Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Get Ready to Buy Your Destin Home

Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a Destin Florida home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.

Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list. For example, two car garage, age of home, subdivision in Destin, such as Kelly Plantation, Regatta Bay, Crystal Beach, waterfront or not, etc.

Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. There are many programs that will require less down, such as VA. Watch out getting a VA mortgage loan in Destin. Much of the area is in a COBRA zone which means you cannot get federal flood insurance. VA home loans require flood insurance. If you have to get private flood insurance for a COBRA zone area, it could cost several thousand dollars a year. There are a few areas of Destin that are not in a COBRA zone. I can check the area you want and let you know.

Get your credit in order. Get your credit report free online (available to you once a year). Check it over, correct any errors and work on improving it if necessary.

Determine your mortgage qualifications. Are you paying cash or getting a mortgage for you new Destin property? How large of mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore different loan options — such as 30-year or 15-year fixed mortgages or ARMs — and decide what’s best for you. I can refer you to different mortgage brokers who can help you. Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements, last year or two tax returns, and more!

Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs? Check with your state and local government on down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.

Calculate the costs of Destin homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable.

Contact Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
featured in “Kiplinger” and “Florida Realtor” magazines
850-650-7883 ext 204 office
1-877-ITS-WNDY (487-9639) toll free
1-866-888-7792 fax

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