Advice For First Time Home Buyers

Here is some advice if you happen to be qualifying for a first time home buyer loan trying to buy a  Santa Maria home.  It’s a great time to buy a home whether it be in the Santa Maria real estate market or any where ever you happen to be looking.  But usually a big concern most first time home buyers have is trying to not make a mistake in buying a home since a home is such a big step.  For most people buying a home is going to be the biggest investment or purchase that they will ever make.  So yes this is a big step for mostly any one.  First and foremost is that the last few years have taught us a few things, one is to live within our means.  Two that becoming a home owner, and owing our own house is not a right but a privilege.  So hopefully this will be of some help to those looking buy a home.

So lets start off with what can you afford forget about trying to keep up with your friends that is how most of us end up in situations we wish we never were in.  We bought the car that we can’t afford and have more things in the garage than we know what to do with.  So forget about having a house nicer or bigger than someone you know, or just as a big, you are shopping for yourself and the last thing you want to be is basically poor and own a home.  What I mean by that is that your paychecks are being consumed every month just to pay the mortgage forget about having a life or taking the wife and kids out.  Because at the end of the month there’s just not enough left over for anything to buy or do.  You should keep your new mortgage payment less than 40% of what your gross income is.  You may qualify for more and that’s great but here is the thing to think about.  What if you had a reduction in your pay, what if your wife had a reduction in her pay, what if you had unexpected finances pop up?  You need to have that financial cushion for the what ifs in life.  So lets say that your gross income is $3,000.00 a month that is before deductions then your new mortgage payment should not be more than $1,200.00 with taxes and insurance the whole nine yards.  For those trying to figure out how do I figure out my mortgage payments are there are ton of calculators out there just do a search for mortgage calculators.

Now the thing I hear more than anything is “but homes in that price range are not on the side of town that I want”.  “Or homes in that price range are older” or etc etc etc.  Of course you want a home that you can be happy with in and live in that will be good for you and your family.  But do keep your expectations reasonable you are a first time home buyer this is your first home and it does not mean that it will be your last.  If you cannot compromise then maybe you are not ready to buy a home at this time.

When you do finally get a home and ready to make that big step forget about the whole buy now and sell next year mentality and make some quick cash.  It’s not going to happen in this market or any time soon.  If you are looking on how to get rich quick on real estate stop reading this now and order those “Carlton Sheets” programs.  Buying a home should be an investment that you hold on to for at least a few years.

 

Last but not least is a real estate agent, of course you can buy a home without a real estate agent you can also represent yourself in court without an attorney.  The funny thing is even attorney’s get an attorney to represent themselves when going to court.  The reality is like any industry there are good apples and there are bad apples.  So try to select a real estate agent that does real estate not 5 different things and real estate is just a hobby for them.  Also I know it’s very tempting to just call the guy with his name on the sign on the house you just saw.  There are two sides to the real estate transaction you have the selling and the buying side.

The listing agent (the guy with his name on the sign) is going to represent the seller, selling his home and try to get the best deal for him when selling his home.  You as a first time home buyer want someone to represent you and try to get the best terms for you.  I am not going to say that a real estate agent cannot represent both sides fairly but I think you can see that there is some sort of conflict of interest here.  So do yourself a favor and find yourself an agent where his job is to work just for you not you and the home owner.  Then when you see a home that you like call your agent and get the details make them do the work for you, so find someone to represent you that does real estate as a career not a hobby.  And before you know it you will be sitting in your new home.

 

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