FAQs

Q?

What Should I Know About Buying A Foreclosed Property?

A.

Before Buying a Foreclosed Property, Learn the Finances of the deal and Know the Facts

Many potential homeowners consider buying foreclosed properties.  While purchasing one of these homes may seem like a sound investment and a great way to get more house for your dollar, there are some issues to consider before purchasing a foreclosed property.  Depending on your financial situation, your experience as a homeowner, and your access to information about the foreclosure market in your area, there are some risks involved.

Finances Of Foreclosure

The financial considerations of purchasing a foreclosed home can sometimes be overlooked.  Often foreclosed homes can be in need of considerable maintenance and repair to make them habitable.  You need to know this cost when making the purchase, or you may end up with a considerable amount of debt in bringing your home back to its original shape.  Also, even though the price of the property is right, there are other financial considerations you may not have considered.  The cost of maintaining a home, property taxes, and utilities are all expenses that may be greater than your budget will allow, especially if you are purchasing a home that is much larger than your existing home or if you are unfamiliar with the costs associated with home ownership.  There is also the consideration of your ability to pay for the purchase.  Often foreclosed properties must be paid for in cash, so be sure you have the available credit.

Knowing The Facts

The process of purchasing a foreclosed home can be much more time consuming and complicated than a normal real estate transaction.  If the sale is occurring because an eviction notice has been served or if you are purchasing the property at auction, you may not be able to inspect the house before purchasing it or you may have to deal with some issues to get the current homeowners out.  There is also the issue of not knowing the condition in which they have left the home.  You will want to be sure you get the advice of both a real estate agent and a banker to ensure that your purchase is both a good investment and will increase in value over time.

Overall, purchasing a foreclosed home can be a great way to enter the income property market or find yourself a great investment opportunity, but being sure you have all the facts can prevent you from making a poor investment decision.

 

Q?

What Can A REALTOR® Do For Me As A Buyer?

A.

A "Buyer's Agent" Performs These Five Services

When we think of selling a home, the services a REALTOR® can provide usually seem worth the cost of their commission, but what about as a buyer?  What can a REALTOR® do for you as a home buyer, and is the commission worth the services they can provide?  Here are five great reasons you should hire a REALTOR® when you are in the market for a new home!

REALTORS® Can Help You Determine Your Budget - With a few simple pieces of information, a REALTOR® can help you pre-determine what kind of budget you may be looking at for your new home, and can match you with potential lenders that are right for you.

REALTORS® Have Access To Resources You Don't - While a lot of real estate listings are available online, there are still resources and listings that are only available through a REALTOR®.  If you are looking for something very specific, having their insider knowledge may be crucial to finding that perfect home.

REALTORS® Can Read Between The Lines Of Listings - There are a lot of catchy phrases that often appear in home listings, and your agent can tell you what they really mean.

REALTORS® Increase Your Negotiating Power - A REALTOR® cannot only increase your ability to negotiate things like price, they can also give you advice on things like contingency contracts and required paperwork.

A REALTOR® Can Help You Navigate Through The Closing Process - The closing process can be a complicated process, and a REALTOR® can make sure all the details are addressed and that you are making a good financial investment.

Purchasing a home is a huge financial investment, and having a professional REALTOR® looking after your interests through the process is important.

Rick Houston, with RE/MAX Aerospace Realty, is an experienced "Buyer's Agent"  REALTOR® specializing in helping potential owners of waterfront property in Brevard County find the perfect place to enjoy the Florida lifestyle.

 

 

Q?

What Do I Need To Know About Homeowner’s Associations?

A.

You Will Need to Learn About The Board, Budget, Rules and More

As you begin looking for a home to purchase, you will start to come across houses that have a homeowner's association.  This is an association made up of the people who own homes in the area, created to help maintain certain standards in the community.  They set rules and regulations for all kinds of things, from the color you can paint your house to the time you need to turn down the stereo in your backyard.

Brevard County Florida is full of oceanfront and riverfront condo buildings all with their very own HOCA or "Home Owner Condo Associations".  As a potential buyer you need to ensure you learn more about Condo Dues, Condo Boards, Condo Docs, etc.  Click on this link to Learn About HOA Terms & Definitions Here.

You will need to decide whether or not you want to live in a neighborhood with an existing homeowner's association or whether you would rather avoid them.  This is, of course, a personal choice, but you should know what homeowner's associations are all about before you make the call.

Why A Homeowner's Association?

If you have ever had neighbors who were incredibly loud, let their house get run-down, behaved inappropriately, or any of the long list of things that can make life unpleasant and bring down the value of your home, you know why a homeowner's association can be helpful.  With rules for conduct among neighbors clearly set out, you can be confident that your home's value won't be brought down by a pile of old appliances in the neighbor's yard.

