Florida First Time Home Buyer Tips

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Once the decision is made to become a first-time home buyer in Florida, the next step is finding out how much of a mortgage you can afford and what is required, besides a down payment. Buying your first home in Florida can seem like a daunting task. Without the guidance a Hall Financial Loan Officer, a person can get lost, confused and frustrated with the process. Here are a few tips to help guide you through the first-time home buying process in Florida.

Meet with a home loan advisor

The first-time buyer will need to get pre-approved for a mortgage which will make buying a first home in Florida a little easier and less stressful. Providing the loan officer with the following information so that they may accurately estimate the mortgage amount, costs of the loan and calculate the monthly payment:

  • Social security number
    • to run credit and access credit worthiness
  • W2’s and a recent paystub
    • to calculate income
  • Employment history
    • to prove stability of employment
  • One- or two-months’ worth of bank statements
    • to prove the funds needed for the transaction are available

This is the first step in buying that first home in Florida. The loan officer will review the credit and credit score to see if it meets the minimum requirements, which is usually a median score of 620. The loan officer will help the Florida first-time home buyer choose a program, FHA, VA or Conventional, that best suits their financial needs for a mortgage. They will also see if the first-time buyer qualifies for down payment assistance with Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. They will also access the amount of money for the down payment and closing costs. And finally, the loan officer will provide the first-time home buyer with a pre-approval letter. The letter demonstrates to a realtor that the first-time home buyer they will be working with qualify for a mortgage and the limit as to how much of a home in Florida the first-time home buyer can afford. The loan officer can assist with suggesting realtors within their network.

Finding the perfect Florida home

Now that the first-time homebuyer has been pre-approved, finding that perfect Florida home is next. The realtor, knowing how much the first-time homebuyer can afford, can now confidently show homes within their approved mortgage amount. This also make it easier for the realtor to make an offer for the first-time homebuyer knowing that the funding is achievable. This is a great selling point to the seller accepting the offer. A pre-approved first-time home buyer makes buying a Florida home much easier and helps validate the worthiness of the offer made to the seller.

The Purchase

Now that the home has been found, the realtor will present a purchase agreement to be signed by all parties. This document outlines the purchase details and the timeframe to achieve this purchase. An earnest money deposit will be required as a sign of good faith from the first-time homebuyer. It is also known as having “skin in the game”: a financial commitment towards this transaction. Once accepted, this results in the home being temporarily taken off the market so the sale may commence without the interruption of additional offers made on the Florida property. This is when the loan officver and their team of professionals takes over to finalize the transaction and get it to the closing table.

Finalizing the first-time home buyer purchase

Once all documents have been gathered, the loan officer will submit the purchase agreement along with the credit report, bank statements, income documents and employment history to the lender for final verification and approval. An appraisal will most likely be required. The appraisal tells all parties what the home is truly worth by gathering data of similar homes sold in the area for comparison. Upon a successful submission, the lender will approve the first-time home buyer’s Florida transaction and a closing will be scheduled. The next step will be the closing where many documents will be signed and the keys to the new home will be given to the first-time home buyer. The transaction is over and home ownership now begins.

With the help of mortgage and real estate professionals, becoming a first-time home buyer in Florida can be a less stressful, but exciting process. Please contact a loan officer at Hall Financial for more information.