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Real Estate

Real Estate: What now? Get ready!

| Terri White |

For those of you who just learned your landlord plans to sell, for first-time home hunters who can’t get their offers on top of the pile, for the millennial who is freaking out about jumping in at top dollar—realtors everywhere feel your pain. We understand the panic. This is a stressful real estate market.  What happened to “Buying a home should be fun”?

There’s been a lot of disappointment lately, and I can’t wait for this market to change. After a frustrating morning of showing property, I treated myself to Chinese lunch. As I chomped my cookie and read my fortune, I was reminded about one thing we can count on.

 “The only thing we know for sure about future developments is that they will develop.” – Chinese fortune cookie writer.

We can’t see the future, but we can always prepare for it. Maybe you want the assurance you’ll never sign another lease. Now is the time to put your credit in order and get prequalified for a mortgage. Did you sock your stimulus check into your down payment fund? 

So many renters have faced the boot lately as landlords take profits.  Even with plenty of notice, the lack of inventory in this market can make it impossible to find a new place to live and come up with all the documents to qualify for a mortgage, much less pack. If you are under pressure, try to work with your landlord to buy more time to find another place to live.  If you need to rent a little longer while you wait for this market to change, a year passes very quickly

It’s time for “Big Girl Chores”

Nothing makes me happier than helping first-time homebuyers get into their first house. When we start looking at real estate, I preach that a home should be a blessing and not a curse. I nag on the importance of an emergency fund. BTW, that’s a good place to stash the stimulus check, too. 

I overheard a buyer/client’s phone conversation when she answered a friend’s question about what she’d been up to. “Big girl chores,” she answered and turned to me with a smile. She’d been so busy getting her down payment together, applying for a mortgage, talking to insurance people and making time for inspections. These are big kid chores. I’m very proud of how she plugged away at it while managing a very busy island restaurant during high season.

I have helped quite a few restaurant and bar people take the home ownership leap. I guess that tells you where I spend too much time. Sometimes a waiter can’t believe she can qualify for a mortgage. But with a good credit score, a solid income and the right documentation, it happens every day. Some people think they won’t get prequalified if they still have student loan debt. Wrong! Service

Not everybody’s jibe

I know owning a home isn’t for everyone. It’s a pain in the ass a lot of the time. It’s not for lazy people or those who don’t get off on pride of ownership. Home bills come before vacations and clothes. Repairs and improvements never stop.

Still, owning real estate is a worthy goal. Fact: The average homeowner has a net worth of 45 times more than the average renter.  Is it time for you to learn the ropes? Do not fear the unknown. Start now with your credit score and look for errors on your credit report. You can check it now at Work on improving your score.  No more late payments EVER. An excellent credit score can help you get prequalified and save you tens of thousands of dollars in interest.

First-time homebuyers make up 23 percent of all buyers in Florida. They all started somewhere. If you are interested in attending a home buyers’ seminar, drop me a note and I’ll be in touch.

Photo from Deposit Photos

Terri White, Realtor – Florida Suncoast Real Estate, Inc.

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