I'm a first time home buyer in Tampa, FL, what advise can you give me for it not to be stressful on my part?

Asked by Sam Wax, Tampa, FL Wed Mar 27, 2013

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Fawn Neun’s answer
Fawn Neun, , Apollo Beach, FL
Wed Apr 3, 2013
The best way to make a first time home purchase stressfree is to be completely informed about your personal financial status and the cost of closing. I always recommend that my clients speak to their lender before shopping to avoid disappointment.

The second best way to reduce stress is to find a good Realtor.
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Wed Mar 27, 2013
Sam start by getting prequalified with a local and trusted loan officer and hire a good buyer broker who will guide you through each step of the buying process. Havuing a good buyer brioker and a good loan officer can sure reduce the stress
1 vote
, ,
Mon Oct 31, 2016
Try to work with a local Florida lender, get pre approved weeks in advance. Please reach out to us if we can help.
0 votes
Lola H Walker, Agent, St Petersburg, FL
Tue Oct 11, 2016
First, I recommend you get a good real estate agent to guide you through the entire process, making sure you are protected. Next, your agent will recommend that you get with a lender and be pre-approved for a loan, so you get started on the right foot and search only for homes you can afford.
Then, tell your agent what kind of property you want. Give as many details as you are able. Your agent will help you search for the best homes or condos in your price range and schedule appointments for you to see them. When you find one you want, ask your agent to do a market analysis to find out the current market value and get her/ suggestions as to what to offer. It's your decision, but remember that your good agent will know the market and be able to counsel you. Many neighborhoods, but not all, have more buyers than sellers and you could be competing with many buyers. Not to worry, you have an agent who will help you through the process. Good luck and happy hunting! PS. Do not take out new credit cards, or buy a new car or boat or furniture until after you have secured your new home.
0 votes
Usda Mortgage…, , Jacksonville, FL
Sun Aug 30, 2015
Many desirable locations just outside of Tampa are still approved for 100% USDA financing. The program is perfect for first time home buyers. Contact us below to learn more

USDA Mortgage Source - Florida USDA Loans, 7 days a week.
Ph: 904-302-6060
0 votes
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed Mar 19, 2014
Hi Sam,

I see you posted this almost a year ago.

Did you buy a home?

Let us know and we can help you.

All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Future Home Realty
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Wed Mar 19, 2014
This question as posted in Mar, 2013.
Do you really think Sam is still stressed out about buying a house?
0 votes
Stephanie Ad…, , Tampa, FL
Wed Mar 19, 2014
Good Afternoon Mr. Wax
First of all go ahead and contact a lender so that you can determine which fincancing program is in you best interest. Determining how much you would like to put down on a home and what your price range will be is key to getting started. Once you have detrmined this and recieved a pre-approval letter you can then shop with confidence.

Another thing to make sure is that you donot spend all of your savings on a down payment. The reason this is important because you may need to buy new furniture, upgrad ethe home, etc. It is always good to have a bit on the side for just in case purposes dependent on the year of the home you are purchasing.

Also fining a great realtor that knows the area and fully understands what your looking for is extremely beneficial. This will save you time while also ensuring a smooth process.
Please let me know if you need any help with financing. I'm a Senior Loan Officer here in Tampa FL.
Feel free to review my website and request a quote or give me a call 813-316-2172

Stephanie Adams
Senior Loan Officer | NMLS# 1001484
4010 W. Boyscout Blvd. Suite 600, Tampa, FL 33607
Direct 813-316-2172 | Fax 877-813-7519 | Toll Free 800-930-7334 Ext. 1477
0 votes
Tammy Hayes, Agent, Port Charlotte, FL
Sun Mar 9, 2014
Here are some helpful tips to get you started on the right path.

1. The first step before you do anything is to find out how much money you can borrow from a bank/mortgage company. Check with different lenders to see who can get you the best deal. Once you know what you can afford, then you can begin to plan.

