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3 Things To Look For When Purchasing A New Florida Home

Aug 18, 2007
Purchasing a new Florida home can be a fun and exciting process. With numerous homes for sale in various price ranges, today's real estate market is heavily skewed in favor of the buyer. Sellers are offering incredible incentives, Realtors are working harder than ever before to make their buyers happy, interest rates remain low, and banks are eager to lend money to responsible buyers with good credit.

Today's Florida home buyer can take their time, explore target neighborhoods, and find the perfect home to suit their needs and their budget. It is, however, very difficult to find the perfect home if the buyer is not prepared. In fact, the primary focus of any Florida home buyer should be to learn as much as possible about the current housing market, and most importantly, about pitfalls the Florida home buyer may face.

Potential pitfall number one: Overestimating your budget

The very first step every Florida home buyer should take is to do a thorough analysis of their personal finances, and of all the costs associated with owning a home. This will help to determine how much home you can truly afford and eliminate any unpleasant surprises.

After taking stock of your monthly income, monthly debt, and credit rating, you should have a good idea of how much money you can allocate to a house payment. A few additional costs you may want to consider are insurance costs, taxes, and lender fees. This is a good time to find a mortgage lender and obtain pre-approval for a loan.

A pre-approval is a solid estimate of how much a bank is willing to lend, how many points (if any) they will add, and an estimate of the interest rate they are willing to offer. Once you have this, you can calculate monthly payments and insurance costs, and determine with reasonable certainty how much home you can afford.

Potential pitfall number two: Realtor remorse

A Realtor can, quite literally, make or break your Florida home buying experience. This is why it is so important to take your time when selecting a Realtor. Ask friends and family members for recommendations, or at the very least, visit several agencies before making your final selection. It is very important to find a Realtor who listens carefully to determine what type of house you are looking for, and the price range which best suits your budget.

If a Realtor immediately pushes you toward a home outside your price range, does not thoroughly answer all of your questions, or simply gives you the feeling that they are not truly listening to what you want, move on. If there is anything about an agency or agent that makes you feel uncomfortable, trust that feeling and continue your search elsewhere.

Potential pitfall number three: Hefty repair costs
Failure to take repair costs into account when purchasing a home can lead to serious problems for the Florida home buyer. If you decide to purchase a home that is at the top of your price range, you should be reasonably certain that the home will not require any major repairs. The Florida climate can be brutal on homes, which means that a thorough home inspection is of vital importance before any home purchase.

Home inspections can be costly, so learning about potentially expensive repairs and how to spot potential issues in a home can save money by eliminating prospects from your list before they ever reach the inspection process. A few things to look for are cracked foundations, rotted wood, outdated plumbing and electrical systems, and signs of mold or flood damage. Also consider that if you purchase a newly-constructed home, there is no need to worry about repair costs. Everything is brand-new, and most builders offer a home warranty.

Finding the perfect home

The preceding list is by no means exhaustive, and there are many other ways in which a Florida home buyer can prepare themselves to purchase a new home. These are simply a few of the major pitfalls you can avoid as a Florida home buyer, and the suggestions will help you to better navigate the Florida housing market. By making these simple preparations and taking a few necessary precautions, you will be well on your way to finding your perfect Florida home.
About the Author
Real Estate Palm Coast Fl - Tom Beaty a real estate broker and home builders in Palm Coast, Flagler and Volusia County. Visit: Real Estate Palm Coast Fl or Florida Home Builders
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