General Information - Quick Checklist for Buying a Home

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Quick Checklist for Buying a Home

While your friends and family members will likely offer advice on what steps to take when buying a home, there are some things you won't want to leave out even if they do.

While your friends and family members will likely offer advice on what steps to take when buying a home, there are some things you won't want to leave out even if they do.

1. Find a real estate agent - Using a professional when making this major investment is strongly encouraged, especially if you're a first-time buyer. This not only includes help finding the perfect home via a large database of properties for sale, but also assisting with paperwork, which can get confusing. If moving locally, you can ask friends, family members and even coworkers for recommendations, but be sure to meet with a couple of prospective agents before making a final decision.

2. Getting prequalified or preapproved - Before you begin your home search, you may want to get prequalified or preapproved from a lender. While preapproval will be helpful, getting prequalified will provide you with a more accurate price. This can make your offer stronger in the eyes of sellers, as you won't have to wait to see if you can afford the home.

3. Begin your home search - Another great benefit of using an agent, is that they will likely narrow down homes according to your needs instead of showing you properties that don't have enough bedrooms or are out of your price range. Be sure to be stern when telling them about your price range, as it can be stressful to fall for a property that is too expensive. When visiting open houses, make sure to write down all the pros and cons of each property to make narrowing down your options easier. After visiting all the potentials, you can start eliminating some homes from your list.

4. Begin negotiating prices - Once you make a decision on which home best suits your living style and future needs, you should begin negotiating prices through your real estate agent. If you're the only person making an offer on the home, or if it has been on the market for an extended amount of time, you may have more room to drive the price down. In a buyer's market, you can even request other incentives, such as assistance with closing costs or minor replacements.

5. Compare mortgage options - After receiving a contract for the home, you should refer back to offers from prospective lenders to find the best deal on a mortgage. Selecting a lender that has a long and stable financial history and whose terms match up with their rate is crucial, as the lowest offered rate may not have idealistic conditions.

6. Have the home inspected - To avoid purchasing a lemon of a property, you should have the home inspected by a professional. If there are any major issues, you can likely negotiate an even lower price, or require the sellers make repairs before closing.

7. Decide on a closing date - Before signing your closing papers, make sure you visit the home within 24 hours to ensure its in the expected condition, as once you sign, you are responsible for whatever is left.

For consumers interested in new homes for sale in Florida, it's important they know how to move through the process. GL Homes can help consumers know what the latest trends are for homes in Florida so they know exactly what they want in their new home.