You have heard it over and over again: "Now is the best time to buy a home in Florida." You can't you hear that anymore? Well, you are most likely not the only one.
But who is saying such nonsense? Well, that is usually one of those self-proclaimed pundits who is spreading his wisdom around. It seems to be the nature of the business that every day a new "expert" arises who's been there, done it, got the T-shirt. We just happen to believe that nobody can predict the future (our opinion) - only you can decide for yourself if it is the right moment for You to buy a home in Florida... or not. If you think that the time is not right...the time is not right. Pretty easy.
The Canadian Dollar has always Room for Improvement
The Canadian Dollar is, unfortunately, ailing while the prices of homes are still rising in Florida. That doesn't balance the problem, right? At this point, nobody knows whether or when it will turn into the Canadian Dollar's favor again. Does it make sense that the property values in Florida are rising? We don't think so, but nobody is asking us. Fact is that at this point the prices are rising.
Right now, the naked truth is: It is not the best time to sink your money into Florida Real Estate when your intention is to make a huge profit. It is only the second best time, unless you have a stellar idea what you want to do. There are always profitable deals, but in the private housing market you need to be careful.
But if you want to spend time in a warm climate - go for it. If you have the money and time to spend some quality time in the sun - do it before it is too late. If you are running out of time (we are all getting older, maybe you are not?) - it is always an excellent opportunity to buy a property in paradise. However, you are not making money - you are enjoying your money! Does that make sense? And down the road you will most likely make a profit when you sell your vacation home again, but that will take some time.
Real Estate as an Investment
If you want to make money, then you are "investing." That is a different breed of real estate. The "make money fast thing" does not work in a real estate market like the one we have now. Chances that you buy a single family home now and flip it six months later and double the price is slim. Can you purchase a fixer-upper and do the trick? If you know what you are doing and if you are handy or know a bunch of people who can help you, it might work.
You want a home for your enjoyment
We have met quite a few individuals who said: "I should have bought earlier," or "I should have enjoyed my life better, now I am not in the position to do that anymore..." Well, that is sad, but a lot of people think that they will live forever. We don't know how they come up with that concept, but it is not necessarily true. Investing and making money is one thing, enjoying your short life on this beautiful planet is another one.
Bills, Bills, and even more Bills...
What can you do about it?
To be honest with you - the answer is "not a lot." There is only one solution to that problem: buy a small, neat home in a community that does not have all the bells and whistles possible. You still have to pay bills; your intention was to enjoy the sun, right? Look at it his way: If you want to play golf, you will find plenty of public places where you can play for a few bucks. Don't make a mistake and pay year-round for golf course maintenance while you are using your home only for a few weeks or months of the year.
Do you play tennis? Fine. The community with tennis courts is perfect for you, otherwise, stay clear those extra costs. Do you like to go fishing? Keep your boat in a marina and do not pay a steep premium for a waterfront lot (+flood insurance, +high hazard insurance) unless the premium you pay is no issue for you.
When your budget gets tight - get creative. Live your dream and not your nightmare. We can help you finding affordable places - give us a call and let us talk.
941 - 460 - 8832 is our easy number. Call us - we don't bite!
Buying a Home in Florida - how does it work? A step by step guide.
You found a house you'd like to buy. We will put together a purchase and sales agreement, which contains all the terms of the deal. That is seller's and purchasers' name/addresses, property's legal description, purchase price, down payment, financing arrangements, closing date, inspection period and contingencies.). Together with the written offer the buyer submits a check (called "consideration") to make the offer "stronger." The sum of the payment depends on the sales price, and the title company will put in their escrow account. There is actually no need for a down payment, but it looks better.
What Comes Next?
Seller agrees or comes back with a counteroffer. Buyer agrees or ...counters again. Eventually, both parties will accept or walk away. Deal over! But hopefully, after all that "agreeing" the deal will be in dry cloth.
The seller must disclose any problems with the house he knows. But what about the stuff he doesn't know? Hiring a licensed home inspector is always worth the $400 he charges. He will check for common defects (roof defects, A/C problems, plumbing problems and so forth). He will put together a lengthy report about all the minor and major problems. Depending on the contract, both, buyer or seller can back out if the repairs are too costly. Usually, a termite/pest inspection is also a sound investment in Florida (especially for wood frame houses).
Sometimes sellers don't want to disclose anything because they have never lived in the house. It was just an investment property; always rented out. Can you believe those guys? Did the renter pay to fix the leak in the roof? I doubt it!
Title Company or Real Estate Attorney? What is the better choice?
The title company or real estate attorney is preparing the paperwork. When you buy a house, you, the buyer, also purchases a title insurance. A title search is a review of public records, looking for any problems with the title's validity before closing. The title insurance goes one step further and insures against loss due to certain title defects that didn't turn up during the title search. Typical title issues are related to easements and liens.
Financing doesn't necessarily make it easier
If financing is involved, be prepared for some headaches. It would be a miracle if you would have a different experience. However, it can be done and most of the time the title company will communicate with the bank. They are going to receive the loan documents and the necessary payments from the bank. When a bank is involved, she will also require an appraisal and most likely a survey (unless the seller has still a valid one). Needless to say that the bank will keep the buyer busy with all the loan requirements (credit reports, income and asset statements, tax returns).
Before the closing takes place, the customer needs to purchase a home insurance and in some locations a flood insurance as well. If the buyer pays all cash, he is his more in control. He can decide if he wants to insure his home or not. If financing is involved, the banker is always the boss. They want to see a home insurance policy.
Now, do American Banks finance Canadians buying a home in Florida? Yes, they do. At least RCB Bank did in the past. Some American Banks offer financing as well, but be prepared for surprises.
Note: When a hurricane is on the way no insurance company will underwrite new policies. They will delay the closing until the storm is through.
Don't end up sitting "High and Dry" (no power and no water)
Now it is time to make arrangements with Florida Power and Light, the water - and the cable company (Verizon, Comcast or Frontier). Expect a little uphill battle, they are not always easy to deal with.
You're almost done
Before closing, the buyer will get a "Good Faith Estimate," explaining all the transaction fees and taxes (including the charges for the loan). If everything is accepted, the signing of the documents (Closing) will take place.
The closing takes place (If one or both parties are out-of-town this can be done as a "mail away"). The buyer has to bring the cash amount. If he hasn't already wired it to the title company, he may bring a cashier's check. Nowadays, title companies prefer that the purchaser wires larger amounts of money. However, the title company will give instructions and some still do accept checks. They all do it differently. Don't forget to bring a photo ID to closing. Otherwise, it is not going to happen.
Last Step of a long Process
The buyer gets the keys and a copy of all documents at closing, and he is now a proud owner of a slice of land in paradise. Beautiful!
We can Help!
This does not need to cause a headache. We can help you. As your buyers representative we help you through that jungle and you do not even pay us. The seller pays the buyer's agent in Florida. Call us 941 - 460 - 8832 and talk with us.