Carlsbad home buyers – here are some things to do IF you are serious about buying a home.
In my experience many buyers do not do this when they are first getting started. If you aren’t paying cash, then you’re going to need a loan from a bank, or a big gift from someone. Getting a loan is NOT an easy thing to do these days even with great credit. You should check on interest rates since they have been trending up recently, and explore the loan programs that may be best for your financial situation. I can provide you with some recommendations of who to speak with if you need them. If you are a first time buyer, you may want read about the Downpayment Assistance Programs in North San Diego County.
DEVELOP A PERSONAL BUDGET
The bank will say you can borrow a certain amount of money. But is that what you REALLY can afford? Since the bank does not look at living expenses other than credit cards and loans, what you really can afford in order to maintain the lifestyle you enjoy is likely significantly less. Just because the lender says you can borrow $350,000 does not mean you should. It’s essential to consider what monthly payment you are comfortable with. It’s important to know your personal budget when you are house hunting so you don’t fall in love with homes that are well beyond your income and expenses.
DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT AND NEED
I include both since what buyers WANT and what they NEED are often the same. We all have dreams of what we would love to have in our homes. Reality, unfortunately, often seems to step in and say – nope, you can’t afford it right now. What is most important is that you focus on what is truly a NEED. The wants you can work around. As I tell every buyer – “there are always trade offs.” You can REQUEST my free HOME SEARCH QUESTIONNAIRE – just send me an EMAIL at JEFFDOWLERSOLUTIONS@GMAIL.COM. This may help you focus on the things that are really important.
GET EDUCATED ABOUT THE MARKET
I strongly recommend that you learn as much as you can about what is going on in the market – the inventory, what’s selling, areas you like, pricing trends, and so much more. You need to spend time researching, both on-line and in person. I don’t recommend relying on the media for your education. They speak in generalities – what’s true in one area is NOT always true in another. REMEMBER – real estate markets are LOCAL!
HIRE THE BEST REALTOR YOU CAN
I truly believe you will benefit from working with a knowledgeable REALTOR during the home search and transaction. This should be someone you trust, and like, and your agents REALLY needs to listen to what you need. But you also want your REALTOR to be honest and tell you the truth, not what you want or hope to hear. Your REALTOR needs to help you explore alternatives, solve problems, guide you through mounds of paperwork, assist during the due diligence process, enable you to make informed decisions, and be a sounding board when you have concerns or feel frustrated. Not an easy task, but so much better that trying to navigate the process without guidance. And your REALTOR will watch out for YOUR interests, not those of the seller.