Looking to buy a home? Here are five essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.
Get your finances in order.
Start by getting a full picture of your credit. Obtain copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house.
Find a house you can afford.
There are a number of tools and calculators online that can help you understand how your income, debt, and expenses affect what you can afford. Play around with the mortgage calculator on my home page and see how different purchase prices, and different down-payments, affect your monthly mortgage payment. Don’t forget to include property taxes, which are roughly 1.25% / year of your purchase price.
Hire a professional.
While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. You need someone to represent you and strategize to get you the best price. This expertise comes with experience. Negotiating the best deal for my clients is my prime objective when I represent buyers.
Do your homework.
Before making a bid, do some research to determine the state of the market at large. Is it more favorable for sellers or buyers? Next, look at sales trends of similar homes in the area or neighborhood. Ask me to run comps for you so that you can see what similar homes have sold for in your neighborhood.
Think long term.
Consider the nature of home prices in Los Angeles. Yes, like all places, home sales go up and down. But, historically, home appreciation in Los Angeles is substantial. A home purchase can be a great investment if done right. This is especially true if you buy in an up-and-coming neighborhood.