South Florida Real Estate and Community News

Sept. 8, 2021

5 Tips For Finding The Right South Florida Property

Whether you are looking for property to rent or live in, it’s important to find good deals in the often competitive real estate market. Finding the best deals requires you to get in contact with a reputable Fort Lauderdale realtor who will help you find your way through South Florida’s real estate industry.  If you are unfamiliar with South Florida, having someone to hold your hand throughout your search for your dream property is even more crucial. The soaring real estate market in South Florida might give you nightmares, but by keeping a few things in mind, you will be way ready to jump headfirst in your pursuit of that incredible property you have been waiting all your life for.


This article will give you tips on finding the right property in South Florida.


Find The Right Agent

Before you start your property search, you should consider seeking professional help from a certified real estate agent. Agents are familiar with the city’s ins and outs and have deep knowledge of which areas are best suited for you based on your needs or preference.


An agent will also provide you access to up-to-date listings and even those that have not been listed as well, giving you a plethora of options to choose from. A good agent will act as your adviser, providing you with insights into what to look for and how to bid for the property of your dreams.


1. Agents Know Much About the Market

Having an agent will secure you from ignorance of the real estate market you are trying to enter. Since they handle many transactions (buying and selling), they are in a better position to understand the dos and don’ts of different areas and advise accordingly.


2. Agents Can Spot Problems Easily

When purchasing a property for the first time, you might not know what to look for in the properties you intend to purchase. Having an agent will help you identify potential problems that the property might contain as they are trained to see these problems. An agent will also provide you with a detailed report of the property’s inspection, detailing all the nitty-gritty of the property.


3. Agents Can Negotiate

When buying a house, it is important to get it at the most favorable price possible. Having an agent do the negotiations will enable you to save a lot on your purchase.


Set A Realistic Budget

After finding your preferred realtor, it is important to set up a budget you would want to spend on your new home. This amount usually depends on several factors. As a rule, you must analyze your interest, hobbies or your future goals for the home. For instance, if you are fond of entertaining guests, you will need a spacious property to allow for gatherings. You might also look into a property with a clear view of the ocean.


This rule does not only apply to a property you want to live in but also to the one you would want to rent out and hold as an investment.  For better returns on your property investment, you might want to look at areas that receive a huge number of visitors, such as tourists or near a busy business center.  These prerequisites will help you set a realistic budget that will encompass all your needs and help you achieve your goal of owning a property.


Evaluate Your Financial Capability

Having a budget will provide insights into the type of property you can research and bid for. Having a clear goal of how you will finance your property is paramount as well.  If you are paying in cash, you are good to go, whereas if you seek financing from a third party, you will need to consider several things beforehand.


  • Credit Score - A good credit score allows you to be trusted by lenders and thus will enable you to get your desired home. Having a credit score of above 620 is ideal for getting financing.  
  • Debt-to-Income Ratio - This rate is calculated to determine if you are fit for financing. Most companies will need you to spend less than 36% of your monthly income on debt, while future mortgages should not exceed 28% of your income.  
  • Deposit - The down payment for your property may vary, but in most cases, you can put as little as 3-5% down in order to purchase. 
  • Closing Costs - It is important to consider the closing costs after you have successfully transacted for your property. As a buyer, you will pay most of the fee, which usually ranges from 2-5% of the loan amount paid out of pocket. This fee covers the appraisal, inspection, property taxes, among other costs.
  • Homeownership Costs - This is the cost of repairs of the property being purchased. It is important to ensure you can cover this, which is technically 1% of the total property value.

Find A Suitable Neighborhood

Before going ahead with your buying process, you need to find the right neighborhood that suits your taste and needs. If you are looking to raise a family, you would be interested in finding areas close to good schools, playgrounds, hospitals, and other necessary amenities.


You should also consider your commute to your workplace and your favorite spots before settling in a specific area. In case everything is right with you, you will need to observe the lifestyle of the neighborhood you seek to live in. This includes how quiet or noisy the place is both during the day and at night, the ambiance, and other factors that might affect your daily life.

Find Your Dream Property

With all that is discussed in this article, you should feel comfortable enough to go out and find your dream property. It is important to understand what the property will mean to you and how having it will influence your life, income, and everything you hold dear to your heart.


