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Tips to Help You Find an Affordable Florida Home

Advice for Buying an Affordable New Home in Florida

Purchasing a house is exhilarating, but it is far from simple. Everything from the city’s forecasted economy to your credit score can influence what house you buy and how much it costs. The more you understand the stages of purchasing a property and existing home buying trends in Florida, the more equipped you are to make decisions. Many homes are available online for your research and discovery. Whether you’re just moving into a new house or relocating to Florida, these steps will help improve the experience and give you tips on saving money when buying a home.

Monitor your credit score

Before determining how much property you can buy and looking for a house, you should know your financial situation and work to improve it. Your credit score is a significant consideration for obtaining a home mortgage. Lenders use your score to help determine your eligibility and the terms of your loan. The better your score, the better your mortgage terms (in general). As of March 2022, most lenders are looking for a minimum score of 620. You can find and monitor your credit score using an online service; this is a good option if you have time and plan to watch and work to improve your score. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion give you a free report every 12 months if you only want to see your credit score. You can use AnnualCreditReport.com to access your credit report online. View your credit report to look for discrepancies that may affect your score negatively and work to get them fixed.

Consider mortgage rates

Whether you need a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, or something else, it’s essential to consider your options. A 20 or 15-year term loan will save you money if you can afford higher monthly payments. These loans typically come with lower rates; over 15 – 30 years, even a .25% difference in your rate could save you thousands. Plus, different lenders have different rates. Don’t get one mortgage estimate; make sure you get a few (within the same period to minimize the impact on your credit score) estimates from different lenders. Compare their rates and ask about any other fees within your estimate. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) report mentions that individuals can save more than $3,500 over the first five years of their mortgage just by comparing three lenders. Be sure to check with your financial advisor or a real estate professional before deciding and moving forward with your mortgage.

Learn About Your Financing Options

The prospect of financing a house may be scary for some. To ensure you don’t miss out on any programs that can save you money, and get the best type of loan, make sure you look into home financing options. Various programs like VA loans, Good Neighbor Loans, and USDA loans have different benefits to save you money. Homebuilders have programs too, and some offer no money down loan programs. In Florida, first-time homebuyer grants can assist you with the down payment, closing expenses, and other property purchasing charges. Research your mortgage options to find out what you qualify for; some programs can save your thousands of dollars upfront and throughout the life of your mortgage.

Find Your Budget and Downpayment

How much can you afford for a monthly mortgage? How much is your downpayment? Use an online calculator to discover how much you can afford based on your income and determine your downpayment. Your monthly payment will cover property taxes, insurance, and other homeowner’s association charges. The general rule is that your total mortgage costs shouldn’t exceed 28% of your gross monthly income. Your total debt, including credit cards, car payments, etc., shouldn’t exceed 36%. Assuming you’re getting an FHA loan, your required downpayment equals 3.5% of the purchase price. Experts recommend putting 20% down, o it’s best to save and put down as much as you can because a higher downpayment could lead to better financing terms.

Find Your Comfort Zone

Advice for Buying an Affordable New Home in Florida

Perhaps the most important thing about buying a home in Florida is to look for a place that makes you feel at home. A home is more than just a place to live with your family. It’s also the community and way of life that the home’s surroundings provide. There are many cities and suburbs throughout Florida, each with pros and cons. Take some time to visit potential areas check out the neighborhoods and local commercial centers. If you find a place that fits your lifestyle and has a welcoming atmosphere, you’ll feel better about the move.

The Current Price of a Florida New House

You might be thinking about the cost of constructing a home in Florida. When it comes to estimating the price of a new home, there are many factors to consider. If you are on a budget, separating your wants and needs is essential while planning. According to a poll conducted by Homeadvisor.com in 2020, the average cost of building a home in Florida ranges from $240,000 to $350,000. According to a 2019 US Census Bureau report, the average cost of building a house in South Florida was $110.19 per square foot, with expenses ranging from $60 to over $150 per square foot. Over the last year, building materials, labor shortages, and economic conditions are changing drastically, and the above estimates are likely low. Visit home builders with affordable new homes in Florida and syndication sites like Zillow.com or Move.com to learn more about current prices.

Hire a Competent and Experienced Agent

Hire a trustworthy agent with experience and a good reputation. A real estate agent can help you find your dream house and improve your overall experience. If you’re new to Florida, a real estate agent will know the areas and have information about communities with brand new homes for sale. They’ll discover homes in your price range and in the areas, you want to live in and share details with you. Plus, they answer questions and can help guide you through the process. Their professional competency in managing real estate transactions may save you time, money, and hassle. The best part, when you’re buying a new home, the seller pays the real estate agent’s commissions.

Now that you’ve read these Florida home buying tips, you are one step closer to buying a new home. There are plenty of first-time home buyer guides online and various other resources. Remember, the more you know, the better the buying experience. Happy home hunting!


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