Purchasing a home for the first time is a big, exciting move in anyone’s life. There are so many factors to be considered that came come with some difficult decisions. But, don’t worry you are living in one of the best places in the US, and have some of Tampa Bay’s top real estate agents by your side to help you find your new home.
First-time homebuyers are often intimidated by the whole process, but when you break down home buying – it can simplify things for you. With our breakdown, you will find the entire process of buying a home much less intimidating and more manageable. Think of us as the keys to your real estate needs…
Now is the time to get out of your rental, and buy the house you’ve dreamed of! We’ll help you feel confident in the decisions you’re making. If you’re looking at buying a home for the first time, consider working with us. Below are our best tips for first-time buyers:
#7 – Ask Yourself One Question…
Will you live in your home for the next 3 years? If the answer is yes – you should consider buying instead of continuing to rent.
Based on average appreciation, you’ll likely break even on closing costs after 2 years of owning your home. From then on, you’ll begin to make money on your property beginning with year three. The most expensive part of real estate is buying and selling – the longer you can live in your home, the more it appreciates in value. If you’re planning to plant roots for at least 3 years, buying makes the most sense.
#6 – Don’t Disregard Your Down Payment
Saving for a down payment can feel like a never-ending cycle, however, lower down payments for homes are becoming the norm. Plus, there are many programs that are set to assist first-time home buyers. Add that to today’s low interests rates, that owning a home is more accessible. Some banks will offer up 95% of the home’s value in some circumstances.
#5 – Before You Start House Shopping, Get Pre-Qualified
Before you start looking for your home – you MUST get pre-qualified. First-time home buyers get especially nervous about this step, but it takes surprisingly little work. Pre-qualification gives you the buying power – and with that power, you can make the offer on the home you’ve dreamed about.
Another major benefit of pre-qualification is that it will break down the monthly costs for you. This will give you the knowledge to know exactly what price range you’re able to shop in. You don’t want to fall in love with something that has everything you want, but that you can’t feasibly afford.
#4 – Must-Haves or Would-Like-to-Have?
You know those episodes of House Hunters where the couple says they’ve toured over 40 houses…Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you’ll “just know” when walking into a home that it’s the home for you.
Make your search easier, and make a list of the things you need and the things that you want. This will narrow the search and will assist your realtor in finding your perfect home.
Your must-haves are your non-negotiables, and these can be things like price, school district, size, etc. Wants are things that would be nice to have, but are not necessary for you to purchase the property. These are things like color, floors, appliances, etc. If you know what you need and want, this will give your search the clarity and speed you need in this crazy Tampa, FL housing market!
#3- Pick Your Neighborhood
“Location, location, location,” we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again.
You can make changes to your house – but you cannot change the location. Get a good idea of where you’d like to live so that you can place boundaries on your search.
Neighborhoods can be extremely different: Seminole Heights is very different from Davis Islands. Get an idea of where you’d like to live – good school district, walkable area, etc. Then take a drive around the city to really narrow down. Once you know where you’d like to live, share that (and your backup location) with your realtor.
#2- Make a Decision!
When you’ve found the home you want – don’t hesitate. Especially in this market, time matters. Get your offer in as soon as possible. Be decisive and fast, because that perfect home will not be there forever.
We’ll make sure we’ve done our due diligence so you’ll feel more confident that the home meets all your requirements – so don’t wait!
#1-Consult a Professional
We will work with you through the entire home buying process so that you get the home you want.
If you’re buying a home for the first time, don’t feel intimidated by a real estate agent. Our agents on Team Heffernan would love to learn about what you’re looking for and how we could help you find it.
We are knowledgeable of the Tampa Bay market and all the surrounding neighborhoods. We will be honest, clear, and kind as we work with you and the excitement that comes with buying your first home! Call/text us today!