Congratulations – you’ve made the decision to take the plunge and purchase your first home! There are some things to consider, or make sure you have established, before beginning the search for your new home. Before you start searching for homes for sale in Valley Village, or seeing what available homes are for sale in Studio City, or visualizing dream homes for sale in Encino, CA, you should take care of these five tips that all future homebuyers should consider.
Save up – save early – and save often
Creditworthiness and your debt-to-income ratio are heavily scrutinized during the mortgage pre-approval process, which is when you learn what mortgage amount you are qualified for, pending final approval of all documentation. You can start looking online for homes for sale in Studio City and think about the must-haves you’d like in your home, but first make sure your credit is cleaned up and you are able to save enough towards the down payment and closing costs. This can run anywhere from 3 to 20 percent of the home cost, depending what is negotiated and whether you’re eligible for down payment assistance. Any extra funds you save up but don’t use during the homebuying process can go towards miscellaneous expenses after moving, such as new furniture or appliances. You never know how much that could cost, so start saving now. You’ll thank yourself later.
Know what you’re working with – financially and otherwise
As you and your realtor search for homes for sale in Valley Village, you both should be on the same page in terms of what you are able to afford (and what you have been pre-approved for), and what “must-haves” you can afford, like an in-ground pool or a three-car garage. The mortgage pre-approval sets a ceiling on how much home you can afford, and you may realize some must-haves are too expensive to include (or, if you’re lucky, you’ll know you can afford them!)
Don’t let the red-hot seller’s market scare you
It seems like everyone on the internet has an opinion on the current real estate market, and not all of these opinions are favorable. Do your best to tune out the noise; focus on what you and your realtor discuss and agree upon, and work closely with them to take quick and decisive action on any potential new homes. There’s nothing saying that the market is so hot that nobody can buy; in fact, with teamwork and a bit of persistence, new home buyers can get in too.
Sales happen fast; be ready to move even faster.
The average number of days that a home is actively listed for sale has drastically reduced in recent years, and while homebuyers could slow down and take their time before making an offer in the past, the same luxury of time doesn’t exist in today’s market. Don’t be afraid to take quick and decisive action, and make sure you are entering the homebuying process with a clear vision about what you can work with and what your must-haves are in your new home. This will help you act quickly on any potential homes your realtor shares with you.
Above all else, trust the professionals.
Your real estate agent knows the industry. They work in it full-time; they see what goes up for sale (and sometimes why), and they know other realtors. If you’re lucky enough to work with a seasoned realtor, they’ve seen it all and know how to handle almost any situation. Your loan officer can steer you towards a successful pre-approval and let you know what might be hindering your purchase power. Listen to them, and hear their wisdom and advice as you go through the homebuying process and search for homes for sale in Encino, CA and beyond.
Making sure you are undertaking the homebuying process in lockstep with your realtor, and having a clear vision of what you can afford and what your non-negotiable must-haves are, will help your homebuying process to be more successful. Buying a new home can be a daunting process, but having a real estate agent in your corner that can help you to navigate the complexities of homebuying will help you achieve the goal of home ownership.