Home Buying Process in Florida
Identify your needs
Consider the features you need in your new home, it is a good idea making a list with all elements that are important to you and your family.
Brainstorm attributes for your home
Group them in two categories:
- Needs » Required attributes
- Wants » Optional
Think about the neighborhood, schools, how much room you need, and the type of home will suit your lifestyle.
Knowing your needs and wants will help you and your Realtor® narrow your search for a home.
Establish the price range
How much house can you afford? Mostly depends on two factors: the money you have for down payment and your income, your housing payment should not be more than 25 to 30 percent of your gross income. Housing payment includes mortgage payment, property taxes and homeowners insurance.
Find a Real Estate Agent
A good real estate professional can guide you through the entire process and make the experience much easier.
A Realtor® not only gives you access to the Multiple Listing Service, also:
- Represents you through all the process
- Narrows down potential locations for you
- Determines the type of property best matches your needs and affordability
- Helps you understand all the aspects of the different options you have
- Makes research for you
- Helps you with the offer to ensure that is written in a proper way and covers the necessary areas
- Coordinates all events that must be done to complete the transaction
Get a loan
While you shop for a home, also shop for a mortgage.
Many lenders can pre-approve you for a mortgage so you have a better idea of affordability.
Mortgage lenders include commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, private mortgage companies and credit unions.
Avoid the disappointment of finding a home you really love, then having to let it go because of insufficient financing
Be sure the lender makes a written loan commitment
Pre-approval strengthens your position when making an offer
Go House Hunting
Your Realtor® reviews the real estate market to match your needs, and brings you a list of properties to watch.
The key of a successful house-hunting is to be informed, be organized and be focus on the elements that are important to you.
There are lots of considerations and special features you either want or must have. However, how you want to feel once you are in your next home is the real question
Be sure to visit your selected home at different times of the day, to check the activity in the neighborhood
Make an Offer
Once you've found a home that fits your needs, request your agent a comparative market analysis on the home you would like to buy. Using this information, you can add or subtract value for the pros and cons.
This analysis will also help your agent justify your offer, and show the seller why your offer is a reasonable one.
Your Realtor® will prepare the Sale Agreement and will make modifications or additions you want. The seller can accept the offer as is, make a counter-offer or reject the offer.
Get a Home Inspection
An inspection by a qualified professional is essential to evaluate the structure and other systems of the house. If the inspection findings are acceptable to you, the closing process can begin; if not, your Realtor® can help you to negotiate with the seller to get to an acceptable resolution.
A home inspection includes an evaluation of at least the following:
- Plumbing and electrical systems
- Ceiling, walls and floors
- Hazardous materials concerns
- Heating and air conditioning systems
- Common areas (in condominiums)
Your Realtor® will provide you with assistance in evaluating any counteroffers and contingencies that may arise in the process.
Offers can go back and forth
several times during negotiations until
the seller and the buyer accept all of the terms.
The offer does not become a contract until everyone agrees to all changes in writing.
A property appraisal is the way to estimate the real estate value of the property, and has two purposes, to estimate the value of property for assessment of property taxes, and to estimate the value of property that will be used as collateral to finance its purchase.
The appraisal is usually performed as a service by an appraiser.
If you are financing your home, your mortgage company will require proof of a valid homeowner's insurance policy prior to close.
Typically your first year's insurance will be part of your closing costs, while your later payments can be rolled into your monthly payment.
At the closing date, you will go to the title company to review and sign all the paperwork, and bring the funds required to pay closing costs and the down payment. Once the closing papers have been executed and the deed recorded, you can take legal ownership of your new home.
Make sure you totally understand the paperwork before you sign