BRENDA WILSON | Sarasota Real Estate, Bradenton Real Estate, Lakewood Ranch Real Estate

Purchasing a home is a sign of new financial responsibility for many people. The leap into homeownership is a big and important step. Finding a home and securing a mortgage isn’t easy. Getting ready to take on a mortgage can require a lot of research and education on your part. Before you get too confused, you’ll need to learn the basics of a mortgage and what you should know before you apply. 

Be Prepared

This is probably the best advice for any first time homebuyer. Find some good lenders in your area. You can sit down with a lender and talk about your goals. The bank will be able to explain all of the costs and fees associated with buying a home ahead of time. This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect when you head into a purchase contract without any surprises. 

What’s Involved In A Loan? 

Each mortgage is a different situation. This is why meeting with a lender ahead of time is a good idea. Your real estate agent can suggest a mortgage lender if you don’t have one in mind. No one will be happier for you than your real estate agent if you have a smooth real estate transaction. You’ll be able to walk through the mortgage process step by step with a loan officer and understand the specifics of your own scenario.

What You’ll Need For A Mortgage

There’s a few things that you’ll need to have ready before you can even begin searching for a home. 

Cash For A Down Payment

You’ll need to save up a bit of cash before you know that you’re ready to buy a home. It’s recommended that you have at least 20 percent of the purchase price of a home to put down towards your loan initially.   

A Good Working Knowledge Of Personal Finances

You should have an understanding of your own finances in order to buy a home. Not only will this help you save, but it will help you to ensure that you’re not going to overextend yourself financially after you secure the mortgage. To get your finances in order, honestly record all of your monthly expenses and spending habits, so you know exactly what you can afford.   

The Price Range Of Homes You’re Interested In 

If you have an idea of what kind of home you’d like, it will make your entire house shopping experience a lot easier. You’ll be able to see exactly what you can afford and how much you need to save. When your wish list equates to half-million dollar homes, and you find that you can only afford around $300,000, you don’t need to go into shock! It’s good to have an idea of how much house you can afford and what it will get you. When you do a little homework, you’ll discover that buying a home isn’t such a hard process when you’re prepared!

This listing recently sold for $89,900.

6033 34TH ST W #4, BRADENTON, FL 34210  

Sale Price
This adorable condo is ready for a new owner to come in and make it their own! Sit on the screened lanai and look over the water fountain in the creek- a peaceful place to relax. No foot traffic below- this is one of the only sections with no sidewalks directly under it. Laminate wood floors in the main living area and bedrooms, tile in bathrooms and kitchen- easy to maintain! Brand new toilets installed and the home has been freshly cleaned. Put this on your MUST SEE list- these units are selling quickly and sit in a desirable location, tucked away but so close to it all! This community IS NOT for investors looking to rent...only owners grandfathered in before 2007 can rent their units- all others are owner occupant ONLY. Private key code accessed pool area currently being updated with new pavers! Take a walk over to the pool and gym area- you will be impressed by the amenities this community has to offer. State-of-the-art fitness equipment, pristine pool area, shaded tennis court- you have to walk them to see how wonderful! Harbor Pines is located right around the corner from the world famous IMG academy & a short drive to Anna Maria Island BEACHES! Food, entertainment, Medical facilities, Schools & everything else you might need are all close by. This unit is priced under what all SOLD units closed at- PRICED TO SELL- this unit is perfect for a first-time home buyer, or someone needing a home away from home.

One very important, yet often overlooked aspect of setting up a home is that of lighting. We often take lighting for granted. We turn on a light in order to see something better, but there’s so much more to a well-lit room than placing a light anywhere in the space. Lighting should be done in layers. These layers include:

  • Ambient lighting
  • Accent lighting
  • Task lighting
  • Decorative lighting

For well-balanced lighting in a room, you should mix and match the types of lighting from these layers. Let’s break down the different layers of lighting:


This kind of lighting includes natural light sources such as windows and doors. Ambient lighting would also include pendant lighting and overhead light fixtures like a combination light/ ceiling fan.


Task lighting is exactly as the name denotes. You use this type of lighting when you want to complete some kind of task. These fixtures could include under the counter lighting, desk lamps, and reading lamps. 


