Buying a home is up there with one of the most important decisions you will make. It goes beyond picking out the cutest house on the block, or dreaming of the parties you could throw in that to die for backyard. Even the most experienced buyers can still find this process to be difficult.
It is important to be organized here! This will keep you focused and help you weed out the homes that aren’t right for you and the fam. You may try to convince yourself that you can make the 1 bathroom Willow Glen bungalow work with your 4 kids, 2 dogs and a husband. ALL because of that insanely amazing fantastic kitchen with the Viking stove… No. no. no.
So that’s why I’ve made you a checklist.
If you are just getting started out in your home searching adventure and don’t know where to start, this will be invaluable information for you to have. Hopefully this will make the buying process less overwhelming and put things more in perspective so you can act accordingly.
#1 What can we afford?
Before searching online or going to open houses, you need to know which driveways you can even afford to pull into. First thing on your list: get pre-approved. You can contact me and I will set you up with my loan officer, who will help you determine what type of financing works best for you and also how much you qualify for. Getting pre-approved will make you look that much better when writing up your offer. It puts you in a stronger negotiating position, not to mention it shows the Seller that you are a serious, committed buyer, capable of buying their property. Very important.
#2 Map it out
Set your goals for the months leading up to your potential move date. Plan on contacting your real estate agent and getting pre-approved 3-4 months in advance. This gives us a few months to find your place.
#3 Start shopping!
Although us agents have access to the multiple listing service, and would be searching & showing you homes on a regular basis (based on your criteria and loan approval amount), you can still look for your self online. This is the best part!! You can view virtual tours, pictures etc. Check out www.CaliforniaMoves.com Even calculate your mortgage payment!
#4 Location, location, location
You will find that this is going to be one of the most important aspects in finding your home. Location determines price, desirability, it’s re-sale value. If you plan on renting the property out at some point, it will have an effect on how long it takes to rent out & what kind of price you will get monthly. So these are all things to be considered.
You should narrow down what neighborhoods you are interested in or willing to live. Most people have a general idea of where they would like to buy. Things like school districts, shopping/dinning, parks & recreational areas near the neighborhood should all be taken into account.
#5 List out your must-haves & be ready to compromise
The dream home in your head might not actually exist in reality – Well at least not in your price range or neighborhood. You may have to compromise & pass on the house with a pool and gorgeous garden , and pick the 4 bedroom you need, plus it’s close enough to your child’s school and activites.
Make a list of about 4-5 things that you cannot live without. NOT 10-20! Let’s be realistic now. Some buyers can get a bit carried away.. I know I did!
#6 Fixing the ugly
Once you find the house you like, you might want to consider the cost of upgrades or remodeling. Factor those into your budget. Is that kitchen something you can live with for a few years until you save up for the renovation cost? Any upgrades you do will contribute to the value and equity of your home. So it’s 100% worth it!
My #1 Buyer Tip – DO NOT let the seller seduce you with their gorgeous furniture and lavish amazing taste people!
It’s not going to look like that when you actually move in. Well unless you are purchasing the home with furniture included or maybe you do have incredibly lavish amazing furniture. Who knows.
Questions? Contact us today!