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FRQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I know what I can afford in a house/apartment?

Your income and whatever debt you may have will be a determining factor of the amount that you can afford to spend on a property. Usually prospective home buyers will look at homes that do not exceed 2 ½ times their annual income. If an individual earns $50,000/year then their home purchase typically does not exceed $150,000. This can change based on the area and market in which you are seeking home ownership. If there are no homes available in your area within your range, you may need to spend more than expected without allowing your monthly mortgage payment to surpass 29% of your monthly gross income. Any other debt you may have (auto, credit cards, etc.) in addition to your monthly mortgage payment should not surpass 40% of your monthly gross income depending on the kind of mortgage loan you are applying for. Online mortgage calculators are very helpful in helping you determine what you can afford.

In what area should I purchase a house/apartment?

There are many factors to consider when looking for an area to purchase a home. Most people choose areas based on their lifestyle and/or life stage. Families may search for an area with good schools and communities that are abundant with children, while others may search for an area in which they want to retire. Some may be looking for an area close to the workplace allowing for a short commute. Whatever your choice, a home is one of the largest investments you will ever make, therefore you want to be sure to choose wisely and explore all of your options. Our website has an abundance of information on Miami real estate in the towns surrounding these larger cities. South Florida real estate have some of the most beautiful homes in the nation with many varieties of property to choose from. Feel free to research my website. If you have any questions please email Tania@DalanezeRealty or call. I will be happy to help you in the decision making process.

Why should I use a real estate agent to purchase a home?


Using an agent can help you in many ways. First, the seller or builder pays for the services provided by the agent in the purchase of your new home, making these services free to the home buyer. Second, an agent knows everything involved with the purchase of a resale or the building process of a new home. Agents provide representation to the home buyer and assist them in understanding the home buying process, paperwork and can often help in making your purchase a smoother transaction. Third, with an agent, finding the right home in the right location is made simple. I can do the research for you and show you homes in your area of interest that meet the criteria you specify. Please email me or call so we can discuss how I can help you with your home search. I am very knowledgeable on the Dade, Broward and Palm Beach areas and we provide a Dalaneze Realty qualified agent to assist you with your search and the buying process.

WHO PAYS THE BROKER?


Good News .... Who pays the broker is the owner of the property, the construction (new buildings) or the Bank (re-possession).

Should I get various realtors involved?

Absolutely not!

Is it necessary to have a lawyer in the process of buying a property?

The real estate consultant, cannot legally advise on legal or financial matters.

We work with American professional staff in the legal and accounting areas who speak Portuguese.
For foreign investors, the entire real estate transaction in the U. S. must have legal advice and be accompanied by a lawyer specializing in international taxation to prevent surprises of financial or fiscal responsibility. In the beginning of the process, with proper planning, you can save time, money and prevent unnecessary mishaps.
Lawyers who specialize in real estate transactions, advise foreigners to buy as a legal entity, which provides savings in taxes at the time of sale and protects the property in case of death of the owner.  Opening a company is also an easy process and our company together with our legal department, can give the support needed.  It is extremely advantageous not only for asset protection but also for tax benefits as well as privacy and anonymity for the individual as in any search for the address of the property indicating the company name only, not the owners.

Is a home warranty worth it and what does it cover?

Different people will always give different responses regarding the issue of home warranties. Those that say it is a waste of money may never have had anything go wrong, therefore finding no use for it. However, find an individual who has saved hundreds or even thousands of dollars thanks to their home warranty, they will give you a different opinion.

