Homeowner insurance â€“ Insurance rates vary by age of home, size of home, conditions of home, and location of home. Insurance is more expensive if you live near any type of water â€“ pond, lake, river, Gulf. Insurance is more expensive if home was not built to current hurricane standards. You can get discounts the home qualifies for by having a wind mitigation inspection done at the same time as your home inspection. Discounts are available for building features that reduce damage during high wind events. Overall discounts include things such as age of home, style of roof, how close the home is to a body of water, how close to a fire hydrant, how the roof is tied down, if the home has hurricane shutters or impact resistant windows, frame or block home, etc. If the home is in a flood zone, the insurance company will require a flood elevation certificate. That can be obtained by paying a survey company to prepare it. To check Flood Zones go to www.floodsmart.gov and type in the address of the property. It will give you the flood zone, rates, and insurance companies.
Property Taxes â€“ A home buyer should not rely on the seller's current property taxes as the amount of property taxes that the buyer may be obligated to pay in the year subsequent to purchase. A change of ownership or property improvements triggers reassessment of the property that could result in higher property taxes. If you have any questions concerning valuation, contact the county property appraiser's office for information. The home you are interested in purchasing may be homestead. Homesteading caps the tax assessments on the home during ownership. MLS records do not necessarily reflect current tax assessments. To apply for homestead or to read through answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Charlotte County Property Appraiser web site at http://www.ccappraiser.com/.
Home Inspection - After you have an executed contract you usually have 10-15 days to get a home inspection, which you pay for. It costs $375 and up depending on size of home. The inspector will examine the home's structural systems and give you a written report detailing any problems found. The inspection takes a few hours. If you cannot be here for the inspection, I can be there with the inspector. Some homes are sold in "As Is" condition which means the sellers will not pay anything for repairs. If the repair cost is too high, you have the right to back out of the contract within the time period specified. Other homes are sold where the seller pays up to 1.5% of the purchase price for repairs.
Buyer Expenses â€“ This is a general list of expenses involved in purchasing a home. You will need proof of funds if paying cash or a pre-approval letter from a lender to submit with an offer on any home.
Expenses: Recording of Deed, Home Inspection, Wood Destroying Organism Inspection, Well Test (Optional), Flood Insurance, Flood Elevation Certificate, Homeowner Insurance, Proration of Real Property Taxes, and Proration of Homeowner Association/Maintenance Fees (if any).
Additional Expenses if Obtaining a Mortgage: Mortgage Title Insurance Policy, Service Fee or Origination Fee, Doc Stamps on Note (.35 on each $100), Appraisal, Intangible Tax, Recording of Mortgage, Credit Report, Survey, Escrow Account (Taxes and Insurance). If you are using a lender, they will provide you with a Good Faith Estimate within 3 days of applying for a loan which will detail all expenses.
Other Expenses if not paid by Seller: Owners Title Insurance Policy, State Doc Stamps on Deed (.70 for each $100), Home Repairs found during Home Inspection.
Pest Control â€“ Bugs are a natural part of Florida. The most common problems are termites, carpenter ants, fire ants, and spiders. For any home you live in within this area you would either need to spray your home for pests or hire a pest control company to do it for you quarterly. There are several plans to choose from. When you purchase a home you can get a termite (WDO) inspection for free from Macyâ€™s Pest Control or you can pay $75 for a Wood Destroying Organism inspection from other pest control companies.
Utilities â€“ Some homes have well and septic, others have city water and sewer, and some even have city water and septic. Rates vary by county. FPL (Florida Power and Light) is the power company used in this area â€“ www.fpl.com. The Charlotte County Utilities web site is http://www.charlottecountyfl.com/CCU/.
If you have additional questions, please contact me.
Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Green Lion Realty, Port Charlotte, FL