Are you looking for a home in Winter Park?

Buying a house in Winter Park can be fun and exciting. You’ve probably been renting for several years and have finally saved enough for a down payment, so you’re looking forward to owning a house.

Before you get too caught up in your excitement and sign on the dotted line, pause for a moment. Take some time to plan things out.

There’s a reason behind the adage, “Look before you leap.” Many first-time buyers have found themselves in deep trouble because they did not do a lot of research before they started their home buying process.

Whether it’s your first time or your fifth time buying a Winter Park home, make sure you are putting your money into the right house.


Here’s a brief list of things to do before you say “Yes!” to the house.


1. Get a pre-approval

Before you do anything else, you first need to know how much house you can afford.

Find a mortgage broker right away and get pre-approved so you know how much house you can buy.

Sellers are more willing to negotiate and make allowances for an approved buyer.


2. Write down your priorities

Once you know how much house you can afford, you need to make a list of your requirements.

Do you want new construction? How many rooms do you need? How many bathrooms?

How much privacy do you want? Do you want a house near a school?

Make a checklist and decide which ones take priority when you make a decision.


3. Know the neighborhood

8 Home Buying Secrets - Park Ave Shoppes

You can change the house, but you cannot change the neighborhood. It’s important that you learn many things about the area as you possibly can.  

Find a community that’s close to your work and excellent schools. Even if you don’t have children,  a house near a school is a better investment because properties near schools tend to have higher appreciation rates.


4. Stick to your budget

Buy a home you can afford.

Some people buy homes at the top of their price range, which can be a mistake. It is better to stay in the mid-range and live a comfortable life than go for the top range and be house poor.

When you’ve found a home that fits your requirements, make a fair and reasonable offer.  Sellers respect buyers who have studied the property to make a reasonable offer.


5. Take the emotion out of the equation

Don’t fall for the gorgeous lake views. Look at the house objectively and check everything before deciding to buy.


6. Get a home inspection

Whether you are buying new construction or an existing home, you should have the property checked by a home inspector.

Why? Because it is for your safety and protection. All homes have issues, even new construction.

It is the job of a home inspector to check if the home passes the safety standards and if there are things to repair.

The result of the home inspection is also a great bargaining tool to use in perhaps being able to renegotiate the terms of your offer.


7. Prepare for sleeper costs

When buying a Winter Park home for sale, consider all the expenses, including the sleeper costs.

You don’t just pay for the house. You also pay for the property taxes, utilities, and more. Home improvements are also part of sleeper costs.

This is also another reason why you should find a home that’s within your price range, if possible. You want to reserve some money to put into sleeper costs.


8.  Avoid any major purchases

If you want your pre-approval to go without a hitch, avoid making any major purchases at least six months before you visit the mortgage broker.   

You do not want to do anything that will change your debt ratio.

The lender will consider all of your lines of credit, credit cards, and other expenses.

They use ratios to determine how much house you are qualified to buy.


Follow these tips and you’ll maximize your budget and buy the Winter Park property you’ve been waiting for.

Ready to buy a home? Call me, Allison Day, at (407) 617-2881 today.