12 Weeks to Homeownership – Week 1
Define Your Goals
Hello and welcome to the 12 Weeks to Homeownership Series. This is week number 1, so it’s time to determine your goals, such as what type of home you want, what area you want to live in, how big of a home you need and home many bedrooms, baths, and amenities you want.
Now once you know what type of home you see in your future, focus on neighborhoods.
What is the most important thing to look for when you are picking a neighborhood to live in? Well, when you are looking to buy, you want to be in a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle.
Those that are just starting out in careers might prefer a neighborhood in a major metropolitan area that is close to their place of employment, walkable to local hotspots, and gives them better access to the local transit systems.
Those with a young family are going to look for a neighborhood with quality schools, public parks, and low crime rates.
Growing families will look for that “forever home” with lots of space and room on their property for entertaining and living a full life.
Whatever stage of life you are in, you’ll probably have a vision of where you want to live. Now is the time to check out the neighborhoods that meet your goals. Trulia offers helpful neighborhood stats, such as school ratings, crime statistics, proximity to shopping, restaurants, and parks.
Property values are largely determined by location. The more desirable the neighborhood, the higher the home values tend to be. The things that make a neighborhood desirable are the pride of ownership, low crime, great schools, shopping and restaurants, walkability, access to parks, parking, and family friendly areas.
Now, it’s easy to check out home values online, but once you have identified a couple of neighborhood choices you need to go drive them. It’s even a good idea to drive them at different times of the way so you can get a real feel for what kind of activity goes on in that neighborhood.
Please stay open-minded when you start your househunting. The perfect home may not be in that neighborhood, so you have to be prepared to compromise either on the home or the area.
Lastly, it’s important to have all the cash that you intend to use for this transaction transferred into your bank account that you will pay from. In most cases, you’ll need cash to cover earnest money, your down payment, and closing costs.
Now, listen carefully. All deposits need to season for at least 60 days or you’ll have to do an LOE (Letter of Explanation) as to the origin of those deposits.
Don’t enter into any new debt – like getting a new credit card or purchasing furniture or a new car. Make sure all of your payments are up to date, including your rent or mortgage, student debt, credit cards, and any other liabilities.
You’re making a lot of big decisions this week, so hang in there, be patient and get clarity.
Remember – our Folsom mortgage team is here to answer any questions you may have! Don’t hesitate to give us a call at (916) 985-3200.