Sept. 16, 2020
Some advice from our experts to help you find your ideal Space Coast home
Nothing has quite affected the Brevard County real estate industry as quickly and robustly as COVID-19 has thus far in the spring, summer, and early fall of 2020. We have seen a boom in first time home buyers, people relocating to the Space Coast from other areas, healthy sale prices, and lower rates than ever! Now is the time to sell and buy!
With rates as low as they are and the market as robust as it currently is, its prime time for first time home buyers. But many are intimidated by the thought of the process or overwhelmed with the steps that go into it. That’s why CENTURY 21 Ocean has put together our list of the top 5 tips for first time home buyers in Brevard County!
Tips for First Time Homebuyers
1) Solidify & Improve Your Credit Score
Having a good credit score is imperative when buying your first home. Borrowers use your credit score to determine your loan rates, and if you’re even eligible to receive a loan. With a bad credit score, you can grossly overpay for a loan in the long term or even fail to qualify for one upfront, ending your home search before it begins.
With rates as low as they are in the current environment, having a good credit score will allow you to take advantage of that perk. Here are some tips…
• Stay current on all bills
• Don’t make any major purchase around when you plan to buy a home
• Don’t cancel any credit cards
2) Save Money
Saving money is one of the first steps you need to take as a first-time homebuyer. According to the US Census Bureau, the median sale price of a new home in 2020 is over $300,000. The costs associated with buying a new home can be enormous, not to mention the more money you can put down now, the better rate you can receive and less you’ll have to pay down the road.
It’s safe to say that even if you are spending less than the US median, your house will be one of if not the most expensive thing you will ever buy. Also, money in hand during the buying process is powerful.
You also need to keep in mind that you will be spending on things like a down payment, closing costs, escrow for insurance and taxes, agent fees, and more. So, save save save prior to buying a home!
3) Understand What You Can Afford, Decide What You Want & Get Mortgage Approved
Prior to looking into loans or homes, we suggest understanding what you can afford, what you want, and then getting pre-approved for a mortgage BEFORE approaching a Realtor.
Having a thorough understanding of what you can comfortably afford is pivotal to avoid overextending on a large loan, which can be disastrous. You don’t want to buy the home of your dreams and then realize you can’t really afford it!
Once you have vetted what you can afford it’s time to start looking for a loan. Shop around, gather information and use resources such as hud.gov to find the best deal. Remember not all loans are equal, and not all loans are good for each borrower. Understand which best suits your needs and can work side by side with your down payment. We also suggest choosing a primary and a backup lender and just in case something doesn’t work out with your first choice. This will allow you to be much more flexible in the buying process and hold more power in the decision.
4) Choose A Realtor
Understanding how to pick the right partner and ultimately choosing a realtor is vital to your success when buying your first home. A good agent will understand the market, the area, and your needs. They will help you navigate the buying process with minimal stress, allowing you to focus on your needs and desires in a home.
In today's post-COVID-19 landscape it’s important to pick a Realtor with a good online presence, who understands the nuances associated with the landscape today. They will give you a leg up in the process and provide the best opportunity for you to find the home of your dreams!
5) Visit Homes & Narrow Choices
For first time home buyers, it is easy to “fall in love” with some of the first homes you see. But what many don’t realize is there is a lot under the surface of each home, and unfortunately that “fall in love” feeling leaves many newbies with huge renovation bills, and feeling of regret when they move in.
Take your time, visit the neighborhood, test the commute, consider the real estate value, and walk through the home multiple times to ensure you know what you’re buying. Don’t put all your eggs in one home, find a few narrow your choices, then work with your agent o make an offer and find your first home! Remember this process is fun, enjoy it!
So, if you’re looking for your first Space Coast home, you aren’t alone! Contact one of our great agents at CENTURY 21 Ocean for more information today!