Buying

Looking for an upgrade or even your first home in Tampa Bay, Florida?

Looking for a home that's "just right" can be quite an undertaking! As experts in Tamap Bay real estate, we are knowledgeable about the homes in our market. In some instances, we know of houses that aren't yet entered in the Multiple Listing Service.

We invite you to fill out the brief form below with as much information as possible. We will be happy to build a custom data base tailored to your specific criteria and look into all available properties currently Active for sale that meet that criteria. You will be given a FREE “portal” to access at your convenience and look at an overview of the market. Then, you can contact me when you are ready to visit for your ideal home in Tampa Bay. Contact us to get started or find out more.

Buying Your First Home -Seven Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

Now that you've made the decision to purchase your first home, a hearty congratulations is in order!Becoming a homeowner, especially for the first time, can stir up some feelings of anxiety and excitement.With the knowledge that you gain through individual research and the help of your StarLight REALTOR®, you will soon begin to feel like a seasoned house hunter.

Tip # 1

Do Your Homework Did you know that there are a number of incentives available to first-time home buyers?Everything from a 3-5 percent down payment and interest rates as low as 5.75 percent are just a few of the ways that lenders help to make the dream of home ownership into a reality for many.An FHA loan, for instance, is especially ap-pealing to first-time home buyers.The best way to find out what's available, in terms of down payment requirements and interestrates, is to do your homework by comparing offerings from various lenders.

Tip # 2

Save Money Although many loans are geared toward offering lower down payments to first-time home buyers, it's important to save as much money as possible so that you will have enough to provide an earnest money deposit (if applicable), pay for closing costs and still have the funds to furnish and decorate your new home.

Tip # 3

Get Your Credit Profile In Order When you apply for a loan, the lender will access a copy of your credit report and will use the information to determine yourcreditworthiness and/or interest rate.This means that you will want to make sure that the information contained in your credit report is accurate and up-to-date.You can do this by requesting a copy of your file from each of the three major credit reporting agencies -Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.In addition to past credit history, lenders will also look at your current debt ratio in order to determine whether or not you can afford the home. This means that you may want to consider paying down some of your existing credit card debt and avoid taking on any new debt before applying for a mortgage.

Tip # 4

Start Your Search With the World Wide Web being what it is today, it's no surprise that many potential home buyers start their search online. A Realtor's Web site is designed to not only list real estate, but also to educate a buyer as they move through the process of searching for a new home. In addition, the internet offers a way for consumers to browse through color photos and virtual tours, both interior and exterior, along with information pertaining to the homes themselves. The convenience of being able to find a home that you like without having to wait is just one of the many benefits to shopping for a house online. When you are finally ready to meet with a REALTOR®, you will already have one or more prospects in mind.

Tip # 5

Have Patience Perhaps you will find the perfect house this week, or maybe it will take a little longer. Some buyers find exactly what they arelooking for right away, while others have to do a little more searching to find their dream home.As a first-time home buyer, it's a good idea to begin the process with an understanding that good things really do come to those who wait.You may see a number of homes, take numerous photos and may even make an offer or two, but patience may very well be the key to finding your new home.

Tip # 6

Take Notes If you see a lot of homes, it will be impossible to remember the features of each. For this reason, you should consider taking a notebook and writing down each unique or defining aspect that you like or dislike about a particular house. This information, along with any photos that you take, will help you greatly when it's time to make a choice.

Tip # 7

Don't Settle A home is a big investment and it could, quite possibly, be the largest you will ever make. For this reason, along with the factthat you will be living in the home eve-ry day, make sure that you get what you want. There could be an instance where you need to make some type of compromise, but youmay want to avoid choosing something just because it's within your price range or you feel as though it's your only option.New houses are placed on the market every day and, as a buyer, the next one listed may just be your dream home.

THINGS NOT TO DO BEFORE BUYING YOUR FIRST HOME!

  • Don't quit your job
  • Don't change your job
  • Don't buy any large ticket items (like five dollars or more!)
  • Don't make David Copperfield deposits (all funds need to be traceable)
  • Don’t speak with sellers directly (loose lips sink ships)
  • Not getting a gift letter and a bank statement for funds
  • Not telling the person who is giving you the gift that you will probably need a gift letter and some proof (usually a bank statement) that they had the money to give
  • Not telling me if you are allergic to animals
  • Not being completely honest with your lender about child support, alimony, wage garnishments or any other payroll reduction Don’t make any major purchases (like $5.00 or more)
  • Don’t get advice from a buying committee that has not purchased in the last year (the rules change almost daily)
  • Don’t wait to see everything else that is on the market
  • Don't trash the property in front of the owners
  • Don’t call the other agent on For Sale signs
  • Don’t attend open houses and new construction without me
  • Don’t not tell me if you have a house to sell
  • Don’t delay paperwork because you are irritated by the frequency and number of requests from your Mortgage Company Don’t find a lender on the internet that offers a 0.001 interest rate and/or is out- side of the area
  • Do NOT co-sign. Not even for a candy bar!
  • Don't schedule a vacation before we close (especially a prepaid, non- refundable cruise or vacation)
  • Don't order Direct TV, cable, telephone, internet, or any utility that will pull a credit report, unless you want to write a letter of explanation about the inquiry on your credit report to your mortgage company
  • Don't change your name during the mortgage process
  • Not being up front with your loan officer (hiding information)
  • Not realizing the clock starts ticking from the time the loan officer receives the contract, not the date it was written)
  • Need a letter of explanation
  • Don’t have unreasonable expectations
  • Don’t pass on getting a home warranty
  • Don’t give away your negotiation power by speaking in the house (always as- sume you are being recorded)
  • Don’t post your real estate thoughts on social media sites (If you are savvy, this can easily be viewed)
  • Don’t skip a home inspection
  • Don’t start looking for your new home BEFORE you are FULLY approved (nothing hurts as much as finding the house you love and losing it because some-one else beats you to it because you were not completely ready)
  • Don’t believe what you see on HGTV and reality television (the majority of that stuff is scripted)
  • Don’t forget to shop the good faith estimate
  • Not telling me what is MOST important to you
  • Don’t call at the very last minute to cancel appointments
  • Don’t use a 100% Online Lender
  • Don’t use an Attorney that does not SPECIALIZE in Real Estate
  • Not using name on driver’s license for mtg docs (use Jr. and Sr. if required)
  • Not telling your lender if you lose your job before you close
  • Do not go window shopping and let people pull your credit
  • Realize that if it can't be written on the front page of the contract because its being done "under the table," it is probably mortgage fraud
  • Do not look at a short-sale if you need to move immediately
  • Do not consider a short-sale if you need to be in control of the process