Relocating from Florida to Asheville? Here’s 3 things you should know

I get it! Florida is an amazing State with so much to offer in terms of recreation, jobs, and real estate. I began my real estate career in Florida – so I know first-hand. Moreover, I grew up and went to school there. I know how hot, humid, and monotonous Florida can be.

If you’re rethinking life in Florida, you’re not alone. Each year, Florida is one of the largest sources of relocation to Asheville and North Carolina as a whole. Among my customers coming from Florida, climate is cited as the number one reason for moving.

North Carolina transplants (or future transplants) coming from Florida may be surprised to know that there are some material differences in how real estate is done compared with the Sunshine State. I like my clients to be prepared.

Check out these three key differences:

NC is an attorney state

In North Carolina, buyers retain the services of an attorney for buyer representation throughout the course of a transaction and at closing. The attorney provides the closing services and ensures that all documents and information material to handling the transfer(s) of ownership to the new buyer are available and in good shape. In other words, your NC closing will not be happening at a title company.

How this is different from Florida real estate: In most instances, in Florida, buyers are responsible for choosing the entity that provides the closing services. If the buyer has not elected a real estate attorney’s office to handle the closing, in all likelihood the closing will occur at a title company.

Due diligence deposits

Unlike Florida where there is almost always just refundable earnest money, in NC we have due diligence deposits AND earnest money. The due diligence money is a non-refundable deposit paid directly to the seller. Should a buyer cancel during the due diligence time frame, the due diligence fee stays with the seller (for the most part). See this explainer about some special circumstances straight from the North Carolina Real Estate Commission.

How this is different from Florida real estate: In Florida, there is *usually* just a single earnest money deposit due within 1-3 days of an accepted offer. This money typically goes back to the buyer if the buyer cancels during the inspection period. In contrast, in NC, if a buyer terminates the contract and walks away from the home during the due diligence period for any reason, the due diligence fee is lost to the sellers, but the earnest money fee is refundable to the buyer.

No financing contingencies

In NC, there is no standard boilerplate financing contingency option baked into the purchase contract. The effect is that anything related to the buyer’s financing must be completed during the due diligence period. There are of course nuances to this. If the buyer’s attorney prepares a financing contingency addendum that modifies the standard purchase contract, and the seller accepts it, the buyer would have another “out.”

How this is different from Florida real estate: The standard as-is purchase contract in Florida includes built-in financing contingency language. If exercised, the contingency gives the buyer the right to terminate the contract should the buyer fail to get loan approval, even if the inspection period is over.

The bottom line

Those are just a few of the key differences between the contracts in NC and FL. If you are thinking of making a first-time purchase in NC, give me a ring and I can help you identify an attorney early in your purchase process so that your questions/interpretations of the NC contract can be addressed appropriately.

Generally speaking, NC is leagues ahead of FL in terms of protections for consumers (buyers) and I hope you will find the same and that the experience is a good one.

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about moving to Asheville from Florida. Give me a call at (828) 412-0678 or send me an e-mail at dylanjlennon@gmail.com.

TIP: If you do move to Asheville and yearn for a taste of Florida landscape, I have a few relatively flat hiking/walking trail recommendations!


If you’re considering moving to Asheville from Florida, consider joining our Facebook forum: Relocating from Florida to Asheville.¬†


Asheville Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find Buncombe County GIS maps to look up an owner’s information?

Buncombe County GIS: https://gis.buncombecounty.org/buncomap/

Where can I find Buncombe County Property Records to look up information about a specific address?

Buncombe County Property Cards: https://prc-buncombe.spatialest.com/#/

Where can I learn more about crime in Buncombe County?

Buncombe County Crime Search: https://discover.buncombecounty.org/?q=crime

Where can I learn more about crime in Asheville?

Asheville Area Crime Info: https://www.ashevillechamber.org/research-economy/crime/