Here are some common mistakes that many first time home buyers make when purchasing a home.
This one to me can be one of the biggest huddles to overcome as a Realtor in the St Petersburg-Tampa-Clearwater Florida area. Every real estate transaction is different because every buyer and seller have their own tastes, time line, circumstances, income, debt ratios, credit scores, personalities, etc... Also, the real estate market is constantly changing, and what was true a year ago, or last week, may be completely different in today. Loan officers and Realtors that are working in the business every day, have up to date knowledge, and current experience with available loans, local ordinances, appraisals, market values, seller concessions, and more, which unfortunately your friends and family most likely do not. As a first time buyer, it's important that you trust what your Realtor and/or loan broker tells you. It is important to get a second opinion in many cases but make sure always that is from another real estate industry professional with all details of the home, contract and your financial situation.
As a first time buyer, you want to get a "good deal" especially with the way the market has been in the last few years. Here in the St Pete Florida area, the inventory is low so you may have to offer full price, or above asking price, on a home that you want to buy. Homes are moving quickly right now, and desirable properties sometimes have multiple offers submitted on them. If you offer below market or asking price you could end with no home, a broken heart and having to start all over. Many homeowners in the St Petersburg are not in a hurry to sell and well-educated on the local market by their listing agent.
Many times first time home buyers hesitate to place an offer on a home because have just started their search and think that there might be something better. They think that they can't possibly put on offer on the first, second or third home that they have seen. However, other buyers may have already been searching for months, and the home you love or that tics most of your boxes may very well be under contract and pending by the time you decide to make an offer.
Becoming a homeowner in the St Petersburg-Tampa-Clearwater area or anywhere is very exciting for a first time buyer. Remember that there are additional costs when one becomes a homeowner besides just the loan. This is perfect to discuss with friends and family because they can give you great advice from their own experience. Other expenses you may have include insurance, maintenance and upkeep, taxes, water, electric, yard service, pool service and more.
It's extremely important to remember that most first time home buyers do not buy their dream home. Sometimes second or third time home buyers can not afford their dream home. Your parents, family members and friends, probably started out in a smaller house or a condo. Most people trade up to a larger waterfront home with a pool and a brand new high-end kitchen over time, especially in the St Pete area. I know that it may be difficult to lower your expectations but if you do, you may find a great home with the right price and incredibly low interest rates here in Florida