Buying a home can be an exciting but stressful process. Here’s what you can do to make it a positive, hassle-free experience:
- Set goalsAsk yourself why you’re buying and what kind of home you’re looking for. Determine your needs and non-negotiables. Buying and financing go hand in hand, so you’ll also need to take stock of your finances and make a realistic estimate of how much you can truly afford.
- Call a Realtor The home buying process is a complex one, and during this time you’ll need the guidance of a professional. This way you’ll be able to spot great opportunities and avoid common pitfalls. When choosing a Realtor, you should take the person’s experience, market knowledge, and track record into consideration.
- Get pre-approved for a loan It’s generally advisable to get preapproved for a loan before you start looking at homes. During the preapproval process, you speak with a lender and authorize them to scrutinize your credit history and overall financial standing. The lender will then give you a document stating how much home you can afford.
- Go to open houses You can do an initial search on the internet, where you’ll find numerous listings and video tours. From there you can decide which homes to view in person. A Realtor can also lead you to off-market listings, helping widen your search.
- Craft a strong offer You can make an offer once you’ve found a home that suits your needs. With the help of a Realtor, you can draw up a contract specifying the sale price and clauses pertaining to the deposit amount, closing date, and other conditions.
- Be ready to negotiateThe seller will accept, reject, or counter your offer. This signals the beginning of the negotiating process, and likely there will be a succession of counter-offers between you and the seller until you reach an agreement, or until negotiations break down.
- Research local disclosure laws Florida law requires sellers to disclose known material facts that affect the value of a home. These include structural defects and such. However, sellers aren’t obliged to disclose other issues, such as homicide, suicide, and HIV/AIDS infection on the property since these aren’t considered material facts. If you’re concerned about the recent history of the property, you can try looking up news headlines or asking other residents in the area.
- Seal the deal If everything goes well, taking ownership of the home should be easy. You’ll do a title search to make sure that there aren’t any claims against the property’s title. You’ll also do a final walkthrough of the home to make sure that it’s in the same condition as when you agreed to purchase it. On the closing date, you’ll sign paperwork to complete the transaction at a lawyer’s office and settle your closing costs, legal fees, and transfer taxes. The possession date will follow within a few days of closing.
All that’s left to do is turn the key in the lock and move in with your things. If you want the buying process to go without a hitch, call Morris Realty and Investments at (352) 435-4663 or send an email to [email protected].