As an Insurance Agency owner, Florida Homeowner, and Father I have had my fair share of home buying experiences. Over the past eleven years as one of the top Homeowners Agencies in the state, we have helped thousands of clients with the purchase of their new home. There are several steps a home buyer must go through to get to the closing table. On expertise in this transaction primarily deals with the Home Insurance, and in many cases Flood Insurance as well.
Today we will touch on several key steps to ensure you have everything squared away prior to closing.
Steps to take before closing on a new home
- Negotiate an acceptable purchase price that works for both you and the seller. This is where an experienced Real Estate agent or broker can really help. Also the neighborhood is hugely important. Proximity to schools, grocery stores, church, parks, work, etc. These are the things you will be buying into as far as lifestyle.
- If you are not paying cash for the home, be prepared to get a mortgage. This can be a process. Make sure your credit is in good standing. After the financial crises a few years back, banks have become very strict on credit and it will affect your mortgage rates, good or bad, depending on your credit score.
- A home inspection is vital. You need to know what you are actually buying. Just because the home has pretty wood floors and a big back yard doesn’t mean it is a perfect home. You need to know what is on the inside so you do not have that surprise expense come out of nowhere. Some things to consider if the home is not brand new:- What is the age of the roof?
– When was the plumbing updated?
– What type of electrical panel does it have?
– What kind of wiring?
– Is the plumbing original or has it been replaced?Insurance carriers all have different underwriting guide lines, and one shoe does not necessarily fit all.
- How long do you think you will be in the home that you are purchasing? Let’s take for example you like the new sub division across town. I would ask how many homes are being built and about how many were sold in a year. If a community has 500 homes and sells about 50 per year you might be looking at a 10-year build out. If you plan on being there five years, then be prepared to compete with the builder/developer when you put your home on the market.
- Return on investment is key. You want to try and make sure the home is in a nice area and not a declining market. Also things like number of bedrooms are important for resale. Is there room for a home office if you work from home? Even if some of these needs are not directly important you they might be to the next owner.
- After all is said and done. Is this a home you and your family can relax and enjoy? After all the boxes are put away and you have repainted the interior and decorated it to your liking that is what it is all about.
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