Calling an Agent? Do Your Homework First

Are you wondering about buying a home Lake County FL? Congratulations on taking the first step to homeownership. Before you contact a real estate agent, it helps to first do some homework.

Your Budget

First, determine your budget for your mortgage. Remember that owning a house will have expenses such as taxes, lawn mowing, and roof repairs. You’ll also want to take into account the down payment you can afford, and whether you’re willing to pay for private mortgage insurance for down payments under 20 percent. A general guideline is to keep housing costs under a third of your income. However, if you have debt or high medical costs, you may want to be more conservative.

Lifestyle Needs

Make a list of your lifestyle needs for a new home. Do you want a large yard to garden and for children to play in? Do you prefer to skip the mowing and rely on a condo association to maintain a few hedges? Do you want to be able to walk to the library and the grocery store? Will it bother you if you can hear the neighbors playing guitar in the townhouse next door?

Drive the Area

Drive around the area during the day and at night to get a sense of the neighborhoods. Where do you feel safe and most at home? Make a trip from the area to your office during your typical commuting hours. Do some roads offer better access to the interstate?  If you have children, look to see if you notice children playing outside.

Ask for Advice Online

Several online sites make it easy to ask potential new neighbors about the schools, government, taxes, and amenities in a neighborhood. Determine what factors are most important to you in the location of your new home.

If you do your homework before meeting with your agent, your agent will be able to more efficiently focus your home search on properties that meet your needs.