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Key West Real-Estate - Buyer Resources

Buying Property

I know that Buying a Home for the first time can be overwhelming… I felt the same way.
The first and most important thing would be that you like the property - that you can see yourself living in it or renting it out… mainly that you can see yourself owning it. From there it’s just a process. If you feel this way then you're ready to go. I will be happy to guide you through the process… step by step.

The next step would be deciding how much you're going to offer on the property and getting a Pre-Approval letter for the "Offer Amount" from your lender to show the seller that your lender is willing to work on giving you a loan for that amount. To qualify you, your lender will normally require last two (2) years Taxes, Credit Report, and your current Income and Expenses. The lender is looking to find your Debt-to-Income Ratio - Any DTI less than 36 percent is considered workable by most mortgage professionals. If the DTI is higher than 36 percent, it can be difficult to qualify for a mortgage. The lower your DTI, the more you can borrow and the more options you'll have. A DTI of 20 percent or below is considered excellent.

At this point you would make an offer to the Seller - sign a Contract and send it to the Seller for approval and include a Pre-Approval Letter from your lender for the Offer Amount. If approved and signed by Seller you would notify your lender and let the lender start the process of qualifying you for the loan. You would also notify your Closing Agent and Title Company who would verify that your property has a Clean Title. If there are Liens (Lien = a right to keep possession of property belonging to another person until a debt owed by that person is discharged.) you would let the Seller know in order for the Seller to remove the Liens prior to Closing Date. In addition, if required by the Contract, you may have to provide a Deposit. The Deposit would be sent to the Closing Agent and put in Escrow.

Your lender will require official documentation to verify that the property value is equal to the Loan Amount or exceeds it - An Appraisal. In addition, in order to verify the current state of the property the lender may require that the property is inspected. Normally a Four (4) Point Inspection is required: Electric, Plumbing, Air Ventilation (A/C), and Roof. The lender will also require Insurance Quotes. The quotes may include Wind, Flood, and Homeowners Insurance. You may conduct additional inspections if you wish: Mold, Termite...etc.

Upon your Closing Date your lender must have approved your loan, your insurance company notified and ready for closing, your Title Company verified the current Title as a Clear Title and Included Title Insurance, and your Closing Agent notified of all the above and ready with all the Documentation and Contracts for signing by the Buyer and Seller.

Closing Date - Buyer and Seller Sign the Contract. Closing Agent will handle all the funds and route them accordingly, contact Title Company, Insurance Company, and Lender... and you... the Buyer gets the Keys to your property. :-)

Realtor - Will search and show you Properties. Will help and coordinate Closing - Cost to Seller is normally 3% Commission of Sale Price.

Lender - Will provide you with a loan to purchase property. There are many different Lenders and Loan Types. It is very Important you make the right decision.

Closing Agent - Will hold the Escrow Funds and handle the Closing. Will be communicating with Buyer, Seller, Lender, Title Company, and handle all the documentation.

Title Company - Make sure the Property has a Clean Title (No Liens or Funds Owed) and provide you with Title Insurance.

Important Math

Four (4) Point Inspection

  • Electric
  • Plumbing
  • Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning
  • Roof

Appraisal - Official Home Value (Required by Lender for Loan Amount)

Survey - Land Boundary & Elevation Certificate (Required for Insurance)

Mitigation Inspection - May lower your Insurance conciderably!

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