Bishop Realty Group presents 3444 Santa Clara Dr. Punta Gorda FL 33983

November 18th, 2015

 

Bishop Realty Group presents 3444 Santa Clara Dr. Punta Gorda FL 33983
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Description Photos Maps & Local Schools Walk Score
$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS
3 BATHROOMS (2 full, 1 half)
1,832 Square Feet
Waterfront living is what the Florida lifestyle is all about and this home delivers just that.  With 97’ of saltwater canal frontage and just three lots in from the open waters of the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor, you’ll be basking in the Florida lifestyle every day.  This stilt home offers plenty of parking under the house for cars, boats, and toys.  If you’re looking for a place to hide your returning college student or mother-in-law, then there is a finished suite on the lower floor too, with its own half bath, two large rooms with separate entry doors, and washer/dryer hookup.The main living level is on the second floor and can be entered from stairs at the front or rear of the home.  Entering from the front, walks you around the large shade tree to an upper level front porch.  Enter through the formal foyer and experience the large open floor plan with cathedral ceilings and huge 14’ x 23’ family room.  Natural light fills the upper level, especially in the morning room off the open kitchen.  Here is where you will most assuredly enjoy morning coffee and conversation as you take in the tranquil canal and partial Peace River views.  Need to get some work done?  No problem, just walk a few steps away to the office space with French doors and wood laminate floors.  This room can also be a private dining room for more formal gatherings than those experienced in the dining space open to the kitchen.  In the kitchen you’ll find more natural lighting with a tubular skylight.  You’ll also find stainless steel appliances, raised panel cabinetry, under-cabinet lighting, and dual sink with a beautiful view through the windows of the morning room.

After you’ve enjoyed another gorgeous Charlotte Harbor sunset on the balcony, retire to the comfort of the master suite.  The master suite measures 12’ x 20’ and has a walk-in closet and en suite bath.  Guests or little ones can nestle in their separate split bedrooms.  A full guest bathroom with tub/shower combo provides all the comforts of home and there is even a pocket door to provide a “guest wing” for privacy.

This home has a lot to offer anyone looking to live on the water in beautiful Southwest Florida.  With plenty of room for a family or guests and a separate living suite, you’ll surely be comfortable here to enjoy the Florida lifestyle.  Call or text us today at 941-281-5002 to schedule your private tour!

 

 

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Bishop Realty Group presents 412 Scarlet Sage Punta Gorda FL 33955

November 17th, 2015

 

Bishop Realty Group presents 412 Scarlet Sage Punta Gorda FL 33955
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Description Photos Maps & Local Schools Walk Score
$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS
2 BATHROOMS (2 full)
1,594 Square Feet
Would you like to live close to a restaurant with an award winning chef serving decadent meals, weekend community events from craft shows to art and farmers market gatherings? This is the 3 bedroom, split plan, pool home meant for you! Not one but two of the bedrooms give you access through sliding glass doors to your open and spacious covered lanai and screened in pool with a flowing waterfall. Just feet away to your brick paved grill area to serve your guests your own world famous BBQ in the summer or in this case winter too. After all this is Southwest Florida! Cozy up to your loved ones and catch up with each other in the spacious living room. Sip coffee and check emails at the built in desk in the kitchen and lay your head to rest in the huge master bedroom before slipping off to sleep to wake to another beautiful sunrise here in Florida.

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Bishop Realty Group presents 21188 Burkhart Drive Port Charlotte FL 33952

November 10th, 2015

 

