South Florida is one of the most desirable locations to purchase real estate anywhere in the world. We realize navigating the process is often emotional, exhausting and exciting.
We provide guidance and advice throughout the buying process to help you find the ideal home for your lifestyle, needs and budget. We put together the following guide to explain the typical process when buying a home, townhouse or condo in South Florida from the beginning to end.
Before You Decide To Buy
- What is your price range?
- What type of property are you looking for? (single-family home, condo, townhouse)
- Do you have any preferred neighborhoods?
- Do you have a preferred school boundary?
- Is school proximity an important factor for you?
- Do you have pets?
- How much commute to work are you comfortable with?
- What amenities are most important to you? (garage, large lot, etc)
- Do you want a home that is part of a Homeowner’s Association?
- Do you want a home or condo that is turnkey or do you prefer to do some work to make it your own?
- Do you need to sell your current home to finance the new purchase?
This guide explains the typical process when buying a home in 11 steps. Coupled with the right real estate agent for guidance, this approach can help you find the right home for your needs at the best price, with the least hassle.
The Right Buyer’s Agent Matters
Working with a buyer’s agent specializing in your areas of interest, gives you with the upper hand during the entire buying process. Providing reliable insight into the pricing trends for the current market, and effectiveness throughout the negotiation stage.
There are many reasons you may be interested in buying a property or moving to a different home including additional space, living closer to work, income and vacation properties, tired of renting, better location, and better school district. The sooner you are able to identify the main reasons to purchase, the better your chances of easily identifying the right property that suits your specific needs by focusing on that specific criteria.
There are other factors you also need to consider. Does your current home need to be sold prior to purchasing a new home? Do you intend to make upgrades to your new home prior to moving in? Does your home need to be purchased in time for your children to be registered for a new school? How long do you want to live in your home? Are you interested in a house, townhouse or condo?
Determining how much you can afford is critical when purchasing a home. Realistically assess what you can afford to purchase. Every buyer wants the best and the largest, but most are unable to afford their dream home. Understanding the reality of your buying power will help eliminate disappointments and failure in the future.
Your bottom line is the amount you can afford to spend on a home, and still be able to pay your monthly mortgage payments, insurance, property tax, living expenses and utilities.
Finding the Right Property
Once you have established a budget, are aware of the best home criteria, and have the assistance of a local realtor, you can start shopping for a new home. A good place to begin is with the bigger search portals such as Realtor.com and Zillow. This will give you a good idea of what is available.
We developed one of the most comprehensive websites to search for Miami real estate. Offering more current listings, hyper-localized neighborhood searches, and better market statistics to help you find the ideal property.
Visiting the Properties
Your experience will be a lot more enjoyable if you have realistic expectations. Your decision will be affected by your individual requirements including your budget, available homes (inventory), the size of the lot and home, the number of beds and beds, and the school district. Understanding everything earlier in the process enables you to find the best condo or home for your needs, without missing out on your potential dream home.
Making An Offer
Once you have found a home you like, you will put an offer. This agreement is non-binding, but enables you to pay a specific amount for the home. If your offer is less than the price listed, you will most likely receive a counteroffer price from the seller. You can accept, make another offer or reject the offer. You should make a competitive offer according to the current market.
Applying For A Mortgage
Unless you are paying in cash, you will need to apply for a mortgage loan (if you are already pre-approved, good for you). If you’re not pre-approved, meet with at least two or three lenders and compare their loan options. Be prepared to ask questions, and be completely open with the lenders about your finances.
Inspection Period + HOA Approval (if necessary)
Once the seller has accepted your offer, and you have received a fully executed contract, you can ask your lender for written approval. At this time you will need to schedule and pay for a home inspection, property survey, and request insurance quotes. A professional appraisal will also be required by the lender to determine the estimated value of the property.
If you are buying a condo, townhouse, or house that are part of a Home Owner’s Association (HOA) you will be required to apply and get approval before you schedule a closing.
The final walk-through with your buyer’s agent is your final opportunity to review the home before you take possession. It should be scheduled as close to closing as possible, usually within 48 hours. The walk-through ensures that the property’s condition hasn’t changed since your last visit and serves as final confirmation that any negotiated repairs have been completed and no damage was done by the sellers while moving out.
The Closing is the final step in a real estate transaction. On the closing date, the seller sings the deed over to the buyer and officially transfers ownership and delivers keys to the home.
The buyer (or the buyer’s bank) delivers payment for the balance owed on the purchase plus closing costs which include; title search services, title insurance, prorated property taxes, mortgage insurance, home- owner?s insurance, HOA and condo fees if applicable. Closing costs are paid by the buyer at the time of closing which vary per transaction.
Refer My Services to Your Friends & Family
As we get to know each other, you will know that referrals from great clients like you are a key part of my business. By the time we get to this stage, I will do everything possible to make sure you have a smooth and successful transaction and have earned your trust to recommend me to your friends and family looking to buy or sell a property in Miami.
While you search for properties in our website, we can also start searching our internal property database. We will also reach out to our exclusive network of real estate professionals to find off-market opportunities that are yet to hit to the market or are just being shown by invite-only.
Email me your wish-list and include the following:
– Type of Property
– Areas of Interest
– Desired Price Range
– Number of Beds & Baths
– How Soon You Want to Purchase
– If You Are Pre-Approved