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Jacqueline Alicia Salcines

BUYING A HOME IN THE U.S.

HOW DO FOREIGNERS GO ABOUT BUYING PROPERTY IN THE UNITED STATES?

The most important and first decision to make when considering purchasing real estate in the United States is to hire a real estate attorney. This one decision will determine whether the final result is a smooth and successful closing or not.

A real estate lawyer in the United States and Florida handles many aspects of the transaction for the foreign buyer. From preparing and overseeing the Contract for Sale and Purchase, to examining title and attending the closing, a foreign buyer should not go it alone. With so many properties still in foreclosure, the real estate market can be daunting. A property's title can be filled with many claims that the potential foreign buyer is not aware of. Only by preparing a full examination of the title and title insurance, is the foreign buyer protected. Below are the steps for a real estate transaction in the United States:

  1. Offer. The buyer prepares an offer to submit to the seller for consideration. This offer will take many different issues and terms into consideration including how much to give down, whether there will be a financing contingency, AS-IS, whether buyer is assuming repairs, whether buyer has right to inspect, whether there is a condominium association that requires approval. The real estate lawyer prepares the offer and makes sure all terms protect the buyer.
  2. Earnest Deposit. Once the offer is signed and a binding contract created, the deposit is due. The real estate lawyer will hold the deposit in escrow or trust for the protection of the buyer.
  3. Inspections. Inspections are usually performed and due within 10 days of the date of signing and must be done timely. We assist to make sure the buyer not only meets deadlines, but review the inspection report. If there is any item in the inspection report that requires fixing or a monetary credit from seller, this is taken care of too by us.
  4. Loan Application. This is also done once the contract is finalized. That means, the buyer must go to a lender and apply for financing. The lender will require an appraisal and will supply a Good Faith Estimate of closing costs. We are in constant contact with the lender from the beginning in order to assure that you are being charged a correct amount, the interest rate is fair and the appraisal is reviewed. Buyer will need to sign certain disclosures and other bank documents, which flow through us first for review and clarification. The borrower buyer is never alone in the transaction.
  5. Deadlines. There are important deadlines throughout the real estate Contract. Deadlines for financing, inspections, due diligence and loan commitments just to name a few. We are on top of all the deadlines for the buyer to make sure that the deposit is never placed in jeopardy of losing.
  6. Home Owner Association/Condominium Association: We request an estoppel to make sure that there are no amounts due that need to be collected at closing from seller. We also verify any violations by the board as well as approval of the buyer.
  7. Title Examination. We review the title and issue a title insurance commitment so that the buyer is protected in their purchase against all claims on title to the property.
  8. Survey. If a property that is single family, or other stand alone, we will order a survey and review for any and all easements, encroachments, etc that could affect buyer.
  9. Lien Search. We order a lien search to verify there are no code violations, open permits, or other county liens or violations that could affect the buyers title after closing.
  10. HUD-1 Settlement Statement: As we get closer to closing, the lender will send us their figures and we plug in all numbers to prepare a HUD for the buyer. This will be the amount that needs to be brought to closing.
  11. Seller Docs. We can also prepare the Warranty Deed, Bill of Sale and all documents for the seller to sign at closing to finalize the transfer of the property to the buyer.

Aside from those services listed, we also offer other services to the buyer including:

  • Incorporation of an LLC, S Corp or C Corp to use as the name on the title
  • FEIN numbers
  • Power of Attorney preparation
  • Quit Claim Deed
  • Negotiation and settlement of liens and judgments for the seller

At the Law Offices of Jacqueline Salcines, P.A. we represent borrowers and homeowners with all of their real estate and mortgage needs. From initial applications and searching for programs for their mortgage needs, to working closely with the borrower and lender to obtain the full amount required, we are there every step of the way. Attorney Jacqueline Salcines, Esq. personally handles all her own closings and is at the closing table with you, the borrower, to explain all documents requiring signature. This includes signing of the mortgage, promissory note, truth in lending and all disclosures.

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706 South Dixie Highway
Second Floor
Coral Gables, FL 33146

Phone: 786-671-3887
Fax: 305-669-5283
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