Buying a house in Florida comes with low property taxes and beautiful weather. But there are a lot of steps involved in becoming a homeowner. Whether buying for yourself or as an investment, it helps to understand the process. That’s why this article explains how to buy a house in Florida.
Buying a House in Florida
Buying a house in Florida is likely one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. It can also be one of the best investments you’ll ever make. These following steps on how to buy a house in Florida will hopefully build your understanding of the process. And, hopefully, give you the confidence to finally make your dream of homeownership a reality.
Step One: Prepare Your Finances
Before approaching a lender, review your finances. Is there any debt you can reduce or eliminate? Even reducing or eliminating one monthly payment can improve your lending options. In addition to your debt, make a list of all your assets.
It is also a good idea to obtain your credit report. According to federal law, you’re entitled to one free credit report every year. Your credit report not only shows your credit rating but can show marks on your report that you’re not aware of. You may be able to correct some marks and improve your rating before approaching a bank.
Step Two: Get Pre-Approved for a Loan
You are not limited to your personal bank for a home loan. You can shop around for a lender with not only the best interest rates but also the best customer service. If you’re buying a house in Florida in a new construction tract or from companies that buy houses for cash, ask who they recommend. They may have a connection to a lender that offers the best deals for their houses. Not to mention, they may be able to streamline the entire process.
Step Three: Begin Your Home Search
People often begin their home search by contacting a realtor. While this is the most traditional option, you shouldn’t discount other options. For instance, you can actually buy renovated houses directly from companies that buy houses for cash. These property investors often hold real estate licenses and are well-versed in the buying and selling of homes. You can also have your own realtor when buying a house from such companies, but you may not need the help to find their properties for sale. Their listings are usually listed on their websites.
Best of all, companies that buy houses for cash are all about efficiency. They likely have strong connections to lenders, title companies, home inspectors, and contractors that can push things through quickly. You may be hesitant to buy from a cash-investor, but isn’t it worth knowing all your options? After all, they sell newly renovated homes at great prices.
Step Four: Check Comparables
Once you find a house you’re interested in, be sure to check comparable sales in the neighborhood. Whether using a real estate agent or another source, they should be able to provide you with official MLS reports. You want to make sure the asking price is fair market value, and these reports will show you that. Plus, these comparables can guide your offer price, as well as negotiations.
Step Six: Make Offer
When buying a house in Florida, there might be a lot of buyer competition. You might be tempted to start with a low offer and work up from there, but that can lose you the house to another bidder. If that’s a risk you’re willing to take, then go for it. But, if you are in love with the house, you should start with a strong offer, if not your best offer.
Step Seven: Home Inspections and Other Tests
A home inspection is always strongly recommended. You never know what lies behind the walls or in the foundation without it. Nor should you ever take a seller’s word for it being in great shape. It’s important to note that companies that buy houses for cash sometimes buy houses as-is without inspections; however, they usually immediately conduct inspections to renovate their investment to its full potential. When buying a house in Florida from such a company, you can still get full home inspections just like any other home purchase.
Step Eight: Run a Title Search & Get Title Insurance
Every guide on how to buy a house in Florida should include a step on title searches. A Florida title search will show if the house is free and clear to transfer to a new owner. Even with a clear title search, title insurance is crucial.
Title insurance safeguards your investment again unknown or unforeseen claims on your property. It protects against claims from someone attempting to take the home after you purchase. This “someone” can be a disgruntled ex-spouse, family member left out of the previous owner’s will, or someone else who believes they have a legal claim to the property.
Step Nine: Sign the Closing Documents
You’ve already completed lots of paperwork up to this point. But it doesn’t compare to the number of papers you need to sign at closing. Get your pens ready and stretch out those hands. Read each page carefully and ask questions about anything unclear. Also, double-check the mortgage interest rate, final sale price that was agreed upon, and any other details discussed during the purchase process. Other details may include furniture to remain, how payments are to be made, and more.
Once the last dotted line is signed, you’re the proud owner of a home!
How to Buy a House in Florida FOR LESS
There are some other small steps along the way, but these main steps mostly cover how to buy a house in Florida. A real estate agent or another professional can help guide you every step of the way. Though we hope this guide helps inform you of what to expect.
Tropic Coast Homes has beautifully renovated houses for sale in Southwest Florida. As experienced property investors, we help make the purchase process as quick and straightforward as possible. See our Homes for Sale or Contact Us to see what we have in the works. You could have the first pick of a great house before it even hits the market!