Home buying is on the rise, according to the fourth annual Mortgage Service Index from TD Bank. According to the survey, 42 percent of Americans expect the housing market to improve over the next six months, and 56 percent feel it’s a good time to buy a home.

That means, if you’re shopping for a new home in Florida, there’s going to be more competition for the available homes. First-time homebuyers can help themselves clinch the deal by avoiding some common mistakes:

  • Choosing a home that’s too expensive. With the financial meltdown of 2008 still fresh in everyone’s mind, it’s surprising that people are buying the most expensive homes for which they can qualify. Qualification doesn’t tell you how much you should spend on a house, it just tells you how much the bank will lend you. Huge mortgage payments may leave you with no money left for bills or savings.
  • Not educating yourself. Learn about your market and the value of the homes in it. Make sure you also understand ALL the expenses involved, like insurance, taxes, utilities, association fees, and more (see mistake #1). Don’t make the mistake of buying the first home you see. Shop around.
  • Not getting your finances in order. Make sure you’ve got a budget and you know exactly what you can afford (see mistakes #1 and #2).
  • Not scouting the neighborhood. Things are much different at night than they are in the daylight. Visit your prospective neighborhood at different times of the day. Park your car and walk around. Are there noisy neighbors? Barking dogs? Cars roaring through residential streets? Do your homework, and make sure that this neighborhood is right for you.
  • Working with the seller’s agent. The seller’s agent is working for them, not you, and is trying to get the highest possible price on the home. In short, they’re not on your side. You need your own licensed Realtor® who is working for you.

Make the right move

While it seems to fly in the face of the advice above, one final mistake is falling victim to the “grass is always greener” mentality. Some home shoppers are convinced that there’s always something better, so they refuse to commit to buying a home. If you’ve done your homework, then trust yourself. Being indecisive means you might miss out on the home of your dreams. If you’re a first-time buyer looking for a home in Brevard County or the state of Florida, Embrace Home Loans can work with you to get you qualified for a Florida mortgage and help you avoid some of the mistakes others make. Contact us today at 407-733-6425.