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Step by Step Guide to Buying a Property in Florida

Step by Step Guide to Buying a Property in Florida

1. Find a reliable local realtor

This is the most important step if you are a foreigner or a resident of any other state of USA. A local, experienced realtor makes buying a suitable property inside your budget that much easier with his knowledge and expertise. He will guide you through the process, making it smooth and hassle free. Right from identifying suitable properties to negotiating with the sellers and then closing the deal, it is this professional who makes sure that all legal formalities are fulfilled. You can relax and breathe easy if you are able to find a local, experienced and reliable realtor to represent you in your buying endeavor.

2. Identify the right property

Location is king when it comes to buying a property anywhere and Florida is no exception. Yes, Florida is a good place for investment in real estate. But not all the cities and communities in Florida are equally attractive from the point of view of returns on investment. You need to explain your priorities in clear terms to your realtor whether you want oceanfront living or wish to wish to enjoy high quality of life in a condominium building. Also, you need to tell your realtor the kind of amenities you want near your house when he is searching the right property for you.

  • Excellent School district
  • Wonderful features of entertainment
  • Proximity to shops and restaurants
  • Efficient and fast means of public transportation
  • Quick and easy access to important destinations
  • Quiet and peaceful neighborhood

You realtor will provide invaluable help in finding the right property in the right location depending upon your requirements and budget. This step will ensure that your money is put into a property that keeps on appreciating in value and also gives attractive rental income.

3. Get pre approval letter from a lender

Buying a property in Florida requires being ready in all respects. If you are aiming to get the property financed, it is important to get pre approved from a lender so that your offer is taken seriously by the seller. It also allows you to be ready to move forward and close the deal if the owner wishes to dispose his property quickly. To get pre approved, you need to submit your financial statements and income tax returns of the last 3 years to the lender. He will closely look at your debt to income ratio as well as your credit score to decide on the amount of money that you can get as mortgage for buying a property in Florida.

A pre approval letter from a bank is not necessary but it is a great help when you are one of the dozens of buyers vying for the same property in a housing market. The seller knows that you have worked out your finances and have no difficulty in closing the deal in quick time according to his wishes.

4. Make an irresistible offer

Florida happens to be a seller’s market at present with high demand shown by the buyers. Properties are gobbled up by investors and buyers as soon as they appear on the market. You need to be well prepared to pounce on the property that suits your requirements. Make an offer in consultation with your realtor that is attractive and gives the impression that you really want to live and enjoy the property. It should not have unnecessary contingencies and the seller should know that you have your finances ready to close the deal as quickly as he wants.

In a seller’s market, owners get several offers from buyers and they scrutinize these offers to go with the offer that they find most attractive. It is not always the offer with the highest bid that wins but the one that appears to be most convincing to the seller. This is where the wording of the offer and the terms included in it become so important for you when readying the draft of this offer.

5. Appraisal and inspection

Once your offer is accepted, it is time to complete the important formalities of appraisal and inspection. Appraisal is carried out by the lender to make sure that the property is really worth the price for which it is being sold. While the lender wants to safeguard its own money through appraisal, it is important for you also as you can ask for lowering the asking price if appraisal value turns out to be lower than the asking price. Inspection is more important for you as it reveals the true condition of the structure and the features of the property. If this report reveals any serious flaws in the structure, you can ask the owner to undertake repairs before you can close the deal.  In fact, the contingency of inspection in the sale agreement also gives you the liberty to walk out of the deal if you believe that it is not worthwhile to buy the house owing to its poor condition.

6. Close the deal

Once you are satisfied with everything, it is time to close the deal. On the day of closing, all important legal formalities are completed and both parties sign the documents to complete the process of sale. Sign the papers as your lender hands over the check to your seller. You get the keys of the property and move inside.

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