A home purchase may be your largest financial transaction to date, so it’s important to make the right decisions and to keep an eye on the details.
With my assistance as your Greater Tampa Bay REALTOR® coupled with your Loan Officer, it should be an efficient, pleasant, and ultimately rewarding experience.
Many Greater Tampa Bay home buyers apply for a loan and obtain approval before they find the home they want to buy. Why? Pre-qualifying will help you in the following ways:
- Generally, interest rates are locked in for a set period of time. You will know in advance exactly what your payments will be on offers you choose to make.
- You won’t waste time considering homes you cannot afford.
Pre-approval when buying a home in the Tampa Bay area will help you in the following ways:
- A seller may choose to make concessions if they know that your financing is secured. You are like a cash buyer, and this may make your offer more competitive.
- You can select the best loan package without being under pressure.
How Much can You Afford?
There are three key factors to consider:
- The down payment
- Your ability to qualify for a mortgage
- The closing costs associated with your transaction
Down Payment Requirements
Most loans today require a down payment of between 3.5% and 5.0% depending on the type and terms of the loan. If you are able to come up with a 20-25% down payment, you may be eligible to take advantage of special fast-track programs and possibly eliminate mortgage insurance.
When buying a home in the Tampa Bay area, you will be required to pay fees for loan processing and other closing costs. These fees must be paid in full at the final settlement, unless you are able to include them in your financing. Typically, total closing costs will range between 2-5% of your mortgage loan.
Qualifying for a Mortgage
Most lenders require that your monthly payment range between 25-28% of your gross monthly income. Your mortgage payment to the lender includes the following items:
- The principal on the loan (P)
- The interest on the loan (I)
- Property taxes (T)
- The homeowner’s insurance (I)
Your total monthly PITI and all debts (from installments to revolving charge accounts) should range between 33-38% of your gross monthly income. These key factors determine your ability to secure a home loan: Credit Report, Assets, Income, and Property Value.
What is an Escrow Account?
An escrow account is a neutral depository held by your lender for funds that will be used to pay expenses incurred by the property, such as taxes, assessments, property insurance, or mortgage insurance premiums which fall due in the future.
You will pay one-twelfth of the annual amount of these bills each month with your regular mortgage payment. When the bills fall due, the lender pays them from the special account. At closing, it may be necessary to pay enough into the account to cover these amounts for several months so that funds will be available to pay the bills as they fall due.
I’m a proud member of the Greater Tampa Association of REALTORS®, Florida REALTORS®, and National Association of REALTORS®, as well as the Mid-Florida Regional Multiple Listing Service. These relationships guarantee my Greater Tampa Bay buyer’s immediate access to hundreds of the newest Greater Tampa Bay listings on the market each day while also providing my Greater Tampa Bay seller’s exposure to a huge network of buyers from across the state, country, and globe.
As my customer’s attest, I am a committed and passionate Greater Tampa Bay REALTOR® who prides myself on putting my customer’s priorities above all else. My determination and attention to detail allows my customers to receive first class service with utmost integrity.
Please call or send me an email today so we can discuss how I can best serve your Tampa Bay Florida real estate needs!
CDPE – Certified Distressed Property Expert
KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY
2119 W. Brandon Blvd., #A
Brandon, FL 33511
813.786.5946 – cell
813.684.8400 – fax