Get a Home Inspection

Skipping or skimping on the home inspection can be really tempting.  After all, you’ve already found a house you love in a neighborhood you really like, and the price is great.  Now all you want to do is sign the papers and move in.  Why worry Buying a home in Floridaabout the home inspection, even if it’s only around $250 – $500?

Unnecessary as it may seem, getting a professional home inspection is something that’s really important for home buyers to do.  You might think that having walked through the house, you’ve seen everything you need to see, so there’s no need to go all-out on the home inspection.  However, a good home inspector can catch things that ordinary people just touring the house wouldn’t notice.

For the most part, sellers and real estate agents representing sellers are required to disclose any defects in the house, however, they can only tell you about the problems that they’re aware of.  Certain problems, such as termite or foundation damage can take years to occur and happen so insidiously that the seller may not even be aware of the issue.  For obvious reasons, an unscrupulous seller might also choose not to disclose defects in the house that he feels would affect its resale value to you or to his real estate agent.

Adam Green, a structural engineer who specializes in foundation repair, had this to say:

“While homeowners are often hesitant to pay for home inspections and structural engineer reports, the long-term benefits of these reports could save you more in the long run—especially if it’s determined that your property needs a foundation repair remediation plan.” – Adam Green, Crosstown Engineering”

By helping you avoid buying a house with costly problems such as termite damage or a flawed foundation, a home inspection can save you thousands of dollars.  Home inspectors can also highlight more routine maintenance issues.  If your inspector points out that the air conditioner unit is 10 years old or that the roof needs to be replaced, you might be able to negotiate a better deal with the seller.  The $250 – $500 people typically spend on a home inspection is miniscule compared to the home’s price and the money it could save you in the event that there is a problem.  So even though it may seem like an extra step, make sure you find a reputable home inspector, who’s independent of your lender or real estate agent to investigate the house for you before you buy it.

If you enjoyed reading this post you will find the main Mover’s Atlas site even more Interesting! There you can discover important information about what surrounds your current or future Florida home, give it a look: Mover’s Atlas.

Understand the Rules of the Real Estate Game

Remember that while buying a Florida home can be an immensely exciting process, at the end of the day it is a business transaction.  As a homebuyer you should always maintain a clear head and appreciate the seriousness of your decisions.   Often, the buying process will proceed very quickly and you may find yourself wondering how you ended up in escrow so quickly.  While it’s tempting to speed through everything, remember that contracts and 30 year mortgages can’t be changed as quickly as they were signed.  It’s important to take the time to carefully consider any factors you feel are important before you sign the papers.  You don’t want to get stuck in a house you don’t really like or can’t afford because you got caught up in the excitement of the moment.

Being that the home buying process is a business transaction, the terms of the deal can also change quickly depending on the circumstances of the involved parties.  Once you’ve been approved for a loan, don’t take on any additional debt.  Refrain from buying any big ticket items that require financing (such as cars) and avoid using your credit card.  Even if you’ve already been approved for a loan, slight changes in your debt to asset ratio can cause the deal to fall through.  If you buy a new car or rack up a lot of credit card debt, the underwriter may throw out or deny your loan.  Everyone you’re working with will probably be friendly and will want to sell you the house, but at the end of the day, your relationship with them comes down to business.  If you change your financial circumstances, the parties you’re working with may change or retract their offers.

It’s also crucial to understand who works for whom.  Most real estate agents actually work for the seller.  This is an important relationship to understand because it will affect the way the real estate agent presents information to you.  There is nothing wrong with working with an agent who represents the seller, but keep in mind that ultimately, that agent’s obligation is to the seller of the home, not you.

You might want to consider getting your own real estate agent, who will represent you exclusively.  This way you can be sure you’re working with someone who’s first obligation is to you.  Having your own agent can be very helpful and in most cases, won’t cost too much. Furthermore, since most agents have years of experience in selling homes, they can catch important details about the home itself and highlight contractual issues that you might miss or be unaware of.

Finally, if you really think that you’ve found your dream home, don’t act like it.  If you advertise the fact that you’ve fallen in love with the place, the seller might be tempted to hold out for a higher price.  It’s best to act reserved until the deal is closed.

If you enjoyed reading this post you will find the main Mover’s Atlas site even more Interesting! There you can discover important information about what surrounds your current or future Florida home, give it a look: Mover’s Atlas.

Research the Neighborhood and Surrounding Community

Florida CommunityRemember that when you buy a house, you’re also buying the neighborhood.  The surrounding community will have a major effect on how much you enjoy living in the house you ultimately select.  When you consider your needs and wants don’t just focus on the characteristics you desire in a home, think about the type of community you want to live in as well.  The fact communities play such a large role in the enjoyment of a home is the driving force behind the creation of Mover’s Atlas.

For instance, you might be looking at a really nice house a few miles outside of a university.  Even though the school is over 2 miles away you notice that a lot of homes in the subdivision look like they’re being rented out to college kids.  Is this an important factor for you?  If you’ve just started a family, it might be.  In that case you’ll probably want a more stable neighborhood with a higher proportion of families like yours.  On the other hand, if you’re buying the house for investment purposes, you might not be bothered at all.  The point is that you should be aware of the community you’re buying into and account for it in your list of needs and wants.  A few other features people commonly think about are as follows:

Public schools – are they important to you?  Even if you don’t have kids, locating in an area with quality schools is always a good idea since it increases the resale value of your home.  Do you enjoy outdoor activities – what kind of community amenities would you like to have; a park, a golf course, a hiking trail perhaps?  What about municipal services – is being close to a fire station or police station important to you?

These are all factors to evaluate when you’re looking at Florida homes.  While the house itself is the most important thing to consider, think about the community too.  A little homework up front can really help you pick out a house and community that fit with your lifestyle.

Happy Hunting!

If you enjoyed reading this post you will find the main Mover’s Atlas site even more Interesting! There you can discover important information about what surrounds your current or future Florida home, give it a look: Mover’s Atlas.