Who Pays for Title Insurance?

August 20th, 2018

To say title insurance can be a confusing concept is an understatement, especially for a first time home buyer. Although it is not required, a lack of title insurance can mean a lack of protection from claims against your ownership of the home, and therefore the risk of losing your insurance.

So what is title insurance?


There are two types of title insurance that usually lend itself to the home buying process: the home buyer’s title insurance and mortgage lender’s title insurance. It is customary for the seller to pay the costs of the policy issued to the new home buyer in Broward County. In terms of the lender’s policy, it is customary for it to be paid by the home buyer. As for the closing cost, the home owner’s title insurance policy is added to the seller’s settlement statement is added to the seller’s settlement statement, and the lender’s title insurance policy is covered by the buyer before closing.

In Florida, according to Section 9 of RESPA, sellers can’t require home buyers to use particular title insurance companies. The party paying for the title search and owner’s policy is entitled to select the title company. Title rates are established according to Rule 627.7825 in Florida Statutes. Currently, the title policy premium is: 5.75% for the first $100,000; then, 5% should be added over $100,000 up to $1 million; 2.5% over $1 million up to $5 million; 2.25% over $5 million up to $10 million; and 2% over $10 million coverage. The reissue rate is calculated according to the same Rule 627.7825, as follows: 3.3% for the first $100,000; then, 3% should be added over $100,000 up to $1 million; 2% over $1 million up to $10 million; and 1.5% over $10 million coverage.

Written by Daniela Ortiz and the Great Florida Homes Team

What Are My Closing Costs?

July 9th, 2018

There are a lot of terms and fees that a first time home buyer may not be all too familiar with, and closing costs are no exception. Without guidance, it can be difficult to navigate through your deal and understand what you’re paying for. To break it down, closing costs are the fees associated with home purchases that are paid at the closing of a real estate transaction. Essentially, closing is the point in time when the title of the property is transferred from seller to buyer, and your new ownership takes over.

In terms of the actual cost, these fees may vary by location, type of property, and the type of loan being secured.

Homebuyers will typically pay between 2 to 5 percent of the purchase price of their home in closing fees. On average, buyers pay roughly $3,700 in closing fees and this typically does not include pre-paids such as 90 days of taxes, insurance or association fees required by the lender or builder. The lender will give you an estimate for your loan detailing all of your costs. At least three business days before closing, you should be given a closing disclosure statement by your lender. Notably, there are limitations on the number of fees that can change prior to closing or the 3 Day clock will have to start over. This minimizes the need for surprises on closing day, if so, you may have the option to walk away. Keep in mind there still could be a risk to your deposit.

Closing costs can be avoided altogether. A no-closing-cost mortgage is offered, meaning you don’t pay any of the closing costs when you close on the mortgage, but an offer like this may mean higher interest rates on the loan for not paying closing costs or even embedding the closing fees into the total mortgage owned, meaning you would end up paying interest on closing costs.

Overall, who pays the fees can be up for discussion, and the seller might agree to assume the buyer’s closing fees as part of the purchase negotiations. This is where a professional Realtor can be a huge asset.

Written by Daniela Ortiz and the Great Florida Homes Team

Best Fireworks in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

June 29th, 2018
2018 4th of July Celebrations

2018 4th of July Celebrations

As summer goes on, while tans are still being perfected, and vacations are just starting to heat up, 4th of July is most definitely on our minds. Besides the barbeques and the family and friend reunions, the most spectacular and arguably most important part of the holiday is, of course, the fireworks. But it can be hard to find the best place to truly enjoy all the quintessential-American spirit, pride, and grandeur that the holiday has to offer, which is why we broke it down for you. Here are the top 10 best places to watch Firework displays and have a great 4th of July celebration in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

Fort Lauderdale: Fourth of July Spectacular

  • A1A and Las Olas Boulevard Fort Lauderdale, FL July 4, 2018, 12:30 p.m. Festival begins with music, beach games and more. 9:00 p.m. Fireworks on the Beach. Free admission.