Bishop Realty Group presents 21188 Burkhart Dr. Port Charlotte FL 33952
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Description Photos Maps & Local Schools Walk Score
$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS
2 BATHROOMS (2 full)
1,832 Square Feet
Location is everything and this house just about has it all. Centrally located in Port Charlotte, this house is close to all major shopping, restaurants, and hospitals, but you would never know it by its quiet street setting. Odds are that you’re looking to enjoy the Florida lifestyle. With a freshwater canal in the backyard, you’ll enjoy fishing from your private dock or just taking in a quiet night among the stars. During those warm days, you can still enjoy the water view from the comfort of your screened lanai. This is no ordinary screened lanai though. Here you’ll also find vinyl windows that allow you to keep the lanai cool from the air conditioning of the house. If you’re dreaming about relaxing by the pool, then you’ll be happy to know that there is room to build your own custom relaxation oasis.Did we mention that this house just about has it all? Yep, we sure did. The screened front entry way is a nice welcome home and so is the interior foyer. The “L shaped” living and dining room plan are perfect for more formal gatherings. Yet, the eat-in kitchen opens to the family room for comfortable everyday living. All of the most wanted floor plan features are found here. Need to keep the kiddos or guests away at night? No problem. The split bedroom floor plan takes care of that. Need some head room? The cathedral ceilings have got you covered. Tired of fighting for counter space with your loved one? No worries. The master bathroom has dual sinks with plenty of counter space. Dual walk-in closets round out the double features found in the master suite. Big kitchens are in and the island kitchen in this one has everything you need. Plenty of cabinets for storage and plenty of counter space for food prep. Don’t want to make a mess in the “fancy” dining room. No problem here as the breakfast nook in the kitchen can accommodate a good sized 4-top table and has a large picture window to enjoy the waterfront view.This house is loaded with exterior features too. Gutters and storm panels will help in times of rain and hurricane. When it hasn’t rained in a while, you can keep the lawn from getting too thirsty with the canal-fed irrigation system. Mature landscaping and landscape curbing help keep things looking attractive outside. There’s a nice breeze outside and the garage screen door will let you open the house up to enjoy it. The sun is going down early, but the street lights and security system mean coming home at night with peace of mind. We love this house and we’re sure you will too. Call or text us today at 941-281-5002 to schedule your private tour.

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Things to do for Halloween in Punta Gorda

October 27th, 2015

It’s the time of year again when you’re probably wondering about things to do for Halloween in Punta Gorda.  Let’s face it.  It’s never easy to come up with things to do for the entire family at Halloween.  The little ones are caught up in the excitement of costumes and candy.  The teenagers are just too cool to have anything to do with parents or trick-or-treating.  The parents want some scary fun with spirits of another sort, away from the kids.  And the grandparents, well they’re just happy to be around whomever will spend time with them.  It can be quite difficult to try to cover all those bases on Halloween.  This year, however, Halloween falls on a Saturday and Punta Gorda, FL has something for everyone!

things to do for halloween in punta gorda

Smugglers Presents Haunting on the Harbor 2015

The 2015 Haunting on the Harbor Halloween Festival and Haunted House presented by Smugglers is the one event that literally has something for everyone!  Friday night October 30th at 5:00 pm is the official all ages kick off to the Halloween weekend.  The little ones can live it up in the Kids Play Area and Bounce House.  There is even a new “Not So Scary” Kid’s Fun House.  Starting at 7:00 pm, the kids get to enjoy a Halloween movie outdoors.  Also starting at 7:00 pm, the doors to the Haunted House open.  ENTER IF YOU DARE!  This is rumored to be one heck of a scary haunted house and not for the faint of heart.  In fact, children under 6 years of age are not permitted in this scary portal to fears, nightmares, and dimensions unknown!  For the older folks, or anyone not wishing to get the daylights scared out of them, there will be live music by Echo 80 starting at 9:00 pm.

things to do for halloween in punta gorda

Harbor Nissan’s War on Peace 4th Annual Dragon Boat Festival

How cool is it that Halloween falls on a Saturday?  That means that we can make a day of it this year!  Our family will be starting the day by participating with our fellow Keller Williams Realty Peace River Partners agents and staff in the 4th Annual Dragon Boat Races.  The races start at 9:00 am with an awards ceremony following the completion of racing.  This will be a great event for all ages and a really unique experience to kickoff your Halloween festivities.

