Scrolling through online listing photos, scouting for the best neighborhoods, and thinking of decor for your new home in Stuart FL can be both exciting and stressful for first-time home buyers.;&
The 6 Resources You Must Use When Buying a Home in Port St Lucie
Are you a first-time homebuyer?
You have probably heard a lot of encouraging words from your friends, family members, and co-workers about the joys and benefits of being a homeowner. However, you may still be in doubt if buying a home in Port St Lucie FL is the right decision.
You don’t have to worry. Having reservations is perfectly fine and normal. It’s a significant financial decision that will affect you and your loved ones for several years. The good news is that the more you know about the process, the less scary the idea of buying a home will appear to you.
Shopping for a home is one of the most enjoyable steps in the homebuying process. Scrolling through online listing photos, scouting for the best neighborhoods, and thinking of decor in your new home is fun. But the home search itself is not the only pleasant experience; the entire home buying process can be a rewarding experience when you have access to the best tools.
Here are the top six resources you should use to make buying a home in this area easier and enjoyable:
1. A Wants vs. Needs Checklist
With all the variables to consider, how can you make sure you are buying the right home?
The truth is home buying is an emotional experience. I’m sure you have heard some people who said that they “fell in love” with a house. That’s amazing. However, if you put your emotions first, it can be easy to lose track of what’s truly important for you and your loved ones.
Choosing the right home can be overwhelming at times, but if you write down your thoughts and think about the most important factors you want in a property, it can be easier.
It will be very helpful if you will create a wants vs. needs checklist. When we say needs, these are your deal-breakers. These are your essentials that would be impossible, or very hard, to change. These may include the location, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and everything else you can’t live without. After listing all the non-negotiables, you can then write down your wants — a pool, a jacuzzi, or perhaps a built-in entertainment center.
It’s important to have a priority list of the most important features you want in a home. This way, you will save time because you don’t have to bother looking at homes which don’t fit your list. It will also help you make the best decisions by helping you stay within your budget.
2. A Mortgage Payment Calculator
What do you want your monthly mortgage payments to be? We have an easy mortgage payment calculator you can use to find out how much you can afford for a home.
A mortgage payment calculator is a tool that is available on the websites of many banks and financial institutions. This tool can determine the amount to be paid on a potential mortgage. You just have to enter information such as the value of the property, the down payment amount, loan term, depreciation value, and interest rate.
Here are some benefits of using a mortgage calculator:
- It can help you with budget planning.
With a mortgage payment calculator, you can find out if you have the means to buy a home, and if so, at what price. This tool can help you make a sound decision when looking for a home for sale in Port St Lucie.
In case your budget is not enough to buy a home, a mortgage payment calculator can also help you know how much you will need to save to get there.
- It can help you save money.
A mortgage payment calculator takes into account variables such as interest rates, amortization, and down payment, and help you choose which options represent the best value for you. This is important when negotiating a mortgage.
- It can help you gain a better understanding of how mortgages work.
By using a mortgage payment calculator, you will learn more about mortgages, how they work, and the different criteria on which banks base their calculations.
You can experiment with different scenarios and decide on the repayment period and the maximum interest rate you can afford.
- It can help you save time.
Since you can do the calculation on your own, you won’t have to meet with a banker or broker just to check if you qualify. In addition, you’ll have a better picture of your overall financial situation.
3. A Reliable Home Search Tool
Although enjoyable, house hunting can be time-consuming. The good news is there are apps and Internet tools that can help you. Here are the big three.
Zillow is an online real estate database company known for its zestimates, home value estimates based on information from public records, real estate agents, homeowners, and tax assessors. Users search for current mortgage rates by states. The site also offers a complete transaction history for each property.
Trulia is an all-in-one real estate that provides you with local information about homes for sale, apartments for rent, neighborhood data, and markets and trends. The site also provides map overlays that offer details on the commute, reported crime, schools, and nearby businesses.
Realtor.com is one of the largest website in the United States for real estate listings. The site is frequently updated with new info, so you can get alerts about price drops and foreclosures.
These sites are truly helpful. However, if you are using national real estate sites to search for homes near you, you have to keep in mind that you are not seeing all the homes that are for sale. HousingWire reported that websites such as Zillow show fewer listings than are available in many major cities, which means you could be missing out on the best home.
The best source for your home search is a real estate agent and a database of available properties called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). That would be me, Melissa Conrad.
