Are you ready to find your dream home with the help of a real estate agent? Great! Before you dive in to searching listings, touring different homes and submitting offers, it’s important that you prepare for buying a home. Make sure you check these items off of your to-do list before you start on your home search:

Imagine your dream home.

What kind of house would you build if you could design one from the ground up? Make a list of features that you would have to include to fit your lifestyle needs, and then a list of features that you would want to include. It’s important that you keep these two lists separate. As you begin your home search, try to focus on finding the items on your “have to include” list, and be willing to compromise on the items on your “want to include” list. It will be hard to find a home that has everything on both of your lists, so be prepared to be flexible.

Look at your credit report.

If you do not plan on paying in cash, you will need to get financing from a lender, which means you have to have a decent credit score. Before you begin your home search, run a credit report on yourself to see where you stand. If you have a good or excellent credit score, you shouldn’t have any issues finding a lender that will work with you. However if yours is lower, maybe you should take time to build your credit up before you buy a home.

Put money away.

The amount that you need to put down on a house is not as much as it used to be. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to save money to buy a house. There are a lot of other expenses involved in buying a house besides the down payment, including insurance, closing costs and moving. To prepare for these added expenses, start to cut back on unnecessary purchases. Put aside as much money as possible every month, even before you’ve actually started to look for a house. The more you have saved, the less stressful the entire situation will be.

Calculate how much you can spend.

It’s important not to go into this home buying process with unrealistic expectations, so one of the first things you need to do is figure out how much you can spend. First, write down how much you take in per month and what expenses you have that are not related to your living arrangement. Then, estimate how much a home will cost you per month including insurance, utilities and homeowners’ association fees. After you have all of this figured out, you should be able to calculate what you have left per month to spend on a mortgage. Throughout your search for a new home, stick close to this budget so you don’t put yourself in a bad financial situation.

Now that you’re ready to buy a home on the Tampa Florida real estate market, contact our team of real estate experts at Coast 2 Coast Realty with years of experience in the Tampa Bay area.