What to Know About Buying a House in Florida
Many people relocate to Florida annually. Buying a house in Florida is becoming increasingly popular as the housing market improves. There are good reasons to buy in the state; the climate is favorable, infrastructure is excellent, not to mention there are many business opportunities here. However, the main thing that classifies this city as among the best places to invest in is that Florida’s real estate market is significantly growing.
However, buying a property can be a complicated process. Naturally, many questions arise when deciding where to buy in Florida. Fortunately, the process of buying a house in Florida is as easy as it gets. If you’re thinking of purchasing a property in this state, now is the time to do it. Here’s everything you should know about buying a house in Florida.
Finding the right real estate agent is essential
Picking the right real estate agent to represent you through the home buying process is almost as important as selecting the house itself. The right realtor will make the process seamless. Good real estate agents will ensure that you have all the needed information to begin your search. They will make sure you are equipped with the proper knowledge about local regulations and the best deals. Generally, agents work with you through every aspect of the process of purchasing your property.
Agents, however, aren’t allowed to draft legal documents or give legal advice, unless he or she is an attorney. Also, they aren’t allowed to give opinions about a property’s title. It’s therefore essential to watch out and avoid realtors who do this.
Note that there are different agents in Florida including single agents who can represent either a buyer or seller but not both. You can get your own single-agent called “buyer’s agent”. That way, he/she will only represent your needs and not the seller’s needs. Bear in mind however, that as per your contract with a buyer’s agent, you may be needed to pay them even if you find a property on your own.
Picking the right city
Location plays an essential role in your house hunting. Once you decide to buy a home in Florida, keep in mind that Florida is a large state with numerous cities. Each city also has its own vibe and culture to them. While all located in Florida, there are distinct difference between Orlando, Miami, Coral Gables, Tampa Bay etc. Therefore, before you begin your search it’s wise that you determine the right location for you. Buying a house is a huge commitment that brings a number of factors into play, location being a huge deciding factor for many.
Whether you’re buying a house in Florida or anywhere in the country, picking the right place for you is key. Even if one has a good house but in the wrong place, selling your home will be hard when the time comes. Therefore, consider factors such as schools, crime, convenience, as well as neighbors when deciding whether that location is suitable for you.
Houses in Tampa Florida are generally expensive. The cost of living in this place is higher. However, residents easily access all the services they need. There are schools, hospitals, recreational and entertainment centers in this city. Not to mention, this area doesn’t experience much traffic thanks to its good infrastructure.
You can also consider staying in Orlando. It is a safe city with abundant parks, recreation, and wild nature. Not to mention houses in Orlando Florida are reasonably priced. Individuals can find an average family home for $170,000, which is rather inexpensive compared to other areas in the state.
Florida is a homestead state
Homeowners in Florida can file for homestead exemptions usually up to $50,000. However, this will only be permitted if the home is your primary residence. Homestead exemption reduces how much property tax homeowners will pay. It also limits by what percent their taxes will increase annually. But some rules and regulations govern these exemptions. Knowing these laws is thus essential.
Home inspections are necessary
Properties in Florida occasionally experience flooding or roofing problems. Individuals should, therefore, inspect the house before making an offer and during their contract period. Fortunately, a professional home inspector will help you easily identify potential problems during evaluation. It’s thus essential that you hire one, to avoid surprises later.
The importance of understanding your contract
Usually, there are two types of housing contracts when buying a house in Florida. One directs the seller to fix any issue found during home inspections before selling their house. Another contract is called an ‘as-is’ which frees the seller from all repair responsibilities to the home. With this contract, one can easily withdraw from it should they find issues during home inspections. You’ll also be given deposits you’d made (if any) for that house.
Fully reviewing your contract will help you see what it is offering. It’s also wise that you review the offer price, deposit fees, closing dates, and every mortgage financing information. That’s why you need a real estate agent to help you review and understand details in your contract.
Getting the right insurance
Apart from your homeowner’s insurance, lenders may require that you also have flood insurance, for those with mortgages. However, some homes, especially those with older or roofs that don’t meet certain wind mitigation standards can be difficult to insure them. And in most cases, insurers require higher premiums. Again, insurers usually charge higher rates for homes with older plumbing such as galvanized pipes, outdated electrical and those without hurricane straps as well as other issues.
Experts advise that you get an insurance quote immediately your contract is signed and the details have been finalized well before your closing date.
Attorneys are not required at the closing
Closing can take place at any location. And although an attorney is at times present, this isn’t a must. Title agents in most Florida real estate deals are the ones who close transactions. These agents prepare forms such as standard documents for transferring titles. They’ll then explain to you what every contract means but can’t give you legal advice. However, if the agent is also an attorney, they can advise you legally. Therefore, for people who don’t understand what they’re signing or have transactions involving more than one warranty deed, they should hire an attorney for representation. Note that many title companies have real estate attorneys for needed consultations. Individuals can also retain the services of a real estate attorney at any point in their transactions.
Well, although buying a house is an exciting move, it is also a daunting task. From planning, calculating and moving, all these require a lot of patience. However, having this information helps make the process of buying a house in Florida simple. Remember that working with a realtor will help you get the best possible deals. Also, it’s wise that you decide on where you want to stay in Florida. Again, don’t forget to review your contract and inspect your property.