North Florida Home Buyers
Thinking about buying a property in the North Florida area? Now is the time! Interest rates are still low! My services are absolutely free to North Florida home buyers.
Home buyers in our area have an array of options. We have newer homes in subdivisions, historic homes in town, lakefront or riverfront homes, homes on acreage out in the country; you name it!
The first step
I like to schedule a time to meet with home buyers in our office. We can go over what it is you’re looking for in a property, pull up some properties on the big screen together, and talk about financing options. From there we will set up appointments and start home shopping!
Education is key
I love educating home buyers on the process. I want you to know everything you need to know up front so there are no surprises later. This includes information on how the offer process goes, deposits, inspections, survey, closing costs, homeowners insurance, etc.
Why work with a Realtor?
There are many, many different aspects to the home buying process. This is something I do day in and day out. I know what to look out for and I know the process like the back of my hand. If you decide to look at a home that’s listed in the MLS, you will end up working with the listing agent as your Realtor anyway. It’s best to find someone you can trust, establish a relationship, and use that one Realtor to look at any houses you’re interested in.
What about For Sale By Owner homes?
I can help with those, too. But why use a Realtor when you don’t have to? Couldn’t you save money? The answer in most cases is no. The party that ends up saving money is the seller. The home still sells for market value but the seller does not have to pay any commissions.
Here are a few examples of problems that could arise when purchasing a home without an agent (or without an agent you can trust).
- Flood zones: Many sellers have no idea whether or not their home is in a flood zone until we (agents) tell them. This is something we check into before we even list properties and it’s something we check into before our customers make an offer on a property. Let’s say you’re buying a FSBO without any agents involved and this house is in a flood hazard area but the seller doesn’t know because the property has never flooded or even come close (very common). If you are getting a loan the lender WILL require flood insurance on this property. This can range from $400/yr on the low end to over $1200 per year. This is paid along with your monthly mortgage payment and can add an additional $100/month. This could potentially push this property out of your price range. Unfortunately, you would not even find this out until you’ve already paid for inspections ($400-$750) and the appraisal ($500). You could be over $1000 in the hole on a home you can no longer afford. All of this could’ve been avoided up front with the proper addendums and contingencies in place.
- Deed restrictions: Many sellers in our area have no idea the property they own even has deed restrictions. I was showing a property to some buyers recently who are looking to get as far away from deed restrictions as possible. This property had over 13 acres so you would think there are no restrictions. The listing agent did not show any in the MLS and the seller was present at the showing so we asked him. He said he had lived there for years and there are no restrictions on this property. After doing a quick search there were in fact deed restrictions. This is something that would’ve been found by the title company later down the road. But again, only after inspections, appraisals, etc. The buyer immediately changed his mind about this property and saved weeks of time that would’ve been wasted along with hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
- Closing costs: Do you know what is typically covered by the seller in our area? It’s more than you’d think. Unfortunately, if you purchase without an agent you may end up paying closing costs you wouldn’t normally have to, saving the seller even more money.
- Negotiations: Are you prepared to not only negotiate price but also repairs if any come up? FHA and VA loans in particular are very strict when it comes to the condition of the property. I’ve had items as small as a toilet handle and as large as support beams come up as lender required repairs. Meaning the loan cannot go through unless these repairs are made. Are you prepared to negotiate all of this directly with the seller? Or are you prepared to pay for all of this before the home is even yours?
I could go on and on! Don’t go it alone! It will only cost you in the long run.