Fort Lauderdale Real Estate ChecklistIt’s not uncommon in the Fort Lauderdale real estate market for renters to unexpectedly become first-time home buyers. It could occur when the landlord of the Fort Lauderdale home you’ve been renting decides it’s time to sell. Or, while searching for a home to rent you come across a new Fort Lauderdale listing that offers such value for money that it makes sense to buy it.

For Fort Lauderdale home buyers, wonderful opportunities like these may be the very first time they consider becoming a homeowner in earnest. If that’s the case, these folks may be disappointed to learn the dream home is out of reach. A successful Fort Lauderdale first-time home buyer knows that planning must take place well in advance.

An important factor in qualifying for a home loan is your credit score. In a recent Money Magazine article, it was reported that the average FICO credit score for denied conventional loan applicants was 729. In contrast, the average score on approved loans with around a 21 percent down payment was 762.

Fort Lauderdale Home Buyer Tips:

Here are two very important steps to consider if you want to keep your options open when it comes to renting or buying a Fort Lauderdale home:

1. Get your accounts in order. When it comes time to buy a new home, every bank will scrutinize all of your bank accounts. In general, they are looking for “seasoned” funds, meaning cash that has been on hand for at least three months (sometimes six), untouched. First time homebuyers will need to have established the total amount required for a down payment, or will be able to present a clear path on how the funds will be obtained.

2. Check your debt. A debt-to-income ratio of no more than 33 percent is generally what banks look for when reviewing your finances. If your credit card balances are too high, start paying down those balances as quickly as you can.

Becoming a Fort Lauderdale home buyer can be both exciting and stressful at the some time. However, if you prepare in advance, you can minimize the stress and enjoy the process more. Also, having the right real estate agent by your side can be a great help as well. If you have questions about the Fort Lauderdale real estate market or on more detailed steps required to becoming a first time home buyer, contact us!