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First Time Home Buyers Florida

Are You Ready to Buy a Home of Your Own?

Assisting First Time Home Buyers in Florida Since 1987

Homes for $1500 Or LESS Total Monthly Payment

Probably Less than You're Currently Paying in Rent!

5 First Steps to Buying Your First Home

Don’t start searching for your dream house without taking these important steps first.

For first-time home buyers, finding and purchasing the right house can be a very long, complicated process. It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed when you’re trying to juggle finding the perfect neighborhood, getting the price you can afford, shopping for a loan, figuring out which school districts are the best … and so much more. But searching for your dream house doesn’t have to turn into a nightmare! We can walk you through the various stages of purchasing a home, from house hunting to closing, so you can venture out into the world of real estate with confidence! You might be thinking, “Where on earth do I start?” The truth is the home-buying process begins long before you look at any listings. First, you’ll have to take a little bit of time to investigate your credit score, figure out your budget and organize your paperwork. It will save you a great deal of time and frustration in the long run. Here are the first steps you need to take in order to prepare yourself for your search:

Step 1: Shape up your credit.

Your credit score dictates what kind of mortgage loan rate you’ll receive. The higher your credit score is, the lower your monthly payments will be. If your score is below 640, you’ll have to either pay a higher monthly mortgage or shell out a larger down payment. So in order to save money, you need to make sure your score is in top form before you start applying for loans.

If you don’t know what your credit score is, your first plan of action should be to find out where you stand. You are entitled to one free credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) every year.

Review each report closely, keeping a keen eye out for errors. It’s possible that you might find some mistakes, like erroneous late fees or account information that isn’t yours. Spotting these inaccuracies early on gives you the opportunity to contact the creditor and request a correction, getting your credit score where it needs to be.

Does your credit score need a boost? Closing your current credit card accounts won’t help. Getting rid of accounts may actually hurt your score since you are reducing the amount of credit that is available to you. You’ll also want to avoid applying for new credit cards a year before you plan on buying a home. Lenders want to see that you are a dependable borrower and have a healthy mix of credit in your name. Paying off your outstanding balances and keeping your expenses low and steady will do a much better job of improving your borrowing power.

Step 2: Get your paperwork ready.

When you sit down with a lender, they’ll need to see a few important documents in order to complete your loan application. It’s a good idea to have this paperwork on hand prior to that meeting. Here’s a quick checklist of the records you’ll need to prepare. Make sure you have the most recent copies of each of the following from the last two years:

  • Tax returns
  • W-2 income statements
  • Pay stubs
  • Credit card statements
  • Bank and investment account statements
  • Divorce and child support documents

Step 3: Create a budget.

Pulling your paperwork together will not only prepare you for your appointment with the lender, but also help you draft a budget. Taking a close look at your financial documents gives you a clear picture of how much you can realistically afford to pay for your down payment, monthly mortgage, interest, property taxes and insurance.

Keep in mind that when a lender tells you how much of a loan you qualify for, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s within your financial means. It’s important to know the boundaries of your budget so you don’t overextend yourself and buy a home you can’t afford. A good rule of thumb: The monthly cost for your home shouldn’t exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income.

Step 4: Start saving.

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to start saving as much money as you can for the down payment, which generally ranges from 3% to 20% of the home’s price.

Home buyers also typically have to pay cash for closing costs up front. These can range anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 for a $200,000 home, depending on location.

Make sure you also set aside at least a few months’ worth of mortgage payments; it’ll show your lender that you won’t just be living paycheck-to-paycheck after you purchase your home. Plus, you’ll need that extra cushion in case the house needs any repairs or new furniture after you’ve moved in.

Step 5: Make a (realistic) wish list.

Think about what you want from your home and why you’re buying it. It’s rare to find a home that has everything you want, but it’s essential that the home you eventually decide on meets most of your current and future needs—while staying within your budget. For example, if you’re planning on having a family in the near future and living in your home long-term, you’ll want to look for a house that you can grow into. Selling a home you’ve quickly outgrown can be a slow and expensive process. On the flipside, you also don’t want to make an extravagant wish list that’s difficult or impossible to achieve at your price point. Do some online research to see what the average prices of homes are in your desired area and what you can get for your money. This way, you’ll piece together a sensible wish list you can share with your realtor.

Once these steps are taken care of, you’ll be more than ready for the fun part: house hunting!



Down Payment Money is out there.

We'll help you find it.


Thank you for visiting Realtor Rick’s Down Payment Resource Center. Tell us where you're looking and answer a few questions about your household and see how many programs may match your circumstances.

With Down Payment Assistance and 100% Zero Down USDA Financing, you can actually buy a home with little or NO money out of pocket. Contact me for more details.



Your next step is to talk to a Mortgae Broker

Now that you know how much down payment assistance you quailify for, you need to talk to a Mortgage Broker to get a Pre-Approval Letter. The Mortgage Broker will help you determine what type of mortgage best fits your need and will work best with the down payment programs available to you.

I work with only the finest Mortgage Brokers in central Florida.  You are looking for the very best mortgage options and down payment assaistance programs available.   Kristin and Maria are great to work with.

REMEMBER:  Not all Mortgage Brokers participate in all  the down payment assistance AND the Florida MCC Income Tax Rebate Program.  Work with one that does!

Here are several Mortgage Brokers that I have worked with for a long time and they will help you: 


Kristin Jamieson
Success Mortgage Partners
Phone: 352.242.1535

Maria Bentancourt
Primary Residential Mortgage
Phone:  954.914.8463



Now that you have your Pre-Approval Letter from a Mortgage Broker, you are ready to start shopping. This is where I come in. I will represent you as your 'Buyers Agent". From here I will be by your side every step of the way, from finding the perfect home, making an off, Inspections all the way to close of escrow. I will be at your closing just to make sure everything turns out the way you want.

