My Gay Fort Lauderdale Realtors
Guide to Buying Your First Home
It can be a little daunting when you want to buy a home here in Fort Lauderdale – especially your first home.
Here is Part 1 of My 2-Part Guide to buying your first home…
90% of Buyers Search the Internet
So Should You!
Research show us that most buyers use the internet when they start searching for homes – so go to it!
Search Popular Internet Sites
Some of the more popular real estate internet site include: Realtor.com, Zillow.com and Trulia.com
Many realtors will have their own sites and provide their own information as I do in my website gay-fort-lauderdale-realtor-fl.com
Get to Know Neighborhoods
One thing that can be hard to tell from searching on the internet is what is different neighborhoods are like.
Here in Ft Lauderdale neighborhoods can change dramatically even across a few short blocks.
So it is really important to research your neighborhoods.
As a gay Fort Lauderdale realtor – i spend a lot of time with my Gay and LGBT clients discussing neighborhoods and pointing out based on my experience which neighborhoods are popular with gay and LGBT buyers and how different neighborhoods are evolving.
Know the Popular Gay Friendly Neighborhoods
An important consideration for many Gay and LGBT home buyers is the neighborhood and many buyers want to be in a popular gay friendly neighborhood.
You’ll be glad to know that Fort Lauderdale has many popular gay friendly neighborhoods – in fact Ft Lauderdale was recently recognized as having the most gay couples of any city in the USA.
Wilton Manors and Oakland Park are two great Gay Friendly Neighborhoods – click the link below for more.
Focus Your Finances – Get Pre-Approved
Once you’ve started your search for home and investigated different neighborhoods it is important to really “firm up” on what can buy/afford.
If you are a cash buyer this is no problem – but if you are looking to finance you will need to get organized.
The best way to do this is to get pre-approved for a mortgage – not just pre-qualified
Pre-qualified is the first step in the lending process – pre-approval means you meet the criteria the bank needs to see if they will actually loan you money.
Being Pre-Approved is also good when you go to buy a home – as it shows the seller that you can actually support your financed offer.
Narrow Your Price Range
Once you are clear about your price range and neighborhoods – then you can really focus your search.
Typically homes are selling in Fort Lauderdale for around 95%-98% of list price. The days of deeps discounts are well past.
Price in 3% for Repairs
When you’re looking at a home – I also ways suggest adding at least 3% to the purchase price for unexpected repairs.
So this means on a $250,000 home – budget that you may around $7500.00 on unexpected repairs / much needed improvements.
Choose Your Realtor
Once you have done your homework and research its time to choose a Fort Lauderdale Realtor.
Some buyers like to select their realtor earlier on – I suggest do some research first – then choose your realtor.
Many Gay/LGBT buyers like working with a Gay/LGBT real estate agent which is great.
Choosing the right agent can be hit or miss – so read my steps on choosing a realtor – one that’s right for you.
Make a Wish List & Prioritize It!
To help you and your realtor – after having done some research and focused your price you should be able to develop a wish list.
Wish lists typically cover the number of beds/baths in the home, the size of the home, if the home is updated, has a garage, has a pool and so on.
Make your wish list then prioritize each of the items on it from 1 downwards… with 1 being the most important for you.
As a Gay Fort Lauderdale Realtor I see many buyers stuck on a home with a pool or a 3 bedroom home – when in all reality adding a pool is around $30,000 and then you have a brad new pool – and maybe a 2 bed/2 bath in a great neighborhood is better than a 3 bed/2 bath home is a sketchy neighborhood.
My message here is prioritize what you would like but be open-minded and flexible!
Get a Home Inspection & appraisal
The home should be professionally inspected – end of story!
Fort Lauderdale’s Tropical climate is hard on many homes – and many homes can have issues – from electric, to termites, to cracks and foundation issues to roof issues.
So always get a professional Home Inspection – I recommend it 100%!
The other important aspect is a Home appraisal – often times banks will require this if you are getting finance and it will be part of the loan application process.
If you’re a cash buyer I still recommend getting an appraisal – it lets you see clearly what the home is worth from an independent perspective!
I hope you have enjoyed reading the first section of my two-part guide on buying a home – Kevin Wirth – Gay Fort Lauderdale Realtors.
Part Two of My Guide Covers
Making an Offer(s)
How to Choose the Right Home
Consider Seller Financing
The Closing / Your Title Company
Why You Need Insurance(s)
Tips When Taking Possession