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First Time Home Buyer Tips for the Florida Real Estate Buyer

Aug 17, 2007
Talk to any Realtor and they will tell you that there has never been a better time to purchase a new home. Interest rates are low, there is a large inventory of homes on the market, and prices are coming down. For the first-time home buyer, the outlook is even better. With the additional finance options available to first-time buyers and an array of beautiful Florida homes available in nearly every price range, the dream of home ownership may become a reality to hundreds of first-time buyers this year.

Real Estate - Preparing for your new home purchase

Many first-time buyers are intimidated by the home buying process and worry about their lack of knowledge when it comes to real estate. While it is true that there are several pitfalls that any home buyer can fall into if they are not aware of them, there is a wealth of information available to the first-time buyer. Finding this information and thoroughly preparing for a new home purchase can and usually does lead a pleasurable and gratifying home buying process.

Buying Real Estate - Put your finances in order

The first thing you should do as a new home buyer is take stock of your financial situation. Do you have a stable job that provides reliable income? Do you have good credit? How much debt do you currently have? What can you afford in terms of mortgage payments? Knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time allows you to set reasonable expectations before you go shopping for homes. Obtain a copy of your credit report to ensure that there are no surprises waiting there for you.

Be realistic when selecting the targeted price range for your new home, and of course, it is best to avoid any major purchases (such as a new automobile) or job changes when you know you will soon be applying for a home loan. Finally, select your lender and obtain pre-approval for your loan before you begin searching for your new home. You can also begin researching local insurance companies to find those that are currently writing policies and which company can offer you the best rate.

Incentives for the first-time buyer to purchase Real Estate

Most banks, mortgage brokers, and housing finance agencies offer special incentives for first time home buyers, including lower down payment requirements, better interest rates, or even 100% financing. Call the Housing Finance Agency in your state to obtain information on special first time buyer programs.

There are literally hundreds of free websites on the internet that have information to help first time home buyers. Take advantage of this valuable resource. Visit as many sites as possible and take careful notes. Familiarize yourself with the terminology used by lending institutions, realtor's and builders so you can make informed decisions and be an educated negotiator.

Do you need a Realtor to buy Real Estate?

The answer to this question depends largely on the type of home you are looking for. If you have decided to purchase a pre-construction or newly constructed home, you may be better off going directly to the builder's sales office to make your purchase. If the builder does not have to pay the 3-6% realtor's commission, they may be willing to pass these savings along to you.

If you have done enough research to feel comfortable with the terminology and negotiating techniques, it is possible to save a great deal of money this way. This is where having that pre-approval from your lender can become a very useful negotiating tool. This is also true when purchasing an existing home By Owner. However, since it costs you nothing to obtain a realtor's assistance when purchasing a new or existing home since the seller is paying the realtor's commission, you should make your decision based on your own comfort level.

Don't forget the Home inspection

Regardless of whether you decide to obtain a Realtor or negotiate on your own, don't ever purchase a home without a thorough inspection of the house and premises by a qualified professional. You need to have a good handle on any repair costs that you may be facing, whether it means ridding the home of termites or termite damage or replacing outdated plumbing, wiring, appliances, or a leaking roof. Repair costs can take a very large bit out of the unsuspecting home buyer's budget.

In closing, it doesn't matter if you are purchasing your first home or your tenth, as an educated buyer you will have the best home buying experience. Taking the extra time to thoroughly research the market, standard buying procedures, and available financing will greatly increase your odds of finding your dream home at a price you can afford.
About the Author
Tom Beaty a Florida home builder and Florida real estate broker. Specialize in new homes in Palm Coast, Flagler and Volusia County. Visit me at: Florida real estate or Florida home builder
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