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Fort Lauderdale Real Estate | 5 Errors Home Buyers Should Avoid

New Condominium in Wilton Manors Fort Lauderdale Single Family Home
Buying in South Florida

5 Errors Home Buyers Should Avoid

Posted by Frank Vigliotti, REALTOR®, CDPE, PA on November 6, 2012


Located in Fort Lauderdale, Wilton Manors, Plantation and Hillsboro Shores in Broward County Florida, the Henri Frank Group at Remax Preferred continue to counsel their clients, who are buying single family homes in South Florida, buying condominiums, buying townhomes and multifamily properties in South Florida, to avoid the same errors buyers continue to make over and over again. “As reeal estate professionals we consult our buyers and sellers to avoid making these mistakes,” commented Henri Vezie, group leader and co-founder of the Fort Lauderdale based REALTORS® group.


[1] Unrealistic time tables: With a regular sale, “buyers financing the property must be preapproved and then it’s pretty much straightforward, you can probably close escrow on the South Florida property in 30 days, but 45 is more common,” according to Lynn Whitefall, Mortage Originator and Branch Manager of GoldStar Financial of South Florida, an Ann Arbor Michigan based lender. But she advises home buyers to prepare for 45-days. The lenders are not only busy with new mortgages, but with the current HARP program and other refinancing options for homeowners in South Florida, the underwriters workload is at its peak levels. A typical Fort Lauderdale foreclosure property or Wilton Manors foreclosure single family home, they may encounter lien and title issues that could cause delays stretching that to 60 to 75 days, even up to 90 days. And for South Florida short sales, although the lenders are committed to making the process quicker, for you the timeframe will greatly depend on whether the lenders have already agreed to it, has approved a preset price and prepared all the necessary short sale documents, but it could take anywhere from 45 days to even up to nine months. So be sure to listen to your Realtor and be realistic so that you avoid disappointment and frustration.


[2] Ignorance with financing: Know the mortgage process, understand the mortgage process and be confident in making your decision about the financing of your new home. Too often, home buyers rely on the lender to assume the information they are giving them is accurate and correct. Learn the terminology, and know what questions to ask in shopping around for the best mortgage rate. Be sure to get at least two quotes from two different lenders.  Be upfront and honest with your mortgage originator, and before meeting with them, be sure you clearly understand what it is they are going to do for you. And get preapproved before you even start the process of buying a home. The Henri Frank Group at Remax insists the South Florida buyers they work with and are financing have a bon-a-fide preapproval in hand by a reputable mortgage lender.


[3] “Trash talking” when negotiating: You don’t like the color of the exterior of the home? Don’t make that the reason why you want to offer $10,000 or even $20,000 less that the listed price. “For example,  a home is painted pink and the buyer insists it needs to be repainted, they could risk jeopardizing negotiations.  Instead, Vezie suggests that when presenting an offer to a seller, buyers should stress what they like about the home. “Don’t make it adversarial,” he says. A price reduction may be in order and reflected in making an offer, but it should be talked about in terms of what the home is worth to that buyer.


[4] Getting in over their heads: Vezie suggests buyers don’t stretch themselves so thin that they don’t have a reserve fund should they need to make any unexpected repairs once they move in. “In most homeownership situations, there are going to be some unforeseen circumstances and when first taking occupancy of your new home, there are things you will want to do that all cost money,” Vezie added.  Also be sure you budget the movers, the utility deposits if you don’t have them from your current home and most homebuyers I work with want to freshly paint the new home, or they want to make a change in the yard or even install a new floor. Keep in mind, to obtain a mortgage there are appraisal fees, up to $500. There is a property inspection which cannot be a part of the closing costs that you can finance. So be sure you understand all of the closing costs and what cash you will need to dish out while getting into the property. Be sure you can afford it all and don’t get in over your head before you even purchase your property.


[5] No Reserve Fund Just to make the numbers work on your “dream home,” most buyers are tempted to stretch their savings as far as possible — and drain all available savings — just to make the numbers work. Don’t do it. If after the purchase and the repairs needed, you do not have a reserve fund, that think twice and don’t make the mistake of draining all of your liquid asset, money!  It’s one of the big homebuyer mistakes, Vezie says. Often, buyers fall in love with a property, they become emotionally attached, and they try to rationalize the decision, he says. “You need to be disciplined about it and the Realtors of the Henri Frank Group at Remax Preferred are professional buyer agents and counsel their clients accordingly.”We do not push buyers into situations that they cannot afford and we even ask them outright, “is this in the budget?” You need a reserve fund — something you hold back to address unexpected problems, like the refrigerator that quits in mid-July, or the “like-new” water heater that dies the day after you move in. “In most homeownership situations, there are going to be some unforeseen circumstances,” Vezie says. “So avoid the mistake of having no reserve funds after the purchase of your new South Florida home and be absolute sure you have some money behind you that is left in the savings account after the homeownership takes place.”


The Henri Frank Group at Remax Preferred has trained Buyers Agents who have integrity and who go beyond the basic Realtor responsibilities. We are consultants to counsel you through your home purchase making sure you avoid these mistakes. We believe the process of purchasing a home should be memorable for you. It should be comfortable with no or as little as possible stress for you from the search for a property in South Florida to the mortgage process, to the day of closing on your new property.

Real Estate Roundtable with Henri & Frank


Go to the Henri Frank Group website and print a copy of the FREE BUYERS CHECKLIST.


For a LIMITED TIME ONLY GET A FREE COPY of the “South Florida Buyers Guide” published by Lynn Whitefall of GoldStar Financial:


 Fort Lauderdale Real Estate | 5 Errors Home Buyers Should Avoid

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