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Buying Process Search
1. Deciding on a Place

2. Making the Offer

3. Going to Closing


How long does it take to find a place and move in?
On average it takes 3 months to find a place and move-in. Here is a quick summary:

Action Importance Time to Complete
Obtain loan pre-approval If you plan on getting financing, getting a loan pre-approval will help you understand what your down payment requirements will be and how much of a loan a bank will give you. It will also be a good exercise to determine if you are comfortable with the expected monthly payments 1-3 business days
Searching for properties Depending on your needs, it could take a month or more to find the place that matches your needs and budget. 1-5 weeks
Making an offer Negotiating the best possible price can on average take a week or so 1 week
Getting final loan commitment Once we have a contract, the loan process can begin and will end with a final loan commitment that will allow you to close on the property. The bank has required steps (described in more detail below) that can take some time. 4-5 weeks
Total Time for Purchase Process
2-4 months

Should I rent or buy?

If you plan on staying in your home for 3 years or more, or if you are presented a tremendous opportunity, buying may be a good choice for you. Here are some factors that will help you determine whether it is a good idea to buy or rent. Weigh which ones are most important to you, and this will help guide you to your decision

Factor Rent Buy
Stability Your landlord may decide to move back in, excessively want to raise your rent or want to replace you with another tenant. This kind of risk of having to move around is generally not for everyone Buying gives you the security that you have the same home to go to year after year until you are ready to move on.
Financial responsibility Some people are just free spirits and do not want to be locked down to anything “big.” If you are one of those people, then renting may be a good, simple choice for you. Buying is a big decision and requires a certain amount of financial responsibility. If you relish in this type of achievement and responsibility, then buying is a good choice for you.
School-age children As a renter, staying in a home for as long as you like may not always be an option. Your school-age children may not cope well with this type of change. School age children like the feeling of stability of having the same home, friends and school. Buying offers that stability.
Want to build equity / Want my money to work for me Renting is a monthly cost that will always simply be a cost, not an investment. On the other hand, if renting has less monthly expense than buying, you can use the difference in money to invest elsewhere if you think you are able to have a bigger return after considering tax savings, etc. Buying is a savings and an investment that builds equity in the initial down payment, monthly payments, and property value increases. It also allows you to leverage your money whereas most other investments do not give you that option.
I want my own “home” If you are a free spirit, you may not feel uncomfortable renting “someone else’s place.”
In your own place, you can do pretty much anything that you want: make improvements, paint your own colors, add services, etc
Monthly cost comparison During some markets, renting tends to make more financial sense if the monthly rental costs are low enough to negate all the benefits of buying. Ask your HB Roswell Realty agent to help you compare the monthly cost of renting and buying.
When you buy, you have the follow benefits: tax deductions, building equity with each monthly payment, and gaining equity when the value of your property goes up.

Picking the Right Place

Finding a place you can call home is of course a very personal decision. When considering what you want, always take a step back and think of the kind of lifestyle your want for yourself and your family. You should consider the following things as you come to a decision:

  • Condo, House or Townhouse? One of the biggest questions people have is, do I go for a condo, home or townhouse? This is not a straightforward question and depends on many factors. Some people are a bit shocked when seeing the association fees that are attributed to condos. However, keep in mind that owning a home or townhouse requires insurance, maintenance and capital expenditures that add up to be not too far off the costs that go into condo association fees; the fees are just spread out differently (monthly fees instead of lump-sums every so often)
  • Cost vs Location. Sometimes even if you want, for example a house, you may not be able to afford one in the location you desire to live in. So townhouse or condo may end up being the best choice for your budget
  • School system. If you have school-age children, you may first find the school system you prefer before looking at any properties.
  • Where you work and play. You should decide how important is it for you to be close to work or the activities you love.

Getting pre-approved

It is important to get a pre-approval before you head out to look for a home. The goal of a pre-approval is to determine what you down payment requirements will be, how much a bank will lend you and what your monthly costs will be. With this information, you can determine what price range of properties you can afford. This will ensure that you do not waste time looking at properties that are outside of your financial reach. In addition, when you do find the home of your dreams, the seller will take your offer more seriously if it is presented with a pre-approval. In fact, some sellers will not consider your offer without a pre-approval.

Negotiating the contract

Negotiations can sometimes take a day and other times a few weeks. Whenever deciding how much to offer, consider your alternatives. Always remember that whenever you ask your HB Roswell agent to negotiate below the asking price the end result might be that you lose your chance at the house due to a seller who rejects your offer or another buyer that outbids you. If you truly love this house and it is unique in many ways, then you may want to let your HB Roswell agent know so that they approach the negotiation on a slightly less aggressive note. If you are not very attached to the property and there are others out there that will suffice as well, then you can be a bit more aggressive with the negotiations, because losing it to another buyer or to a dead-end on the negotiation will not be detrimental to you.


Most contracts allow for a 5-10 day period to conduct any kind of professional inspection you would like in order to ensure you do not have any surprises later. Some items that are typically included in a standard inspection are: roof, foundation, Heating , A/C, plumbing, electric and appliances. These days separate mold and Chinese drywall inspections are also more common and are usually selected additionally by the buyer based on certain risk factors.

Selecting Title Company

With the exception of purchasing bank-owned properties, it is customary in South Florida for the buyer to select the title company and pay for title insurance. Occasionally, this responsibility can be placed on the seller.

Condo docs, financials and condo approval

If you are buying a condo, you have the right to request in writing the condominium documents and latest year-end financials. You have 3 days to review (or have your attorney review) these documents to see if there is anything that is cause for concern. Some items that you may want to keep an eye on could be. Check condo docs for:

  • pet policy if you have a pet or are planning on getting one
  • rental policy if you plan on renting now or in the future

You may also want to review the financials for any red flags in regards to the association budget or upcoming assessments for replacement of big-ticket items
Most associations also require the prospective buyer to complete an association application. They will typically run a credit and background check on you. Typically associations do not have the power to deny the purchase as you follow their instructions and complete all requested forms.

Insurance requirements

If you are getting a loan on a single family home or townhouse, your lender will require you to have proof of a property insurance policy before the closing. If you are getting a condo, they will ask you for your condo’s master insurance policy that covers the structure and common areas; the association should be able to provide that to you. The lender will also require you to have contents insurance for your condo as well, which covers your unit’s interior (drywall, paint, floor, finishes, furniture, personal items, etc).

Day before the closing (Walkthrough and HUD)

A walkthrough is typical the day before or day of the closing. The goal of the walkthrough is to confirm that the property is still vacant and no material change has occurred to the property since the date of the contract. The day before the closing, the title company also delivers a HUD settlement statement to all parties involved in the transaction. This document outlines each and every credit and debit for the buyer and seller so that everyone is clear what to bring to the table or what monies they will be receiving at closing.

Closing day

If you are financing, there will be dozens of documents to sign at closing, most of which are required by the lender in regards to your mortgage. Once all the docs are signed and checks are exchanged, you will be able to obtain your keys and the property will becomes yours at that moment.
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HB Roswell Realty's
pledge to homeowners:

  • We will always put your needs first. Our goal is to have a relationship with you, not just a transaction.
  • You will always receive honest and straightforward answers from us
  • We will always stay in communication with you
  • We will always try to get the best deal for you
  • We will constantly invest in our education so that we improve every day
  • You will always find us in networks and organizations with other top agents where we work together to connect buyers and sellers