If you are familiar with Venice ....and it sounds as if you are, our recommendation is to not committ to a long term lease but find a month to month rental to use while you do an in depth search.
Since this has been a long time goal, we see no real benefit of waiting. Prices have dropped and sellers are motivated......this transulated into savings. Now is the right time to buy if you can identify the right home, in the right location, and at the right price. Many foreign nationals are taking advantage of the current market because they see the benefits that go far beyond the value of the dollar.
Essentially.....to wait may be to miss out on opportunities that are being sold every day. We just closed yesterday on a Venice Island home that was listed one year ago for $624,000 that we closed yesterday for $298,000. 200 yards from the beach, recent extensive renovations, granite, caged pool, terrazo/carpet, private yard, etc. etc. etc.
The bottom line is, it has to be the right time for you personally. People that elect to wait are waiting for a better opportunity that may not come....choosing miss possibly the best time to buy.
We would be happy to assist you with finding a rental or help you to find your perfect home.
The "Eckler Team"
Michael Saunders & Company