The process of finding your dream property may seem daunting at first, but having a clear plan and armed with the right help can make this process hassle-free. 

Visit if you are looking for a property in South Florida.

Fort Lauderdale Realtor Bryan Gold, 

4325 N Ocean Dr. Lauderdale by the Sea FL 33308, 



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Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 8, 2021

A Step-By-Step Guide to Selling Your Home



Selling a home is an exciting time since it generally coincides with setting off for new adventures. Regardless of the reason, the process can also be overwhelming. If you are in South Florida, an experienced realtor like Bryan Gold can help guide you through the home selling process.


Step 1: Explore your financial situation.

Selling your house will probably involve some spending upfront, whether it’s for repairs or professional photos. Before you go any further, you need to determine how you will pay for these costs. 


Step 2: Determine why you are selling and set nonnegotiables.

Your motivation for selling may determine how you proceed through the rest of the process, especially if that motivation includes a timeline. Identify your nonnegotiables. Do you need to be out by a certain date? Do you need to get a certain amount of money from the sale? Knowing this information can help you negotiate deals with potential buyers.


Step 3: Research the market.

Explore the best time to sell in your market, which varies based on location but is generally thought to be the first two weeks in May. Research can also help you plan how long it will take to sell your home and the average selling price of homes in your neighborhood.



Step 4: Hire a realtor.

Selling a home is complicated since it involves both the legal and financial industries, and a realtor is the best way to make sure everything is done right.


  • Ask for referrals and do research online. Look at how long they’ve been selling, the number of completed sales, any awards they’ve received, the quality of the images on their listings, and their online presence.

  • Interview potential candidates to find the one that best works for your goals.

  • Negotiate your contract.

  • Trust their advice. 


Step 5: Get a pre-sale inspection.

This step isn’t required, but it will save you from issues that may derail a sale later. Hire an inspector to check your home for potential problems. It’s also best to get the HVAC system serviced and test all your smoke alarms—little things like that show you have paid attention to detail.


Step 6: Make repairs and upgrades carefully.

With the inspection report and your realtor’s understanding of what buyers in the area are looking for, make repairs and upgrades. Make sure what you do has a high return on investment. Repainting, replacing an old carpet, and sprucing up the landscaping are cheap ways to improve the appearance of your house. 


Step 7: Clean, declutter, depersonalize, and stage the house.

Clean your house from top to bottom, and declutter as best you can. If you have pets or kids, try to minimize evidence of their belongings so that potential buyers can envision their family in the home rather than yours. 


Consider renting a storage pod to declutter. Don’t try to shove it all in the basement or closets since you want potential buyers to think you have plenty of storage. 


Remember that once you’ve done your deep clean, you need to keep the house clean because showings can happen at a moment’s notice. 


Step 8: Have professional photos taken of your home.

Grab buyers’ attention with high-quality photos. Most realtors either know how to take professional photos of a home or bring in a photographer. 


Step 9: Set a realistic price for your home.

If you have a realtor, ask for their advice on how to price your home competitively. You want it to be high enough that you get the money out of it you deserve, but if you price it too high, people may not even look at it, especially if they set limits on their online search results.


If you aren’t sure about their list price, check out comparative homes in the area, usually referred to as comps. Look at what houses similar to yours have sold for in recent months. You should price your home competitively with those.


Step 10: List your home on multiple platforms and start showing it.

Your house needs to be ready to show each day because you never know when someone will want to look at it. If you leave the house in a rush in the morning before work, don’t make the bed, and leave your dirty dishes in the sink, that won’t be attractive to a potential buyer.



Step 11: Review and negotiate offers on your home.

When people make offers on your home, you have three choices: 


  • Accept the offer

  • Counteroffer in writing with a 48-hour deadline

  • Decline the offer


When looking at offers, it’s tempting to just look at the overall price, but you should also consider some other elements of the offer:


  • Whether they are paying cash or financing

  • What type of financing they are using

  • The amount of down payment

  • Any contingencies they may have (such as whether their house sells)

  • Credits or personal requests they may have 

  • Proposed closing date


Step 12: Once you’ve accepted an offer, the buyer will have an inspection and an appraisal done.

