Zipper10, Home Buyer in Jacksonville, FL

Approved to Build. First time buyer.

Asked by Zipper10, Jacksonville, FL Fri May 18, 2012

We were recently approved to build a new home.
30 years/3.85%/ fixed. Should we stick with this rate or ASK for something lower? Is it normal to ask? We only have about $25,000 (2 car loans) in debt between the two of us and have very good to great credit. The builders offered great incentives, (waived lot fee, appliance package, irrigation included, bonus money for the studio) Is it tacky to ask for other offers?
Are ther any questions that we should ask? anything we should know? This is new for both of us and I don't want to be blind sided simply because of my ignorance to home buying. How is insurance and taxes determined, will those prices ever change?

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7, , Jacksonville, FL
Wed May 23, 2012
Ask How is the pipes.. Call JEA see How much it will cost to turn lights on there. Is there an outstanding balance there. NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTION, IF YOU DO YOU WILL PAY THE PRICE IN THE END.
Better to know everything upfront, so you atleast know what you or getting into.
0 votes
Brenda Gravi…, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Mon May 21, 2012
The First Time Home Buyers that I work with are receiving H2H down payment assistance of up to $15000 and gettting a rate of 3.5%. You have to qualify for the program through income and household size. You may want to ask the builder about the program. Do not be afraid to ask the Builders agent about any of your concerns. I have a builders license in Alabama and a real estate license in Alabama and Florida.
0 votes
Sharon Molnar, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Fri May 18, 2012
Hi Zipper 10

The first thing you should do, is get an agent to represent you, if you don't have one. The builders agent is not working for you. They are working for the builder. You need someone to look out for you. If there is any conflict you have an advocate to represent you. Any agent can represent you, however I would suggest that you have an agent that has been through the building processfirst hand they are much more aware, in my opinion, of things that can or may go wrong. Believe me, I have been there. The good thing about having a buyer's agent represent you is it doesn't cost you anything. The builder will pay your agent their fee.

There are as many questions are there are answers. I as well as any of the other agents here would love to help. Please give me a call or email me. or 904-382-6792

Sharon Molnar, First Coast Realty Associates
0 votes
Jeff Metcalf, Agent, Saint Augustine, FL
Fri May 18, 2012
Hi Zipper10,

3.85% is a great rate right now. The lowest I've seen recently is 3.83%. Builders expect negotiation and they are just happy to be selling homes right now so if you think of something else you want, ask for it. Don't act like they'd be doing you a favor. Treat it more like an essential element of your contract negotiation to get you to sign on the dotted line. Home owners insurance is similar to car insurance in the way that it varies from individual to individual so I recommend calling a local insurance agent, introducing yourself and asking for a "rough estimate." Also ask about Flood insurance. If you're not in a danger flood zone I've heard of people getting it for as low as $100 a year. It's just that extra warm fuzzy that's nice to have with Florida coastal living. Taxes will be calculated based on the purchase price of your home and they do tend to fluctuate. If this will be your primary residence be sure to ask about filing for the Florida Homestead exemption. This will give you the opportunity to reduce the taxable value of your home by up to $50,000 depending on your individual status. Let me know if I can be of assistance in any other way. Good luck!

Jeff Metcalf, REALTOR(R)
Watson Realty Corp.
0 votes
Sean Larkin, Agent, Jacksonville, FL
Fri May 18, 2012
I'm making an assumption here, but it sounds like you are working with the builders sales agent and mortgage contacts. If thats the case you are putting your fate in the hands of the person selling you the product. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, as most all agents have worked both sides of a transaction many times.

But you are a first time buyer and you do seem to have a lot of questions and a lack of knowledge (that is not an insult, you are just new to this, thats all) I would recommend getting a Realtor to work on your behalf. I know, that's what you always hear on this site and we are all realtors, but in this case, it's your best bet.

The builder and agent may not like it, but if your new to the process of buying a house you should have someone working for you that doesn't have a conflict of interest, to look at your whole picture and give you unbiased advice.
0 votes
Lance Sherid…, , Jacksonville Beach, FL
Fri May 18, 2012
No ask for anything you want screened in porch, fenced in back yard,the 3.85 is a good rate call me at 904.803.1764 if you have any other question. I have made offers to new home agents so i can guide you if you need help
0 votes
Steve Henric…, , Jacksonville, FL
Fri May 18, 2012
Congratulations to you and your family. You are not tacky or ignorant; you're just a first-time buyer. My phone rang while typing this, and I have to go, but I'd be happy to help you on those questions if you call or email me.
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