2. Determine what you need in a home, not necessarily what you want in a home. Make a list of those needs to give to your Realtor. When you are searching for homes you will find that it is very rare to find a home that has absolutely everything you are looking for. If you stick to what you actually need, you will have better success in your search.

3. Research areas/communities that are of interest to you. Determine what things are important such as schools, proximity to shopping, restaurants, and local activities. Drive through the communities to get a feel for what they are like.

4. Learn as much as you can about the process of buying a home. Some local Realtors or lenders will offer first time home buying seminars. If you can find one in your local area it would be helpful to attend. If you cannot attend a seminar, look on the Internet for a home buyers guide such as the one at Bankrate.com – http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/real-estate/BuyerGuide2004/…

5. Select a local Realtor to help you begin your search for a home. You can search Internet sites such as Realtor.com or Homes.com, but a Realtor has access to all of the homes in the local MLS. They can provide you with information on the home, the area and answer any questions you may have. A Realtor can show you properties of interest.

6. Learn about the contract and what is involved. Your Realtor can take you through step by step the process of a contract. After it is signed by buyer and seller, it is called an executed contract. Then you would want to get a home inspection. If everything is fine with the inspection, then you can go forward towards closing.

7. Know what happens at closing. Again, a Realtor can walk you through what to expect at closing. You will need to have money for closing costs such as title search, processing fees, taxes, and insurance.

Buying your first home is an exciting and overwhelming experience. So make sure you are prepared.

Tammy Hayes, Realtor
Re/Max Palm Realty
0 votes
Renata Redfo…, Home Buyer, Araby Eight Com'l Estates, Yuma, AZ
Sat Mar 8, 2014
Here are some step-by-step tips on buying a first home to reduce stress: http://floridaelitehomes.com/buying-your-first-house-in-florida/
0 votes
Mary Grimme, Agent, Beach, ND
Fri Mar 29, 2013
I love working with first time home buyers because of the excitement they bring. It is a chicken and egg thing about who to contact first, Realtor or Mortgage Originator. Both are equally important to the process and need to work together to answer all of your questions. Most of the stress is because you are doing something new and you're not sure of the process. A good realtor will give you an overview of the process and reminds you of the steps as the process unfolds. Make sure you ask questions until you are satisfied with your understanding. I like to get to know the buyer a little and see what they are interested in first. I have a small circle of tried and capable lenders that I recommend Most realtors have a preferred lender they like to work with . Early in the process we sit down together and find your price bracket. Later the realtor will discuss what you must have in a home, size location amenities and what you do not want. Think about how long you want to live in the home. Is this a" kindergarten to college" home for your children or a starter home you will want to upgrade from in a few years. A good realtor will help you find something that will hold the value for your next move. Good luck on your adventure.
0 votes
Bill Eckler, Agent, Venice, FL
Thu Mar 28, 2013

Your bio says you are an agent so I would assume this is a theoretical question....

So many buyers enter the market without a good feel for what they actually want. In my opinion, this too often transulated into stress. Planning in advance can go a long ways in minimizing this pressure. Getting pre-approved for financing, knowing your budget, creating lists for wanted and unwanted criteria, studying the market, attending open houses, etc. can provide buyers with a comfort level that reduces the stress of buying.

I also like the ideal of making the experience fun by planning something special that complements your day of searching. A movie, dinner, the mall, ice cream, the beach, etc. can be a great relief.

0 votes
Eddie Collazo, Agent, Lithia, FL
Thu Mar 28, 2013
if you don't want to be stress you need to plan ahead and set goals. Use a professional who can help you achieve those goals.
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Thu Mar 28, 2013
Your question is in pursuit of LESS STRESS. Wisely, you realize No Stress is a promise that can not be delivered.
The very, very, very, best way to reduce stress is to have a proper road map that shows the course to follow, the landscape that will be encountered, the exits and rest stops as well as the LOCATION of hazards and challenges.
I like to compare it to endurance running. When the pains one encounters are predictable and on schedule, you can pull the teeth from the LION and ignore the roaring...BECAUSE you KNOW it is your body expressing it's desire to go back to sleep, and you'll have none of it!
Now, there are always the unexpected. Every real estate transaction is different. When the unexpected falls across the road, your real estate consultant will be capable of clarifying your purpose. This overarching purpose is what allows each of us to endure the turbulence of life.

