4 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Success as a First Time Home Buyer

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Listen as Andrew Duncan, Tampa Bay's #1 Realtor talks about 4 ways on how to set yourself up for success as a first time home buyer. Paul Arrington from Arrico Real Estate and Property Management and Arnie Diaz from Waterstone Mortgage joins him on The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA.

1. Know your credit score and get in touch with a loan officer way ahead of time 

The sooner you know your credit score, the easier it is for you to make changes that might be required for you to qualify for a loan. This will give you a chance to know what your buying power is and if you have any credit concerns.

2. Consider your costs 

A lot of buyers just look at their pay and not consider their insurance, taxes, utilities, moving costs, new purchases, repairs costs.

3. Be flexible in your search

First time home buyers usually have unreasonable expectation of what they can buy in the marketplace. In reality, you might need to settle for getting the major portions of the things on your list because usually, you won't get everything you want in just one home. You also need to be open to look in other areas because though you've already decided on an area you really want to live in, you might find a great deal in another side of town with instant equity. Knowing where you're comfortable living and knowing what your criteria looks like would really make things easier for a first time home buyer like you.You should know what you're going to be flexible for and what's a must have and what's a bonus.

4. Lastly, keep your cool

Buying a home can be a very stressful time even more when you're buying your first home since it's something you haven't done before. You will have a lot of documentation. You may have home sales fall apart. You might have inspections or appraisals that can cause issues.

There are a lot of hoops you need to go through when buying a new home and The Duncan Duo team is here to help you smooth that process out but there are things that are just out of our control. You have to be prepared.

Andrew shares his experience in working with first time home buyers. One of the mistakes that first time home buyers make is cancelling based on inspection. Home inspectors are liability conscious. They put together inspection reports that spook people. He has seen home inspection reports that cost $300 but sounds like the house is falling apart. Sometimes they see cancellations from first time home buyers based on things that are normal for the age of the home and price. They cancel because they are fearful or they have a thought that they will be able to find the perfect home. There is no such thing as a clean inspection report.

Though there may be times that cancelling makes sense like if the roof needs to be replaced or electricals are shot, a lot of times these cancellations don't make mathematical sense. For example, the house might need a couple of thousand for repairs that might need to come out of their pocket. The buyers say forget it and go back to shopping. They're going to spend more time, energy and gas not to mention interest rates are going up as well as home prices. In Tampa alone, home prices are going up 1% a month! By the time 6 months down the line you find the next home, you spend an additional $12,000 to buy the next home as compared to the $2,000 you could have spent on repairs for the one you kicked to the curb a few months back. It doesn't make sense unless it's a big issue. First time home buyers don't really do the math on that. They get emotionally invested and make an emotional decision because they get scared. Time is not in the first time home buyer's favor.

For more Tampa Bay Real Estate news and advice, tune in to The Duncan Duo Real Estate Show on 970 WFLA - Tampa Bay every Sundays at 10 am.

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