Common Questions and Answers Regarding Buying a Home in Florida

Buyer Contracts

As a buyer, which contract is better, FAR/BAR “AS-IS” or “FAR/BAR”?
There are several consideration to take into account when selecting which contract to use. Read Florida Association of Realtors and the Florida Bar Approved Contract for more information.

Short Sales

How long does it take to close a short sale?
Banks are negotiating faster and faster these days with turnaround times anywhere from 45 to 90 days close.
What is a short sale?
A Short Sale is the sale of real property where the market price of the property is less than all mortgages held against that property, or the loan balance. In order to make a sale happen, the lender(s) must approve the offer amount and terms. For more, see the following articles: Short Sales, Info on Short Sales.
What guarantees do I have that all liens will be paid in full when I close.
In all counties in Florida (except Miami-Dade and Collier), the seller, be it the owner or bank, will pay for a “owners title policy” underwritten by well established insurance companies which guarantees that your property is free and clear of all liens and mortgages, even possible city or municipal violations, outstanding utility bills, and that the HOA is paid up to the day before closing.
When should I do a home inspection?
Within 10 days from the date you receive written notification that the short sale has been approved by the lender(s).

Buying a bank owned property

How long to close?
Anywhere from 20 days if a cash transaction to 45 days with mortgage.
Inspections?
Usually must be completely within 10 days of signing the contract.
Does the bank favor cash to a mortgage contingency?
There is a slight advantage to cash. Buyers need either proof of funds for cash transactions (bank or security account statement or letter from financial institution) or a pre-approval letter when submitting offers.
Need a pre-approval letter?
Katie Hughes, Prospect Mortgage, 813-546-0922, katie.hughes@prospectmortgage.com
Tim Moore, Gateway Funding, 508-326-3401, tmoore@gateway-funding.com
or call your credit union or financial institution

I am Canadian, and need a mortgage in the US

Can a Canadian buy a condo or home in the US and get a mortgage?
Yes. Just call Royal Bank of Canada at 941-951-4426 (Chris Tennant)
What is the best way for a Canadian to buy a US property? Cash or Mortgage?
The answer may lie in what's called a Cross Border Trust. A cross-border trust gives special ownership to the property owner, making him both the property holder and the trustee or overseer of it. As property owner, you hold the deed to the land. As trustee, you can collect any revenue made and maintain, repair, divide, buy or sell that property.
The cross-border trust not only avoids the probate courts, it also reduces the tax liability that is often passed on to the beneficiaries. The income taxes and death taxes that are routine, do not apply with a trust because the trust is a business. Furthermore, the heirs to the property are the new beneficiaries of the trust, which remains intact. Nothing inherited means there is nothing to tax.

Have more questions that weren't answered here? Call the broker, Keith Gordon, at 727-942-2929 or 1-877-232-9695