Coral Springs Fourth of July Celebration

  • Mullins Park 10150 Ben Geiger Drive Coral Springs, FL July 4, 2018, 6:00 p.m. Food and entertainment. 9:00 p.m. Fireworks Free Parking is $3 and is limited so arrive early.

Davie Annual Fireworks Show

  • Pine Island Park Community Center 3801 S. Pine Island Rd. Davie, FL July 4 9:30 a.m. Watermelon Eating Contest, Water Polo 4:00 p.m. Family activities, Arts & Crafts, Food, etc., Fireworks

Deerfield Beach 4th of July Celebration

  • Main Beach Parking Ocean Way & SE 1st St. Deerfield Beach, Florida July 4, 2018, 12:00 p.m. Watermelon eating contest, food and more. 9:00 p.m. Fireworks from the International Fishing Pier. Free admission

Hollywood Beach Fourth of July Celebration

  • Hollywood Beach 100 Johnson Street Hollywood, FL July 4 2 p.m. – 9 p.m. Events in various locations. 9:00 p.m. Fireworks offshore. Free admission, More Information: www.hollywoodfl.org

Grand Funk Railroad in Sunrise

  • Kids fun zone, food and drinks. Musical performances by Skotch Bonnet Band and Mr. Nice Guy to open at 4:30 p.m., followed by headliners Grand Funk Railroad at 7:45 p.m. and a fireworks display at 9:15 p.m.  BB&T Center, One Panther Pkwy., Sunrise; sunrisefl.gov. Free admission and parking.

Freedom Fest in Hallandale

  • 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. live racing, fan grab, DJ, giveaways, cash bar, selfie stations, concessions, face painting, lunch and dinner buffets. Fireworks show at 9:00 p.m. Gulfstream Park 901 S. Federal Highway

Miramar July 4th Celebration

  • 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. DJ, food trucks, food and novelty vendors, and a kids zone. Fireworks to follow. Miramar Regional Park 16801 Miramar Parkway Miramar, FL  33027

Pembroke Pines Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks Show

  • 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. featuring music, food, and fireworks. Both admission and parking are free. Pines Recreation Center 7400 Pines Blvd. Pembroke Pines, FL 33026

Pompano Beach – 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza

  • Live music from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and fireworks to begin at 9:00 p.m. 222 N. Pompano Beach Blvd. Pompano Beach, FL 33062

*Be sure to check your city’s local ordinance as no more than sparklers are generally allowed

Written by Daniela Ortiz and the Great Florida Homes Team

10 Tips for Creating an Energy Efficient Home

June 19th, 2018

There are countless benefits to creating an energy efficient home from the environmental stipulations to the overall financial benefits. Here are some helpful tips and suggestions for making sure your home is getting the best of both worlds.

  1. Replace your old(er) appliances
    • Switching your refrigerator, washer/dryers, or dishwasher to a more energy efficient model, such as EnergyStar, can help the efficiency of your home overall.

      How to create a happy “green” home

  2. Install a programmable thermostat
    • Smart and strategic temperature choices can help you save money and keep you environmentally friendly.
  3. Keep heat inside
    • This one may escape our thoughts but many areas where air can come and go are an opportunity for heat to escape. Check the weather stripping on your door seals.
  4. Replace old, leaky windows
    • By switching out your older, crooked, beat up windows for newer, low emissivity models, you are reducing the transfer of heat, helping you stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
  5. Use energy efficient light bulbs

    Traditional vs. energy efficient light bulbs

    • CFLs and LEDs are great for replacing the incandescent bulbs in your home. Although some people don’t like the look of fluorescent lights, LEDs in a soft/warm tone are a great alternative, and eco-friendly.
  6. Install low-flow showerheads and toilets
    • Improving water-usage in your home will make it much more efficient, saving you money and saving the environment.
  7. Insulate your walls and attic
    • Trapping heat, where you might not notice it escaping, can be a major money saver.
  8. Use fans to cool and circulate the air
    • Ceiling fans and portable fans are much more energy efficient and cost-effective to operate than the air conditioner.
  9. Lower the temperature settings on your water cooler
    • A home water heater really only needs to be between 120 and 140 degrees, anything hotter and it’s really just a waste of money and electricity.
  10. Mount solar panels onto your sunlit roof
    • Solar panels can provide significant energy cost savings because the electricity generated by the panels can be transferred into your home’s usage or back onto the “electricity grid”.


