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Old 08-24-2011, 07:44 AM
 
16 posts, read 72,994 times
Reputation: 16

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Hello

I am looking to buy a townhouse or single family home in $180-$220k range in Fort Lauderdale/ Broward County. I am a first time home buyer and new to the country as well ( 8 months old) so I really don't have much to go by besides info on the internet.

This is my situation: Right now, it is just me and wife. We will definitely have kids in the near future ( 3-4yrs down the line) and a dog or two as well. Hence we need at least a 3 bed, 2 bath townhouse/ single family home.
My wife works in Margate but a year down the line, she will quit it and get into Nova for a 2 yr full time course. Currently, she also goes to Nova for evening classes.
I work as an independent contractor so commute is inevitable.
This will be our primary residence but I would think that 10 yrs down the line, we might look to move into a bigger place and look to sell this off or rent it out.
We are looking to put 20% down to avoid PMIs. Monthly payment of about $1200-$1300 is what we are looking at (including PITI and HOA)

I am not even sure what variables to consider. Talking to different realtors has given me different pictures of various locations and different variables. In decreasing order of priority, this is my list:
(i) Safe neighbourhood
(ii) Well maintained community/ locate
(iii) Good Elementary Schools
(iv) Proximity to Nova University
(v) Resale value
(vi) Somewhat new construction (post 2000)
(vii) Upgraded kitchen

A) Have I ranked my priorities in the wrong order, given my situation ? Like should I rank resale value much higher ?

B) Assuming this priority list is right, I am looking at Cooper City, Davie, Plantation and Weston. Again, am I focusing on the wrong locations ? I know about Coral Springs and Parkland but they score low on the 'proximity to Nova' parameter.

C) Assuming I am looking at the right locations, would you advice looking at foreclosures and short sales or just resales ? Short sales give more bang for the buck but I am anxious about possible hassles. We have already gotten pre-qualified so viability on our end is not a problem.

I would really appreciate some help and trustworthy guidance on the matter.

Thanks a lot for reading this

~APC
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:38 PM
 
1,468 posts, read 4,320,684 times
Reputation: 1080
Quote:
Originally Posted by arun.cheriyan82 View Post
Hello

I am looking to buy a townhouse or single family home in $180-$220k range in Fort Lauderdale/ Broward County. I am a first time home buyer and new to the country as well ( 8 months old) so I really don't have much to go by besides info on the internet.

This is my situation: Right now, it is just me and wife. We will definitely have kids in the near future ( 3-4yrs down the line) and a dog or two as well. Hence we need at least a 3 bed, 2 bath townhouse/ single family home.
My wife works in Margate but a year down the line, she will quit it and get into Nova for a 2 yr full time course. Currently, she also goes to Nova for evening classes.
I work as an independent contractor so commute is inevitable.
This will be our primary residence but I would think that 10 yrs down the line, we might look to move into a bigger place and look to sell this off or rent it out.
We are looking to put 20% down to avoid PMIs. Monthly payment of about $1200-$1300 is what we are looking at (including PITI and HOA)

I am not even sure what variables to consider. Talking to different realtors has given me different pictures of various locations and different variables. In decreasing order of priority, this is my list:
(i) Safe neighbourhood
(ii) Well maintained community/ locate
(iii) Good Elementary Schools
(iv) Proximity to Nova University
(v) Resale value
(vi) Somewhat new construction (post 2000)
(vii) Upgraded kitchen

A) Have I ranked my priorities in the wrong order, given my situation ? Like should I rank resale value much higher ?

B) Assuming this priority list is right, I am looking at Cooper City, Davie, Plantation and Weston. Again, am I focusing on the wrong locations ? I know about Coral Springs and Parkland but they score low on the 'proximity to Nova' parameter.

C) Assuming I am looking at the right locations, would you advice looking at foreclosures and short sales or just resales ? Short sales give more bang for the buck but I am anxious about possible hassles. We have already gotten pre-qualified so viability on our end is not a problem.

I would really appreciate some help and trustworthy guidance on the matter.

