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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Top 3 Closing Considerations When Buying a Home in Florida

I am a strong proponent of getting title insurance on any property you purchase and according to Angela it’s a no-brainer.

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In today’s interview with title expert Angela Petrick, I took the opportunity to ask her a few of our most commonly asked questions related to the closing process.

With approximately 10 years of experience in the title industry, Angela is a resource that we lean on quite a bit in this area, so we wanted you to get the best information straight from the source.
The first question I asked Angela was one that we frequently receive, which is, “Specifically in Southwest Florida, how are taxes prorated and what’s that process like?”

She told us that in Lee County the tax bill runs from January 1st through December 31st but here it’s paid in arrears—meaning when you receive your bill, you are paying for the previous year.

Also, as a buyer what you will pay for begins on the day of closing. Anything from January 1st up to the day you close on will be credited to you by the seller.

The next question Angela helped us answer related to how one qualifies for the Homestead Exemption.

Angela explained that in order to qualify you must be living in the residence for a minimum of six months out of the year. There are many different exemptions that may apply but the average is about $25,000 per occupant of the taxable value.  

And, for the exemption to be applicable for a given year you must be living on a property as a primary residence as of January 1st and must apply by March 1st either online or at the property appraiser’s office.  
I am a strong proponent of getting title insurance on any property you purchase and according to Angela it’s a no-brainer.
Finally, I took the opportunity to ask Angela about title insurance. Personally, I am a strong proponent of getting title insurance on any property you purchase and according to Angela it’s a no-brainer.

A given property could have liens and judgments from several years and multiple owners ago that you might not know about. Having title insurance helps to secure your ownership of a property even in the event of unforeseen circumstances.

Angela, personally, notes having been through a couple of situations where she and her team ran an additional title report the day before closing on a property only to find a lien pop up that was just placed.

Had the buyer moved forward without title insurance, not only would they not have known about the lien on the property but they also would have jeopardized their ownership.

As a final piece of advice, Angela recommended that buyers communicate closely with their closing agents. It’s important to discuss anything that might be going on with them ahead of time so that the whole process moves smoothly.

If you have any other questions or want any more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.