For your next energy efficient home, call the Great Florida Homes Team at (954) 695-SOLD

Written by Daniela Ortiz and the Great Florida Homes Team

I Have An Accepted Offer-What’s Next?

June 19th, 2018

Your offer on your dream home has just been accepted and you’re getting ready to pop the champagne, but is it too soon to celebrate? Even though your offer has been accepted, the home buying process has just begun.

Inspections are a big part of home buying. Home inspections and other types of revisions may come up. Your lender will order an appraisal and start processing your purchase application by 

checking your income, credit history, and employment. Keeping this in mind, all of these extra procedures could lead to readjustments in the transaction, and in some cases a potential canceling of the sale altogether.

It is at this point in time that you truly realize the benefits of having a licensed real estate agent. Unforeseen challenges that pop up along the way are your agent’s area of expertise that you may not even realize they are handling for you behind the scenes. But it is also up to you to also be a facilitator in this ongoing process. For example, it’s best not to alter your financial situation. This includes making any major financial decisions such as buying a car, making any major purchases, adding any additional credit card debt, and of course, not quitting your job. Personal situations may also heavily factor into the process so it is important to notify your agent and mortgage lender if you are planning on going on vacation, getting married, or leaving the country, at least within the next 30 to 45 business days before your closing.

Heeding your lender and Realtor’s advice can help you avoid common pitfalls.

  • A professional home inspector could be the turning point between going through with the offer and canceling it altogether. Sellers are not always required to make any repairs needed that are uncovered by the inspection, especially if the home is being sold in an “as-is” condition.
  • Finances are not always set in stone; although you may have obtained a pre-approval letter at the time of making the offer, that does not ensure that you are qualified to buy the home, as rates could change, or your financial circumstances could change.

But who’s to say you’re celebrating is premature? The right agent with the right skills and experience will work tirelessly for you,  to guarantee that bottle of champagne will be opened at the right time.

For your best real estate experience call the Great Florida Homes Team at (954) 695-SOLD
Written by Daniela Ortiz and the Great Florida Homes Team

Smart Driver AARP Course in Coral Springs

June 10th, 2018

AARP Senior Drivers

It is possible to become a Smarter Driver! I took this course when I was 55. Honestly thought I would be bored out of my mind with all of the miles I logged every year as a Realtor. Much to my surprise I did learn to become a better driver and was very surprised that I did learn things I didn’t already know. – JC

The City of Coral Springs and AARP are proud to offer the Smart Driver Course for seniors. Participants who successfully complete the course are provided with a certificate for their auto insurance agency.

  • Participants must register in advance
  • AARP members pay $15
  • Non-AARP members pay $20
  • This class is open to all adults
  • Must bring bag lunch drinks and snacks

Insurance Discount: Participants who successfully complete the course will be provided with a certificate for their auto insurance agency. Please contact your insurance provider to see if completing this course would qualify you for a discount. To register, contact 954-346-1393 or click below:


Mary Boast Honored in Coral Springs

June 3rd, 2018


Mary Boast, Volunteer Extraordinaire!

Mary Boast, Volunteer Extraordinaire!

It’s the giver of their heart that is the soul of success in the growth of others. Mary Boast is that giver. A long time member of Kiwanis & known as, “Miss Mary”, to her 4-6 year old charges at Safety Town where she has instructed over the last 24 years, on how to remain safe at home and in school.

