Buying a Home in South East Florida

Buying Your Home in South East Florida

1.  Cash Buyers

25% to 35% of Home transactions are from Cash Buyers. For a home sale to take place, proof of funds are needed in the offer.


2. Pre-Approval

If you need financing for your purchase, you will need to contact a mortgage consultant. If you do not have one, Susan can provide you with her best lenders for a smooth transaction.  You will need to know what you can afford so we look for homes in the right price range. Mortgage rates are now in the 7% range. The lender will give you a pre-approval letter that lets us know our shopping guidelines so we can make our strongest offer. There are lending plans for every situation so do not be afraid to discuss your specific needs with a lender. The mortgage consultant or lender is bound to keep your information confidential, and their job is to help you get qualified.

3. Good Faith Estimate

This estimate will contain a list of costs you will be expected to pay at closing. The lender will provide you with this. Always ask for it and always ask questions.

4. Homeowner Associations

Homeowner Associations (HOA) usually charge a monthly or quarterly fee for the upkeep of the common areas and amenities of the community. HOA fees are prorated at closing so if the seller paid for more days than anticipated, the seller will receive a credit.

5. Community Development District

Certain communities may have a Community Development tax (CDD) applied to the property (a 30-year bond built into your property taxes). Community Development Districts are written in the Florida Statutes 190.002. A (CCD) Community Development district is a method the developer uses for financing the infrastructure on a new community that is in the process of being built. The infrastructure has features such as: electrical, roads, sewer systems, sidewalks, playgrounds, community pools, tennis courts, water parks, etc) built into the cost of each home site. The homeowners are intended to benefit as the homes are initially expected to be lower in cost. The Bond payments are transferred to the new homeowner in the form of a non-ad valorem tax payment. Check out the property taxes and you will discover the CCD in a community is listed as a non-ad valorem tax.  A few nearby CDD communities are:  Monterra in Cooper City, Bonterra in Hialeah, Walnut Creek in Pembroke Pines, Mira Lago, Heron Bay, Cascata and Watercrest in Parkland.

6. Membership Fees

Some Golf Communities and Country Club communities have initiation fees. These membership fees are between $25,000.00 to $150,000.00. Boca Raton and Boynton Beach have multiple membership fee neighborhoods. 

Purchasing Your Home

Buyers Expenses:

Appraisal Fee 

An appraisal fee is the cost of having a certified appraiser value the home you are purchasing. A uniform appraisal report is necessary when a home buyer is purchasing a property with a mortgage. After the housing market collapse in approximately 2007 with lenders going into bankruptcy, a new way of selecting appraisers was formed. Now, an impartial third party selects the appraiser. Appraisers will compare the property they are appraising to other sold properties. They will also take into consideration the condition of the property.

Inspection Fees 

An inspection fee will provide a profession home inspection report letting the home buyer be aware of the condition of the property from the inside to the outside, roof inspections and termite inspections are part of the inspection. A home inspection usually will take 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the property. The cost of a home inspection is usually determined by the size of the property. A 4-point inspection covers 4 major issues of a property: the roof, HVAC- ( heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system) , the electrical system, heating and plumbing. 4-Point Inspections were usually used for older homes. Some insurance companies now use a 4-Point inspection on homes 10 years old and older.

Wind Mitigation

Wind Mitigation helps reduce the buyer's insurance fees by checking the structure and year of the roof, attic, doors and windows looking for windows and doors with hurricane panels or accordion shutters or impact windows.

Survey / Elevation Certificate

A survey lets the mortgage company or bank know that the property exists as it shows the property lines. A survey will let the new property owner realize any easement restrictions. A survey helps the new homeowner add in a fence as the fencing company will know the property boundaries of a home. This is also valuable for a swimming pool or tennis court or an addition to the existing home structure, as each property has easements or setbacks to the property lines.


Insurance covers damage that may occur to your home.  Such damage may result from Wind, Hurricanes, Fire or Flood. Insurance companies are asking for wind mitigation reports and 4-point inspections. Both the wind mitigation inspection and a 4-point inspection may reduce the price of insurance coverage when the inspection passes the insurance requirements. Flood insurance has changed where most of Florida was not considered a flood area, this law is coming back asking Florida homeowners to provide flood insurance. No one can predict a home will flood, as nature has its own way of handling the environment. 

Title Policy

Florida's title insurance premium is based on a promulgated rate calculation which is determined by the state of Florida. Florida's title insurance premium is also determined based on the purchase price of a property as follows: The pricing is $575.00 for the first $$100,000.00 and $500.00 per every $100,000.00 thereafter.  The Title Policy protects your ownership of your home. It covers events relating to the title that have already happened. Title insurance covers claims against your ownership in your property due to problems in its "chain of title" or series of historical ownership records for your home.  If the lien is for taxes not paid by someone who owned the house 80 years ago, then you may have coverage under your title policy. The owner’s title insurance provides protection to the homeowner if someone sues and says they have a claim against the home from before the homeowner purchased it.

Title Company Fee 

The title company will run lien searches, prepare a settlement statement, work with your mortgage lender and get you to the closing table.

Mortgage Fees

Title insurance for the loan (Lender's Policy) 

Credit Report Fee

Doc stamp tax on the note - $.35 per $100.00 of the note amount.

Intangible Tax - $ .20 per $100.00 of the mortgage amount. 

Mortgage Insurance -PMI protects the lender if the borrower defaults on a loan when placing less than 20% for the down payment.

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