By: Jason Gonzalez
You are reading this article for one of two reasons; you are either looking to buy a Florida home already or wondering if buying is right for you and your family. Worry not, by the end of this read, you’ll have enough information to make an informed decision regardless of your current perspective.
“I’ve been thinking of buying a home in Florida. Is now the right time to buy?”
Now is the time to buy a Florida home! The signs are all around us; the lowest mortgage interest rates in history, the steady increase in rents charged, the rock bottom real estate market. So, if now is the time, then why are you still sitting on your bottom reading this blog? Because naturally you have may questions such as:
I don’t have money for closing costs or down payment, does this mean I can’t buy?
No! Absolutely not! There are 100% lending programs and with the additional guidance of a season Realtor, the closing costs can be negotiated to be paid by the Seller, essentially putting you in position to buy with little to no money down! Please keep in mind that you will have to be patient and expect a few rejections before you have a contract accepted. They will give preferential treatment to buyers with larger down payments.
Tip #1 : Ask for the seller to pay your closing costs, the worst they could say is no!
My credit isn’t the greatest and I’ve heard it was hard to get approved these days; is this true?
Again, not true! Banks are approving tons of people just like you. Perfect credit is not required and in some cases, your credit score can be increased within a week to put you in a position to qualify. It’s free to find out so apply today and see!
The bottom line is that if you really want to buy a Florida home and are serious about it, teaming up with the right professionals can make it happen. Like the hockey legend Wayne Gretzky always said, ‘you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take’. Take a shot, you may be surprised!
“I want to buy a Florida home but don’t know where to start. What’s the BEST way to go about the home buying process?”
Without boring you with all of the details, here’s a quick overview of the home buying process as it should be carried out.
Tip #2 : The RIGHT way to start the home buying process!
- Decide that buying a home is right for you. If you aren’t committed 100% to the process, you will not be successful in it.
- Research local mortgage bankers and Realtors to find the right one for you. You’ll need the mortgage person to help you obtain the loan for the home and the Realtor to help find the home and negotiate the terms of purchase. Choose people you get along with and that have good work ethic, the process can be lengthy and difficult; you’ll need the best representation available.
- Interview your Realtor and mortgage professional. Make sure you are on the same page and they know what you want.
- Commit to one Realtor and one mortgage professional. This cannot be stressed enough. The number one mistake people make when buying a home is dealing with several different people at the same time. You will be the one to lose in this scenario as a true professional will only be as committed to their client as their client is to them. Show them you trust them and they will work even harder to make sure you aren’t let down.
- Relax and trust the professionals you hired to do the job they were hired to do.
- Get pre-approved for a loan with your mortgage professional. They will be able to tell you how much you could safely afford to purchase and what the best loan options are for your specific scenario. Once you are pre-approved you can inform the Realtor of the price range you are approved to buy in.
Tip #3 : Know your mortgage pre-approval!
When you submit your information to the lender or mortgage professional and they issue your pre-approval letter stating that you are qualified to purchase up to $XXX,XXX amount of home, there are other hidden factors to take into consideration. Let’s say, for example, that you are pre-approved for $300,000 with your local mortgage lender. When the lender ran your information through the system to ensure that your loan could be approved, they used estimated taxes and insurance to see if you could afford the payment. So, let’s say that taxes in that area for a $300k house would be $4,500 and a typical insurance policy would be $1,500, giving a total of $6k per year ($500/month). This is what the lender will use. If the taxes on your sepcific property are, say $7,000, it would greatly increase your monthly payment and may cause the loan to be rejected at the last minute.
How can you prevent this? Deal with a reputable mortgage lender that reruns your scenario every time you have a specific property in mind. A pre-approval is only as good as the information collected beforehand. If your current lender is too lazy to put the extra work in the beginning, you could find yourself in quite a pickle come closing time.
By simply following these tips and choosing the right professionals to represent you in the beginning of your home buying process, you can save thousands in closing costs and more importantly, save a lot of unnecessary headaches down the road.