A home is likely one of the biggest financial purchases you will make, and you may be overwhelmed by all the people involved with the process: real estate agents, mortgage brokers, appraisers, inspectors. Hiring a real estate attorney is often deemed an unnecessary expense during a straightforward purchase — after all, your agent is there to allay any concerns. However, certain states mandate attorney involvement (or at least prohibit non-attorney over-involvement), making it unlawful to participate in a real estate settlement without a licensed attorney presiding and certain transactions are too complicated, costly, or stressful to go it alone.
Each state has its own requirements on who and what needs to be involved, and that’s exactly why you should start your journey with a consultation with an experienced real estate lawyer in Jacksonville, Florida.
Pros of home ownership in Jacksonville, Florida
For many people, owning a home is the fulfillment of the American dream. Because they know that whatever headaches and hassles they must endure are far and away outweighed by the many benefits of buying a home. Buying a home gives you stability – you won’t be moved on by a landlord – and you’ll have the freedom to make improvements and live in the house as you please.
Since your home can become an asset, you also have the potential to make money if you can sell it for more than you originally paid. When you subtract the amount you owe on your home loan from the total value of your house, the amount left over is your home equity-the “dollar” value of your home that actually belongs to you.
Finding the right mortgage
Surprisingly, some future home buyers never review their scores and credit history before submitting a home loan application, assuming that their scores are high enough to qualify. Before you start the homebuying process in Jacksonville, Florida, it can be a good idea to check your credit report and FICO score and to do damage control if necessary. Lenders use your credit score as one of the major factors in determining if you will get approved for a loan, as well as what kind of interest rates you qualify for.
Most mortgages will allow a maximum DTI of 41%, ideally you will want a DTI ratio of no higher that 36%. While these ratios help to determine the maximum mortgage and payment that you can afford, obtaining home financing at these levels may not leave you with much room to comfortably deal with any unexpected changes in your monthly budget. Make sure you understand the interest rate, fees, terms, and whether it is an adjustable- or fixed-rate mortgage.
Why do I need a real estate attorney in Jacksonville, Florida?
The last place you want to be is at the closing table with a professional closer and your buyer’s attorney staring at you and expecting you to respond to a legal question that you are not prepared to answer. Whether we’re talking about residential or commercial real estate, a legal counselor is what could make the difference. A real estate attorney in Jacksonville, Florida 32202 can both explain the details of what you are agreeing to and implement any changes that need to be made. Talking to an attorney will give you an idea of what your options are and what the costs may be if you decide to sue a seller to force completion of a deal or whether you can force completion of a deal.
With so much money in question, you want to make sure the legal documents are correct and that your best interests are properly represented. It is particularly risky to move forward without legal representation when the other side either is an attorney or has one they are consulting.
Start your search in the following nearby locations:
- San Marco
- South Jacksonville
- College Park
- Saint Nicholas
How to choose the best real estate attorney in Jacksonville, Florida?
Start searching for a real estate attorney in Duval County, Florida at the same time you start searching for a new home. Have an attorney who knows your situation and is familiar with the decisions you are making so they can be available to assist you through the process, instead of just being there at the end. If you don’t already know a good closing attorney, ask for referrals from people you know, but be skeptical about referrals from brokers involved in your transaction. Talk to friends, colleagues and family who"ve recently purchased a home and ask them if they would recommend the real estate attorney they used.
Talking to a few different attorneys will not only provide you with knowledge of their qualifications, but will also give you insight as to whether you will have a good rapport with them throughout the transaction. Don’t hold back asking a question because you feel silly or don’t want to waste the attorney’s time.