After spending time seeing what seems like an endless number of homes, you have now gotten a property under contract! Congratulations, you will now be the owner of a new home soon, right? Well, not so fast. The reality is that getting a property under contract is only one of many steps required when buying a house. In fact, the more knowledgeable you are about the most common issues when buying a house, the better. As a reminder, it is crucial to have a knowledgeable real estate team on your side. This team should include a real estate agent, real estate attorney/closing agent, and a home inspector. Depending on the age of the house that you are buying, you may want to also hire other specialized contractors such as a roofer, plumber, or electrician as well.
Property related issues
- Discrepancies with the tax collector’s field card: It is a good idea to confirm that the tax collector’s field card accurately reflects the property’s lot acreage, livable square footage in the house, and all structures on the property. Comparing this information to the property survey will be beneficial here.
- Open permits on the property: Many people do not realize that oftentimes homes being purchased still have open permits from prior work. As a home buyer, it is important that you discover these open permits prior to closing. Once there is a change in ownership for the property, these open permits become the responsibility of the new homeowner. If work was completed at the home without a permit, you may want to consider an after-the-fact permit.
- Determine the flood zone of the property: When buying a house, the property’s flood zone can greatly impact your insurance needs and costs. It is always a wise idea to determine the property’s flood zone.
- Determine the age of the roof: Given the amount of roofing claim scams and other fraud, many insurance providers will not insure a home with a roof older than 15 years or so. This can lead to significant challenges for home buyers. Ultimately, this can derail a home purchase.
When buying a house, there are many potential pitfalls that can quickly derail a contract. The issues referenced above are commonly overlooked issues. Of course, you also have various hurdles to get through during the home inspection. For common stumbling blocks during a home inspection, check out our previous article titled “Potential Deal Killers When Selling A Home”. As always, whether you are a home seller or buyer, you can never be too prepared for the unexpected. Proper preparation and attention to detail will give you the best chance for closing on a property in a timely manner with all parties happy.
Are you looking to buy or sell property in South Florida? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, be sure to download our free Florida Home Search app for your mobile device.