A home is probably the biggest financial investment you’ll make in your life. Before you get started, do some homework. Our Buyer Resource Center will help you get from start to sold.
1. Determine How Much You Can Afford
How much house you can afford is largely dependent on how large of a mortgage (basically, a home loan) you can handle. Start your research by using our simple mortgage calculator to determine a target price based on monthly payments.
Click Here for the Simple Mortgage Calculator
Click Here for More Calculators- How Much Home Can I Afford?, Rent vs Buy, Should I Refinance?
Now that you have an idea of what's affordable, it's time to get Pre-Approved for a mortgage. What you can afford and what the bank thinks you can afford may be two different things. You should have a Pre-Approval Letter in hand before you start looking at homes. In fact, some sellers won't even let you see their home unless you've already been pre-approved for a mortgage.
Click Here to Fill Out a Mortgage Pre-Approval Application
Keep in mind that owning a home involves more than a monthly mortgage. You’ll also have to consider money you’ll need to have at hand when you make an offer, when you close on a home, and on a monthly basis after the home is yours.
Payments you may have to make when you submit an offer and at closing include:
Earnest Money Deposit- Usually 3% of the cost of the house, which you pay as a deposit on the house when you submit your offer. It’s your proof that you’re a serious buyer. This is later applied to your down payment and closing costs.
Mortgage insurance, paid by borrowers making a down payment of less than 20%.
Closing costs, usually 3% to 4% of the cost of the house, to pay for processing all the paperwork. You may be able to negotiate with the seller to pay some of these costs.
Don’t forget the day-to-day expenses you may incur once you own that home. This includes:
Homeowner or condo association dues
City or County taxes
2. Determine Where You Want to Live
Location - Location - Location. Now that you know how much you can afford and have been pre-approved for a mortgage... Do you know where you want to live?
Below are some great neighborhood research tools to help you zero in on your ideal neighborhood.
Los Angeles Times Mapping Project- Provides maps and statistics for 158 cities and 114 neighborhoods in Los Angeles County.
Community Information- Links to various community websites.
School Information- Links to various school districts.
3. Shop for a Home
House hunting can be both exciting and frustrating. Most homebuyers see many houses before buying one. To make the search easier and faster, most house hunters today begin by browsing for properties on the Internet, using web sites like this one. Our website gives you access to ALL of the homes that are posted on the MLS. Basically you can use our website to search just like a Real Estate Agent would. This information is up-to-date. Other sites on the internet do not provide up-to-date data and lag behind our site.
Click Here to Start Your Search
4. Hit the Streets
Now you've identified some homes that you'd like to see! Send us an email or give us a call and we'll make an appointment for you to see them.
Click Here to Send Us an E-mail
Call us at (818) 848-5412 Ext. 0
5. Make an Offer
When you’ve found a house you really want, it’s time to make the offer. How much you offer may depend on a number of factors:
This can be just the beginning of the negotiation process. The seller has three options: accept your offer, counter your offer or reject your offer. Let us advise you on the best way to present your offer for a good outcome.
Is the asking price fair? Here’s where the legwork you put in while shopping for a home pays off. Decide whether this house is priced right or out of line in the current marketplace.
Is the house in good condition? Is this house in move-in condition or will it need a lot of work? Take any costs of improvement into consideration when deciding your offer price.
Has it been on the market long? Usually the longer a house has been on the market, the more likely it is the owner would accept a lower offer. Or maybe it’s just overpriced for the market.
Is it a seller’s or buyer’s market? If the houses you’re interested in are being bought as soon as they’re listed, that means you’ve got a lot of competition from other buyers; offer accordingly. If houses aren’t selling fast, you may have more leverage in negotiating a lower price.
Once you’ve determined how much you’d like to offer, work with your real estate professional to submit the proper information. This includes:
A complete, legal description of the house
The amount of earnest money you’re paying
The down payment and financing details
A proposed move-in date
The price you’re offering
A proposed closing date
The length of time your offer is valid
Details of the deal