Flyer too good to be true? Costs to be aware of when buying home

Posted at 4:54 AM, May 04, 2017

It's certainly part of the American Dream - owning a home - and many realtors will tell you right now is the time to buy because the cost to rent is so high.

But a flyer making it's ways around Tampa Bay may be misleading, according to some realtors. It says you can own a nice home and pay the same amount of money you're paying in rent.

"There definitely are advantages to buying over renting right now. And ultimately in a lot of cases people can really get their monthly payments down," said Tessa Inners, a realtor at Keller Williams.

Which is why the bright yellow flyer is enticing. It claims you can have a credit score as low as 500 and put nothing down on a loan.

Inners says the fine print wouldn't apply to everyone.

"I think the flyer is posing an ideal situation. I think it's really just kind of using a sales tactic to get you in the door, get you thinking and getting people wanting to buy," she said. "Depending on your credit or the money you have to put down on a home, you really need to talk to a lender - talk to professionals and get all of the advice you need upfront."

Joy Mchuge, who lives in Hyde Park, pays $3,500 a month for her place. That home sold in 2009 for $275K- that price has nearly doubled in value since.

"I'm a single mom and I'm renting right now, I wish this was possible," she said looking down at the flyer, "but I don't think for my case it is.", a new tool by Zillow, allows you to calculate not only the mortgage on a home - but also all the other costs and fees you'd face when buying.

You can only search properties currently for sale - since the home McHuge is renting is not, we crunched some numbers based on a similar listing. We found McHuge is paying about the same for rent if the house was for sale today.

But McHuge just beat cancer and is paying hefty medical bills. Plus, "I definitely wouldn't have a down payment, closing costs and the interest on top of it."

That can be a deterrent for many. McHuge would be looking at about $7,300 in closing costs up front.

Inners' says if someone gets in over their head, it can be detrimental.

"You could eventually fall into a situation of bankruptcy or foreclosure and nobody obviously wants that to happen so that's why just kind of taking this flyer for face value needs needs to be eliminated."

Links to help you lower your closing costs:

Tampa Mortgage Assistance Program

Hillsborough County Down Payment Assistance

Tampa Bay CDC Down Payment Assistance