Home Buying in Florida
Different states have different laws and common practices when it comes to buying a home. Here are some important things to know if you’re thinking of buying a home in Florida.
Your Realtor is a Transaction Broker A transaction broker’s job is to facilitate the transaction. Transaction brokers can represent buyers, sellers or both. They work ethically and fairly with all parties and disclose all known facts that materially affect the value of a home.
All Florida real estate licensees are assumed to be transaction brokers, unless other arrangements are made in writing (for example, single agency for buyer or seller, or non-representation).
Attorney’s are not Required at Closing Most Florida real estate transactions are closed with title agents. Many title companies have real estate attorneys on staff for as-needed consultations. You may, of course, retain the services of a licensed real estate attorney at any point in your Florida real estate transaction, at your cost.
Insurance can be Challenging In addition to homeowner’s insurance, your lender may require flood insurance.
Homes with older roofs, or roofs that do not meet certain wind mitigation standards, may be tougher to insure, often requiring higher premiums.
Your insurer may charge a higher rate if your home has older plumbing (e.g., galvanized pipes), outdated electrical, no hurricane straps or other issues.
Get an insurance quote as soon as your contract is signed and finalize the details well in advance of your closing date.
Foreclosures Are Not Fast In Florida, foreclosure is a judicial proceeding that can take a year or more to complete.
Foreclosure listings on Zillow and similar sites are often wrong, showing incorrect prices, or even showing homes that aren’t listed yet, or have already been sold.
Tracking down a bank that may or may not own a particular REO property to make an offer is virtually impossible – you must wait until it comes on the market.
Florida is a Homestead State Florida homeowners can file for a homestead exemption worth up to $50,000 (home must be your primary residence). The exemption reduces the amount of property taxes Florida homeowners must pay, and limits how much their taxes can increase each year.