Basically a home warranty covers the repair or replacement of certain devices in your home. They will typically be covered for a period of one year from the closing date. Certain major and minor mechanisms that are usually covered are:

  • + Central Air and Heating System

  • + Water Heater

  • + Refrigerator

  • + Washer and Dryer

  • + Oven/Range

  • + Dishwasher

  • + Microwave

  • + Garbage Disposal

  • + Garage Door Opener

  • + Water Softener

  • + Other minor electrical devices


The decision on whether or not to purchase a home warranty lies in the age of the home you are purchasing. The typical home warranty ranges in price from three hundred up to six hundred dollars, depending on the amount of coverage, age of the home and size of the home being purchased. If the house is less than five years old, you may not find it necessary to purchase a home warranty, since most of the appliances and other devices usually remain in good working order within this time period; however if the house is anywhere from five to fifteen years old or older, a home warranty may be something you want to consider. If anything, no matter what age the house is, a home warranty will provide you with peace of mind. Sometimes choosing to pay a warranty deductible for repairs outweighs having to pay a larger lump sum in repairs or replacements, some of which could cost you thousands of dollars.

What are some tips to make my house/apartment show nicely and work properly when preparing to sell?

A buyer prefers a home that is in move-in condition and will pay top dollar for a home in such condition. It is important to be sure your home is in superior condition before listing it to sell. A good idea is to have a property inspection done on your home. This also looks good to potential buyers and helps them to feel more at ease about making a decision to purchase your home. An inspector will be able to recommend areas that need attention. Making these repairs prior to selling will help to reduce the risk of buyers trying to renegotiate the price due to repairs or problems that may arise from a private inspection conducted prior to closing.

Having your property in top condition will attract more agents to your home with potential buyers, providing you with an excellent chance to sell your home faster, and at top dollar.

Here are some suggestions to make your house show well and be ready to sell…

Showability

Paint is very important in making a home show well. Certain colors, although they may go with your personal décor, may not be desirable to prospective buyers. Neutral colors usually show better on walls rather than loud or bright colors. Scuffed walls, faded or pealing paint, both inside and out, should be repaired. Check doors and garage doors closely for cracked or peeling paint as well.

The front entryway is the first place where a prospective buyer will step foot. This area should be well maintained from the walkway to the doorbell. Be sure the pathway is clean. Nice landscaping is always a plus. Keep the area free of weeds or dead plants and flowers. Be sure the doorbell is clean, not worn, and in working order. The mailbox should also be clean and not worn or rusted.

Proper landscaping always adds to the value of a home. Keeping the grass fertilized and mowed will ensure a bright green, weed-free, well manicured lawn, also providing for a great first impression. Trees and shrubs should be trimmed and any dead plants or flowers removed or replaced. Weeds should also be pulled and kept under control.

Clean up any stains that may be unsightly on the driveway the best that you can. Also, be sure the garage door is in working order. It should open without hesitation and greased to cut down on noise if possible. This also goes for all doors both inside and outside the house.

The air conditioner should be free of rust and be draining properly. It should blow cold air and free from any unpleasant odors. Also, be sure to clean the vents so that no dust is obvious.

The patio floor should be clean and painted if necessary. Well-manicured potted plants always make for a pleasant atmosphere along with some nice outdoor furniture if possible. The lanai or patio area is usually a place where homeowners like to relax. Try to help any potential buyer envision that relaxation place. If you have a swimming pool, be sure the chemicals are adjusted properly to ensure clear, sparkling water. Any pool toys or chemicals should be stored neatly or out of view if possible.

Windows should be free of ripped or bent screens. These should be replaced or removed entirely. Windows should also be clean and cobweb free. Being able to have draperies open, allowing light into the house is a plus at any showing.

Floors should be repaired if damaged. Broken or cracked tile should be replaced and floors clean. Having the carpet steam cleaned will improve its luster and will help eliminate any odors from smoke or pets. Be sure flooring on any staircases are secured properly to avoid injuries.

Mechanics

Make sure lights and fixtures around the house, inside and out, have working bulbs with proper wattage. Lights on in a home during a showing add to the appearance. Dining fixtures, foyer fixtures, floor and table lamps will provide brightness to your home

Also, be sure switches and faceplates are working and free from cracks.

