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Old 10-05-2012, 11:32 AM
 
2 posts, read 6,249 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello!
I'm 21 years old and my boyfriend of 4 years and I want to start a new life in Florida(but that's beside the point). We live in New Hampshire and are planning to move next spring (2013). This is our first time buying a house and from my own research it seems like A LOT of work and I'm already overwhelmed. I have so many questions about moving to another state and what I should look out for when buying a house. We already have a decent down/closing payment and we're working on getting a mortgage loan. I guess I'll start off with asking, When would be a good time to get an agent? What kind of agent should I look for?

I'd also like to add that a few years ago my boyfriend and I got into a car accident and he was uninsured. Debt collectors have been harassing him ever since and though he is working it out with them, I am afraid that if he co-signs with me for the mortgage loan, it will affect our chances of getting the loan or worse (taking our house away in the future).

I really don't know much about buying a house or where to start but I would really appreciate any advice anyone has.

THANKS!!
-Heather
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,979 posts, read 9,526,883 times
Reputation: 1913
Here are some first time home buyer tips - There are a lot of threads on city-data about North Port and Port Charlotte in general and some information you need to know about buying a home in this area. It is a big decision to move and you may want to make sure you have employment lined up first and then visit the area to be sure it is what you want.

1. The first step before you do anything is to find out how much money you can borrow from a bank/mortgage company. Check with different lenders to see who can get you the best deal. Once you know what you can afford, then you can begin to plan.

2. Determine what you need in a home, not necessarily what you want in a home. Make a list of those needs to give to your Realtor. When you are searching for homes you will find that it is very rare to find a home that has absolutely everything you are looking for. If you stick to what you actually need, you will have better success in your search.

3. Research areas/communities that are of interest to you. Determine what things are important such as schools, proximity to shopping, restaurants, and local activities. Drive through the communities to get a feel for what they are like.

4. Learn as much as you can about the process of buying a home. Some local Realtors or lenders will offer first time home buying seminars. If you can find one in your local area it would be helpful to attend. If you cannot attend a seminar, look on the Internet for a home buyers guide such as the one at Bankrate.com - First time home buyers guide -- Bankrate.com.

5. Select a local Realtor to help you begin your search for a home. You can search Internet sites such as Realtor.com or Homes.com, but a Realtor has access to all of the homes in the local MLS. They can provide you with information on the home, the area and answer any questions you may have. A Realtor can show you properties of interest.

6. Learn about the contract and what is involved. Your Realtor can take you through step by step the process of a contract. After it is signed by buyer and seller, it is called an executed contract. Then you would want to get a home inspection. If everything is fine with the inspection, then you can go forward towards closing.

7. Know what happens at closing. Again, a Realtor can walk you through what to expect at closing. You will need to have money for closing costs such as title search, processing fees, taxes, and insurance.

Buying your first home is an exciting and overwhelming experience. So make sure you are prepared.
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:06 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,249 times
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Thanks for all of this advice! But should I find a realtor up in New Hampshire or Florida? And how would that work? I know I'm going to have to make multiple trips down there.

I should get the loan first?
Then find the realtor?
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Old 10-05-2012, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Port Charlotte, FL
3,979 posts, read 9,526,883 times
Reputation: 1913
You should contact a lender in Florida to see if they could do a pre-qualification so you would know if you qualify and what you could afford. In order to submit an offer on a home you will need a pre-approval letter from a lender. You will probably need employment down here before you could obtain a loan. A lender can answer those type of questions. Here are a couple of local lenders, but you can contact any mortgage company or bank in this area of Florida.

Morningstar Mortgage
474 Tamiami Trail Suite #3
Port Charlotte, FL 33953

Joseph Morningstar, Mortgage Broker
morningstar.mortgage@comcast.net
941-426-7827
866-990-7827

Calusa National Bank
3105 Tamiami Trail
Punta Gorda, FL 33950
Robin Lindecamp, Residential Lender
Direct: 941-676-3181
Cell: 941-467-0981
Fax: 941-467-3070
Email: Rlindecamp@calusabank.com

Charlotte State Bank
1100 Tamiami Trail
Port Charlotte, FL 33953
Connie Ritchhart
Senior VP, Residential Lending
Direct: 941-624-1906
Cell: 941-875-5224
Fax: 941-624-2308
www.charlottestatebank.com
critchhart@charlottestatebank.com


Once you know that you can obtain a mortgage and you know what price range you can afford, then you can connect with a Realtor in Florida to start reviewing homes online. They can set you up to receive listings directly from the MLS. It doesn't hurt to start looking a few months in advance so that you can keep an eye on the market.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:56 PM
 
1,581 posts, read 3,073,217 times
Reputation: 760
Will you have jobs secured before you come? Advice that is always given here is rent before you buy. This way you can look at ALL the areas and decide where you really want to live. We did not rent but were coming here every year for almost 10 years for a month at a time so we were pretty familiar with the areas.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:57 PM
 
1,432 posts, read 1,674,527 times
Reputation: 848
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmsalvucci View Post
Thanks for all of this advice! But should I find a realtor up in New Hampshire or Florida? And how would that work? I know I'm going to have to make multiple trips down there.

I should get the loan first?
Then find the realtor?
nph just gave you all the advice you need - RENT FIRST! There are lots of rentals available. You won't regret it.
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Punta Gorda and Maryland
6,103 posts, read 14,014,246 times
Reputation: 1241
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmsalvucci View Post
Thanks for all of this advice! But should I find a realtor up in New Hampshire or Florida? And how would that work? I know I'm going to have to make multiple trips down there.

I should get the loan first?
Then find the realtor?
Whether you rent or buy is a personal preference - but you should spend some quality time getting to know the area before you buy. This area is special, and much different form NH!
You have been talking to a really good agent who can make your transition much much much easier. Many of us here have already made the move, and can offer a ton of valuable advice.

I wrote a journal of my experience - its on this forum called "PUNTA GORDA ANYONE" I asked a milliion questions and got a lot of good advice (both positive and negative). I knew this area was right for me, and it was - I had reasonable expectations. But, I came here and looked around every month (a week at a time) for a whole year before I bought.

Check it out - and good luck!
Feel free to ask questions that's what many of us like about this site, and many of us have met and become friends along the way.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Anthem, AZ
2,118 posts, read 3,388,859 times
Reputation: 659
I love you, Big House....I just was really feeling it there, with you channeling your inner Tony Robbins.

Okay, I'm over it now. Lets go fishing!
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Old 10-11-2012, 09:45 AM
 
Location: North Port
697 posts, read 1,059,337 times
Reputation: 169
Look at the demographics also...in your age group..especially if you want to start a family..some areas are going to be more conducive to that.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:20 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,553 times
Reputation: 10
We bought in North Port in Dec, 2012, because after spending 6 months watching the MLS on line, it became obvious North Port homes were almost 100,000.00 less than near by towns and the homes were newer. North Port seems to have a lot of bank owned homes. We got a pretty good deal, but coming from IL, it soon became a reality that "buyer beware" was something we had to consider. We went through some rocky experiences with the house, but we ended up with a good financial investment in the long run, and so far we love it here. The police department seems less than acceptable, but the crime situation does not seem as bad as other areas close by. We are seniors, I don't know if there is so much for younger people, but the waterways seem fun, and the wildlife is great.
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