If you’re buying a home for the first time, you probably feel intimidated, especially in a region like the Bay Area and Contra Costa County. You’ve heard all the scary details about rising mortgage rates and a housing market that does not seem to be dropping anytime soon. Before you panic or decide to put off buying, know that the process does not have to be overwhelming. You can sit back, relax, and read about the six ways to search for your first home like a professional.
Think of it as an investment
When you begin to think of the house you hope to buy now as an investment for the future, you can shift your perspective accordingly and begin to set investment goals. How much are you willing to invest? How much do you hope to make? What do you hope to do with the house? All of these are valid questions for an investor.
Set a budget and get pre-qualified
It helps to know your bargaining power before you start looking for what you want. Find a trusted lender that will pre-qualify you for your purchase amount. Align that amount with your budget, and you can start your hunt!
Understand the mortgage process
Finally, when your lender approves the loan amount, you will sign a document committing to the loan that states the interest rate and the monthly payment. When the home closes, you will sign your final mortgage documents at a title company and get your keys!
Location, location, location
Thus, when choosing a place to live, like a home for sale in Lafayette, take the drive several times during commuter hours, check local schools for your kids, and look into working from home as a possibility, at least a few days a week, if you plan to live far away from where you work. Consider your proximity to nature, parks, trails, and other recreational activities if you are an outdoors person. Also, consider how far you’ll be from conveniences like shopping and eating if those things matter to you. You don’t want to buy your dream home only to end up miserable.
Tour the homes you like
You also want to be sure you check in with your feelings about each home. How does it resonate with you? Do you feel good? Do you like not only the house but also the neighborhood and the commute? Make a list of things that matter to you, and then check it for each house you visit.
Work with a trusted realtor
You don’t have to search for your first home alone. You shouldn’t. Your realtor will be your best friend in this process, finding you exactly the right potential houses that match your criteria. You are more likely to get what you want and get a better deal for it when you work with a realtor. Make sure you get good references and read through testimonials to be sure the realtor is right for you. Of course, you also want to check your gut and make sure you get a good feeling when you meet each time you work together.
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