3 Essential Home Buying or Building Decisions

Real Estate

By Jared Weggeland
Focus Realty Group, KW Lakeland
Lakeland, FL

There are a lot of decisions to make when it comes to buying a home in Lakeland and Central Florida. Once you evaluate all of those possible questions, there are really only three decisions that are essential to a successful home purchase:

  1. Financing and price
  2. Home plan and design
  3. Location

If one of these three decisions are not made up front your home search will not be as enjoyable as it can be. 

Financing and Pricing

How much home can you afford? How much would you like to invest up front and how much would you like your monthly investment? How much money will you need for closing costs? What other funds will you need to move forward with a purchase? Monies for inspections, appraisals or other possible upfront expenses? Click here to see an example of a home for sale showing a monthly and initial investment. (When you scroll down look to the right of the screen and there is a mortgage calculator that you can manipulate.)

If you are selling a home before you can purchase your next home, how much is your house worth? How much money will you "net" from the sale of the house that can go towards the purchase of your new home? Do you need to sell your house now, or could you possibly buy your new place, then sell your current house and have your new mortgage adjusted once your old house sells? Contact us online to discuss your options further.

Once you have obtained a pre-approval you will know how much the bank is willing to lend to you, however, does that amount represent the amount you would like to spend on a monthly basis? Some people don't put two and two together and their pre-approval amount ends up being more than they would actually like to spend each month - avoid that mistake and your home shopping experience will be more pleasurable. 

When building a new home, the construction-perm loans needed to build are a little different than a standard purchase mortgage, but the experts at Focus Realty Group, KW Lakeland, and Focus Homes, will guide you to lenders that can fit your financing needs. 

Home Plan and Design

Deciding what you would like and need up front when it comes to your home plan and design will help you narrow down your search options more effectively. When you search for a new home, start with a wide open search and narrow down your options after that. For example, this morning I typed in a search for Lakeland homes from $100,000-$200,000 and there were over 100 results! That's way too many. I then put in how many bedrooms and bathrooms were desired. With my online search tool, you can continue to narrow down your search even further to find exactly what you're looking for.

To be realistic, you may not find your dream home on day one. You may need to "save" your search. When you do that, you will receive emails automatically when new homes meeting your criteria come to the market. This makes "staying on the pulse" of available homes much more simple than you conducting manual searches every day. 

If you think that building a new home may best suit your needs, you can start the design process by looking up floor plans online. Generally, Focus Homes' customers will come to their first design consultation with four or five floor plans that include layouts that they like. One plan may have a master bedroom and bathroom layout that is preferred. One plan may show an excellent kitchen layout. One plan may have an exterior elevation that you enjoy. One plan may have a desired outdoor living space. And so on, and so forth. The Focus Homes experts then take all of your design elements and create a one-of-a-kind floor plan just for you!


There are several reasons to choose one location over another:

  • The commute to work is shorter
  • The neighborhood is very desirable
  • There is no HOA
  • The community includes a pool, clubhouse and more
  • You have school aged children and the schools are very sought after
  • It is close to your place of worship
  • What other reasons might exist for you?

Often a home buyer needs to decide if the location or the home plan design is most important to them. Why is this? Simply put, the location determines the ultimate value of a property. An 1,800 SF home in one Lakeland location could be $50,000 or more than the same sized home in a different location. (All three of these critical decisions are connected.)

When building a new custom home the location makes a huge difference in the amount for the lot on which you choose to build. You could buy a gorgeous lot in a gated community for $85,000 in one location, or a 7 acre parcel in a different location. Search home sites in Lakeland now to have a look for yourself. Also, one thing to consider is that you may find a home site that you love, but it completely "raw" - nothing is done on the land. It needs a septic tank, a well, it needs trees cleared, electricity run etc. Yes, the purchase price of the lot may be less upfront, but the development costs may be $25,000 or more, and a more expensive home site that is already prepared for building may end up making more sense. Focus Homes builds on both types of lots, so it really doesn't matter to us.

Once you have decided a suitable financing program, a desired home plan and design, and your preferred location, you are in very good shape to find an existing home, or build a new home, with great success. The experts at Focus Realty Group, KW Lakeland, and Focus Homes are here to help you every step of the way. Let's get you a new home! Call or text 863-640-2246 today to get started selling and or buying your next home.