Don’t forget that with all of this Halloween stuff going on, we are right in the middle of a fantastic College Football season.  Once the Dragon Boat Festival has concluded, slip over to one of many Downtown Punta Gorda bars to catch your early games.  Not sure where to go for the games?  Here’s a list of places with TVs that are within walking distance and sure to quench your thirst with spirits and even local Fat Point Brewing micro brews:

Once the early games have played, head on over to the Haunting on the Harbor Halloween Festival and Haunted House.  The festival gates open at 3:00 pm with games, rides, food and beverages.  You can even catch a good old fashioned hayride through the streets of Downtown Punta Gorda and the Historic District.  If you’re like us, we’ll be watching the Florida/Georgia game starting at 3:30 pm on CBS at one of our favorite watering holes downtown, but then we’ll be heading over to the Halloween Festival for the live music of local favorite singer/songwriter Jason Brownie at 6:00 pm.  That scary Haunted House opens at 7:00 pm again and there’s more live music at 8:00 pm from Nashville recording artist Jack Michael.  For you big kids who have grown older but refuse to grow up, there is an adult costume contest on the stage at 10:00 pm.

With all of the things to do for Halloween in Punta Gorda this year, we haven’t even mentioned everyone’s favorite of trick-or-treating.  Well, that doesn’t get any better than in the Historic section of Downtown Punta Gorda.  Here you will find costumed kids from infancy to elderly walking the sidewalks and streets in masses.  The roads are roped off and Punta Gorda City Police are in force to ensure everyone’s safety.  Houses in the district are decorated to the hilt with goons, goblins, witches, zombies, cemeteries and spook houses.  Even the churches take part in the fun.  Most houses along the way have candy if you dare go to the door.  You’ll find that while the houses and yards may be quite intimidating the costumed residents passing out candy are quite friendly.  The trick-or-treating route goes on for miles, so be sure that you have some comfortable shoes with your horrifying costume!

There really is no better place in Southwest Florida to experience Halloween 2015.  Make a full day of it and take in all the community has to offer.  We know we are going to and we’re pretty sure that if you’re not a resident already, you’ll want to be by Sunday!  Don’t forget to make time to check out one of our beautiful sunsets while experiencing all the things to do for Halloween in Punta Gorda.

things to do for halloween in punta gorda

One of Our Many Gorgeous Sunsets along the Harborwalk – Photo courtesy of Peace River Photography

Once you fall in love with the Historic section of Downtown Punta Gorda, and we know you will, you’ll want to move there!  Bishop Realty Group of Keller Williams Realty Peace River Partners can help you find the perfect home.  Here are all the homes available in the Historic section of Downtown Punta Gorda.

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Bishop Realty Group presents 2306 Zuyder Terrace North Port FL 34286

August 9th, 2015
2306 Zuyder Terrace, North Port, FL

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Description Photos Maps & Local Schools Walk Score
 
$ Click for current price

3 BEDROOMS

2 BATHROOMS (2 full)

1,762 Square Feet

 

Bishop Realty Group presents 2306 Zuyder Ter. North Port, FL 34286 | Here’s a concept in buying a home!  How about buying a home that comes with everything, even a flat screen TV to enjoy the start of another football season?  That’s right!  This baby comes turn-key furnished right down to the nice comfy contemporary microfiber couches in the open concept family room.  Need to run to the kitchen to grab another beverage?  You won’t miss any of the game because the kitchen is open to the family room.  In fact, this house is perfect for entertaining with its open plan that allows the family room, dining room, and kitchen to all flow together in harmony.  Cathedral ceilings ensure that you’ll have plenty of headroom if any of your taller team mates show up unannounced.  Uh oh, you pulled grill duty during the game this weekend, huh?  No worries!  The screened lanai features a ProSeries Brinkmann stainless steel grill and there’s a big picture window to watch the game while the “coach” has you working.  Speaking of the “coach,” I’m sure she will enjoy preparing all the fun finger foods and snacks from the large kitchen complete with breakfast bar and closet pantry.   Go grab your clean jersey from the interior laundry room and get ready for kickoff.  When halftime rolls around, it’s time to get outside and throw the ball around.  What better place to do that than in the back yard of this over-sized corner lot?  There’s no pool to get in the way, but if your team has plans for one in the future, then it should fit back here just fine.  Let’s head back in and cool off in the air conditioning while we get ready for the second half.  No stadium lighting needed for day games around here.  Natural light pours in throughout the house from all of its large windows.  If it’s a night game you are taking in, then this house has you covered there, too.  The split bedroom floor plan allows the waterboy and little cheerleader to sleep quietly in their separate rooms on one side of the house, while you study game film from the master suite on the opposite side.  Okay player, time to hit the showers.  The large master bathroom features dual sinks, a large walk-in closet, large linen closet, shower, and separate water closet.  Oops, with all the football fun this weekend, you forgot to get some work done didn’t you?  Head over to the separate den or office and get it done before you hit the sack!  This house has all the bases covered.  Wait, now we’re talking baseball.  Okay, well if baseball is your game, then you can catch the Tampa Bay Rays for spring training in just a matter of minutes.  In fact, everything you need is just minutes away, from shopping to dining to North Port’s top rated schools.  Call or text us today at 941-281-5002 for more information or to schedule a tour.

