For first-time homebuyers, deciding when to finally pull the trigger can pose a daunting task for former lessees. While making a significant commitment is a tough pill to swallow for an indecisive buyer, there will come a time when you’ll realize it’s time to dive into homeownership. Perhaps a stable job has finally afforded you financial security, or a long-term relationship has encouraged you to build a more serious partnership. Regardless of how you arrive at the realization, venturing into your first home is an exciting and tedious experience.
First-time buyers often fall prey to rookie mistakes that may financially incapacitate them for years to come. When weighed down by debt, taking on a mortgage becomes a curse when you encounter inevitable, costly home repairs. Even failing to properly research lenders, mortgage rates, and preapproval benefits can result in a chaotic purchasing process for first-time homeowners.
Once you’ve determined you are ready and willing for the plunge, it’s time to choose your dream location. What better place to lay down your roots than in the ever-glorious sunshine state? Although Florida’s real estate market can be fickle proper knowledge and preparation can help you navigate the market with ease. Pay close attention to how long a property has been on the market to determine if this is a profitable purchasing period. Homes that have been up for sale for six months are considered balanced, and neither the buyer or seller has an overt advantage. However, properties that have been on the market for a year and a half indicate the market is slow and sellers will be more agreeable when negotiating prices.
Are you ready to delve into Floridian homeownership? Follow these seven tips and tricks to maneuver the real estate market with ease.
Partner with the right mortgage lender
Matching with a compatible lender for your needs is crucial. For more bargaining power, apply for preapproval and sharpen your credit score. Additionally, ask your lender about fees and interest payments, and pull out the microscope for fine prints. For smooth sailing, partner with a lender that utilizes loan servicing software from retailers like LoanPro. That way, you can shave precious hours off your home loan experience and pocket the savings. The automated software simplifies time-exacting tasks for lenders, freeing up more time in their schedule to speak one-on-one with you.
Get pre approved
A preapproval letter from your lender will show real estate agents and sellers that you mean business. Simply meet with your chosen donor to comb through your assets, income, debt, and other financial factors. Your lender will determine the loan amount they’re willing to offer, and you’ll be one step closer to your dream home.
Prepare for a down payment
The competitive real estate market and high foreclosure rate in Florida have resulted in a lack of private mortgage insurance for conventional loans. As such, you’ll need to provide a 20% to 25% down payment for a single-family home. Although the amount may seem daunting, take advantage of first-time homebuyer programs to give yourself an edge.
Research assistance programs
Federal programs offer first-time buyers grants for mortgages with a no-down-payment option. State-run programs also provide new homeowners with tax credits and interest-free loans. To find out more about federal assistance, conduct a simple search and discover potential savings down the road.
Set money aside for closing costs
Closing costs usually range from 2% to 5% of your overall loan amount, including expenses like home inspections and title searches. Unfortunately, closing costs in Florida are among the highest in America so prepare for a large payment.
Invest in reliable homeowners insurance
Protect your estate by purchasing an insurance plan with broad coverage. While Florida is a stunning warm-weathered state, the notorious storm seasons are formidable. Standard homeowners insurance won’t cover hurricane-induced flood damage, so you’ll need to take out separate insurance to avoid a devastating loss.
Make an offer
Once you’ve ascertained a letter of pre approval, saved for a down payment, and are prepared to meet closing cost expenses, it’s time to secure the deal. As a first-time buyer, landing on an offer can be complicated. Speak with your agent to come up with a competitive offer that doesn’t exceed your budget.
Purchasing your first home is one of the most significant decisions you’ll ever make. By following this guide, you can become a full-time Floridian in a flash.