At my last open house, I noticed a lot of very nervous home buyers. For those of you reading my real estate blog, you know the absorption rate in most Los Angeles communities is low – meaning that listing inventory is low – i.e. a seller’s market.
I had several families come through with very well behaved children – thank you! Advice to parents: if your children aren’t well behaved, try to control them. They are not at a park and shouldn’t be touching everything – yes, I have kids and trust me I know when they are young it’s tough.
Although purchasing a home should be fun and exciting, you don’t want to allow your enthusiasm to cloud your judgement. Ideally, you have researched online real estate listings and visited open houses. If you haven’t done your research it’s hard to confidently and decisively move quickly when you find the right home.
Why get prequalified now?
- Just as important as your initial research is getting prequalified. In today’s heated Southern California real estate market, you will most likely be competing with other home buyers. When your offer is submitted to the seller’s real estate agent, you will need to show a lender’s prequalification letter. How quickly you can access bank statements, tax papers etc. will determine how long it takes to have the mortgage lender provide your prequalification. Cut down on your stress level and take care of the prequalification now (call me if you need a lender referral).
- What you think you can afford and how much you can obtain a loan for, are often two different numbers. If you are a first time home buyer, remember that every repair will be your responsibility. In addition to saving for your down payment, you will want to have a cushion – just in case.
Needs versus wants:
Sadly most home buyers need to make sacrifices when purchasing a home. Make a list of what you can’t live without (yes, you can live without a walk-in closet).
You need three bedrooms, you want two bathrooms
You need to be on a quiet street because of children or pets, you want a view
My first real estate purchase was in Glendale and my home didn’t have a dishwasher or central air. BUT it was a charming character home near Brand Park. Each night, I walked my dogs to the park. My second home was in Glendale’s Fair Oaks development and in addition to central air, we also had a walk-in closet and Jacuzzi tub. My current home is in La Canada and we have a pool and spa– but we didn’t start here – remember I started in a home without central air conditioning or a dishwasher.
Save, save, save. Buy as much home as you can – moving is not fun and it’s expensive as well. Contact me, that’s the first step in making your real estate dreams come true.
Related Posts: Nine foolish home buying mistakes and how to avoid them