Ocean skyline north as seen when entering Flagler Beach, Florida via the high bridge

Coming home over the bridge is so
overwhelmingly heart-warming and welcoming after being away!
(What was that Carly Simon song?)

Ocean skyline north as seen when entering Flagler Beach, Florida via the high bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway

Smell the ocean air! You are almost there. It is almost yours.

a firey red-orange lifeguard perch by the pier at dawn

Ocean sunrises, dolphins, whales,
and manta rays, fishing, beach combing, sand in your toes; - what a wonderful life!

Bright yellow red and green crotons

Beauty is all around. Take the time to smell the ocean air and watch the pelicans dive into the surf.

a single story cracker house, one of many buildings painted by local artist Dave Stead

People are happy. Nobody is in a
hurry and after awhile, you learn to relax then you know you love it, too.

a boat on the Intracoastal Waterway in Flagler Beach, Florida

The Parade of Yachts, manatees, dolphins, the birds and the fish;
life means living your dream!

a white egret walking through marsh waters
If you are lucky enough to live in Flagler Beach; you are lucky enough. Savor the moments.

Property Page - Buyer's Search List - Seller's Page - Seller's Property Pricing

Buying-a-Home Check List by
Sodi Griffin 386 - 569-3940

For Those Who Want to Make the Best Decision with their Largest Investment.

  • The Process
  • Preliminary Planning
  • Educate Yourself
  • A Good Realtor Will Help
  • Home Feature List

In these tabbed pages you will find all you need to know about buying a home in Flagler Beach, Florida with the help of a good Realtor.

The Buying Process

Choose the neighborhood you will enjoy waking up in every morning.

Do you want to see your sail boat or motor boat in the back yard?

Do you want to see dolphins or manatees from your window?

Do you like surfing, surf-casting, beach combing?

Do you want to hear the surf over your morning coffee?

Is a screened and heated swimming pool a must?

Will it be a full time residence/tropical garden or a vacation home?

Complete your search list to clarify your thinking.

Search the Internet

For the type of property you will eventually buy.

Check location, prices, features.

Notice which agency has the most homes in the area in which
you intend to live.

Who is the Realtor (pronounced with two syllables: Real-tor - there's only one "a" in Realtor) who lives and works in the neighborhood?

How experienced is your Realtor? Be sure he or she is a professional Realtor, not just a licensed real estate agent.

Fill in your search list to organize your thoughts

Choose your real estate professional carefully,

He or she will be helping you with one of life's largest investments.

Choose a Realtor who:

Specializes in the market where you want to own,

Is willing to learn your likes and dislikes to save
your time for vacation activities,

Who is experienced enough to get you through some of
those occasional high waves that hit life's shores.

Call Sodi Griffin at 386 - 569-3940.

Fill in your Property Feature-Search List to get started on the easy path.

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     Property Page - Buyer's Search List - Seller's Page - Seller's Property Pricing

 

In these tabbed pages you will find all you need to know about buying a home in Flagler Beach, Florida with the help of a good Realtor.

Do some preliminary planning before
you jump into unknown waters:

Your Credit (the boring part first):

Get a copy of your credit report to avoid unnecessary weeks
of financing delay. 

You can request one free credit report, once each year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus or you can ask your mortgage counselor to do it for you for a small fee. It is a good habit to stagger the requests, one credit bureau at a time, four months apart.

Be sure there are no items on your report belonging to someone with a similar name or social security number. It can take weeks to get them removed. Too much time when you are waiting to move into your new home.

Be sure any old derogatory remarks have been removed after seven years (ten years if a bankruptcy).

Credit bureaus are required to remove necessary items in a reasonable amount of time (30 days) from the time you notify them in writing.

Too many credit cards can hurt your rating.  Don’t just cut up any cards you do not use.  Cancel them in writing and get confirmation.  Ask your mortgage originator which credit accounts you should pay down and which to leave alone.

Do not make any major purchases (sorry) before buying real estate.  It could change your income to expense ratio by just the margin you may need.  Extra cash savings always looks good on your bank statement.

Even if buying for your new home, wait until you have the house keys
before spending.

To skip to the fun part, fill in your search list.

Mortgage, if needed:

Pre-qualification. 

Having a knowledgeable Realtor or lender review your income and monthly payments, pre-qualifying you for the amount of loan you need will save you and your Realtor time from looking at houses that are beyond your means – and
save the embarrassment. Many sellers will not consider your offer without a "pre-qualification" letter.

Pre-approval. 

Getting a pre-approval letter from a lender is a more powerful indication of your intent to buy a home.  It will make you a “strong buyer”.  If competing with another buyer for the same property, a pre-approval letter can make the difference between winning the home of your choice or loosing to a stronger buyer. The pre-approval letter tells the seller to take your offer seriously; some sellers require it before even looking at your offer. 

Being prepared tells your Realtor, you are worthy of their time and expertise. A pre-approval letter says you have made application, and the lender has started helping you gather your financial information and they will lend the money to you, if a few terms are met:

You find the right property,
The lender obtains a Satisfactory Appraisal,
Possibly one or two more documents from you are submitted.

