Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor Blog

6 Ways a Home Purchase can Fall Through

There can be a lot of excitement when purchasing a home as you are envisioning your new life in this property, but it is important to keep your emotions at bay while you stay on track with the steps of the sale. Home purchases can and do in fact fall through at times and according to the National Association of Realtors, 1 in 16 deals do not close. Why do these deals falling apart? Here are some of the top reasons so that you can avoid them.

Changes in credit
Your credit can fluctuate throughout the course of a deal. Things like a missed payment, opening up a new credit card, making a large purchase all can have an affect on your credit score. Make sure you are making your payments on time and avoid making any large purchases so you don’t jeopardize your eligibility for a mortgage.

Home Inspection
A home inspection is always a wise thing to do. Keep in mind that no property is perfect and most will have something come up even if it is relatively minor. Try to keep things in perspective if there are necessary repairs. For more significant issues, you may try negotiating with the sellers to see if they will work with you on the issue.

Failure to get pre-approved
Every buyer should connect with a reputable mortgage agent before they even begin their home search. Only a mortgage agent will be able to provide you with a pre-approval letter that lists the amount that you can afford. This letter is also helpful to accompany offers so that sellers know they are working with a qualified buyer.

Running out of funds
Your downpayment is not the only thing that you will need to have cash for. In addition, there are miscellaneous moving expenses, potential repairs and closing costs at the very least. Your mortgage broker can provide you with a good faith estimate for what you will need regarding monies that are directly related to the deal.

Loss of perspective
Sometimes even the smallest things can get blown out of proportion. Keeping in constant communication with everyone can help avoid many of these potential issues. Don’t lose sight of the big picture as well as sometimes the smaller issues really don’t matter so much in the end.

Cold feet
Buyers many times get emotional and excited during the home search and offer process. Once the inspection report is complete and is followed by paperwork and writing checks the purchase becomes a true reality. In the end, homeownership is worth it as you build equity in the home that you will begin making new memories in.

The Fort Lauderdale Boom

The city of Fort Lauderdale was once well known for being a popular vacation and spring break destination for many. However, today the landscape is changing with more and more people relocating to officially call it a permanent home.

Home prices continue to rise with low inventory with the swelling population as part of the equation. According to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Realtors Association, single family homes listed for sale in particular have declined by 7.2% between January of 2016 and January of 2017. Multifamilies also declined but by a more modest 2.9% for the same time frame.

Fort Lauderdale attracts many people for different reasons. Some find Florida’s west coast a bit too slow, while others find cities like Miami a bit too much. Fort Lauderdale offers the right pace with much to offer. Among the best parts is the boating lifestyle. There are many marinas, homes with deep water frontage and plenty of coastline to travel.

Companies who are based here include AutoNation, Hotwire Communications and Citrix Systems. These companies benefit from a diverse pool of labor, a great location for domestic and international markets as well as favorable tax incentives. Recently the Canadian pharmaceutical company, Apotex, shared that they would be opening a development center and packaging facility in nearby Miramar. Other firms such as Magic Leap, a virtual reality startup are also expanding here which is drawing more people to the area. In fact, Fort Lauderdale’s population in 2016 was just over 180,000 and is forecast to increase to nearly 195,000 in the next 4 years by 2021 according to the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance.

For those who see the value in Fort Lauderdale, it can be a great find. By comparison, it is less expensive than Miami which is just a half an hour south. Many developments are being erected, especially on the higher end of the market to cater to the draw of buyers looking for luxury and turnkey housing. To accommodate the population increase, Mass transit will also be enhanced with the new Brightline express train service running between Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm launching this summer. Service to Orlando will also be expanded in the next few years making mobility very easy between the major cities.

The continued interest and widespread investment in infrastructure shows that Fort Lauderdale is certainly a hot spot on the rise.

New Buildings Reshape Fort Lauderdale’s Skyline

New buildings are springing up in the Fort Lauderdale area and the city’s skyline is taking on a new landscape. Take a look at the various parts of the city and you will notice that cranes have been a part of the views as many new construction projects are flourishing across town.

One of the most significant developments is named 100 Las Olas and it is scheduled to be the tallest tower in Fort Lauderdale at nearly 500 feet.

“Fort Lauderdale is coming into a transformation from the retail standpoint and of course, a residential standpoint,” Peggy Fucci, a real estate strategist, said.

Jack Seiler, Fort Lauderdale Mayor, was recently attending the groundbreaking ceremony for the tower. The development is slated to include a hotel, over 120 residential units as well as 8,500 square feet of retail space. “We’re trying to create a very walkable, livable, 24/7 live, work, play downtown and I think these buildings are helping to deliver that,” Seiler said.

Down the street to the east you will find the next prominent building amidst the changing skyline. Las Olas Condominium Tower is located next to the Federal Highway Tunnel and best of all is conveniently just steps from countless restaurants and shops. An ideal setting where you can access endless entertainment options outside your door without needing to use your car.

Another new project is Gale Residences, Fort Lauderdale Beach. This development is currently in the works and is scheduled for completion in 2018. Perks of this residential tower include nearly 130 units with views of both the beach as well as the intracoastal.

“We’re not trying to be any other city, we’re just trying to be the best city we can be,” Seiler said.

