HOME BUYER'S GUIDE
Use This Step-By-Step Guide to Buy Your First Home
Keep this guide in mind when you’re ready to start the search for the perfect home:
Make a list of your needs.
It’s easy to get caught up in planning for all the things you want in a home, but for most people, staying within a strict budget is essential. That’s why it’s important to make a list of all the things you can’t live without in order to narrow down your choices. If you entertain a lot, you may need a large backyard or living room area; if you work from home, you’ll need an office or workspace that provides a measure of privacy. Once you know how much room you need, you can effectively determine a realistic budget and start looking for a lender.
Choose the right loan.
Finding a loan that matches your needs can be frustrating if you’re not prepared, so do a little reading on your options. Certain loans are specific to the type of buyer you are; for instance, if this is your first home purchase, an FHA loan may be the best fit because it offers little to no down payment as well as some leniency where your credit score is concerned. Take a look at the various types of loans available to you and think about how much you’ll need for a down payment; you’ll also need to factor in closing costs, which may be anywhere from 2%–5% of the purchase price. Keep in mind that the type of loan you choose affects those costs; if they’re going to bump up your budget too much, consider asking the seller to help pay for a portion, or search for a less expensive property so that it evens out.
Start your search.
Once you’ve found the right lender and know how much you can afford to spend, it’s time to start your search for the perfect property. Visit neighborhoods you’re interested in to get an idea of whether they’re what you’re looking for, and take into consideration how close they are to work or your favorite stores. Look at school districts and find out more about the crime rate in the area. Once you’ve found a few homes you like, weigh their pros and cons to make a more informed decision.
Consider a home warranty.
Think you’ve found the perfect home? Before you can make an offer, you’ll need to have it inspected by a professional who can search for costly damage or areas of concern. Even if you get a clean report, you may want to consider protecting yourself for the near future by ensuring that you’re not going to have to lay out a large sum of money for repairs. A home warranty will cover the cost of replacing or repairing appliances and home systems–such as heating and air–that aren’t protected by homeowner’s insurance. Take a close look at the inspection report to make sure there are no red flags, and check to see if there are previous warranties for the property to find out what they cover. When vetting and finding companies in Florida who offer home warranties, carefully consider what their warranties cover and how much you can afford to spend on a policy.
Buying a home comes with a long list of tasks and things to consider, but by staying organized and utilizing the right resources, you can make the process smooth from the search to settling in. Do your research before making any decisions and consider purchasing a home warranty in case unexpected appliance and home system repairs are needed.