Home Buying Simplified
When you think about buying a home, what comes to mind? For most, it’s an exciting yet somewhat overwhelming idea. In the end, you want the house you choose to be the place you call home.
So why not make the process of buying your next home in FishHawk, Valrico or anywhere in Southeast Hillsborough County as simple and stress-free as possible?
THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO BUYING A HOME
Buying a home is often the largest investment of your life. Getting pre-approved will determine the price of homes you can afford – knowing this is key before you begin your home search.
Falling in love with a home you can’t qualify for always results in disappointment. We’ll help ensure you meet your financial goals, as well as your family’s needs.
Once your overall goal is clearly defined, it’s important to create a list of needs and wants. It’s also important to understand the difference between needs and wants – they’re not the same thing.
This will help you stay on track once you start your home search. Searching for homes is daunting. To clear away the noise, a member of our team will identify homes that meet your criteria and create custom searches with real-time notifications of potential homes. We work hard to streamline the home-search process, saving you valuable time.
Now that you’ve found your new dream home, your agent will help guide you through all the necessary steps to close.
From mortgage, appraisals, inspections, title, insurance and more, Team Eaton will support you all the way to the closing table. Congratulations! We’re so happy you found your perfect match. It’s time to celebrate and start making memories in your new home. Cheers!
THERE’S NO BETTER TIME
Greater FishHawk and Southeast Hillsborough County continue to grow and develop with the most sought-after neighborhoods for buying a home in the country. From wellness communities, nature preserves and trails, and fitness accommodations, to resort-style amenities like pools, splash parks, and so much more. Why wait? You could be living here already!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT BUYING A HOME IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
The decision to rent or buy a home is very personal and depends on many factors. There are pros and cons to both renting and buying a home.
The benefits of renting a home include flexibility for changing living situations, less responsibility for maintenance and repairs, and less financial commitment because there’s no down payment. Some downsides of renting are that rent can be increased, you lack permanence in your rental home as the landlord may not renew your lease and move back in themselves, and there are things you might not be allowed to do in a rental home, like owning pets or painting the walls.
The potential negatives of buying a home are less flexibility to move, higher upfront costs, property taxes, insurance, and other fees, and responsibility for all maintenance and repairs. However, for those who want more permanence and can cover costs, buying a home is an excellent option for many reasons. Buying a home is a great way to invest your money and build equity, as your mortgage will be fixed, and the home’s value will likely increase over time. Owning your home can also provide tax benefits and improve your credit score. Homeowners have more privacy and control over their living space as well.
A realtor is a great asset when you’re in the process of buying a home. As experts in the real estate market, a realtor can assist and educate you on just about every aspect of buying a home.
Realtors have access to resources that make buying a home much easier, such as the MLS, which contains valuable information about properties you may want to see. Realtors are very knowledgeable about the areas they work in and can provide you with helpful insights, such as whether a home is over or undervalued for the market.
Realtors will also do all the potentially confusing and technical parts of the home-buying process for you - like writing an offer letter when you finally find the house of your dreams - and they’ll guide you through every step of the process.
Some home buyers are afraid to work with a realtor because they think there will be fees they can’t afford. As a buyer, you do not pay fees to work with an Eaton Realtor. The seller usually pays all Realtor fees, which the selling and buying agents split.
It’s always a great idea to talk to your bank before looking at any homes if you’re even considering buying. Your bank can get you pre-approved for a mortgage, which will help you determine how much you can afford to spend on a home and help you set a realistic budget. A mortgage expert from your bank can also help you understand all your financial options and other fees associated with buying a home so that you can be financially ready when the time comes to make an offer on a house.
When you talk to your bank or mortgage lender before looking for homes, they can give you a pre-qualification or pre-approval letter. The main difference between these is that getting pre-qualified is a shorter and less extensive process. The bank will need less information from you, but it can also be less accurate, and it does not guarantee that you will be approved when you apply for a mortgage.
Getting a pre-approval letter is essentially the same as the process you go through to apply for a mortgage, and it tells you that when the time comes, you can take out a mortgage for the specified amount. To get pre-approved, the bank will need more information about your financial situation and to pull your credit history. Being pre-approved can make you appear to be a more serious buyer when you make an offer.
The amount of time buyers spend looking for a house can vary greatly. Many factors can affect the time you’ll have to spend looking for a home, such as the current market conditions, your budget, where you are looking, how particular you are about design elements, etc. It can take buyers anywhere from a few weeks to months to find their perfect home.
The number of homes you choose to look at before making an offer is also a highly personal decision and might also depend on the market. Some buyers can confidently make an offer on the first house they see; others may look at dozens of houses before seeing one they want to buy. Keep in mind that you’re not guaranteed to have an offer accepted, so if the housing market is competitive, you may need to make offers on multiple houses.
Historically, 20% was a standard down payment, but these days, you may only need to make a down payment of 3-5%. Just know that if you take out a conventional loan and pay less than a 20% down payment, you must pay private mortgage insurance. Your realtor can help guide you on what would be a reasonable down payment for your financial situation.
Your down payment is usually the biggest upfront expense you need to worry about when buying a house. But you’ll also want to budget to have money left in your bank account for other fees. Closing costs are usually around 3-6% of the home’s total value, and they often come out of the buyer’s pocket. Other costs and fees that you may need to pay are credit report fees, appraisal fees, home inspection fees, and mortgage origination fees.
Some buyers make their offer look more serious on a home they love by making an earnest money deposit. This is a deposit you make before closing to protect the seller in case you back out of the purchase for some reason that isn’t covered in the purchase agreement. You'll get to keep your deposit if you decide to walk away because of something covered in the purchase agreement (such as a failed inspection).
If the purchase goes through, your deposit will be applied to your closing costs or down payment. Depending on the market conditions, earnest money deposits are usually between 1% and 3% of the purchase price.
There’s no standard answer to how long it will take for a selling agent to get back to you after you’ve made an offer on a house. Generally, they will try to do so within 24-48 hours. It can take longer in certain situations, such as when they have received multiple offers that need to be reviewed. Sometimes when your offer is very low, you may not get a response from the seller at all. We recommend setting an expiration on your offer to promptly hear back from the seller.
Sometimes in very competitive markets, you may hear of home buyers waiving home inspections. However, having a home inspection before closing is a great idea. A home inspection is a visual examination of the house's structure, and it can let you know if there are any potential structural problems or smaller issues that need to be addressed now or down the road. Having a home inspection done before you close allows you to negotiate if there are problems you didn’t anticipate or to walk away if potential repairs are too costly.
A home inspection is different from an appraisal. An appraisal is a professional estimate of the property's value based on the condition of the home and comparable homes in the area. The mortgage lender typically does this to make sure the home is worth the amount they are lending.
After the seller accepts your offer, it usually takes 30-45 days to close. In some cases, you will get the keys to the house immediately after closing. Sometimes it can take longer if the seller needs more time in the home after closing, often because they are in the process of buying a new home themselves. The seller might request 30, 60, or 90 days in the house post-closing. This will be negotiated and specified in your offer acceptance letter.