Most Americans have always had a vision of their ultimate dream home. Some settle for an existing home that almost fulfills their dream, while others choose to have the perfect home built for them. If money was no object, most of us would have a mansion, however, our financial situation can limit what we actually get. Just because we do not have unlimited finances, does not mean we cannot get much of what we want and need. In order to accomplish this, you must carefully plan your home search. You should determine what lifestyle you want in your new home, and then determine what amenities and features will be necessary to accomplish that lifestyle. It is also important to realize that the home you are buying now may not be your final home, so target your current lifestyle and not necessarily your lifelong hopes and dreams.
Before you begin looking, you should make two priority lists, first, a list of needs, and second, a list of wants. These two are very different and should not be confused. Wants should be negotiable when it comes to the search, and in many cases, can be added later. Needs should be less negotiable but must still remain flexible. Structural features of a home such as size, main construction materials, ceiling heights, etc., are much more costly to change later, whereas finishes can be added or upgraded later, more cost effectively. It is important to remember, adding expensive finishes to the original mortgage can lead to paying for these features for years to come, even after you tire of them and want to change them out. The most important thing to remember is to remain flexible, it is virtually impossible to get everything unless you have unlimited finances, so prioritize not only your wants, but your needs as well.
Examples of Priority lists:
- 4 Bedrooms
- One Story Home
- 2 Car Garage
- 2 Full Bathrooms
- Large Dining area
- Functional Kitchen
- Basic flooring materials
- Basic Exterior Elevation
- Guest Room
- Large Yard
- 3 Car Garage
- 2 ½ or more Bathrooms
- Separate Dining Room
- Upscale Cabinets, Counter-tops, Appliances
- Wood, Tile, or upgraded Carpeting
- Upgraded Elevation (i.e. Stone, etc.)
Next, you should evaluate your finances. Knowing what you can afford ahead of time will help avoid disappointment and wasted time. Lenders have a maximum debt ratio that they allow a borrower to have in order to approve a loan. There is the “front end” ratio, total housing payment divided by total income, and the “back end” ratio, total of all monthly payments divided by the total income. Different loan programs have different ratio requirements, but a good rule of thumb is:
Front-end Ratio= 28%, Back-end Ratio=36%.
Just as important as income ratio is credit score. Not only will your credit score determine whether or not you get approved, but it also affects what your interest rate will be, and that will effect your final payment amount. Many builders offer additional incentives for using their preferred lender and whenever possible this should be taken advantage of, as it is like free money. It also can simplify the process, because most preferred lenders know the builder’s processes and the cooperation between the builder and lender make thing go smoother.
Maronda Homes has been helping Florida families get their dream homes for over 40 years. They offer concrete block homes in all price ranges throughout the state. These homes are designed to deliver energy efficiency while providing flexibility and affordability. Many plans feature alternate layouts and configurations that enable a high level of customization at competitive prices. Maronda specializes in the first time home-buyer market with its “Heritage” and “Americana” series homes. They also cater to the more discriminating taste with their “Renaissance” and “Presidential” series of homes.
Maronda Homes has decorated models located all over the South Georgia, North Florida, and Treasure Coast areas of Florida. These sales centers are staffed with qualified licensed Real Estate professionals that specialize not only in new home construction, but financing and all aspects of the home buying process. They have also partnered with FBC Mortgage, LLC to provide competitive and flexible financing programs. Stop in or visit online today, we have live chat agents available to answer all of your dream home questions.