Needless to say, buying your first home is a huge investment! So many people become intimidated by the process, that they don’t bother learning about their options or how the process works. The process can be easy and fun when you have an idea of what you are doing. In this post, we will let you know what to prepare for when buying your first house!
Buying Your First House in Southern California? Here’s What to Prepare For
First, you need to ask yourself… are you ready? Like really ready?
You will want to get your finances in order and make sure your credit is in good standing. Obtain your credit reports from the three major bureaus, and address any mistakes immediately! If there are negative marks you can easily clear up, now is the time to do it.
Save your money, like all your money. Save as much as possible for your down payment, closing costs, and items you will need after moving in. The moving process costs money, and you will inevitably need supplies, furnishings or the ability to call someone to come trim the trees. Now is the time to be frugal with all your spending, and stock pile away what you can for your move.
Make sure you are emotionally ready as well. Owning a home is a huge commitment, and can be quite the shock if you’ve only rented in the past. You will be tied to this property and immediately responsible for all things related to it. Make sure this is really what you want at this juncture of your life! That said, don’t let fear keep you from getting into real estate! Most millionaires have made their money by starting with one, single investment!
Working With A Lender
There are all sorts of resources and programs available to prospective buyers. Shop around and find a lender who can get you great rates, but also one you can trust. Find a mortgage broker who is well versed in all of the programs out there. From down payment assistance to improvement grants, work with someone who knows what they are doing!
To get an FHA or Conventional Loan, you will need to have credit that is in good standing. You will need to have 2 or 3 active tradelines. If you know this ahead of time, you can prepare adequately before you attempt to get a loan. You should also have at least a three-month paper trail on all your accounts. Try not to move your money around too much, it can only add confusion to the process.
While you might find your dream home on the first shot, it pays off to look at several so you can compare neighborhoods, amenities and property values. Your dream home might be in another part of town, and you would never have known if you settled for the first one you looked at. Always make sure you have an inspection done, and work out repair costs with the seller. Your lender will also require an appraiser to fund the loan. Beware, if the house doesn’t appraise for what you are trying to borrow, your loan could fall through!
Before you make your offer, make sure you know exactly how much you want to spend. Don’t be impulsive and spread yourself thin trying to buy a property you can’t really afford. In addition to a mortgage, home ownership brings on a wealth of other new costs. If you prepare yourself and shop smartly, you will find the home of your dreams at the perfect price!