"Come on Down"
You have probably read about and visited many Southern destinations over the years in your search for your "Piece of Paradise". We can try to convince you that Southwest "Gulf Florida" is the place for you - but you won't know for sure until you are here....until you actually live and breathe life here in Gulf Florida.
However, we are convinced (as we were) that you will find this part of the world the place for you and your family, if it's only on a part time basis or if you are lucky enough, a full time basis. We came from Canada and scouted out many different parts of Florida before we found our "Piece of Paradise".
Therein lies the key - you have to visit here before you will be convinced. We are so sure you will want to invest in Gulf Florida that we are willing to offer you a little bit of an incentive! That's right, just book your flight or plan your trip down to visit with us and we will pay a portion of your accommodation bill once you've chosen and closed on your own "Piece of Paradise". Not only that, upon closing we will present you with a FREE trip to Key West on the "Key West Express" - now that is pretty confident!
Contact us at info@GulfFloridaRealty.com or call 1-800-680-7244 to learn more about our "Come on Down" incentive program that will help you in the decision making process. Along with this incentive, we will assist you in finding the right property for the right price and in the right timeframe.
In Florida, the Seller typically pays the bulk of closing cost fees (Title Insurance and Realtor commissions). However, there are other costs that Buyers should know about, such as:
I you are going to get a Mortgage, some of the fees associated with that are:
• Documentary stamp on mortgage: 0.35 per $100 financed
• Recording the Mortgage:
• Intangible tax on the Mortgage: .002 on mortgage amount
• Lender fees such as processing fees, points, credit report, etc.
General fees that apply to everyone would be:
• Closing Fees
• Title Search
• Recording Fee
• Pro-ration of property taxes for the calendar year (annual taxes are paid in arrears in Florida)
• Survey (if your Lender requires one)
• Appraisal (if your Lender requires one)
• Home Inspection (if you want one)
• Pro-ration of dues (HOA fees if condo or Gated Community)
• Miscellaneous fees
Once you find your new home, all of these fees will be broken down more specifically on the HUD (Settlement Statement) by the Title Company who will close on your property.
Title insurance protects property owners and lenders against any property loss or damage they might experience because of liens, encumbrances or defects in the title to the property. Each title insurance policy is subject to specific terms, conditions and exclusions. While other types of insurance (such as flood, homeowners or car insurance) provide coverage that focuses on possible future events, title insurance protects against loss from hazards and defects already existing in the title to a property. Such defects might be improperly executed documents from a previous sale of a lien against a previous owner.
Over half of all real estate transactions have a problem somewhere in the chain of title and it is the Title Company's responsibility to fix these problems to allow the transaction to go through, thus giving buyers peace of mind about their new home purchase.
Here are some examples of why you need a Title insurance policy that will protect you from:
• False impersonation of the true land owner
• Undisclosed heirs
• Improperly recorded legal documents
• Forged deeds, mortgages, wills, releases of mortgages and other instruments
• Inadequate legal descriptions
• Errors in tax records
• Legal capacity of foreign personal representatives and trustees
• Rights of divorced parties
• Interests arising by deeds of fictitious parties
• Community property issues
• False death certificates
These are just a few of the problems that could arise and this is why you need Title Insurance!
Property insurance will vary depending on a number of things. You will need to talk to a local insurance broker or agency and they will provide you with accurate information for you to move forward to insure your home. We work with a couple of great Insurance Companies and will be more than happy to refer you to them.
Property insurance includes coverage for fire hazards, hurricane coverage, etc. Something to remember is that some Florida policies will have a 2% hurricane deductible while others have a 5%. Choose the one with 2% because a 5% deductible can be a huge out-of-pocket expense. Property Insurance pricing will differ depending on several factors. When looking for home insurance, you will probably want to get 2-3 quotes. No single agency always has the best rates, as pricing tends to fluctuate. Condo buildings usually include partial coverage in your monthly homeowner’s fees. Their coverage is typically the exterior of the building, up to about the drywall. To insure the inside of the condo and your personal belongings request a quote for H0-6 coverage.
Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. This entire Gulf Florida area is quite low, and quite flat and because of this, flood insurance is required in most areas. Your Insurance Agent will be able to tell you what flood zone, if any, you are in. If flood insurance isn't required, you may not want to get it but just because it isn’t required, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it. In areas that don’t require flood insurance, it’s pretty cheap. In the event floodwaters damage a property your homeowners/hurricane policy will not cover it, so you really should think about it.
