OK, you’ve started to get your credit in order, been saving your money, spoke to a mortgage broker or a loan officer and now your ready to look. First, find yourself a good Realtor to work with. Use the technolody of automatic searches and open information of athe internet but only your local agent will be able to guide you through the home buying process. They’ll need some information from you to start things off.
The first step is to ask yourself what can I afford and start with asking the perhaps obvious question of: what do I spend on housing right now? Am I comfortable with this housing expense or are there months when I have difficulty making ends meet? Owning your own home is a terrific experience but the monthly payments to the bank can be just the beginning. Repairs and maintenance can add up quickly and it always nice to have some sort of a life aside from working for your next house payment. Use this as a basic guide for your monthly ‘PITI’ of principal, interest, taxes and insurance payment:
- Principle and interest is about $600 per month per $100,000 financed. Thus, for our $160,000 loan example (200,000 property) we had 1.6(600) = $960 per month.
- Taxes are a portion of ad valorem (according to value) and non ad valorem but a basic rule is that a $200,000 home is assessed at about 80% of the purchase price. The local mileage rate is about 20 and non ad valorem portion of the tax bill is about 500. So, first let’s assume you will NOT homestead the property. The annual tax bill would be about 500 plus 20*[0.8*(200,000)/1000] = 3,700. This is a very rough estimate. If the property is homesteaded then with the $50,000 value reduction on the ad valorem tax portion the annual tax bill is 500 plus 20*[(0.8*200,000-50,000)/1000] = $2,700 per year or $225 per month.
- Insurance is something which is a bit more difficult to quantify. Generally speaking you will get the best windstorm insurance rate on anything built under the 2001 Florida Building Code or later. If you are looking at condominiums and townhouses pay close attention to the fees and what they cover. Generally speaking, condominiums carry windstorm insurance on the common elements which are everything from the dry wall out. Your lender may still require you to have a windstorm policy on the improvements from the paint in such as cabinets, flooring and fixtures but since your insuring less the premium is less. In townhouses it can vary as to if the association has insurance on anything you own. Keep in mind that in a condominium you own a ‘box in space’. But in a townhouse, one owns the land under the unit and all elements from the middle of each shared wall up into space. The unit owner (as opposed to the association) owns the roof of a townhouse.
OK, you now how much you can spend now what else. Well, ask yourself some questions like:
- First is location as it what city or town or specific neighborhoods like Abacoa do I want to look in?
- Do you want a single family home, condominium or townhouse?
- Do you want to live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association or not? Condominiums always come with fees but I would say that if you’re honest with what it costs to own property then you will pay for these items one way or another. Not all associations are created equal though and the fees can vary significantly. For example, communities such as Sanctuary and Hunt Club in Palm Beach Gardens are gated, but have few amenities beyond the gate have a fee of about $150 per month. Or, communities such as Mirasol and Admiral’s Cove with many amenities beyond the manned gate also require not only hefty homeowner’s association fees but also equity club memberships and annual fees for the club.
- If public schools are important in your decision then we suggest that you first decide where you would like you children to go to school, then transcribe the school district ) border onto our neighborhoods map. Then find out what is available in those neighborhoods in the product you are looking for, single family or townhouse, gated or not, HOA or not, etc.
- Always remember, location, location location. You can change just about everything about a house you don’t like except the location.
Your agent will email you listings to review. Take the time to drive by properties. Try to go after working hours and on the weekends when people will be there. Tour the community centers, look at bulletin boards for clues on the community. Stop people and talk to them about the community. Tour the schools in that district. You will be spending allot of money on your house yet many people spend more time into researching their next car than they do their next home.
CLICK HERE ===>>> TO SIGN UP FOR AUTOMATIC EMAILS