Home Buyer's Guide

You've made the decision to buy a home. Welcome to the joy of making one of the biggest investments and purchase decisions you'll ever make, which means it's also a little scary and nerve-wracking. Because you're still early in the process, the whole picture may already feel pretty overwhelming. How much house can you afford? Fixer-upper or turn-key? What kind of down payment can you offer? Who should you go to for a mortgage? How do you choose a Realtor? If you can bear some mild discomfort that sets in as you navigate the answers to these questions, then you're already in the homeowner mindset. Want to make the process go even smoother? Follow my proven guide to finding, financing and finalizing a home sale.

Getting a Mortgage

Get Pre-Approved

One of the first ports of call for new homeowners—and probably the most stressful—is securing the funds to purchase. Many young people worry that they won't be approved for the amount they'll need for their dream property, or any mortgage at all. Being pre-approved for a home loan can take a lot of stress off and it will help your chosen Realtor to look only at homes you can actually afford. Nothing says heartbreak like zeroing in on a home you can't live without and then learning that it's out of your budget. And sellers prefer pre-approved buyer too. The pre-approval process is like an in-depth financial background check that ensures that there won't be any financial hurdles along the way if you decide to bid on a home. Your lender will look at your income and current debt situation to determine how much they can give you for a mortgage.


Closing Costs

Don't Forget the Closing Costs

Closing costs are one of the sneakiest amounts associated with the home buying process. If you’re getting a loan, the costs can total around 10 percent of the sale price and are due on the closing day. If you don't keep closing costs in mind during the home buying process, it could blindside you and leave you house poor, able to afford the house and nothing more. Express to your Realtor early on that you would like them to help estimate the closing costs for you, so you can keep the expense in mind when you're ready to make a bid. Many times a skilled Realtor (like Christopher Milson) can negotiate some of the closing costs to be paid by the seller, especially if the appraised value is higher than the contract price.


Making an Offer

Keep Your Head Straight

One of the most rookie mistakes is putting an offer on almost every house you see. The important thing to remember is to quell your competitive instincts and your fear of missing out. That calmness will naturally come with seeing more homes and being involved in and losing a bidding war or two. All you can do when you're just setting out is to be open to your Realtor about how your feeling, so they can help you work through it and stay focused on the prize. One strategy is to go in at full price and then wait for the appraisal, which allows to negotiate the price down if the value is determined to be lower than the contract price. In any event, when you step into the home for you, you'll know it. Only then should you make pro-active moves to start the bidding process. 


Home Inspection

Know What Your Buying

Even if you've purchased a "turn-key" home, the entire property should be thoroughly inspected for major repairs and termites (especially in Florida). Getting to know exactly what you're buying will help you budget for future home improvement and repair projects. Your Realtor should have a listed of trusted home inspectors to choose from, or you can find your own. When in doubt, ask Christopher how he can help to make your job a lot easier.

Best Home Buying Guide for the Clearwater Area

In this free eBook we'll discuss:

  • Mortgage Loans
  • Home Inspections
  • Benefits of Home Ownership
  • Tax Breaks and write offs
  • Total Monthly Costs
  • Down payment needed
  • How to submit an offer
  • Best schools & safest areas
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