Diana Sames | Gulfport Real Estate, Clearwater Real Estate, St. Petersburg Real Estate


There is no one-size-fits-all plan to find and purchase a home. In some instances, a buyer instantly discovers a great residence at a budget-friendly price. Or, in other cases, it may take a buyer many weeks or months to find the perfect house.

Although the homebuying journey varies from person to person, there are several things that a buyer can do to simplify the property buying cycle. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you quickly and effortlessly find your ideal residence.

1. Establish Homebuying Expectations

As a homebuyer, it is important not to get too high or too low during the property buying journey. If you establish realistic homebuying expectations, you should have a good idea about what to anticipate as you search for your dream house.

Oftentimes, it helps to put together homebuying criteria. Think about where you want to find your dream house, as well as the home features you want. With this information at your disposal, you can narrow your home search and accelerate the property buying journey.

2. Create a Homebuying Budget

Like most homebuyers, you probably have only a finite amount of money to spend on a new house. Fortunately, if you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand.

Banks and credit unions are happy to teach you about different types of mortgages. These financial institutions can provide insights into adjustable- and fixed-rate mortgage options and offer details about mortgage terms. Then, once you review all of your mortgage options, you can select a mortgage that complements your financial situation.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

You may want to pursue a house on your own, but this approach may prove to be problematic. A homebuyer who conducts a home search without expert assistance may miss out on the opportunity to find and buy a terrific house at an affordable price. Perhaps even worse, without housing market guidance, a buyer may wind up overpaying for a residence that fails to match his or her expectations.

If you want to achieve the optimal results during your quest for your ideal residence, you should hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional is ready to guide you along the homebuying journey and help you make informed property buying decisions.

A real estate agent will go the extra mile to make the homebuying cycle as simple as possible. He or she will teach you about the real estate market, learn about your homebuying goals and help you hone your house search. Plus, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about residences that fall within your price range and are located in your preferred cities and towns. And if you find a house that you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this home.

Simplify the homebuying journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you'll be better equipped than ever before to enjoy a quick, stress-free property buying experience.



This listing recently sold for $170,000.

7700 SUN ISLAND DR S #206, SOUTH PASADENA, FL 33707  

Residential
$170,000
Price
$170,000
Sale Price
1
Bedrooms
1
Baths
Magnificent Condo on the Intercostal with amazing water water views! This well maintained 1 bedroom 1 bath is perfect for all! Brand New Ac in 2016, In Unit newer Washer/Dryer. This Gated Island Community With A Marina, 6 Heated Pools, 2 Outdoor Spas, 1.5 Mile, tiki huts, outdoor grills, a fitness facility. 5 minutes to St Pete Beach, close to shops, restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals and churches.



This listing recently sold for $385,000.

2670 E VINA DEL MAR BLVD, ST PETE BEACH, FL 33706  

Residential
$385,000
Price
$385,000
Sale Price
3
Bedrooms
3/1
Full/Half Baths
Welcome to Vina Del Mar originally known as Mud Key. It was filled and developed into a very desirable and elevated island behind Pass-A-Grille. The 1965 home has only had a few happy owners since then. The owner has cleared many of the trees so you can create your own back-yard outdoor design. The family room and bathroom behind the large 2 car garage, have 2 sliders leading out to the covered screened patio which has enjoyed many a BBQ. The 1575 sq ft 3 bedroom 2.5 bathrooms, mostly concrete home is sold and priced As-Is ready for new windows. However, you will notice the Air-conditioning system is Brand new. Open the windows upstairs and you will see the water and know you are on an island with a big backyard. Besides the short distance in this walking community to the beach, the homes lot size and elevated front yard and living level have its own appeal. If you are too busy to walk to the beach, St Pete beach has a resident car sicker to park free in Pass-a-grille and Upham beach Metered parking, making no excuse to not enjoy the sand.


