Buying a House in Florida
Finally ready to buy a home ? This is what you must do buying in Florida
1. Decide Where You Want to Live
Before anything else, you need to decide where you want to live. Start by thinking about what you want to get out of your new home — do you want something by the beach? A retirement community? Someplace in the city? A place to raise a family?
Next, look at some city-level stats for cities that fit the bill. Look into the median home values to see what areas will fit your budget and check out the expected short and long-term growth to see which cities are a good investment. Research any other features that may influence your decision, such as crime rates, school rankings, etc.
2. Find a Great Florida Real Estate Agent
Finding a great local real estate agent is the most important step in the home buying process. Your real estate agent will be your partner over the coming months, guiding you through the often complex real estate transaction process and listening to your needs to help you find the right home for you.
A good real estate agent will draw upon their years of experience to help you negotiate better deals, find properties that suit your needs, and time the market.
Clever matches buyers with top agents in your area. Plus, after closing, qualifying buyers receive 0.5% of the purchase price back on homes over $150,
3. Assess Your Needs and Set a Budget
Look into your finances to set a maximum amount that you can budget for a house. Assess your income, assets, and savings. It can be a good idea to consult a financial advisor at this point in the home buying process.
Once you have a budget set, speak with your real estate agent to get an idea for what areas and what types of properties you can realistically afford. Be realistic: don't set your sights on a mansion when you have a bungalow budget.
4. Start House Hunting
Look through local listings and ask your realtor for property recommendations. Once you've found a few houses that you like, ask your real estate agent to set up showings for you.
Be sure to attend open houses, even for houses you're not particularly interested in. Sometimes it can be equally valuable to find out what you don't like.
5. Make an Offer
Consult your real estate agent and draft up an offer. Your realtor can advise you on how to make a competitive offer based on your local market conditions.
When you make an offer, you'll need to provide a good faith deposit. This is usually 1-3% of the purchase price but can be more in competitive markets. The higher your good faith deposit, the more competitive your offer will be.
If your offer is accepted, you will enter into a purchase agreement. You must discuss what contingencies to include with your realtor.
6. Secure Financing
Unless you plan to buy your home with cash, you'll need to apply for a mortgage. For most home buyers in Florida, interest rates are among the biggest factors when choosing a lender. Doing a little upfront research and comparing options to find the best rates could save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
For example, in Florida a typical house is worth $262,000. Assuming a 20% down payment, if you took out a 30-year mortgage for 3.5%, your monthly payment would be $935. But if you shopped around and found a 3% mortgage, your monthly payment would drop to about $884.
Getting a mortgage is a big decision – and it pays to shop around! Keep shopping until you find a lender with competitive rates who also understands your goals. Don’t get pressured into taking on a bigger loan than you’re comfortable with – work with a lender who explains what you’re really signing up for.
It’s easy to start your home buying journey – answer a few questions to get instantly matched with a lender who works in your area.
7. Negotiate for the Best Possible Price
The average person doesn't have the negotiation experience necessary to successfully negotiate a real estate deal, so your realtor will be invaluable at this point in the process. They will draw upon their years of experience in the markets to help negotiate a great price for you.
When negotiating, make sure you understand the seller, know the market, and negotiate after the inspection. This will give you the best chances for success.
8. Close the Deal
Before the closing takes place, you will often do a final walkthrough, and the title company will perform a title search. If everything comes up clear, and the walkthrough is satisfactory, you'll sit down at the closing table with the seller to sign the final paperwork.
You'll pay the remainder of your down payment, the title company representative or attorney will record the transaction with the municipality, and you'll receive the keys. Congratulations — the house is now yours!
The home buying process can be complex and difficult to navigate. If you're planning to buy a house in Florida, an experienced local real estate can help you get the best deal on your new home.
Clever partners with top-rated full-service real estate agents from major brands like Keller Williams, Century 21, and RE/MAX who will help guide buyers through the difficult home buying process. And when you work with a Clever Partner Agent, you could be eligible for 0.5% of the purchase price back after closing (for homes worth over $150,000).
Want to learn more? Fill out our form to get in touch with a top-notch Florida real estate and set up a free, no-obligation consultation.
Bought a Townhouse home in 2017 for approximately $150K in West Palm Beach, FL.
Bought a Single Family home in 2016 for approximately $500K in Royal Palm Beach, FL.
Tanya was very down to earth and honest yet gentle. Looking back now the process was rather fast paced.
I highly recommend Tanya and her group of people that work with her. They got me preapproved and closed in record time.
Bought a Single Family home in 2015 for approximately $225K in Boynton Beach, FL.
Sold a Condo home in 2015 in Three Lakes, Lauderdale Lakes, FL.
Bought a Single Family home in 2015 in West Palm Beach, FL.