You can also avoid nasty confrontations with your neighbors by simply taking grievances before the homeowner's association board and letting them handle any rule violations.

Homeowner's associations also often take care of shared areas in the neighborhood, keeping them available for the use of the families in the association.  This many include a park or a pool.

The Cost Of An Association

Every homeowner's association collects dues monthly or yearly from the people who live in the neighborhood.  This money goes toward running the association and taking care of the shared spaces.  You will be informed of this amount before you buy, and should factor it into your monthly budget.

There is another cost to belonging to a homeowner's association, and that is a little bit of your freedom.  When you live in an association area, you will have to abide by the rules as well, even if you think they are silly.  You do, however, have the option of petitioning the homeowner's association to change any rule you don't agree with.  But if you lose, you will have to live with it.

There are both good and bad sides to having a homeowner's association.  For those who prefer living in a more controlled environment, they are a great choice.  For those who want to be free to do as they want on their property, the constraints might not be appreciated.

Read reviews of Home Owner Associations and Condo Associations here.

 

 

Q?

What is an Earnest Money Deposit?

A.

An Earnest Money Deposit is Utilized to Secure a Real Estate Contract

An earnest money deposit, also known as a good faith deposit, is a specific dollar amount that a potential buyer pays to the seller in an effort to display their serious interest in a property.  It's important to note that an earnest money deposit is not the same as a down payment.

The Purpose Of An Earnest Money Deposit

An earnest money deposit is used to secure a purchase contract, which means the buyer doesn't have to worry about the property being sold out from underneath them.  Without an agreement, the seller would be free to sell the home at anytime.  An earnest money deposit, however, secures the availability of the home as the potential buyer obtains an inspection, appraisal and financing for the purchase.

How Much Good Faith Is Enough

So, just how much of an earnest money deposit is required?  Truthfully, it depends on a number of factors, including the home's purchase price, your location and the standard as set by other sellers.  In most cases, the earnest money deposit is negotiable and the seller will be happy in knowing that the potential buyer is serious enough to offer their money in good faith.

How An Earnest Money Deposit Is Used

If the transaction is successful and the buyer follows through with the purchase, an earnest money deposit is most commonly refunded to the buyer or applied to closing costs.  If the buyer defaults or is unable to obtain financing, the seller often has the discretion to retain the earnest money deposit as damages or as otherwise described in the purchase agreement.

Using Your Dollars And Sense

When it comes to an earnest money deposit, it's essential that buyers know who should receive the money and how to handle the payment.  In most cases, the deposit should be made payable and presented to a licensed real estate broker, an attorney or escrow company.  Your REALTOR® can assist in getting your earnest money deposit into the right hands.  It's important to obtain a receipt, which should clearly outline the purpose of the deposit.  The funds will be handled in accordance with the purchase agreement and/or as agreed upon by both the buyer and seller.

Before handing over a good faith deposit, make sure that you have faith in the person accepting your money.  Potential buyers should not give an earnest money deposit directly to the seller, nor should they give it to anyone who claims to be with a brokerage firm unless their credentials are verified.

 

 

Q?

What Do I Need to Know About Buying a Home Long Distance?

A.

Everything Can Be Handled Electronically with a Notary

The process of purchasing a home can be a complicated and stressful experience, but if you have to purchase a new home in another city the experience can become even more complicated.  Whether you are relocating for a job, retiring to a dream location, or are just looking for a change, purchasing a home long distance has a whole separate to-do list on top of the already long list of things that need to be done to purchase a new home.  Here are some tips to make purchasing a home long distance a little easier, and still get the home of your dreams!

The Internet Is A Powerful Tool!

The internet is a powerful research tool for learning more about virtually any topic, and purchasing a home is no exception.  From finding a REALTOR® to searching properties, the internet is a great aid in finding a home.  It is also a great resource for finding information about potential lenders, home inspectors, and all the other extras involved in buying a home.  Though the internet is a great resource in the real estate market, like any information you find online, it is always important to be sure it is coming from a reputable source.  Finding Web sites that are run by professional REALTORS® or real estate organizations is your best bet for reliable information.

Hire A Local REALTOR®

Your best approach is to be sure you have an agent in your prospective area on your team early on.  They can certainly direct you to some great online resources and help you determine which are accurate and up-to-date.  They are also a great resource for finding out which neighborhoods would be a good fit for you and your family, and the local amenities that are available to you.

In general, buying a home long distance can have its obstacles, but with a little research on your part and the help of a professional REALTOR®, you can make the transition to both a new home and a new city easier and stress free.