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Fort Lauderdale area Broward County
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Old 05-13-2011, 12:28 AM
3 posts, read 4,169 times
Reputation: 10



I am an international student who have been living in Florida for 5 months now. It hurts everytime I pay the rent ($900) as it represents almost half of what my wife and I we are using monthly and since the prices on properties are low at the moment. My dad can give me a loan of $40k and I am considering to buy a place to live.

I don't know much about the real estate market or the conditions in the US/Florida, so I would really appreciate some beginner help to clear some doubts.

- No more than $50k
- Could be any type of property
- Preferrably close to the university area (FAU, BC etc)
- If not Davie, then a safe neighborhood close by

General questions:
1. Which fees are connected to buying a property?
2. How much is the normal tax % per year of the property's value?
3. Is the listing price normally negotiable? If yes, how much does it use to drop?
4. Are there any problems paying everything upfront through a foreign bank account? I would like to have it in my wife's (US resident) and my own name (international student).
5. If we buy an apartment in a condominum, how much would it cost us monthly in different fees to the administration for maintenance etc? I understand this can vary from place to place, but are we talking about $50 or $300?
6. Once we have found an apartment/house and agreed on the price, how do we proceed? Should we hire a lawyer or a professional to check the place for faults, revise the contract and so on? I wouldn't like to make such a huge buy without being sure.
7. Which listing services are good and reliable?

Probably a lot of stupid questions here, but I am young and inexperienced, so I would really appreciate some help. Thanks in advance and have a wonderful weekend
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:30 PM
Location: Waxhaw, NC
1,076 posts, read 2,351,618 times
Reputation: 1109
First off, $50k in a condo is VERY hard to accomplish in a safe neighborhood unless you are buying in a 50+ aged community. Someone else will have to help you with the fees associated with purchasing, there are realtors on City Data that can assist. That brings me to my next point, please go find a realtor with the buyer in mind. Do not pick the realtor listing the unit you are looking at, they have their client and their wallet in mind. A realtor can direct you to properties that you may not know of, and they can definitely answer these questions. The listing price can sometimes be negotiated and the fee drop will depend on lots of factors such as, how long has the property been on the market, how motivated are the sellers, what are the comparables in the area selling for?
Your safest and most reliable bet will be to find a realtor to assist you in this search. $900 may seem like alot, but realistically, thats a damn good price for a 1 bedroom place. You may need to search in a not so desirable area to find a better rental/purchase price, but I dont think you can get much for $50k.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:10 PM
Location: Vero Beach, Fl
2,976 posts, read 13,321,385 times
Reputation: 2260
Whenever you buy real estate, particularly in Florida, you have to think about resale. Will you be in an area where that does not pose a problem? Since you are a foreign student, you only have a limited amount of time here unless you are in one of the highly sought after fields such as medicine or technology, as an example. So think about the length of time you will be here.

With a condo, you also have to consider property taxes, insurance, and utilities plus, special assessments. There are a lot of foreclosures in the condo market and that becomes an additional burden to the associations and the owners.
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Old 05-13-2011, 03:45 PM
Location: Fort Lauderdale
423 posts, read 1,633,544 times
Reputation: 94
I just looked up the mls and there 3 foreclosed condos that are listed for below 50K in the Davie area... Two of them are 1/1 where as third is a 2/2. As others have mentioned, take into consideration taxes, condo fee and other stuff into consideration before buying.

I live 5 mins from Nova, so wouldn't mind sitting for a coffee and giving you more details. Going to PM you with my info, in case you are interested.
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