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California Trends Guides Home Buying

Step By Step Guide To Buying Your First Apartment

1. Know your finances

You need to know how much money you have, how much you are willing to spend per month without the quality of your life suffering because you bought a house. It is important to pay attention to your finances in the process of buying a house, in order to get the best possible offer. Buying a new car, furniture or similar things will affect your credit score and there is a great chance that you will do yourself harm.

Then you ask for an expert opinion on how much the bank or other house that lends money (lender) is ready to lend to you.

In other words, you need to be pre-qualified.

In practice, this means that you collect all the necessary documents and data, so that you know what you have at your disposal.

What determines your options are your credit score, length of service (ideally you have been with the same company for more than a year), your monthly income (pay pillar) and your legal status in the state.

There are several ways to buy a house:

If you are buying a house for the first time, you qualify for an FHA loan (US Federal Housing Administration). When buying a house, you need to give a 3.5% share of the house price.

If you took a loan as someone who is not buying a house for the first time, that is, conventional, then you need to pay a minimum of 20% of the amount of the house.

For those who (were) part of the U.S. military, there is a VA credit option and in that case it is not necessary to give participation.

Of course, if you pay for the house in cash, the whole process takes a little shorter and there is no interest.

It is important that at the very beginning of the decision to buy a house, you put on paper what your options are and go for it.

2. Decide on your agent

To choose a good agent, think about what is important to you. Is that the time he has for you to show you houses, is that an experience, to have assistants so sometimes they show you houses?

It is certainly important that he knows how to negotiate well, because in that way he can sometimes lower the value of the house or make an effort to make your offer the one that the seller will accept.

Bring a retraining letter with you to the chosen agent. It will make it easier for both you and him. It is wise to inform your agent, in addition to retraining, how much you are really willing to set aside for the house. It is not advisable to buy a house that you cannot afford. I know it may sound illogical, but read the text What America is and what America is not, to make it clearer to you.

When you buy a house, you don’t pay for the agent’s services. He works for his 3% which he will get from the seller of the house.

3. You find a house by your standards

Only you know what your standards are. They can be affected by price, square footage, location, school district, swimming pool, large yard, gated neighborhood, proximity to work and a hundred other criteria. A good agent will help you hunt for the house of your dreams.

4. Make a bid for a house

Once you have found a satisfactory house, the next step is to make a bid. It will often happen that someone else wants that house as their own. Then they negotiate and reach an agreement, so the house goes under contract. Then you give 1% of the value of the house, that is, you issue a check (or money order) in that amount. That check goes to an independent company (Tittle Company), which protects the rights of both the buyer and the seller.

5. While the house is under contract, it is most advisable to inspect the house.

It is called the “option period”.

You pay an independent inspector who will check the correctness of the house. The money you pay for it is miserable for what it brings you. The price is around $ 10-20 per day, and it is usually a period of a week to ten days. Installations, plumbing, walls, foundations and roof are checked. You then receive a detailed report indicating whether there are any repairs that need to be made.

Based on the report, you seek the advice of your agent and see what you can do, what things are important. After that, he negotiates with the seller, which repairs he is ready to correct. If everything is resolved, you are ready for the next step.

If you cancel your purchase during this period because you have not reached an agreement on the repair or the house is not in a satisfactory condition for you, that check with 1% will be returned to you.

6. Then you go to your bank or landlord for the conditions for buying a house.

That means your payment plan, which is usually for 30 years.

The bank will offer you the conditions for buying your house in a period of 30-40 days, with the interest they have prepared for you. (At the time of writing, the interest rate is about 4%). If you do not like these conditions, you have the option to pay to ask for better interest. The amount you pay for this service is several thousand dollars.

7. Closing or taking ownership of the house

You give a check in the amount that is according to your qualifications (3.5%, 20% or the third amount), sign a mountain of paper and become the owner. In practical language – this is the moment of trade exchange.

What role does a “credit score” play in buying a home?

It is important during the re-qualification procedure as well as during the purchase itself, because it will help with lower interest rates. A credit score above 600 is usually acceptable for buying a house.

To make your credit score clearer, read the text: Credit cards and credit score.

When is the best time of year to buy a home? Is there a period when prices are lower?

Winter is a better period to buy a house because the prices will be lower. Houses that were not sold during the summer, lower the price in this period.

Do foreigners have more difficulty buying a house?

As long as the status in the country is legal, there should be no difficulties.

By the way, if you entered America and want to buy a house right away – there is a possibility that they will look at your international credit score instead of the American credit score. This will help you when buying a house if you have some loans that you pay regularly in your country, electricity bills, telephone and the like. But in that case, you have 90 days to buy a house, because that credit score is so important to you. After 90 days, your only option is a US credit score.

Cash can of course help a lot, but know that there is a limit to how much money you can bring into the country when entering. Ten thousand dollars is the amount you don’t have to report, and everything above that is subject to justification, in order to avoid money laundering.

How common is it to be an owner rather than a tenant?

It all depends on whether you plan to spend the next few years in a certain place. If you can buy a house where you live, it is a good investment compared to throwing money at the rent. However, if you can’t or don’t want to buy a house, you will usually spend the same amount of money on rent payments. This is more about the family than the individual, when we talk about arithmetic.

That decision depends on your budget and lifestyle, as well as the city in which you live. Cities like San Francisco, New York, Boston and Miami have the most expensive rents. Buying a house in that case must be at the expense of something – a drastic change of location or a drastic change in the wallet.

How much does house maintenance cost?

The price of the monthly installment for the house (mortgage) includes Principal, Interest, Property Tax and Insurance (Insurance), abbreviated PITI. In addition, you pay other expenses such as electricity, water, garbage, Internet and other things.

What are all the hidden costs you have when buying a home?

There are no hidden costs. You get everything in black and white from the bank.

How to choose the right house?

Match needs and opportunities.

Is it better to buy an older or a new house?

Nina says that it is better to buy an older one and renovate it. Older buildings (1970s) are better built houses.

My unprofessional opinion is that it is acceptable if you have the knowledge, experience and masters you trust.

If you are buying an older house, what should you pay attention to?

Foundations, roof, doors and gates, as well as electrical and plumbing system. These are things that cost a lot, so you should pay attention to them. If the electrical system is in a Pacific box, it is something that no longer meets the standards and must be changed.

How does Zilow work?

The Zillow app is great for getting an idea of ​​what to look for and what to expect for a certain amount of money. But a live agent has many more advantages. First of all, Zillow sometimes has fabulous ads because they do not follow the whole process in which the house is located, but only when it went on the market and when it was sold, and there are still many steps in between.

Your agent has access to the MLS application in which he sees exactly which house is really vacant and which may be in the final phase, ie the inspection phase or before concluding the contract.

The advantage of the Zillow application is that you can see houses all over the country and what is offered for what money.

Is the house always bought empty?

When you buy a house, what is meant by the walls themselves is a furnished kitchen with a stove and a microwave. Sometimes sellers leave a refrigerator or washing machine and dryer.


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