We will be closed in observance of the holidays on the following dates and times: December 24: Close at 2:00 p.m.; December 25: Closed all day; December 31: Close at 3:00 p.m.; January 1: Closed all day. Also, due to the UNF campus being closed for the holidays, the UNF branch will be closed from December 16 – January 1.

First Time Home Buying Tips

By: John Hirabayashi

Posted on 10/30/2014 12:00:00 PM

The home buying process can be overwhelming for most buyers, whether you are new to the home buying game, or you've been around the block a few times. If you are preparing to purchase your first home, there are some things you should keep in mind to help reduce your stress and make the process a little easier on you and your family.

Take It Slow

When you decide to take the plunge and buy a home, you may be excited and want to rush into the process head-long. Keep in mind that buying a home is not as simple as buying furniture or even an automobile. You can't just find a home, sign paperwork and get keys the same day. Purchasing a home can take weeks or even months. It is important to take your time, find the right home for your budget and your needs, and don't get frustrated or throw in the towel if things don't seem to go smoothly.

Choose Wisely

Don't rush into the first house that seems like it has what you want. And, though it's easier to say than it is to do, try not to let your heart be set on the first house you see. Things can happen that derail your plans, such as a failed home inspection or another buyer sliding in with a better offer. Don't get upset if what you thought was your dream home slips away from you. That just means there is another, better house out there waiting for you. Keep shopping until you find the right home to meet your needs and your budget. Don't settle for a home that is just "okay" in your mind; you will second-guess your decision for years and be unhappy with your choice. Many buyers get in too much of a hurry, or simply get tired of looking at homes and buy a home that is simply "acceptable" so they can be done with the home shopping process. Take your time and choose the right home the first time; this will also save you frustration down the road.

Don't Overpay

It can be easy to purchase on impulse or stretch your budget to cover the cost of a house just because you want it so badly. Have your real estate agent run comparables on similar houses in the area that have sold recently so you will know if you are over-paying for the home you are looking at. Don't stretch yourself too thin; Sallie Mae advises that you spend no more than 28% of your monthly income on home expenses. You should ensure that you can easily afford all of the costs associated with home ownership. This is more than just your basic mortgage payment. Don't forget to include mortgage payment, insurance, utilities, savings for repair and maintenance and other associated costs.

It is also important to pick a good team of professionals to help you down the path to owning your first home. You should start with the backing of a financial institution that is willing to help you finance the home that is right for you. If you are looking for a mortgage lender, give us a call. Our team of professional bankers will sit down with you and go over your goals and your budget to find a mortgage loan that you can afford. Then you should move your search to a real estate agent that has your goals in mind and is willing to help you find the perfect home to meet your needs and your budget. Let us help you reach your dreams of home ownership.


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