My Gay Fort Lauderdale Realtors
Guide to Buying Your First Home
Buying a Home here in Ft Lauderdale is exciting – here are some useful tips on how to get the best home at the best price!
Here is Part 2 of My 2-Part Guide to buying your first home…
Making an Offer(s)
Once you have refined your wish list and found some homes you like – the next step is to make an offer.
If your working with a Fort Lauderdale Realtor – there are certain questions you need to ask first before making an offer(s).
These questions include:
- How long has the home /condo been on the market?
- What was the original listings price?
- How many (if any) have the owners lowered / adjusted their price?
- Have the owners of the home / condo received any offers to date?
- How many other homes like this are for sale in the neighborhood and how long have they been on the market?
- How much are homes in this neighborhood selling for? – and what are the median sales prices and sales prices per sq ft?
- How long do homes typically take to sell in this neighborhood? – this is called days on market.
- What is the average and median sales price to list price for homes sold in this neighborhood over the last 90 – 120 days.
Questions like these can give real insight into how motivated the owners are to sell and move on.
It can also give insight into how the home is priced relative to other homes for sale – and what homes are selling for relative to list price – valuable information for you the buyer when making an offer!
Consider Making More than 1 Offer
I always recommend to my clients – that we try to find at least 2-3 homes / condos that they really like – so then we can write offers.
Many Fort Lauderdale Realtors don’t necessarily like the idea of having multiple offers on the table – but as a buyer it can be a very good approach to have your Realtor write at least 2 offers.
Each offer can be subject “to a final inspection by you” (the buyer) – and this you don’t end up having to buy both! – make sure you get an experienced Fort Lauderdale Realtor to write this into your purchase contract/offer.
The rationale for writing 2 – 3 contracts is – often you will find sellers who know that you the buyer have another home(s) or two that you and have written on – the seller are then more negotiable when it comes to price – especially if you are pre-approved AND pre-qualified!
This can save you the buyer thousands of dollars.
As a Gay Fort Lauderdale Realtor / Real Estate – I have helped many Gay and LGBT buyers this way – and I have got my clients some great deals and helped saved them thousands of dollars in the process.
How to Choose the Right Home
By having a short list of 2-3 homes you really like – and then making multiple offers based on informed market information – from asking the questions I outlined above…
You should be in a great position to choose the right home for you.
Again with over 20 years experience as a real estate agent I strongly recommend really focus on finding 2-3 homes / condos that you really like – vs focusing in on one – unless of course its a seller’s market and homes are selling in a matter of days – if this is the case pick the best and go with it right away!
Consider Seller Financing
When looking a homes for sale – ask your agent if the owners have a mortgage on the home. You may be surprised how many do not.
If the owners of the home don’t have a mortgage you should pose the question would they consider seller/owner financing.
You save a lot of money often in a better interest rate – and they earn more than they would if they had the money in the bank.
As a Realtor here in Ft Lauderdale FL I have done owner financing deals – via lease options, owner financing with 2-5 years balloons even full owner financing for 10 years with little down payment.
Using conventional finance to purchase the home and as part of the sale to have the seller hold a 2nd Mortgage of $20,000 – $30,000 can also work really well – especially if you want to do things like renovate the home maybe adding a new kitchen or a pool or a dock and so on!
The Closing / Your Title Company
The closing is a big event and your title company is a really important part of it.
If your paying cash – sometimes buyers think they can avoid using a title company – in my experience this is a big mistake.
The Title company ensures that their are no issues with you taking title of the property ie: outstanding liens, open permits, taxes owed which are registered against the property and so on – they also check to see that the sale and purchase is recorded correctly – so you actually end up on title with all your details correct.
Closing are usually scheduled – but here in Florida and in Fort Lauderdale you really need to allow plenty of time.
Fund often do not arrive in time, on time and last-minute paperwork often drags things out – in fact so much so that closed may need to be rescheduled.
As a Realtor – my advice is make sure you have your funds in early and that they are clear at least a day or two prior to closing – here in Florida most title companies won’t take checks even bank checks.
Then make sure you have all your paperwork done again early – setting up a time to pre-sign documents can also be a really good idea – for if the other party is not ready or are delayed then you don’t have to sit and wait.
Why You Need Insurance(s)
Insurance is really a must here in Florida – living in the topics as we do and often times you need different companies to cover different types of insurance – especially when it comes to wind storm and flood policies.
My advice is go for a really good insurance brokerage company – If you need some recommendations – I am happy to help.
A good insurance brokerage company will help you select reputable companies with strong reserves – so you really know that you and your home “are in good hands”.
Insurance companies are rated – so ask to see a copy of a recent rating report for each company recommended.
Tips When Taking Possession
As a buyer you are entitled to a final walk through – definitely do this and aim to do this the day before or the day of the closing.
Ensure you have contacted your utility companies so that essential power and water services are not disrupted.
Also book your cable / internet providers well in advance.
Similarly with movers, locksmiths and alarm/home security companies – book them in well in advance.
I suggest you print our a calendar and them mark each service in with phone numbers in case something is over looked or has to be rescheduled.
Then once the home is finally yours –
celebrate a job well done!
I hope you have enjoyed reading the 2nd section of my two-part guide on buying a home – Kevin Wirth – Gay Fort Lauderdale Realtor