Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or an experienced real estate investor in Palm Coast, it's never a bad idea to brush up on the basics of home-buying. After all, one of the most important things you can do when buying a home is be prepared! Take a look at a few of the most common questions we get from Palm Coast buyers, and let us know if you don't find the answers you're looking for.
1. Is it possible to purchase a property long distance? What are the steps involved?
- While it is possible, it'll be a little tricky. Luckily, your Palm Coast Realtor should be experienced with these situations and know how to efficiently handle it.
- The first step is to find that perfect property. Our specialized search tool and area pages are excellent resources!
- Once a property has been chosen a decision needs to be made. In some cases, you may wish to purchase with a contingency to view the property in a reasonable period, thereby taking the property off the market and "holding" it until you can have a look. In other cases, you may choose to buy without a personal inspection. While this process can be a little nerve-racking, an experienced agent will be able to provide you with photos and video, as well as property disclosures and the home inspection.
- Whether or not you come to town to inspect the property, being present for the closing or settlement is definitely not mandatory. Most title companies are quite familiar with the "mail away" closing process to those in other states or even other countries.
2. With So Many Gated and Golf Course Communities in Palm Coast How Do I Choose the Right Community for me?
- The first step is to find an experienced real estate team to become your partner in the process. Here are some thoughts to consider:
- What are your lifestyle interests? Health and fitness? Arts and culture? Do you like to golf or swim? It's important to find a community that will make it easier to enjoy your ideal lifestyle.
- Does your agent have the answers? Or do they know where to find them? It's crucial to pick a real estate team that is knowledgeable about the different communities and has the resources to get you the important answers to your questions. Questions such as "Is there an HOA (Homeowner Association) Fee?" and "Is there a fee to use the recreation facilities and amenities?" should be asked and are important to your bottom line and decision making.
- Many of the communities in Palm Coast do have separate and very different community structures, so just ask us, and we'll get you the answers!
3. Why Should I Use a Realtor?
- A good realtor can guide you through the financial and legal complexities of buying a Palm Coast home, from narrowing down mortgage options to negotiating repairs.
- A local realtor will be a Palm Coast expert, offering in-depth guides to the area and neighborhoods.
- Wondering what homes are in your price range? A realtor can compile a list of the best options and set up private showings.
- If you want to avoid tackling that confusing paperwork alone, a good realtor is always there to help.
4. Where and How Can I Get a Loan?
- You can typically secure a loan from a number of places, including banks, credit unions, private mortgage companies, and government state lenders.
- Since we've been operating in the area for years, we can recommend a few of the top local lenders. You can also shop for lenders on your own, but be sure that you look around and compare rates so you know you're getting the best deal.
5. What if I Have Bad Credit or No Down Payment?
- You still have options! In fact, you might qualify for a federal mortgage program or local home buying assistance program.
- The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) helps home buyers by offering insured loans, which means that if the buyer defaults on their payments, the lender will still get their money. Since payment is guaranteed, insured loans encourage lenders to work with more buyers, even if they don't have a great credit score or enough money for a down payment.
- If you can't get federal help, many state and local governments offer additional programs for buyers who meet various criteria or are buying within individual communities.
- Check with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to see if you qualify for any of their assistance programs.
6. Once I Find My Home, What Will I Have to Pay Up Front?
- Earnest money: Think of earnest money as the "security deposit" on your home. You'll pay this when you submit your offer to prove to the seller that you are serious, and once your offer is accepted, the money is applied to your down payment or closing costs.
- Down Payment: Your downpayment will depend on your loan and the overall cost of your home, but it's a percentage of the total cost, typically 20%. Government programs can help you decrease this amount if needed.
- Closing Costs: These are typically low for buyers and go towards fees for filing paperwork and lender charges.
7. What Other Costs Will I Pay?
- You can expect to pay other expenses like utilities, HOA or condo fees, and property taxes—but these are typically included in your mortgage payments.
- If you're wondering if your neighborhood has any additional fees, just check with us, and we'll let you know!
Still Have Questions?
Then we're here to help you get answers. Whether it's figuring out how to narrow down your search or learning what to look for during a home inspection, we're here to be your resource for all things home-buying in Palm Coast. If you're ready to get started or need more information, just give our team a call!