Buying a home in Florida can be an overwhelming process for first-time buyers and seasoned homeowners alike. There’s so much to consider and do during the process that it can leave you completely drained at the end. However, while some steps are a pain, others are much more enjoyable and it’s all worth it in the end.
To help demystify the process of buying a home, read about the five basic steps you need to take below.
1. Prepare Yourself
You might think that the process of buying a home starts with looking at houses on the market. However, you actually need to do a little work before you start falling in love with any listings.
First, you’ll want to check your credit report so you have a good idea of where you currently stand. Remember that you’re entitled to one free credit report from each of the three major reporting bureaus every year. If you’ve already obtained your free reports, you can get a good idea of your situation by using free monitoring services.
Next, it is a good idea to get your paperwork together so you can be preapproved for a loan. Being approved before you start shopping will make the entire process go more smoothly. Getting preapproved will give you a good idea of how much you can spend on a house, which will ultimately inform your shopping decisions.
During this part of the process, you will also want to decide on a buyer’s agent. This is simply a real estate agent who works for you, not the seller.In most cases, there's no additional cost for a buyer to have representation. It is the Sellers's Agent who pays the Buyer's Agent.~Michelle Richard – Broker / Owner Almost Home Click To Tweet
2. Start Looking at Homes
Once you’ve got all the preparation out of the way, you’re ready to start looking at homes. Based on your budget, your real estate agent (Buyers Agent) will direct you to homes in your price range, help you determine properties that are worth a look, and assist you in taking the market’s temperature.
As you start looking at homes, you will get a better idea of exactly what you want — and don’t want — in a home. At some point during the process of shopping, you may also consider the idea of building a home from scratch rather than buying an existing one.
It is important to think about all of the factors that can affect the price of building a home, such as the size, shape, design features, number of stories, excavation, and location. A quality Buyers Agent will have the expertise to guide you through the variables so you can make the best choice.
3. Make An Offer
Once you’ve decided on a home you want, it’s time to make an offer and hope the seller accepts it. Dedicated and reputable real estate agents from Almost Home Real Estate Services will help you craft the best possible offer based on the market, comparable homes and other factors.
The seller may accept or reject your offer right away, or instead come back with a counteroffer for you to consider.
You should also look to find a more favorable interest rate on your mortgage. You may be able to lower your rate if you pay for points, which means paying your lender a fee at closing. This option is most beneficial if you expect to live in your home long-term.
A mortgage points calculator can help you determine if paying for points is the right financial decision for you and your family.
4. Have an Inspection Done
After having your offer accepted, you will want to have the house inspected. A home inspection is done to identify any major issues with the structure of the home or its internal components, such as the heating and cooling, plumbing, electrical systems and more.
If you get bad results from an inspection, it might feel like the end of the world, but there are several methods you can consider to move forward. A quality Buyer’s Agent will have options based on your initial offer and situation to aid in inspection resolutions, such as asking the seller to make the repairs, conceding a repair credit at closing, or an addendum to the contract price.
Many overlook the skill of the Buyers Agent in handling this pivotal moment of the process, protecting your deposit, while persuing a satisfactory result versus aggravating the seller to a point of self-imploding your own deal.
5. Closing The Deal
Closing on a home is the final step in the process. During closing, you’ll sign a lot of paperwork, and then sign some more. Closing costs can be expensive, which your lender (bank) will prepare you for much earlier in the process as well as provide a closing disclosure so you can attempt to negotiate lowering or removing certain fees.
House Buying Summary
Buying a home can feel like a long, drawn-out process. While it might seem overwhelming at first, it’s important to keep in mind that you won’t be facing everything alone.
There are experts to consult on each topic so you can feel confident every step of the way toward homeownership.
For reliable, honest, and expert real estate service, reach out to Almost Home Real Estate Services by calling (239) 330-4100 or completing this contact form.
Written by Guest Author: Shirley Martin
Shirley turned her neat freak personality into a business when she became a home organizer. When she isn’t busy working her magic on homes in need of her special touch, she is sharing helpful tips on her site, Tidy Life Today.