To buy a home now requires a good team of people who can guide you through the process, answer your questions, help you understand the contract, and help you get the value for your money. Take a look at a few of the main players you’ll need on your team.
Your Realtor® is a professional real estate agent who is held to a strict code of ethics and sense of professionalism. We’re also educated in current real estate trends, rules, restrictions, regulations, and market insight. When you start looking through a sales contract with multiple addendums and subparagraphs, it’s your Realtor® who can explain what those things mean. A good Realtor® doesn’t just help you find the home of your dreams anywhere in the Tampa area. We also guide you through the long, winding process that starts with your online search and ends at the closing table.
Your mortgage lender is the person who’s going to help you get the mortgage that lets you buy a home that you can afford. Lenders have teams of underwriters and processors to help them get the job done and make sure you’re creditworthy and can afford the home you want. When they ask for additional information, need you to sign one more document, or tell you not to touch the money in your savings account, it’s because they want you to qualify for your mortgage.
A good home inspector will tell you everything you need to know about the inner workings of the home you want to buy. They can explain how things work, where the problems are, what might have caused those problems, and how to fix them. Even if you’re buying a home “as-is,” you should still get a home inspection. Their report may be the difference between buying a home that needs a little work and one that should be condemned. When you make an offer on the home, talk to your Realtor® about making the home inspection one of the contingencies of your contract so you can walk away if the inspector gives you bad (and expensive) news.
The title insurance company is your guarantee that when you buy your home, no one will make a claim on ownership of the property later - and if they do, you’re protected financially. They also make sure there are no existing liens that could jump up and surprise you later. You shouldn’t have to pay back taxes or a portion of the value to a stranger simply because the history of the house involves relatives or debt that wasn't disclosed in the beginning. Title companies look for these problems so that you have peace of mind when you’re at the closing table.
Unless you’re paying cash for your home, you’re going to need an insurance policy before you get to the closing table. Mortgage companies require home insurance, but it’s a good idea for everyone. Depending on where you live in the Tampa Bay area, you’ll most likely need to purchase flood insurance, too. Finding a good agent now will save you time, money, and headaches if you ever need to file a claim.