5 Things You Need to Know Before Buying a Home in Miami

Real estate expert Samantha DeBianchi shares her top five tips for homebuyers in Miami.

Photo by: Zillow Located in Coral Gables, this five-bedroom, four-bathroom home is listed for $990,000. It spans nearly 4,000 square-feet and sits on a 9,000 square-foot lot with a pool. 

"Opportunity exists when preparation meets the right timing. And when purchasing a home in Miami, you must be prepared and organized in order to find the best opportunity," Samantha DeBianchi says, founder of  DeBianchi Real Estate and cast member on the new  reality TV show, Million Dollar Listing Miami. 

Before you make an offer that no one can refuse, here are five important home buying tips from Samantha:

1. Make sure you can afford it.

It's easy to get caught up in the hype, but just because the property is a "steal of a deal" doesn't mean that it will financially make sense for you to purchase it. There are great deals right now in Miami and pre-construction options are quickly selling out. Take into account the current costs, as well as your future costs – which doesn't necessarily mean property costs. You don't want to be married to your property because you aren't able to financially enjoy life outside of it.

Photo by: Kara Starzyk Photography Samantha DeBianchi is the founder of DeBianchi Real Estate and reality star of the new show Million Dollar Listing Miami.

2. Think of your exit strategy first.

It's the last thing you're likely thinking about when you're searching for a new home, but figuring out how to exit the property is an important consideration. If you needed to move out, could you rent it and still clear your mortgage payment? If you sold it, would the sale allow you to break even? Look into what the property last sold for at its highest and lowest points and educate yourself on rental prices of comparable properties in the neighborhood. 

3. Assess the dues.

You'll want to research homeowner's association fees or condo association dues, depending on the type of property. Right now, the Miami market features some of the most amazing condos in the country, but dues and assessments can be quite hefty. It's imperative to find out what your dues cover, whether there are any upcoming assessments and when was the last time dues increased. Also make sure you inquire about the strength of the condo or homeowner's association.  

4. Inspect and expect the unexpected.

Inspections are a must – even if it's just for peace of mind. And if an inspection comes out perfectly, don't just stop there – the air conditioner may be in great shape, but how long does it have until you may need to replace it? Find out all the costs of "what ifs" and future repairs, so that you are completely aware and prepared for what the costs might require in the long term, to live in that property.

5. Visit at various times of the day.

When buying a home, you're also investing in the location, the neighborhood and even the people. Visit the property during both the day and the night. Learn about your surroundings – is it near a railroad track, an airport, a hospital or a popular Miami nightclub? If so, noise may be a factor, depending on the time of day. Don't be scared to chat with neighbors – they will generally know more than the real estate agent and can give you the insider knowledge you need to make the right decision. 

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