Are you looking to buy a home in Florida?
You’re certainly not alone. Florida remains a destination for people to move to. The state’s lower cost of living, no income tax, and warm weather make the state an attractive place to live. That’s the case whether you’re a retiree or just starting your career.
Florida has seen the 5th highest rate of growth between July 2017 and July 2018 and is now the third-largest state in the U.S. by population.
The steps to buy a house in Florida are slightly different than what you’d find in other states. Read on to learn how to buy a house in Florida to make your transition a smooth one.
1. Do Your Homework
You want to make sure that Florida is the place that you want to move to. You may have visited on vacation and decided that’s the place where you want to go to. Visiting a place and living there are two completely different things.
There are a lot of cultural differences that you may not have been aware of as a visitor. You’ll want to read these important things to know before you move there.
2. Know Your Credit Score and Financial Situation
One of the biggest determining factors in figuring out how much home you can afford is your financial situation.
If you’re planning to pay for your home in cash, you don’t have much to worry about. However, if you’re planning to get a home loan, you want to make sure that you have a clean financial bill of health.
That means having a high credit score, no late payments or other negative marks on your credit report. Pull your credit report to find out what your credit score is. You may find errors on your report, which you want to get corrected as soon as possible.
You’ll also want to show banks a steady flow of income over the past two years. Banks want to see stability in your employment situation and in your income to ensure that you can pay the mortgage every month.
3. Work with a Realtor
Buying a home is one of the stressful things you can do. Buying a home from a distance adds another level layer of stress.
Working with a Realtor that knows the steps to buy a house in Florida and knows the best neighborhoods to meet your needs will take that stress off of your shoulders.
You want to make sure that you find a Realtor that has the experience to help you find and purchase your home.
4. Find a Home & Make an Offer
Once you have your real estate agent working with you, you can start looking for homes. You should start by knowing what you want and need in a home.
There’s a lot to remember when choosing a home for your family. It’s easy to overlook some of those things when you’re looking from a distance. Make a list of things that you have to have in a home, such as a big kitchen or a lot of natural light.
That will give you and your Realtor the information needed to find the right home for your family. You can look online for homes that you like and ask your Realtor about them. They’ll be able to tell if those homes are worth an offer or if you should move on.
5. Get the House Inspected
In Florida, it’s the law for sellers to disclose any issues with the property that will have an impact on the home’s value.
These disclose can be anything from repairs that need to happen to the roof or appliances or any boundary restrictions on the property.
While the seller is legally required to make these disclosures, you want to make sure that you have an expert take a look at the home to make sure that the seller didn’t overlook anything.
6. Types of Deeds in Florida
When you buy a home, the seller transferring the deed to you. There are a few types of deeds to be aware of. Some slight differences could result in a bad deal for you.
The most ideal situation is a standard deed or a warranty deed. This means that the title is good and there are no encumbrances related to the property.
You may want to avoid a special warranty deed and a quitclaim deed. A special warranty deed means that the title search only applies to the seller. A quitclaim deed means that the seller transfers their interest in the property to you.
Both of these types include a lot of risks and you want to analyze them with the help of an attorney and real estate agent.
7. Attorneys are Not Required at Closing
The most exciting step to buy a home in Florida is the closing. The house closing can happen at any location and this is where the title is transferred to you.
The closing is overseen by either a title company or an attorney. Believe it or not, attorneys are not legally required to close on a home like in other states.
You may decide that you want an attorney by your side because a real estate agent can walk you through the different forms at closing. They cannot provide you with legal advice or tell you the legal implications of each form.
The Steps to Buy a House in Florida
Moving to Florida can be a wonderful thing on many levels. You have access to beaches, warm weather, a growing economy, and a lower cost of living than a lot of places.
Buying a home is stressful no matter where you live. In Florida, the steps to buy a house are familiar if you’ve been through the process before, but there are variations to be aware of.
Your best bet to make the move a smooth one is to work with a real estate agent who is familiar with the area you want to move to and specializes in relocations.
They’ll help you and your family close on your dream home and get settled in your new location. Once you’ve moved in, you’ll want to read this article to learn how to make your home a smart home.
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