If the appliances are being included with the home, be sure they are working properly. Any appliances that are not in working order, or need repair need to be disclosed to the prospective buyer if you do not intend on fixing them.

Any plumbing issues should be attended to. Leaks, dripping faucets, noisy, stained or running lavatories as well as chipped or stained sinks should be repaired or replaced. Sprinkler systems should also be in working order with no damaged sprinkler heads.

Openness

Providing a feeling of openness in a home can be accomplished quite easily and allows the house to appear larger. Open areas free of clutter are very important in showing a home.

Simple tasks such as storing extra furniture and other things that may make your house feel closed in or cluttered can really change the appearance of you home. One important thing that buyers always look for is closet space. Cleaning out closets and storing unused items can help eliminate closet clutter. This also goes for any storage space and garage space your home may have. Garage space is very important to buyers. Sometimes renting a small storage unit to help cut down on garage clutter may pay off in the long run. Cabinets and countertops should also be kept neat and any unused appliances should be stored in cabinets rather than on countertops.

Moving furniture around so that rooms don’t seem so closed off is also a way to make a house appear more open. Simply repositioning a sofa or loveseat can open up a room.

Keep it Clean

Although you may be selling your house, you are also still living in it. It is very important to try to keep your home as clean as possible in between showings. Bathrooms especially can get dirty extremely fast. Soiled surfaces, mildew in the showers, soap scum residue, dirty shower tracks and old or stained bath mats will cause a showing to flop immediately. If the bathrooms in a house aren’t kept up the entire home becomes undesirable. The kitchen is also an important area to keep after, as it can also get dirty fast. Be sure to keep the stove clean and the oven free from drips and stains. Range tops should have clean drip pans and the exhaust hood should be replaced as needed.

Selling a home can be a lot of work, but with all your efforts, they can pay off quickly and with a larger sum of money.

Is a private home inspection worth the money?

It absolutely is! For most people, a home is the largest investment they will ever make and protecting that investment by spending a few hundred dollars is well worth it. The typical home inspection ranges anywhere between two hundred and five hundred dollars depending on the size of the home. When you move into a new home you want to begin enjoying it, not begin repairing it. The private home inspector will provide you with a report of any repairs that need to be taken care of, suggestions on how to maintain your home, and most importantly, will provide you with peace of mind. Some sellers will allow you to make the sale of the home contingent upon completion of a satisfactory home inspection. In this case, the seller will either make the proper repairs or compensate you for the repairs that need to be made. If the outcome is not up to your liking, you can choose to cancel the contract. Please be aware that the purpose of a home inspection is to point out repairs that can affect the safety and resale value of your home, not cosmetic blemishes. Some cosmetic fixes, for example, applying a coat of new paint, may be up to the new owner. You will need to determine what cosmetic improvements may need to be done after closing in order to make the appearance of the home to your personal liking and taste.

A private home inspection is not only limited to the purchase of a resale, but is also very important during the building of a new home. You cannot just assume that a new home will be built perfectly without any errors. In this situation the inspection should be conducted during different stages of the building process with the last one being before the final walkthrough. This will allow the inspector to notice any defects or errors made in the building of your new home that would normally be difficult to see once the home is completed. Providing this report to your builder will aid them in making the appropriate repairs and may also help to keep your closing date on target and reduce the likelihood of finding any surprises during the end that may cause delay.

Be sure to choose a home inspector wisely. Choosing a cheaper home inspector over a more experienced home inspector may not always be the better choice. Be sure to ask questions and find out how many years they have been in the business. Talk to your family and friends to see if they can recommend one to you. Your real estate agent can also help you in choosing a home inspector.

What is the cost of the documents, legal advice, fees and charges for rental transfer to the name of the buyer?

In general, all legal and tax costs involved are around 4.5% to 5% of the property value.
This means that, with this percentage, the buyer will have the property in his name or his legal entity (corporation in Florida) in a reliable and quick manner with all necessary legal advice.
It is important to note that another company may hold a Corporation in Florida, which has the property ownership.
The Corporation in Florida is not transferred, but the ownership of the outside company can be transferred.