 

 

 
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Why Would I Market a Luxury Home For Sale on Craigslist?

August 2nd, 2015

Okay, I know most luxury home sellers, FSBO or not, are thinking, “Why would I market a luxury home for sale on Craigslist?”  Most sellers, in my opinion, have a preconceived and rather misguided notion that Craigslist is strictly for advertising low cost or fixer-upper type homes.  They see the online classified website as a place to find deals and steals.  However, I would argue that there is no better place to advertise a home, condo, or lot in order to reach a truly international audience.  I realize that may sound crazy to some, but consider this:  In the absence of a nationwide or international MLS, Craigslist provides a platform for advertising real estate that is well known to most of the world.  Sure, there are the monster portals that most of us in North America are aware of like “Big Z” and Realtor.com, but the fact is that those websites are not well known internationally.  Our local market area is here in Southwest Florida and Florida has the largest percentage of international buyers in the US.  Realizing that fact means thinking seriously about creative marketing and reaching that international audience.  That’s why when a seller asks, “Why would I market a luxury home for sale on Craigslist?”  The answer is simple.  Craigslist provides us with an internationally known real estate listing platform to reach the greatest number of potential buyers worldwide.

In fact, the Craigslist.org homepage shows a global map and lists all of the sites that the online classifieds giant has available.  These sites are listed as US, Canada, Europe, Asia/Pacific/Middle East, Oceania, Latin America, and Africa.  So, at Bishop Realty Group, we recognize how useful one website that reaches and is known by most of the globe can be in selling your home.  That is why we use Craigslist as one of the tools in our extensive online marketing program to sell real estate of all types and price points.  Let’s look at some examples of homes that were sold and marketed using Craigslist.

why would I market a luxury home for sale on craigslist

Home For Sale in Port Charlotte, FL – SOLD

21346 Meehan Ave. Port Charlotte, FL 33952
This home is one that most people might expect to find listed for sale in Craigslist.  It’s a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, with a carport and 812 sf. of living space built in 1961.  This home was built in one of the first neighborhoods to be developed by the Mackle Brothers back in the late ’50s and early ’60s.  It needed some work and the house was listed accordingly at $45,000.  The seller used it as an income property and the neighborhood in which the house was located is known as a rental district.  Craigslist was instrumental at attracting an abundance of buyers for this property.  A couple of those Craigslist buyers made offers on the property, but deals could not be reached.  Eventually, an agent from our Keller Williams Realty Peace River Partners office was able to procure the buyer of this house and it sold for $40,000 in 65 days.

Let’s look at another example of a home that was successfully advertised on Craigslist.  While the first example was a low priced home in a rental district, the next is a mid-level priced home in one of the largest, most sought after neighborhoods.

