If you’ve had it with messy roommates who always drink directly from the milk carton, and are continually leaving their dirty clothes everywhere, then you’re probably ready to buy a new home in Cape Coral, Fl. And if you are, there are quite a few things to keep in mind. Thankfully we’ve compiled ten of the most important tips when searching for your dream home.
- 1. The Cost
- Buying a home for the first time in SW Fl. can be an overwhelming endeavor, but let’s start with the most crucial aspect: cost. As you’re probably all-too-aware, buying a home is a costly endeavor, so unless you’re planning to show up with a duffel bag full of cash, you’re going to want to get a loan to help you pay for it. In other words: a mortgage.
How much should you spend on your house? Most experts agree that payments (this includes the mortgage, as well as maintenance and taxes) should be somewhere in the range of 28% of your gross monthly income. If you make $10,000 a month, your mortgage shouldn’t exceed $2800 a month. If your house payment isn’t a convenient rounded number, just take the, amount, and multiply it by 0.28. For example, with a mortgage of $7200, your payment should be no more than $2,016.
- 2. See What Nearby Houses are Going For
- Do your research. If you have your eye set on a specific neighborhood, maybe one near a beach, then be sure to check the price of the houses in that area. You might find that it’s unexpectedly high and that there’s someplace nearby that’s much more affordable.
- 3. Expect a Fair Amount of Compromise
- Sure, finding your dream home at the perfect price could always happen, but in all likelihood, it won’t. As a first-time buyer in Florida, it’s best to temper your expectations, and expect a reasonable amount of compromise. You may want to find the right-sized house in the right location at the right price, but hitting all three of those targets is a lofty endeavor. Typically, if you can manage two of those three goals, then you should consider yourself lucky. If it’s house at the right price in the right neighborhood, with plenty of palm trees and a beautiful view of the ocean, but a little on the small size, then you might just have to settle.
- 4. Prepare A Folder of Documents
- Most lenders won’t be too keen on forking over a loan to you without analyzing the necessary documents. So, gather any and all essential financial documents, such as W-2s, tax returns from the past two of years, bank statements, pay stubs, and the name and addresses of your previous landlords during that two-year window. Your lender will likely want to see all of it and potentially more.
- 5. Get Qualified Before You Even Begin Your Search
- Once you have all the documents for your lender in order, do something with them. There’s nothing worse than to find the home of your choice (or if you’re fortunate – your actual dream home) and run into financial issues that prevent you from moving in. Some sellers even want you to be pre-approved before they’ll even give you the time of day.
- 6. Explore Your Financial Options
- When home buying in Cape Coral, Fl., it’s best to explore any and all options, including financial ones. If you’re a first time home buyer, then you may think that your only option is to visit the nearest big bank, but that’s not your only option. There are also mortgage brokers, credit unions, regional banks, and local lenders.
Check in with at least three of these options, and you will likely discover the perfect mortgage terms for you.
- 7. Be Prompt
- While you should avoid rushing into anything, especially a decision as big as buying a house, expediting the buying process will increase your chances of being able to swoop in and snatch up the house of your dreams when it becomes available.
- 8. Ask Questions
- This might seem obvious, but you should always ask any questions you have and research for questions you haven’t yet thought to ask. If the answers make you even more confused, make sure everything is explained thoroughly to clear up any possible misinformation. This is a priority especially if the person giving the explanations– such as a real estate agent or broker – is being paid to help you.
- 9. Learn Those Closing Costs
- You’ll be wise to familiarize yourself all the closing costs involved in purchasing your house. This includes insurance, or association fees, as well as origination costs from the lender, title and settlement fees, and taxes. Never forget about home purchase taxes.
- 10. Don’t Discount the Government
- If you’re striking out with any of the typical lenders, do know that the government might be able to help. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) will ensure the first-time homebuyer’s mortgage with one of its programs. With government backing, the lenders who wouldn’t give you a loan might choose differently now. The FHA also only requires a 3.5% down payment from first-time homebuyers.
Cape Coral is a beautiful place to live, and if you’re on the market for a house here, then with any luck, these tips will give you the tools you’ll need to find the perfect home at an excellent price in your ideal location.