If you’re a first time home buyer, Miami is an amazing market. It has amazing weather, a wide variety of cultures and the real estate isn’t completely unaffordable just yet. That said, if you’re new to the process, you could wind up getting yourself into trouble if you don’t follow a few simple guidelines.
Don’t Go it Alone
Get an agent that’s just working for you, the buyer. This goes double if you’re moving from a different city. Having someone at your side to help you avoid being swayed by good sales agent, to possibly help set up necessary inspections and to point out hidden costs will save you money in the long run. If this is your first time buying property, do as much research as you can into everything you can, but keep in mind, an agent will always know more. It’s best to have one on your side.
Figure Out the Money First
Unless you’re paying cash, you’ll inevitably have to take out a loan to buy a property. It’s best to start an application to see how much you can expect to get before shopping for a home and getting excited about something you can’t afford. You should also factor in the down payment which could be higher than the 20% most people are familiar with. If you’re lucky enough to be a cash buyer, you’ll need a statement from your bank showing proof that you actually have the money you say you do. Having all of this work done beforehand will make you more competitive in the market because you can move on deals faster.
Miami isn’t as expensive as Manhattan, but the cost of living will still be high. Aside from the normal wear and tear your house will undergo and require you to fix, you’ll need to figure out what your property taxes will be, what kind of home insurance you need and if your lifestyle will allow you to make these payments while still enjoying yourself. If you get dazzled by a place and don’t consider these factors, you could wind up in a very unpleasant situation if something catastrophic happens.
If you’re planning on having kids or you think you might want to add-on to the property at some point, make sure you’re factoring these plans into your search. Not every property will be able to be renovated for various reasons, so make sure you know what you can modify and what you can’t. If you’re planning on a family, but don’t think you want to buy again anytime soon, find properties in your price range that will allow for natural growth.
If you’re dead set on a condo, but can’t find any in your price range or that you like, it may be time to open up your mind to new possibilities. But if you haven’t considered different properties and know little of what’s out there, Sky Five Properties or a company like it that specializes in all different kinds of options is a great place to start. They’ll be able to consult with you and figure out what kind of space will work best, be that something in Brickell or one of the Venetian Islands listings by Sky Five Properties. There’s something out there that’s best for you, so keep looking and you’ll find it.