Buying a Home in Winter Haven / Polk County FL area.
Finding and purchasing a home that will meet your needs is a significant and often stressful time especially in today's highly competitive and active market. The Stones Real Estate Firm is here to make the buying process easy, enjoyable and successful. We have represented buyers in our area for over 20 years and our experience, market knowledge and negotiation expertise will give you a distinct advantage when buying a property.
Here are a few steps to get you started with the home buying process:
STEP 1 (Save Money For Your Purchase):
Depending upon what type of financing you qualify for, you will need the following amount in your savings account. These estimates assume a sales price of $200,000. For USDA and VA financing you will need approximately $5,000 in savings. For FHA financing you will need between $15,000 to $20,000. Conventional loan programs will require anywhere between 3% to 20% of the purchase price in savings plus money for closing costs. There are some new construction opportunities as well as grant programs that may allow you to get into a home for less $1,000. A mortgage specialist can provide a more accurate analysis.
Step 2 (Know Your Credit Score):
Most lenders will require a minimum credit score of 640 to qualify for a mortgage. In addition to maintaining an acceptable credit score, you can not have any late payments in the past 12 months. You can check your credit score for free by utilizing the Credit Karma website. If your credit isn't where it needs to be, a mortgage specialist can recommend the steps to take or they can refer you to a credit repair company.
STEP 3 (Get Pre-Approved):
Talk with your local bank or mortgage broker about getting pre-approved. The pre-approval process will shed some light on what price range you should be looking in and how much of a mortgage you qualify for. Having a pre-approval letter in hand will dramatically help when making an offer on a house by showing the seller you are a qualified and serious buyer. Also, most real estate agents will require a pre-approval before they will show you any properties.
STEP 4 (Contact A Realtor):
Once you have been pre-approved, contact a Realtor who works in the city where you are looking to buy. Real estate is considered hyper-local and you should always utilize a local Realtor who knows the area inside and out. An outside Realtor will not have the local knowledge or insight to properly guide your decision. Also, outside Realtors may have to travel longer distances for showings and might try to force a quick decision so they don't have to keep driving back. Buying a home is a big purchase and you need to take your time. Deal with an experienced local real estate expert.
Have questions about buying? Contact us today to see how we can help.