420 Azui St. Punta Gorda, FL 33983

House For Sale in Punta Gorda, FL - SOLD

House For Sale in Punta Gorda, FL – SOLD

This home is pushing the limit of what one might typically expect to find advertised on Craigslist.  It’s a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 2 car garage with air conditioned workshop, with a pool and 2,388 sf. of living space built in 2002 on two over-sized cul-de-sac lots.  It is located in the newer section, section 20, of the Deep Creek community.  Deep Creek is a large residential community that consists of a good mix of retirees and families with middle to upper-middle incomes.  We used Craigslist extensively to market this home online.  One of the greatest features of Craigslist when marketing a home for sale is the ability to announce Open House dates and times.  We used this feature to announce and advertise multiple open houses for the property and were able to draw no less than 5 visitors per open house.  In fact, one of the buyers from the last open house, wrote an offer which was accepted by the sellers.  Subsequently, that contract fell through, but we were able to reach a successful contract with a different buyer the following week, and this home sold for $258,000 which was just shy of 94% of the list price.

Okay, so there are two examples of homes that a potential buyer might expect to find on Craigslist.  Now, let’s take a look at a luxury home that most probably wouldn’t expect to run across during a Craigslist search.

Waterfront Luxury Home For Sale in Port Charlotte, FL

Waterfront Luxury Home For Sale in Port Charlotte, FL

4060 Lea Marie Island Dr. Port Charlotte, FL 33952

This home is a luxury waterfront home for sale in Port Charlotte, FL.  It’s a 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom, 3 car garage with almost 3,500 sf. of air conditioned living space.  Built in 2003, the home is located in the exclusive gated community of Lea Marie Island.  Outdoor living space is abundant and includes a summer kitchen and pool with spill-over spa.  The dock is directly behind the home and provides no-fixed-bridge access to the open waters of Charlotte Harbor in less than 10 minutes.  We have used Craigslist extensively to market this property.  In just 3 weeks, we received an offer from an Alabama buyer that found the home on Craigslist.  Unfortunately, we could not negotiate a contract and we continued our Craigslist marketing efforts.  Eventually, we were able to entice buyers from Russia and Germany to view the property.  While this luxury home remains active on the MLS, Craigslist was instrumental in reaching international buyers that might not have otherwise discovered it.

Craigslist is a wonderful tool to have in your internet marketing tool box.  It is a key component in reaching international buyers and generating interest nationwide.  Furthermore, if a seller requires that open houses be held for their luxury home, then Craigslist is great for that too.  Craigslist has the option to announce three different Open House dates with each property listing.  When this feature is utilized, we have experienced 2-3 times the amount of visitors at our open houses.  So you see, if you find yourself asking, “Why would I market a luxury home for sale on Craigslist?” then just remember this… It WORKS, that’s WHY!

Bishop Realty Group Presents – 15252 LEIPZIG CIR Port Charlotte, FL 33981

July 23rd, 2015
15252 Leipzig Cir., Port Charlotte, FL

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What a difference it makes to be so close to open water! This sailboat waterfront lot in South Gulf Cove is one of the closest to the access canal and the open waters of the Myakka River and Charlotte Harbor. This lot is in an area of newer homes, so your custom built dream home will fit right! Experience world class fishing and boating right from your own back yard. The lot has a concrete seawall in place which will make it easy to build your dock and install your boat lift. If fitness is your thing, then you will enjoy close by San Domingo park and it’s fitness trail. Shopping and waterfront restaurants are just minutes away, as are the world class beaches of Boca Grande and Englewood’s Manasota Key. If you’re a baseball fan too, then you will love having the Tampa Bay Rays spring training facility just 10 to 15 minutes from your front door. Come build your new home in the paradise that is Southwest Florida on this waterfront lot with public water and sewer and no bridges to open water.

 
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Selling a Waterfront Home in Punta Gorda Isles

June 18th, 2015

waterfront home for sale in punta gorda islesAre you thinking about selling a waterfront home in Punta Gorda Isles?  Please give us a call at 941-815-1509.  We literally have buyers lining up to buy houses in PGI.  We are currently working with a buyer that is looking for a Punta Gorda Isles waterfront pool home with at least 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a 2 car garage with updated kitchen, nice pool, mature landscaping, and boat lift for a 36′ Boston Whaler.  His price range is $500,000 to $750,000.  If your home is on the market, then please have your agent call us.  If your home is not on the market, but you want to sell, then please give us a call at 941-815-1509.  We would love to provide you with a FREE Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) and apply for the job of selling your Punta Gorda Isles home.  In fact, if you are thinking about selling a waterfront home in Punta Gorda Isles and looking for comparable properties on the market, then please look at the following properties and call us at 941-815-1509 for a FREE consultation.

