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Things to consider when buying a home

Although Florida residents may be eager to purchase a home, experts say there are certain things that should considered prior to making an offer. One of the more basic instruments used in Florida real estate transactions is the purchase and sale agreement which specifies the price agreed upon and outlines the terms of the transaction. The buyer should read it carefully and make sure that each section is thoroughly understood.

Equally as important as the price is an accurate description of the property to be conveyed. The agreement should specify the exact location of the property and include identifying information such as a parcel number. The agreement should list all property included in the sale, such as appliances, and all personal property such as window treatments. It should be specific as to when the sale is to take place and what payments are due prior to and at the closing.

Most residential real estate buyers will want to request a marketable title and ask the seller to furnish a warranty deed. If a portion of the transaction is being financed, the lender will likely require title insurance, and the agreement should specify who is responsible for its cost. The agreement should also describe the buyer's intentions for financing the transaction and make the agreement contingent on obtaining satisfactory financing if that is the desire of the buyer. The agreement should also specify who will pay the closing costs.

For most Florida residents, the purchase of a home will be the largest single investment they will ever make. Because the process requires the execution of legal documents, many buyers will find comfort in using the services of an attorney with experience in real estate transactions.

Source: The Florida Bar, "Buying A Home Pamphlet", August 18, 2014

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