Sensible Approach to Buying Real Estate
Buying Real Estate
While for our parents buying real estate meant a once-in-a-lifetime venture, the average family in today’s market moves every 7-8 years. Purchasing of real estate also means to commit the largest investment for any average family, regardless of how many years they plan to stay in the new home. For an investment of this size, there is no room for guess-work or errors and one must always seek assistance from real estate professionals. A local real estate agent is your best bet in locating, negotiating ad closing on a new home.
Buying Homes in Port St Lucie
When buying a home in Port St Lucie you must first call a reputable local real estate company to put you in contact with one of their professional Realtors. The locality of your Realtor, who is an expert in real estate in Port St Lucie, will prove to be of a great value in many different ways. The local ordinances, city water hook-up charges and the loans associated with hook ups could become a surprise cost in the future that you have not planned for. Also, planned future expansion of some roads could have an adverse effect in the value of your home in years to come. Many of the above-mentioned points could be exclusive only to the city of Port St Lucie and an out of the area Realtor most probably will not have any idea about these considerations.
The planned extension of Crosstown Parkway and the enactment of Eminent Domain by the city of port St Lucie have affected many homes in the path of this road. The proposed road is planned and the budget is approved to connect the Port St Lucie, especially the St Lucie West and the fast growing Town of Tradition, to US1. Construction of a bridge over the St Lucie River is part of the overall plan to bring the west side of the Port St Lucie closer to the east-side and beach areas. While most out-of-area Realtors might not have any knowledge of the upcoming construction plans for Crosstown Parkway, a local Port St Lucie Realtor on the other hand could warn you of the possible negative impacts that this expansion could have on your future home.
The other matter that could be different from other municipalities is the connection fees that the city has in place for connecting the sewer system of many homes to the city sewer services. While there are still some homes that depend on their septic tank system only, most other homes have been connected to the city sewer. Based on the agreement between the City and the citizens of Port St Lucie the connection fee could be paid in full or through a loan installment. When it comes the time to place an offer to purchase a home in Port St Lucie, your local Realtor should be able to advise you of the existence of such a loan. The common practice in the area is for the seller to pay the installments until the closing day and for the buyer to pay thereafter. But this, like any other point in a real estate purchase contract, could be negotiable during the offer procedure.
Steps to Buying Home in Port St Lucie
There are few steps that you should take before buying home in Port St Lucie or any other neighborhoods in the Sunshine State. These steps are designed to help buyers to be prepared in advance to face any obstacle on their way and to make the purchasing of a home a pleasant ad exciting venture. To begin with the buyers should have their financials and the necessary documentation in a row. This means to calculate the amount of monthly mortgage they could afford along with the necessary funds for down payment and closing costs. The rule of thumb for estimating the monthly mortgage used to be one week salary but in recent years most financial advisors like to see this number to be equal to 1/3 of the total monthly salary.
After coming up with a monthly cost of the mortgage, contact a lending institution and see if, based on your credit, you could qualify for such monthly payment. Your mortgage advisor could easily calculate the maximum price of a house for the amount of monthly mortgage payment that you’re pre-qualified for. This calculation is primarily based on the amount of down payment, the credit worthiness of the borrower as well as the interest rate at the time of the loan. Most often the local banks that you conduct your day-to-day banking are the best source for applying for a loan to purchase a home. At this time after you have an idea of the price range of a home that you would qualify for. The next step is to ask your mortgage advisor for a “Pre-Qualification Letter”. A typical PQ Letter would state that, based on your income/debt and credit score, you have been pre-qualified for obtaining a loan for that amount.
With a pre-qualification letter on hand, it is time to enter the house-hunting phase of the journey in buying a home and contacting a real estate agent. For this, ask friends and neighbors to refer an agent they have worked in the past. If you don’t know anyone in the new neighborhood, you could simply call one of the reputable real estate companies and they will be happy to assign one of their licensed Realtors to assist you in locating your ideal home. When contacting a realtor you should have a list of your wants and needs along with the pre-qualification letter on hand. This list could include the number of bedrooms/baths, garage, pool, school district or the area near expressway or your work. If you are not familiar with the area ask your Realtor to show the area that could match your criteria in the map of the city of Port St Lucie and also show you sample of the available homes in the MLS on the map along with their price range.
Upon locating number of listings that match your wish-list, your real estate agent will set up all necessary appointments and accompany you on a tour to preview the homes. Your Realtor is your ally and the best source that you have in finding the right home, negotiating the right price and following up with all steps in the contract, such as the appraisal and inspection. If all pieces come together you will reach the best part of your journey, which is the closing day and obtaining the keys to your dream home. Again, your Realtor should be able to go through the closing documents line by line and explaining each line-item to you. At any time if you are not clear about a charge or credit ask questions and do not sign any documents until you have clear answers to your questions. Remember, the only bad questions are the ones that you don’t ask. If you are not satisfy with your Realtors explanation of the items in question ask the title company representative who is conducting the closing and they should be able to clarify any area of the closing statement, or HUD-1 as it is known in the industry.