Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you will make, and we want it to be an exciting, pleasant experience for you!
Here are some tips to help make that happen:
1. Do as much research as possible – in person or on the Web – the more information you have, the easier it will be to make a good decision! Click on the” Search for Properties” button on this site and you will find all of the properties on the market in the entire Keys. – Decide which area you like, what type of home you need (or want!), waterfront or just water access, close to schools, shoppping, etc.
Then we can make appointments for you to see those that you might like. If you don’t see anything right away, don’t worry! We check the Multiple Listing Service every morning and will e-mail new listings that met your criteria as soon as they hit the market.
2. Always work with an Agent! As agents with Coldwell Banker Schmitt, we are Single Agents, meaning that we represent you, the Buyer, 100%, not just "the deal". We will answer your questions, locate the perfect home, represent you in the negotiating, as well as guide you through the entire process of purchasing your home.
Remember! Our Buyer services are free!
3. Get pre-approved or pre-qualified! That way, when we find the perfect home, you’ll
be ready to put in a strong offer, knowing that you have the financing in order
4. Don’t make any large expenditures just before house hunting -cars, boats, jewelry, trips,etc. This can affect your credit scores
Things to be aware of when purchasing your home:
INSPECTIONS - You will want to have an inspection done before you purchase any home. This generally includes the structure, the electric and plumbing systems and the built-in appliances. You can also request in the contract inspections of the roof, pool, seawall, septic system, etc. The inspections are paid for by the Buyer and must be completed within the time frame specified in the contract. If there are any items you would like the Seller to repair prior to closing, an addendum can be prepared for that purpose. Normal wear and tear is not the Seller’s responsibility.
APPRAISAL- This is an estimate of the value of the property by a third party. An appraiser has to conform to strict guidelines set forth by the Federal Reserve. A lender will require an appraisal before approving the loan.
HAZARD INSURANCE- In Monroe County you will be required to purchase Wind, Flood and Homeowners Insurance - these are 3 separate policies, and will be required by a lender.
TITLE INSURANCE – This will also be required by a lender. This insurance is different in that it protects you from any errors regarding the property that may have occurred in the past. This is generally paid by the Buyer
HOME WARRANTY- There are several programs available which insure your systems, appliances, plumbing, etc. for a period of one year for a minimal fee. They can offer a great sense of security, particularly when buying an older home.
WALK-THROUGH- This is generally done just prior to closing to be sure that the home is in the same condition as when the contract was signed, and any agreed upon repairs have been made.
CLOSING COSTS -
At settlement the buyer will have “closing costs”, which may include: attorney fees, title insurance fees, abstract charges, tax fees, survey charges, mortgage transfer fees, escrow fees, and origination fees. The settlement agency will provide you an estimated amount prior to closing. You will need the funds wired to the closing agent prior to closing, or present a Certified Check at the time closing
UTILITIES – After closing, in order to transfer the utilities into your name, you will have to show proof of ownership, and make a deposit with the company. We will give you a list of all utility companies and service providers, along with their contact information.