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linda brousseau
Linda Brousseau Realty
Linda Brousseau
Licensed Real Estate Broker


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Buyers Information

Buyers Section


It is recommended that you hire a licensed home inspector prior to purchasing a home.
Following are some things an inspector will do:

Siding: Look for dents or buckling
Foundations: Look for cracks or water seepage
Exterior Brick: Look for cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks
Insulation: Look for condition, adequate rating for climate (the higher the R value, the more effective the insulation is)
Doors and Windows: Look for loose or tight fits, condition of locks, condition of weatherstripping
Roof: Look for age, conditions of flashing, pooling water, buckled shingles, or loose gutters and downspouts
Ceilings, walls, and moldings. Look for loose pieces, dry wall that is pulling away.
Porch/Deck: Loose railings or step, rot
Electrical: Look for condition of fuse box/circuit breakers, number of outlets in each room.
Plumbing: Look for poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots or corrosion that indicate leaks, sufficient insulation
Water Heater: Look for age, size adequate for house, speed of recovery, energy rating.
Furnace/Air Conditioning: Look for age, energy rating. Furnaces are rated by annual fuel utilization efficiency; the higher the rating, the lower your fuel costs. However, other factors such as payback period and other operating costs, such as electricity to operate motors.
Garage: Look for exterior in good repair; condition of floor—cracks, stains, etc.; condition of door mechanism.
Basement: Look for water leakage, musty smell.
Attic: Look for adequate ventilation, water leaks from roof.
Septic Tanks (if applicable): Adequate absorption field capacity for the percolation rate in your area and the size of your family.
Driveways/Sidewalks: Look for cracks, heaving pavement, crumbling near edges, stains. Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® . Copyright 2003. All rights reserved

Florida Homestead Exemptions

In Florida, $25,000 of the assessed value of your home is exempt from real estate taxes, but you have to meet certain criteria to be eligible for the exemption. First you much have the title or record to your property as of January 1, and reside on the property. You have to be a legal and permanent resident of Florida as of January 1. When applying for the exemption status, bring along a copy of your deed or tax bill, and a Florida county voters registration or Declaration of Domicile. If you drive, you must also bring your Florida driver's license and automobile registration. New applications must be submitted in person at the appraiser's office, but renewals may be done by mail. For further information, consult the County Property Appraiser's Office.

Real Estate Taxes

All residents are subject to county taxes, but each city or special district levies taxes within its boundaries. City, special-district, and county taxes are combined in one tax bill. Real estate taxes are assessed as of January 1 each year. They are due and payable on November 1 and become delinquent if not paid before April 1 of the following year. Florida law holds the taxpayer responsible for receiving and paying tax bills in full. For additional information contact the County Property Appraiser's Office.

Establishing Residency

To establish residency, you may register to vote or file a Declaration of Domicile, which is an affidavit available at the CountyCourthouse. Filing one copy with the Circuit Court provides a record of your intention to make Florida your home. Simply moving to the State does not guarantee legal residency. For more information contact the County's Clerk of Circuit Court.

Buying a waterfront home – Things to Consider

Congratulations at looking to the Treasure Coast for a possible permanent or vacation home.

From an investment point there are keep in mind there is only so much waterfront or Coastal property available. There are strict environmental laws that affect building permits which means there are only so many homes that can be built.

Is there a view?

Views really do matter. An unobstructed Ocean view adds as much as 60% to the value of a home per the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics. Proximity to Golf courses or a park can also add to a home’s value.

Consider the recreational activities

Easy access to pristine beaches, the Indian River Lagoon, parks, water parks allows for year round water sports activities including fishing, boating, swimming, kayaking to name a few activities.

Boating access and controlling depth

Is there direct boating access on the property? If so, how large a boat can you have behind the home? This is determined by what we call controlling draft or depth. For example: If a boat is under 30’ in most cases 3’ draft is OK. (Draft means...what is the lowest water depth you have to go through to get to open or deep water). If you have a sailboat or 50’ boat you will need deeper draft such as 5’. Canal width should also be a factor so there is ample room to maneuver the boat. The more navigable the water access, the more valuable the property.

If there is no direct water access, how far is the nearest boat ramp or is there a boat slip available? If so, is it included and what is the mean depth for navigation?

Neighborhoods with bigger canals and deep draft boating are generally more expensive.

These are very important things to consider.

Nearby Medical, facilities, shopping, and restaurants

How much room do you need?
Be sure to consider what your space desires are for day to day living. How many BRs and how many baths do you need? Do you need a garage?

Type of Construction or is it built to last.
The age of the home will often determine the building code that it was built to. An inspection is always recommended.

Rules and Regulations

Make sure you have copies of any deed restrictions or condo docs as to what is allowed and what is not in the community you are considering to buy in. If you are buying an investment property, does the community allow renters either long or short term? Are pets allowed? How many and what size?

Building a home

Buying a lot and building your dream home may be the way to go. The cost of building will vary widely from $100.00 per square foot to $300.00 and up.

Most expensive

  • Open-water—Atlantic or Gulf
  • Open-water Inter-Coastal or other Rivers-Lakes
  • Canal Homes with Open water views (Bay or Atlantic-Gulf)
  • Canal homes-Boat able and quick access to open-water
  • Dry Lots—price widely varies based on the community and area.
  • Permit prices and restrictions will vary in each community. Generally the more environmentally sensitive the area is, the more restrictions there are in getting a permit.

    Important Regarding Pricing

    Generally, prices will be more on deep water, wide canals and, of course, the view! It is important to find out what flood zone the property is in per FEMA maps and then talk to a local insurer on how that will affect your rates. Do this ahead of time. In all cases if you find a lot that you like, check with the local zoning commission as a clause in your sales contract to be sure it is a buildable lot and will accommodate your plans. Be sure to speak with the county yourself to get the update on the laws as part of your due diligence period. Get things in writing if possible. Find out how long it may take to get the appropriate permitting.

    Selecting a Building Contractor

    Ask us and we will be happy to supply a list of reputable builders in the area. Check with the appropriate county building department who may also be of assistance in your search.

    Information on Complaints Against Contractors:

    Many citizens in Florida have fallen victim to dishonest, unlicensed or improperly licensed contractors. Florida Statute 489 requires all construction contractors to hold a valid contractor's license prior to engaging in contracting. Always require that a contractor show you a valid contracting license before you sign a contract. Some indications that a contractor may be unlicensed are: the contractor requests a large deposit or all of the money up front before any work has commenced, the contractor asks you to pull a "homeowner permit", or the contractor pressures you to sign a contract "today or I can't give you this special price." To verify licensure of a contractor, you may call the State of Florida Dep't of Professional Regulation at 941- 338-2373 or search contractor licensing database. The City requires proof of licensure from contractors who pull permits for properties located in the town or city, so be sure to require that the contractor pulls the permit in his name, not your name.

    You will never find a shortage of things to do on the serene Treasure Coast.



    You will never find a shortage of things to do on the serene Treasure Coast.