I had a friend comment today that he’s beginning to realize that it’s confusing and complicated to buy a home, that there’s a lot to know and think about when you make what seems to be the relatively simple decision to buy your first home.
I think many of us in the business (any business) take for granted our knowledge and sometimes forget that others do not know many of the things we do. I know I have friends in the computer industry who speak over my head within moments of beginning a conversation.
With that in mind, I wanted to offer some tips for buying a home in Orange County in today’s market.
1. Decide if it’s the right time for you to buy.
- Look at the cost of renting versus buying.
- Renting may be cheaper in the short run, but rents will go up and mortgages won’t if you choose a fixed rate, long term mortgage.
- Owners must pay for their own maintenance.
- Income tax deductions for home owners.
2. Don’t believe the media – it is not necessarily a buyers’ market.
- Many areas of Orange County have very few homes for sale under $500,000.
- There may be a lot of competition for these homes.
3. Be prepared.
- Make sure you have been pre-approved for a loan before you start to seriously look for a home.
- Make a list of everything you would like in a home, and then narrow it down to your top 2 or 3.
- Make sure you and anyone else buying a home with you are on the same page. If their top 3 contradicts your top 3, there’s going to be a problem in finding the perfect home.
- Get your questions answered. If you don’t know what points, LTV,TIL or anything else is, don’t be afraid to ask.
4. Be patient.
- Expect to have to make several offers before one is accepted if you are trying to buy in a competitive area or at a competitive price range.
- It would be great to get the $8,000 Tax Credit, but making sure it’s the right home will be a better deal in the long run.
5. Don’t rush, but be ready to make a decision.
- This sounds contradictory and may be counter intuitive.
- However, many of the best homes are only on the market a few days before they sell.
- Get to know the homes that are on the market in your area and price so that you will be comfortable to make a strong offer when the right home comes up for sale.
6. Work with knowledgeable professionals whose advice you are comfortable taking.
- Buying a house can be a long, confusing, sometimes frustrating process.
- Having a trusted professional at your side can make a huge difference both in your stress level and in actually getting your home.
There are many things to consider when looking to purchase your first home. If you are confused by the myriad of decisions or have already answered many of them and just want to find the right home, please call me at 714.319.9751