Happy Spring! Do you not smell that? (sniff) Ah, confederate jasmine, hibiscus, and lavender are just a few of the fragrances that we will be experiencing within the next couple of weeks. If you are new to Florida, then Welcome! If you have lived here awhile or are actually one of a few natives, then you are “picking up, what I’m putting down”. It does not matter what Punxsutawney Phil has declared. This is the sunshine state, so an extra 6 weeks of winter are not in our future. (I mean really, if this happened I believe Governor Rick Scott would have to declare the Tampa/Clearwater area as a state of emergency!), This place would come to a screeching halt, and instead of standing in line for cases of water (hurricane season), or Powerball tickets, people would be standing in line for coffee, brandy, scotch, tequila! So back to reality, the days of 80 degrees at 9am, sun filled days, people longingly staring out of their office windows, and gorgeous sunsets are upon us. Not to mention the stifling humidity, the line of sweat trickling down your back just from walking to your car in the driveway, and don’t even think about styling your hair, but I digress once again. With the change of season, another change seems to often take place with people. Yes, the change of decor, sheet colors, spring cleaning and the biggest change of all… their Environment. Is this the year for me? Am I ready to make the biggest purchase of my life? Do I have enough money? All very valid questions indeed and they all equal the main question, Are you ready to buy a home? I do not know if you are ready to buy a home or not. I do not know you, yet. Yarbrough Properties has tried taking some of the anxiety out of this question. We have come up with some questions for you to ask yourself, along with some steps to help you get to the homeowner experience without losing your sanity. Shall we get started?

1. Consult a lender – This is the very first step that you need to do if you are serious about buying a home. The sooner you visit a lender, the quicker you’ll know what you can afford and the steps you need to take to improve your credit or generate more income. Also, any good realtor (friend or no friend) is not going to take you out to look at homes if you are not pre-approved. And it’s not just about wasting time, but also saving you from a heartache. There is not an agent on this planet that will accept an offer on their listing without a pre-approval letter or a statement showing proof of funds. How much would that “suck” if you found something you really loved and could not put an offer on because you are not pre-approved and by the time you get pre-approved the listing agent already accepted an offer from someone else. ALWAYS GET PRE-APPROVED.
2. Check your credit – This the second step that you would go over with your lender. They will also instruct you on the do’s and don’ts of handling your credit.
3. Interview US – Yarbrough Properties loves helping people find their next place to live. When it comes to an agent, you want the one with your best interests in mind. We offer free consultations to all of our future buyers that we meet. We let you know our game plan up front, and take you through the process so you know what to expect.
4. Start saving – One trick is to save the difference between your rent and what you estimate your mortgage payment will be—or more. You’ll need cash reserves to buy a home, so start saving. Earn extra cash if you’re low, as most first-time buyers are, consider taking drastic steps to cut spending. Or try out some ways to increase your income, such as selling some of your stuff or taking a part-time job.
5. Decide how much you want to spend – A lender will give you an idea of how much you can borrow, but you have to create a personal budget to decide how much you will be comfortable spending on your mortgage payment. Also talk to your lender about Down Payment Resources to learn about programs in your area that may help you find down payment money or a low-interest loan.
6. Attend a seminar or take classes on buying a home – Lenders and agents often offer free seminars that explain the home-buying process. Many local government and nonprofit agencies also offer classes that can help you prepare for the financial responsibility of owning a home.
Do you think you are ready to buy a home? Probably not right this minute, but with some guidance and planning you will get there sooner than you thought was possible. And if we can help you in any way, Yarbrough Properties is here for you. We cost you nothing and yet provide you with a service that is above and beyond what you might expect from your own family member. And really isn’t that the only way to treat people? Like they’re your FAMILY!

From all of us at Yarbrough Properties have a wonderful week and bye Y’all!