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Buyer’s Guide: First-time buyer’s guide to real estate in Florida

Moving home new beginnings. Couple with baby

Purchasing a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll encounter during your lifetime. While it can certainly turn out to be an exciting experience, it can also be stressful and overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.

One of the best ways to prepare for buying a new home is to take the time to find out more about how the process works. Knowing what to expect will give you more control of the situation, which will prepare you for potential roadblocks and help you get rid of any financial fears.

If you’re thinking about buying a home in Florida, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind:

    Look into Florida’s first-time homebuyer programs

    Florida has several options available for first-time home buyers, so make sure you take advantage of these. Look into programs such as the State Housing Initiatives Program (SHIP), Florida Housing’s First Time Homebuyer (FTHB) program, or the Florida Housing Mortgage Credit Certificate Program (MCC).

    Determine an ideal budget

    One of the first and most important steps to buying a home is to know how much you can afford. You need to save up for the down payment (which is usually 20% of the price of the home), the monthly mortgage, and other costs related to homeownership, such as homeowner’s insurance, homeowners’ association fees, maintenance and utility fees, and more.

    Research local schools

    Looking closely into the quality of schools in the area is a must if you have growing children. One helpful tool you can use to find out about schools in your local area is the greatschools.org website. Through the site’s search feature, you can input the county or zip code you’re relocating to, and look at a list of available schools in that area. You’ll see ratings and other essential information on every school, which is mostly provided by parents of children attending that school.

    Choose the right real estate professional

    Your real estate agent is your best ally in your journey towards homeownership. A good agent will provide reliable advice and can help you find homes according to your requirements and preferences. Be sure to look for an experienced agent with a track record of buying and selling homes in the area.

    Look into getting hazard insurance for your home

    Hazard insurance protects a home against any form of damage due to storms, fires, earthquakes, or other natural events. The typical homeowners’ insurance does not usually cover natural and unforeseen events, which can put your property at risk. Since Florida is susceptible to hurricanes and floods, look into getting a separate policy that can cover these specific occurrences.

    Drive around the area during different parts of the day

    One of the best ways you can get an accurate feel of a neighborhood is to visit it during different parts of the day. See what the environment is like at night, when you should be sleeping, and do a “test run” of the routes leading to your kid’s school or your workplace, so you can gauge the traffic situation and look for alternate routes if necessary. You can also try talking to your potential neighbors to get some insider info on the area.

If you need help with finding an ideal home in Aventura, Sunny Isles, or Miami Beach, FL, Sigal Realty Group is the right team for the job. Give us a call at 786-797-9088, or send an email to sigaldagan(at)gmail(dotted)com or ydagan(at)onesothebysrealty(dotted)com.

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