Whether you’re buying your first, second, or sixth home, you’re going to have questions. We’re here to help! Have a specific question? Contact us today!

What kind of loan is best for me?

This a common question, and one that is best answered by a loan officer. It is dependent on your particular situation and ownership goals. For more details, click HERE to get in touch with a local lender.

What is the difference between an appraisal and an inspection?

An appraisal tells you the current market value of the home you are purchasing, while a home inspection details how the home is currently functioning, on that given day. Appraisals are typically required by a lender, to ensure the mortgage is of an appropriate value. They help to keep home prices in check, and are especially important in a strong seller’s market. Home inspections are not required, though highly recommended. They are for your own knowledge and safety, to ensure you are making a good investment. In addition, the home inspection period gives you an opportunity to back out of the contract if you are unhappy with the report, or cannot agree with the seller in terms of repairs.

Who orders the appraisal?

The appraisal is ordered by the lender and is paid for by the buyer. This informs the buyer of the current market value of the property. Appraisals are typically required for any financing and are most important when it comes to VA and FHA loans.

Why get a home inspection?

While a home inspection can be costly upfront, it can save you tons in the long run! During the inspection period, which typically is 10 days in Northeast Florida, you and your binder are protected. If the buyer does not like what comes up in the inspection report, you can terminate the contract and have your binder returned to you.

There are many kinds of home inspections including: General, Wood Destroying Organisms (WDO), Septic, Chimney, Roof, Mold, Structural/Foundation, and more! Depending on the home you purchase, the team will advise you on what they recommend.

What is the difference between a CDD and an HOA? Are there any advantages or disadvantages of either?

Generally, Community Development Districts (CDDs) and Homeowners Associations (HOAs) cover maintenance of common grounds and amenities.

A CDD is a bond that is taken out by the developer when beginning the community. This bond pays for infrastructure and amenities to be installed. It is paid off over a period of 30 years, and will drop off once paid in full. However, there is a maintenance portion, which will be paid indefinitely. The biggest difference between an HOA and CDD is that the CDD is paid with your non-Ad Valorem taxes and is paid in advance. Having a CDD does not mean you will not have an HOA, though HOAs are typically less expensive if in a CDD community.

HOAs can be paid monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually depending on the structure of that community. Dues typically cover common area landscaping, maintenance, amenities, trash pick-up, and other items. If buying a home in an HOA community, be sure to ask what is covered by the HOA. In addition, HOAs may have stricter guidelines on what you can or cannot do to your home and yard. Paint colors and architectural styles are restricted in order to keep a cohesive look.

What are closing costs and how much should I expect to pay?

Closing costs differ from area to area and contract to contract. In general, they will run you about 2%-3% of the purchase price of the home and are paid at closing. This payment covers mortgage-related items, broker fees, recording fees, title insurance, and more.

If you’re ready to buy but don’t have the cash on hand for the down payment and closing costs, CONTACT US and we can discuss your options.

How much do I need to pay my real estate agent as a buyer?

Nothing! In our area, the seller typically pays the listing and buyerss agents. This is included in their closing costs. The beauty of buying a home in Northeast Florida is that you can work with a licensed professional at NO cost to you.

What is the difference between closing with an attorney vs a title company?

Closing with an attorney can have extra benefits that a title clerk legally cannot offer. An attorney will typically not charge extra for legal advice if and when it is needed, if that attorney is handling the closing. Additionally, attorneys are able to prepare legal documents that may be necessary in order to close. However, closing with the title company can make for a smoother process if there is a last-minute clearance regarding a title issue.

What is a home warranty and what are the benefits?

A home warranty covers major appliances, HVAC, water heater, electrical, and plumbing when it comes to everyday wear and tear. It is optional but recommended, whereas homeowner's insurance may be required by your lender. A home warranty can cover the cost of appliance/system repairs and replacements. In the long run, it can lower the overall cost of homeownership.

Buying new construction? Most builders will include some kind of a structural warranty; if unsure, ask your builder.