The Broward County Historic Preservation Board during their 44th Annual Pioneer Day honors consummate volunteers in the counties 31 cities.

Mary Boast, a long time Coral Springs resident has inspired children and families for over 30 years. As her city prepares to celebrate its 55th Anniversary, it is important to recognize volunteers like Ms. Mary who continue to make Coral Springs a great place to live, work & raise a family.

Congratulations to Mary, a respected Pioneer and Volunteer!

8591 Lakeside Drive Parkland, Florida 33076

May 15th, 2018

Looking for one of the best homes for sale in Parkland?

Walk into this bright & spacious estate home in Mira Lago of Parkland.
Located on an oversized cul de sac lot that backs up to amazing lake views from all windows.
Granite counters and large center island in this gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances.

Home features window blinds through out with some being automated.
Upgraded tile floors and exterior stone accent the rest of this home.
Upstairs bedrooms enjoy spacious bathrooms and large walk in closets.
The master suite is large enough for another private room with a huge walk in closet.
Large master features a separate whirlpool tub and walk in shower as well as a private water closet.

Waterfront homes in Parkland allow you the opportunity for peaceful views of Serenity.
In this Mira Lago Home you can enjoy a $65.000 backyard paradise that includes a heated pool that is surrounded by an expansive travertine deck patio.
For your family’s comfort there is a baby fence for the pool and the yard has a sweeping iron fence.

Expansive resort style Clubhouse with/ pools, gym  and fitness classes. Outdoor activities include, tennis, basketball and a children’s playground and kiddie pool.
Click to see More Photos of what could be yours and Call Us Today for your personal viewing!


Magnificent Sunsets Over Wide Water Views!

Estate Home in Mira Lago of Parkland Florida

Heated Pool with Swim Deck & Umbrella Stand

Featured Listing: 1002 N Atlantic Drive, Lantana, FL 33462

January 15th, 2018

You herecan almost hear the champagne corks popping in celebration of excellence! Check out this customized less-than-1-mile to beach Intercoastal-front beauty on exclusive North Hypoluxo Island where temperatures can be 5 degrees cooler from the ocean breezes.

Hurricane impact glass and doors thru out, full security system & 130′ dock. Soaring 22′ ceilings, elegant fully marbled 1st floor, customized chef’s GE Profile KT & Bosch dishwasher, wine fridge, striking quartzite counters with a dazzling marble island, breakfast nook, large walk in & Butler’s pantry. 1/1 cabana bath downstairs, a dramatic grained Acacia wood flooring on staircase leads to the 2nd level of luxury. 2nd Bedroom, Balcony & Master Bath features Intercoastal views. Expansive Laundry room. 2 Bdr Closet is 13X6. Master Bdr with Deep water views. View the full listing details and photos here. Interested in the home? Reach out to your Great Florida Homes Team!

Featured Listing: 1002 N Atlantic Drive, Lantana, FL 33462

Featured Listing: 11203 NW 9th St Plantation, FL 33325

January 15th, 2018

Check out this architectural masterpiece, extremely well priced! This home is five bedrooms, 4.5 baths – for a total living square footage of 5,783. There are glamorous marble floors throughout the entire home. Inside and out this home is beautiful and elegant. The yard is large and has endless possibilities for creating your own backyard oasis. You only have one neighbor and a whole acre of land to yourself. The Grand Porte-Cochere entrance wraps the circular driveway for an amazing first impression and a three car garage, leaving plenty of room for all your vehicles. The home has three A/C Units keeping your home cool in the hot Florida months – as well as heated pool. A Fiamberti Custom Kitchen with Thermador appliances is just another addition to the intricate design features meticulously included by this Builder/Architect Owner. Another great bonus is there are no HOA fees for this neighborhood.

Take a virtual tour of the home here. Seller is motivated, and the home is even more impressive in person, call the Great Florida Homes team for a personalized tour!

Featured Listing: 11203 NW 9th St Plantation, FL 33325