Top 4 Questions Homebuyers Need Answered Before Buying
Buying a house in the Bay Area is the biggest investment most people will make in their lifetime, and the complex process can be intimidating to many homebuyers. Knowing the right questions to ask and receiving professional advice will help you make a sound investment for your future.
Whether you are buying your first home or have owned in the past, navigating everything in the process of home buying basics can be scary and overwhelming.
Before you begin the purchase process, make sure you have answers to these top homebuyer questions. Each is a critical component to making an educated and informed decision.
Top Homebuyer Questions
- Where do we want to live?
The first step is to narrow down a location and style of home. You have probably already researched online to get a sense of pricing and neighborhood.
Now it’s time to determine what factors are most important when it comes to choosing a home. Things such as schools, commute to work, shopping, entertainment and how quiet or peaceful the neighborhood is versus a hustling and bustling urban area.
Knowing the answers to these questions before you get in the car will save everyone time and frustration by eliminating developments and neighborhoods that are of little to no interest. If you are out viewing homes in a specific area, feel free to stop and talk to homeowners who are available. You need to understand why others enjoy living in that area.
- How much money do we need to have saved?
The mortgage product that you select will assist in determining the down payment requirements. This is why it is so important that you speak with a licensed mortgage representative to discuss your mortgage options prior to viewing homes.
There are additional costs associated with a purchase that you must be aware of:
- Make sure you have enough money set aside for closing costs and other related expenses
- You will need to pay for a home appraisal, and usually a home inspection
- Moving costs including the transfer of all utilities and services such as heat, water, TV,
- How much would we like to spend monthly?
Unfortunately, many people bite off more than they can chew when purchasing a home because they look at the total purchase price, and the rates only instead of the monthly payments. Remember that in buying a home, you “live in the payment”.
Keep in mind that what you qualify for isn’t always the same as what you feel you can afford. A pre-approval letter is something you should get at the front-end to ensure you are looking within the right price range are comfortable with your mortgage options.
A licensed mortgage loan officer will provide a total monthly payment including principal and interest, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and monthly mortgage insurance if applicable (and HOA if applicable). They will also go over what portion is tax deductible so you can plan ahead with your finances.
- Why should I work with a buyer’s agent?
Choosing a real estate professional is one of the first decisions a buyer will make. It is also a very personal decision depending on the qualities most important to the buyer.
While traits such as honesty, integrity, knowledge and experience are all very important, it is also vital that you feel comfortable with the real estate professional you choose. You should research before making a decision and get referrals from friends and colleagues.
A buyer’s agent works as an advocate, providing guidance as well as open lines of communication. A Good agent will work with the mortgage loan officer, explaining the purchase process and keeping you informed all along the way.
Contact me today with questions on buying or selling a home in the Bay Area.
Karen Cimera is a Mortgage Banker, NMLS# 181709 in the Northern California/San Francisco Bay Area.
Karen gives you the personal attention you deserve whether buying a new home, refinancing a mortgage or needing a line of credit. Contact her today!
Loan Star Home Lending NMLS# 1094582 – CA# 603K799
408 506 0542