Finding The Perfect Home Within Your Budget

As your real estate expert, I know that it can be difficult to find the home of your dreams while staying within the confines of your budget. However, sticking to your budget while working in some strategies can help you find the right home that fits your needs. Here are some tips on how to go about house hunting efficiently.

Identify your budget
Put time aside to sit down and record your monthly income less your expenses using some real number calculations. Factor in whether you are purchasing this property on your own or with a spouse or partner. It is a wise idea to give yourself a monthly padding between your income and expenses so that you are not financially stressed.

Hire an experienced real estate agent
Working with a professional and experienced real estate agent with years of expertise will help you search for potential properties using your criteria of budget, location, size and needs. A good agent will be able to find these more efficiently while giving you with advice. I can assist you locally, but if you are looking in other areas allow me to connect you with a professional in the location of interest.

Picking a Location
It is always best to focus on a location that you know well. This could be a neighborhood that you grew up in, visited often or is highly regarded by most as a hot spot. Select an area that you know has the amenities that you need like local services or the right school system. A location that has possibilities for growth or has a highly rated school system can be a great investment for when it comes time to sell.

Declutter your home
Rid your home of any unnecessary items or clutter as you prepare to move. Don’t pack or pay movers to relocate items that you really don’t need. Also, these items may take up valuable storage space in your new home that could be better used. Contemplate having a yard sale or even donating items to charity and reap the benefits of the tax deduction.

First Time Buyer’s Checklist

As your real estate specialist, I know that it is a big step to decide to buy your first home. Now you need to be sure you go about all of the proper steps so that you are best prepared. To help guide you through the necessary protocol, here is a list to consider as you begin.

Consult a real estate agent
Don’t begin doing your research yourself and all alone. Consult a real estate agent as you begin the process of asking questions, learning about the buying process or selecting a location. I can be of assistance locally, but if you are looking in other areas allow me to connect you with an agent.

Speak with a mortgage agent
Many times real estate agents can put you in touch with a mortgage agent or two that are known as being reputable in the area in which you are searching. At first you will need to consult with a mortgage agent to get a pre-approval so that you know exactly how much you can afford in regards to a price point of a home. This will dictate what and where you will begin looking for homes. Once you submit an offer and begin a deal, you will need to follow up with the loan process and provide supporting paperwork like tax returns, income stubs and the like.

Improve your credit
A mortgage lender is going to pull a credit report for you which will alert you of your score. If your credit is not perfect, you may need to take some steps to improve it. There could be some basic things to do in which your lender may be able to advise. If your credit needs more work to repair it, there are programs that you can enroll in that assist in credit repair.

Locate a location
Once you know what you can afford from a lender, then you can figure out where you want to buy. Each area offers different price ranges and amenities. Consider what your needs are for a home and where you can afford that. Also, take into account your lifestyle. Where do you work, what do you like to do in your free time? Select an area where you are close to these and won’t be spending most of your time in the car.

Preserve your credit
Having strong and consistent credit during the home buying process is very important. During this time of home searching through the closing it is key to keep from altering your credit. This means refrain from any additional debt like a car loan or opening new credit cards. Be sure to make all of your payments in a timely fashion as well to avoid worsening your score.

Top House Hunting Red Flags All Buyers Should Know

It goes without saying that the purchase of a home is one of the largest transactions that you will make in your life. As the stakes are high, it is important that you are best prepared and are considering more than the home’s aesthetics and room count as you proceed with making a deal. Here are some great tips to follow as you are searching for your next home.

Check for Proper Ventilation
Homes that don’t have proper ventilation can be problematic. If moisture is not allowed to evaporate then it can lead to damage for your roof, walls and structural elements.

Rotten Wood
Wood that has been exposed to moisture will eventually rot over time. Common problematic areas in homes include the kitchen and bathrooms as they have plumbing. While inspecting the home, don’t forget to also check the exterior as well.

Appliance Maintenance
Inspect the major appliances that are in the home. Is the dryer lint trap dirty? Is the HVAC filter clean and has been recently replaced? These are good signs of regular maintenance.

Amateur Repairs
Check for the overall quality of the home. If an owner has been in the home a long time, often times there could be repairs that were made by the owner themselves that may not be up to code or done properly. These can sometimes lead to problems down the road.

HVAC Systems
OIder systems or ones in need of servicing can be less efficient and lead to higher energy costs. Find out the age of systems and if there has been any maintenance done on them.

Hazardous Materials
Older homes may have materials that are now deemed as hazardous. These include lead-based paint and asbestos. Other items you may want to check for include radon, mold or higher level of carbon monoxide.

Plumbing
Check under the sinks for proper drainage. Any dripping faucets or slow leaks can wreak havoc over time with regards to your home’s structure.

Electrical
Older electrical service in your home can cause often trips or a fire in the worst case. Check for any ungrounded outlets, lack of GFI outlets, older wiring and circuit panels.

Loose or Damaged Hand Rails
With exposure to the elements, railings can become loose or go missing. Inspect the home’s porch, decking and stairs to be sure they are safe and up to code.

Roof
An older roof can sometimes have missing shingles or worn flashing. Be sure there are no leaks as that can add to additional costly problems.

Storm Damage
All areas experience their harsh weather at times. Check to see if there are signs of damage from a past storm including roof, windows and doors.