, the location in the building and that all important and priceless consideration — the view.