In the past we posted our number one tip for home buyers
-- always change your locks when you move into a new home. But that tip is for buyers who actually find a house and make it to the close of escrow, not buyers who are just starting out on their journey to home ownership.
So for all of you who are jumping in and not quite sure what to do besides pore over Redfin listings online, here you go:
The very first thing you should do, BEFORE you even start looking online for houses, is call a lender and get PRE-APPROVED!
If I got a dollar for each time I'd seen buyers start looking before they take this crucial step, end up finding their dream home and then learn that they can't afford it -- well, I'd be able to buy my own dream home!
Talking to a lender should really be foremost in your mind. Learn what your options are.
Because let me tell you, if you're looking at homes in the $500,000 range and then learn that you can only afford $350,000... well let's just say that a house listed for $350,000 is a whole heck of a lot different than a house listed for $500,000. Or even $450,000. Nothing in your new $350,000 range is going to look good enough after you've seen those $500K homes.
And then there's the flip side - what if you learn that you can actually afford a bigger loan? Or that there is a financing solution that allows you to get a re-hab loan? Maybe you didn't even know you could afford a house!
Don't have a lender? Try Edward Uriarte (310.463.2270). Or Steve Kenilvort
. We've worked with both and they've done great things for our clients.