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Buying a Home in Florida

Most people tend to see the home buying process as an overwhelming and stressful experience, but the truth is it can also be incredibly rewarding. After all, you’re choosing a place where you and your family can create new memories. Once you find the right home, all the hard work will definitely be worth it.

Preparation is the key to finding an ideal property. When you’re well-prepared, you’ll be able to make the best decisions that will lead you towards finding a home that fits all your needs and preferences.  Knowing what to expect during the buying process will make everything more seamless and less stressful.

If you’re buying a home for the first time or would just like to know a bit more about the home buying process, here’s a helpful guide:

Do Your Research
Look at real estate listings posted online or in magazines and newspapers. List several homes you might be interested in, and take note of how long they stay on the market, as well as any price changes that may occur. Be sure to include important information such as the size of the home, key features, location, and so on. This will give you a good idea of the housing trends in a specific area.  

It is common to get overwhelmed at this early stage, but remember that it is not necessary to get bogged down in details. If this stage starts to hold you back, just browse a little to get a general idea. You will have the opportunity to discuss more with your real estate agent, but you need a general place to start.

Determine How Much You Can Afford
Many lenders advise buyers to look for homes that cost around three to five times their annual household income in order for them to make a 20% down payment and have a sufficient amount of other debt.

Get Pre-approved

Before you start your search, it’s very important to have a good idea of how much you can spend. One of the best ways to do that is to get pre-approved for a mortgage. In order to get pre-approved, you need to present financial information such as your income, amount of savings, and any investments you may have to your mortgage lender. Upon reviewing these, your lender will then determine how much they can lend you, which will give you an estimated price range for homes.

Please note that this is different than a pre-qualification, where a lender just gives you a basic idea of what you are likely to receive at a glance. It is not as detailed and does not hold the same level of commitment. Sellers will typically request a pre-approval and are often not satisfied with a prequalification letter.

Search For a Reliable and Trustworthy Real Estate Agent
A good real estate agent is someone who can make the home buying or selling process easier for clients. If you’re looking for a home, an agent who has plenty of experience in the area will be able to provide key information on homes and neighborhoods that isn’t available anywhere else.

Search For a Home
When you’re searching for a home, remember to take plenty of pictures and videos, as it might be difficult to remember every detail when making your choice. Remember to take all the time you need, and work with your agent in order to successfully negotiate a fair price based on other homes within the neighborhood.

Get an Inspection
After the seller accepts your offer, talk to your agent to arrange a home inspection. Based on the home inspector’s findings, you can renegotiate with the seller should there be anything on the property that may require repair.

Handle the Paperwork and Close the Sale
The lender typically arranges for a title company to address paperwork in order to ensure that the seller is the rightful owner of the property you’re purchasing.  During the closing, you will be required to sign paperwork in order to complete your purchase. This usually takes a couple of days to be fully processed. Closing ends once the seller receives the check. After which, you’ll now be allowed to transfer to your new home.