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Extra Costs to be Aware of When Buying a Home

June 13th, 2015

extra costs to be aware of when buying a home Whether you’re a first time home buyer, trading up to a larger home, or down sizing to a smaller home, there are extra costs to be aware of when buying a home here in Southwest Florida.  Almost every home purchase has costs or fees associated with it in addition to the contracted purchase price.  These costs and fees must be considered when budgeting for your new home purchase, so you aren’t surprised by not having enough money on closing day!

Some of these costs may require a monthly or yearly commitment, while others will be a one time fee or payment for your own protection as the purchaser of the home.  These are the most common costs and fees and not every purchase will require them.  Each transaction is different, but this serves to inform you, the potential buyer, of the most common so that you can be educated as to the process and budget accordingly.  Remember, the purchase of a home is one of the largest financial obligations most people will undertake.  However, as a fully informed and educated buyer, you will no doubt have a lifetime of happy memories and financial advantages to owning your own home.  Read through the following list and make sure that, as you prepare for your next move, you have budgeted accordingly.

1.  Home Inspection

The home inspection is not required by Florida law to be performed, however, in our expertise as Realtors®, it is the single most important action to be taken when buying a home or condo.  Home inspection costs are a one time fee and vary in price from $150 to $300 for a condominium, and $300 to $500 for a single family home.  This fee is due when services are rendered and not at closing.  The home inspector will check all major systems of the home including the roof, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and pool, if applicable.  They also inspect attics, appliances, lawn irrigation systems, fireplaces, and overall condition of the interior and exterior.  Also, for an additional fee, the home inspector will complete a Wind Mitigation Form.  This form records the construction attachment of the roof and trusses and is necessary for additional home insurance credits for any home built before 2002.  The fee for the Wind Mitigation Form is normally $50 to $75 at the time the home inspection is performed, or $100 to $200 if performed separately.  We here at Bishop Realty Group recommend using home inspectors that are also general contractors, which not all home inspectors are.  We feel that if the inspector doesn’t know how to put a house together, then how can that accurately tell us what’s wrong with it.

2.  Septic Inspection (If Applicable)

The septic inspection, again not required by law to be performed when purchasing a home, is probably just as important as the home inspection.  In fact, if you are purchasing a home that has a septic system, then you should consider the septic inspection as going hand-in-hand with the home inspection.  A septic inspection will normally cost between $300 and $600, and while it sounds expensive, it is worth every penny.  Consider this, if there is a complete failure of the septic system, then the average cost for a new system is $6,000 to $8,000.  In fact, we represented the buyers that purchased a waterfront home for sale in Punta Gorda, FL back in November of last year.  The house had a septic system and we made sure that we ordered a septic inspection.  Upon completion of the septic inspection, it was determined that the septic tank itself, which was made of concrete, had large holes in the side and was essentially crumbling.  Those large holes in the side meant that raw sewage was leaking out into the soil surrounding the tank.  Also, the previous owner had planted a large palm tree so close to the drain field that the roots had grown into the drain field and were preventing proper drainage.  The entire septic system needed to be replaced to the tune of almost $8,000.  Had we not conducted the septic inspection, then the buyers would have had a HUGE shock in just a short time of owning their new home.

3.  Appraisal Fee

Most, if not all, banks and lending institutions will require an appraisal of the home during their mortgage approval process.  The lender will order the appraisal from their rotating list of certified appraisers, but it is you, the buyer, who will incur the cost.  The cost of an appraisal in the Southwest Florida real estate market varies anywhere from $300 to $500, but is a required cost when financing the purchase.  Buyers paying cash for a home do not have to pay for an appraisal, but it can be a good step to take, especially if that buyer thinks they are paying too much for the home.  The Florida Association of Realtors and Florida Bar actually provide a form for us to use known as the Appraisal Contingency Form.  This form calls for the house being purchased to meet a certain appraisal value.  If that appraisal value is not met, then the buyer and seller can renegotiate the contract to that appraised value or the buyer can cancel the contract with timely written notice and be refunded their deposit.  The buyer also has the option to continue with the purchase price as stated in the contract, but most buyers would see that as having immediate negative equity in the home.

