Tips for First-time Home Buyers

Buying your first home can be a daunting task. How does one even begin? Apart from the overwhelming task of finding a home you actually want to live in, you have to think about things like mortgages, down payments, closing costs, taxes, insurance, and that’s just the money part of the process! This guide can help you start the sometimes stressful but always exciting process of buying your first house.

Before you start looking for a home, get pre-qualified for a loan. A lender should be able to advise you on how much money you can actually afford to borrow. Once you know your budget, you will have a much better idea of what areas and types of houses are available to you.

  • Make a list of your “must haves.”
    • How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need?
    • How much space do you want?
    • How big do you want the kitchen to be?
    • Do you need lots of closets and cabinet space?
    • Do you need a big yard for your kids and/or pets to play in?
  • Don’t forget to think about:
    • the kind of neighborhood you want
    • types of schools in the area
    • availability of public transportation
    • the length of your commute to and from work
    • the convenience of local shopping.
    • safety concernsfirst time home buyer image
    • the rate of home appreciation in the area.

If you are a low or moderate income homebuyer, there are special programs designed to help you. These loans are available through private lenders, as well as local and state housing agencies, like the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA). Most lenders specializing in real estate mortgage loans are aware of these types of loan programs. CalHFA has first and junior loan options, including low to zero interest rate down payment assistance loans. Visit http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/homebuyer/programs/index.htm to learn more about this.

These are just the very basics of starting the home-buying process. Having an experienced, knowledgeable realtor by your side can make it so much easier and less stressful. If you are looking to buy a house in the South Bay, California area, Bill Ruane is the expert you need to guide you through the process. Call today to start looking for your new home!

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