#6: Stigmatized Properties. Since it’s Halloween time, it would be fun to talk about ghosts from era’s past or hellish happenings that would scare even Freddy Krueger out of his perpetual bad mood, but, on this site, well, in the state of Florida anyway, it is not a requirement to disclose deaths by any means or that the property was occupied by someone with HIV/AIDS. Read more about it at http://www.ehow.com/list_7200280_florida-laws-stigmatized-property.html #7: Annoying neighbors. Now, I could really delve into this but digression never accomplishes too much, so let me just be brief on this issue. Walk around the preferred neighborhood you’re dreaming of moving into and just talk to the neighbors. It’s the best way to determine if there’s problems with homeowners that don’t comply with noise or pet ordinances, or just plain have “issues” that you know you couldn’t dream of living next to. With that in mind, there’s no perfect neighborhood and no perfect neighbor. Knowing ahead of time where those shortcomings are will at least give you time to formulate a plan where you can live and coexist peacefully. #8: Homeowner’s Associations and Deed Restrictions. Assuming you’ve closed on your lovely new digs and to celebrate, you threw a huge party, with you, of course, as the Big Party Man. The next morning, you wake up flat on your back and are wondering why creatures with long pink necks and silly little faces are staring down at you. Chances are, your party was a huge success. However, a pack of pink flamingos in many communities that are governed by an association probably won’t allow these little darlings in too big a quantity, and frankly, that’s not a bad thing (remember property value here). Did you review your Homeowner’s Documents before you put that ink to paper? Probably not. It is of huge significance that you review them to ensure there is nothing in there that would prevent you from full use and enjoyment of your new home prior to moving in day. Don’t assume anything. These are strict covenants and are very difficult to try to get changed. Even if you think those flamingos add a certain “Je ne sais quoi” I’d bet you a dinner at Chops that your neighbors, and most importantly, your HOA, won’t. #9: We’re all flawed. And so are properties, seen or unseen. No matter how quick you want to close, never, ever, EVER, contract a property without exercising your right to a home inspection. If you missed my blog posting on this, check it out http://www.ruthbethem.com/blog/speedy-home-buying-part-2/2010/10/09/ It’s like that shiny new car that is screaming your name and you only take it out for a test drive and never check under the hood. With a prospective property, you better check not only under the “hood” but over it and in it. That little beauty may look like your perfect dream home but it could be nothing more than a huge hand that will suck every cent out of your pockets. #10: Show me the Money! You get to the closing table and you’re told, after depleting your entire savings account for escrow deposits, that you’ll need more money to close, of which you A: have none and B: proceed to have a meltdown. No need. That’s why you have an agent and a mortgage broker to review the statement with you to help you decipher where the increase has occurred and why. This is another great reason why the government has mandated big changes that came into effect in January of 2010. You’ll receive your HUD-1 statement prior to closing for your review with line item entries so you can look for legitimate costs, errors or any loan terms that may have been misrepresented. This is a great opportunity for you to understand each and every costs that you can compare to your original loan estimate that was given to you by your lender. Remember, there may have just been a mistake or even a typo and your advocates (your lender and agent) are there to assist you. Save the meltdown for when the kids decide to “crayon” your recently painted living room walls. That’s it for now, but if you want a dream transaction instead of a nightmare, please contact Ruth Bethem at Ruth@RuthBethem.com or direct at 239-777-7007 or toll free 877-777-7545 for further information or questions on Naples Florida real estate.