If you are considering buying your first home, you have many challenges ahead of you. I have created a specialized team of industry experts who are focused on helping you, as a first time buyer. Please click HERE to meet your team!
Consult with a lender. THIS IS STEP ONE! As a first time buyer, you need to know your purchasing power. Shop mortgage options and compare rates for FREE with the best mortgage advisors in the business. Use our quick and easy tool to find out what you qualify for: http://iapprovesocal.itclix.com/.
Know your FICO and credit score. If you have credit issues or negative marks on your credit report, take care of them immediately. Eliminate any revolving credit (typically credit cards where you are paying off a little each month). Finally, do not close any existing accounts, and do not apply for any new credit (preferably 9 months to a year prior).
Save and save some more. Do everything you can to sock away cash. Make whatever reasonable reductions you can in your monthly expenditures. This short term situation will pay off in the long term. A lender wants to see that you have healthy cash reserves over and beyond money you will have to pay for the down payment and your closing costs.
Create a home buying priority list. This list should be in order of importance, should focus on your particular lifestyle and should include both Micro and Macro priorities. Micro are features you want inside your home - number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, orientation, attached garage, views, one or two story, turnkey or fixer. Macro are features you want outside your home - close to the freeway, parks/trails, schools, shopping, day care, medical, employment, pools, tennis, beach.
Find a great Realtor. Look no further - call or text me. With over 36 years in the real estate industry here in Orange County, I am the ONE Realtor you need to talk to.
Get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved by a lender is critical in getting your financing in order. This process involves documentation of income, assets, debts, and credit history. The lender will issue a letter stating that you are pre-approved or (pre-qualified) for a certain mortgage program and dollar amount.
Meet with your Realtor. I will talk with you about your lifestyle needs, priorities, specific housing types and geographic areas or neighborhoods that appeal to you. There are many residential products to choose from here in OC. If you are considering purchasing a condominium, condo ownership can be very complex and confusing. I will discuss with you the pros and cons of condos, and will advise you on owning and living in a CID (Common Interest Development). Based on these criteria and your lender qualifications, we will find the ONE home for you.
Home selection. No home is perfect, so don’t let minor flaws influence you. Think long-term. Which home best meets your criteria. Don’t buy more than you need or can comfortably afford. I will be there for you through the entire selection process, addressing all of the pros and cons of potential homes. I will provide to you “comparables” to assist you in determining the offer price. I will also advise you on strategies for purchasing the home at the lowest price possible.
Making an offer. When you are ready, I will prepare your offer. Your lender will re-confirm your loan based on the proposed asking price. There’s a good chance your offer will be countered by the sellers, but I will be there with you through this entire process. Once a final price and specific conditions have been agreed to by both parties, escrow will open!