A home is a refuge from the world, a place to raise a family and, for some people, an investment they hope will bring them a good chunk of money down the road. Many people harbor secret fears about buying a home, and some of those fears are justified. Buying or selling a home in Jacksonville, Florida is chock full of legal issues, and you can save a lot of money—to say nothing of time and hassle—by knowing the legal ins and outs. There is so much readily accessible information that the average home buyer or seller can get caught up in “paralysis by analysis.” But owning a home is a big commitment, it’s not a guaranteed good investment, and it’s a truckload of work.
While real estate laws differ from state to state, there are several common steps related to buying a home anywhere, and all of them involve the law.
What to consider before house-hunting in Jacksonville, Florida?
Before you get too far into the process, it’s a great idea to know what’s involved and what it will mean for you. If you’re planning to buy your first house with your partner or spouse, you’ll need to decide together what kind of home is best suited for the both of you. You should contact at least three people before you decide which loan to take.
Get an honest picture of what you can afford so you can feel confident and excited when making your offer. In general you can afford a home worth about three times your annual household income. Lenders generally recommend that people look for homes that cost no more than three to five times their annual household income if the home buyers plan to make a 20% down payment and have a moderate amount of other debt. Generally, in order to qualify for a home loan, you have to have good credit, a history of paying your bills on time and a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43%. Consider how you’ll cope if your financial situation changes, or interest rates rise, and be careful not to overstretch yourself.
Why do I need a real estate lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida?
By now, real estate transactions are so standardized that most people in your state will use the exact same purchase contract, just filling in a few blanks. Buying and selling a home may not feel like a situation when a lawyer is needed but as we pointed out when we talked about some common home buying mistakes, hiring a real estate attorney can save you time, energy and money in the long run. A real estate attorney can guide you through every step of the process, answering all of your questions and offering explanations along the way.
Even where you have a transaction that is a simple purchase of a home where you have a real estate agent working for you, the seller has a real estate agent working for them and you will be closing the sale through a local title company an attorney can protect your interests by looking at things from your particular legal perspective. The legal consequences from mistakes or omissions during the buying process can cause you some major headaches. Hiring the best real estate lawyer in Duval County, Florida is critical in understanding the limitations of a loan and how any number of variables can affect your ability to qualify for the amount you need to buy that house of your dreams. He will review the contract itself, negotiate repairs based on the home inspection report, and collaborate with the title company.
Search for your dream house in these nearby cities:
- San Marco
- South Jacksonville
- College Park
- Saint Nicholas
- Longbranch Trailer Park
- Gateway Trailer Park
How much does a Jacksonville, Florida real estate lawyer cost?
Costs for real estate attorney vary across the country, but figure up to a couple thousand dollars, depending on the complexity of your transaction and how involved you want the attorney to be during the process. Depending on how much help you need, the real estate attorney in Jacksonville, Florida 32202 may charge either an hourly rate or a flat fee for a specific service. Most of the time, there will be a base fee that depends on the type of home (detached, condo, etc.) and then you’ll pay for disbursements (faxing, photocopying, etc.) and registration fees. This includes: a title search (which verifies that a seller legally owns the property and searches utility and tax departments to make sure there are no liens against the property), registering the title deed and mortgage, where applicable septic tank and potable water searches.
Write into your retainer agreement the number of hours you expect to work with the attorney, so you can avoid an open-ended number of billable hours.