Home Buyer’s Guide
If you are planning to purchase a home in Florida it is important that you know about these things: current market conditions, home inspections, HOA communities, insurance, closing costs and other associated fees. In order to get a fair deal and avoid common issues it is also important to find a good real estate agent you can trust.
cApollo Realty, Inc. is leading the way in Florida real estate, just as we have for many years. As well established locals we understand local laws, communities, market conditions, schools, zoning regulations and everything else you need to know to make the most informed and sound decision when buying a home.
1. Florida’s Current Market Conditions
In recent years the housing market has been on the rise, but market conditions continue to fluctuate consistently. This constant change is especially true with real estate all over the US. Buying a house at the right price is key to staying afloat no matter what future economic conditions look like.
Currently, the average home price for sale in Central Merritt Island is $347,000. The average of closed homes within the last 6 months in the Central Merritt Island is $224,000, therefore we are seeing an increase in the market. Now is a great time to buy a house, at this time there are still plenty of upside left in the market. Looking at past, present and future market predictions is so important to make sure you are getting a good deal you can happily look back on many years from now.
Being are very passionate about real estate, evaluating current trends on a daily basis. And we will be here to provide you with the valuable insight necessary to make the best investment possible for you and your family’s future.
2. Homeowner’s Insurance In Florida
Florida is a beautiful state with miles of coastal paradise, however, the picture perfect weather can lead you into thinking our state is exempt from rough weather. Floods and hurricanes are not uncommon in Florida. The best ways to prepare for these types of disasters are to buy a home that is built to withstand high force winds, and invest in the right homeowner’s insurance. When factoring in how much you can afford every month for your mortgage, don’t forget to estimate additional costs for insurance into your final budget.
Insurance is typically going to be lower if you purchase a home built in 2002 or newer, because it was built to the latest building code regulations. It is never a bad idea to call insurance companies and ask about homes you are interested in. Any insurance agent should be happy to provide you with a brief cost comparison if you are stuck between two different properties.
Factors that will make homeowner’s insurance more difficult and expensive to obtain:
-Homes with old roofs, or roofs that do not meet current wind mitigation standards.
-Homes with older plumbing, for instance galvanized pipes.
-Homes with outdated electrical wiring.
-Homes lacking hurricane straps.
3. The Value of Home Inspections
Once you find the home of your dreams you will need to have thorough independent home inspections conducted before anything is finalized. This helps protect you from purchasing a home with material defects. If you skip out on this important process you are left with no legal options against the seller if the home turns out to be defective in any way.
A typical home inspection checks out the following:
-Soundness of the foundation and structure as a whole.
-Termites and other pest infestations
-Soil, drainage or erosion issues
-Issues related to odor or noise
-The presence of mold or the right conditions to breed mold.
-Issues related to heating/cooling systems, drainage, electrical and plumbing.
-Issues with basement or flooring.
All home inspectors are required by law to complete a home inspection program backed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. They must also take a 120-hour-pre-licensing course and pass the National Home Inspector Examination.
4. Deed Protected Communities
There are many deed restricted communities in Florida, this means the neighborhood is governed by a homeowner’s association. All owners pay regular fees and in return the association maintains certain rules and community maintenance.
In some cases this is ideal, but before purchasing a home in a deed restricted community you need to read the fine print to ensure the local rules don’t cramp your style. For example, homeowner’s associations can enforce laws regarding how many people live in your home at one time, if you can rent out your home, what kind of pets you can have, as well as how the property is allowed to be used.
Florida has unique property laws that actually protect your home against foreclosure, even if you file for bankruptcy. However, if you purchase a home in an HOA community you may lose this right because the homeowner’s association has the right to foreclose on your home.
5. Closing Costs And Other Expenses
Florida is regarded as a “High Closing Cost” state, in simple terms it is more expensive to close on a house here than most other states. Don’t let this deter you from purchasing property in Florida though, instead just realize how important it is to have a representing agent on your side. On the contrary, you don’t want to solely work with someone representing the seller’s interests.
6. Hire a Professional Florida Real Estate Agent
It is highly recommended to hire a real estate agent regardless if you are buying or selling a home. There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a property in Florida, in fact the process is more than a little daunting if you go at it alone. Hiring a reputable real estate agent makes the whole process easier, plus it prevents people from taking advantage of you.