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Are you buying real estate in Jupiter, Tequesta, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach or other areas in Northern Palm Beach County? This is for you.

 

 

Here are some home buying tools that are yours to download or print

 

 

What's different in Florida when buying real estate in Jupiter, Tequesta, Palm Beach Gardens, North Palm Beach and other areas?

 

  • In this market, there is generally no benefit to a buyer using the listing agent to make the purchase.  Listing agents do not as a rule reduce the buyer's side commission when they are also handling the transaction for the buyer.  Some listing agents will offer the seller a lower total commission when they are handling both the selling and buying sides of the transaction but again that does not result in a reduced price for the buyer as a rule.All Florida licensed agents who are members of the Multiple Listing Service can show all properties listed for sale in the MLS. You need to have mortgage pre-approval or proof of cash funds before looking at Palm Beach real estate to purchase.
  • A copy of the mortgage pre-approval letter or proof of funds should accompany your offer for the seller to take your offer seriously. 
  • You should expect to make a good faith deposit of at least 10% of the purchase price.  The $1,000 or so as a good faith deposit that is common in some other states, is not the norm in Palm Beach County.
  • Generally, in Palm Beach County the seller pays for the buyer's title insurance and the buyer pays for his/her lender's title insurance.  However, this is negotiable.
  • Some states have an attorney review as part of the standard contract.  That is not a standard contingency in Florida sales contracts.
  • We do not use a binder approach (which is what a real estate agent prepares in some states and an attorney prepares the contract) when making an offer.  The real estate agent prepares the offer and contract and any addenda.
  • Title companies, not attorneys, are the key player in getting the closing together.
  • A licensed real estate professional can show you any property in the Multiple Listing Service.  You are generally better off with your own agent rather than using the agent who listed the property on behalf of the owner.
  • The vast majority of the homes in Northern Palm Beach County Florida are controlled by either a condominium association or home owners' association.  The association must approve the sale and the title company will not close the purchase until it has that approval.
  • In Florida real estate contracts "time is of the essence".  That means that the deadlines are absolute dates.  For example, if the closing does not take place on the closing date that is in the contract, which ever party is the cause of missing the date is in breach of contract.    In some states the closing date and other dates are "guidelines" or hoped-for dates and there is no penalty for not making those dates.

In Florida when you are purchasing a condo, you will have a three day period after you receive the condo and condo association financials to cancel the contract.  This does not apply when you are purchasing a home or town home subject to a home owners' association. 

 

If I become a Florida Resident Home Owner, what taxes will I pay?

Here is a summary of Florida taxes prepared by the Florida Department of Revenue.

 

10 Questions to Ask the Condo Board Before You Make That Purchase

 

Before you buy, contact the condo board with the following questions. In the process, you'll learn how responsive --and organized -- its members are.

1. What percentage of units are owner-occupied? What percentage are tenant occupied? Generally, the higher the percentage of owner-occupied units, the more marketable the units will be at resale.

2. What covenants, bylaws, and restrictions govern the property? What grandfatherclauses are in place? You may find, for instance, that those who buy a property after a certain date can’t rent out their units, but buyers who bought earlier can. Ask for a copy of the bylaws to determine if you can live within them. And have an attorney review property docs, including the master deed, for you.

3. How much does the association keep in reserve? How is that money being invested?

4. Are association assessments keeping pace with the annual rate of inflation?  Smart boards raise assessments a certain percentage each year to build reserves to fund future repairs. To determine if the assessment is reasonable, compare the rate to others in the area.

5. What does and doesn’t the assessment cover—common area maintenance, recreational facilities, trash collection, snow removal?

6. What special assessments have been mandated in the past five years? How much was each owner responsible for? Some special assessments are unavoidable. But repeated, expensive assessments could be a red flag about the condition of the building or the board’s fiscal policy.

7. How much turnover occurs in the building?

8. Is the project in litigation? If the builders or homeowners are involved in a lawsuit,reserves can be depleted quickly.

9. Is the developer reputable? Find out what other projects the developer has builtand visit one if you can. Ask residents about their perceptions. Request an engineer’s report for developments that have been reconverted from other uses to determine what shape the building is in. If the roof, windows, and stucco aren’t in good repair, they become your problem once you buy.

10. Are multiple associations involved in the property? In very large developments, umbrella associations (often called POAs or Property Owners Association), as well as the smaller association into which you’re buying, may require separate assessments.