Thinking of buying your first home in Florida? Here at Coastal Home Team, we love helping people like you to find the best first home for their needs, lifestyle and budget.
Top 10 Tips for First Time Home Buyers in Florida
1. Apply for the Mortgage First
The first thing you should do before you are serious about shopping around for your first home is to get your mortgage terms sorted. This will let you know how much money you are working with, the terms you will need to uphold, and so on. Plus, once you are preapproved for a mortgage it’ll make the buying process move a lot more efficiently and give you a leg up on the competition.
2. Don’t Open New Credit Lines Before Securing the Mortgage
If you open up new credit lines before securing your mortgage, this can affect the deal that you get on your mortgage. Therefore, make sure that you keep your credit as clean and free of unnecessary issues, such as credit checks and new credit lines.
3. Save Up as Much as You Can for the Down Payment
When you are making your initial down payment, remember that this payment is going to have a direct impact on how much you pay monthly for your mortgage for a long period of time. In addition, if you don’t put down a certain percentage you may have to pay for mortgage insurance each month. Although you shouldn’t place your finances at risk by emptying out your savings, you should try to save up and put down as much as you can. Although, keep in mind, there are programs available for first time home buyers so that you don’t have to put down 20%.
4. Location and Amenities Over Price
When you finally buy your home, it should go without saying that you are making a huge commitment. Not only financially but also in your daily life. Therefore, be sure to keep in mind the location of the home and if it will work with your commute and other needs. The amenities of the home should also be suitable to suit your long-term goals and desires.
5. Choose Something You Can Grow With
When you buy a house, one of the most important things that you need to keep in mind is your needs in the future. You might be okay with having one bedroom now, but maybe you intend on getting married and having kids. Things like these are common factors to consider.
6. Keep Options Open & Attend Many Open Houses
Just as you wouldn’t marry somebody after the first date, you shouldn’t buy a house after the first showing. Consider other options so that you can find the best possible home to suit your needs.
7. Never Bid the Asking Price
You should simply never bid the asking price of the house. This is a recipe for disaster. Remember that a seller is trying to get the best possible deal. This usually means they are asking more than they are willing to settle for.
8. Perform A Private Appraisal & Inspection
Having a private appraisal done is a great way to ensure that you get the best possible price. Before you buy the property, you also should have it professionally inspected so you can plan on maintenance and repair costs.
9. Overshoot on Utility & Insurance Costs
When you are visiting an open house, it is common for the seller to list things such as the estimated utility and insurance costs. When viewing these numbers, it’s a good general rule of thumb to overshoot them so that you don’t end up paying more than you planned on.
10. Ask About Homeowners Association Fees
One of the most commonly missed charges that you need to account for is the homeowners association fees. Although these don’t always exist, they can be expensive in certain neighborhoods. Be sure to check to see if there are any homeowner’s association fees before signing a deal.
Need some assistance in finding your dream home in Florida? Be sure to check out the listings on Coastal Home Team!