Based on this inspection, the buyer’s realtor will give you a list of repairs the buyer would like done. Don’t argue with any safety issues, but everything else is negotiable. If you can’t get the repair done yourself, you can offer a credit for the buyer to take care of after they move in.


The buyer’s lender will also conduct an appraisal to ensure the home is in line with what they are paying for it. Again, make sure your home is clean and staged for this, and have your neighborhood comps on hand to justify your price.


Step 13: Move out and sign the paperwork.

At this point, you just have to wait for the closing date to make everything official. Pack up your belongings, and hand the keys over at the closing or afterward if you agree to a possession date after the closing date. 


Let Bryan Gold Help You Sell Your Home


As a full-time agent in South Florida, Bryan knows how to price your home right and has the connections to make sure it sells fast. Contact Bryan today to start the process.


Posted in Selling Your Home
Aug. 13, 2021

How to Find the Value of My Home

How to Find the Value of My Home



If you are buying or selling a house, it is important to get a clear assessment of the property’s market value. Determining the value allows you to put the right sale price on your home, avoid overpaying for a new house, and gain an accurate overview of your financial assets. 


There are many tools and resources you can use to assess the value of your home. Utilize an online valuation tool to estimate your home’s market value, or for a deeper analysis, work with a real estate agent who knows the value of homes in your specific market. Discover how to determine your home’s market value and why it can give you an advantage when buying or selling. 



What Determines the Market Value of a Property



What is “Market Value” in Real Estate?


In real estate terms, market value refers to the amount that a home is expected to sell in a normal housing market. The market value determines how much you pay in annual property taxes and affects your home’s equity, your refinancing options, how much you pay for a new home, and how much to list a property for when selling. 



What Determines the Market Value of a Property?

The market value of a property is not determined by one easy method. The final determination is arrived at by considering real estate appraisal reports and recent comparable sales in the area.


  •  Home Appraisal

A licensed appraiser performs a home appraisal who conducts an inspection of a property and offers a professional opinion of what the home is worth. A buyer typically requests an appraisal before purchasing a home to secure a mortgage loan. A home appraisal takes into account a home’s overall appeal, structural conditions, comparable sales, and location in its valuation of the property. Your home’s appraisal value is an important tool in determining your home’s value, but it may differ from what people are willing to pay for it.  



  • Market Data


Market data is also referred to as comparable sales analysis. Typically, this is done by an experienced real estate agent familiar with property values in the same market that you are looking to buy or sell in. The agent will review recent comparable sales of homes in the same market and with similar features to determine your home’s value.



How to Find the Value of Your Home



How to Find the Value of Your Home

There are several ways to go about finding the value of your home. Each method can give you insight into what your home is worth and paint a bigger picture of your financial health. To find the value of your home, seek the following resources. 


  1. Online Tools

    Online valuation tools provide an easy way to get an estimate of your home’s value. Although you’ll want a more specific valuation at some point during the buying or selling of your property, using an online tool is a great first step in gaining insight into your home’s market value. You can opt for a government tool like FHFA’s Housing Price Index Calculator for a general estimate or use a tool specific to the South Florida market to obtain an accurate valuation. 

  2. Work With an Agent

    For a more thorough evaluation of your home’s value, work with a real estate agent in the local market. Bryan Gold is an excellent resource in determining your home’s value through comparative market analysis in South Florida. He can provide you with his opinion on the value of your property based on years of experience in the local market and analytical tools that provide insights into what similar homes are selling for at the moment. 

  3. Get a Professional Appraisal

    You can also opt for a professional appraisal to obtain the monetary value of your home. If you are buying, this is usually part of the purchasing process, but you can choose to get an appraisal to price your home for sale accurately if you are selling. A home appraisal usually costs several hundred dollars; however, you may save yourself from losing out on money by pricing your home too low by having one done. 

  4. Do Your Own Research

    Another approach you can take to determining your home’s value is to do your own research. You can pull up list prices of homes in the same area and have the same characteristics as your home. Use MLS listing sites to find recent sale prices and aim to find at least three comparable sales to get the most accurate valuation. If you decide to research yourself, it is a good idea to contact a real estate agent who can verify the information you find. 



