Fort Lauderdale is known for its lovely beaches, exciting nightlife, and iconic inlets. It has 300 miles of inland waterways, earning it the nickname, “Venice of America.” Diversity is celebrated here as it offers a rich cultural tapestry and an exciting coastal lifestyle. If you’re interested in purchasing a home in this beautiful city, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
- GET A PRE-APPROVAL OR PROOF OF FUNDS
A pre-approval is crucial if you’re taking out a loan to finance your home purchase. A lender will ask for financial information such as proof of income, employment, assets, bank statements, and tax returns and use these as their basis for your pre-approval. FMeanwhile, if you’re paying in cash, obtain proof of funds from the bank. This step will help determine the price range of homes that fits your budget.
- FIND A REAL ESTATE AGENT
While it’s only optional to get a Realtor to help you in your home-buying journey, having them as an able guide could take out the stress from this endeavor. Apart from finding you homes for sale in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that fit your goals and lifestyle, they also have a network of colleagues who can show you some unlisted properties for sale. Most importantly, their guidance helps you to avoid making costly mistakes and delays in the process.
- KNOW YOUR GOALS
Ask yourself why you need to buy a home in Fort Lauderdale. Do you plan to move here and take advantage of everything the area offers on a daily basis? Or are you making this a future place to live in upon retirement? Or perhaps you want to use this home as a source of passive income and turn it into a rental. These real estate goals will dictate the budget you’ll need, the property type, and even its location. Make sure to share these goals with your Realtor so that they could become more focused on finding you the property that will fit into your plans.
- MAKE AN OFFER
Once you’ve found a property to your liking, it’s time to make an offer to the home seller who, in turn, could accept, reject, or make a counteroffer. Negotiations can be short or long-winded, depending on many factors like the market climate, the need for repairs on the house, or the seller’s desire to close the deal quickly, among many others. Throughout this mentally and emotionally charged task, you can rely on your Realtor to have your best interests in mind as they face the seller and their listing agent on your behalf.
- INSPECT BEFORE BUYING
Another optional but recommended part of the home-buying process, the home inspection is a vital task that has to be done to find out if the home you’re buying is, indeed, worth its negotiated price. Upon hiring a professional inspector, this expert will check for all major and minor structural issues and then put together these findings in an assessment report. This report could be a basis for further negotiations or your best reason for walking out of a deal if the estimated repairs are too much for you to handle.
- APPLY FOR A MORTGAGE
If this is the financing option you choose, best to check out several lenders and see what terms they could give you based on an assessment of your financial standing and credit score. But if you opt to pay in cold hard cash, you can skip this section and fast-forward to the next item in the process.
- CLOSE THE DEAL
After a settlement has been made in the negotiations and the mode of financing is set, you move on to all the nitty-gritty of closing the deal. This involves doing a final walkthrough inspection, paying for the closing costs, gathering the needed documentation, and signing the contract. Closing costs vary depending on the parties involved during the entire process but typically range from 2% to 5% of the home price. Examples of these costs are title insurance fees, escrow, government filing fees, and real estate agent commissions. These costs should be listed on your HUD-1 settlement form prior to finalizing the purchase.
- RECEIVE THE KEYS TO YOUR NEW HOME
Congratulations, you are now a proud owner of a Fort Lauderdale home!