4.  Survey Fee

The land survey is not required in the state of Florida when purchasing a home, however, just like the inspections, you should never purchase a home without a survey.  This is holds true especially if the subject property or neighbors have sheds or fences.  The fee for a survey in the Southwest Florida market ranges from $300 to $600.  I realize that adds a considerable chunk of cash to the purchase, but consider the alternative.  If the home you’re buying has a shed or fence and it encroaches on a neighbor’s property, then how much will it cost you to rectify the problem when a neighbor discovers it?  Conversely, if you discover that a neighbor has a fence that encroaches your new property, what will it cost you in legal bills to sue the neighbor to move their fence?  You can bet it will take a lawsuit to get a neighbor to comply, especially if the encroachment has existed for a considerable amount of time.  Also, when you order a survey, it is a good idea, and often a necessity to order the Elevation Certificate along with it.  The Elevation Certificate will tack on an additional $75 to $150 at the time of surveying, but it will be required to obtain insurance in flood zone areas.

5.  Property Insurance

Perhaps, more commonly known as homeowner’s insurance, property insurance covers the replacement value of the home you are buying, including the structure and contents.  If you are financing your purchase, then the lending institution will require proof of insurance, as it is needed to protect the collateral of the loan.  One misconception is that homeowner’s insurance can be acquired the day or two before closing.  It is NEVER a good idea to wait until the day or two before closing to obtain your property insurance.  The best time to acquire your property insurance is immediately following the inspection period.  Once all of your inspections are completed and you have decided to continue with the purchase of the house, you should immediately find the best insurance coverage for you and get it bound.  One major issue that most buyers don’t realize has to do with purchasing a home in Florida during hurricane season.  Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th and once a storm has been named, insurance companies will cease to underwrite any new policies until that storm has passed.  So, by waiting until closer to closing day to start your insurance search, you run the risk of not closing on the home at all and forfeiting your earnest money deposit along with all of the other costs we have mentioned up to this point!

6.  Utility Connection and Service Charges

The house that you are purchasing will require connection to utilities, such as water, electric, phone, or cable.  Sometimes these utility companies will require a connection or installation fee.  It has also become very common, such as with Florida Power and Light, to require a hefty deposit before connection of service, until you have developed a satisfactory billing history.

7.  Legal Fees

At Bishop Realty Group, we conduct our business with contracts and addenda co-authored by the Florida Association of Realtors® and the Florida Bar Association.  So, you can have a certain sense of confidence that the template documents were created by the governing body of Florida attorneys.  While attorneys are not required to be involved in a real estate transaction, it is always a good idea, especially if you already have a trusted real estate attorney, to have one review the documents of the transaction.  Attorney rates vary greatly depending on the experience of the attorney and complexity of the transaction.

8.  Mortgage Loan Insurance

Some lending institutions will require mortgage loan insurance, depending on the equity in the home you’re purchasing.  This type of insurance will normally cost 0.5% to 3.5% of the total amount of the mortgage you are taking.  Payments are normally made monthly in addition to the mortgage and tax payments.

9.  Mortgage Broker’s Fee

A mortgage broker is generally paid by charging you a fee to source and organize your financing.  Be sure to shop around though.  Many mortgage brokers will not charge you this fee, because they have developed relationships with the lending institutions and those institutions will cover this cost.

10.  Moving Costs

Moving costs and moving companies vary greatly depending on whether you are moving across town or across the country.  Be sure to shop around and develop a sense of comfort and confidence with whomever you ultimately choose.  Remember, these people will be handling all of your most cherished valuables.  Also, if you will have excess time between selling one home and closing on another, some movers will provide short term storage of your belongings at little or no additional cost.

