So you’re ready to move from the apartment living and finally own your own home? That’s fantastic and congratulations to you! Owning a home is a lot more involved than renting an apartment but I’m sure you know that already. I was an apartment living for several years and finally bought a home in July of 2015 and there was a lot that I learned while buying a home in Gainesville, FL.
This post assumes you’ve already figured out how much home you can afford and what your monthly payment will be via a mortgage calculator. If you haven’t, I recommend using those links to get started.
Living in Gainesville my entire life I was pretty informed about the different neighborhoods in Gainesville to choose from. Depending on your budget, buying a home in Haile Plantation can be a great place to start looking for your first, second or even third home.
Haile Plantation, an unincorporated community and New Urbanism planned development, is a 2,600 household (1,700 acre) development of regional impact southwest of the city of Gainesville, within Alachua County, Florida, United States. While the Village Center provides the life of the community, most residents reside within easy walking distance in one of two associations: Haile Plantation Homeowners’ Association and Haile Plantation West Homeowners’ Association.
If that’s not the neighborhood for you, there’s plenty others. When I bought my home, I went through Matt Thomas at Thomas Group Realty. They are a Gainesville real estate company that is focused to the Gainesville area. I chose them for a number or reasons: recommendations from friends, their community involvement and also knowing I was working with a company that was dedicated to the Gainesville scene. Matt or any of his agents will be able to show you neighborhoods in Gainesville that fit your personal needs and budget.
We ended up finding a home in a new construction neighborhood in Gainesville. We saw the home during a Parade of Homes a few months prior but weren’t in the spot to purchase at the time. We didn’t even think about this neighborhood during our search but were quickly reminded about it when doing searches on Thomas Group’s website for what we were looking for.
One thing you’ll need to realize is that unless you have an open budget, finding a perfect home in every way is likely impossible. Be prepared to make compromises and have a first list of won’t budge items if they are truly important to you. Your realtor will be able to tell you if that’s reasonable or not. If it isn’t and those items truly are won’t budge items, you may need to continue saving until you can afford the home of your dreams. Don’t worry if your first home isn’t your dream home, often times it can simply just be a good time to buy based on the market into a starter home and look for that dream home later.