Buyer

Buying a home is a pivotal milestone in one’s life, or, can be a time-consuming stress for many investors. Whether you are a first-time buyer, or a seasoned pro, the real estate process can be a stressful experience. Here are some answers to some of the most common questions that buyers have.

To find out more information, just click on one of the questions:

I’m buying a home, why should I engage the services of an agent?

Buyers engage agents for many reasons. The first is time savings. An agent will get to know you and your specific needs, likes and dislikes, then will do all of the work of finding you the right home, setting up showings and providing you with access to homes you want to see. The second reason is that a Realtor knows your market area and is familiar with neighborhoods and trends and so is the best person to help seek out the most value for your hard-earned money. Lastly, a Realtor understands contracts and real estate law and is equipped to fully protect your rights and interests during a transaction.

Here are some of the most common questions I receive from buyers:

Nothing.

There are no fees for a buyer to engage the services of a Realtor.

Ever.

This is a very personal choice and is based on many factors such as whether or not you plan to move frequently, how large of a space you want, whether or not your job is stable, your current living situation, your future plans, etc..

All of that not withstanding, home ownership can be both emotionally and financially rewarding. It offers stability, a sense of pride, and the security of knowing that all of the money you are putting into your home, you will get back out of it. This cannot be said for your monthly rent!

If you are waiting for the market to improve in your favor, you could be waiting years.

That said, the answer depends on several other factors and questions to ask yourself, such as, Can you afford a mortgage? Do you have funds set aside for a down payment? Not all mortgages are the same, as mortgage rates and rules differ between lenders, and some might require a substantial down payment, and some may require none at all, but every home requires, at least, a deposit. What is your credit score like?

A great credit score will get you the lowest possible rates, and it’s always a good idea to check your report for easily resolved issues that may bring your score down. However, if your score is lower, that doesn’t automatically disqualify you from home ownership, it just means you might pay a bit more in interest, until you can get your score up. Are you committed to home ownership? Owning a home takes time and effort compared to renting. You may have a lawn that needs mowing or a fence that needs mending, along with repairs that will pop up from time to time.

Start by contacting me! One of the great things about contacting a Realtor directly, versus using one of the big Home Search sites is that you’re getting a personal guide to real estate. You can text me at any time, (727) 834-0254 PHONE NUMBER SHOULD BE CLICKABLE, and I will be happy to assist you. There is NO pressure and I am here to answer any questions you have, personally. Besides that, one of the first things I tell all of my clients is to get a pre-approval from a lender. No seller will accept an offer made on a home without a letter of pre-approval to show you are truly sincere, ready, and able to buy.

Simple. You can start by contacting your bank and speaking with a loan advisor. It is wise to shop around! Different brokers have different methods they use to get you the best rates and not all brokers are the same. I recommend speaking to 3 different mortgage professionals before choosing one. You can start by applying HERE. The HERE should be a BUTTON, linked to open a new tab: https://consumer.decisionassist.com/fullapplication/begin.aspx/?ref=748111BD82D15C10E0501EAC88107A13

This is a question best answered by a mortgage professional. That said, however, there are several loan types available for home buyers to choose from. Depending upon your unique circumstances, you may choose one loan over another. Here are a list of the 3 most common loan types, as well as a brief description of each:

CONVENTIONAL mortgage loan

A credit score of 620 and up is generally (not always) required for this type of home loan. This is the most common type of loan available. They can come with a fixed rate, or an ARM (Adjustable rate). These typically require a higher (16-20%) down payment but tend to have lower interest rates which change from day to day, unless fixed.

VA mortgage loan

A loan provided through the Veterans Affairs and is ideal for military veterans and their families. Often these types of loans require no down payment and have lower interest rates as well. Another bonus is that the loans are transferable from one veteran to another. This type of loan has a borrowing cap of $453,000.

FHA mortgage loan

With only a credit score of 500 and higher being needed, these loans are backed by the Federal Housing Administration and require much smaller down payments (3-4%) than conventional loans, which makes them a great option for many first-time home buyers. The rates are federally controlled and are generally around 4%. Mortgage insurance is a requirement for these loans, however, which can raise the monthly payment a bit. This type of loan requires that the buyer be an occupant of the home for at least one year, so these loans are not a great option for home investors.