6 Quick Tips for First-Time Home Buyers in California

Perhaps you’re tired of seeing your hard-earned money disappear into your landlord’s pocket. Maybe your family is growing and in desperate need of a little elbow room. Or maybe you’re just ready to call a place your own. Whatever your reason, being a first time home buyer in California is an exciting (if not a bit scary) adventure.

You probably have a few questions. Do you need a real estate agent to buy a house in California? What is a mortgage? What does escrow mean? How much house can you afford? While you’ll discover the answers to most of these soon enough, I’ve got a few tips you should keep in mind when buying a house in California…especially as a first-timer!

1. Don’t skip on getting prequalified!

When you get a mortgage prequalification, you get a good idea of the range in which you should be shopping. While you should also get pre-approved, getting prequalified for a mortgage can be quicker and offer the insights you need to get started on the right foot.

2. Get a Comparative Market Analysis

Your agent can provide you with a comparative market analysis, which shows you what comparable homes in your desired area have sold for.

3. Account for Closing Costs

Many first time home buyers in California forget about closing costs. These are paid at the close of a real estate transaction and can catch some buyers unaware…so make sure you’re prepared to pay!

4. Shop Around

It’s tough to keep looking after you’re certain you’ve found your dream home, but sometimes it pays to have an open mind! You never know what’s out there until you see for yourself, so don’t be afraid to shop around, attend a few open houses, talk to potential neighbors…you might just be surprised at what you find!

5. Pound the Pavement

Online shopping is great, but when it comes to buying your first home in California, you should take a more hands-on approach. It can be tempting to stick to virtual tours and galleries, but seeing a home in person can make a world of difference. So get out there and take a look!

6. Think Things Through

You may think it’s your dream home, but every rose has its thorns. Look into the little things–your potential commute, local school districts, even the neighborhood walkability! Sometimes seeing the full picture can reveal some things about a home that could be deal-breakers.

Buying your first home doesn’t have to be a hassle, so long as you keep your priorities in mind and keep at it. Use these tips to shop smart and don’t be afraid to ask questions–we all had to learn at one point! Happy house hunting!

Get latest updates and offers.