You’ve made it through the bidding process and you’ve finally unpacked the last of your boxes. It’s finally time to show off your new home to your friends, family, and new neighbors! Throwing a party can be intimidating, especially a housewarming party since it's not every day you move to a new house. If you don’t know where to start to host your housewarming party keep reading for some tricks and tips below. Send out the invites. In the age of technology sending out e-vites is as easy as a few clicks and saves on postage, however, physical invitations include the opportunity to add a handwritten note to your loved ones and new neighbors. This adds a personalized and thoughtful touch to let them know you look forward to having them attend your party. You may also want to consider allowing guests to bring a friend. Doing so will also help you expand your social circle in your new community and make new acquaintances more comfortable. Including a reply by date will give you the opportunity to know how many guests to expect and allow you to plan accordingly. Clean and stock your home. A tidy home will impress your guests. Ensure that every room is spick and span as your guests will be hoping to see each room in your new home. Make sure your bathroom is well stocked for your guests. Think items like toilet paper, soap, air freshener, and extra towels. Go the extra mile and make your home smell good with lightly scented candles or an oil diffuser. Plan your menu. Skip the sit-down dinner in favor of finger foods. You will also want to keep dietary restrictions in mind when creating your menu, include a few vegetarian, dairy free and/or gluten free options to play safe. Creating a few different table spreads will allow for guests to mix and mingle throughout the house and avoid an overcrowded room. Greet guests. Be sure to greet incoming guests at the door or assign someone to do so for you to create a welcoming atmosphere for your party. Offer to take any coats or bags and make introductions to other guests to encourage a sociable atmosphere. Entertain. Have some simple games on hand to occupy guests like horseshoes or tic-tac-toe. You’ll also want to have a playlist prepared ahead of time to encourage a party atmosphere. If putting together a playlist isn’t your thing look into a music service that will automate one for you so that all you need to do is pick the atmosphere you would like for your party. The idea of hosting a party might seem like the last thing you want to do after the stress of buying and moving house however you can throw a party that is just as much fun for you as it is for your guests. By planning a casual housewarming party you can put in minimal planning and focus more time on having fun with your friends, family, and new neighbors.

You’ve been paying off your mortgage for 10 years, building equity while making careful financial decisions to ensure that you’re on track to pay off your mortgage. So, all of those payments are essentially money in the bank for you, right?

Not quite. The equity you’ve built toward is home isn’t really accessible until you either fully pay off the home, sell your home and use your equity toward a down payment, or use it to take out a second mortgage.

In today’s article, we’re going to be talking about second mortgages--what they are, when to use them, and when you should seek out other options. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision.

What is a second mortgage?

A second mortgage is somewhat deceptively named. The process of taking out a second mortgage revolves around using your equity as collateral toward a second loan. That loan amount doesn’t have to be used toward a home, however. It can be spent pretty much at the discretion of the homeowner, as long as you stay within the spending limits of the loan terms.

Why take out a second mortgage?

Homeowners typically take out a second mortgage when an expense is tossed their way, whether foreseen or unforeseen. It could be a costly house or vehicle repair, a child’s education, or any other large expense that you might not have been aptly prepared for.

Types of second mortgages

There are two main types of second mortgages that homeowners qualify for. First is a standard home equity loan. You receive a fixed-rate loan that usually paid off over a loan term of 15 or 30 years.

The other type of second mortgage is a home equity line of credit (HELOC, for short). A HELOC is similar to a credit card in that you are approved for a certain amount but don’t need to spend the full amount.

Risks of home equity lines of credit

This type of loan is ideal for expenses that you maybe don’t know the full cost of. However, there is an inherent risk in taking on an expense that might go over the credit limit of your HELOC.

Just like with credit cards, interest rates vary. However, the interest rate is linked to something called a “benchmark rate.” When interest rates for the benchmark increase, so do your HELOC rates.

Aside from the variable interest rates, HELOCs can also prove to be difficult to manage for people who are already in credit card debt. So, it’s only recommended that you take out a HELOC if you are sure that you can stay on top of your monthly payments and are in good standing with other credit lenders.

Risks of home equity loans

Standard home equity loans aren’t without their own risks. For one, you’re putting your house on the line when you take out a second mortgage. So, before taking out a home equity loan on a new expense, be sure that you can manage that expense or you could risk losing your home.

Having a second mortgage can also make it difficult to refinance your home loan, which could cost you in the long run if it would otherwise pay off to refinance.

Benefits of second mortgages

Second mortgages do have their time and place. Home equity loans, for example, can help you achieve a lower interest rate than a typical loan if you have a great deal of equity built in your home. This could make the most financial sense over the long term.

Similarly, a HELOC might be a better option than a credit card for homeowners who don’t have a credit score high enough to land them a good interest rate.




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