Buying a home can be fun, thrilling and nerve-racking especially for first time home buyers. Knowing what to expect is difficult, and it’s clear that buyers need an overview of what to look out for when making their first purchase.
What is required when purchasing a home varies from state to state, but in Chico, California and nearby cities like Durham, Paradise, and Magalia, the steps outlined below will do.
HIRE AN AGENT
Hiring an agent is the first step in purchasing a home and doing so saves you the stress of having to pour through pages and pages of home listings online. An agent can send you listings that fit your requirements, so you don’t waste time looking at listings that aren’t what you are looking for. Also, agents sometimes know of listings that are not yet in the market and can preview these homes for you, saving you the time and gas you would have spent otherwise. An Agent that works with a large office and networks with other agents will also hear about properties before they hit the market. So your agent will need to work closely with you to know your needs/wants and can identify a property for you at a glance. A good agent will also make sure you are in a strong position to negotiate. It takes time for this, so be sure to start with a Realtor early on.
FIND A HOME TO BUY
Finding a home can be physically and emotionally draining, especially when trying to find the perfect home. Ideally, you should schedule viewing less than 7 homes at a time, to keep your head from spinning.
Most buyers spend time online trying to decide on a home to buy. Often this spans 6 to 8 weeks. One idea is to expedite this process by deciding on neighborhoods where you want to live, and focusing on them.
AIM FOR A HOME YOU CAN REALLY AFFORD
The mortgage you will get when purchasing a home is often based on about two-and-one-half times your yearly salary. So this will be the maximum price you can pay for a home in Chico, Magalia, Paradise, Durham or any of the surrounding cities. However, you need to consider your expenses when deciding on the highest mortgage you can afford. Your Realtor will have lending resources they can share with you to make sure you are ready to purchase when an offer is made. A good lender will make sure you are well qualified so the loan doesn’t fall through while you are in the purchasing process. Perhaps you know what you want your payment to be. Then your lender will find you a loan and let you know what price range you want to shop in. To make you offer even stronger, tell you lender you want to be pre-approved, rather than just pre-qualified. This means they will verify your assets and income and give you a preapproval letter to submit with your offer, showing the seller that you have gone the extra mile and you are a serious buyer.
DO NOT BUY IF YOU WON’T STAY LONG
If you are unable to commit to residing in one place for at least a couple of years, then buying a home in Chico, Paradise, or Durham is probably not for you at this time. With the transaction costs involved in buying and selling a piece of real estate, you may end up making a loss if you sell any sooner – even in a rising market.
DO A HOME INSPECTION
In Chico, Durham, or Paradise, home inspections should be carried out before buyers finalize the purchase a home. An experienced agent will have worked with local inspectors and be able to recommend one or two for you to interview. They will inspect the structure of the home, run the appliances, make sure the sinks and baths drain properly, the electrical is functioning, the HVAC works, and let you know if further inspections may be required by licensed contractors. Inspecting your home means you don’t get locked into buying a home that has a faulty foundation, mold, or other serious problems without knowing. Sellers are not required to make repairs if problems are discovered during an inspection, the inspection is for the buyer’s edification. When a buyer makes a request for repairs, it should be for structural and safety issues, rather than cosmetic. Rather than risk losing the deal the seller will often agree to the repairs. This is where working with a licensed Realtor will get you through the process by helping you decide what is important and negotiating these items for you.