When markets changefrom a buyers’ market to a sellers’ market, it happens overnight and the results are not reported in the newspapers and on the internet until the information is 4-6 weeks to two months older than on-the-street, at-the-home, happening-to-us-now information. In Flagler County through October 1, 2010, the bottom twenty-five per cent of the market had sold out one and a half times already!

An Availability of Funds Letter. 

If you are fortunate enough to be paying cash (you do not have to sell or liquidate another property or asset first), a letter from your bank stating your availability of funds, is better than a pre-approval letter for a mortgage and strengthens you as a buyer. It is required by most sellers before considering your offer.

Call Sodi Griffin at 386 - 569-3940.

Fill in your Property Feature List to get started.

TOP of this page.
     Property Page - Buyer's Search List - Seller's Page - Seller's Property Pricing

In these tabbed pages you will find all you need to know about buying a home in Flagler county, Florida with the help of a good Realtor.

Educate yourself to the Buying Process

Save money - Tax Credits

Home Inspections

Most reputable agents and Realtors will recommend at least one type of professional inspection, depending on the type of property you are buying and he or she will offer several choices of inspectors from which you may choose. Plan to attend. Not only will you see something you may not like if it is present but, you can make your Honey-Do List at a time when there is advice at hand for maintaining property at the beach or on a saltwater canal.

Appraisal

The bank will require an independent appraisal to verify the property is worth at least the amount you are paying for the property. The lender and your Realtor will take care of getting the appraiser into the property.

Insurance

Your lender will require an insurance policy on the property in an amount at least equal to the amount you will owe to them for the mortgage.  It is a good idea to insure the property for the amount you are paying for it to protect yourself.  

Shop the mortgage rates right after making your offer – or sooner.  Your Realtor can recommend lenders and insurers who work at the beach. When buying a home, it is a good idea to get your insurance policy immediately, especially if you are buying during the months of June through September as some weather conditions (even on a calm, clear sunny day) can cause insurance delays – possibly delaying your financing. (Your experienced real estate professional should remind you.) Delays are not fun when your furniture is on the moving truck waiting for you to "close".

The Closing

A professional Realtor will attend the closing with you to be sure there are no errors on your closing statements and to be sure you are getting what you agreed to receive. He or she may have already reviewed the settlement statement on the day before the actual closing. 

Be sure to read everything before you sign, even if your Realtor reads it first.  You will remember your specifics better than he or she will because it is probably the only closing you are attending that week; he or she may have to refer to notes and it may not be the only closing he or she is attending that week.

A Realtor Appointment

Make your Realtor appointment in advance if you are prepared to buy and start communicating with your Realtor before you begin the physical search.

You do not want to settle for a second best agent when it comes to writing the binding paper work on one of your life’s major purchases nor do you want second best responsible for the follow-through. 

Once you have seen a property with one Realtor, it may be too late to choose the Realtor you really want to help you with the entire transaction.  You may have to take whomever you got - experienced or not! Let your chosen Realtor make the appointments and accompany you to the properties. You never know when you will step over the threshold to just the right home for you!

Be sure you know how to handle the situation if you accidentally come across an Open House without your chosen Realtor.  Do not sign anything – not even
an Open House "guest list" without your chosen agent. 

Call Sodi Griffin at 386 - 569-3940.

Complete your search list.

 

If you haven't done it yet, fill in your Property Search List so you don't forget something important.

TOP of this page.
     Property Page - Buyer's Search List - Seller's Page - Seller's Property Pricing

In these tabbed pages you will find all you need to know about buying a home in Flagler Beach, Florida with the help of a good Realtor.

A Good Realtor will Help With

The clauses your situation needs in the Sales and Purchase Agreement,

Finding the right homes,

Scheduling the appointments in a logical and efficient order
to save your vacation time for vacationing

Will follow-up with the deadlines – making sure you meet all those
dates (or change the dates) in the Agreement,

Surveyors - (whether or not to get an elevation certificate),

Appraiser - making sure he or she sees every good feature of your new home,

Inspectors - being sure they get into the property and check everything,

Lenders - being the nag to make sure your "file" moves along the process,

Utilities - reminding you to get them placed in your name before you arrive,

Moving Companies - who comes with recommendations and who does not,

And many more events or situations that may never have occurred to you.

I hope you have found mysodi.com to be both entertaining and informative and you will choose me to be your knowledgeable and experienced "friend in the business".

Click here to contact an experienced, professional Realtor  (me) then, I will get started getting you prepared to live at the beach. After all, it is my job.  It is what I do every day.  And it is what I have been doing since 1983. Clicking this link will help you to define and list the features you want in your new property making your job fun and easy.

Call Sodi Griffin at 386 - 569-3940.

Have a sunny beach-iful day!


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     Property Page - Buyer's Search List - Seller's Page - Seller's Property Pricing

 

The Property Feature List . . .

. . . will organize your thoughts during what can often be a hectic time in your life, and enable you to remember all the features that are important to you and your future happiness .

In the Property Feature List is where you can tell me about special considerations such as:

Retirement Communities
Schools and Colleges
Extended family considerations
Medical Facility Accessibility
Social Activities
Special Interests
Etcetera

Click here to fill in your Property Feature List

Call Sodi Griffin at 386 - 569-3940.

Happy hunting!


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