What’s the first step in the home buying process?

You may hear us say this a ton, but we’ll say it again! The first step is to get a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender. They will go over your financial records and determine how much home you can afford. It’s important to do this BEFORE looking at homes because you have to include your pre-approval letter with any offer you make. If you don’t do this beforehand, you could miss out on getting the perfect home to someone who already had their pre-approval letter.

How much will my closing costs be?

In general, closing costs in Florida are split between the seller and the buyer. This includes loan origination fees, home inspection, home appraisal, title search, survey fee, and HOA fees, if applicable. Home buyers are NOT responsible for paying realtor commissions.

What is an Earnest Money Deposit (EMD)?

The EMD is a monetary deposit held by the title company in a real estate purchase in order for the Buyer to show good faith in their process to complete a home purchase.  It is typically a percentage amount (2-5%) of the purchase price, however it is negotiable.

Should I get a mold inspection when purchasing a property?

Obtaining a thorough mold inspection by a certified professional can be costly, and as a result, we don’t advocate for one in every property transaction. Most standard inspectors are able to detect potential signs of mold and will advise a mold inspection when deemed necessary. Many general inspection firms also provide mold inspection services. However, should clear indications of mold be present, we strongly advise engaging a specialized mold inspection company for a more detailed assessment.

What is Florida Homestead Exemption?

In the state of Florida, a $25,000 exemption is applied to the first $50,000 of your property’s assessed value. Your property must be your permanent residence and you owned the property on January 1 of the tax year. An additional exemption of up to $25,000 will be applied if your property’s assessed value is between at least $50,000 and $75,000. 

All homestead exemption applications must be submitted by March 1. If it falls on a weekend or legal holiday, then it would extend to the next business day. After receiving the homestead exemption the first year, any annual increase in the assessed value is capped at the lower of 3% or the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index. Contact us for more information on this and how to apply!

What is a deed?

A deed is necessary to transfer ownership or title of a real estate property in Florida. The deed documents the ownership of the property, and identifies the property’s grantor (seller) and grantee (buyer). Both the seller and buyer need to sign the deed and the deed must be recorded in the public records of the local county government. A warranty deed is the customary form of deed used in residential real property transactions.

What all do I need to start?

Of course the pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender is first! But the next step, is to set up a free consultation with us to discuss our home-buying game plan. Having this discussion will help to understand exactly what you’re looking for and help you to understand what the process looks like. 

How do I know it’s time to stop renting and purchase my first home?

We get this question a ton, and these are some of the questions we recommend asking yourself:

  • How much money do you have saved up for a down payment?
  • Do you plan to stay in the area for at least a couple of years or could you be moving soon?
  • How is your credit score?

Ready for a free consultation? Contact us!