Tampa First Time Homebuyer Q & A: The Basics

Tampa First Time Homebuyer Q & A: The Basics

Thinking about buying your first Tampa home? The professionals at Nathan Bangs & Associates are ready to help. You have questions, we have the answers to help you get started, understand what to expect, determine how to find the property that’s right for you, and help you understand the advantages of home ownership.

To get started, ask yourself the following…

Q: Where do I want to live?

A: Like a specific neighborhood? Need a school nearby? How far from work should I live? To find the right house for you start by finding the best neighborhood for you and go from there. Be realistic because the purchase of a house may be the largest investment you will make. Location, affordability and quality of life all factor into the Tampa property you will make your home so do your homework.

Q: What can I afford?

A: Step one is to find out what your total monthly housing cost would be, including taxes and homeowner’s insurance. To start to determine what you can afford when buying a home use our free mortgage calculator. Simply plug in the loan amount, down payment you have to spend, current mortgage interest rate and term specifics to determine approximate monthly payments.

Do the numbers make sense? Fannie Mae recommends home buyers spend no more than 28% of their annual income on housing costs. Go much past 30% and you risk becoming house poor or upside down on the loan.

Due diligence is very important because in some cases what you pay for your taxes and insurance escrow can almost double your mortgage payment.

For insurance costs, start by picking a Tampa property and calling a local insurance agent for an estimate (we can help you find a reputable agent if needed). You won't be obligated to buy a policy but you'll get an idea of what you'll pay if you buy. But keep in mind that exemptions (such as Florida's Save Our Homes value cap) can create differences between what the current owner pays and what you’ll as a new homeowner.

In addition there are government programs specifically designed to help first time home buyers. Hillsborough County has a First-Time Home Buyer Assistance Program which can provide down payment assistance and/or closing cost help for eligible first time home buyers to purchase a home in the certain areas of Hillsborough County including the Temple Terrace.

Crunching the numbers can be a sometimes frightening undertaking for Tampa first time home buyers. To help, we will be happy to provide information, details and assistance on what you can afford and available buyer assistance programs. Just call the Nathan Bangs team at 813-739-5925 or click here to reach us for help. In addition, you can find additional resources specifically for first time Tampa homebuyers here. We are happy to help!

Q: Are closing costs expensive?

A: The cost which you’ll have to pay upfront to close on your home can’t be ignored. Loan origination fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items including homeowner’s insurance must be factored in before even making an offer on your first Tampa home. Nathan Bangs & Associates can explain the entire closing process and help your understand the financial picture at the beginning so you know where you stand. We also work with a number of loan officers who can answer your questions and would be happy to recommend one right for you.

In addition we can explain the after-purchase expenses you may face such as costs for new appliances, roof repairs and plumbing problems that may crop up because once you buy it it’s yours to fix. Just ask, we’re here to make the process easy and easily understandable.

Q: Why should I buy instead of rent?

A: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers some insight into whether you should buy a Tampa home rather than rent. According to HUD when you rent, you write your monthly check and that money is gone forever. But when you buy a home you have an investment for life is you so choose.

Beyond the property value, the investment aspect of home ownerships means possibly deducting the cost of your mortgage loan interest from federal income taxes. This can save you money because the interest you pay will make up a large percentage of your monthly payment throughout the life of your mortgage. You can also deduct the property taxes and the value of your home may go up over the years.

But the best part is that the home is yours. You own it.

Start Now! Put the Top Tampa Realtor to Work for You

Real estate agent Nathan Bangs has earned a position in the top 1 percent of more than 7,000 real estate agents in the greater Tampa Bay area by delivering the best customer-focused service.

We know that first time home buyers face a large learning curve and the Nathan Bangs team will be happy to answer any and all questions your may have. Call us today at 813-739-5925 or click here to find the answers you need and to see what information our extensive resource network can provide.

To see what properties are available on the Tampa real estate market now, click here and start your journey to home ownership.

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Contact Information

Photo of Nathan Bangs Real Estate
Nathan Bangs
Keller Williams Realty
3502 Henderson Blvd.
Tampa FL 33609
For Buyers: 813-739-5925
For Sellers: 813-739-5965
Fax: 813.875.3701