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Do I need a land survey?
If the purchase is going to be financed by a mortgage lender, they will require a special endorsement that requires a current survey called a “Florida Form 9.” It is for their protection — as well as yours.
If you are not getting a mortgage, you should decide the risk of not getting a survey. If you are absolutely positive the house is properly situated on the correct lot and the neighbor’s house (fence, sidewalk, pool, shed or whatever else) is not encroaching on your property, then you may not need a survey. I personally think a survey is a good investment. Most homes in the majority of subdivisions are well established and it is probably not a problem. It is your money and investment, so be certain you weigh the cost versus benefits carefully when choosing not to have a land survey.
What is a land survey?
A land survey is also be referred to as a Boundary Survey or Property Survey. It is a map or drawing of a piece of property as it physically appears, based on the legal description. A survey may or may not include structures, fences or other items (like trees) on the drawing. A typical survey for residential property includes structures, fences, walkways, and driveways, but not landscaping. And even though a survey is usually on a piece of paper, in this modern day of technology, it might be on “electronic paper” such as an Adobe PDF. A land survey is performed by a licensed professional and is important to assure the structures are on the correct property.
What is a Flood Certificate or Elevation Certificate?
A flood certification, also called an elevation certificate states the flood zone status of real property. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) flood maps are examined using the address or geographic coordinates of the property. Using the location on the map, the flood certification provider certifies what, if any, flood zone in which the property is located.
The Flood Certificate is important for 2 reasons. First it gives you a “risk” guideline for the likelihood of a flood from rising water. But it also is needed by your insurance agent if you are in a flood zone to determine your insurance rates.
What is a Power of Attorney?
According to legalzoom.com, a power of attorney document may be used in real estate transactions in Florida so that one person may sign documents or make agreements on behalf of another. The person giving a power of attorney is referred to as the "principal," and the person receiving the powers granted in the document is the "attorney-in-fact."
State laws often govern requirements regarding powers of attorney and their acceptance. People desiring to sell or purchase vacation homes or other real estate in Florida may be pleased to know that Florida's adoption of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, effective October 1, 2011, may make it easier to use an out-of-state power of attorney. However, Power of Attorneys should only be used after discussing it with their attorney. Make sure your lender and title agency approve the use of a power of attorney beforehand.
What do people mean when they refer to promulgated rate?
The cost of the title insurance policy depends on the sales price of the home; the minimum rate for title insurance is established by the State of Florida. It is called "Promulgated Rate."
The rate in Florida is $5.75 per thousand up to $100,000, and $5.00 per thousand thereafter (up to $1,000,000).
What are Ad Valorem Taxes?
Ad valorem taxes differ from other taxes because it is based on the value of the property. Ad valorem is derived from a Latin term which means “of the value”. Thus the tax changes as the value of the property changes. So the real estate ad valorem tax is an annual tax based on the value of the real estate..
What is the “millage” as it relates to real estate taxes?
The other part of the ad valorem tax (see above) is the “millage” or per cent of the value. Millage is also referred to as “mills”. The millage is 1/10th of 1%. The millage is different for different counties and communities. The millage for unincorporated area of Orange County is 17.6305, or .0176305% of the assessed value and 21.3165 or .213165% for the City of Tampa. The millage is set by the local government and takes into consideration the total assessed value of all real estate in the county or community.
What is a land trust?
Individuals use land trusts mainly for privacy and to avoid probate. Many investors buy properties through land trusts to prevent their names from appearing in public records. The land trust also allows the property to immediately pass to the owner's heirs upon death, rather than go through a lengthy probate process. A Land Trust cannot take title, so a trustee has to take title for the trust.
What is a family trust?
A "Family Trust" is a tool used primarily for estate planning, though it also addresses some privacy concerns. If properly set up, the family trust will allow the "trustees" or "successor trustees" to manage the property and the beneficiaries to receive the assets (in our case the real estate) without going through probate. This can be a great tool for families to use when buying real estate. The buyer should consult their attorney and tax advisor for how this would fit their needs.
What do I need to do bring to the closing?”
The following are the normal things you need for closing.
- Photo Identification – All parties signing closing documents must bring proof of identification to closing. Acceptable forms of identification include: Driver’s License, Passport, State issued ID, and military ID.
- Funding — If funds are required, they must be in the form of a wire transfer — but keep in mind that wires can take several hours to post and may incur fees. If you do plan to wire funds, please initiate wires the day before the closing is scheduled to ensure funds are available at time of closing. A cashier’s check or other certified funds may not be acceptable. If the amount is less than $500, a personal check might be acceptable. Please contact your closing agent for instructions.
- Participants — All vested owners and their spouses, if applicable, must attend.
- Documentation — If relevant, bring the original Power of Attorney or original Trust Documents for recording.
Other— Buyers/Borrowers should bring a voided check or deposit ticket if you wish to set up automatic payments with their new lender.