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FAQs: About the Home Buying Process

Owning a home is nearly everyone’s dream. It offers security for our families and our own future lifestyle. For most people, home ownership represents their single largest asset throughout theirs lives.

The process of buying a home, whether it is your first or sixth home, can seem to be complex, time consuming & often times like a road with many twists, turns & some surprises. No one likes surprises & with a little straight talk from Coral Shores Realty we can give you the knowledge that will make the process less daunting & easier.

What should be my first step?

Determine what you can afford so you can understand how much of a mortgage you will need and how it will effect your household expenses every month.

What does pre-qualify really mean?

You find an expert in home financing who will help you determine if you can afford to buy a home and if you can afford to pay for it monthly.

How much does it cost?

Pre-Qualifying is free. It will only cost you some time to make a phone call or to meet the expert.

Who can pre-qualify me?

The best person is a Licensed Mortgage Broker, or an Accountant. There are many ways to find a Licensed Mortgage Broker. They may be affiliated with the Real Estate company you work with, you may get a recommendation from a friend or you can visit your local bank and ask to speak with the licensed mortgage broker there.

They’ll ask you a few questions about your yearly income, your monthly expenses, your credit card debt, car loans and how much money you have available to use a down payment. They will also ask for Social Security number(s) so they can obtain a credit score. Once all this information is collected, they can counsel you on how much you can pay for a home based on all the information you gave them, the current status of interest rates and the down payment requirements of the mortgage lenders.

Once I’m pre-qualified how should I begin?

Typically most people have an area, neighborhood or even a street they would like to live on. If you’re not one of these people then you have to ask yourself some questions before you begin you take the next step.

Where do I want to live?

Location, Location, Location . Really, it’s true. People are most satisfied with their home purchase because they knew what surrounding amenities were most important to them and their family. Here is a list of some things you must consider and put them in order of importance:

Schools
Houses of Work
Distance to work
Transportation Options that are important
Access to highways, airports
Recreation (Parks, Swimming, Tennis, Golf, etc.)
(Be sure to include personal things that are especially important to you).

What Type/Style of Home do I want?

Single Family, attached Town Home, Villa or Apartment/Condo.

What are the most important features I want in my home?

Number of bedrooms & baths
Great Room and/or…
Formal Living Room
Formal Dining Room
1 or 2 car garage (or more)
Large lot
Direct Waterfront & type of water front
Pool
Age of Home
Enclosed Patio
What else would you like…
(We recommend that you prioritize what features are most important to you, making the first 4-5 you choose as ‘must haves’, the rest would be ‘nice to haves’).

How do I find a neighborhood or Community I will like?

Ask a Friend, ask a co-worker, search the internet or ……ASK YOUR REALTOR to make some suggestions based upon their experience along with your affordability, wants and desires.

What amenities do I want a community to have available to homeowners & their family?

.Fitness Center
.Gated Entry/Security
.Community Pool
.Playground
.Tennis Courts
.Lawn Care
.Golf Course
.Community Club House
.etc…

What is the difference between a community with a Home Owners Association (HOA) and one without besides the monthly member fees?

There are many differences, however the most important is that when you have an HOA you have Written Rules that every homeowner agrees to live with. The differences that exist between individual HOA’s is so varied since they are determined initially by the developer then modified by the homeowners.

The bestway to learn about the HOA Rules of any of the communities you are interested in is to ASK YOUR REALTOR. This will help you decide which communities best fit with your ideas. Their knowledge of the various communities is just one of the important services a realtor can provide to make your search and purchase less stressful.

What is the Best Way to Start?

Find a REALTOR . Ask a friend, ask a family member.
Call some on the phone and interview them to help you determine if they understand what you are looking for and if they have the knowledge to assist you in getting what you want and need while purchasing a home.