While looking for a new home can and should be fun and exciting, it is also often a stressful experience. There are many factors that go into looking for a new home, from the actual hunt to signing the final paperwork. When looking in Santa Monica to buy homes, there are several steps you can take to help minimize the stress.
Before the Search
Ideally, planning to purchase a home should begin way before you are actually ready to buy the home. The first factor you should consider when purchasing a house is your finances. For most people looking to buy a home, a mortgage will be needed. When acquiring a mortgage, your credit score not only determines how good of a rate you will be eligible for, but can affect whether or not you can get the loan at all. It is a good idea to obtain a credit report to have any mistakes corrected. Many low scores can be improved by paying off credit debt, which has a huge effect on most credit scores.
Next, look at your finances. Determine what you would be able to afford with your present income and monthly expenses. Remember you will need money for a down payment, interest, utilities, property taxes, closing costs, and possible maintenance. Speaking with your lender about acquiring a pre-approval for a mortgage can also help you determine what you can and cannot afford. Make sure you acquire a pre-approval rather than a pre-qualification. Pre-qualification involves a verbal conversation with your lender to determine an estimate based upon your financial information, whereas a pre-approval involves documents showing the lender the full financial information and credit history to determine an acceptable, possible loan amount. Be sure to contact your lender in advance to determine what paperwork they will need you to bring for the pre-approval.
During the Search
Now that you have an idea about what you can afford in a new home, it is time to start looking. Hiring a real estate agent will often greatly minimize the stress of searching in Santa Monica to buy homes. A good real estate agent will be familiar with the area you wish to relocate to, and will consider your wants and needs for a new home. Making a wish list of features you desire in a home can help, but should not stop there. Separating the features into a list of importance will also help the process, giving you and your real estate agent an idea of what are “must haves” and what can be done without if necessary. When viewing homes, do not forget to take notes to assist you in remembering what you liked and disliked about each home you visit to help you in the decision later. Once you have decided on a home, your real estate agent will help you determine a fair offer, as well as assisting you with filling out and understanding the final paperwork.