Advantages to an Accurate Valuation of Your Home

When you take the time to find the value of your home, you give yourself several advantages in the housing market. Knowing the value of your property helps you to:


  • Refinance, buy, or sell with an accurate value in mind
  • Tap into the equity in your home
  • Negotiate what you owe in property taxes and insurance
  • Give you a clear picture of your financial assets


If you own a property or are looking to buy a home, it is important to get an accurate assessment of the home’s value, both by a professional appraiser and by obtaining comparable market analysis insights. Knowing your home’s value can save you money as you negotiate based on what the home is worth, and it can help you list your property at a fair price that fits in with current market conditions. 


Get an Accurate Assessment 

To gain a thorough assessment of what your home is worth, work with South Florida real estate agent Bryan Gold. Bryan has over ten years of experience in the South Florida market. He has the knowledge and resources available to give you the accurate market value of your home through comparative market analysis. If you are ready to buy or sell a property in South Florida, Bryan Gold is happy to help you through the entire real estate transaction. 


Contact Bryan at or (954) 464-3459 to discuss your real estate goals and find out how he can aid you in buying or selling your home.


Posted in Buying a Home
July 29, 2021

7 Things to Know Before Buying an Ocean Access Home

7 Things to Know Before Buying an Ocean Access Home

Owning a home with direct access to the ocean is a dream for many people. The idea of waking up to the sound of waves crashing on the beach and the smell of fresh ocean water conjures images of a perfect, carefree life full of relaxation and beauty. 


Owning a beachfront home may seem like a dream, but there are a few things to consider when searching for that perfect ocean view property. Check out these seven things to know before buying an ocean access home, so you are prepared for the realities of living in a house by the sea.


7 Things to Know Before Buying an Ocean Access Home


What You Need to Know 


When considering a beachfront property with ocean access, there are several elements to think about. While there are several benefits to owning a home next to the water, there are also a few challenges you need to be aware of. Here are seven points of consideration when thinking about buying or owning a home on the beach.



  1. Beautiful View

    Whether you live in a luxurious oceanfront condo or a quaint beach house, you have a beautiful view of the water. This is one of the best aspects of owning a property with ocean access and is usually one of the main reasons people buy a home near the water. The ability to spend time on your porch, deck, or balcony staring out at the peaceful waves at your leisure provides a tranquil escape in your own backyard. This setting positively affects your life and is a great reason to look into owning a home on the water. 

  2. Great Investment
    Beach access property is generally a smart investment. Whether you plan to live in the home year-round, sell it in a few years, or use it as a rental for vacationers, ocean access homes can offer you a real estate investment that brings in a good ROI. As long as you do your research and choose a property in an established or budding location, you can bring in quite a profit from renting your property in the high-tourist seasons. A gorgeous waterfront home in Fort Lauderdale is a fantastic investment option due to its popularity among tourists and desirability as a living destination for young people and retirees.

  3. Water Accessibility

    Another benefit of owning a beach home is direct access to the water. This means you can partake in all types of water sports without having to make plans weeks ahead of time or haul your equipment from another location. If you want to take a swim in the ocean, you can simply walk down to the water and hop in. If you’re going to take out your boat, water skis, or water jet, you can take it out of your storage area and get to the beach in minutes. Nothing beats the ease of access to the ocean when you live in close proximity. 

  4. Privacy

    Privacy is a complicated subject for beach house owners, and there are pros and cons you need to be aware of. Some oceanfront homes are located on isolated beaches that don’t get much public visitation. If you prefer privacy, a house situated near a less busy beach is a great idea. These homes are often located away from big cities and popular tourist destinations, which means you get the benefit of living in a small-town environment and enjoying untouched natural scenery.

    It is important to note that in Florida, there is an ongoing legal debate about beach rights. This can be a con for owning an oceanfront home, especially if you want to live in a big city like Miami or Fort Lauderdale. If you plan on owning a house with ocean access, it is essential to learn about beach rights and how they might affect you. 

