Buying a home can be an emotional, time-consuming, and complex process. Becoming informed before purchasing can not only help to ease some of your nerves, but also prepare you for the many steps that are involved. The tips below will give you a good place to start when you are considering buying a home.
1) Determine how much home you can afford.
Determining how much house you can afford is easy if you meet with a Loan Officer because they will be happy to tell you what you qualify for. However, do not go based upon this third party’s assessment alone. Only you know what you can realistically write a check for each month based upon your other expenses and obligations.
2) Check your credit.
I recommend checking your credit months before you actually decide to purchase a home. Even if you think your credit scores are good, you will want to see what the bank will be considering and the scores they will be examining. This will be a good opportunity to see if there are any errors on your credit report which can be fixed by contacting the three major credit reporting bureaus – Trans Union, Experian, and Equifax. If there are negative items on your credit report, you will need to see if you can get them cleared up and get a clean “bill of health”. If not, be prepared to give an explanation to the Loan Officer as to why the blemishes are there. I will be happy to give you a number of tips—just give me a call!
3) Get pre-qualified (or pre-approved) for a loan.
You will need to be pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan in order to write an offer on a home. A pre-qualification means that a Loan Officer has reviewed your credit history, assets and employment, and has determined your eligibility. As long as the home appraises for at least the purchase price, the loan has a good chance of closing. The number the Loan Officer gives you will be what he/she says you can afford based upon your income and expenses. Again, make sure this number is at or below what you know you can realistically pay each month.
4) Find a great agent.
Professional expertise will help steer you clear of many pitfalls that can derail the entire home buying process. Choosing a seasoned professional who has worked out many of the “kinks” that can surface in a transaction will make the home buying process that much easier for you.I will be more than happy to assist you in this process.
5) Learn about the neighborhood.
This is another area where my expertise will help you. Whether you are relocating to the area or buying in an area you are unfamiliar with, I will provide you with all of the details to help you make an informed decision. I will let you know what other homes in the neighborhood have sold for in the past year, can give you demographic information about the neighborhood, and feel free to research the schools by clicking on the St Johns County Schools menu on the main page of my site.You can also learn about St Augustine too, there are several wonderful websites to browse.Once you’ve found a home that you are interested in, take a walk around and talk to the neighbors. There is no better way to see how well you will like living in a particular area than meeting the people that you will be sharing the area with.
6) Get a home inspection
No house is perfect so you will definitely want to get a home inspection by a qualified, certified home inspector. The few hundred dollars that you will have to pay will be worth it, especially if it saves you thousands of dollars in future (unexpected) repairs. If the inspector says that the home will need certain repairs in the near future, he will usually give you an estimate for the cost of repairs. It is my job to use these as a negotiating point with the seller’s agent.
7) Protect Yourself.
I will give you a copy of the documents that you will be signing at the closing table in advance for the big day so that you can read them and have time to ask questions. While I am here to guide you and provide you assistance, at the end of the day, it is your signature on the bottom line, so I want to make sure that you understand what you are committing to.
While I’ve only highlighted a few points to consider when purchasing a home, rest assured that I will be there every step of the way to guide you through the entire process and make sure that you understand and are kept informed at all times. In the event that you find the process to be intimidating, keep in mind that I will bring expertise and an objective thought process to the table—items that are key for what is likely one of the most emotionally-based decisions that you, the buyer, will make in your lifetime. Take advantage of my years of experience and familiarity with the local market, and make your home-buying experience a successful one.
Ready to buy? Call me, email me, or text me! Interest rates are still low, so get in now! Contact me!
Murrell Weissinger,, TRC, CDPE, Realtor® ♦ Watson Realty Corp. ♦ 3175-1 A1A South ♦ St. Augustine, FL 32080 ♦ 904.669.2146