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What Closing Costs Should I Prepare For?

Monday, January 28, 2019

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest investments you will make throughout your lifetime. This is why it is critical that you are financially prepared for it.

When many people think about buying a home — particularly a first home — they dwell on saving enough money to provide a down payment. Most experts recommend that you provide at least 20% of the property’s purchase price as a down payment, which is a substantial amount of money. For example, the average home in Miami is approximately $334,000. If you wanted to provide a 20% down payment, you would need $66,800.

However, this $66,000 is not the only amount of money that you should prepare for. You will also have closing costs that you must pay in addition to your down payment. Closing costs are a number of fees and expenses that you need to pay to complete the real estate transaction. On average, they will total about 2% to 5% of the home’s purchase price. While there can be many closings costs you will need to prepare for, here are some of the most common.

Lender Fees

Your lender will have a number of fees that you need to pay. These can be anything from pulling your credit report, courier fees, administration fees, processing fees, and more. Some of these fees may be negotiated and you may be able to cover the cost with a point system.


Your lender will hire an appraiser to determine the value of your home. The cost of the appraisal will vary by your location as well as the appraiser himself. However, on average, you can expect to pay between $250 and $450 in Miami for a complete appraisal.

Title Fees

Most of the closing costs you will pay for are related to your title. These can be anything related to your title such as title insurance or title searches. Talk to your real estate agent regarding the best title company and for any questions regarding many of these title-related closing costs.

Processing Charges

Each state and county will have its own set of fees to process and record the real estate transaction. Additionally, if you choose to sign the papers outside of a title office, you will likely have additional notary charges and processing fees which can add up to hundreds of dollars.

There are several additional closing costs you may need to pay such as attorney fees, mortgage insurance, inspections, etc. However, before you begin to feel overwhelmed, there are many options to help you pay for these costs. Hire an experienced real estate agent like Carla from Global Life Realty to help you work out all the fine details and purchase a home you love.


4 Things You Can Do This Weekend to Update Your Kitchen

Monday, January 21, 2019

The kitchen is the gathering place of the home and for many potential buyers, it can either make or break a sale. While you may not have the time for a complete kitchen remodel before you wish to sell your Miami home, there are several small things you can do that will make a big difference. Here are just four things you can do this weekend that will change the look and feel of this space.

1. Change the Hardware

While you may not want to completely refinish or replace your kitchen cabinets, change out their hardware. Replace all of the old, greasy handles for new, modern hardware. This can take you just a few hours (or maybe even one!) to complete and your cabinets will have a fresh look.

2. Replace that Old Light Fixture

Do you have a light fixture that is out of style and consumes a lot of energy? Get rid of it and replace it with a more modern, stylish fixture. Pendant lights have become extremely popular in kitchen areas and there is no sign of this trend disappearing.

3. Replace the Kitchen Appliances

If you want to make a big impression and you have an adequate budget, consider replacing all of the appliances in your kitchen area. Keep a very cohesive look with all of your appliances and if you desire, consider some smart appliances such as a smart fridge.

And while new appliances may not be the biggest cosmetic change you can make to your kitchen, they are big selling points for potential buyers as they like knowing the products are new, under warranty, and are more energy efficient.

4. Add Color

Color can instantly capture the eye of potential buyers and evoke various emotions. Look at your kitchen space and decide where you can implement color easily and without much time and stress.

For example, maybe you can paint an accent wall or you can replace the backsplash behind your stove. Or it could be something as simple as replacing window treatments or adding new towels and rugs throughout the room. Evaluate the room, your budget, and your time to see how best to add pops of color to this space.

Placing your home on the market so it impresses potential buyers can be overwhelming but with the help of the right real estate agent, it’s simple. Contact Miami real estate agent Carla Oliva today to begin your home-selling journey.


Should You Consider a Pre-Inspection of Your Home?

Monday, January 14, 2019

While a home inspection is not always a mandatory step for homebuyers, it is highly recommended. It alerts them to many of the hidden issues and problems with the property and of any repairs that need to be fixed right away. But for sellers, should you hire an inspector to conduct a pre-inspection of your home? Is this process worth your time and money? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this option.

Advantages of a Pre-Inspection

For sellers, you may find yourself surprised and spending thousands of dollars to fix up hidden repairs and issues that you weren’t aware of prior to placing your house on the market. There are hundreds of features and areas in a home that an inspector looks at and by conducting an inspection ahead of time, you can be prepared and make any repairs that are needed. You also have more control over the timing of these repairs and you will not feel as rushed to have them completed by a fast-approaching deadline.

Additionally, by making many of the repairs before the home is even on the market, it prevents fewer buyers from walking away following the inspection. It also makes buyers feel more confident in your property as they know that they won’t have too many surprises. They are also aware of what they are getting up front, which can help with the negotiation process for both parties.

Drawbacks of a Pre-Inspection

One of the biggest drawbacks to a pre-inspection is that you will need to disclose many of the issues that you find during the inspection. If some of these issues are significant, it can scare buyers. Plus, keep in mind that each inspector is different. This means that while you may hire one to conduct a pre-inspection on the home, the inspector hired by the buyers may be more critical to tiny details, providing you with a different report.

Also, you will have to pay for the cost of the home inspector. While these costs will vary by location, you can expect to pay between $200 to $500. This is an additional charge on top of the repairs and maintenance issues you will need to take care of in the home.

Choosing to have a pre-inspection of your Miami home is a decision only you can make but it is wise to talk to your real estate agent, like Carla at Global Life Realty, to determine if this truly is the best decision for you.


How Does Location Affect Your Home’s Sale Price?

Monday, January 07, 2019

When a home is placed on the real estate market there are several factors that contribute to its sale price. One element that contributes greatly is the location of the property. In fact, this one thing can be even more important than the home’s overall condition. Let’s take a closer look at how the location affects a home’s sale price and what you should think about if you are in the market for a new home in Miami.

1. Proximity to Local Amenities

You will notice that homes close to downtown and near many local amenities such as shopping, movie theaters, restaurants, etc., will be priced significantly higher than those several miles outside of town. It is because many individuals want homes with very little commute times, near essentials such as grocery stores, gas stations, and more.

2. Quality of Local Schools

When your home is appraised, the quality of the local schools is taken under careful consideration. The quality of the education a child receives is important to families with small children and teenagers and buyers will often pay more for homes where their children can go to a highly-rated school.

3. Crime Rate

No matter if you live in Miami or another city in the United States, there are neighborhoods with higher crime rates than others. However, neighborhoods, no matter what city, with lower crime rates will have higher property values. This is because individuals will pay more to live in safer communities. Although, not all crime is going to affect your home’s value. For example, according to a 2010 study by Florida State University, local robbery and aggravated assault crimes had the biggest impact on a neighborhood’s housing market.

4. The Condition of Your Neighborhood

Not only should you worry about the condition of your own property when selling your home, but the condition of the neighborhood as well. When neighbors take little pride in their home and clutter the outside of their house, it can affect your own home’s sale price. If you are in the market to purchase a new home, you want to carefully look at the neighborhood. Spend time in the area both during the day and the evening hours.

If you have any questions about how your current home’s location can affect your sale price or if you are looking for the perfect neighborhood for your Miami home, contact Carla at Global Life Realty.


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