    Florida designates that private owners’ rights to the beach extend to the Mean High Tide Line, but everything beyond is public access. This creates complications when people visiting the beach cross your property to get to the public area. Several complex legal doctrines affect this issue. If you decide to buy an ocean access property, it is something to keep in mind and ask your real estate agent about.  

  5. Extra Costs

    There are additional costs that come into play when you own an oceanfront home. Home insurance covering flooding and other ocean-specific issues is necessary, as are potential Homeowners’ Association Fees or property management fees if you plan to rent out the property. There may be costs associated with access to boating docks and water equipment storage as well. The average costs of owning a home still generally apply to buying an oceanfront property, but you should prepare for monthly expenses to be higher than owning an inland house. 

  6. Environmental Factors

    Homes on the beach are subject to environmental factors affecting the property. Wind, rain, moving water lines, shifting sand, and heat and humidity all play a part in the amount of work that goes into maintaining your beachfront home. You’ll want to make sure your house has a sturdy foundation and is made of suitable materials for the location and specific environmental challenges so it stays in good shape and appreciates in value. 

  7. Natural Disasters

    Of course, one factor to consider when owning a home near the ocean is natural disasters. Florida is in the direct path of powerful tropical storms and hurricanes. Therefore your home may be hit at some point, though there’s no telling what degree of damage may occur. Be realistic about this threat, and follow recommendations on protecting your home during a natural disaster, so you don’t lose everything if one hits. 

    Find Your Perfect Ocean Front Property


Find Your Perfect Ocean Front Property

If your dream is to own an ocean-adjacent home, Bryan Gold can help you make it a reality. With over ten years of experience buying and selling homes in  South Florida, Bryan knows how to find the perfect ocean-front property for you. Let Bryan know exactly what you are looking for, and he’ll work on finding a beachfront property that fits into your plans. 

Contact Bryan at (954) 464-3459 or to start your journey toward the perfect ocean access home today.





Posted in Buying a Home
July 16, 2021

What To Expect When Buying a Home in South Florida

Buying a home requires a lot of planning. If you are contemplating purchasing one of South Florida homes, you will need a lot more than just planning. You need to know about the current price and market conditions, insurance, HOA communities, home inspection, closing costs, and other steps in the process. Learning about all of these can help you to avoid shady deals. It'll also save you from common mistakes that many first-time homebuyers make. This article takes you through the essential things you need to know as you plan to become a homeowner in South Florida.


Market Conditions
South Florida has witnessed a significant rise in the cost of homes over the last couple of years. However, there is a consistent fluctuation in the average price of homes in the area. Buying during the peak period will cost you a lot more than during the off-peak periods. An excellent way to play the market trends to your advantage is to work with an experienced realtor who understands the trends.



Homeowner’s Insurance

While South Florida offers a nice ambiance and welcoming weather, the state also experiences a fair share of bad weather. Bad weather conditions are one of the biggest reasons you would need to get a homeowner's insurance. Depending on the location you have your eyes set on, you may need to ensure your home against floods, hurricanes, hail or wind damage, and others.


As you plan for the monthly mortgage payment, it is also advisable to consider the homeowner's insurance cost. If you are unsure about the insurance budget, you can always call your insurance provider to find out. The cost of your homeowner's insurance will be affected by factors like the age of your roof and whether or not your roof meets the current wind mitigation standards. Other factors include the age of plumbing installations and materials, the presence of outdated electrical wiring, and more.




Home Inspections

Many first-time homebuyers get so excited about the prospects of owning a house that they tend to forget about home inspection. Skipping home inspection is a sure way of landing yourself in debt. A typical home inspection will cover the house's general structure, plumbing, electrical wiring, pest inspection, flooring, bathroom and kitchen inspection, HVAC inspection, mold inspection, and drainage inspection. The home inspection exercise reports can help you negotiate a lower price for the house or avoid it.



Deed Protected Communities or Not

Several communities in South Florida are deed protected. These communities are governed by a homeowner's association that addresses the welfare of residents. Each homeowner in the community is levied a certain amount monthly or annually. There are also specific rules and regulations that each property owner must follow. It will help if you read the fine print of the agreements before purchasing the house. You may need to see a lawyer to explain the details of the deed to you.



