9 Musts for First-Time Home Buyers

By Ben Phillips, Realtor, CNS, CHMS, CRS – Focus Real Estate Group, Gainesville FL

If you’re a first-time home buyer about to start house hunting you’ll need to know the basics of home buying. Because this will be the first home you purchase, you’re prone to make mistakes — especially if you don’t learn everything you can about the home buying process ahead of time.

That is why using a real estate professional can be such a valuable asset. Best of all it won’t cost you a thing!! Using a Realtor® such as myself will most likely save you money as well as time.  I will assist you with determining what kind of mortgage to get, how to get a low rate, how to ensure you don’t buy a home with problems and much more.

Here are nine key home-buyer preparation tasks. Please call or text me at 352-682-9704, or simply email me so I can help smooth your path. I look forward to serving you.

  1. Get pre-approved before you start your search
  2. Improve your credit score before closing
  3. Shop and compare multiple lenders.
  4. Choose the right real estate agent
  5. Choosing the right house
  6. Know how much of a home you can afford
  7. The importance of a home inspection
  8. Have all your mortgage documents ready
  9. Be prepared for closing

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5 Criteria for Pricing Your Home

By Ben Phillips, Realtor, CNS, CHMS, CRS – Focus Real Estate Group, Gainesville FL

When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price
is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison, so
a pricing decision often relies on comparisons to several recent sales in the area. Here
are five criteria to look for in a sales comparison.
1. Location: Homes in the same neighborhood typically follow the same market trends.
Comparing your home to another in the same neighborhood is a good start, but comparing it
to homes on the same street or block is even better.
2. Date of sale: It varies by location, but housing markets can see a ton of fluctuation in a
short time period. It‘s best to use the most recent sales data available.
3. Home Build: Look for homes with similar architectural styles, numbers of bathrooms and
bedrooms, square footage, and other basics.
4. Features and upgrades: Remodeled bathrooms and kitchens can raise a home’s price,
and so can less flashy upgrades like a new roof or HVAC system. Be sure to look for similar
bells and whistles.
5. Sale types: Homes that are sold as short sales or foreclosures are often in distress or sold
at a lower price than they’d receive from a more typical sale. These homes are not as useful
for comparisons.

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