Are You Ready to Buy a Home in Jacksonville?

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Are You Ready to Buy a Home in Jacksonville?

Piggy Bank

Knowing When You’re Ready to Buy a Home in Jacksonville, Florida

In spite of all the negative news about the Jacksonville real estate market, there are still thousands of people looking to a buy home – either now or in the future. You may be one of them.

Over the last few years, lower selling prices and lower interest rates have come along, making it more affordable than ever to buy Jacksonville real estate.  When most people stop and give it some thought – buying a home in makes a lot more sense than renting than ever before.

Before you set out to buy any real estate, you’ll most likely need to start saving your money and have enough for the closing costs and a down payment. Your down payment will normally need to be around 15% – 25% of the price or the value of the property – whichever is lower.

To be on the safe side, you should always try to have 20% to put down.  If you aren’t able to put 20% down, you’ll need to buy some private mortgage insurance, which will cost you more in terms of your monthly payment. There are still a few exceptions, specifically if you have access to VA benefits or meet certain other qualifiers but most buyers will need a somewhat significant amount of ‘skin in the game.’

In most cases, the closing costs will run you roughly 5% of the property price.  Before you purchase the home, you should always get an estimate of all expenses. Don’t worry… we will guide you with that as with all aspects of the transaction.

This estimate won’t be the exact price, although it will be really close.  You should always plan to save up a bit more money than you need, just to be on the safe side.  It’s always best to have more than enough than not enough.

You’ll know you’re ready to buy a home when you know exactly how much you can afford, make a plan (with our assistance) and commit to stick with your plan.

When you buy a home and get your monthly mortgage payment, it shouldn’t be any more than 25% of your total monthly income.  Although there are lenders out there who will say that you can afford to pay more, you should never let them talk you into doing so – but stick to your budget instead.

We work with some of the most experienced and dedicated lenders in the area and are happy to hook you up with one of them or you may want to choose someone else who you already know that you would be comfortable working with.  The important thing is to have a lender who will look out for your best interests.

Keep in mind that there is always more money involved with a home other than the mortgage payment.  You also have to pay for utilities, homeowners insurance, property taxes, and maintenance.  Owning and caring for a home requires a lot of responsibility.  If you’ve never owned a home before, it can take a bit of time to get used to.

While home ownership comes with added responsibilities, it comes with added value as well.  Regardless of the local Jacksonville real estate market conditions, it is still the “American Dream” to own your own home and there is good reason that is so!

Before you fill out any applications, you should always look over your credit report and check for any errors.  Although you may think you don’t, you can easily get an error on your credit report and not even realize it.  If you have an error on your credit report, it can cost you a lot of money in interest rates.  An error will decrease your credit score, which will put you in a higher interest bracket and ultimately cost you a lot more money in the end.  Therefore, you should always know your credit before you approach a lender.

If you check your credit report early enough, you may leave yourself enough time to fix any problems and get your credit back on track.  Rebuilding credit can take time though, sometimes even years.  You should always plan ahead – and give yourself plenty of time to fix your credit.

Buying a home in Jacksonville will require a bit of commitment on your behalf.  You should always strive to get the best possible deals, which means knowing your credit and where you stand.  This way, you can get the best interest rates.  You don’t want to buy a home with bad credit, simply because you’ll pay a lot more money for the home.  If you take the time to fix any credit problems and save up some money – you’ll be able to get a much better home for your money.

These are just a few of the preparation steps needed before setting out to look for that perfect home.  I know it sounds like a lot (and it is) but you needn’t worry about any of it.  I have the experience you can rely on to guide you each step of the way and, best of all… to make it a fun and rewarding experience too!

TIMOTHY H. FENNELL, PA - Tim Fennell is a Florida licensed Real Estate Broker Associate with The Legends of Real Estate. Realtors® in Jacksonville, Florida. His strong background in business development, real estate investments, counseling and marketing greatly enhance his skills as a Listing and Internet Marketing Specialist. Tim and his wife, Susan, have over 30 years experience in Jacksonville Real Estate sales, marketing and investing and both are Accredited Consultants in Real Estate (ACRE®). When you're ready to be consulted with, rather than sold to, give them a call at 904.568.4528

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