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05 March . 2019

Common Home Buying Myths & The Truth Behind Them

Buying a home can be a confusing and overwhelming process, especially if you're a first-time homebuyer. Whether this is your first home, or your thirty-first, here are 6 myths you may be falling for - and the truth behind them. 

Myth #1: I Can’t Afford to Buy a House

This may be one of the most common misconceptions people have when it comes to buying a house! Just because you have less-than-perfect credit or can’t put down 20% does not mean you can’t afford to buy a house! FHA loans can be obtained with a credit score as low as 500 or a downpayment as low as 3.5%. Talk to a mortgage lender to discuss your options.

Myth #2: Renting is Cheaper Than Buying

False! In fact, renting can be much, much more expensive. According to one study, the average rent in Tampa Bay is $1,309 for a 899 sq. ft. apartment. At Waterset, you can buy a 1,512 sq. ft. townhome starting at $204,990, and your mortgage payment would be about $1,500*. In an apartment, you would be paying 50% more per square foot! Also, it’s important to factor in costs such as application fees, security deposits, annual rental increases, and moving expenses.

Myth #3: The First Step is Looking for a House

Once you have decided it’s a good time to buy, you may be tempted to start looking at houses right away. However, it is imperative that your first step be to get a pre-approval. With a pre-approval in hand, you will know exactly how much house you can afford. This is the jumping off point for looking at houses.

Myth #3: You Don’t Need a Realtor

Although it is definitely possible to buy a home without a real estate agent, a Realtor can be a great guide, especially if you are a first-time buyer. Look for a real estate agent who is an expert in Tampa Bay, or more specifically Apollo Beach.

Myth #4: You Can Save Money by Buying a Resale Home

The average cost of a resale home in Tampa as of December 2018 was $286,273, according to MetroStudy. The average price of a new home was $300,403. Although you are paying slightly more upfront, many resale homes come with hidden costs such as repairs, renovations, repainting, and more. Also, because new homes are often more energy-efficient than resale homes, you can save on your monthly energy costs.

Myth #6: Mortgage Costs are the Only Home Buying Costs

While your mortgage payment will have a direct influence on the home you are able to buy, it’s also important to factor in location and the neighborhood “vibe.” A bigger home in an inconvenient location or without a friendly neighborhood atmosphere may not suit you in the long run. Also, consider what you’re paying in CDD fees compared to the amenities you’re getting.


*Mortgage payment will vary based on down payment and interest rate. This number should be treated as an approximation only.