Closing Costs and Related Fees

As you are planning your home purchase cost, you should keep the closing costs in mind. This cost is usually about 2 to 5 percent of the mortgage principal. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to handle this cost.



Find a Reputable Real Estate Agent

To navigate South Florida real estate, you should seek out a reputable and experienced real estate agent. Your real estate agent will help you to identify the properties that fall within your price range. They will also leverage their connection and network to deliver various homes in top communities and neighborhoods.



Steps To Buying a South Florida Home

Examine Your Current Financial Situation

Your financial situation at present is what will determine what mortgage lenders feel about your ability to sustain and repay a mortgage loan. If you are dealing with debt, it is best to service those debts first before applying for a mortgage loan. As you evaluate your finances in readiness for a mortgage loan, you should pay attention to the following;




Credit Score 

- The higher your credit score, the better the discounts you enjoy on mortgage rates.



Debt-to-Income Ratio 

- It is advisable to spend 36% or below of your income to debt ratio.



Down Payment 

- If you are planning on securing a conventional loan, you need to have at least 5% of the home's cost as a down payment.



Closing Costs 

- Closing costs are the add-on costs that you may not be able to shake off. Prepare to pay between 2 to 5% of your home's price in closing costs.



Homeownership Costs 

- You'll most likely need to keep your home well-maintained throughout the year. This cost is roughly $3,599, going by the average maintenance cost in Florida.


Select the Right Neighborhood
When selecting your South Florida, the right neighborhood and the amenities offered matters a lot. When considering the right neighborhood, you should factor in the neighborhood's average value and the past home value trends. This will help you to understand the future value of your purchase. The local lifestyle is also a factor to consider. Check out the availability of top schools, amenities, restaurants, and transportation options.



Get Pre-Approved

One of the most common mistakes first-time homebuyers make is that they begin a property search prior to being pre-approved for a mortgage loan. It is important to halt any search until after you have been pre-approved. This helps you to set a better budget and target your home purchase needs. 



Search and Close the Deal

Once you have been pre-approved, your search can begin. Work with a reputable realtor to narrow down your options. A reputable realtor will guide you through the property-purchase process. The realtor can also recommend home inspection agencies, lawyers, notary offices, and others to speed up the process. If you aren't a local, your realtor can also link you with local contractors to handle minor repairs.

The process of owning a home in South Florida can be complex. However, with the right information and experienced realtor, you'll be able to avoid the common mistakes associated with the process. Learn more about home buying in South Florida at



Fort Lauderdale Realtor

Bryan Gold, 4325 N Ocean Dr 

Lauderdale by the Sea FL 33308




Posted in Buying a Home
June 11, 2021

Buying a Condo or Buying a House: Which Suits My Family More?


Deciding between buying a condo or a house is a big decision, especially when it involves your family. Houses provide stability and typically offer backyards and large kitchens for growing families, while condos are associated with smaller, more efficient spaces and proximity to shopping and nightlife. 


If you are trying to choose between buying a condo or a house, a few factors can help you decide which option suits your family more. These questions encourage you to consider aspects such as available space, long-term plans, cost, and property upkeep. 


If you are trying to choose between buying a condo or a house, a few factors can help you decide which option suits your family more.


House or Condo?

Before deciding between a house and a condo, it is helpful to understand what each type of living accommodation is and the fundamental differences between them.


A house is a building on a plot of land that is typically meant for a single-family unit. When you buy a house, you also own the land it occupies, which typically includes a small front and back yard. Most people take out a mortgage loan to pay for the property and pay off the loan in monthly payments over 20-30 years. At the end of that time, they own the building and property outright. Often, houses are long-term investments where a family stays for several years and only moves if circumstances make it necessary. 


A condo, short for a condominium, is a piece of property inside a building with several other units. These units are individually owned but are surrounded by common areas used by all of the residents. Condos range in size but are typically smaller than houses and do not come with individual land lots. When you buy a condo, you own the unit and may live there or rent it out. You typically do not own anything more than what is inside the walls of your unit, meaning the hallways, stairways, and other accommodations are communal properties. Often, those who are downsizing opt for a condominium because it is conveniently located, and they do not have to perform the same upkeep required of homeowners. 


A condo, short for a condominium, is a piece of property inside a building with several other units.


