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Buying 101


Buying a home is an exciting adventure, especially if you are buying a first home in Central Florida. However, it can be extremely time consuming and costly, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the process. At Dream Builders Realty, we keep the best interests of Central Florida home buyers in mind. Our goal is to provide the resources home buyers need to make an informed purchasing decision. Our expertise saves buyers time and money and on top of that, we relieve the stress of moving and make the process more enjoyable.

Buying a home is one of the largest investments an individual will ever make. Take advantage of the knowledge provided by Dream Builders Realty and make an informed decision that will make you happy for years to come. Being a first time home buyer in Central Florida has never been so enjoyable.

 Let’s get started…


Is it the right time for you to buy a home? Yes. There is never a bad time to buy the perfect home for you and your budget. With the help of an ethical and experienced agent, you will be able to find the right house for the right price at the right time. Whether you are buying a first home in Orlando or you are upgrading to a new home in Central Florida, it is always the right time to buy.

Buying a home contributes to your long-term health and it has a multitude of other financial benefits. Talk to an agent at Dream Builders Realty to learn more about how you can buy a home that is perfect for you.


First, do your research. Find out which loan program is best for you and start saving money for a down payment. Decide what your dream home will cost and how much you are willing to pay. Decide what your goal for your home is. Upgrading to a bigger home in Florida will have different costs than buying a first home in Central Florida so the research you do will help you discover how much you can afford to pay and what your projected costs will be. There are some practices you should follow when you are in this phase:

  • Order a free credit report
  • Find a lender
  • Determine a down payment
  • Consider FHA loans
  • Get a pre-approval letter


Picking the right agent is so important to the home buying process. They will be the one helping you achieve your dream of owning a home. You want your agent to be ethical and knowledgable. Some qualities of a great agent include:

  • Informative: They will educate you about the home buying process.
  • Motivated to Help You: They will learn about your needs and wants.
  • Efficient: They will narrow your search quickly.
  • Excellent Negotiator: They will get you the best price.
  • Detail-Oriented: They will make deadlines and read the fine print.
  • Problem Solver: They will fix whatever problems may arise.


Location, location, location. This is so important to remember when looking at home. If you are buying a first home in Orlando, it is important to know the area. Here are some tips when looking for your ideal home.

Narrow your home search by identifying which neighborhoods are right for you. This will keep your search focused and efficient. When evaluating different neighborhoods, investigate local conditions. Depending on your own needs, these factors may be important to consider:

  • Quality of schools
  • Property values
  • Traffic
  • Crime rate
  • Future construction
  • Proximity to schools, employment, hospitals, shops, public transportation, prisons, freeways, airports, beaches, parks, stadiums or other cultural centers


A written proposal is the foundation of a real estate transaction. Oral promises are not legally enforceable when it comes to the sale of real estate. You need to enter into a written contract, which starts with your written proposal.

This proposal not only specifies the price, but it also states the terms and conditions of the purchase. For example, if the seller offered to put $2,000 toward your closing costs, make sure that this statement is included in your written offer and in the final completed contract. If you do not do this, you will not have grounds for collecting it later.

Realtors® have standard purchasing agreements that will help you put together a legally binding written offer. This offer will reflect the price, as well as the terms and conditions that are right for you. Your Realtor® will guide you through the offer, counter offer, negotiating and closing processes. In many states, certain disclosure laws must be compiled by the seller and the Realtor® will ensure that this takes place.

At Dream Builders Realty, we are Central Florida Realtors® that have your best interests in mind.


Remember to be logical. Purchasing a home can be emotional, but it is important not to fall in love too quickly. There could be many things wrong with the house that you didn’t even know, which is why a home inspection is vital.

Suppose you bought a house and later discovered that the stucco exterior concealed a nasty case of dry rot. Or, suppose that when you fired up the air conditioner at the first sign of summer heat, you discovered an issue that might keep your unit from cooling your dream home. By arranging a home inspection before you buy, you will avoid unpleasant surprises like these.


Once the home inspection is complete, you are very close to getting your dream home. Just remember to be responsible during this time. Here are some tips to ensure the closing goes smoothly:

  • Communication is key. Make sure you talk to your Realtor® and lender regularly.
  • Confirm that you have all the documents and paperwork competed and signed with your agent.
  • Do a final walk-through.


Hooray! You have your dream home! Now, it is time to move in and set up a maintenance plan to ensure your home stays beautiful and valuable.


  1. Appraisal – An appraisal is a estimated property value at a specific point in time. It will determine how much a lender is willing to lend you to buy that particular piece of real estate. If the appraisal comes in under the asking price, the home could be considered over-priced and the lender will not agree to finance your mortgage. An appraisal protects the lender from getting stuck with a property that is less than what they’ve invested but also protects you from paying too much for a house.
  2. Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) – The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation demonstrates to consumers a REALTORS® commitment to providing outstanding service for real estate buyers.
  3. Closing Costs – Closing costs are fees paid at the closing of a real estate transaction. This point in time called the closing is when the title to the property is shifted to the buyer. Closing costs are incurred by either the buyer or the seller and are fees charged by the lender and third parties for things such as loan origination, appraisal, survey and title search fees to name a few.
  4. Contingency – A provision in a contract requiring certain acts to be completed in order for the contract to remain binding. Some contingencies you might have in your contract would be a contingency on financing, meaning if your mortgage loan falls through the contract would be declared null and void; an appraisal contingency, if the property does not appraise at the specified amount the Buyer has the ability to cancel the contract; an inspection contingency, allowing the Buyer to have various inspections performed to ensure the home meets their desired and minimum standards.
  5. Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) – This is money pledged by Buyers and deposited in an escrow (trust) account when writing an offer on a home. The money is made as a sign of the Buyer’s good faith and provides the Seller with a sense of security knowing the Buyer is willing and able to pledge money to back up the promises made in their contract. At closing, the EMD is credited back to the Buyer towards their down payment and/or closing costs.
  6. Escrow Account – At closing, as part of your closing costs, you will be required to prepay a portion of your annual real estate taxes and insurance premiums into an escrow account. Escrow accounts enable the lender to pay your homeowners insurance and property taxes on your behalf when the bill comes due each year.
  7. MLS (Multiple Listing Service) – A service that compiles available properties for sale by member brokers. Having access to the MLS through your Realtor® allows you to enjoy the benefit of instant access to listings that match specified criteria, beyond price range and location. You can use it to search for specific details you are looking for in your new home such as schools, lot size, etc.
  8. PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) – The four parts that make up a borrower’s monthly mortgage payment. When deciding on the monthly payment you can afford to make towards owning a home, you need to know that these four things that will encompass your payment. Not all of the “figure out your monthly payment” calculators found online will include these when giving you a range of what you can afford.
  9. PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) – A special insurance paid by a borrower in monthly installments, typically of loans of more than 80 percent of the value of the property. What this means, if you cannot put 20 percent down towards your home loan, you will pay PMI until 20 percent of the loan principal has been payed.
  10. Dream Builders Realty – At Dream Builders Realty we want you to consider us as one of your top 10 most important terms in buying a new home. We are here to be your number one resource during this process and want you to think of us during every twist & turn you may encounter until you are holding the keys to your new home in your hands!

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