House Hunting: 5 Tips for Finding Your First Home

Reprinted from RISMedia’s Housecall

https://i2.wp.com/blog.rismedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/iStock-491810286.jpg

By Kara Masterson

House hunting is an exciting process, especially when it’s your first home. While it may feel stressful and overwhelming at times, there are ways to make the search easier.

Here are five steps to take before looking for your dream home:

1. Set Your Budget First
The first thing you need to do before looking at any homes is set your budget. It’s a waste of time to look at homes that are out of your price range. If you aren’t sure what your budget should be, try an online calculator that tells you how much home you can afford. Knowing how much you can spend allows you to filter home options by price. The best way to find out how much you can afford is by getting pre-approved.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
When you’re serious about buying a home, you should go through the pre-approval process with a mortgage lender. This way, you can show a seller your pre-approval letter if you decide to make an offer. In most cases, sellers will not even consider an offer on their home unless the buyer is pre-approved.

3. Figure Out Your Wants and Needs
Like your budget, your wants and needs in a home will help you narrow down your options and decide more quickly if a home is or isn’t right for you. List your needs first. These are your non-negotiable items. For example, if you and your spouse have two children, you may decide that you need a home with at least three bedrooms. Your wants are the things that would be nice to have, but you could do without.

4. Hire a Real Estate Agent
It’s tough to shop for a home, and there is quite a bit of pressure when you’re doing it on your own. Hiring a real estate agent can make a world of difference. Meet with at least a couple of agents and see who you click with the most. Agents will have contacts with builders and developers, and can help you find a home quickly.

5. Consider the Neighborhood
The home itself may be what’s most important, but it’s also important to consider the home’s neighborhood to ensure that it’s right for your family. If you have kids or plan to, you’ll obviously want a neighborhood near good schools. Every homebuyer wants to get a place where they’ll be safe from crime. And the neighborhood could also affect the value of your home when you go to sell later on.

Your home will likely be one of the biggest purchases you ever make. Be patient so that you can find the one that’s right for you.

About marilynsellshollisterrealestate

I am a native Californian born in Los Angeles and have resided in San Benito County since January 30, 1959. I attended the University of Southern California. I am a licensed Real Estate Broker, license #00409787, active for almost 45 years. I started my career in 1972 and still am totally committed to the highest level of service to my clients. I am currently associated with Intero Real Estate Services. I am Past President of the San Benito Association of Realtors, serving in the role on numerous occasions. I was a Director of the California Association of Realtors for over 18 years, having served on numerous committees. I also served 2 terms representing the California Association of Realtors at the National level, NAR. I am a certified SRES (Senior Real Estate specialist), since 2005. My community involvement has included membership in the Hollister Rotary Club, serving as their first woman President in 2002. In the late 1960's, I became a member of the El Torillo Chapter of Children's Home Society, and served as President, and was also President of the Tri-County Council of CHS, which is today Kinship Center, and I am currently a Senior Active. I am a member of the San Benito Chamber of Commerce. From 2002-2008, I served on the Board of the Hollister Downtown Association and was their President from 2006-2007, and still serve on sub-committees of this organization. And, I am currently serving my 3rd term on the Community Foundation. My record of performance and my reputation have made me who I am in the industry. I am a household name in San Benito County, when you think of Real Estate. My name is recognized not only in Hollister, but in our neighboring counties, Monterey, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties. I have been involved in land development, marketed several subdivisions, sold ranches, commercial leasing, bank-owned properties, short sales and own a Property Management Company, Hollister Rental Properties, for more than 35 years. I am proud of my sales record and for the majority of my career I have been in the top 1% of major Real Estate Companies including Van Vleck Realtors, Cornish and Carey, Contempo, Seville-Contempo, Century 21, Coldwell Banker and finally Intero Real Estate services for the last 15 years. Using my skills in negotiating, mediation and transaction closure, during 2010 and 2011, I was involved with the City of Hollister's First Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program. The program was the City's Redevelopment Agency, under Bill Avera, with the assistance of CJ Valenzuela who was working with the County of San Benito. CHISPA, a non-profit, was responsible for restoring homes to equal to new condition that the City had taken back in foreclosure, or that they had acquired. When the homes were restored, we put them on the Multiple Listing Service and we went out and promoted the City's Down Payment Assistance Program. Buyers were screened and qualified by our preferred lenders. I facilitated workshops for First Time Buyers explaining the programs. I negotiated the contracts for the City of Hollister and with the Buyers. With this program, I closed 2 homes in 2010, and 4 homes in 2011. On a personal note, I am married to Richard Ferreira, a retired General Contractor/Developer. We have a combined family of six daughters, six grandsons and 3 granddaughters. We share commons interests in travel, movies, entertaining, and Richard has picked up my love of cooking. Our spare time is spent with family and enjoying our grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s