Need a road map?

Best of success to you,
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
"If you are serious, it's worth a call."
0 votes
Alma Kee, Agent, Tampa, FL
Thu Mar 28, 2013
Hi Sam,

If you don't earn too much money you can get up to $7,500 in downpayment assistance from the State of Florida Bond program. You can see if your household size and income will qualify:


If you qualify you MUST work with an APPROVED lender to get this money. I can highly recommend Gina Harris with Iberia Banc, she's been very successful at getting this money for my clients and closes on-time, too!


If you are able to pay ALL CASH you will have more opportunities because you can compete with the multitude of CASH investors that are buying up virtually every property in Tampa Bay that makes sense as a rental property.

If you need to get a mortgage, you need the preapproval letter in your hands before you look at your first property because you will need it to immediately make an offer. I would suggest narrowing your search to those only available to "owner-occupant" buyers for the first two weeks: http://www.HomePath.com http://www.HomeSteps.com http://www.HudHomeStore.com

You will still have to compete with at least 10 other buyers on these owner-occupant only properties and you will need to submit your best offer within 48 hours of listing to get a chance.

Your best bet is if you can look past the ugliness of a HUD owned home and get an FHA 203k fixer upper mortgage. You can actually buy a HUD foreclosure with $100 down (versus the 3.5% down) but you also have to pay HUD's closing costs so it ends up being about 2% down in reality. I'm experienced with HUD homes and some rookie Realtors may not know the ins and outs so before going this route just make sure your Realtor has experience and understands the rules.

I also have other secrets to helping my clients beat out the competition but I can't reveal everything here, lol.

Hope this helps and congratulations for becoming an owner versus a tenant.

You can search "like a Realtor" with accurate info (note: many website will list properties that are already under contract as "active" so it's get frustrating) by signing up for a free Listingbook account on my website:


All the best,
Alma Rose Kee, PA
Sold On Tampa Team
Future Home Realty
0 votes
Mirzai, , Tampa, FL
Wed Mar 27, 2013
Hello Sam

Previous Realtors have provided great answers. Your first step should be to get preapproved and see how much you can spend on your future home.
After, you can choose your Realtor and your realtor can walk you through the whole process and make this process easy for you.
I wish you all the best and feel free to contact me if you have any more questions.

Majid (Jay) Mirzai
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate
0 votes
Dwight A. Mc…, Agent, Brandon, FL
Wed Mar 27, 2013
In addition to all the fine answers so far, you should also get a thorough understanding of the current market conditions, and be prepared mentally for a hard battle to find a property and get an offer accepted. There are ways to handle the process that can be rewarding and avoid frustration if you go in well prepared. Pick a Realtor that you feel comfortable with and put your trust in them..

Best Regards,

Dwight A. McDonald PA
Broker, Realtor®,Realtist®,CDPE,ABR,CPMS,FMS
CDPE-Certified Distressed Property Expert
ABR-Accredited Buyer Representative
CPMS-Certified Property Management Specialist
FMS-Florida Military Specialist
Certified Fannie Mae CreditSmart® Trainer
International Realty Plus-Tampa Bay
1313 Providence Road (Note: GPS unreliable-we are on east side of road)
Brandon, FL 33511-4885
Phone (813) 629-6954
Fax (813) 569-1772
0 votes
Genevieve Ra…, Agent, Punta Gorda, FL
Wed Mar 27, 2013
Congratulations! Buying a home is a big deal & I wish you all the best.
First- know how much you can spend. Get pre-approved for a loan if you are financing so you know exactly how much house you can buy. Talk to a few Realtors, & work with someone you feel comfortable with & who you feel will communicate with you regularly. Identify an area you would like to move to, either drive through the different areas or search online based on what your needs are.
Good Luck,