Accent lighting provides additional brightness to a room. These fixtures include adjustable lights and recessed lighting features. 


Decorative lighting accents a room in a different way. These types of fixtures would be something like chandeliers, different colored light bulbs, and other lights that can be used for decoration.      


The great thing about the right kind of lighting is that it will feature the best parts of a room. Do you have a painting that you love? Use lighting to bring it out. Is there a statue that you want to make stand out? Use a soft spotlight. You can even highlight your crown molding and ceiling features with some mounted sconces or rope lights along the edge of your ceiling for an added effect. 

Spread It Out

One of the worst mistakes that people make when lighting a room is forgetting to spread out their light sources. All of the light in the room is concentrated in one spot, leaving dark patches in the space. This can be a decorator’s nightmare. This is why the layering method works so well. The lighting is spread out around the room and even. There won’t be any spots in the room where the lighting is overwhelming or on the flip side, not enough.

Use Your Windows

One of the other big mistakes in lighting is that people often forget to make use of the natural daylight. While you may need some lighting in a room that’s used often at night, there should be some great resources coming from right outside your windows. Don’t block this light! Use creative ways to direct the light accordingly like curtains and blinds. Don’t be afraid to leave some window space open as well to let the light shine in. While you don’t want to sacrifice your privacy, you do not want to live with your windows darkened all day, every day!

Updated and ready for you! Driving up you’ll notice the lush landscape which is partially due to the updated irrigation system w/new heads and zones positioned to cover best & conserve water. The exterior was painted in 2017, and interior painted in 2015. Other items updated in 2015 were Gas Water heater & Maytag Dishwasher. 2016 brought in a new Washer & Dryer w/added cabinets in laundry room, tile flooring laundry as well as 2nd bedroom. The partial–privacy fence was permitted & installed in 2016! 2017 home improvements included decorative wainscoting in laundry room, hallway & master bedroom which is a fine accent to this lovely home. 2018–upgraded New Fan Motor for the AC, Whole house Hurricane Shutters w/a separate “kit” for the covered lanai. Most recently - Luxury vinyl plank flooring in main living, dining, kitchen and hallway. ALSO- Kitchen appliances-ALL MAYTAG- Microwave, Gas stove and refrigerator! This home is open and bright with vaulted ceilings, canned lighting, gorgeous window treatments with blackout curtains included! The home owner’s attention to detail is evident in this fine home. Covered Bridge is a remarkable community with walking and bike paths throughout, The club house offers a meeting room, exercise facility, billiard room, full-sized kitchen. Olympic size heated pool is the focal point of the community and gathering area for friends and families. If you like more extensive exercise you can use the tennis courts or basketball court. NO CDD-only $217 HOA paid quarterly!

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This listing recently sold for $285,000.


Sale Price
Spectacular RIVER STRAND Golf & Country Club COACH HOME shows like a model, with incredible 9th Fairway views of the Estuary Golf Course with breathtaking sunsets. This 2nd floor condo has UPGRADED TILE FLOORING throughout the living areas complimented with CROWN MOLDING, and a delightful kitchen overlooking the screened lanai and golf course. The Oleander floorplan features a spacious master bedroom with a garden tub, separate shower, dual vanities, two walk-ins, plus two spacious guest bedrooms with a full bath. The Kitchen boasts GRANITE COUNTERTOPS, stainless appliances, rich cabinetry, and a breakfast nook, plus dining or Den area, opening to a spacious great room plan. This IMMACULATE condo was NEVER RENTED. Walk to the fabulous 39,000’ Tuscan inspired clubhouse, offering several dining options, 9 lighted tennis courts & onsite Pro, plus State of the art 24-hour Fitness Center and so much more!! RESORT LIVING with food and drinks available while relaxing at the dual resort pools or enjoying the Arthur Hills inspired 27-hole Championship golf courses, all available year round. This MAINTENANCE FREE CONDO also offers an OVERSIZED GARAGE with space for 2 cars plus golf cart, kayak, etc! Perfect option for year-round resort living, or as a part time get-away to escape long northern winters, living in luxury! Full Golf & Social MEMBERSHIP INCLUDED. Conveniently located with quick access to World Class beaches, airports, shopping, dining, entertainment, and so much more! BEST BUY in Riverstrand!