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You have decided to buy your first home! This is a very exciting time in your life. It is important to understand what a wonderful adevnture buying your first home is.  I would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and explain how to get stated towards the goal of buying your first home. Preparation is the most important step to home ownership.

For most people your home is the largest purchase you will ever make, and there is much more involved than simply choosing a home you like. For a first time home buyer choosing an experienced Real Estate Broker/Agent who knows the north Florida real estate market is your first step to choosing a new home and navigating the buying process.

You can go through the process of purchasing a home without an agent. Give thought to the fact that buying your first home will require making a number of  important decisions. You will need to choose the best home to meet your needs, the best neighborhood, make difficult financial decisions, navigate the legalities of the real estate process, negotiate the best price, assure that your chosen property has no structural issues, and successfully complete the required paperwork. So it is helpful to have an expert guide you to the successful purchase of your home .

As an experienced real Estate Broker Associate I help people find their dream homes. Here are some of the valuable services I can provide to you:

  • As A real estate professional, I will always provide skilled and ethical services.
  • I will have a 

  • ccess to the properties that you want to see.
  • The benefit of my knowledge of the northeast Florida real estate market and the local neighborhoods, economy, schools, recreation, and etc.
  • I make sure that I have done the research to assure that I am working to meet your particular needs. I have researched all of the properties that I list for sale and those I present to potential buyer to make sure that they fit your requirements. I will have the answers to your questions and if I don't know I will find out immediately.  Rest assured that I will provide you with all of the resources and information you need to buy or sell a home. It is my responsibility to assist you to negotiate the best sales or purchase price based on real experience and knowledge.  
  • My expertise is in Florida real estate, specifically north Florida real estate, so navigating contracts, inspections, appraisals and all of the components of the process is much easier. The companies that I recommend to provide any needed services are professionals I trust to provide the highest level of service. You have someone in your corner all of the time!
  • I negotiate on your behalf. Period. If necessary, I will negotiate with seller and seller’s agent for repairs if needed. You are always my utmost priority.
  • I will you with list of qualified mortgage lenders, attorneys, home inspectors, appraisers, pest inspectors, contractors, handymen, etc.  It is part of my service to schedule and coordinate your home inspections and appraisals.
  • My commitment is to be right by your side at the closing table and hand you the keys to your dream home!

Always feel free to ask me any questions about the home buying process. I am always more than happy to help! As always, there is no obligation, and I promise to respond quickly.

Brief Description of the Buying Process

The first and most important stepas you start the search for your first home is to make sure that finances are in order. Be sure that you have all of the documents that you will need. If you need to work on some financial issues take care of those firs tbefore you start the search for your home.  Next choose a mortgage lender and get pre-approved. It is OK to talk with several mortgage companies to be sure that you find the best one for you. Understand what you are able  to spend on a mortgage payment and know what you feel comfortable spending. Sometimes you can get pre-approved for a high price but the mortgage payment might be higher than you want. You want to set a budget you are comfortable with. This step is also important because there are so many different types of loans available and you need to know which loan program will work best for you in your circumstances. The lender will help you understand what your closing costs will be and how much money you will need for closing. This will be provided to you in the Good Faith Estimate of Closing Costs and Funds needed to close.

Once you are pre-approved, the fun begins! We can search all of the available homes that meet your specific criteria to find what best matches your “wants” and “needs”. Homes that meet your criteria can be easily e-mailed to you with pictures, addresses and directions. At your convenience, we can set up appointments to view houses you would like to see. Once you have found  the home that meets your needs the  contract and negotiating begins.

When writing the contract, there are some things that will need to be discussed: First, and most importantly the offer price. I will prepare a market analysis for you to make sure that your new home has been competitively priced. I will help you decide what kind of offer to make. Other things you will need to discuss and decide are loan type (remember: get pre-approved), seller-paid closing costs, closing date, home inspection, and any “special stipulations” that you would like in the contract. For example, special stipulations can include things like asking for a home warranty, having the house or carpets cleaned, or what appliances are to remain with the home.

At the time of writing the contract, you will be required to put down “Earnest Money”. The earnest money will be deposited into a trust account once the contract is fully negotiated and accepted. It is kept there until closing; then it will be credited back to you as part of your funds needed to close. If the contract does NOT close, the earnest money will be distributed in MOST circumstances to the buyer. However, if you are in default of the contract, then you could risk the chance of losing your earnest money.

The first week after your contract is accepted will be a little busy. You will need to contact your lender and now make formal loan application. The lender will have a list of items you will need to get to him, such as tax returns and bank statements. The other thing that will happen in this week is the home inspection. I strongly recommended that you get a home inspection. The home inspector will give us a written report of the defects found in the home. The next step of the negotiating is asking for the seller to fix necessary items on the home inspection report. Once the inspection repairs have been negotiated and agreed upon, you are practically a homeowner!

From now until closing, you can breathe a little easier. Your lender will be contacting you with additional things they need to process your loan. Just when you think you´ve got it all to them, the underwriter will ask for something else! Underwriters can seem strange sometimes with the things they ask for. Keep in mind, though, it´s all to help you get the best financing possible!

Before closing, you will need to talk with an insurance agent and get a 1-year homeowners (hazard) insurance policy. It is required for closing. Your loan will not close without it! I also recommend that you obtain owners title insurance, even though it is optional. The closing attorney handles the title insurance.

Finally! The closing! You can expect to be at closing for approximately 1-1 & ½ hours depending on how busy the attorney´s office is that day. I will attend closing with you to help you understand your settlement statement and help answer any questions you may have. That´s it! You´re done! Home ownership at last!

I hope I have helped you understand the home buying process a little better. I would welcome the opportunity to be your Realtor® and help you through this exciting time in your life. Please don´t hesitate to contact me at anytime!  

Buying a home

Good advice for first time home buyers or the veteran home buyer.

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Florida Homes Realty - R.J. Skinner Parkway #102, Jacksonville Florida 32256