Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned real estate investor, buying a home is a big deal. It’s an important step toward financial security and can often times seem a little overwhelming. But with the right agent, your home search will be easier than you think. With my local expertise in the Seminole County area, I work side-by-side with my clients to find them not just a property, but the RIGHT property that you can call home.
Here’s a quick overview of the home buying process.
Gather your financial information. The first step is making sure you have enough funds and credit to qualify for a mortgage loan. You’ll want to make sure you have enough saved for a down payment and closing costs. Your credit score is also very important as it can be a determining factor when qualifying for a mortgage. There are many mortgage loans available so it’s best to consult with a professional lender or your local bank. They can guide you through your mortgage options and even help boost your credit score.
Know what you can afford. Once your lender has provided you with a pre-qualification letter, make sure you are comfortable with your budget and monthly payments. It’s important to keep your mortgage payments within your monthly household expenses so that you can still afford to live the lifestyle you want to live.
Find the right agent. You’ll be working closely with your agent so it’s important you find the right one. Make sure your agent is thoroughly familiar with the area you’re looking in. A good agent will know things like neighborhood trends, school zones, amenities, development, pricing trends etc… They’ll know exactly where to find the home you’re looking for and can potentially save you a ton of money by identifying overpriced priced homes during your search.
If you’re searching in Seminole County and it’s surrounding areas, I would love the opportunity to earn your business. With an in depth knowledge of each city, community and neighborhood, there’s no question that I’m the best agent in this area.
Ready to start your home search! Now that you’ve located financing and the right agent, you’re in a great position to start your home search. Be sure to narrow down your search and know what you want and need. Thoroughly review through home features, neighborhoods and community preferences with your agent.
A great way to start your search is online. With our online search, you’ll have access to local listings in real time and can be instantly notified once a new property is listed. Make sure to get a feel for the communities you’re looking in by driving, or even walking through each neighborhood where you’ve found potential properties.
Make an Offer: Once you’ve found the right home for you, it’s time to make an offer! Before submitting your offer, be sure to consult with your agent. Your agent will help you determine fair market offer and guide you through the negotiation process. Remember, too low of an offer and you risk losing the interest of the seller. You’ll want to go through comparable homes sold in the neighborhood to make sure your offering fair market value for the subject property, taking into consideration repairs needed.
Inspection period: Once the offer has been accepted by the seller, the clock starts ticking… Typically, you’ll have a maximum inspection period of 15 days. That means you can have the property professional inspected to make sure you know what you’re purchasing. Your agent will help in coordinating this process, making sure the inspection is performed within its time frame and educating you in issues that might come up with the results of the report. In some cases the buyer can negotiate any deficiencies found with the property, so be sure to use this to your advantage when the opportunity presents itself.
Closing: Finally! Inspection report came back positive and both parties are ready to close!
You’ll want to make sure all the necessary paperwork, deposits and timelines have been met in order to arrive at closing. Make sure to go through a closing checklist with your agent to be sure tasks are being completed like mortgage documents, title work, homeowners insurance, inspections and appraisals.
It’s now official!
Once you close on your new property, you can now call it your home 🙂 Before moving in, you’ll want to go over a few last minute things… Be sure to activate your utilities (water, electricity and cable) and get to know your recycling and trash pickup schedule, perform any last minute touch ups to your new home and don’t forget to change your mailing address.