Every state has unique rules and regulations when it comes to buying a home and taking out a mortgage. Whether you’ve lived in Florida your entire life, or are just arriving from another state (Welcome!), there are a few things that you probably should know. Discover five of Florida’s important policies and common laws in regard to homebuyers, which can differ from other locations. Learn about the differences, and become an educated homebuyer.
#1 – Florida is a “Homestead State.”
What this means for homeowners is that you’ll have a lower tax rate if the property you are buying will be your primary residence. Florida’s homestead exemption reduces the amount of your property taxes, and it also limits the amount that they can go up every year. It’s a win-win for homeowners, and just another reason why home ownership is so popular in the Sunshine State. All in all, you can file for an exemption worth up to $50,000. Be sure to consult your realtor and/or builder about this important financial incentive, to ensure that you submit the correct files at the correct time.
#2 – Foreclosures in Florida can take forever.
Hoping to score a fantastic deal on a foreclosure? You’ll need plenty of time to spare, because foreclosures in Florida require court proceeding that often take at least a year to complete. If you’re searching through third-party websites that list foreclosures, be aware that many of the listings are inaccurate, sold already, or not even for sale. If it seems too good to be true – it probably is.
#3 – Flood insurance is often mandatory in Florida, and rates may be much higher in older homes vs. new homes.
Your builder is legally bound to tell you if your home is being built on a floodplain. If so, your lender will probably require flood insurance in addition to standard homeowner’s insurance. Older homes can be costly to insure, because they often have out-of-date plumbing systems, electricity and roof structures. If you’re shopping around, get a quote for insurance early in the home buying process. Factor in the cost to your total monthly payment.
#4 – Realtors are also transaction brokers in Florida.
Your realtor won’t just help you find a home – she’ll also act as your financial representative and assist in the transaction process. Realtors in Florida often represent sellers as well as buyers, in which case they are required to work fairly at all times. Any information or data that could effect the value of a property must be disclosed before you sign on the dotted line.
#5 – Attorneys aren’t required at closing.
Unlike many states, Florida does not require a licensed real estate attorney to attend the closing. Instead, all you will legally need is a certified title agent. Of course, you can always consult an attorney at closing or during any other time in the home buying process.
Are you ready to discover how easy it can be to own a home in Florida – and how exciting? Let us help show you the way. Please contact the experts at Villa Medici today.