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What The Average Home Buying Journey Looks Like

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If you’re new to home buying, you’ll agree it can be a little overwhelming at first. Not knowing where to get answers or understanding the process can deter would-be home buyers right out of the market.

However, it doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, if you have a clear guide, you can save time and money as you navigate through the journey. Take a look at these steps.

Decide How Much Home You Can Afford

While this may be a daunting exercise, it’s an absolute must. Understanding what you can afford will determine your down payment and house searching criteria. Also, it’s good to know that most lenders will typically lend only three times your annual household salary. Once you determine that amount, calculate a down payment of 20 percent. While not all mortgages require 20 percent, it’s good practice to put down as much as possible. After you determine your down payment, use a mortgage calculator to determine your approximate monthly payment. If you’re comfortable with all of the numbers that you calculate, move onto the next step.

Get Preapproved for a Mortgage and Shop It Around

Before you call your local bank, research interest rates. Typically, you can find them at Bankrate.com. Also keep in mind, you have options when it comes to mortgages. While you can go to a local bank, you may do better going to a mortgage broker. Either way, you’ll need to have some basic financial information ready. Gather your W-2 statements, the last two months of your paycheck stubs, as well as your last three months of bank statements. You may also want to check your credit report before your mortgage lender does. This will give you a good idea on how low of an interest rate you will receive.

Get Referrals for a Great Agent

Many people know a licensed agent, so ask around and get a few names. Interview a few agents before signing any agreements. Remember, an agent is working in your best interest. You will also want to understand their negotiating skills and their knowledge of the market area where you plan to purchase.

Go Shopping

Although it can get a bit hectic, shopping for a home can be fun. Make a list of everything you want and rank each home based on location, etc. Narrow your list down to three and revisit. Pick one and make an offer.

For more on this subject read our recent blog, “Should I Buy a Historic Property?”

Thinking of buying or selling a home in the La Jolla area? As consistent top producers in real estate, Linda Daniels and The Daniels Group are your La Jolla housing specialists. Our team of local experts will ensure that you have a successful real estate transaction. Call us today at (858) 361-5561 or email us anytime by clicking here.