The buying experience in Upland, Ca, as in other locations invokes a world of emotions as you progress through the experience. Things may seem jumbled as in the picture, but hidden in the process is the excitement of the search, fear of the unknowns of ownership, joy of the acceptance of the offer, yearning for something new, agitation with a counter offer and satisfaction with your successful purchase are among the feelings you are likely to experience in your quest for a new home. The emotion that we try to eliminate is surprise. The more that you know about the process of buying a home, the less likely that there will be surprises.
The home buyeug experience also involves one of the largest transactions you may ever make, involving lots of work and satisfaction. Not surprisingly, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about this, and the right process may vary for different individuals, based on their goals, life circumstances and the nature of the transaction.
This is the practical side of the home buying experience that I'll address here and the articles to follow. This is specifically for those intending to move into a home. Investors, while still home buyers, have entirely different motivations and criteria so will not be addressed here.
For the past year or so, the market has been driven by the "first time buyer ." Prices have fallen drastically and interest rates are at near record lows. The home affordability index is higher than ever meaning that a bigger share of the population makes enough money to afford a home, even with tighter lending practices. We will be addressing situations where the buyer has never owned a home before (the 1st time buyer ), The Move-up buyer in which the first home just is too small or changes in circumstances permit larger homes, and finally, the Down-size buyer who may be an empty-nester or just does not want to (or can not) maintain the family mansion and wants smaller accommodations.
The HOME BUYING EXPERIENCE - Part 2 - Are you Ready? Willing? Able?
Starting your home search has received much attention. Some start on the internet. Some attend open houses and some start with a call to their Realtor(R). But, consider this. So many times prospective buyers want to see homes without having their wants, needs and abilities well defined that they end up spinning their wheels searching unrealistically.
Knowing what you want to buy and the reality of the situation may be different. A Castle on a hilltop with moat, drawbridge, a grand gallery and space for your desired award winning stable of thorough breads is certainly dreamy, but rare is the first time buyer who can manage this purchase. By necessity, most first timers need to be practical. Number of bedrooms, baths, needed features, proximity to work, schools or services ranks above dreams so think this through beforehand.
On the other hand, maybe you have just become the president of the Mega-Bucks company and this castle is exactly what you want for your next home. You have dreamed of it and now you can do it.
However, if you've "been there... done that" and don't want to worry about that much house, a new home may also be right for you, albeit smaller.
In all three cases, the buyer has wants, needs, preferences or limitations that need serious thought before we meet. All would seem to be WILLING to Buy .
A big part of the equation is the ABILITY to buy. Maybe I'm different, but often buyers come to me knowing that they now WANT to buy a home, but have no idea of the finances needed to buy a home, how much they can borrow, what transaction expenses they will run into or what they can afford. Here is where dreams meet reality. One of the most important steps in any search should be to find and meet with a lender. Find out how much you can borrow based on your financial circumstances, what costs are involved and what the process for making this happen. If all is well, you will likely be given a Pre-Qualification letter (an indication that the lender knows a little about you, but has not got enough information to grant a loan), or a Pre-Approval letter (indicating that they are ready to lend). The Pre-Approval is your E-Ticket to Ride. Knowing what you are ABLE to handle puts a lot of the stress behind you.
You know what you want... and you know what you are able to buy. next, we'll address how to start your search. There may be a surprise here... Stay tuned...