Purchasing your first home is both exciting and frightening. With so much to do, however, the process can be overwhelming. Fortunately, the Law Offices of Patrick L. Cordero are here to provide advice on home purchase aspects you shouldn’t overlook. Here are some helpful tips for first time home buyers in Florida.
Know Your Finances
One of the most critical things to consider when it comes to purchasing your first home in Florida is the price. Sitting down and determining what exactly you can afford is the best way to begin any search for first time home buyers. When considering how much you can afford, there are several factors to take into account.
Generally, people commonly put 20-percent of the home’s price as a down payment. While many lenders will accept much lower than 20-percent – in fact some require as little as 3-percent down – it is advisable to place a minimum of 20-percent down. Why? Placing a higher down payment means reduced costs down the road, meaning you give yourself more financial wiggle-room should any issues arise.
Knowing your credit score is as important as a down payment – if not more! Having poor credit may disqualify you from certain (or all) mortgage options. Having great credit also means that you are a more trusted borrower, meaning you will be offered much lower interest rates by lenders.
Know the Property
Just as important a knowing your finances is knowing the property you wish to purchase inside and out. Having a thorough knowledge of a home does not simply mean taking several tours of it, flushing the toilets and measuring for curtains. To truly understand what you are getting yourself in to, make sure that the house is fully inspected by a licensed inspector. A full inspection will allow you to understand any issues with the structure of the home, as well as wiring, plumbing, roofing and a whole host of other issues.
Besides inspections, ensure that the house is surveyed. Surveying a house generally reveals the following information to a buyer:
- Boundary lines for the land or lot in question.
- Notes on where any improvements are located on the property including the distance between each improvement and the property’s boundaries.
- Disclosures on specific characteristics of the property, including utilities, easements, boundaries, and encroachments.
In addition, a survey should reveal if the property has any code violations, tax assessments or liens placed upon it by local, state or federal tax government, which you may be liable for in the event of a purchase.
Know the Documents You Sign
Purchasing a home requires quite a lot of documentation. Pay close attention to the home’s contract, should you choose to buy. Contracts contain much more than just the agreed upon purchasing price. Contracts, for example, may also include information on:
- Who pays for certain expenses
- Rights of way on the property
- What happens should happen in the event of a default by either party
- How issues pertaining to the title are to be resolved
Besides the purchase contract, also be sure to pay attention to the mortgage document, including the payment details, the promissory note and any nuances which may be contained in the mortgage itself. It is always a good idea to work with an experienced attorney when dealing with complicated documentation.
Contact a Knowledgeable Attorney
If you are a first time home buyer in Florida, you should contact an experienced attorney to discuss right away. Call the Law Offices of Patrick L. Cordero for a free consultation today at (305) 445-4855.