0 votes
Bob Abruzzese, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed Mar 27, 2013
Good Evening Sam,
Definitely get your mortgage piece in place first. That will give the peace of mind of knowing that you will be able to buy a home. I would use referrals from friends, family, co-workers or the Realtor you choose to work with. Once your mortgage piece is in place, you can pick your Realtor. Again, try to use referrals from friends or family. Good agents do a lot of business by referral.

Bob Abruzzese - Realtor
The George Shea Team
Signature Realty Associates
2234 Lithia Center Lane
Valrico, FL 33594

Cell 813-480-6315
Office 813-689-3115

Email: bob@fishhawkarearealtor.com

Website: http://www.fishhawkarearealtor.com

"Buying a Home with The George Shea Team is a FREE SERVICE to Home Buyers!"
0 votes
Kevin Richey, Agent, St George, UT
Wed Mar 27, 2013
I agree with Elizabeth, it is important to know what your monthly obligation will be. One fear many home buyers have is, if they are paying too much for a property. Unless a buyer is totally immersed in real estate it is difficult to know if they are getting a good price on the home they are looking at. One help many home buyers over look is the safety net of the appraisal. There is a difference between a few market comparables of the house being considered for purchase and a full appraisal. An appraisal can be very helpful in reducing the amount of stress you are experiencing. Most offers written include an escape clause if the home doesn't appraise for the amount of the offer.

Hope that helps
0 votes
Tracy Hoyt, Agent, Valrico, FL
Wed Mar 27, 2013

I would recommend finding an experienced helpful Realtor who will work for your best interest. I have worked with many first timers in the Tampa area. Iit is important to work with someone you can talk to. You must be able to communicate well with each other so your stress and anxiety become less. Remember to find a Realtor who will work with your title, lender and inspectors so you the buyer has the best possible outcome. I would be happy to answer your questions and give you some advice on buying your first home. Please review my profile on Trulia and send me a message.

No pressure, just help.

Tracy Hoyt
Prudential Tropical Realty
0 votes
Lizzie McVey, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed Mar 27, 2013
I would definitely get your financing in place first, feel comfortable with your payments, not necessarily how high you can go but where your level of expenditure is workable for you, from that you can dictate your price range, your area etc. Be aware of all the issues you might be dealing with, understand that you will be having your home appraised, but also you will be having to work with an insurance company to inspect the property, just because it is cheap does not mean it is viable for you, make sure you have a licensed inspector regardless if it is an "as is" contract, get familiar with the neighborhood you would like to be in, see properties that are in your market range even if you think that they will not work for you, all these things will get you through some of the stress of purchasing, but realize that it is one of the most important decisions you will make, and take care
HomeWard RE
0 votes
Stephen McRo…, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Tampa, FL
Wed Mar 27, 2013
My office is in Tampa and what will take a lot of stress out of buying a home are two things:

1. get pre approved, which I can do for you

2. buy with as little out of pocket as possible as more money left in the bank = less stress for most

See programs below, then contact me to talk about how to minimize payments and reduce out of pocket costs.

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Go to: http://WWW.PRO-OPTION-COM or call 888-662-4404

Steve McRory
Pro Option Mortgage/ Florida

Prior Service U.S. Marine Corps
0 votes
Tonya Bouvet…, Agent, Tampa, FL
Wed Mar 27, 2013
Hi Sam,

The best advice I can give you is to have a trusted, knowledgeable professional working hard to help you navigate the ever changing real estate market and low inventory. As an experienced buyers agent I strive to ensure that my clients have a seem-less transition into home ownership. My team is here to assist you from start to finish of entire transaction and beyond.

Please call or email me with any questions in getting the process started. sellsunnytampa@gmail.com, 727-946-7296
0 votes
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