Updated: Jul 30
Ah, beautiful St. Augustine…while folks up north are preparing for yet another snowstorm, the folks in St. Augustine, FL the nation’s oldest city are taking walks on the beach, meandering up and down the quaint St. George St., or simply going about their business and daily routines, frequently in flipflops. The average temperature in St Augustine for winter is roughly 65 degrees.
So no wonder St. Johns County is growing so quickly! With excellent schools, an eclectic mix of restaurants and shopping, more and more people are deciding to enjoy the good life. St. Augustine, Florida is always appearing on many of the top places to live lists. And that means buying homes in an increasingly busy real estate market. Now that you’ve come to your senses and decided to join us here, it’s time to find that dream home and get that mortgage. Not so fast!
Buying a home is a nerve-racking but very exciting time. Whether you’re a first time homebuyer or you are buying a retirement home it is one of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime. There are many different steps to take and decisions to make. For a step-by-step guide take a look at our buyers section of our website “Steps For Buying a Home.” Next to buying a home your lender is the second most important decision. You have a right to control the process. Many people start with an online mortgage calculator like Lending Tree.com. This is what I refer to as the cat food compromise! You don’t want to get caught here.
You can try those handy mortgage calculators you find on the internet to get an idea of what a bank will lend you. Just for fun, I answered a couple of simple questions and kabam! I can afford a home between 232K and 554K! Quite a range. So my payment on a 232K, at the least, will be 1148.00. This may not even include insurance, home owners association or CDD fees.
The truth of the matter is that while a bank or mortgage company will let you know how much you can borrow based on your deposit amount, credit rating, and income, only you can decide how much house you want and how you want to live your life with it. Too many times people fall in love with a home they believe to be in their price range only to discover that their monthly payment is so large they will be fighting the cat for the last can of tuna. Why? Because they didn’t take into consideration the cost of living with that mortgage payment.
To make sure you’re not going to be fighting Fluffy for the tuna and instead still have enough money left over after the mortgage payment, make a few decisions before you go house hunting. Decide what you want your monthly payment to be and remember that amount needs to include it all. The principal, interest, insurance, the whole enchilada! Then go to your bank or lender and ask them to calculate, based on what you want your payment to be and your deposit, how much house you can really afford. For more information on what to do before buying a home check out the article on our website "What to Do Before Buying a Home."
Now that you know how much you want to spend on your house and have money left over each month to have a good life and not be house poor, meet with your realtor at First Coast Realty. We will help you find your dream home and remain within budget. Fluffy will thank you too. Pass the tuna, please.
Are you a first time home buyer in St. Augustine, Florida? If so, make sure you take good note of the above tips and tricks. By following the above tips and tricks, buying a home will seem much easier and less stressful! If you have not selected a top REALTOR in St Augustine, FL to represent you in your home sale, contact me, and I’d love the opportunity to interview for the opportunity to get you into a home.
About the Authors: The above article “Something to Think About Before Buying a House-The Cat Food Compromise” was provided by Dominique Tredik with First Coast Realty Inc. With over 100 million dollars worth of assets sold, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise. We service St Augustine, Palm Coast, Palatka, and Jacksonville areas.
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