Whether you are a first-time home buyer or are a seasoned Pensacola, FL, home buyer, you will find these basic real estate tips useful.

  1. Prepare your finances and establish a workable budget. This first step should be done before you start consulting with a lender or a real estate agent. This includes assessing how much home can you realistically afford by using an on-line mortgage calculator. Saving money for the down payment and closing costs is a great idea to get started.

  2. Obtain your credit report. If your credit score is low, repair it! Any lender will recognize a credit score of 680 and up as a good loan applicant, but those with a credit score less than 600 may have some difficulty obtaining a mortgage. Just remember that a high credit score means obtaining a lower mortgage rate and those with a low credit score will likely get a mortgage at a higher rate.

  3. Consult with a lender. You need to know the best type of home loan that best suits your financial situation. The lender will discuss your options and will analyze your finances to determine how much money you are pre-qualified to use. However, keep in mind that the pre-qualified amount may be different than what you can really afford. Because you have already established a budget, only you will know how much you can realistically afford. It is wise to set a personal limit and then stick to it.

  4. Establish a relationship with a real estate agent. Select someone who is willing and able to put your needs first. This person will be someone who is responsible and trustworthy. It may be someone who is recommended to you or who has a well known reputation for knowledge and experience with the area. Choosing the right agent to guide you will make the home buying process so much easier.

  5. Be a proactive house hunter. Start by researching and selecting neighborhoods and communities with houses that fall into your set price range. Provide your real estate agent with as much information as possible as to your new home expectations.  Some home characteristics are more important than others so be sure to let your agent know which ones you can and cannot compromise on.

  6. Make a realistic offer. This is based on recent comparable sales in the area. Your agent will be able to gather this information for you. Be prepared to negotiate your price if your offer is rejected. Also, make each offer contingent on securing a home inspection so there will be no hidden surprises after the purchase is complete. If there are some discrepancies with the home that is found during the home inspection, negotiations to have the items repaired can be included in the contract.

  7. Get the keys from the seller during the closing. This is done when all the finalized documents have been signed and the money between the buyer and seller has been settled. Your lender will assist you with the details for establishing an escrow account for the property insurance and taxes as well as obtaining the property title insurance. Having all the legal details properly handled at closing will allow you to sleep peacefully at night in your own bed and in your new home!

The agents at Grand Realty hope you have learned something new and useful from these tips. We sincerely hope you will call on us at (850) 512-1185. We look forward to serving you!

The Grand Realty Team