Thanks a lot for reading this

~APC
Lets be honest, you can take your pick. I can show you places that were built to sell for $600,000 or more you can buy for $225,000 that have never been lived in. Single family homes for $100,000 and up in decent areas. Your problem will but too much to look at and having to make up your mind. Get with a good Realtor and just go nuts. There are not enough hours in the day to look at it all.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:36 PM
 
16 posts, read 72,994 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mango23 View Post
Lets be honest, you can take your pick. I can show you places that were built to sell for $600,000 or more you can buy for $225,000 that have never been lived in. Single family homes for $100,000 and up in decent areas. Your problem will but too much to look at and having to make up your mind. Get with a good Realtor and just go nuts. There are not enough hours in the day to look at it all.
Lol! Thanks! You would think that it might be a good problem to have, but to someone as green as I am, it is a problem I wish was a lot more streamlined. BTW, do you know of any realtor you would recommend. Put another way, what do you think I should look when looking to select a realtor ? Everyone sounds good over the phone or in person!!
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Old 08-26-2011, 02:05 PM
 
83 posts, read 287,541 times
Reputation: 52
When estimating your monthly housing cost range also be aware that your property tax will be higher if you're not qualified for Homestead exemption. Furthermore some HOA dues are quite significant. I believe that you have done sufficient research to come up with the conclusion of $1200-$1300 but I was surprised about how expensive of homeowners' insurance is when I purchased my first home in South FL.

Davie, Plantation, and Weston could be good options if you prefer being close to Nova. Given the current housing situation you can find a home in these areas with the price range. Short sales takes nerves because you never know what will happen. Buying "foreclosure as is" also can wreck your nerve. It takes patience and time to find the best home and a good realtor should be sensitive to your needs. My first realtor was very pushy and kept showing me homes much higher than my price range. The second realtor was very professional and patient but he works in Northern Broward. Also my last cent, don't fully rely on the realtors and you have to do your homework as well.
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,278 posts, read 3,219,748 times
Reputation: 389
Default Buying Advice

what is the homestead benefit, do you have to be a resident of Florida. I am from Louisiana
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Old 08-26-2011, 03:45 PM
 
83 posts, read 287,541 times
Reputation: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by alsidw View Post
what is the homestead benefit, do you have to be a resident of Florida. I am from Louisiana
Your taxable property value will be exempted for up to $50,000 if you are qualified for Homestead Exemption. You have to be a permanent Florida resident and your house is for primary residency. Plus you have to be either a U.S. citizen or a green card holder. If you move to Broward County you can go to the following website for more information:

Broward County Property Appraiser's Network
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Port St Lucie Florida
1,278 posts, read 3,219,748 times
Reputation: 389
Default Tax exemptions

How long do you have to be in the house to qualify. It is a case of getting hammered the first year and getting a reduction the second year. What about 65 year old exemptions.
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Old 08-27-2011, 08:41 AM
 
16 posts, read 72,994 times
Reputation: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lydialuna View Post
When estimating your monthly housing cost range also be aware that your property tax will be higher if you're not qualified for Homestead exemption. Furthermore some HOA dues are quite significant. I believe that you have done sufficient research to come up with the conclusion of $1200-$1300 but I was surprised about how expensive of homeowners' insurance is when I purchased my first home in South FL.

Davie, Plantation, and Weston could be good options if you prefer being close to Nova. Given the current housing situation you can find a home in these areas with the price range. Short sales takes nerves because you never know what will happen. Buying "foreclosure as is" also can wreck your nerve. It takes patience and time to find the best home and a good realtor should be sensitive to your needs. My first realtor was very pushy and kept showing me homes much higher than my price range. The second realtor was very professional and patient but he works in Northern Broward. Also my last cent, don't fully rely on the realtors and you have to do your homework as well.
Wow! Thanks for the heads up lydialuna. Just curious - at what point during the entire purchase process does this come into picture? I mean when do I tell whom that we are eligible for Homestead exemption ? Thanks!
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:47 AM
 
83 posts, read 287,541 times
Reputation: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by alsidw View Post
How long do you have to be in the house to qualify. It is a case of getting hammered the first year and getting a reduction the second year. What about 65 year old exemptions.
Please check Broward County Property Appraiser's Network for details. They can answer all your questions. Best regards.
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Old 08-28-2011, 08:51 AM
 
83 posts, read 287,541 times
Reputation: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by arun.cheriyan82 View Post
Wow! Thanks for the heads up lydialuna. Just curious - at what point during the entire purchase process does this come into picture? I mean when do I tell whom that we are eligible for Homestead exemption ? Thanks!
If you're eligible based on the Florida requirements you should apply for the exemption after you purchase the property. However, they do have deadlines for each year. Hope you can find a nice home soon!
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