What goes wrong? A lot of things! Loan denial. Title problems. Open permits. Code violations. Insurance problems. These are just a few of the deal killers plaguing the South Florida market. Here are some things South Florida home buyers can do to ensure their deal goes smoothly:
1. Beware of Open Permits and Code Violations: One little sentence can make a world of difference. Make sure your contract states “seller to close out open permits and code violations prior to closing”: That one little sentence in the contract can save buyers a lot of headaches before and after closing. Make sure your title company promptly orders a lien search before the end of the inspection period.
2. Financing is tougher than ever: “Know thy lender” and get 2-3 Loan Estimates before deciding on a lender. Make sure they have closed borrowers and properties with similar profiles. Mortgage Brokers are great for borrowers who are self-employed or have trickier financial scenarios. The recent changes to consumer lending laws by the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau provides strong protections and loan pricing controls for borrowers.
3. Uncovering a condo’s hidden secrets: Make sure your contract has a Condominium Disclosure Rider . This disclosure provides crucial information on the maintenance fee, special assessments and that highly coveted parking space number. As boring as it may seem , buyers need to read their Condo Docs and By Laws to understand the rules under which they will live under. Finally, review the title company’s Estoppel Letter obtained from the Condo Association to verify all the information you have been given.
4. Get a copy of your Owners Title Policy: You should be asking for this about 8+ weeks after closing. Store a paper and digital copy in a safe and secure place. This document can both save you money on a refinance and provide you legal defense in the case of a title claim.
5. Never, ever buy at the courthouse auction (unless you have money to burn): Most of what people hear about the riches made at auctions are myths. You can read more about the problems with auctions on our post about this topic.
With the support of the listing agent, selling agent, and the title company/attorney, buyers can be provided the best available information for their decision-making process.
Disclaimer: The Closing Company, Inc. is not a law firm and is not providing legal or tax advice in this publication. For legal advice, please consult with a licensed attorney. For tax advice, consult with a Certified Public Accountant.