Are you thinking about buying a home with a Bakersfield Realtor? Here are 10 tips for buying a home in the Bakersfield real estate market.
Home Buying Tip #1: Evaluate Your Finances
Before falling in love with your dream home, dive deep into your finances. Prepare yourself for both the purchase and the ongoing expenses of a home. You need to evaluate your monthly spending. These calculations will determine how much you can allocate to a mortgage payment. You must account for everything, including food, utilities, auto payments, debt, clothing, travel, entertainment, savings, and anything else.
Home Buying Tip #2: Start Saving Early
Spending zero money on a down payment is limited to buyers with limited income and loans for military veterans. Otherwise, you will likely need a least 3.25% of the purchase price as a down payment. You will also need money for closing costs and unexpected expenses. In addition, if you can’t put 20% down when buying a house, you may have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI). You should fully understand down payment terms.
Home Buying Tip #3: Determine Your Needs
You’ve finalized your housing budget. Now have some fun by calling a Bakersfield Realtor to find the right home. The process can seem overwhelming depending on the number and variety of available homes. Start by writing down all the features of the home that are most important to you. Consider what you can live with and without. Maybe the kitchen isn’t ideal, but you know appliance upgrades will change the picture. You wanted two full bathrooms, but can you live slightly less? You will likely have to make compromises, but it’s important to find a Bakersfield home that checks as many boxes as possible.
Home Buying Tip #4: Be Aware of All Costs
The primary difference between renting and homeownership is the sleeper costs. Most people just focus on their mortgage payment, but there are also many other expenses like property taxes, insurance, utilities and HOA dues. Homeowners must also be prepared to pay for ongoing repairs and maintenance.
Home Buying Tip #5: Don’t Move Your Money
Don’t make any major purchases or move around money several months before buying a new home, which might affect your credit profile and sourcing of funds (which must come from you). To qualify for the best loan, lenders must see that a borrower is stable and has a complete paper trail. New credit cards or an increase in debt will hurt your chances of getting a loan.
Home Buying Tip #6: Get Pre-Approved for a Home Loan
Be aware of the difference between being pre-qualified and pre-approved for a home loan. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has examined your financial information and has determined how much you can borrow. Being pre-approved will save much time and energy by avoiding wasted time looking at houses you can't afford.
Home Buying Tip #7: Don’t Time the Market
Don’t try to time the market for the best time to buy. The best time to buy is when you find your perfect Bakersfield house and you can afford it. Real estate is cyclical, which means increases and decreases like the stock market. You just might regret trying to buy at the “perfect time.”
Home Buying Tip #8: Keep Your Emotions in Check
Buying a Bakersfield house based on emotions is foolhardy and might lead to making bad decisions. Try to use your best judgement in finding the right house for a good value. Don’t become obsesses with particular features of the home. It’s an investment so use your head.
Home Buying Tip #9: Don't Skip the Inspection
The few hundred dollars you spend on a home inspection could save you thousands; and what you don’t know probably will hurt you. A home inspection is an unbiased third-party opinion. A Bakersfield home inspection can flag problems you may not otherwise see and provide peace of mind. Any issues the inspector finds should either by repaired or used as a bargaining chip to lower the price of the home.
Home Buying Tip #10: Know the Neighborhood
Check out the neighborhood. Drive the area morning, noon and night. The perfect home could become a nightmare if one of your neighbors a chronic problem. Do your regular commute from the house to ensure it makes sense on a daily basis. How far is the nearest grocery store? Even if you don’t have kids, research the schools since it can affects the value the home. Find a Bakersfield Realtor and get to know the lay of the land.