I am a licensed Florida REALTOR®. With more than 16 years of experience, I specialize in representing my clients with the sale of their real estate and the purchase of single-family residences, condos, town homes, vacant land, new construction and income-producing property within the Martin, St Lucie (Treasure Coast) area of Florida. These areas include Jupiter, Tequesta, Hobe Sound, Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach, Rocky Point, Sewalls Point, Singer Island, Hutchinson Island, Port Saint Lucie, Tradition, St Lucie West, PGA, and surrounding cities and neighborhoods.
In addition, our team also have access to a wide selection of properties that are not yet listed and visible to the public. This will give you an advantage over other home searchers. By working with our team, you have a broad range of options for potential homes.
4. A Local Neighborhood Guide
Choosing the best home involves more than the property itself. It's important to research areas and neighborhoods.
It has been mentioned many times that the three most important factors when buying a home are location, location, and location. Why is selecting the right neighborhood or community important?
Here’s the reason. A home’s price and condition can be changed. You can even modify the size of the house. However, the one thing you can’t change is the location of the home.
You need to do your research about the communities you are considering and find out if the property will fit not just your budget, but also your lifestyle.
Here are a few questions you may want to consider when researching communities:
- Does the community offer amenities, such as a swimming pool or fitness center?
- What are the parking options in the community?
- Where is the nearest grocery store, gas station, or shopping area?
- How is the local school district?
- What is the cost of real property tax?
- How much is the cost of living?
- What are the sources of entertainment nearby?
- How walkable is the neighborhood?
- Is there easy access to public transportation?
We’re here to help you narrow down your options. We have helpful information about neighborhoods and areas on our website that you can use when searching for a home.
Keep in mind that every community has unique qualities that you need to know before making a purchase. That’s why it is essential to work with a professional who is well-informed about the area. An excellent agent will know what the homes in a community are worth, which will help you avoid overpaying for a home. The better the agent knows the neighborhood, the better equipped they will be in understanding the differences in market value from one property to the next.
5. A List of Recently Sold Homes
Researching the real estate market will also make your home search much easier. You need to pay attention to the condition of the market in the area where you will be buying. Consider the length of time that most homes in your price range stay on the market and if there are any significant changes in the asking price.
If you are thinking of buying a home in a particular community, ask us for the Neighborhood Sold Report, which can help you determine whether the home is fairly priced.
You can always ask us about the real estate conditions in this area, too.
6. A Local Real Estate Expert
All the above mentioned tools are helpful. However, your best resource for buying a home in this area is the local real estate expert. We have all of the tools you will need, including sold data and an easy-to-use home search, to help you easily find the best home.
Some people think that buying a home without the help of a real estate professional will save them more money. While it is true that there are homebuyers who were able to successfully purchase a property on their own, it is still far better to have the guidance of an experienced real estate expert. The plethora of online real estate tools and information are still no match to the skills and expertise an agent brings.
With a real estate agent, you will have a professional who will work on your behalf and advocate for your interests. In a complicated transaction such as purchasing a home, you’ll feel more secured when you have someone on your side who has your back in negotiations and can help you understand the legal language in contracts.
When you go solo on a home purchase, here’s what you’ll have to do yourself:
- You’ll have to look for properties that fit your budget and needs. Although property searches give you a sampling of what is available in the market, you still have to do your research and check the asking prices are justified based on comparables homes sold in the area.
- You’ll have to dig up information on the neighborhood you are considering. This may include the ones that the seller might not disclose but could be important to you.
- You’ll have to negotiate an offer, as well as the price and other clauses and contingencies in the purchase agreement.
- You’ll have to take care of the home inspection and negotiate repairs or credits with the seller.
- You’ll have to navigate paperwork that could be filled with jargons and legal terms not familiar to you.
Are you ready to buy a home? Let us help!
Not only will we guide you step by step through the entire process of buying so that nothing is missed or forgotten, but we will also help you understand the requirements and legal terms. We will also make sure that all the paperwork is completed in a timely manner and all contract points are addressed.
Call me, Melissa Conrad, at 772-240-2589. As Port St. Lucie’s top Realtor®, I can help you find the home that fits your needs and budget. Give me a call today and we can work with you to find your ideal home.
Latest Blog Posts
If you are planning to sell your home, one of the things you need to consider is whether you'd like to get your home fixed and updated. When you do decide to get repairs, you'll have to consider the
Picture this: It’s winter. It’s freezing. You still need to clear the last of the leaves from your lawn, but you’re finding every excuse to stay huddled inside your warm home and