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10 Ways You Can Prepare for Tampa Homeownership
Dated: December 13 2012
- Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a Tampa home equal in value to between 2 and 3 times your total gross income.
- Develop your Tampa home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list.
- Select where you would like to live. Compile a list of three or four Tampa neighborhoods you would like to live in, taking into account items such as nearby schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans and safety.
- Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a Tampa mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20% of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including property taxes, attorney’s fee, and Florida transfer fees — average between 2 and 7% of the home's price.
- Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.
- Determine your Tampa mortgage qualifications. How large of mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore different loan options — such as 30-year or 15-year fixed mortgages or ARMs — and decide what’s best for you.
- Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a Tampa lender will need to preapprove you for a Tampa loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.
- Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or Tampa down payment assistance programs? Check with Florida and local government (like the City of Tampa or Hillsborough County) on down payment assistance programs for first-time home buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.
- Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable.
- Contact a REALTOR®. Find an experienced Tampa REALTOR® like Michael Valdes & Assoicates who can help guide you through the process.
Realtor Michael Valdes was born in Tampa Florida and has lived and worked in the Tampa Bay area his entire life. He first got into the real estate industry working for large corporations such as JPMor....
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