How to buy real estate in Miami
Many people are dreaming to visit sunshine state of Florida, especially South Florida, mainly Miami - little paradise on Earth that's famous for beautiful beaches on the warm Atlantic Ocean, warm sun and green palm trees. It's the place with summer time all year round.
There are hundreds of different museums and art galleries here in Miami, botanical gardens, parks, one of the largest zoo, oceanarium, national park Everglades and lots of other places that are worth seeing. It's one of the most favorite places for all kinds of music events, concerts and art shows.
And don't forget about shopping! There are numerous mega malls and trade centers with all the brands and price ranges you can think of.
And you will never be hungry or thirsty in Miami. Food industry is widely represented by all nationalities - Italian, French, Caribbean, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, etc. There's huge amount of bars including roof top ones with breathtaking city views and other nightlife venues like discos, lounges, casinos.
Miami is also very popular place for giving birth and pregnant women thanks to mild climate and variety of medical professionals and hospitals.
Therefore, no wonder why the most of people who have ever come to Miami thought about coming back here.
Many tourists think about becoming Florida residents and want to find a place where to live. And the first question that comes to the mind is what to start with. How to find a proper house or a condo? What are the prices and purchasing procedure? How much is monthly maintenance, property tax and other expenses including hidden fees if there are any.
Buying real estate might seem to be very complicated and stressful. But it's only from the first sight. If you decide to buy a home in this little paradise the best idea is to ask for a professional help of a licensed real estate agent/ broker.
Here's step by step action plan:
1. How to choose real estate agent/ broker?
First of all let's figure out what's the difference between an agent and a broker. Agent is a general term of all the specialists working on real estate market. Agent is a contractor that works for a brokerage firm (agency). Agent has an independent license and personal access for real estate database. To make it simple we'll use a general term - agent.
It's very important to find a professional agent. We recommend to spend some time and to find a good agent for you. You should ask for an active real estate license that agent should have. Prior to that you can talk to an agent over the phone or meet him/her in person. Try to understand if you feel comfortable with this agent, if you trust him/her and if you are ready to let this person present your interest during the entire closing cycle.
It will be good to ask if the agent works independently or he/she has a team of professionals from related spheres like lawyers, insurance agents, inspectors, mortgage originators. If you don't speak fluent English, you can ask if the agent can provide an interpreter.
2. Financial side of the deal
If you are buying real estate for cash money, make sure the money are on the account. It would be a good idea to print a bank statement and be ready to show it to the agent as a proof of funds. You will need it before signing buyer brokerage agreement where broker's obligations and buyer's intention are written.
If you need a loan, you can try to take it in any American bank. You can choose a bank yourself or ask your agent to refer you to a professional mortgage broker who will offer you several banks with the best offers and bank programs in accordance with your financial situation. Bank will make a final decision about the amount of money it is ready to lend you depending on many factors such as your credit history, your debit card statements, your income, your tax return statements for the last two years. You will have to wait for bank's final decision about the amount of the mortgage - pre approval letter, before you can actually start looking for your variants.
3. Property search
When you found your real estate agent and got your bank pre approval letter with a possible amount of money you can lend from the bank, you can start searching for the house/apartment.
It's a good idea to start with a certain area you would like to live in. Tell your agent all important details that matter to you such as level of schools, shops, cafes, restaurants, fitness centers, galleries etc. If you have an opportunity walk or drive around the area/city/ district that seems nice to you. Write down the names of condominiums or addresses that you like the most. Try to imagine that you already live here. Your agent will make a list of properties by the detailed description of your dream home. You can choose the best from the list and the agent will schedule a visit for you where you can see these houses from the inside.
So, you have chosen the best variant and ready to start negotiating about the price. Before making an offer you should ask your agent about monthly maintenance fees and what's included in it, FPL bills, annual property tax and other hidden fees if there are any. Your agent will explain you that on your offer the seller might give you a counter offer. And if you agree on the price you can go to the next step.
5. Contracts and pre closing procedure
As soon as you agreed on the price you will be asked to put a deposit on the safe escrow account. Usually it's 3-5% from the selling price. At the same time you will sign a contract of sale where buyer is willing to buy and a seller is willing to sell specific real estate within certain period of time (usually within 30-60 days after signing the contract). During this period seller is moving out, making all the improvements you might have discussed and you as a buyer getting your mortgage ready, inspect the house (with a professional inspector) if you need, checking condo docs if you are buying an apartment.
On a certain day you close the deal. Seller's and buyer's and sometimes bank's lawyers, buyers and seller (sometimes) sign up a lot of documents transferring property from seller to the buyer.
Usually before closing the buyer walks through the house to make sure everything looks like as agreed before.
Be prepared that some expenses connected with the purchase can reach 2 to 5 percent from the selling price. Partially these expenses can be covered by the seller.
7. You are now a Miami real estate owner!
What's now? You are to decide. Many tourists or residents prefer to live in Miami during the winter season and rent out the house for the rest of the year. That allows them to cover monthly maintenance fee and property tax. Most of real estate agents provide property management services while you are away. Commission in this case is usually 10% from the rental price.
As you see nothing is impossible! And if you decided to purchase a house or have more questions about it, please, contact us.
Our real estate licensed team, lawyers, inspectors, mortgage brokers including multi languages speaking ones make sure the closing will go smoothly.
We offer all kinds of services for comfort buying/selling/short and long term renting process:
Finding a dream house for you in accordance with your desires and preferences
Providing lawyers, mortgage brokers, inspectors, insurance agents if needed
Accompanying on any stage of the deal
Multi language translations
We are also licensed to sell/buy business opportunities and turn key businesses in Miami area.
For investors we provide helping getting investor visa EB-5 that allows to get green card and therefore citizenship in the USA.
Miami is not far as it seems to be!