Are You Ready For Home Ownership?

Owning a home in Destin or South Walton, FL may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be a satisfying experience you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with buying and owning Real Estate.

Many potential new buyers have a notion that home ownership is like renting, but with the power to have a dog and paint the walls whatever color you like. However, while these coveted privileges are available to homeowners in most cases, they come with the responsibilities of a mortgage, taxes and home maintenance. Preparing for home ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.

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Questions for Prospective Homeowners

Are you ready to buy a home?

Buying a home is a big step and making sure you understand what is involved in home ownership is a critical part to this life changing event.  A few questions to consider to if you are in the right position for home ownership include: Do you have a budget? Do you have a down payment set aside?  Is your income stable and reliable? Do you have an emergency fund for repairs and other mishaps? Is your credit in good shape?  Can you handle a long term commitment?  Are you prepared to be your own landlord?  Although there is a lot to consider, our Real Estate team has helped many first-time home buyers and we can help guide you through the process.

How much home can you afford?

To determine how much home you can afford we tend to lean on the guidelines of most mortgage companies and lenders.  To determine the correct dollar amount you have to look at your debt-to-income ratio and make sure it does not surpass 36 percent.  With a little simple math your lender can help determine what your home budget should be.  If you are a cash buyer, well then the sky is the limit!

What is debt-to-income ratio?

DTI or debt-to-income ratio compares your expenses to your monthly gross income.  Although your lender can help you determine your DTI, you can get a rough estimate doing it on your own.  To calculate your debt-to-income ratio you first need to add up all the payments involved with your debt.  This includes car loans, credit cards, and housing expenses such as rent or your mortgage.  Next you divide your monthly debt payments by your GROSS income and multiple that by 100.  If you debt-to-income ratio is not within the desired range you could pay a higher APR or not get approved for your loan at all. 

What do you want?

In Destin and the surrounding areas the types of real estate vary greatly.  Are you a do it yourselfer or do you prefer to have everything taken care of?  Many communities in Northwest Florida are located within an association.  A home owners association provides a variety of services and sets rule and regulations.  There are also monthly, quarterly, or annual fees involved with living within an association.  In addition to being a part of an association there is a vast selection of condominiums in Destin.  Many of these properties are turn-key and require very little maintenance. 

Ocean Reef Real Estate Can Help

You need a good sales agent who will work hard for you. Our Destin & South Walton real estate team is dedicated to helping new buyers find the right home, at the best price. We want you to find the home or condo that will make you happy and successful in your first real estate purchase.

When you partner with Ocean Reef Real Estate and we help you buy your first home, we want to understand what you want and what you can afford. Then we'll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a new home that you'll enjoy owning.

Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a listed home. Sometimes the thought of owning a property can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your emotions in check. Keep a list of the features that you need and want in a home, and judge each property by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your main goal. When your are with your Realtor, you can go over the pros and cons of each home. We can help you stay on track while still keeping our eyes out for your dream property.

Make the offer. This can be a maze of "buyer", "seller", "chattels", "deposit", and "completion". When you work with Ocean Reef Real Estate we prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting your offer. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your inital offer, so even at this late date, avoid setting your heart to firmly on the home or condo you hope to own. In most cases you will have to write a deposit check to the seller's broker that proves the seriousness of your offer.

Get all necessary inspections done. A professional home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mold. They'll also check for evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home buying process. Not getting a home inspection done means you could be stuck in a home with a case of black mold and no recourse other than to pay for its removal. Inspections can cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end and in most cases it will be required by your mortage company. There are several inspectors in the area that we'd be happy to recommend.

Do a final walkthrough before closing the deal. We'd be happy to do this with you to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to the final signing.

From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys to your new home, we help guide you through the complicated process of puchasing a home. Don't hesitate to contact us to find out more about how we can make the home buying process easier!

Contact us for more information about first time home purchasing in Destin & South Walton.