Click for sample rates:
Not all properties fall into the "Wind Pool" and a good Insurance Agent will be able to tell you if yours does. Wind mitigation inspections are saving Lee County home owners as much as 50 % on their homeowners premiums!
Wind Mitigation inspections look for construction features within a home that further protect against hurricane damage; features such as roof coverings, window and door protection, hurricane straps within roof to wall attachments and other components built towards storm stability. Over 90% of existing homes will qualify for some wind insurance discounts. Home Inspectors (and others) can do a wind mitigation inspection for a small fee that can greatly reduce insurance costs. We have a great Home Inspector who specializes in Wind Mitigation inspections.
As with anything you purchase using a Lender, there is a sometimes lengthy and detailed process you must go through to obtain the loan:
2. The Application
4. Credit Reports
5. Appraisal Basics
In an attempt to approve homebuyers for the type and amount of mortgage they want, mortgage companies look at two key factors. First, the borrower's ability to repay the loan and second, the borrower's willingness to repay the loan. Ability to repay the mortgage is verified by your current employment and total income. Generally speaking, mortgage companies prefer for you to have been employed at the same place for at least two years, or at least be in the same line of work for a few years. The borrower's willingness to repay is determined by examining how the property will be used. For instance, will you be living there or just renting it out? Willingness is also closely related to how you have fulfilled previous financial commitments, thus the emphasis on the Credit Report and/or your rental payment history.
You will complete a mortgage application with the help of your mortgage broker and provide all required documentation. The various fees and closing cost estimates will have been discussed and these costs will be verified by the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and a Truth-In-Lending Statement (TIL) which the borrower will receive within days of the submission of the application to the lender.
Once the application has been submitted, the Processor orders the Credit Report, Appraisal and Title Report. The information on the application, such as bank deposits and payment histories, are then verified. Any negative credit history, such as late payments, collections and/or judgments require a written explanation. The Processor examines the Appraisal and Title Report checking for property issues that may require further investigation. The entire mortgage package is then put together for submission to the Lender.
Knowledgeable mortgage professionals know there can be legitimate reasons for credit problems, such as unemployment, illness, or other financial difficulties. If you had problems that have been corrected (reestablishment of credit) and your payments have been on time for a year or more, your credit may be considered satisfactory.
A borrower with a score of 680 and above is considered an A+ borrower. A loan with this score will be put through an "automated basic computerized underwriting" system and be completed within minutes. Borrowers in this category qualify for the lowest interest rates and their loan can close in a couple of days. A score below 680 but above 620 may indicate underwriters will take a closer look in determining potential risk.
Using three common approaches, an Appraiser determines the opinion, or estimate of value. The COST APPROACH is the method that determines what it would cost to replace the existing improvements as of the date of the appraisal, less any physical deterioration. The COMPARISON APPROACH uses other "comparable" properties (comps) of similar size, quality and location that have recently sold to determine value. The INCOME APPROACH is used in the appraisal of rental properties and has little use in the valuation of single family dwellings. This approach provides an objective estimate of what a smart investor would pay based on the net income the property produces.
Once the processor has put together a complete package with all verifications and documentation, the file is sent to the lender. The underwriter is responsible for determining whether the package is deemed an acceptable loan. If more information is needed, the loan is put into "suspense" and the borrower is contacted to supply more information and/or documentation. If the loan is acceptable as submitted, the loan is put into an "approved" status.
Once the loan is approved, the file is transferred to the closing and funding department. The funding department notifies the broker and title company of the approval and verifies broker and closing fees. The title company then schedules a time for the borrower to sign the loan documentation.
At the closing the borrower should:
• Bring a cashiers check for your down payment and closing costs if required. Personal checks are NOT accepted.
• Review the final loan documents. Make sure that the interest rate and loan terms are what you agreed upon. Also, verify that the names and address on the loan documents are accurate.
• Sign the loan documents.
• Bring identification and proof of insurance.
After the documents are signed, the title company returns the documents to the lender who examines them and, if everything is in order, arranges for the funding of the loan. Once the loan has funded, the title company arranges for the mortgage note and deed of trust to be recorded at the county recorders office. Once the mortgage has been recorded, the title company then prints the final settlement costs on the HUD-1 Settlement Form. Final disbursements are then made.
