Things You Should Know About Buying a Florida Home

Realtors – Working with the right Realtor can make the process of selecting a new home simpler, easier and faster. Be sure you know who the Realtor represents. Does the Realtor represent you, does the Realtor represent the seller or is the Realtor a transactional agent? The realtors duties to you are different in each case.

Attorneys – Get legal advice before you sign the contract. Once you sign the contract, it may be too late.

Title Insurance – You will need title insurance, to be sure that title to the property is being properly conveyed to you and is free and clear of liens and encumbrances. Premier Title takes its motto “A Different Kind Of Title Company” very seriously and will make your closing as fast and easy as possible.

Survey – The only way to be absolutely sure that you are buying the land and building you think you are buying is to have the property surveyed.

Lender – Shop around and ask for recommendations. Costs and service vary.

Inspections – You should hire a licensed building inspection company to do a comprehensive inspection on your new home.

Termite Inspection/Roof Inspection – If you choose not to have a comprehensive inspection, consider having a termite inspection performed and having the roof inspected.

Flooding – Determine whether the property you desire is located in a flood zone or is prone to frequent flooding prior to signing a contract.

Homeowner’s Insurance – Casualty insurance on residences in Florida can be difficult to get, in certain areas and certain price ranges. Be sure to check this out and the cost before signing a contract. Also, hurricane insurance may not be available when a hurricane threatens. Your contract needs to address this.

Homeowner Association or Condominium Association – If you are buying a condominium or if your home is subject to a homeowners association regime, learn as much as you can about the applicable rules and regulations, and yearly fees.

Modifications to Your Home – Homeowners association rules and regulations and local ordinances and boards may come into play. Be sure you know the rules before signing a contract.

Closing Costs – Have Premier Title, your realtor or attorney give you an estimate of all closing costs that you will be responsible for.

Radon Gas – Your attorney or broker can check with the county health unit where the home is located to see if radon gas is a problem in your area.

Lead-Based Paint – Some older homes contain lead-based paint, a potential health hazard.

Open Permits – There are thousands of permits for work on residences in southeast Florida that have been obtained by contractors but have not been “closed.”  There may be a variety of reasons for this, but the most common is that the contractor completed the work but never requested a final inspection from the city or county.  This can be a terrible problem for a buyer who may innocently purchase a home with open permits, and then not be able to obtain a building permit to do additional work until all of the prior open permits have been resolved.  This can be an extremely time consuming and expensive process.  The simple solution is to check with the local (city or county) building department to determine whether there are any open permits outstanding on the residence you are purchasing.

Becoming a Florida Resident – Owning a home in Florida may not be enough to establish that you are a Florida resident. Check with your attorney or government authority.