Business in the USA - Do you intend to have a company or representative offices in the USA?  What does one have to be aware of?

Entrepreneurs interested in having their own business or even an office in the U.S. should be aware of some considerations. Among others, which states and even municipalities offer a better environment for your type of business, logistics, taxes and the ease of communication with your target audience. Never be fooled by appearances or speculation about the reputation of certain areas. Before deciding search and analyze whether the area is the most suitable and advantageous for what you want and need.

Do I need Real Estate Insurance?

In the U.S. law suits are very common. The U.S. understands that property insurance is the financial backing which can protect their interests in the case of a procedural dispute.
An insurance policy limits and defines the rights and responsibilities of its bearer. Unlike Brazil U.S. insurance is not an option but a preventive need. Providence is a basic requirement in many situations and highly recommended in others.

Real Estate Insurance against accidents

Accidents are unpredictable and occur in various circumstances. Injury or damage of any kind, depending on the occurrence, are seen here as a property owner's responsibility where the accident happens.
Living here, the foreigner soon realizes that it is as important as it is necessary to have insurance and ends up becoming convinced that it's not worth saving a few hundred dollars today and be subject to shell out thousands in the future should he have to face prosecution.
The most effective way to avoid waste and money is to learn about what types of insurance each should have.

Declaring property abroad for income tax purposes and the central bank. How to do it?

Fines can reach $ 250,000 if the income statements are not made.
For those who reveled in property prices in Miami this year, and invested in properties in the U.S. or in other countries now is the time to declare your income before the Brazilian federal revenue and inform the Central Bank of possession through the Declaration of Brazilian Capital Abroad (CBE) if the market value of the property is over $ 100,000.

How does a foreigner buy a property in the USA?

Buying a property in the US is relatively simple.
If you pay cash, you need only one proof of identity with photo (passport) and a bank statement (extract) showing that you have the amount to pay off the property you are buying.
If you need financing, you must provide proof of photo ID (Passport), one bank statement (extract) showing that you have the amount of deposit required (now 30 to 50% of property value) and authorize the financial agent that will give you the loan, to request a review of your credit (International credit Check).

How to get financing?


Your Real Estate Agent may appoint a financial agent (Loan Officer or Mortgage Broker) that will explain the options available and pre-qualify you for the loan.
This is the first step in buying the property. Your broker should have the value of your pre-approval to start looking for the property.
From the moment you choose the property, usually the purchase process should last 30-60 days.

What are the financial obligations for an initial purchase in the USA?

Usually the buyer pays 10% of the property value to close the purchase agreement. According to DPBR -Department of Business and Professional Regulations / Florida Real State Regulations, we require a deposit in the amount corresponding to the entry of the property purchase and final payments in an escrow account (legal account monitored by the authorities) in a bank, with a lawyer or estate representative, according to the buyer's preference.

Is it possible to buy a property in Miami with cash money?
How to bring money from other countries to the USA to purchase property?


Banks or specialized companies which operate with the transfer and exchange of international currencies are the means that in most cases is used as financial intermediaries. This operation is done upon paying a transaction fee and requires specific documentation required by banking regulations.  The cost of this service will depend on such factors as rate, amount of money, frequency of payment, and the particular relationship with your bank.
The buyer in some circumstances has a company registered in the state of Florida, could transfer the money without interest.

" Trust Account "

This is an account in court, for which a lawyer is responsible for values and lends itself to indicate that the business is serious.
For a person interested in the acquisition of property and to carry out the proposal, it is necessary to have a valid proposal in this regard, which will serve to ensure the seriousness of the proposal and serves as a sound proposal.
The "trust account" will also serve for the property value of the deposit and will only be released with the formalization of all documents necessary to transfer to the buyer's name.

