Common regrets of first-time home buyers (and how we can all learn from them!)

It goes without saying that purchasing your first home is one the biggest milestones in your life. There are so many things to think about and sometimes (without the help of an awesome real estate agent!) the process can get overwhelming. Here are some common regrets of first-time home buyers and how to avoid them when purchasing your own home – whether it’s your first one or not!

SoldSign

  1. Not being realistic about their budget. Sure, you may be approved for a monthly mortgage payment that seems doable – but have you considered closing costs, HOA fees, utility bills, and home maintenance down the road? If you’ve considered all of these expenses AND have factored them into your monthly budget, then your dream house might be the perfect fit.
  1. Caring more about the square footage instead of the layout. When you’ve never lived in a home before, the square footage may seem like the most important thing to you. But is the space livable? If the square footage is spread out amongst a lot of smaller rooms, you might find that an open floor plan (even with less square footage) would have been a better fit for you.
  1. Not loving the neighborhood. Having good neighbors that you have fun with and trust is the best. Take the time before you move in to visit the house and drive around the neighborhood more than once (and at different times of the day!). Are there young families walking around the block pushing strollers and walking their dogs? Are there loud parties happening on Friday nights? Is no one ever outside? These all might be indicators of the type of neighborhood you would be a part of. Knock on the doors of the neighbors next door and try to get a feel for the neighborhood before you make an offer.
  2. Thinking about the NOW instead of the FUTURE. The house that you want to purchase might be the perfect fit for you now, but where do you envision your life in 5 years? Will you need extra rooms for possible children down the road? Is it a possibility that your aging parent might have to move in with you? Taking some time to really think about how long you plan to live in the house and what life events might take place while you’re there, will ensure that you pick the right home for the long-term.

No matter if this is your first home or your third home in Tehachapi, Bear Valley Springs, Golden Hills, or Stallion Springs, we’d love to help you find your dream house! Contact us to schedule a time to talk.

How to Buy in a Tight Market

How To Buy in a Tight Market

Increase your chances of getting your dream house in a competitive housing market.

Get prequalified for a mortgage.

You’ll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and your offer will be more desirable to the seller.

Stay in close contact with your real estate agent.

Your agent will be on the lookout for the newest listings that meet your criteria. Be ready to see a house as soon as it goes on the market — if it’s a great home, it will go fast.

Hire an experienced agent.

When you hire an experienced real estate agents they can give you the tools to help you find the property you are looking for. Tools such as the 2 Click Home Search offered on Associated Real Estates website can help you stay one step ahead of other buyers looking on real estate websites.

Be ready to make a decision.

Spend plenty of time in advance deciding what you can afford and must have in a home so you won’t hesitate when you have the chance to make an offer.

Bid competitively.

Your first inclination may be to start out offering something less than the absolute highest price you can afford, but if you go too low in a tight market, you will likely lose out.

Keep contingencies to a minimum.

Restrictions such as needing to sell your home before you move can make your offer unappealing. Remember that, if the market is tight, you’ll probably be able to sell your house rapidly. You can also talk to your lender about getting a bridge loan to cover both mortgages for a short period.

But don’t get caught in a buying frenzy.

Just because there’s competition for a home doesn’t mean you should buy it. And even though you want to make your offer attractive, don’t neglect inspections that help ensure the house is a sound investment.

Navigate Your Home Loan Like a Pro!

Navigate Your Home Loan Like a Pro!

Financing a home is one of the primary concerns for most home buyers in Tehachapi.  Your agent at Associated Real Estate is here to help you navigate the maze of loan types and mortgage terms.  Here are some of the basic loan terms to help you get started.  And remember, with any home purchase your first step should be to contact a reputable realtor and schedule a FREE consultation.  If you are planning to purchase a home call us now at 661-822-3500.

  • Mortgage  A loan specific to purchasing property, where the bank liens you the title with the agreement you will pay the entirety of the balance owed on your beautiful Tehachapi property!
  • Conventional Mortgage – Any mortgage loan that is not insured or guaranteed by the federal government. This applies to all privately owned property, and is the most common type of mortgage.
  • Term  Refers to the length of the loan. Home loans (mortgages) are often in terms of 15, 20, or 30 years. Generally, as term lengths increase your payment will decrease; however, a shorter term loan means you will pay less interest over the life of the loan.
  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR)  A yearly interest rate(calculated by the average interest rate over the term of the loan) that includes upfront fees and costs associated with the loan. Use this to accurately compare the costs of different loans as fees will vary depending upon the lender, and every buyers situation is different. Make sure to make your loan work for you!
  • Fixed Rate  A fixed rate mortgage allows you to lock in an interest rate that will last for the entire term of the loan. These are, generally, a good choice if current interest rates are low.
  • Adjustable Rate  Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) usually begin with a lower interest rate than a fixed rate, but will increase as market rates increase. A good choice if fixed interest rates are high, but make sure you are willing to have a payment that will increase over time!
  • Caps – A limit to how much and how frequently an interest rate can change on an adjustable-rate mortgage. These payment caps can be periodic or extend for the life of the loan. Thank goodness for structure!
  • Note – No, not like the ones we used to pass in class! This note is a legally binding written promise to repay the mortgage plus interest, which includes the name of the borrower, issuing lender, and the terms and provisions.
  • Down Payment – An upfront payment made by the home buyer(you!) toward the sale price of the property, typically ranging from 5-20%. The remainder of the sales prices makes up the mortgage loan amount, excluding interest. Typically, the bigger the down payment is the smaller the monthly payment will be, and we all like small payments!
  • Amortization  The paying down of principal(the loan excluding interest)  over time. Generally, the principal is scheduled to be paid off, or fully amortized, over the term of the loan.
  • PITI  This is a fun one. An abbreviation for the major expenses that make up a mortgage payment: Principal (the amount borrowed), Interest, (Property) taxes, and (homeowners’) Insurance.
  • Escrow  The holding of funds or documents by a neutral third party prior to closing your home sale. You can practically taste home ownership at this point! 
  • Closing Costs – An amount of money that must be paid to close your loan, including lender fees and third-party charges, along with taxes and transfer fees. Almost there!
  • Closing – The final step in the loan process when loan documents are signed at an escrow or title company. Congratulations on your new home!!

