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How much you can comfortably afford?
Beyond pre-qualification, the pre-approval process is the best way to determine the number that’s right for you. More than just a conversation, pre-approval entails full documentation and a credit check. The comprehensive review of all this information will help to determine early, what is truly available to you. Better still is that there aren’t any hurdles left to cross before you can buy a home in California as this process will identify them long before it costs you time and money later.
How much cash do you need to close?
Part of a good pre-approval process is determining how much you would need to close at the price range that you can afford. You can’t qualify for a loan until you can prove you have the funds needed so it’s best to know ahead of time how much that will be. If you want to be really well prepared, getting all of this into a single account that’s used only for that purpose will help to greatly simplify the process once you have found the dream California home you want.
What kind of property do you really want?
Single family, multi-family, condo, co-op, victorian, colonial, split, ranch, cape, cottage, cabin, tepee. there are lots of types and legal distinctions from which to choose. You may be open to several styles or have your heart set on only one, it pays to know what’s what. Spending some quality time up front familiarizing yourself with the differences can save a lot of crunch time later. Having your search narrowed down to what you really want and can afford, will help to assure you don’t miss out on the perfect home in the perfect place in California once it does hit the market.
Where you really want to be and how long you’ll want to be there ?
As a first time buyer there’s an important balance to strike between buying what you can afford and buying what will accommodate your needs for longer than just the first few years. By no means do you want to stretch your budget to the breaking point, yet, neither do you want to buy today only to end up selling tomorrow to trade up to a bigger house. Assess your plans for growing the family and how your income might grow to match and realize that buying a home with a little extra space today might help keep you comfortable for longer without the expense and disruption of an early move later. This has never been more important than it is today as trading up tomorrow may mean not only a more expensive home but a potentially higher mortgage rate as well.
As you begin to actually look at homes, it’s also important to understand the process- This will vary by area, custom and for other reasons yet more or less boils down to – Offer, Acceptance, Inspections, Contract, Loan Application, Appraisal, Title, Loan Approval, Closing/Funding and Moving ln. There can of course be lots of little steps in between and the process won’t always occur in a given order so it pays to speak with those most familiar with these matters up front.
That is exactly what we’re here to help with so reach out whenever you’re ready.
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