A guide to buying a home in Florida

We will cover here the ins and outs of buying a new home in Florida. Before making such an important decision you need to take your time to choose the ideal neighborhood, evaluate how much you can afford, and make a list with the home features you need or want.

You also need to be aware of the residential real estate transactions’ legal issues such as potential title defects, purchase contracts, disclosures, taxes, zoning issues, and other legal matters. If you carefully choose your real estate agent, with prudent use of other professionals and proper preparation, you can transform the purchase of a home in Florida in a positive experience.

Before buying a condo or house in Florida you have to contact a real estate agent who can find you a suitable home based on your preferences as well as handle all the complex purchase procedures. The real estate agent you choose needs to have good qualifications and references, experience representing buyers, and in-depth knowledge of the local Florida real estate market. The agent should also be familiar with your buying terms, such as budget, type of property, and any particular house needs.

Among the benefits of using a local Florida real estate agent are included:
• Ability to match homes to your budget and needs.
• Good knowledge of the local market conditions, neighborhood, community, and median home prices.
• The real estate agent can help you preparing a viable offer, negotiate the final deal and handle the paperwork.

Your Florida real estate agent should be able to support you through every step of the home buying process, including help to locate other professionals who can assist you, such as home inspectors and mortgage brokers. Fortunately, the services of a real estate agent are free for the buyers, as sellers typically pay the entire commission.

Florida’s requirements for seller disclosure

You need to be aware that the state law in Florida usually requires sellers to disclose anything that can impact the value of their property. Among the facts that should be disclosed by real estate sellers in Florida are included:
• The presence of specific appliances, and whether they have any defects that need repair.
• Conditions such as asbestos or termites
• Defects in the house systems and electrical systems
• Deed restrictions, homeowners’ association fees, and other specified property details.

For you as a buyer, these seller disclosures are very important, since they can signal some issues that cannot be discovered just by looking at a property. In addition to these Florida required disclosures, house sellers in the state also need to comply with federal disclosure requirements regarding hazards and lead-based paint, if the houses are build before the year 1978.

Florida home inspections

Buyers are advised to not solely rely on the seller’s disclosures. It is recommended to hire the services of an independent home inspector in order to verify the seller’s disclosure information. These inspections should make sure that the house doesn’t have any material defects or other issues such as:

• Erosion, drainage, soil settlement issues
• Pests such as termites
• Mold conditions
• Odor and noise problems
• Structural integrity and foundation problems
• Drainage, flooring, basement, walls, plumbing, electrical, cooling and heating issues.

 

written by: lruberto

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