Checking with mortgage brokers and lenders for a possible solution, such as a renovation loan, is your best bet. As one person already stated you may need to take out mortgage insurance. I think Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America both have programs available. I don't know if 20% down would allow waiving the mortgage insurance in this case. One of the newer programs is set up with Lowes, where they come out and price the whole project.
I would NOT reccomend "Take the risk.... Complete the kitchen. Have your attorney hold escrow, etc.". Unless Miami is different than our side ....there are documents at closing that you must sign, for your loan, that state you have NOT done anything to the property that could incure any potential liens.
Are you currently looking for a home or just browsing on line for now? I have a free service called â€œListingbookâ€, which I provide for my clients. It is like a back door into the MLS which updates daily: price changes, solds & withdrawns, allowing you to really be able to follow and learn the market. I set up a basic search according to your guidelines. Once you are in, you can change the parameters as you need. If this is something you would be interested in let me know.
Broker Associate, GRI, CDM
Real Estate Consulting, Marketing & Sales
Prudential Tropical Realty