11.  Community and Maintenance Fees

Condominiums and some single family home communities charge a monthly maintenance fee.  This fee covers common area costs such as painting the outside of the building, maintaining parking lots, lawn maintenance, trash removal, and amenities, such as pools and tennis courts.  Most gated communities have Home Owner Association (HOA) fees.  In fact, a lot of these master planned type of communities have one fee for the overall development, and a second fee for the particular neighborhood in which the house is located.  If the community has a golf or country club, then it is also very likely that an annual membership of some kind will be required to own a home in that community.

12.  Local Improvements

Most cities and towns throughout Southwest Florida have ongoing or proposed projects to improve the quality of life for their residents.  These projects include sewer system expansions, road improvements, sidewalks, and new parks.  All of these projects come at a cost and most are funded by the property owner’s taxes in the improved areas.  These costs are more commonly referred to as assessments, and are reflected on your tax bill.  It is common for these assessments to reach hundreds or thousands of dollars, especially in the case of sewer expansion.  Be sure to ask about any current or future assessments in the area that you want to buy.

13.  Land Transfer Tax

Land transfer tax is applied any time that a property changes hands in ownership.  The amount of tax that is applied varies depending on the transaction.

14.  Broker’s Transaction Fee

This is, perhaps, the most ridiculous fee of all.  In the state of Florida, buyers of real estate do not pay a commission to the real estate agent that represents them.  There are some cases where they might, but as a general rule, the buyer’s agent is paid their commission from the seller pursuant to a listing agreement with the seller’s agent and broker.  Some real estate brokers also charge a Transaction Fee.  This fee varies from $100 to $400 in our market and serves no other purpose than to pad the profits of the broker charging it.  Real estate brokers who charge this fee will also charge it to buyers in a transaction, thus negating the fact that buyers do not typically pay any portion of their agent’s commission.  Make sure you ask your real estate agent or REALTOR® whether or not they charge a transaction fee.  Keller Williams Realty Peace River Partners and Bishop Realty Group has never and will never charge a transaction fee to their customers.

We hope you have found this information to be very helpful and that you consider these extra costs to be aware of when buying a home, as you budget for your first or next purchase.  If you have any questions about the home buying process, then we are always here to help you.  You can reach us at 941-281-5002 or online at www.BishopHomeSearch.com.

If you are looking to buy a home anywhere in Southwest Florida from Lakewood Ranch to Punta Gorda, then we would love to represent you.

extra costs to be aware of when buying a homeTo receive a complimentary copy of “Your First Home The Proven Path to Home Ownership” just click on the image of the book to the left.  Tell us where to send it and watch your mail.

 

 

Happy New Home Owners in Port Charlotte

June 12th, 2015

 

BordensMeet the Bordens who are happy new home owners in Port Charlotte, FL.  Mike and Sally had just sold their house in Vermont and were ready to trade in the cold winters for sunshine and warm water in Southwest Florida.  At first, they thought they wanted to be in Fort Myers.  They quickly realized that the congestion of Lee County was not where they wanted to be.  So, Sally called me and the next day we were looking at houses.  We looked at a total of 7 homes, and eventually came back to one of the first ones we saw in Port Charlotte.

They chose a great little home centrally located in Port Charlotte.  At just under 1,200 sf., this was the perfect home for the couple looking to downsize and enjoy the Florida lifestyle.  Even though the house isn’t big, it is HUGE in updates and features.  The house was updated with tile flooring throughout, custom tile work in both bathrooms, high efficiency toilets, custom closet shelving, UV protection window tinting, upgraded fans and light fixtures, new appliances, and a fresh coat of paint inside and out.  The property even had a like-new 10′ by 10′ utility shed.

The Bordens were overjoyed with the house and thanks to the efficiency and expertise of Bishop Realty Group and our recommended business partners, they were able to call this house their home in just 11 days from contract to close!  Mike and Sally are settling in nicely and enjoying life here in Southwest Florida.  If you happen to see them around town, then be sure to say, “Hi!”  They are wonderful people!