Question to Ask Yourself

When deciding on the best option for you and your family, it is essential to ask yourself the following questions to pinpoint whether a house or condo is the right choice. Look at each question and consider the facts that inform your answer. 


  • What Space Does Your Family Need?

Realistically, how much space does your family require? Houses are lovely for families with several members and those with small children. Homes often come with backyard areas for kids and pets and multiple rooms inside for comfortable living arrangements. Condos range in size, but they are typically built with one to three rooms. 


This means that a larger family would not have as much space in a condominium unit as in a house. If your family is already large, you have small children, or you plan to grow your family in the coming years, a house is probably better suited to your needs. If your children are almost grown or leaving the nest soon, a condo may be a good choice for the future. 


  • What Are Your Long-Term Plans?

Your long-term financial plans affect your decision to buy a house or condo. Both are good investments for the long-term, but for different reasons. A condo is an excellent way to get into the real estate investment scene and can provide income as a rental property. If your long-term plans include living in multiple locations or owning rental units, a condo is a good idea. 


A house is also an excellent financial investment in most cases. When you buy a house, its value appreciates, which means you gain equity over time. If you decide to sell the house years down the line, you can profit in the right market. Also, a house is suitable for long-term plans that don’t center around finances. If you and your family plan to stay in one location long-term, then a home is a great idea. Work with a knowledgeable South Florida real estate agent to pick a house or condo that fits your long-term plans. 


  • What is Your Budget?

Your budget is probably the deciding factor for your choice between buying a condo or a house. Houses typically cost more than condominiums because they come with a large living structure and land. Buying a house includes many expenses above the listing price that must be factored into the total cost. Condominiums often include association fees and fees for security measures for the community. It is essential to ask yourself what your budget is to determine which property you can afford. 


  • What Kind of Upkeep Are You Prepared For?

Another critical question to ask is what type of maintenance responsibilities you are willing to deal with. In a condo, you are generally not responsible for fixing problems that arise with plumbing, heating, electric, roofing, or other home-owning maintenance issues. If you are looking forward to a quiet retirement or simply don’t want to put in the time, effort, and money to take care of these problems independently, a condo is a good idea. However, if you don’t mind taking on these responsibilities and the other aspects of homeownership work for you, buying a house is a good option. 


  • What Perks Are You Looking For?

One final fun question to ask yourself is what perks you are looking for. With a condo, you are usually close to other people and fashionable downtown shopping areas. You may have a community pool and lounging area and be able to develop friendships with other residents. 


With a house, you may not have access to the flashy perks of living in a condo; however, you and your family can have your own space and make significant changes to your property. Your decision will be based on the type of living environment you prefer and the location that works for you.


Work with an experienced real estate agent to help you decide between buying a condo or a house.


Let a Real Estate Agent Help

Work with an experienced real estate agent to help you decide between buying a condo or a house. Bryan Gold, a realtor with the Abode Group in South Florida, is the perfect agent to work with when choosing a new home for you and your family. Bryan is happy to help you look at different property options to make the best decision for your significant purchase. Contact Bryan today at (954) 464-3459 or to begin your journey to buying a home or condo in South Florida.

Posted in Buying a Home
May 26, 2021

Complete Cost Guide When Buying a Home

Complete Cost Guide When Buying a Home

The process of buying a new home is overwhelming and exciting. While you are probably aware of many costs associated with purchasing a home, such as monthly mortgage payments and homeowners insurance, other expenses may come as a surprise. 


Homebuyers need to factor in additional costs to the home’s total price. This complete cost guide to buying a home in Florida breaks down these expenses of purchasing a home, so you know what to expect when it’s time to sign the papers. 


Costs Associated With Buying a Home

Costs Associated With Buying a Home

There are many costs associated with buying a home. From the mortgage payment itself to the home inspection and closing costs, purchasing your home means paying various fees and calculating more than the price tag on the property listing. The following are standard costs involved during the home buying process. 


It is important to note that these costs are listed separately; however, many times, mortgage payments and insurance costs are combined. For instance, homeowner’s or mortgage insurance and property taxes are typically lumped into your monthly mortgage payment, while home inspections and title searches are rolled into closing costs. Sometimes the buyer can negotiate these costs with the seller to be covered on their end. It is a good idea to work with an experienced South Florida realtor who can help you discuss some of these costs with the seller’s realtor.