Does buying a property in the USA give a person the right to a green card?


In the U.S. buying a property does not qualify or give the buyer the right to receive a "Green Card".
There are other business and investment opportunities offering chances of receiving a long-term visa or residence (Law EB5).
Please contact us and we will forward your questions to our legal advisory.

Cost / benefit of properties in Florida.  

U.S.A.  
How much does this privilege cost? In Miami Beach less than $ 5,000 per square meter and in other neighboring regions to the north, around $ 2,500 per square meter. These values represent approximately 40 to 60 percent less than the cost of an equivalent property in Brazil.
In more remote areas of the beaches, prices can be even lower. Even considering the fluctuation of currency exchange still the recovery and security makes property in the U.S. market clearly an investment that adds value to the family estate.

FIRPTA -  Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980, the law imposed by the U.S. government determines what are the withholding taxes on the sale of a property in the United States by a foreign person.

Upon the sale of any property, it is always necessary to pay taxes on capital gains. Residents make this arrangement with the government as part of their normal income statement depending on the value of the residence, the time lived there, and the improvements made on the property.
To ensure the retention of the foreign tax, the government collects 10% of the property sale value even before all amounts are distributed at time of writing. So, who sells a property can then ask the government to reduce this value based on some provisions.
If the buyer is living in the property as a principal residence and the property value is under $300,000, there will be no withholding tax. An accountant can always help in all the details available in the legislation.  It is one of buyer's responsibilities during the process of buying a property to see if the seller is a foreigner or not. There are very severe penalties to the buyer that does not alert the government that the seller was a foreigner and that this tax should have been withheld.
Some properties purchased as a legal person or a domestic company can obtain a valid certificate of non-alien even when the owner is not American. For this, a lawyer will establish the correct structure, aimed not only to minimize tributary contributions, but other interests as well.
The title company when preparing the documents checks the data of the seller and the owner of the historic guarantee payment of this tax at closing.

Income tax declaration. How to declare when abroad?


All taxpayers should declare the ownership of assets abroad, whatever the value. If the property has been declared in previous years, the program automatically imports the information and you only need to update if anything was spent on renovations. If the property is financed, the installments of 2012 must be added and add the values to the statement, similar to the declaration of Brazilian real estate.

Income and rentals abroad. Should they be taxed?

Any income received abroad by a resident from Brazil are subject to taxation in the same way the income received by a property in the country.

Can my property in Brazil be exchanged with one in Miami?

The exchange of real estate is not a transaction usual in Miami with the developers.
Nothing prevents a negotiation to exchange your house or apartment with a homeowner used in Miami, but is unlikely.

Declaration of CBE (Brazilian Capital Abroad). How do I do it?

Consult your accountant to make this statement, which is made to the Central Bank so that it is aware of the assets that Brazilian citizens have abroad. The forms to be filled out are on the Central Bank website.
If the property is with overseas financing, the statement shall specify the amount paid by the end of last year, considering only the principal and less interest. The outstanding balance should not be informed as the BCA statement does not include debts.

Can my children study in Miami public schools?

The movement of purchasing real estate in Miami has gained a new investor profile: Brazilians who want to live in the U.S.A.  In this new context there is a concern with the education of Brazilian who intend to live in the U.S.A.  What are schools like in Miami?  Florida schools are paid private schools up to 5 years of age.  After this age you can choose to study at a public or private school.
Public schools in Florida do not make any kind of requirement or create obstacles for the registration of students, regardless of whether the student is from abroad, American or even an illegal alien residing in the country.
They are required to accept the registration of the student.
If you plan to enroll your child in a public school in Miami it is necessary to obey the zoning limits of the district / area of your residence.
For example, if you reside in the Aventura neighborhood, your child will necessarily have to study in public schools in Aventura.
Thus, it is important to take into account the neighborhood of school quality when deciding where to buy your apartment or house in Miami.
Visit our education page and the details of schools in Florida.

 
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