If you’re like many first-time homebuyers, you’re excited, confused and more than a little overwhelmed—but it doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Your Realtor® will walk you through everything, from start to finish, and ensure that you’re on the right path.
However, before you dive into the Tampa Bay real estate market, here are three things you need to know.
Can you afford it?
The reality is that renting is quickly becoming more expensive than buying—nationally, buying is about 38 percent cheaper—but in many cases, you’ll have to come up with the money for a down payment. Naturally, there are exceptions, such as VA loans, but even with FHA loans or the new Freddie Mac Home Possible Advantage Mortgage Program, you’ll still need to pay out-of-pocket for your down payment.
Can you get approved?
It’s not enough to know you can afford a mortgage. You have to be able to qualify for one by having the right debt-to-income ratio and the right credit score.
Every lender is different, but it’s a good idea to get a free copy of your credit report before you start making plans. It’s always best to know what you have to work with.
The Federal Trade Commission says that you’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months. You can get yours from AnnualCreditReport.com.
Are you willing to make a real investment?
When you’re renting, you’re not building any equity—and that’s one of the biggest reasons people choose to buy instead. However, remember that your home is an investment… and you’ll have to maintain it yourself. If your dishwasher breaks, the refrigerator gives out or the electrical system goes on the fritz, it’s all on you.
The upside? With every mortgage payment, you come closer to owning it free-and-clear.
Are You Ready to Buy a Home in Tampa Bay?
Call us at 727-584-8480 or 813-961-6000. If it’s easier, get in touch with us online. We’ll begin searching for your new home right away.