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Purchase Process

Contracts made easy.

The process of completing the purchase of real estate in the Florida Keys is the next step once you have found your property. Contracts are complicated, and can be intimidating. We make sure that your closing is a smooth and successful one. You will have the full benefit of our Florida Keys real estate agency, our real estate experience and knowledge for a smooth and successful closing.  This is what we do!

Procedures are outlined below for your understanding.

Inspections include an onsite inspection of the physical structure, the systems and built-in appliances. Depending upon the terms of the contract, you may also have inspections for the roof, the foundation, hazardous substances, pool and spas, fireplaces, dockage, seawalls, termites and other wood destroying organisms, septic tank and any fixtures remaining with the home. Inspections are at the buyer’s expense and must be completed in the time frame specified in the contract.

After completion of the inspection an addendum is prepared to specify any defective items you would like the seller to repair prior to settlement. Cosmetic items and normal wear and tear are not the seller’s responsibility. The inspector may advise you that some items in the home may need replacing in a few years. The inspector may also make recommendations for preventive maintenance. The selection of inspectors is your decision. If you like we will provide you with a list which may help you but it is by no means inclusive of every inspector. Remember the inspectors should be licensed in the state of Florida. Make sure you are comfortable with your inspector and familiar with his background.

Title Insurance:
Title insurance is different from other types of insurance in that it protects you, the insured, from a loss that may occur from matters or faults from the past. Other types of insurance such as auto, life or health cover you against losses that may occur in the future. Title insurance does not protect against any future faults. Another difference is that you pay a one-time premium. A title insurance policy will protect you from “risks” or undiscovered interests.

There are two principal forms of title insurance: the lender’s policy and the homeowner’s policy. A lender’s policy protects the mortgage holder. If there is a fault in the title that results in a loss, the mortgage holder will be paid back. A homeowner’s policy protects you, the purchaser, against a loss that may occur from a fault in your ownership or interest you have in the property. You should protect the equity in your new home with a title policy, which protects you from financial loss due to demands that may be charged against the title to your home and pays legal costs if the title insurer has to defend your title against a covered claim. Payment of a successful claim against the title to your home is covered by the policy.

An appraisal is a third-party estimate of the value of a piece of property at a particular point in time. It can affirm your offer price or block your transaction entirety. Understand how real estate appraisals and appraisers work so you can solve any problems that come up. All appraisals must confirm to guidelines set by the Federal Reserve, but every appraisal is ultimately a subjective analysis of a property’s current market value.

True market value can be difficult to ascertain in markets where prices are volatile and properties vary widely. To determine current market value, an appraiser will compare the price of your home with that of at least three comparable homes that are in the area and have sold within the past six months, then adjust for differences in the properties. An appraiser will physically measure and inspect the home (which doesn’t qualify as a home inspection) to compare, and may also take photographs to include in the report with floor plans and a site map.

I can provide a list of utility companies to contact to have the utilities turned on after closing. You will need proof of ownership, i.e. the deed to turn the utilities on. In unincorporated MonroeCounty, garbage pickup is a function of the county or village in which you reside. If you are buying a new home, the utilities cannot be turned on until the certificate of occupancy is issued.

Hazard Insurance:
Your lender will require windstorm/flood and homeowners policies naming them as an additional insures and loss payee. Have your insurance agent contact your lender and the closing agent. Discuss with the insurance agent any additional riders for jewelry, collections, furniture renter’s insurance, etc. Bring a paid receipt for your insurance to closing along with a copy of the policy for the lender. In most areas of MonroeCounty, flood insurance will also be a requirement – check with your lender. Insurance cannot be bound if a hurricane is within specific geographic boundaries. For that reason, you will want to obtain insurance as soon as possible to not delay closing on your property.

Home Warranties:
There are several programs available which insure your systems, appliances, plumbing, etc. for a period of one year for a minimal fee. Your ConchLand team agent will be happy to go over them with you.

Walk Through:
Normally conducted with in 48 hours of closing, the walk through is to make sure the home is in the same condition as when you signed the contract plus the completion of any repairs agreed upon in the contract.

Closing Costs:
Upon closing of a real estate transaction, a buyer will incur closing costs, which may include: attorney fees, title insurance fees, abstract charges, tax fees, survey charges, tax fees, survey charges, discount points, mortgage transfer fees, escrow fees, condominium maintenance and assessment and origination fees. The settlement agency will provide you an estimated amount prior to closing. Payment of the closing costs requires a certified check or funds wired to the settlement agent prior to closing.

Homestead Exemption:
You will need to file your Homestead exemption prior to March 1. If you do not file, your taxes will be higher. Most likely you will need to go to the courthouse to file. Bring a copy of your closing statement and your warranty deed.

In Florida, you must change your driver’s license within 30 days of moving to the area. A requirement to obtain a Florida license plate is proof of insurance. Also, children under 4 must be in a car seat and use of seat belts is mandatory in Florida

To learn more about Florida Keys Purchase Process, contact John directly today.