Home Buying 101 Series: Preparation is Key

October 22, 2018

To be prepared is half the victory. – Miguel De Cervantes

The final few months of 2018 are upon us, and many are already making plans for the year ahead. Are you hopeful that 2019 will be THE year that you make the transition from renter to homeowner?

Buyer preparation is one of the keys to a successful home purchase. It’s important to avoid the most common mistake that many first-time buyers make – falling in love with a home that isn’t financially realistic.

Before looking at homes online and visiting open houses, here are a few things you should do first:

Speak with a Lender – Not sure where to find one? Get a referral from a friend or family member who recently purchased a home. Or, you can ask a real estate agent! I refer my clients to Carolyn Plummer at AmeriFirst Financial, Inc. With more than 28 years of experience, Carolyn is able to expertly guide buyers with integrity and helpfulness. Although it may seem premature to take this step so early in the process, I believe it is the most crucial. Imagine how horrible it would be to find a great home and then realize there had been a hiccup in your credit report? A reputable lender like Carolyn can help assess your credit to see if anything needs to be corrected, determine if there are debts that need to be paid down and review appropriate loan programs BEFORE you start looking at properties. She can also assist with calculating what you’ll need for a down payment and closing costs as well as evaluating discrepancies between what you qualify for and what you’re comfortable paying (For example, you may qualify for a $500,000 loan, but not want the monthly payment that comes with it).

Find a Real Estate Agent – Ask friends, colleagues or family members for their recommendations. Or, if you’ve already found a lender, ask them! I usually work hand-in-hand with Carolyn to meet buyers together, so it saves them time. We cover market trends, benefits of homeownership and what type of equity to anticipate over the next decade. We also discuss the vision that a buyer has for their future home.

Be Realistic – You’re more than likely not going to find your dream home the first time around, especially here in San Diego County. Instead, think of getting your foot in the door so that you can begin building the equity that will get you to your dream home. Speaking of dream homes, remember that no home is going to be perfect. Even people who build their “dream” home find that once they’ve moved in, there’s something they would have done differently. Keep your priorities in mind as you begin to look at homes and remember to be flexible! If the neighborhood is the most important factor in your purchase, then you may need to start with a condo or townhouse. 

Determine Your Why – A home purchase is a big commitment, and it’s scary for most buyers. When your lender asks for your hundredth piece of documentation, or you’re signing yet another real estate disclosure, your “why” will keep you moving forward. Is it so that you can own a pet? Is it for security for your children? A sense of community? Only YOU will know YOUR why.

Financial guru Suze Orman once stated that owning a home is a keystone of wealth – both financial affluence and emotional security. I agree with her. I‘ve seen many clients achieve great success in building significant wealth through their real estate ventures.

So what are you waiting for? If you’re considering buying a home in the future, it’s never too early to seek the advice of a real estate professional and lender. We’re here to help you achieve your homeownership dreams! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 619.405.7673 or homes@livininsd.com.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: