Buying a home in California is no different than buying a home anywhere else in the U.S.A. Although considered a daunting task, finding a good, professional Realtor like Hector Ruiz will make the first time home buying experience less painful and more in line with what you are looking for!
As a first time home buyer, you are able to take advantage of certain programs and products that existing home buyers do not qualify for. The first thing to consider is your budget. Do you have enough money for your down payment? And, are you financially secure enough to make your mortgage payments every month? We will ask you a series of questions to help you with your first-time home buying experience in California but typically you want to have squirreled away about 20% for a down payment on a home.
What Does It Mean to Be a First-Time Home Buyer?
First-time home buyers can enjoy federally backed loans and tax breaks. Some of the programs offered by the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) are:
MyHome Assistance Program – In this program, you get time to repay the assistance you got for buying a home.
CalHFA Zero Interest Program – It includes repaying a no-interest loan.
Other National home-buyer programs include VA loans, conventional mortgages, USDA loans, and FHA loans. In short, you won’t feel left out when stepping into the real estate market searching for a home.
What is the Eligibility Criteria for First-Time Home Buyers in California?
In San Diego, California, you must pass certain eligibility criteria set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be called a first-time home buyer to include:
- You haven’t owned a principal residence for three years. If you have, but your wife or husband hasn’t, you can buy a home with them as first-time home-buyers.
- You are an evacuated homemaker who has never owned a home solely by himself but has owned one with his spouse.
- You are a single parent who had owed home with your ex-spouse when you were married.
- You have owned a property that doesn’t fall under state, local, or model building compliance.
- You have owned a principal residence that, in accordance with the applicable regulation, isn’t permanently affixed to any permanent foundation.
If you fall under any of these criteria you are in luck! You can apply for the different home-buyers programs to get assistance purchasing your dream home.
What to Consider when Buying Your First Home in California?
So, what should you consider when buying a home in San Diego, California. Ask yourself the following questions…
How Much Are You Willing to Pay?
The first thing is to decide on your budget and determine if you need to apply for any loan programs. But still, we suggest not wasting time on properties above your spending limit. Several factors come into play including your financial status, debts, monthly expenses, and more.
Also, keep in mind that buying cost is not the only thing you need to worry about; new houses come with loads of other expenses, like property taxes, repair and maintenance costs, utility costs, and more.
Are You Looking for an Old or a New Home?
The next thing to figure out is whether you need a brand-new home or an older one. Generally, new ones cost more and are ready to move in, whereas older homes typically have hidden issues. Once you have figured out your needs, decide which type of home you want. Decide whether you would like a multi-family home, townhouse, duplex, or single-family home. Each choice will come with its own pros and cons.
Is There Any Specific Home Feature You Want?
It’s one of the most important things that can significantly narrow your choice. Specific home features include the following:
- Is there any specific location where you are searching for a home?
- Do you have any specific number of bedrooms or bathrooms?
- How big do you want your home to be?
- Any specific requirements for the kitchen layout and features?
- Do you need a garage?
- Any specific construction style that you want to target?
- Is there any flex space in your shortlisted homes?
- Is there any room for an update or add-on?
What type of Mortgage?
To find our mortgage options and what you may qualify for contact Hector Ruiz directly for help. The basic plan is to apply for a mortgage loan in the bank, but what if you have a bad credit score or any other issue that minimizes the chances of getting a loan from the bank? Are there any other possibilities? As mentioned above, you can apply for national or other loan programs.
Common Mistakes to Avoid as a First-Time Home Buyer
Besides considering the above-mentioned factors, you should stay cautious to avoid certain mistakes that most first-time home buyers make.
Wasting Time Looking for the Houses You Can’t Afford – It’s a common practice that most first-home San Diego home-buyers indulge in. However, being realistic and looking for what is in your budget or below is the best way to approach this.
Not Selecting the Right Agent – Understand that the right real estate agent like Hector Ruiz will help you buy the right home; otherwise, finding a competent realtor is sometimes hard. Real estate agents will save you time and money and show you the best possible options within your price range.
Overpaying for a Home – It’s another common mistake that these first-time San Diego buyers make. They don’t get advice from real estate agents. It’s necessary to get an estimated quote from these agents for whatever home you plan to buy; this will give you insights into the market value of the home.
Not Considering Your Travel Time – When buying a home, you must consider your travel time and figure out if you are buying a home too far away from your workplace or your children’s school. If yes, reconsider your choice, as most first-time buyers realize after spending that they have to waste three hours traveling to and from their home and workplace. This can significantly hamper your productivity.
Skipping the Repair Costs – This is the main issue faced by those who buy old houses. Those might need renovation or repair. You might need to invest in creating a space for a home office. The lawn and backyard might need landscaping and more.
Have you noticed one thing most of the issues that first-time home-buyers are created by not selecting the right realtor? Just imagine how crucial these agents are in the home-buying process, so you should invest time in selecting the best one out there.
Where to Get Assistance when Buying Your First Home?
Not all the realtors in San Diego are the same. Choose Hector Ruiz from America’s Finest Property Management and take advantage of his over 30 years in the real estate and property management arena.
They won’t only show you the best choices but also suggest you along the way to ensure you make an informed decision. Some of our served areas include South San Diego, Chula Vista, Bonita, National City, San Ysidro, Imperial Beach, Otay Mesa, Nava Base San Diego, Silver Strand, and more.