If you are planning on moving to California or buying a home here for the first time, you may get tired of all the available options. Surely you’re wondering where to start, how much to save, or what to look for? Let’s jump in on 5 Tips that will help you choose a home for your needs.
1. Check-up Your Financial Health
The transition from tenant to landlord requires a thorough assessment of your financial situation. The first step in buying a home is to consider the costs involved and understand your current financial situation.
Below is an overview of the cost of buying a home in California.
- Prepayment – The prepayment is the basis for your housing costs. It is a percentage of the closing price of the house that you pay to the lender. In California, the average down payment is 5.3%, but it can range from 3.5% to 20%. As of March 2020, the average home value in California was about $ 587,000. In any case, expect a down payment of at least US $20,000.
- Closing Costs – Closing costs include lender costs, real estate costs, and prepayments for items such as property taxes and home insurance. While this amount varies from region to region, the closing cost is 3% of the final closing price of the home, which can average around $ 17,000.
- Property Tax – If you own a home in California, you must pay property tax. The average effective property tax rate is 0.81% of the value of the home. You pay the property tax in two installments per year.
- Emergency Repairs Money – If something goes wrong with your home, you can’t go to the landlord or property manager to fix it – you are now the homeowner so you are fully responsible. Save money on emergency repairs before buying a home. Experts recommend setting aside 1 to 4 percent of the value of your home for this budget. Alsot is strongly advisable to consider a California home warranty if you want an extra piece of mind and a sense of security for your next home.
2. Get a Great Real Estate Agent
A great real estate advisor will be your strongest supporter and ally in the entire home buying process. They will work with you to understand the type of home you are looking for and explore the market to find the best options for your budget. The best California real estate agents show they are investing as much as possible to buy the home you love. If you are concerned about the brokerage costs, here is the good news: the home seller usually pays your brokerage commission. You basically get free time, care and experience from a broker. But it all starts with finding a representative that you will be happy to work with.
Here are a few tips to get you geared up properly:
- Researching Reviews – Just like using Yelp or Google surveys to find a good restaurant, real estate review sites can help you find trusted and real estate agents.
- Ask Good Questions – Once you have your list of attendees, do a brief introductory session to get to know them better. Understand beforehand what to look for in a representative and prepare questions about the representative’s competencies.
Don’t forget to ask the following questions:
- How well do you know the neighborhood that is important to me? When will you be available to show me potential properties?
- What is your communication style?
- How long does an average purchase take on average?
3. Educate Yourself on Housing Market
Once you’ve found a real estate advisor, it’s time to learn more about the California housing market. While your real estate advisor is an exceptional resource, it is always a good idea to have a basic understanding of housing market trends so that you can make informed decisions. Be careful what happens to property values in your areas of interest and be strategic in finding a home.
4. Find Your Next Home
Finding a home can be the most enjoyable part of the property buying process. It’s fun to see different homes, explore new neighborhoods, and imagine the amazing opportunities each home offers for your future. Here are some tips to help you find your new California home:
Online resources for home sales
In the digital age, more and more sellers are turning to online resources to advertise their homes. Browse through some home shopping sites to get an idea of the market. There are many times a day when you can quickly find apartments – doctor’s office waiting room, train ride, or even lunch breaks. Spend less time searching each day and more options to buy.
Tell your local friends and family that you want to buy a home. Word of mouth can be your best ally when a friend finds out that a home is coming on the market in your ideal area.
Ready for Your California Home?
Buying a home in California for the first time doesn’t have to be expensive. Wherever you land, you and your loved ones are the ones that will bring life to a home. Maintain your financial health to get there so your quality of life goes up and not down.