First-Time Homebuyer in Pelican Bay: Things To Know

First-Time Homebuyer in Pelican Bay: Things To Know

  • O'Neill Residential
  • 01/3/24
Life in Pelican Bay is amazing. You can enjoy stunning ocean views and fall in love with walks through parks such as Clam Pass Park and Pelican Bay Community Park. You can also explore the many waterside shops and restaurants, where you can enjoy ocean views along with many of your favorite activities. Pelican Bay has almost three miles of private beach, which makes it the perfect place to call home.

We understand that buying a home can be overwhelming. So whether you're a long-time resident or a first-time home buyer in Pelican Bay, this guide can help you through the process with enthusiasm and confidence.

1. Set yourself apart as a buyer

When the housing market is booming, it's essential to present yourself to interested sellers in a way that will increase the odds that they'll choose your offer. Properties in Pelican Bay are hot and often leave the market quickly since many people are interested in the benefits of moving to this stunning area. As a result, you need to work with your real estate agent to put together a profile that will help you appear more attractive as a homebuyer.

2. Start by choosing an experienced real estate agent to help with your home search

Finding a home, especially as a first-time homebuyer, can be daunting. As you search for a property that meets your unique needs and preferences, there is much to consider. It's essential to evaluate offers fairly, factor in closing costs, and ensure that all necessary details are taken care of during the process.

A real estate agent can guide you through that process and provide the information you need to feel confident about your home purchase. Working closely with a real estate agent can be a game-changer for buyers. It's a stress-free way to buy a home, and the agent can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process.

3. Know your options when it comes to a down payment

As a first-time homebuyer in Pelican Bay, you may have heard the traditional advice that you should plan to put down 20% of the value of a home as a down payment. However, that is not always the case. While 20% down can help you avoid mortgage insurance, that does not automatically mean it's the right choice. For some homebuyers, putting down 20% can mean that the purchase price of a property is out of reach. For others, putting down 20% means that they cannot take care of any needed repairs, or they may struggle to take care of moving costs. Many first-time loans, including VA and FHA loans, may not require you to put down a complete 20% on your new investment. With those loans, you can secure a mortgage even if you haven't saved the full down payment, making your new property more affordable. Work with a financial professional to better understand how much you should put down on your new home.

4. Prepare for property taxes and other new expenses

Purchasing a home is expensive enough all on its own. When buying a home, it's essential to consider not only the down payment and monthly mortgage payments but also other expenses that come with homeownership. As a new homeowner, you will also need to take care of:
  • Property taxes: Florida property taxes are slightly below the average, with a state average of 0.98% of the home's value each year. A well-thought-out strategy is crucial for paying property taxes when you close the house.

  • Mortgage insurance: If your down payment is low, the bank may require you to get mortgage insurance to ensure loan payments are made on time.

  • Homeowners insurance: Protecting your investment by ensuring your property is fully insured for any unexpected events is necessary. With adequate coverage, you'll have peace of mind knowing that any repairs or replacements will be taken care of.
In addition to making regular payments, you will also need to prepare for unexpected expenses. As a new Sebastopol, Calif., real estate owner, you're responsible for any maintenance or repair needs. Routine maintenance should be factored into your budget. Others are harder to plan for. Make sure you have an emergency fund and a solid plan to deal with those challenges effectively.

5. Know your loan options

As a first-time homebuyer, you may have several options for home loans that will allow you to secure financing for your new property. Do your research to find the loan option that fits your needs. For example, if you served in the Armed Forces, you may find that a VA loan offers you the best interest rate for your needs without requiring a substantial down payment. An FHA loan can help get you into your new property without having to come up with that vital 20% down. 

As you explore loan options, make sure you take into account the difference between a fixed-rate and variable-rate mortgage. Choosing a fixed-rate mortgage will ensure steady interest rates throughout the mortgage, providing financial security and peace of mind. With a fixed-rate mortgage, you know what you will pay for the life of the loan — a variable-rate mortgage, on the other hand, changes according to the market. With a variable-rate mortgage, your interest rates may go down if rates go down.

On the other hand, if rates rise dramatically, you may see the same drastic rise in your mortgage payments. To ensure that you find the mortgage option that best fits your unique needs, we highly recommend seeking the guidance of a knowledgeable financial advisor.

6. Complete a homebuyer education course

Before buying your new property, consider whether a homebuyer education course suits your needs. A homebuyer education course can help you learn more about homeownership and managing your finances. You may need to take that course to be eligible for some types of loans and assistance.

Find your first home with John O'Neill

If you're ready to start your home search in Pelican Bay, John O'Neill can help you find the right property that meets your unique needs and preferences, from a gorgeous home directly on the market to an exclusive community with the amenities you want. Get in touch as soon as possible to learn more about being a first-time homeowner in Pelican Bay.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

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