Tampa Real Estate
Crystal Brady

First Time Buyers

Thinking about buying your first place? I’m sure you have lots of questions! I specialize in working with First Time Home Buyers and look forward to helping you on your journey to homeownership. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions that will help you being the process. For more information about me click here and to read reviews from my past clients click here. I look forward to working with you.

I’m thinking about buying…..what should I do first?

Almost all Buyers start by looking at homes for sale on the internet. But before you start looking at houses there is a very important first step you must take- the Mortgage Pre-Approval! The first thing any Buyer should do is contact a lender and ask for a mortgage pre-approval. The pre-approval will typically consist of a phone conversation where you answer questions about your debt, income, work history, and other financial questions. The lender will check your credit and ask for some documents (w-2, pay stubs, bank statements, etc). The lender will then combine all this information together and determine whether or not you qualify for a loan and if you do qualify they will give you a maximum amount you can spend. Once you know you’ve been approved and you know what you can afford then it’s time to start looking for houses!

Also, please note that online mortgage calculators are NOT accurate and often leave out important elements like taxes and insurance that are a part of your monthly payment. This is why it’s critical to talk directly to a lender and obtain a pre-approval before you look at houses.

Can I get down payment or closing cost assistance?  

Possibly. There are down payment and closing cost assistance programs available for those who qualify. Most of these programs are for low to moderate income Buyers. If you don’t qualify for one of these programs you can still try and negotiate for the Seller to pay some of your closing costs. Please call me for more details.

How can I find a lender?

Call me! I have a list of trusted lenders that I work with and can recommend people to you if you don’t already have one.

What happens when I find a house?

Once you find a house and we have successfully negotiated a deal there are several things that will be happening at once. First, you will complete your formal loan application with your lender (within the first 5 days of going under contract). Second, you will have 3 days typically to make your deposit to the title company (the amount of the deposit is negotiable but the standard in our market is $1000). Lastly, your home inspection needs to be scheduled and completed within the first 10 days from the contract date.

What inspections do I need? 

You will need to perform a whole house inspection and a termite inspection at minimum. You may also be required to have a 4-point inspection or wind mitigation inspection for insurance purposes depending on the age and condition of the property. The combined cost of these inspections can be anywhere from $400-600 on average depending on which company you use and which inspections are required.

What if I find something wrong with the house during inspections?

Most homes are sold “AS-IS” in Tampa so it’s important to realize that inspections are strictly for the Buyer to be aware of items that may need to be addressed after closing. In most cases sellers will NOT make any repairs to the property. If the inspection reveals a serious or costly item of concern to the Buyer then the Buyer will have the option of cancelling the contract during the inspection period and have their deposit money refunded.

Why should I use a Realtor?

Many first time Buyers do not realize the importance of using a Realtor. Here is a list of reasons you should use a Realtor:

  • Realtors have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and this information is not available to the public. The homes you see online on sites like Zillow, Realtor.com, and Trulia are not always up to date and many times by the time you see them online they can already be under contract. Your Realtor has access to home information in real time and also can see notes on the property that are confidential and not disclosed on consumer websites. This allows you to have insider information through your Realtor!
  • Your Realtor will help you find a home, negotiate, write a contract and submit an offer. There are many properties that have multiple offers and it helps to have an experienced agent that can help you when negotiating a deal.
  • Once you are under contract it is important to meet the deadlines within the contract in order to protect your deposit. If you fail to meet certain deadlines in the contract and your deal falls through the Seller could make a claim on your deposit money. Your agent can help guide you and protect your deposit.
  • Besides financing there are many steps in the home buying process such as inspections, the appraisal, shopping for insurance, transferring utilities, coordinating with the title company, and doing a final walk through. Your Realtor will be your one point of contact to assist you through the entire process.
  • It’s FREE to use a Realtor when you are the Buyer because Seller’s actually pay all real estate commissions.


Call me today for a FREE Buyer’s Consultation 813-298-6950.