SELLERS You need to remember that the Bank doesn't want your home! Rather than foreclose on your property, they would much rather have you stay in your home, take care of it and allow you to sell it through a Short Sale - that way, they have a better chance of getting some of their investment back. You will also need to remember that the Short Sale process will take a lot of time and patience. WE WILL contact and work with your Lender and you can avoid foreclosure by selling your home through a Short Sale. Once an offer is submitted to your Lender, the foreclosure process is put on hold. Depending on why you are behind in your mortgage payments, the Lender may or may not settle through a Short Sale, but WE WILL get that information for you so you so you can make the right decision.
A Short Sale is a form of agreement between you, the Seller and the Lender which would allow your home to be sold for less, or "short" of the existing outstanding loan balance. The Lender would accept less than the loan amount in order to avoid a foreclosure proceeding, which is extremely costly for them. Once the Buyer and the price offered is "approved", the Short Sale of the home can proceed and the Buyer would move forward with the purchase of the home just as in any conventional realty transaction. The most advantageous part for you, the Seller, is that the Lender pays almost all sales costs, including commissions, taxes and titles fees. Your credit is going to take a bit of a hit but that is much better than if you have a foreclosure. You will be several months behind on your mortgage payments and you will need to contact your Lender, but make sure you have the right information before you call. They will need your hardship information and financial details in order to submit your Short Sale request. Have these documents in front of you when you make your call!
• Financial Statement (Profit and Loss)
• Hardship letter (explanation as to why you are in this negative financial position)
• Paystub information (what you make every month)
• If self-employed give them an example of what you do and how much you average a month
Tell them you have contracted with "Gulf Florida Realty" to list your property in the MLS for sale.
Working with lenders to get your Short Sale approved is what we do every day. We know the importance of all of the information the Lender requires and get it into them at the very beginning. Honest and complete information is essential. We have learned that being prepared and maintaining a professional and courteous relationship with your Lender is critical to Short Sale approval. CALL us and we will get you started!
If you are an Investor OR a Home Buyer looking for a great deal, buying a Short Sale may be your answer. As the Buyer, you MUST have "Proof of Funds" (i.e., bank statement, showing you can cover the full amount of purchase) OR a "Pre-Approval Letter" from your Lender BEFORE you submit an offer on a Short Sale property. A Seller's Lender will REQUIRE that piece of documentation before they will even consider working your offer.
Many home Buyers have turned to Short Sales as the best way to buy Real Estate at a big discount. All you have to do is search the Internet to find hundreds of websites set-up to show potential Buyers how to buy Short Sales. However, it is not as easy as it looks on these websites. You will find yourself wondering why every property you are interested in is already sold and the websites are out-of-date. They never seem to tell you the whole story and you end up wasting a lot of time and energy. That's where we come in - we can find the right Short Sale for you!
Making offers on Short Sales are very different than straight sales - they are often PAINSTAKINGLY SLOW. If you are an Investor or a vacation home Buyer with PLENTY of patience, this shouldn't be a problem for you. If, however, you are buying a primary residence and need to move in 30 days or so, a Short Sale is not for you! The time constraints are due to the numerous levels of management in the whole review process. You can expect to wait a couple months before you here ANY response from them on an offer and in many cases over three months. We have had many files on our desk in the middle of the approval process that are two years old! Canadians are in a particularly GREAT position to buy Short Sales or foreclosures. Your dollar is almost par (or greater) now, you have a fantastic economy and your Banking system hasn't let you down. Financing in the United States may be more difficult for you, so you may want to apply for a mortgage or home equity line in Canada to ensure you can close on the property you choose. Cash works too!
Call us and we can get started to look for YOUR INCREDIBLE DEAL!
Foreclosed homes are often called "bank owned homes," as the home has been repossessed by the bank through the foreclosure process.
Sometimes foreclosures take longer to close and require additional paperwork. If homes are priced below market value, multiple offers are generally submitted and purchasing the foreclosure becomes more competitive. However, most times the Bank has put a number on the home of what they want for it and when you submit what they are asking, the process can be fairly quick. Banks will want to get rid of these properties as quickly as they can - they are in the business of lending money, not selling real estate. They’re not in the business of managing, marketing, and selling properties. Call us for your FREE FORECLOSURE LIST and let us help you find a fantastic deal on a Bank Owned property!
Buyer Inquiry Form:
At Gulf Florida Realty - we know you are anxious to find your "Piece of Paradise" and we are always here to help. We will need to know the kind of property you are looking for and will need some information about you and the type of property you want. We also understand that you may be in the early stages and aren't quite sure what kind of property you need or what is out there. We can help! Please fill out this Buyer Inquiry Form and be as specific as possible so we can get you the required information on what is on the market today.
Your Contact Information