What it’s like being a first-time homebuyer in this Tampa Bay market

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It’s a tough time to buy a house right now. Even tougher for first-time homebuyers.

The white-hot real estate market in Tampa Bay has seen plenty of bidding wars, buyers waiving inspections and sales for tens of thousands over asking price in the last year.

Gene Vandi, 28, has been living in a rental home with a friend in Largo. But late last year, he started thinking about getting more space. Vandi, who works for a business lending company, began his house hunt around March.

In a perfect world, Vandi wants to buy a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home with a two-car garage and a backyard for under $300,000. But because of the current market conditions, he’s had to adjust some items on his wish list and bump his budget to up to $350,000.

Vandi spoke with the Tampa Bay Times about his house-buying experience. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

I’m sure you have heard all the same things I have about how the market has been. Were you…

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