Buying a Home in Tampa Bay, Florida?

If you have been waiting for the right time to look for Tampa Florida homes for sale you should know the facts about home ownership. Right now, interest rates are still at historic lows, conventional financing is available, and FHA-insured mortgage applications are on the rise. The more you know, the more you'll realize it's a decision you shouldn't postpone any longer.

On average, the value of a home nearly doubles every 10 years.1 That's a return most investments can't match. During the past three decades, the value of Tampa Florida homes have increased an average of 6.6% per year.2 And because most buyers invest only a small part of their home's total value in down payment, their return on that initial investment is much greater, thanks to the power of leverage.

The average homeowner today has 36 time the wealth of the average renter.3 Homeownership is key to climbing up the economic ladder. When you own a home, you're essentially paying yourself and building up equity. Not to mention the tax deductions only owners can claim, such as property taxes and mortgage interest. Can you afford not to look at Tampa homes for sale?

Sixty percent of the average homeowner's wealth is their home's equity.4 Very few people look back and regret their decision to purchase a home. Historically speaking, homeowners that are in it for the long haul will build equity. In fact, home equity is the largest source of household wealth for most Americans.5

Of course, a home is much more than a way to accumulate wealth. It's a place to enjoy your lifestyle and your loved ones. What other investment can claim that?

The best way to evaluate your situation and options is to contact a REALTOR - a member of the national and your local association of REALTORs®. They can provide solid advice on Tampa houses and local market conditions and can help you find the home you've always wanted. Every market is different. Contact a REALTOR® today.

Your Tampa Real Estate Team

Your Agent
A successful purchase of Tampa houses starts with the right representative. In fact, once you’ve selected the best agent to represent you, it is likely that he or she can recommend other professionals to join your team, taking more of the responsibility off of your shoulders.

Lender (Appraiser)
A bank is not just a bank. Having the right backer can be extremely important – it is your money we’re talking about after all! Make sure that your lender and financial representative is someone with whom you feel comfortable, and be wary of any lender who promises you more than you think you can reasonably afford. Your lenders may or may not require an independent appraisal, and typically will make arrangements for the appraisal themselves.

Your home purchase is far too important a transaction to skimp on legal representation at the risk of leaving yourself open to costly future issues. Find a lawyer who is willing to take the time to answer your questions and who specializes in real estate law.

Home Inspector
No home inspection is 100% guaranteed, but a few hundred dollars to catch a major problem now is certainly better than many thousands to correct that ‘surprise’ down the road. When looking for Tampa Florida homes for sale ask your agent for a recommendation.

Planning some renovations? You’re not the only one! The home renovation industry is booming, and in some markets, booking a contractor must be done months in advance (that’s a long time to go without a kitchen). Don’t let finding the right contractor slip through the cracks – planning ahead will almost certainly make your renovation smoother, and you contractor will appreciate the advance notice.

Your Tampa Home Buying Plan

1. Find the right representative
Even if you’re not quite ready to buy one of the Tampa FL homes for sale, your buyer’s agent can be an absolute wealth of information, and can often offer ‘scoops’ on Tampa homes for sale and local developments you might not have know about otherwise. Speak to your agent first and he or she can be helping to guide you right from the start.

2. Find out what your price range is
Online mortgage calculators are a good place to start, but as you get closer to being ready to buy a Tampa home, there is no substitute for a written mortgage pre-approval. Just speaking to your lender is an extremely worthwhile venture – this is the only way to really get an in-depth picture of your overall financial picture and to discover exactly what you can reasonably afford to spend on a home (and possibly on renovating).

3. Find out what your local market looks like
The internet can be incredibly valuable in doing preparatory research. Start with your agent – he or she can direct you to valuable resources and immediately start e-mailing you real estate listings that may interest you (or at least give you a better idea of what your needs and wants are).

4. Find out what your true needs and wants are
Compose a needs/wants list that takes into consideration conditions in the Tampa FL real estate market, your price range, and the advice of your real estate agent.

5. Find your Tampa dream home!
Once you’re ready to act, you may be surprised by how quickly you can make a decision. Armed with your pre-approval, a little market knowledge, and your needs/wants list, call your real estate agent, hit the pavement, and when you see ‘the house’, put in an offer.

With the right team behind you, buying a Tampa home can really can be that easy!