Buying a Farm/Home

Whether you’ve spent years saving and preparing to buy a farm or home, or are unsure if you can afford it, the questions surrounding a farm/home purchase can feel endless.

You can find the answers – and peace of mind – by working with Jeanne Ritt & Desiree Barbazon, the farm industry leader in experience and service.

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Here are some tips to help you become your own farm/home landlord:

1. Hire “me” as your real estate professional.
The first step is for you to hire me to help you find your dream farm/home and fine tune your financial expectations. Working with a buyer’s agent is worth consideration since I am legally responsible for representing the buyer’s interest in a real estate transaction. I can guide you through every step to buying a farm/home.

2. Shop for mortgage rates & terms.
A difference of even a percentage point can make a huge difference in how much you pay over the life of a loan. For example, the difference in the monthly payment on a $100,000 mortgage at 8 percent vs. 7.5 percent is about $35 per month. Over 30 years, that’s $12,600.

3. Prequalify for a loan.
Your third step should be to get pre qualified, which determines how much you can afford. It allows you to move swiftly when you find the right farm/home, especially when there are other interested buyers. It also indicates to the seller that you are serious and really can afford to buy the Ocala property.

4. Define what you want.
The next step is to create a realistic idea of the property you’d like to buy. What features are most important to you? Make two lists: one of the items you can’t live without and one of the features you would enjoy. Refine the lists as you farm/hose hunt. It is also helpful to search on-line to see what is currently available on the market. I can then show you farms/houses that meet your expectations.

5. Visit properties.
Now you’re ready to visit farms/homes. I will arrange showings, and keep track of the properties you’ve seen.

6. Know the features that help or hurt resale.
In some areas, a swimming pool actually detracts from a home’s value and makes it harder to sell. In neighborhoods with concrete barns or wood barns may impact the farm/home sale and the future value. I can point out features that hurt, and those that help, resale value.

7. Rate the farms/houses you tour.
After touring each Ocala farm/home, write down what you liked and didn’t like. Develop a rating system that will help narrow the field down. For example, pick the farm/house you liked the best on day one and compare all other farms/houses to it. When you find a better one, use the new favorite as the standard.

8. Make an offer.
Once you’ve pinpointed your dream farm/house, it’s time to get serious about the financial and contractual side of the purchase. My help will be a strong advantage since you and the seller have different goals.

9. Arrange for a home inspection.
After your offer is accepted, set up a home inspection. It’s common to find problems, including leaky roofs, cracked walls, insect infestation, and foundation problems. Your real estate professional can help find a reputable inspector, and negotiate to get you the most for your money once the inspector’s report is final. If you negotiate repairs as part of the purchase, ask for a Walk through before finalizing the paperwork. Ask me about home protection plans, which may save you money in the near future.

10. Close.
Before your closing date, I will make sure you’ve made all necessary deposits and completed the paperwork – including mortgage, title, homeowners insurance and any the other paperwork required by the local or state governments.

11. Prepare for life in your new farm/home.
Before rolling out the welcome mat, consider some moving basics: arranging for an alarm company, turning on electricity, water and gas, and notifying your local post office of your new address. The best time for renovations is often before you move in.