Start Searching for Your FIRST Home

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Tired of Making Your Landlord RICH?

Below you will notice how much money you will spend over the next 5 year Renting your home. This is money you will NEVER get back. However, your landlord REALLY appreciates everything you do for them!



How Do You Know You've Found the RIGHT House

Last night my husband I looked at our 8th house since our home-buying odyssey began. I knew the moment I walked in the door that it wasn’t the right house. I couldn’t do that when I first started looking, but now I know. If you’re not quite sure you’ll know when it’s right, here are 9 signs that it is, and one that it isn’t.

1. You Get the Flutters

Remember when you first fell in love? Every time you saw your beloved, your stomach fluttered. It’s the same with a house. If I get the flutters when I’m in a house, I know it’s right for me. With some houses, the flutters are strong, like the second house we made an offer on. With other houses, the flutters are softer, but still noticeable, like with the house we currently have an offer on.

2. You Forgive Flaws

In some houses, I see flaws and refuse to consider them. However, with other houses I’ve been willing to overlook the flaws. An example is oven-size. Since we’re looking at older homes, many of them have small ovens. The second house we offered on had an oven that was a little smaller than I would like, but I was willing to overlook it. I wasn’t willing to do that with other houses.

3. It Doesn’t Have Your Deal Breakers

Even if I’m willing to bend on some things, my deal breakers are still my deal breakers. For example, even if it has updates and decent-sized oven, a too-small kitchen is still a too-small kitchen. I can’t overlook that, and houses with too-small kitchens don’t give me flutters. A house without AC is still a house without AC. I don’t even bother to look at those.

4. You Feel Pride in the House

Would you feel proud having people over to this home? Can you imagine yourself coming home to the house and feeling happy? Then it’s your house. We’ve looked at some houses that needed work and I could see the potential, but there were certain factors, like the location, that would always embarrass me. That meant it wasn’t the house for me.

5. You Can Imagine Putting Your Stamp on It

No house is perfect, not even a mansion. You’ll still need to put your own stamp on it – things like furniture, paint color, landscaping, etc. Can you see how you’d arrange your furniture? Can you see how you’d like it to look, and is that image affordable?

6. It Meets Your External Criteria

Even if the house is perfect, it may not be right for you if it doesn’t meet your external criteria. I don’t even bother to look at a house if it doesn’t meet my school or commute standards. No matter how much I love a home, I can’t change traffic patterns or schools and those are important to me.

7. The House is Emblazoned in Your Memory

After looking at fifty houses, you’d think they’d all run together. The homes we like enough to make offers on stand out. I can still picture the details of those houses. I can remember how I felt in them and I obsess over them while we wait for responses on offers.

8. You Can Afford It

This is key. Sure, I could look at a $2 million house and see all of the above, but I can’tafford the house, so it’s not right for me.

9. You Want the House – I Mean Really, Really Want

Plain and simple, you walk away wanting the house. You want to make an offer right away. You can see your bidding strategy and know what you’re willing to pay. That said, make sure you don’t lose your head in a bidding war and overpay, especially in this market.

* At a certain point, say when you’ve looked at 10 or 12 houses and have been in the market for six months, you might be ready to throw in the towel and just buy something, anything. Remember this is a sign that this isn’t the right house for you:

You Sort of Like It

Sort of liking it isn’t enough. You have to live here for a long time. You can’t just move in a year as you can with a rental. Don’t just buy a house because you’re tired of looking. My husband and I looked at a house two weeks ago that we sort of liked, and could sort of see ourselves in. There were aspects we loved, but not enough to win us over. With the help of our agent, we realized we were capitulating. At this point, I can’t even remember what the house looked like or where it was.

People who aren’t married ask how you know when he or she is the “one.” It’s the same with a house. You know when you know, it’s as easy as that. Don’t settle until you find that feeling.


Capital Realty Group Florida

138 E Colonial Dr, Orlando FL 32801  |  Office: 407.207.5550

Other areas we cover: Mascotte, Lady Lake, Eustis, Umatilla, Astatula, Leesburg, Minneola, Howey-in-the-Hills, Grand Island, Tavares, Groveland, Montverde, Orlando, Windermere, Lake Buena Vista, Alafaya, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Belle Isle, Clarcona, Winter Park, Maitland, Lake Mary, Apopka, Oakland, Edgewood, University Park, Kissimmee, St Cloud Buenaventura Lakes, Lakeland, Haines City, Davenport, Dundee, Winter Haven, Polk City, Mulberry, Eagle Lake, Bartow, Auburndale, Fort Meade, Lake Hamilton, Lake Wales, Frostproof, Lake Alfred, Hillcrest Heights, Lake County, Orange County Osceola County, Polk County.

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We can provide you with real estate information on new home listings, resales, and properties for sale in all Seminole County, Orange County, Osceola County, Lake County, Brevard County, Polk County, Alaqua, Kissimee, Florda Floida, Clermont, Titusville, Bay Hill, Tuscawilla, Tuskawilla, Tuskwilla, Wintermere, Orlando, Alaqua Lakes, Longwood, Altamonte Springs, Celebration, Casselberry, Kissimmee, Heathrow, Lake Mary, Hunters Creek, Isleworth, Islesworth, Maitland, Keene's Point, Mount Dora, Kingsbridge, Ocoee, Lake Forest, Metro West, Oviedo, Timacuan, Sanford, Wingfield North, Windermere, Bay Hill, Avalon Park, Florda Floida, Kissimee, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Winter Springs, and the surrounding counties in Florida. We are knowledgeable in the home selling market and skilled in today's financing. 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