Search Tehachapi Homes for Sale the easy way.

Check out our

2 CLICK HOME SEARCH

to see real time data from the MLS for FREE!

7 Reasons to Own A Home

7 Reasons to Own A Home

  1. Tax benefits. The U.S. Tax Code lets you deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, your property taxes, and some of the costs involved in buying a home.
  2. Appreciation. Historically, real estate has had a long-term, stable growth in value. In fact, median single-family existing-home sale prices have increased on average 5.2 percent each year from 1972 through 2014, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.  The recent housing crisis has caused some to question the long-term value of real estate, but even in the most recent 10 years, which included quite a few very bad years for housing, values are still up 7.0 percent on a cumulative basis. In addition, the number of U.S. households is expected to rise 10 to15 percent over the next decade, creating continued high demand for housing.
  3. Equity. Money paid for rent is money that you’ll never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity ownership interest in your home.
  4. Savings. Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell, you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for a married couple) as gain without owing any federal income tax.
  5. Predictability. Unlike rent, your fixed-rate mortgage payments don’t rise over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will likely increase.
  6. Freedom. The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and choose the types of upgrades and new amenities that appeal to your lifestyle.
  7. Stability. Remaining in one neighborhood for several years allows you and your family time to build long-lasting relationships within the community. It also offers children the benefit of educational and social continuity.

Before Putting Your Tehachapi Home Up for Sale

 

of_logo150

Before Putting Your Tehachapi Home Up for Sale

Here are a few items to take care of before listing your home in Tehachapi. These can make the sale process quicker and easier in the long run.

Consider a pre-sale home inspection. An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers. Consider making repairs so potential buyers see the property in its best possible condition.

Other Pre -Sale Inspections.  In some areas of Tehachapi, specifically Golden Hills, Stallion Springs, Bear Valley Springs and all of the unincorporated county areas, Septic Systems and Well Systems are very common.  If your home has one of these systems, ask your Associated Real Estate Agent if it would be a good idea to have those systems inspected prior to listing.  This can save time during escrow and help to alleviate buyers concerns while listed, thereby helping to increase exposure and the likeliness of getting a full price offer.  Wood Destroying Pest Inspections are also common in our area.  If you have any sign of wood or water damage, your agent may be able to advise looking into it and could refer you to a Certified Inspector.

Organize and cleanPare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and seasonal items. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or storage area. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine. Clearing away clutter can help a buyer see the homes potential.

Get replacement estimates. Do you have big-ticket items that will need to be replaced soon? Find out how much it will cost to repair an older roof or replace worn carpeting, even if you don’t plan to do so.  The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and they’ll be handy when negotiations begin.

Locate warranties. Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the water heater, washer/dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house. It may seem like this task can be left until closing, but you don’t want lost paperwork or last-minute scrambling to cause the deal to fall through.

Spruce up the curb appeal. Walk out to the front of your home, close your eyes, and pretend you’re a prospective buyer seeing the property for the first time. Is the yard clear of seasonal weeds and does the landscape look nicely manicured ? Is there pealing paint on the eaves or a crack in the side walk? As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Dose the property look well kept? Is the address clearly visible? A buyer makes their first impression from the street and even small improvements in curb appeal can make a big difference.

5 Factors That Decide Your Credit Score

Credit scores range between 200 and 800, with scores above 620 considered desirable for obtaining a mortgage. The following factors affect your score:

creditscore

1. Your payment history. Did you pay your credit card obligations on time? If they were late, then how late? Bankruptcy filing, liens, and collection activity also impact your history.

2. How much you owe. If you owe a great deal of money on numerous accounts, it can indicate that you are overextended. However, it’s a good thing if you have a good proportion of balances to total credit limits.

3. The length of your credit history. In general, the longer you have had accounts opened, the better. The average consumer’s oldest obligation is 14 years old, indicating that he or she has been managing credit for some time, according to Fair Isaac Corp., and only one in 20 consumers have credit histories shorter than 2 years.

4. How much new credit you have. New credit, either installment payments or new credit cards, are considered more risky, even if you pay them promptly.

5. The types of credit you use. Generally, it’s desirable to have more than one type of credit — installment loans, credit cards, and a mortgage, for example.

For more on evaluating and understanding your credit score, visit www.myfico.com.

Go directly to the credit reporting bureaus to check your credit report for free:
www.Expirian.com
www.TransUnion.com
www.Equifax.com


Search Tehachapi Homes for Sale the easy way.

Check out our
2 CLICK HOME SEARCH
to see real time data from the MLS for FREE!