Mistakes To Avoid When Buying A House In Tampa
Looking to buy a home in Tampa, FL, but not sure whether you're ready to hit the market?
First things first, congratulations! Buying a home is a huge investment, and a big step toward living the American Dream.
But why Tampa?
Even though the region has experienced its own share of real estate challenges, things are looking up well. In 2016, the market grew by a staggering 15 percent, and prices are forecast to increase by at least 5 percent through 2018. Increasing house prices is a solid indicator of a hot market.
As you set your sights on buying a house in Tampa, we're sharing the top mistakes you must avoid:
Entering the Market without a Real Estate Agent
Look, even if you have bought and sold a couple of houses before, you shouldn't make the mistake of buying a house in Tampa without the input of a competent real estate agent.
Sure, your previous real estate transactions might have gone down well, but every market, and every new buying process, is different.
You never know when a scam lies in wait.
As such, the first thing you need to do is hire a real estate agent, especially one who specializes in the Tampa. The fact that the agent will charge a commission may be off-putting, but there is no need to risk your hard earned money.
Many prospective buyers have lost thousands of dollars trying to act by themselves. Don't be like them.
Losing Focus of the House You Want
We all know how it happens.
You view a couple of houses, and you meet one or two that sweep you off your feet. The kitchens look spectacular, and the backyard? Let's not even talk about the swimming pool.
Subconsciously, you start imagining yourself in either of those awesome pieces of real estate art. And in the process, you lose focus of the features you wanted in your ideal home.
Instead of choosing a house that will naturally fit into your current and future needs, you end up buying a house that will need you to tweak your lifestyle and needs.
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn't change your plans to accommodate the nature of a house. For instance, if you planned on buying a home that you'll extend in the future to accommodate your growing family or increasing number of cars, stick to that.
Don't let go of that plan just because you met a beautiful house, but one that will make future expansion impossible.
Low Balling a Seller
So, you find the perfect house, but the price is a bit over your budget.
Instead of making the move and trying to reach an agreement with the seller, you offer a low quote and hold off, and wait for him to come calling. When buying a house in Tampa, don't make this mistake.
You certainly aren't the only in the market for a house in Tampa. As a matter of fact, there are prospective buyers with fatter wallets, and won't bat an eyelid before splashing the cash.
And just like that, your ideal home is gone. It could be some weeks before another one comes along.
When you find the perfect home, work with your agent to get the seller to accept your offer. This means you should be willing to up your offer in order to meet the seller's valuation.
Careful, though. Don't break the bank.
Before going into the market, it helps to know how high you can go over your budget. For example, if your budget is $220,000, know your wiggle room. Can you snap up a house going for $240,000 without straining your finances?
Not Getting Your Finances Right
It makes sense that the point above should lead use here: looking to buy a house before getting your finances ready.
Before buying a house in Tampa, do some market research. Get a good handle on the price range of homes in the neighborhoods you're targeting.
If you're planning to get a home loan, knowing the average home prices in Tampa will help you determine the amount of money you need to apply for. If you're paying in cash, have the money in your account.
Either way, being financially prepared will help you avoid scenarios where you low ball sellers, or let ideal homes go because the funds aren't ready.
Forgoing a Home Inspection
In many jurisdictions, home sellers are under obligation to disclose any issues or repairs made to the house.
But you would be making a grave mistake thinking every seller plays by the rules!
There are certainly dishonest home sellers out here, and it's your duty to ensure you aren't played. Hire a home inspector to assess the Tampa house you want to buy.
The service will set you back about $300-$500, but you'll have a greater peace of mind moving into a home when you know its history.
Also, if the inspection unearths unrevealed information, you can use it to negotiate a lower buying price.
Wanting Your Dream Home Right Away
There's no guarantee you'll walk into the Tampa real estate market and find the home of your dreams immediately.
You'll find some that look the real deal, save for a few missing details. Perhaps you're looking for an outdoor kitchen, and the homes you're hitting have everything else but that.
You don't have to rush your decision. Buying a home can take time. It has taken you decades to save up enough money to purchase a house, waiting a few more weeks or months for your ideal home to become available shouldn't be a big deal.
Again, the big lesson here is don't buy a house that doesn't meet all your needs, and even preferences.
Buying a House in Tampa: Now Go Close That Deal!
Thanks to this post, now you know all the mistakes you need to avoid when buying a house in Tampa.
While all of them can potentially ruin your home buying experience, the one you must absolutely avoid is going into the market without a local, competent real estate agent on your team.