Tips for Home Buying in Lake Mary and Sanford Florida
Use These Five Tips to Streamline Your Search
If you are like 90% of the buyers in the Lake Mary or Sanford market right now, your first foray into finding your home will be via the internet. The internet is a great first tool for doing searches and gathering data. Most early buyers will take eight to gather data before contacting a realtor to hit the streets. Most expect to find a home within a week of actually looking at homes.
Unfortunately, many internet listings are either inaccurate, incomplete or out-of-date. In addition, many buyers simply do not understand the processes, requirements and nuances involved in actually finding and making a successful offer on a home – particularly if the offer is on a short sale or bank-owned property.
Whether you are looking along Markham Woods Road in Heathrow Woods or Wingfield North, or over in Heathrow’s Heron Ridge, Cherry Ridge, Wyntree or Keenwicke or in the Chase Groves, Greystone or Retreat area or down by Celery Key, Celery Estates or Celery Lakes, here are some tips to help you focus and shorten the time required to find your home.
1. Get Pre Qualified. Do this first because what you can afford will drive EVERYTHING else. There is no point in looking in areas or at homes in which you cannot afford. Get with a lender and find out what price point you can afford. In addition, offers on short sales and bank-owned properties will always require a letter from your lender with the offer anyway – so you might as well get it now.
2. Get a Firm Idea of Your Requirements. Make a list of what you need to have in a home and what you want in a home. Be mindful of #1. Rank them by priority – and your requirements should be higher than simply those “nice to have” wants. Keep the list near you when searching or looking for homes. Refer to it often as it will serve to keep your search focused. The list should have no more than 10 items in total.
3. Know Where You Want to Be. Make a list of the areas in which you would like to live. Drive those neighborhoods and areas and do it at various times during the day and week. A cozy quiet neighborhood at 10am on a Tuesday may look and sound very different at 6pm or on a weekend. Think of your commutes, proximity to shopping, HOA fees and taxes. Schools are one of the largest considerations most buyers have. Consider schools even if you have no children - when you go to sell the home, the next buyers may have them. Again, be mindful of #1.
4. Get With a Licensed Broker Sooner Rather Than Later. Get with a broker and get a specific set of search criteria set up on an automated search notification. If the broker can’t do this – find another that can. This will give you specific homes that fit your price, needs and location as soon as they go on the market.
5. Be Committed. This purchase is one of the largest you will ever make in your lifetime. Finding a home is not like shopping for a pair of shoes. The variables are nearly endless and the process will not always go smoothly – especially if it is a short sale. Rely on your realtor to provide advice and assistance. Not all realtors are equal in knowledge and professionalism. So if the broker isn’t responsive or doesn’t provide answers or the service you want – do not hesitate to fire he or she and go with someone else.
Michael J Maier is a licensed real estate broker serving Central Florida including New Smyrna Beach, Heathrow, Lake Mary and Sanford. If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Central Florida – please call him at 321.262.6162