Top 5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers in Orange County

  1. Figure Out How Much Mortgage You Qualify For.
    Before you start shopping, it’s important to get an idea of how much a bank or lender will actually be willing to give you to purchase your first home. You may think you can afford a $300,000 home, but lenders may think you’re only good for $200,000 depending on factors like how much other debt you have, your monthly income and how long you’ve been at your current job.
  2. Decide on What Type of Home Best Suits Your Needs.
    You have several options when purchasing a residential property: a traditional single-family home, a townhouse, a condo, or a multi-family building with two to four units. Each option has its pros and cons, depending on your homeownership goals, so you need to decide which type of property will help you reach those goals.
  3. Make a Master List of Wants & Needs for Your Ideal Home.
    While it’s good to retain some flexibility in this list, you’re making perhaps the biggest purchase of your life, and you deserve to have that purchase fit both your needs and wants as closely as possible. Your list should include basic desires, like neighborhood and size, all the way down to smaller details like bathroom layout and a kitchen that comes with trust-worthy appliances.
  4. Write Out a List of All Current Expenditures. Then Make a Second One for When You Purchase.
    By doing so you will continue to save money by focusing on things you can cut out from your monthly expenses. The second list is everything on the first one plus the items you’ll need to anticipate spending money on in your new home, like what your future gas, electric, cable, maintenance and repairs.  Your loan officer can help you with estimating the taxes and insurance in your monthly payment when you get pre-qualified.
  5. Find and Excellent ‘Buyer’s Agent’                                                                                                                                                                                           A prompt Realtor who caters to first time home buyers and works hard keeping you in the loop while educating you and supplying valuable material is ideal. Never sign a contract making them your ‘exclusive’ agent to buy a home until they have proven their worth to you. Once selected, they will help you locate homes that meet your needs, are in your price range, and then meet with you to view those homes. Once you’ve chosen a home to buy, your agent can assist you in negotiating the entire purchase process, including making an offer, getting a loan, completing paperwork and protect you from common pitfalls along the way.
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