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Top 5 Tips for Home Buyers

Toy House With Keys Hanging On The Chimney
Home Buying Tips

So, you’re ready to purchase your own home but aren’t sure what angle to take. You want to do things right and get a good deal, but the Panama City Beach housing market can be daunting, especially for first-time buyers. But, those in the know will always make smarter choices. Luckily, Counts Real Estate Group pulled together a few tips to help you with home buying. Check out these Top 5 Tips for Home Buyers.

5) Don’t Neglect The Inspection

There are very few circumstances where you should forego getting your prospective home inspected. A professional home inspector will look over every inch of a home and look for things that might turn into major problems. While it does cost time and money, the risk you take in purchasing a house without inspection dwarfs both expenses. 

Even in cases where the house appears in perfect shape, there are possible defects that won’t be obvious to the untrained eye. Professional inspectors know where and how to look for problems that could lead you, unaware, into financial disaster down the line. 

Usually, if an inspection reveals undisclosed defects, you’ll be contractually permitted to withdraw your offer without penalty
In summary, you can’t afford to overlook an expert inspection.

4) Know How to Make An Offer

When determining the value of your offer, your real estate agent will be invaluable.  You’ll collaborate with your agent to make a reasonable offer, and they’ll present that offer to the seller’s agent. After that, the seller will either accept it or present a counteroffer. A haggling process might ensue until one party agrees to the others’ terms. 

The important thing is that your offer reflects your financial situation. That means factoring closing costs into your eventual expenses. Determine total expenses before submitting your offer, or you might end up slightly over your head.

3) Know Your Financing Options

Depending on your particular situation, various financing options are available. You will also want to apply for pre-approval and determine how much you can afford.

If you’re a first-time buyer, you’ll likely have access to Federal Housing Authority-backed mortgages. These are known as FHA loans. An FHA loan means you can usually get a mortgage with a far smaller down payment, often 5% or less of the mortgage value. You also can withdraw up to $10,000 from your IRA without additional fees if you’re a first-time buyer. Be sure to look for more financing options and resources at the state level.

2) Choose the Right Lender

Fees and interest rates vary dramatically from institution to institution, so take the time to shop around and look for home lending terms that suit you. Many people approach their bank or credit union first when seeking a mortgage, which makes sense. If you have an existing relationship with a lending institution, there’s likely already a degree of trust between lender and borrower. This can make a difference in your qualification. Of course, in the end, you should take the best terms, not necessarily the ones your bank offers you.

Pre-Approval for a loan still doesn’t guarantee you will get the loan. The loan can fall through before your purchase. It’s important not to jeopardize your credit score generally, but doing so after your mortgage pre-approval can render it null and void.

1) Seriously Consider Your Long-Term Needs

Available homes are in many sizes. The outstanding advice here is to think closely about what it is you want and what it is you need when it comes to home size, rooms, and even lot size. While it may be tempting to jump on the first place that impresses you, it will serve you, in the end, to be patient and cautious when making the decision. Remember that doesn’t mean you should be slow to decide; just be careful to identify and adhere to criteria that matter to you.

Some questions to keep in mind: 

  • Do you expect your family to grow? 
  • Will you work from home? That takes space. 
  • Are you willing to invest the money and labor on needed repairs/improvements? 
  • Will you develop the property further down the road?

Whether you’re purchasing a single-family residence, a duplex, a condo, townhouse, or multifamily building, it’s essential to think long-term with long-term investments like real estate.

Home Buying with Counts Real Estate Group

If you’re looking to buy in the Florida Panhandle, look no further than Counts Real Estate Group. Our expert agents in Panama City Beach, FL will get you to your dream home with the professionalism and expertise that people have come to expect. Remember, when it comes to navigating a dynamic housing market, Experience Counts.

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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.