Should I Buy A Home?
In addition to providing you with a place to live, owning a home can provide you with a possible investment for many reasons including potential equity growth, the stability that comes with having ownership in a community, and possible tax advantages. Renting might make more sense for a mobile lifestyle or if you may need to move because of a job change or other factors. If you do not foresee staying in your home for several years, the amount of equity that you build up over the first year or two may be lost through selling costs and real estate commissions.
Can I Afford to Buy A Home?
Normally, you need to have enough savings to cover a down payment of 5% to 20% of the purchase price plus an additional 3% to 7% of this price for closing costs. If you do not have the down payment, you may be able to qualify for a loan under various government programs that are available. Before you begin looking for a home decide what you want and can afford. Various factors are considered when a lender qualifies a purchaser for a home purchase including credit history, job stability and the size of the down payment. Prior to shopping for a home you may wish to visit a respected lender to determine the loan you can afford. See mortgage market and loan process Denotes a PDF document for more information.
Selecting an Agent
Before you select an agent, do your homework. Interview several real estate agents to determine their level of experience in the area you wish to purchase. Check to ensure that the agent is properly licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE). Review any disciplinary actions that may be reflected on the licensee record and assess whether or not that information is important to you in your selection of an agent. Also, ask the agents for the names of past clients and check their references. See agency relationships Denotes a PDF document for more information.