Are you ready to buy a home? Maybe this is your first home purchase, or maybe it is your tenth. Either way, there are so many things to consider when buying a home and a lot of people are not sure where to start. Here are a few things to consider when buying a home:
Before you start your home search, you need to narrow down the locations that you prefer your new home to be in. For example, in Florida, Naples is too far away if you are working in Jacksonville. If you work in Jacksonville, you might want to consider Fernandina Beach, San Marco, Riverside, etc. The reason that you want to think about this before you start house hunting is so you can narrow down your search results. Plus, you do not want to waste anyone’s time and you do not want to fall in love with a home that is too far away. When you come up with the locations that work for you, your real estate agent will be able to search for homes that fit your preferred location, budget, and other needs.
One thing that I do want to mention, however, is to be somewhat flexible, especially if you are on a tight timeframe. My friend really wanted to move in a specific area, but when her budget would not work for that area, she looked twenty minutes away and found the home of her dreams! If your agent suggests another area that is close by, definitely be flexible and keep an open mind: you never know what you might find.
How Much Can You Afford?
The most important thing that you need to consider when buying a home is your budget. When you start the home buying process, the first step is to get your finances in order, which is pretty obvious. You should ideally pay off any large debt that you have (student loans are typically okay) and you should make sure that you have a good chunk in savings, for closing costs and a down payment.
Once you have everything in line, you will need to get a pre-approval from a loan officer. Once you turn in all of your paperwork, you will typically get a pre-approval back relatively quickly and if you are a first time home buyer, you will most likely think that you are *officially* approved for this loan, but you are not. This is just an idea of how much you will be approved for and it is usually very accurate, as long as your credit score and your debt does not drastically change.
You will most likely be approved for a lot more than you thought you would be and you will want to go crazy and buy your ‘perfect’ home, one that you did not think you could originally afford, but if you have a good loan officer and a good realtor (more on this in a minute!), they will advise you not to buy a home at your highest price point because if you do, you have the potential to become ‘house broke.’ All in all, make sure you find a good loan officer and trust them, as well as your real estate agent to guide you along the process.
Use A Trusted Realtor
Using a trusted real estate agent in Florida is essential because they know the ins and outs of the area and they can help you negotiate a great deal once you find a home that you love. I always say to find a real estate agent that is an ‘expert’ on the area that you are looking in (or selling in). For example, Erin King Jax Historic Realty, can help you become more knowledgeable about Jacksonville, in general, no matter if the home (or homes) is located in Fairfax, Springfield, St. Nicholas, San Marco, or another location that you are interested in. Erin King’s goal is to make your overall home buying experience as stress-free as possible. A few ways that Erin makes the Jacksonville home buying process easier and less stressful for you is by paying close attention to detail, responding quickly to his clients, and by putting together a support team of contractors and other professionals, to help transactions go smoothly. Home buying can be extremely stressful, but when you have the right team behind you, it has the potential to cut down on a lot of that stress.
Erin E. King “is a Best of Zillow® REALTOR® who specializes in Jacksonville’s historic neighborhoods. Historic homes feel a bit like kindred spirits. For the past two decades, he has been passionate about telling their unique histories and restoring them to new life. Today, he helps other old home aficionados do the same.”
What Is Your Life Going To Look Like?
When you think about buying a home, you definitely do not want to buy it in the moment. Consider what your life is going to look like over the course of a few years. Will you have kids? Dogs? A husband or wife? Do you need a space for an office, or a big kitchen to host guests in? Maybe you do not have some of those things now, but if you can try to figure out what your life is going to look like, you can make sure that your home fits your needs now and in the future, as well.
The Work Ahead Of You
Last but not least, plan for the work ahead of you. If you are buying a fixer upper in a historic neighborhood, know what is in store for you. Don’t buy a fixer upper if you know that you cannot handle the work. Instead, have your agent look for a renovated home.