  • Mortgage Payment

A monthly mortgage payment is the most obvious cost associated with buying a home. For most people, buying a home means taking out a loan to purchase the house. The loan amount is based on the asking price, your down payment amount, and your monthly payment is determined by the term of the loan and the annual percentage rate (APR) the lender offers. Determining this cost is one of the critical steps to buying a home in Florida since it is the biggest expense when purchasing a home. 


  • Homeowners Insurance

Homeowner’s insurance is a necessary cost of buying a home. Lenders require you to purchase homeowners insurance for your property that covers personal injury, interior or exterior damage, and loss of property or assets. The insurance price depends on various factors, such as your home’s location and the bank’s coverage requirements. 


  •  Mortgage Insurance

Mortgage insurance is another potential cost for homebuyers, mainly if they utilize an FHA loan or the bank sees them as a risky investment. If you are making less than a 20% down payment, you may be required to purchase mortgage insurance before closing on your home. 


  •  Property Taxes

Property taxes are another cost to consider. These taxes pay for schools, road improvement, libraries, sewer upkeep, etc. Property taxes are paid in arrears, meaning they are paid one year behind, so the seller is responsible for the property taxes for the year you purchase the house.


The amount is prorated depending on the date of the sale, and the seller gives the buyer credit for the taxes. You do not pay for property taxes upfront; however, you are responsible for using this credit to pay the taxes when they are due at the end of the year.


  •  Closing Costs 

Closing costs refer to several finalizing fees of buying a home. Closing costs are approximately 5% of the total loan amount. They include expenses incurred during the real estate transaction, such as loan origination fees, administrative fees, credit report fees, title searches, mortgage points, home appraisals and inspections, and property taxes. 


  •  Home Inspection and Appraisal

Whether the home inspection and appraisal are included in the closing fees or not, expect to factor them into the cost of buying your home. A listed home inspector performs a home inspection to determine the condition of the house. This small cost can save you big bucks later on if a significant element needs to be replaced, as you can often negotiate to have the seller fix big-ticket items before you purchase.


A home appraisal is covered by either the buyer or seller and is performed by an appraiser who determines the property’s value. This process is important, especially to lenders, because they don’t want to lend more than the home’s value. Although each of these reports costs a few hundred dollars, they save you money in the long run. 


  •  Recording Fees

Recording fees are often included in closing costs. These are fees charged by the county where the real estate transaction takes place in exchange for recording or registering the transaction. This means filing the mortgage information or deed with the county as a time-stamped document. The fees are generally low but vary by county. 


In addition to understanding the costs that buyers are responsible for during the homebuying process, it is also helpful to look at the seller’s costs. Some costs responsibilities are negotiable during the process, but for the most part, sellers are responsible for the following expenses: 


  •  Commission to Real Estate Agent

As a buyer, you do not pay your real estate agent directly. Both your real estate agent and the seller’s agent are paid from the profits they make on the sale of the property. This means you are paying for the home, but the seller is paying for the transaction.


  •  Title Search

Typically in Florida, the seller pays for a title search. It confirms the legal ownership of the property and ensures that there are no liens against the house. Lenders require this document before closing to verify the correct preparation of documents for the transfer of ownership.


  •  Outstanding Balances


Before the seller can complete the sale, they must pay all outstanding liens on the property. These expenses include Homeowners Association (HOA) dues, property taxes, and even utility bills.


Look for Your Dream Home Today

Look for Your Dream Home Today

The costs of buying a home are many, but if you’re financially prepared, they shouldn’t stop you from purchasing the house of your dreams. Work with an experienced realtor like Bryan Gold to find a home in South Florida that meets your budget needs along with your ideal location and aesthetic. 


Bryan Gold draws on seven years of experience to help you negotiate with the seller to lower or split some of the costs of buying a home while you work with your lender to close on your investment. Bryan uses technology and proven strategies to get you the best deal possible on your dream home. Contact Bryan today to find out more at (954) 464-3459 or

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