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Here are some of the real estate frequently asked questions FAQ that some of our customers or visitors to the website have asked about. If you have a question about South Florida or Miami please call or send us an email. We will gladly get back to you with an answer. If we do not know the answer to your question we will either direct you to someone that does or find the answer for you. Send us your real estate question here I have a Question About or give us a call at 786-505-4786 . You may also find some of the answers in our BLOG posts.
Getting your property insured is one of the most important things that everyone should consider when buying a house or a condo. It is not required when you are buying a property for CASH, with any other transaction involving financing your lender will require you to get insurance policy of some kind, and will most likely have a set guidelines as to what they expect for the coverage. If you are buying a condo vs buying a home, your insurance requirements will vary. You should talk to your real estate agent and ask this before making a decision to purchase since this will affect your ability to buy and in some cases to make payments. Read MORE on insurance needs HERE.
Earnest money is the amount of money that a potential buyer will put down to demonstrate their seriousness about buying a home or a condo. There is no set rule as to the sum of money needed and is usually something that is negotiable. It must be substantial enough to demonstrate buyers good faith and is usually between 3.5 – 20 % of the purchase price (though the amount can vary with local customs and conditions). Upon acceptance of the offer, the earnest money becomes part of your down payment or closing costs. If the offer is rejected, your money is returned to you. If you back out of a deal, you may forfeit the entire amount. This is very important part and should be handled very carefully due to the time and other contingencies set forth in the executed agreement of sale between buyer and seller.
Your real estate agent should be able to advise you on the price that you should offer, but follow your own instincts on deciding a fair price. When factoring in how much to offer you should consider several factors: what have the homes sold for in the area, the home’s condition, how long it’s been on the market, financing terms, and the seller’s situation. By the time you’re ready to make an offer, you should have a good idea of what the home is worth and what you can afford. And, be prepared for give-and-take negotiation, which is very common when buying a property. Both buyer and seller may frequently go back and forth several times until an agreement is reached. Be careful in your negotiations and make sure all is written down either in agreement of sale or attachment to the agreement of sale, and there are no gray areas.
Your Realtor will assist you in making an offer, which should include some of the following information and potentially more:
Complete legal description of the property
Price you are offering
Amount of earnest money
Total Down payment and financing details
Proposed closing date
Proposed move-in date
Length of time the offer is valid
Other Details of the deal
Remember that a sale commitment depends on negotiating a satisfactory contract with the seller, not just making an offer. You offer acceptance will also depend on these factors and other pertaining to your transaction. There are too many variables here to go into.
It’s not required, but it’s a good idea. Following the inspection, the home inspector will be able to answer questions about the report and any problem areas. This is also an opportunity to hear an objective opinion on the home you’d like to purchase and it is a good time to ask general, maintenance questions.
An inspector checks the safety of your potential new home. Home Inspectors focus especially on the structure, construction, and mechanical systems of the house and will make you aware of only repairs that are needed.
The Inspector does not evaluate whether or not you’re getting good value for your money. Generally, an inspector checks (and gives prices for repairs on): the electrical system, plumbing and waste disposal, the water heater, insulation and Ventilation, the HVAC system, water source and quality, the potential presence of pests, the foundation, doors, windows, ceilings, walls, floors, and roof. Be sure to hire a home inspector that is qualified and experienced.
It’s a good idea to have an inspection before you sign a written offer since, once the deal is closed, you’ve bought the house “as is.” Or, you may want to include an inspection clause in the offer when negotiating for a home. An inspection clause gives you an “out” on buying the house if serious problems are found or give you the ability to renegotiate the purchase price if repairs are needed. An inspection clause can also specify that the seller must fix the problem(s) before you purchase the house.
There isn’t a set number of houses you should see before you decide. Visit as many as it takes to find the one you want. On average, homebuyers see 15 houses before choosing one. Just be sure to communicate often with your real estate agent about everything you’re looking for. It will help avoid wasting your time.
In addition to comparing the home to your minimum requirement and wish lists, you may want to consider the following:
Is there enough room for both the present and the future?
Are there enough bedrooms and bathrooms?
Is the home structurally sound?
Do the mechanical systems and appliances work?
Is the yard big enough?
Do you like the floor plan?
Will your furniture fit in the space? Is there enough storage space?
Imagine the home in good weather and bad – will you be happy with it year round?
Take your time and think carefully about each house you see. Ask your real estate agent to point out the pros and cons of each home from a professional standpoint.
The lender considers your debt-to-income ratio, which is a comparison of your gross (pre-tax) income to housing and non-housing expenses. Non-housing expenses include such long-term debts as car or student loan payments, alimony, or child support. The lender also considers cash available for down payment and closing costs, credit history, etc. when determining your maximum loan amount.
How Does purchasing a homes compares to Renting? The two don’t really compare at all. The one advantage of renting is being generally free of most maintenance responsibilities. But by renting, you lose the chance to build equity, take advantage of tax benefits, and protect yourself against rent increases. Also, you may not be free to decorate without permission and may be at the mercy of the landlord for housing.
Owning a home has many benefits. When you make a mortgage payment, you are building equity. And that’s an investment. Owning a home also qualifies you for tax breaks that assist you in dealing with your new financial responsibilities- like insurance, real estate taxes, and upkeep- which can be substantial. But given the freedom, stability, and security of owning your own home, they are worth it.
You can find out by asking yourself some questions:
Do I have a steady source of income (usually a job)? Have I been employed on a regular basis for the last 2-3 years? Is my current income reliable?
Do I have a good record of paying my bills?
Do I have money saved for a down payment?
Do I have few outstanding debts, like car payments?
Do I have the ability to pay a mortgage every month, plus additional costs?
If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you are probably ready to buy your own home.