Fort Lauderdale is sometimes known as the “Venice of America” because of its expansive and intricate canal system. There are over one-hundred miles of waterways within the city limits. Along these waterways are numerous luxury residential real estate properties. Many of the properties are located on ocean-access canals leading to the Intracoastal Waterway. Others are located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway. The combination of waterways and proximity to the Bahamas and Caribbean makes Fort Lauderdale a major yachting center.
Title examination is a key component to a real estate transaction. A proper examination ensures the property is fit for sale. A Fort Lauderdale title examination & insurance attorney can perform a title examination for a real estate transaction.
Title examination occurs while a property is under contract. The examination should discover any encumbrances that could disrupt the sale of the property. Reviewing the chain of title, or history of ownership, determines whether the property’s ownership may be legally tied to anyone other than the seller. The examination will reveal any actions needed to be taken to secure good and marketable title.
The doctrine of caveat emptor was the rule of law governing disputes from the sale of residential real property. Seller’s disclosures were not required. The seller of real property was not liable or responsible to the buyer for a defective condition in the real property that existed at the time the seller transferred possession to the buyer. A purchaser bought real property at his or her own risk. A seller had no duty to communicate the existence of latent defects unless the seller represented that such a defect did not exist.
A Florida Realtors news article discussed RealtyTrac’s Q3 2013 Home Flipping Report. The Report indicated that Florida was second in the nation in third quarter home flips with 4,706. Only California had more with 8,592. The Report considered a home “flipped” where it was purchased and subsequently sold again within six months.
Florida Statute §624.608 defines title insurance as “[i]nsurance of owners of real property or others having an interest in real property or contractual interest derived therefrom, or liens or encumbrances on real property, against loss by encumbrance, or defective titles, or invalidity, or adverse claim to title.” Our Ft. Lauderdale real estate law firm provides title examination and insurance. It is important to eliminate risk and prevent losses that may be caused by defects in title for both luxury residential and commercial properties.
Brokerage commissions should be established by a written listing agreement between the seller and their listing broker. The commission split between listing broker and cooperating brokers in the event of a buyer’s default, or in the event of closing, should also be established by writings between the licensees involved. Additionally, whether commercial or luxury residential real estate, the buyer’s broker may agree to rebate part of the purchase price to their clients. (more…)
Heleski v. Harrell, 2D12-4136 (Fla. 2d DCA 2013):
The Heleskis began building a structure on their property without notifying or getting approval from the HOA. The structure is 24 feet by 24 feet and is separate from the Heleskis’ main house. The Heleskis’ neighbors complained to the HOA that the structure was in violation of the neighborhood’s deed restrictions. When the HOA approved the project, the neighbors filed an action in circuit court to prohibit the construction. Summary judgment was granted in favor of the neighbors, finding that the Heleskis were prohibited from building the structure.
On August 9, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate jumbo mortgage was 4.69% . The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate conforming loan was 4.51 percent. The difference, 0.18 percent, is the closest the rates have been in five years. Jumbo mortgage rates are usually closer to a quarter percentage point higher than conforming loan rates. In 2008, the difference was as high as 1.8 percent. Recently, Jumbo mortgages have boosted luxury home sales.
Jumbo borrowers are those needing loans for more than $417,000 in most places or $625,500 in high-price markets. Borrowers need an excellent credit score to obtain a jumbo mortgage and generally receive a better rate for a higher score. Additionally, borrowers usually need to show more reserves set aside because the monthly payments are larger. Jumbo loans typically require a down payment of at least 20%.
Lenders are originating more and more jumbo loans. Some lenders may even offer jumbo rates lower than conforming loans. Big lenders may use jumbo loans to build relationships with high net worth customers. According to Inside Mortgage Finance, origination volume is expected to hit $220 billion by the end of the year. The terms of real estate financing are at least as important as the terms of the acquisition. Our Fort Lauderdale luxury real estate lawyers assist clients in negotiating and obtaining loan documents from the lender in attempt to achieve the best potential result.
South Florida is a top luxury real estate market. The Sun-Sentinel reported that last year Broward County posted 464 sales of homes and condos valued at $1 million or more and Palm Beach County had 791 sales of $1 million-plus properties. Additionally, Miami was recently ranked No. 8 among top luxury real estate markets globally by Christie’s International Real Estate.
South Florida’s waterfronts are a major factor in the $1 million-plus property prices. Within the past month, a home in Coral Gables with 140 feet of waterfront sold for $5.1 million. Similarly, a seaside Coral Gables home with 180 feet of seawall sold for $11.5 million. In Fort Lauderdale, a property with 325 feet of dockage on the Intracoastal near Los Olas is asking $7.995 million. These prices seem small in comparison with the $24.75 million just paid for an oceanfront home in Palm Beach. Buyers are looking for really good locations, especially prime oceanfront or bayfront property.
Although investment firms are buying many of the distressed properties in South Florida, (see our article https://www.schecterlaw.com/investors-purchasing-distressed-florida-properties/) local real estate investors are still trying to flip homes. Despite the tough competition, local real estate investors are hoping to find discounted homes, fix them up, and sell them at an increased price. Distressed properties are offered to the public by a bank or lender and are sold at prices well below market value.