O'Neill Residential’s Complete Homebuying Guide for Naples

O'Neill Residential’s Complete Homebuying Guide for Naples

  • John O’Neill
  • 11/28/22

Naples is a lavish, upscale enclave situated on the western boundary of Florida, famous for its resort-style living. Residents appreciate private access to the area’s soft, sandy white beaches and lush mangrove forests while enjoying a plethora of luxury amenities and services. With its close proximity to other upscale communities, Naples is a perfect piece of paradise for any soul in search of a private sanctuary to call their own.

If you’re in the market for Naples real estate, O’Neill Residential presents this complete guide to help you get started on finding the Naples home that is perfect for you.

The basics

Every home buyer should understand these four major components of home buying first.


The most important step to buying a home is first receiving a pre-approval letter – an official document that essentially states how much of a loan you’re eligible for. A pre-approval is done through a mortgage lender who analyzes your financial history and credit to determine the loan amount. The amount you qualify for ultimately affects how much of a home you can feasibly afford, and many home sellers won’t accept offers from buyers without a pre-approval letter. Pre-approval is valid for 90 days and only takes a handful of minutes to complete. Prioritize this step above all others.

Credit score

Your credit score demonstrates your level of borrowing risk to lenders and sellers and also affects your final mortgage rates. The cumulative number reflects your financial responsibility and should be taken seriously; the higher your score, the better you look on paper. A low credit score won’t necessarily prevent you from buying a home, but it will limit your options.

Check your credit score during the pre-approval process. If there are any inconsistencies or errors, be sure to remedy them immediately.

Down payment

During a transaction, you’ll have to pay a down payment. Down payments are upfront and out-of-pocket and determine the amount you pay toward your mortgage every month. While most people suggest a down payment that is 20% of the purchase price, first-time buyers should opt for a smaller amount. Some people pay down payments of as little as 3%.

Closing costs

At the end of a transaction, you’ll have to pay a set of processing fees known as closing costs. These fees vary from transaction to transaction but are typically 3-5% of the purchase price. Fees are affected by the lender’s rates, the location, and the current real estate market itself. They’re also upfront and out-of-pocket.

Qualifying for a loan

To determine your loan eligibility, mortgage lenders will assess your debt-to-income (DTI) and your cumulative credit score.

Debt-to-income ratio

Your DTI is the percentage of your net monthly income that is allotted toward your monthly payments and debt. Lenders prefer a DTI of 36% or lower, but some may accept no higher than 49%. Generally, lower is better.

Credit score

For the best mortgage rates, strive for a credit score of 740 or higher. You can improve your score by understanding the five factors that affect your credit.

  • On-time payments comprise 35% of your score. Avoid late payments.

  • Utilization is the percentage of total available credit across your accounts and comprises 30% of your score. Utilization at 30% or lower is best.

  • Credit history comprises 15% of your score. The longer, the better.

  • Credit mix comprises 10% of your score. It’s recommended to have a mix of different credit accounts.

  • Credit inquiries and newly opened accounts bring your score down. Inquiries comprise 10% of your score; avoid too many new inquiries.

Legal documentation

When you apply for a loan, you need to provide legal proof of your income, additional financial assets and equity, and other requested documents. Your real estate agent can help you acquire the documents you need.

Making an offer

Once you have selected a property, acquired all necessary documentation, and checked in with your realtor, the next stage is to make an offer.

Purchase amount

The purchase amount is largely dependent on your personal assessment of the property. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this home suit my household and our needs?
  • Are there any repairs that I’ll have to pay for? Replacements or upgrades of systems and/or infrastructure?
  • What is the location like?
  • How long has it been on the market?
  • How do nearby properties compare in value and condition?
While you should always stay within your budget and loan amount, never lowball the seller. They value their home differently than you do.


Contingency clauses are requirements that need to be fulfilled before a contract becomes legally binding. You can safely walk away from the deal without repercussion if these requirements aren't met. Contingencies should be as specific as possible, and both parties must agree to the stipulated terms.


If the seller rejects your offer, the general response is to respect their decision and consider other options. If the seller counteroffers, but you’re not satisfied with the new offer, it’s time to open up negotiations. Rely on your realtor – they’re expert negotiators with plenty of experience, and they’ll always lobby in your favor.


If the seller accepts your initial offer or a compromise is reached during negotiations, congratulations! All that’s left is to prepare for closing by finalizing and signing the contract, transferring the funds, and receiving full, legal ownership of the property. You’re now free to enjoy your perfect Naples home!

Are you ready to get started? For a smoother transaction, connect with a Naples realtor from O’Neill Residential, a team of certified agents with a talent for providing their clients with exceptional, personalized service. Whether you’re in the market for Naples condos or a single-family home, the O’Neill Residential team is wholly committed to making the most out of your real estate venture.

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