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What you need to know BEFORE BUYING A HOUSE!

March 15, 2010

P R O P E R T Y   S E A R C H

R E S T I V O – H E C H T M A N    T E A M

couple buying on computer
Looking to Buy?
We’ve lived in Coral Gables and Pinecrest for nearly two decades, and know the South Florida neighborhoods you want to live in.  Though our website, you have the opportunity to explore on your own  –   at your leisure.  We are here to answer your questions as they arise
It’s all about lifestyle, timing, and choices. Whether you’ve outgrown your current home … are ready to downsize… buying your first home… looking for a vacation home… making an investment…stepping into something new…or starting  anew, we can help.  
What kind of lifestyle?  What location? Condo, townhouse, or single family home? Number of bedrooms?  Baths?  How do you live: formal dinner parties/ informal bar-b-ques?  Waterfront (bay, ocean, canal, intercoastal, lake)? View?  Do you entertain outdoors (grill, summer kitchen, covered patio?) Looking for a yard/balcony/terrace/patio?  How much land (lots of grass/or very little?)  Pool?  Open kitchen?   New construction or re-sale ( how new …or how vintage)?  Ceiling height?  (Extras: storm shutters/impact glass, generator, elevator, number of garage spaces)   Kids?  Ages?  Private or public schools?  Pets? 
IN A NUTSHELL:  Here’s  an overview… on what you need to know about taxes, insurance, pre-approvals:
ESTIMATING PROPERTY TAXES AND INSURANCE: Figure roughly that your property taxes will run approximately 2% of your purchase price on new construction.  Insurance will run another 1.5%  (unless you’re buying in a condo where insurance is included in your association fees).  Since taxes are based on Millage Rates (which vary from one municipality to another),  this  2% property tax formula will serve as a rough ‘guestimate’,  giving you a ballpark figure.   On resale properties, you can refer  directly to www.MiamiDade.Gov  for the tax calculations.   Property taxes are initially  based on the resale value.  Because the adjustment is not  necessarily automatic,  you may want to submit the requisite documentation after purchase, if the price of acquisition varies significantly from the currently stated market value.
Insurance will run roughly another 1.5%  (unless you’re buying in a condo, in which case insurance is often already included in your maintenance fee). 
GET PRE-APPROVED: Financing your purchase?   Lenders will generally pre-approve you for a loan without charging a fee.  We recommend that you get “pre-approved”  (rather than ”pre-qualified”).  When you do find the perfect house, you’ll be ready to roll. Want recommendations?  Just ask us
( If you are looking for Seller Financing or Seller Contributions, please let us know.)
Cash purchase? If you’re paying cash, get a letter from your Bank or Financial Institution, indicating that you have sufficient funds to cover your expected purchase price.
The current buzz words:  SHORT SALES and FORECLOSURES  –  Good or Bad?
Short Sales: “Short” does not refer to time frame.  It simply means that the seller is ‘short’ the funds to pay off the mortgage. (Buying at the top of the market, and selling in a depressed market often create this scenario).  The bank’s timeframe for determining IF/ and AT WHAT AMOUNT they’ll accept a short sale payoff can be a tedious process.
Foreclosures: “Foreclosure” occurs once the bank has actually taken over the property.  Foreclosures tend to move along more quickly than a short sale …  but like anything else, it’s not set in stone, and while some transactions move at snail’s pace, others zip along as lightning speed. 
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