Work With a Realtor A professional Realtor will be work for you as a buyer’s agent. That means they are going to be on your side and look out for your best interests. If you do it alone or work just with the seller and their agent it is their job to get the highest possible price and terms for their seller. When you have buyer representation they will negotiate on your behalf, give their professional opinion on making an offer, guide and advise you through the whole home buying process. A buyer’s agent does not cost you a dime as the commission comes from the builder or the seller’s agent commission.
Bonus Tip: if you are thinking about buying a new home make sure you still use a Realtor as the builder will pay the Realtor from their marketing budget. You won’t get a better deal doing it alone. The builder just like any seller wants to make as much money as possible. Working with an experienced Realtor that knows the ins and outs of the local home builders and has a rapport with the builders will help save you big and the whole buying experience less stressful.
Check You’re Credit Before contacting a lender you want to take a look at your credit and if there are any discrepancies you want to write to the credit bureaus to dispute them in matter of fact you should dispute all negative reporting as the creditor has a time-frame they need to respond to and if they don’t then it will be removed . The higher you can get your credit score the better interest rate you will qualify for. This can save you thousands over the life of a loan.
Have A Home Inspection This is a no brainer. Having your home inspected not only gives you peace of mind that you are getting a quality home. It can help save you thousands if the seller is willing to make repairs or renegotiate the price.
Shop Lenders Call two to three different lenders to get quotes on interest rates. A half a point rate difference will save you thousands over the course of a loan. Your Realtor can suggest lenders they know and trust or you can call your bank.
Avoid Big Purchases Don’t make any big purchases before you close on your home. Buying a car or even opening a store credit card can lower your credit score. If your credit score is on the borderline sometimes this can be the cause of you not obtaining a mortgage.
Pay Down Debts If you have the ability to pay down your debts this could increase your credit score. This will help with your debt ratios as lenders will not lend to you if you have too high of debt. Speak to your lender and discuss whether paying down your debts will help you.
Shop Homeowners Insurance This is another item you want to shop around and get quotes for as there could big price differences from company to company.
Purchase a new home Yes the cost of a new home is going to be more upfront but you don’t have to worry about big repair items for ten to fifteen years. When buying a resale that may be older you will need to have money aside for repair or replacements for the roof, air conditioner, etc. Since most people will sell their home in less than ten years you may never have to invest a dime in big item repairs. Since your new home will be under ten years and not under twenty or thirty when you go to sell it the resale value will be higher than if you owned an older home.
New homes you will also save on your homeowners insurance in comparison to purchasing an older home.
New homes are also built to high hurricane standards and now are required to have hurricane shutters. Although Tampa Bay has not been directly hit by a hurricane in a very long time it does give you peace of mind knowing you have a home that can stand up to a hurricanes impact.
Evaluate The List Price This is where your Realtor plays a vital role. Not every list price is priced accurately according to the market. Some sellers have unrealistic expectations and list their home over priced if this is the case you should make a lower offer more in line with what other homes are selling for in the area. Some homes are priced are correctly these homes will usually have less wiggle room when it comes time to negotiate the price. Some homes are under-priced; these homes will usually sell for over the list price and have multiple offers. There is nothing wrong with making an offer over list price on these homes as long as it is at the market value or under. Having a Realtor that knows the local market and values is crucial when negotiating an offer.
Apply For Homestead Florida residents after you buy your home you can apply for homestead with your county. Homestead deducts $50,000 off the assessed value of your home. So if your home is assessed at $200,000 you will be taxed on $150,000 instead.Keep in mind that is for the ad valorem portion of your taxes, You also have non ad valorem items such as CDD in certain communities and solid waste disposal & collection.
Location Location Location Living on or close to the water is many peoples ideal situation but do know that you are going to have to pay extra on your insurance and your lender will require flood insurance. If you are not willing to pay for the extra costs associate with living near the water make sure you work with a Realtor that knows the area and what areas do not require flood insurance and which ones do require it.